amp1212 t1_j0wfce8 wrote

>Godwanaland included Africa and South America right? Are they literally calling this whole place Australia?

Yes, but with the "they" being the journalists at Australian Geographic, not the authors of the original scientific publication. So you can blame it on them; the original authors don't make that mistake.

Its why I make myself a pest here to call out crap pop science writing, which so often takes a good and carefully written finding, and then makes it worse.

To be fair, because people love imagining long ago landscapes, there's a lot of confusion about "the place where we find fossils now" - and "the place where these animals lived, at the time they were laid down"


amp1212 t1_j0wejh9 wrote

>My god, as a king gizzard fan I had no idea this was a real thing

They're actually from down under, so yeah it makes sense. Aussies do grow up hearing more about Gondwana than Americans do, very generally, because as this post began with, present day Australia has a Gondwanan legacy.

And King Gizzard are generally scientifically and intellectually curious . . . their lyrics are filled with clever bits of scientific and mathematical lacuna, viz "Tetrachromacy" and clever lines like "I am everyone and every zero."


amp1212 t1_j0w6jhy wrote

>I’m with you in that science headlines need to be more accurate but outside of dedicated scientific journals, I’m not sure a headline like the one you’ve suggested would get many clicks

I agree that it may be hard to write headlines, but it is really irritating - and scientifically misleading - to write about "Australia", when what is meant is Gondwanaland.

They are not at all the same things, even though a bit of what once was Gondwanaland is now Australia.

. . . and note that the original journal reference was "The Gondwanan Origin of Tribosphenida (Mammalia)." - which was correct. Or one could have parsed this "The ancient origins of mammals in Gondwanaland" -- the problem with the title as it was written for Australian Geographic was that it was a bit of Down under click boosting, completely understandable - but nonetheless inaccurate.


amp1212 t1_j0vbxej wrote

The relevant scientific paper this article is based on is

Flannery, Timothy F., et al. "The Gondwanan Origin of Tribosphenida (Mammalia)." Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology (2022): 1-14.


>A review of the Southern Hemisphere Mesozoic tribosphenic mammal fossil record supports the hypothesis that Tribosphenida arose in the Southern Hemisphere during the Early Jurassic, around 50 million years prior to the clade’s reliably dated first appearance in the Northern Hemisphere. Mesozoic Southern Hemisphere tribosphenic mammals are known from Australia, Madagascar, South America and the Indian subcontinent, and are classified into three families: Bishopidae (fam. nov.), Ausktribosphenidae and Henosferidae. These are stem therians, and considerable morphological evolution occurred within the lineage between the Jurassic and late Early Cretaceous. Important dental modifications include a graduated transition between premolars and molars, development of molar wear facets V and VI, loss of facets for postdentary bones, reduction in the Meckelian groove and development of a true dentary angle. Previous classifications of Southern Hemisphere tribosphenic mammals are ambiguous because information from the upper dentition has been lacking. Upper molars attributed to the late Early Cretaceous (Albian) Southern Hemisphere group Bishopidae fam. nov. are now known to possess a prominent protocone and stylar cusp C. We thus consider bishopids to be the sister group to Theria.

There are a lot of contingencies in this analysis. "Discovery identifies Australia as birthplace of all modern mammals" - is arguable. There's no real "discovery" here, in the sense of "we found some new fossil that changes a key understanding"; rather its a new analysis of mostly existing paleontological material.

The Australian Geographic article states

>"People had looked at these scattered bits and pieces of information previously but never in a comprehensive way to see if they revealed any sort of pattern."

So the question is "is this new analysis persuasive?"

A major work of analysis doesn't win over scientific consensus "because we said so" - we shall, no doubt, see a good deal of other perspectives before too long. So a more careful headline editor, might have written

Discovery identifies Australia as birthplace of all modern mammals

"Analysis of existing fossil material suggests earliest mammal lineages arose in Gondwanaland, the Southern supercontinent that includes what is now Australia."


amp1212 t1_j0pqe1r wrote

Credit to the researchers and the [posthumous] study participants here. It is really hard to do this kind of work, involving enrollment of participants in their lifetimes, cognitive testing, and then having access to their brains after their death for study - much of this kind of neurology can't be done except post mortem.

