links for 2010-03-22

  • Re-Public is an online journal focusing on innovative developments in contemporary political theory and practice.
    We aspire to participate in the process of re-imagining democracy, broadly conceived as referring to the multite of practices that shape everyday life.
  • Fluorescent green sperm are shedding new light on exactly what happens during insemination and fertilization. Fruit flies were genetically altered so their sperm heads were fluorescent red or green allowing scientists to observe in striking detail what happens to live sperm inside the female. “Our first goal with these flies was to tackle the mechanisms underlying sperm competition,” says Scott Pitnick, professor of biology at Syracuse University.
    “Whenever a female mates with more than one male—and female promiscuity is more the rule than the exception in nature—there are conflicts between the sexes over paternity, as well as competition between rival ejaculates to fertilize eggs. Such postcopulatory sexual selection is a powerful force for evolutionary change.”
  • Seaweed could hold the answer to tackling obesity, according to Newcastle University researchers.
    The team found alginate – a fibre found in sea kelp – reduces the body’s fat uptake by more than 75%. That is better than most anti-obesity treatments.Now the fibre is being added to bread in an effort to develop foods that help lose weight. Clinical trials are now intended to find out how effective it would be in a normal diet. Dr Iain Brownlee, who co-led the Tyneside team, said: “This research suggests that if we can add the natural fibre to products commonly eaten daily, such as bread, biscuits and yoghurts, up to three quarters of the fat contained in that meal could simply pass through the body.
  • The Violence of Participation Contributions by Shumon Basar, Ute Meta Bauer, Celine Condorelli, Erhard Eppler, Nikolaus Hirsch, Rem Koolhaas, Stéphanie Moisdon, Ingo Niermann, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Ralf Pflugfelder, Karl Schlögel, Eyal Weizman, Tirdad Zolghadr, et al.The future of the State depends, at least in Europe, on the realization that the State of the 20th Century (the National State embodying internal and external sovereignty) does no longer have any future. Erhard Eppler, Auslaufmodell Staat? (2005)Is Europe a place, a space, or a temporary community of shared interests? As a political space, Europe is as conflictual as its debated constitution. It is a construct that must be continuously negotiated, and its longing for an architecture of strategic encounters parallels an increasing economical power of the private sector, while the sovereignty of European nation states attenuate.
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