Top Stories: Compulsive Gambling, Doggy Origins, and Sand Flea Sex

G. Sescousse, Brain (2013); CDC; Eye of Science/Science Source

Top Stories: Compulsive Gambling, Doggy Origins, and Sand Flea Sex

Old Dogs Teach a New Lesson About Canine Origins

The story of dogs began thousands of years ago, when gray wolves began sidling out of the shadows and into the company of humans. There's little argument about that scenario, but there’s a bit of a dogfight about when and where it took place. Now, DNA from the fossils of ancient dogs and wolves—a new source of evidence—suggests man’s best friend originated in Europe, from a now-extinct branch of gray wolves.

Lawmakers to Examine Bill Renewing U.S. Research

Haggling is heating up on Capitol Hill over a big chunk U.S. science policy. Lawmakers are beginning work on legislation that would shape how the National Science Foundation and other key science agencies do their jobs and how much money they’d be authorized to spend. But some scientists are pretty unhappy with a few of the proposals.

Gamblers More Attracted to Money Than Sex

Compulsive gamblers aren’t greedier than the rest of us—their brains may just be wired to favor money over sex. Their tendency to prioritize cash over more basic desires like sex resembles other addictions like alcoholism, researchers say, and could point toward new ways to treat pathological gamblers.

Treatment for Dormant Malaria Shows Promise

The first new drug in half a century to target malaria parasites in liver cells, one of their best hideouts, is showing encouraging results. Clinical trial results for tafenoquine have been so promising that researchers will soon start a phase III trial—the last step before asking drug regulators for approval.

Sex and the Single Sand Flea

A researcher in Madagascar was so interested in sand fleas that she let one live inside her foot—for 2 months. Her intimate observations paid off: She figured out how sand fleas have sex. It seems the parasites most likely copulate when the females are already inside their hosts. (Yep, that includes humans.)

Posted in Scientific Community