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Freak Frog Is an Evolutionary Find BU biologists discover frog has unique egg-laying ability

Scientists have long divided frog species into those that lay eggs on land and those that lay eggs in water. But two BU scientists recently discovered that the hourglass treefrog can do both, making it a potential “transitional species” of amphibian evolution. Photos courtesy of Justin Touchon (GRS’09)

You might call it the curious incident of the frogs in the night.

In fall 2005, at two tropical ponds in Panama, biology doctoral student Justin Touchon (GRS’09) was researching the eggs and tadpoles of the hourglass treefrog, known to breed at night and lay its eggs only on land. A third pond nearby was filled with the same species but lacked any visible egg clutches. So, one night Touchon and Karen Warkentin, a College of Arts and Sciences assistant professor of biology, staked out this third pond and were amazed to see frogs laying eggs in the water, on submerged vegetation.

The discovery has big implications for research into evolution. Until that moment, all 5,000 or so frog species were thought to lay either aquatic or terrestrial eggs. None was believed to do both. What’s more, laying eggs on land is an evolved behavior, meaning that all species of frogs once deposited eggs exclusively in water (as most still do), but at various points way back in the frog family tree, evolutionary pressures led some frogs to branch off and become terrestrial egg-laying species. Now, Touchon and Warkentin may have found a transitional species that could provide insights into exactly how and why these behavioral changes took place.

“I said, ‘Justin you have to work on this,’” Warkentin recalls. “This is so cool.”

First, they had to find out if this species truly could lay eggs both on land and in water. Because the two ponds where Touchon’s initial research was based were shaded by a thick forest canopy and the third pond, with aquatic egg-laying treefrogs, was much more exposed, the researchers tested whether this environmental cue was driving the frogs’ egg-laying behavior. They created a dozen mini-pond habitats using plastic kiddie pools, placing half of the mini-ponds in the forest and half in a nearby open field. Over a series of nights in 2006 and 2007, they put a single pair of breeding frogs into each mini-habitat, choosing frogs from all three ponds and covering the habitats with a cage to ensure that each breeding pair had exclusive use of the area.

Indeed, as reported last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the frogs deposited about 75 percent of their eggs in water when in the exposed mini-habitats and about 85 percent their eggs on land in the more shaded habitats. It didn’t matter which of the three natural ponds the frogs originally came from, says Touchon. “Even a pair of frogs [from one of the shadier ponds] that we’d never seen lay eggs in the water were laying eggs in the water when placed in the sunnier areas,” he says. “It raises the possibility that there are other animals who can do this, but nobody ever thought to look before.”

In other words, in the search for how and why some frogs evolved from aquatic to terrestrial egg layers, it’s possible that Touchon and Warkentin have found a key transitional species in the evolutionary chain, and that such behavioral flexibility may play a role in evolution more generally. “This opens a new way of looking at this problem,” says Warkentin. “Before we found the dual behavior in this one species, it would never have even occurred to us to ask whether plasticity played a role in evolution. You would think maybe some genetic mutation occurred at some point that just switched their egg-laying behavior.”

There is a somewhat ironic twist. Most aquatic frog eggs have more delicate membranes and dry out and die on land, and the thicker gelatinous clutches of terrestrial eggs are starved of oxygen in water and drown. But the eggs of the hourglass treefrog survive on both land and water by not being extremely well suited for either environment. When deposited on land, for instance, they need rain to survive, but too much rain will flood them, and they drown in deeper water.

While there are many theories of what evolutionary pressures — from environment to predators — led to the change in the egg-laying behavior of some frogs, these theories have thus far been extremely difficult to validate. But, says Touchon, having a frog that can deposit eggs on land and in the water allows researchers to “manipulate the environment to test our hypotheses about these pressures” and how they affect both reproductive decision-making and egg mortality. He hopes to search for “other transitional species” among the handful of species in the same genus as the hourglass treefrog where terrestrial reproduction has evolved.

If he finds any, Touchon says, he’ll investigate whether “the selection pressures are the same on all these types of frogs, to see what causes the movement to land.” Another line of follow-up research suggested by Warkentin is to test how reliable the cues are that frogs are using in their reproductive behaviors, in terms of egg survival. “It’s particularly relevant in a changing climate or when a habitat is modified by development,” she says. “Maybe this flexibility will help these frogs cope with such changes, but maybe the cues they’ve been relying on will no longer be valid.”

Chris Berdik can be reached at [email protected].

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Evolutionary Defences Against Sexual Aggression

Sexual aggression is one approach males adopt to reduce the costs of sexual access, but it comes with costs in the form of revenge and reputational damage. Sexual aggression is demonstrated by a guy demanding or forcing sexual intimacy, failing to get mutual consent for sex, and touching a woman’s body without her permission.

