ResearchBlogging editor’s selections: privilege and empathy, lunar lost and found, turtle hatchling locomotion, Louis XVI’s blood, and the animal connection

skyskull “Dr. SkySkull” selects several notable posts each week from a miscellany of ResearchBlogging.org categories. He blogs at Skulls in the Stars.

  • Study: More Privilege Means Less Empathy. David Berreby at Mind Matters describes some interesting research that suggests that, the higher up in social status one is, the less empathy one has for others.  Though it will surely be used as political fodder, the study has important implications for the study of class relations.
  • Lunar lost and found. Forty years ago, a Soviet  lunar rover landed on the Moon.  Though it provided some initial data, it was more or less lost until recently, when the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter found it again!  Emma at we are all in the gutter provides the details.
  • To see the world in a grain of sand – movement from a turtle hatchling’s perspective. This may sound like a biology post, but it also includes a significant amount of physics!  Turtle hatchlings must deal with a daunting variety of sand conditions in their voyage from next to water, and their motion is optimized for each condition.  Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow takes us on a journey with the turtles, explaining how and why they move the way they do.
  • The Blood of Louis XVI. Researchers are now using blood samples from the executed monarch Louis XVI to reconstruct his genetic profile.  The source of this blood is a rather ghastly one, and Terri Sundquist of Promega Connections gives us the science and the history behind it.
  • Faunal Friends: Evolution and the Animal Connection. Human beings love animals; it is natural for scientists to seek to understand this rather unique tendency for cross-species bonds.  Krystal D’Costa of Anthropology in Practice walks us through the origins of our love for many creatures great and small.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, and check back next Monday for more selections!

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