biodiversity, evolution, insects, fruit flies, injuries, immune systems, study
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Strength Born of Weakness? Immune System Implications of Fruit Flies’ Harsh Lives Eyed (Maria)

The author writes, “Life for a fruit fly is fraught. Every day brings the chance of being shooed, swatted, or swallowed. Now, for the first time, researchers have quantified how harsh their short lives can be. In the wild, close to one-third of these insects are injured or wounded in some way, scientists report today in Royal Society Open Science. What’s more, the injuries may play an important role in the evolution of their immune systems.”

In Trump We Trust: Religious Right on Crusade To Make Their Man President (Dana)

From The Guardian: “God’s army is on the march. And many of its foot soldiers are wearing ‘Make America great again’ regalia, sensing that their unlikely standard-bearer, former US president Donald Trump, is once again close to the promised land. ‘I do not believe that America can survive another four years of Joe Biden,’ Ralph Reed, founder and chair of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, told a gathering of the religious right in Washington on Friday. ‘I haven’t felt this way since Jimmy Carter was president.’ The audience burst into knowing laughter. Reed promised they would knock on 10m doors of Christian and conservative voters in every battleground state, make 10m phone calls, send 25m text messages, and put 30m voter guides in 113,000 churches, producing ‘the biggest turnout of Christian voters in American history.’”

Ex-Florida Law Enforcement Official Says He Was Forced To Resign for Defying Illegal DeSantis Orders (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered illegal surveillance of immigrants and ignored concerns that relocating them from Texas to another state could could be considered kidnapping or false imprisonment, the former chief of staff at the state’s top law enforcement agency said in a whistleblower lawsuit. … [Shane] Desguin said the administration retaliated against him with an internal investigation that claimed he had a sexual relationship with a subordinate and recklessly pointed his unloaded gun at a coworker in an impromptu lesson on how to defend against an armed attacker. The investigation happened as a result of Desguin reporting violations of rules, regulations or laws and malfeasance, and his forced resignation was retaliation for failing to comply with those orders, the lawsuit said.”

Pierre Poilievre’s Vision for Canada: Heaven for the Very Rich and Squat for Everyone Else (Reader Jim)

From Toronto Star: “Pierre Poilievre presents himself as a friend of the working person — but a Canadian government supplying only ‘core services’ would mean cutbacks that hurt working people.”

‘Time for a Reckoning.’ Kansas Farmers Brace for Water Cuts To Save Ogallala Aquifer. (Sean)

From Stateline: “It’s spring in southwest Kansas, a hub for the nation’s crop, dairy, and beef industries. As the familiar seasonal rhythm plays out, some farmers are bracing for major changes in how they use the long-depleting Ogallala Aquifer. The nation’s largest underground store of fresh water, the Ogallala transformed this arid region into an agricultural powerhouse. After 50 years of studies, discussions, and hand-wringing about the aquifer’s decline, the state is demanding that local groundwater managers finally enforce conservation. But in this region where water is everything, they’ll have to overcome entrenched attitudes and practices that led to decades of overpumping.”

The Lonely, Resolute Path of Oklahoma Legislator Mauree Turner (Gerry)

The author writes, “They’re a striking outlier on the floor of the Oklahoma House: the only masked face, the only hijab-covered head, in one of the reddest state capitols in the country. Rep. Mauree Turner sits at their desk as other legislators chat and work the cavernous Greco-Roman chamber. Conversations hush as a chaplain appears to deliver the invocation on this early spring morning. Quoting Philippians and Jesus, he urges lawmakers to care for themselves so that they can best serve the people. ‘At the end of the day, we’re human,’ he says. ‘We have limited mental and emotional capacity.’ This is Turner’s dilemma. Being the nation’s first Black, Muslim, nonbinary state lawmaker, let alone the first in Oklahoma, was never going to be easy.”


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