No other types of behaviours that males may do, including verbal abuse and nonsexual physical violence, were seen as unpleasant by women as sexual aggression–a conclusion that was independently confirmed in a survey of Dutch people. Women, contrary to popular belief, do not want forced sex.

Men and Rape Adaptations

Rape is the use or threat of force to obtain sexual intercourse. One of the most contentious topics in evolutionary psychology is whether males have developed specialized adaptations to rape under particular conditions or if rape is a by-product of other evolved processes. Rape-as-adaptation hypothesis suggests that selection favoured ancestral men raped under particular conditions. Proponents of this idea propose that at least six specialized adaptations may have emerged in the male mind.

Assessment of probable rape victims’ vulnerability (for example, during wartime or in non-conflict circumstances where a woman lacks the protection of a husband or relatives).

A context-sensitive “switch” that encourages rape in men who do not have sexual access to willing partners (e.g., “loser” guys who cannot find mates through traditional courting channels).

A predilection for fertile rape victims.

An increase in sperm counts in rape ejaculates as compared to consensual intercourse.

Sexual arousal in men, particularly in response to the use of force or signals of female reluctance to consensual sex.

Marital rape in situations where sperm competition may exist (for example, when there is proof or suspicion of female infidelity).

Rape, on the other hand, is a nondesigned and nonselected-for by-product of other evolved mechanisms, such as the male desire for sexual variety, a desire for sex without investment, a psychological sensitivity to sexual opportunities, and the general ability to use physical aggression to achieve a variety of goals. Unfortunately, definitive data supporting these conflicting views is missing. Rape is typical during the conflict, but so are robbery, looting, property damage, and brutality to the vanquished.

The Mate Deprivation Hypothesis

Not all males inflict sexual aggression costs on women. Indeed, evolutionary psychologists such as Neil Malamuth have studied the features of sexually aggressive guys. These researchers discovered two routes to sexual hostility. The first option is the impersonal sex path. Males who place a high value on sexual conquest as a source of peer status and self-esteem are included. Of course, not all men that want impersonal short-term mating employ sexual aggression, but this inclination is statistically related to sexual aggression chúng tôi hostile masculinity path is the second. This approach comprises two interconnected components −

An insecure, defensive, hypersensitive, aggressive, and suspicious attitude towards women, and

Pleasure in dominating and manipulating women.

Men who score high on aggressive masculinity measures have a history of being rejected by women. These guys believe women have injured, misled, betrayed, and exploited them. According to Malamuth, aggressive masculinity may assist males in avoiding feelings of pity or empathy for the victim, which may otherwise hinder the use of sexual aggression.

Do Women Have Evolved Antirape Adaptations?

Although the debate about rape explanations has centred on men’s intentions, it is equally necessary to study rape victims. All theoretical factions agree on victim psychology: Rape is heinous and frequently results in severe consequences for the victim. This discovery does not require a formal theory, but it is necessary to investigate why victims view rape as particularly painful.

Rape’s evolutionary consequences begin with interfering with women’s mate choice, a crucial aspect of women’s sexual strategy. A raped lady faces an unwelcome and premature pregnancy with a partner she did not choose. Furthermore, rape victims risk being stigmatized or penalized, causing harm to their reputations and future desirability on the mating market. They risk being abandoned by their average partners if they are already mated.

Raped women frequently experience psychological trauma, including humiliation, anxiety, dread, fury, and sadness. Given these high costs, it would be fantastic if rape did not favour the evolution of defence systems in women to prevent women from becoming a victim throughout human evolutionary history. This is distinct from the question of whether males have acquired rape adaptations. In theory, women may have evolved antirape defences even if rape was solely a by-product of men’s nonrape mechanisms.

Although research into these hypothesized defences is still in its early stages, it shows enormous potential. Women who do not use oral contraceptives are more likely to avoid dangerous activities, such as going to a bar alone or wandering in a darkly lit place, when ovulating than during other cycle periods. Greater fear of rape is associated with increased behavioural precautions, such as avoiding being alone with males they do not know well or guys who come on hard sexually.

This implies that fear encourages behaviour that reduces the likelihood of rape. Young women are more afraid of rape than older women, who are more likely to be afraid of being robbed or burgled, implying that anxiety is tracking the statistical chances of rape. Although no direct studies of the “bodyguard hypothesis” have been done, married women report fewer incidences of rape than unmarried women.


Rape is a by-product of other evolved mechanisms, such as the male desire for sexual pleasure. Rapists target young, reproductive-aged women disproportionately, but this is not definitive evidence for or against the competing theories of rape. Any theory of rape must explain individual differences in sexual aggression.

