Category: Environment

Environmental Stress Hypothesis

November 10, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

In the past 4.000.000 years, human evolution is broadly characterised by a trend of increasing body mass and stature associated with changes in behaviour, diet, cognition, and demographic expansion. The past 2.000.000 years have seen an increase in estimated body size among most Homo species from an…

A Small Advantage

May 30, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

According to research of the University of Southampton the body mass of mammals will shrink by 25% over the next century, as creatures large and small will seek to adapt to environmental changes brought on by extensive habitat loss and other stressors as a result…

GHRE: Gravitropism

March 29, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

The word growth is rooted in the proto-Germanic word GHRE. It refers to early spring when the first signs of green emerge as young leaves and grasses start to sprout. The GHRE-series investigates if and how our generally positive understanding of growth was influenced by its specific seasonal…

Red Knot Protein Transition

May 13, 2016 By arne hendriks 0

Reductions in body size in various animals are increasingly being identified as a response to climate warming. As early as the mid 19th century biologists observed that animals in warmer condition often tended to be smaller. The principle was formulated as Bergmann’s Rule. It is…

Mandragora

February 6, 2015 By arne hendriks 0

The Incredible shrinking Man desires a more ecological human existence. We’ve outgrown our naturally given space on Earth and are starting to experience the consequences, or even consider exit strategies. But rather than fantasising about a departure from the planet that designed us, we investigate…

Microbial Temper Tantrums

March 22, 2014 By arne hendriks 0

In stressful conditions, cells must prevent the initiation of replication and shift their priorities to protective functions. In other words: they must stop division and growth. Experiments in bacteria at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have uncovered the mechanism that translates stress into blocked cell growth.…

Degrowth

February 15, 2014 By arne hendriks 1

Degrowth is a political, economic, and social movement based on ecological economics. Degrowth thinkers and activists advocate for the downscaling of production and consumption arguing that overconsumption lies at the root of long term environmental issues and social inequalities. It is considered an essential economic strategy responding to the…

Growth Antagonists: Delta Cells

August 13, 2013 By arne hendriks 1

The growth of the human body is a highly complex process with many growth agonists and -antagonists taking centre stage at different times. In Growth Antagonists we each time zoom in on one of the key players as we’re trying to understand the puzzle of…

It’s Not (All) About Genes

August 2, 2013 By arne hendriks 0

There is a strong correspondance between the heights of offspring and the average height of the two parents. In Western societies this amounts to height being up to 90% heritable. But although who your parents are is the predominant determination of height, it’s no excuse for…

The Shrinking Iguana

September 20, 2010 By arne hendriks 4

Much to his surprise, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University has found that in times of famine, marine iguanas in the Galápagos Islands shrink in length and then regrow when food is plentiful again. “For vertebrates, it’s sort of a dogma that they don’t shrink,”…