Baby Boom

The ramifications of eight tiny humans, and one extinct ibex

Young Spanish Ibex

Achim Christoph (CC licensed)

Also in today's links: profiling terrorists, reading dreams, and more.

  • Scientists created a cloned Pyrenean ibex -- using egg cells of domestic goats -- although the kid died within minutes after birth. For everyone who just got all excited about a possible baby mammoth coming soon, hang on -- this type of mountain goat has been extinct only since probably 2000, so the baby was produced using much better-preserved tissue.
  • If you are horrified, bewildered, or simply fascinated by the octuplets born last week to a mother of six -- or heck, even envious! -- here is a breakdown of the reaction within the fertility community. In short, no laws were broken, but practitioners also seem to be horrified, bewildered, and fascinated.
  • A mathematical model not widely known indicates that limited profiling is the most efficient way to screen airport passengers for terrorists. Relying too heavily on data such as ethnicity, nationality or last name may cause screeners to miss an actual terrorist, or significantly inconvenience many innocent people, according to this analysis.
  • Ever wish you could forego the nutcracker and just chomp down on a brazil nut? A new paper suggests early humans may have been able to do so, although there's no mention of why Australopithecus didn't just pick up a small rock and use that to get at the nutmeat.
  • Whether or not dreams actually do provide instructions, people believe that they do and act on perceived directives, particularly when the dream supports waking beliefs, according to a study. Yep, it is one big circle.