The hostile masculinity path combines an insecure, defensive, hypersensitive, hostile, and distrustful orientation with pleasure in dominating and controlling women. Men who have experienced deprivation of sexual access to women are more likely to use sexually aggressive tactics, contrary to the mate deprivation hypothesis.

What Is An Ogg File?

Have you ever looked at a file extension and wondered exactly what in the world you were looking at? With hundreds of different file extensions, it’s impossible to keep track of them all.

For example, what is an OGG file? Where did it come from, and what is it used for? Simply put, an OGG file is one of two file types: either an Ogg Vorbis Audio File or an Origin graph file.

Table of Contents

Ogg Vorbis Compressed Audio File

The .Ogg extension is a free, open container format originally created by the chúng tôi Foundation. This organization is a nonprofit group that creates and maintains various multimedia formats and software tools, giving creators and everyday users the ability to work with multimedia without paying exorbitant prices.

Vorbis is the most popular and common type of .ogg file, but there are numerous others. In addition to the .ogg extension, you may also see .ogv, .oga, .ogx, .ogm, .spx, and .opus.

If the name “Ogg” seems odd to you, it’s because it derives from an old gaming term called “ogging.” The 1988 game Netrek was one of the first online multiplayer games, and “ogging” referred to a kamikaze-style attack on an enemy ship or base. The .ogg extension is in homage to that history.

Like a kamikaze attack, the OGG Project was thought to be ambitious and not entirely possible due to the powers of computers at that time. The creators of the format sought to push the boundaries.

As an additional bit of interesting trivia, the “Vorbis” aspect of the name originates from a character in Terr Pratchett’s book Small Gods.

Opening An Ogg Vorbis File

OGG files are common. As a result, most major media players can open them, including VLC, Windows Media Player, and many more. You can even open an OGG file through Google Drive. However, Apple does not natively support OGG files. If you want to open one on an Apple device, you will need to download a compatible third-party application like VLC.

Opera and Mozilla Firefox also support OGG files without the need for a separate program. Simply drag or open the file in your browser and you can listen to its contents without opening another application.

OGG files can also be accepted by GPS devices. However, this is most commonly used whe audio mapping. It’s unlikely that you would ever use a GPS device to play music, but anything is possible. Maybe you want to hear your Tom Tom sing Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”

Converting Ogg Vorbis Files

If you need to switch an OGG file to something more universally acceptable, like an MP3 or WAV file, there are several easy options out there.

One of the easiest options is an online converter like FileZigZag. You don’t have to download anything and you can convert more than one file at once. The downside is you’re limited to 10 conversions per day.

Another option is something like Convertio. It works entirely in your browser, but there is also a Chrome extension available for easy conversions. There doesn’t seem to be a daily limit to the number of conversions, but the max file size is capped at 100 MB.

Origin Graph Files

A less common type of OGG file is an Origin Graph. What is an Origin Graph OGG file? This is a data analysis tool and graphing application created by OriginLab Corporation and used most often by scientiests and engineers. It creates graphs that display a variety of types of data.

The only way to open an Origin Graph file is through Origin and Origin Viewer. Origin is only available through Windows, but Origin Viewer is a free alternative that is available to both Windows and Mac users.

In more recent iterations of Origin, files are saved in the .oggu format. This offers a performance upgrade over the old file type, but it still allows users to open OGG files.

Fans of open-source software will appreciate the OGG format due to its broad range of compatibility. It provides an efficient way to access and store audio files that doesn’t hog memory.

As for Origin Graph files, unless you’re in a relevant field, you aren’t likely to encounter them.

What Is An Ip Flood?

IP Flood

An IP Flood is a type of malicious assault that can affect a single device or a whole network. This is a Denial of Service (DoS) attack that seeks to prevent a device from performing its usual functions, such as delivering requests or processing data. In an IP flood attack, the system is flooded with data, using all available bandwidth and denying access to genuine users.

Fortunately, IP flooding is a well-known form of assault and it is well-documented and hence it can be readily avoided. IP Flooding is a sort of attack in which the victim or system is flooded with data, using all available bandwidth and preventing legitimate users from accessing the system. In layman’s terms, it means that one device can use all available data, preventing other devices from connecting.

When IP Flood Detection is turned on, your router can detect and prevent malicious devices that are attempting to flood your network. IP Flooding is a sort of DoS attack in which the victim or system is flooded with data, using all available bandwidth and preventing legitimate users from accessing the system.

