Save Our Species with Science: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Earth Day

The International Earth Day campaign started as a socio-environmental movement back in 1970 and is promoted yearly on the 22nd of April. In the 90’s the movement went global with the aim to raise awareness of environmental problems and driving the inclusion of environmental guidelines during law making decisions. The #EndPlasticPollution movement of 2018 was […]

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We are Borg: How Ticks Assimilate Genetic Adaptation

To most people parasites are gruesome creatures, likely the feature of nightmares. Yet, they are fascinating organisms from an evolutionary perspective (read more about Tick Origins and the Fossil Record). They are prime examples of the evolutionary arms-race, where parasite and host try to outwit one another through biological adaptation. Unlike plant ectoparasites, animal parasites […]

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Ticks in the Fossil Record: How the cousin of the Spider became a Blood-sucking Vampire

Ticks are blood-feeding external parasites. Truly disgusting creatures and I still say this even after I had studied them for four years. How did they become such repulsive organisms? To glimpse an answer, let’s take a walk down the earth’s memory lane and explore the ancestral fossils from which they came. Fossils are used to […]

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The Dialectic of Innovation

A practical tool for innovation by Sarel Oberholster   Hegelian dialectic, usually presented in a threefold manner, was stated by Heinrich Moritz Chalybäus [35] as comprising three dialectical stages of development: a thesis, giving rise to its reaction, an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis, and the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis. In more […]

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Origins of Domestic Cattle: Migration patterns & Speciation events

During my masters, I studied the blue cattle tick, Rhipicepahlus microplus (REF 1). I was interested in the movement of cattle as a factor of human migration and trade through Africa. Additionally domestication and selective breeding affected the genetic make-up of cattle, which influences resistance against parasites. Since host geographical distribution and genetic inheritance are […]

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