The investigators and participants get a big vote of thanks here. The effort here is extraordinary; the researchers are all in Quebec, I think the study participants, members of Religious Orders, were too . . . but not clear on that.


amp1212 t1_j0mts48 wrote

There are other recent publications reporting the same thing- this one is from Texas


>Free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) across the United States are increasingly recognized for infection and transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Through a cross-sectional study of 80 deer at three captive cervid facilities in central and southern Texas, we provide evidence of 34 of 36 (94.4%) white-tailed deer at a single captive cervid facility seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 by neutralization assay (PRNT90), with endpoint titers as high as 1,280. In contrast, all tested white-tailed deer and axis deer (Axis axis) at two other captive cervid facilities were seronegative, and SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detected in respiratory swabs from deer at any of the three facilities. These data support transmission among captive deer that cannot be explained by human contact for each infected animal, as only a subset of the seropositive does had direct human contact. The facility seroprevalence was more than double of that reported from wild deer, suggesting that the confined environment may facilitate transmission.
>Roundy, Christopher M., et al. "High seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) at one of three captive cervid facilities in Texas." Microbiology Spectrum 10.2 (2022): e00576-22.

Cervids generally are a bit worrisome as potential hosts for reservoir populations and spillover. One of the more notable diseases common to cervids and humans are elk and BSE,

Otero, Alicia, et al. "Chronic wasting disease: a cervid prion infection looming to spillover." Veterinary Research 52.1 (2021): 1-13.

I doubt that there's anything particular about cervid biology -- more likely its the large numbers of animals and their mobility. Interesting about the different seroprevalence in the Texas populations. . . a big difference in the New York vs Texas populations is that the NY were free ranging and the Texas were not . . .


amp1212 t1_iyurjgl wrote

This mechanism, the "theft" of needed chemistry, shows up a lot in the battles between eukaryotes and bacteria. Iron is a particularly common contested chemical, for example

Fischbach, Michael A., et al. "How pathogenic bacteria evade mammalian sabotage in the battle for iron." Nature chemical biology 2.3 (2006): 132-138.

Cherayil, Bobby J. "The role of iron in the immune response to bacterial infection." Immunologic research 50.1 (2011): 1-9.

Page, Malcom GP. "The role of iron and siderophores in infection, and the development of siderophore antibiotics." Clinical Infectious Diseases 69.Supplement_7 (2019): S529-S537.

. . . here the story is with folic acid, but the point is more general - that infection represents not just a battle between bacteria and host, but a battle to alter the microenvironment and requisition the resources from the sites . . .thinking of an invading army scouring occupied territories for supplies, and the defender equally aggressively trying to deny them to the invader.


amp1212 t1_iwyiv8o wrote

>Well, yeah. Psychology and sociology aren't true sciences. They're kinda like what statistics is in the math world.

They can be more and less rigorous. This isn't a _terrible_ paper - its from a good place, they actually did the experiments in two different contexts, with different subjects, and the numbers of participants were reasonably good.

On the downside, "avoidant attachment style" and "feeling appreciated" are far from being objective criteria, indeed many of these kinds of behaviors are a matter of cultural norms . . .

. . . so read it for what it is, and be aware of the limitations.


amp1212 t1_iwy7lyc wrote

Bear in mind that these kinds of social psych experiments have some of the worst reproducibility is science . . . they're the kind of thing people love to talk about, but which often don't hold up.

. . . basically, with findings like these, until you've seen them reproduced by other investigators, don't go off too far into the weeds in interpretation, because these are pretty soft findings and the authors themselves offer other possible interpretations

>Although we observed instances of feeling appreciated when they spontaneously arose in daily life, it is unclear what the effects would be if people were explicitly instructed to express their feelings of appreciation toward their partner. It is possible that these increased opportunities to perceive their partner’s appreciative feelings may enhance the effect upon prosocial motivation.
>Alternatively, it is also possible that intentional expressions of feeling appreciative may appear contrived and therefore less authentic, which may weaken the potency of the message. Future research would benefit from an experimental paradigm to assess if intentional expressions of feeling appreciative can buffer prosocial motivation for avoidantly attached individuals.

All in all, I wouldn't rank this as anything beyond "interesting"


Wiggins, Bradford J., and Cody D. Christopherson. "The replication crisis in psychology: An overview for theoretical and philosophical psychology." Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 39.4 (2019): 202.

Tackett, Jennifer L., et al. "Psychology's replication crisis and clinical psychological science." Annual review of clinical psychology 15 (2019): 579-604.