An IP Flood occurs when IP packets from one device overrun the IP packets from another device or devices. It’s usually a malicious occurrence, although it can also be the result of faulty programming in the transmitting device. A router or switch that performs basic packet/frame inspection may often assist reduce network impact. IP broadcast flood (also known as IP Storm) can be considerably more damaging to the network since it affects all devices in the broadcast domain.

This is a Denial of Service (DoS) attack that seeks to prevent a device from performing its usual functions, such as delivering requests or processing data. Fortunately, because this is one of the most well-known forms of assault, it is well-documented and readily avoided.

How an IP Flood Attack is Carried Out

An IP Flood attack is often carried out with the use of an executable application or a piece of code that makes the requests. The malware will first establish a connection with the victim, after which it will send a series of ping queries (also known as echo request packages). These ping requests will continue to be sent until the system of the receiver fails. You may believe that a machine or network can tolerate a few ping attempts, but an IP Flood attack can entail hundreds of requests per second.

IP Flooding is a sort of DoS attack in which the victim or system is flooded with data, using all available bandwidth and preventing legitimate users from accessing the system. In layman’s terms, it means that one device can use all available data, preventing other devices from connecting. When IP Flood Detection is turned on, your router can detect and prevent malicious devices that are attempting to flood your network.

Negative Impacts of an IP Flood

A device or a network can be effectively crippled by an IP Food attack. If the connection is open, the receiving device will immediately respond with the information when a ping request is received. The device or network will simply not be able to handle the ping queries since they are continual and in such a large volume. The system will eventually fail, and the network device or computer will crash, leaving you unable to complete any additional tasks.

What Can Be Done to Avoid an IP Flood Attack?

Most routers and networking equipment, fortunately, will have built-in protection against IP Flood assaults. There is no need for alarm among residential users; if your router is properly set up, you should never be vulnerable to an IP Flood assault. Many routers offer an “IP Flood prevention” option that can be manually engaged; however, this might have a negative impact on your router’s performance and significantly slow down your network. It is best to avoid turning this feature on and to double-check that your router’s security settings are accurate.

The ability to carry out a ping flood is contingent on the attackers knowing the target’s IP address. As a result, based on the target and how its IP address is resolved, attacks may be divided into three groups.

A single machine on a local network is attacked by a targeted local revealed ping flood. To discover a computer’s IP address, an attacker must have physical access to it. The target computer would be taken down if the assault was successful.

Ping flood is a type of attack that targets routers in order to disrupt connections between computers on a network, according to a router. It relies on the attacker knowing a local router’s internal IP address. If the assault is successful, all computers linked to the router will be shut down.

Before launching an assault, a blind ping flood requires utilizing external software to discover the IP address of the target computer or router.

What Is An Nvme Ssd?

Last Updated on April 27, 2023

These days we want faster, more robust data transfer to speed up both home and business computing.

It’s this insatiable desire for efficiency that births faster and faster storage drives. But what is an NVMe SSD – the latest standard, of SSD technology? Read on to decode this esoteric jumble of letters!

What Is An SSD?

Before we delve into the NVMe side of the puzzle, let’s first establish what an SSD is. Used for long-term data storage, SSDs (Solid State Drive) are essentially an evolution of the hard drive (HD).

These drives are referred to as “solid” because – unlike mechanical hard drives – they don’t use any moving components, amounting to improved thermals, improved energy efficiency, a more robust build, and quieter performance.

SSDs are also much quicker, as signals can travel faster through stationary electrical circuitry than they can when a moving component is involved.

What Does NVMe Mean?

NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory Express, and it’s an upgraded SSD technology that speeds up data transfer to an even further degree. It supersedes the SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) SDD standard that maxed out at 500–600 Mbps, establishing 2000 Mbps as the new normal, but how does it pull this remarkable feat off?

Well, hard drives and older SSDs utilize what’s known as point-to-point serial protocols to transfer data between the storage unit and the motherboard of a computer. In plain English, this means cables are used to link the drive to the motherboard.

Next came an SSD protocol that combined cables and ports to link up the two components, but the magic of the NVMe standard is that it cuts out these connections altogether in favor of a direct input on the motherboard.

Reducing the material signals have to travel through and the physical distance the data must traverse reduces latency significantly, making NVMe the speed demon that it is!

This port in the motherboard is known as the PCIe bus, which is where that little “e” comes from on the end of NVMe. PCIe slots are designed to accommodate hardware expansions, i.e. beefy discrete GPUs. However, now that storage technology has caught up with transfer tech, the PCIe slot and the NVMe SSD are perfect partners in crime.

What’s The Downside Of The NVMe SSD?

It’s faster, more energy efficient cuts down on some excess cabling… What’s not to like? Well, the only real drawback of the NVMe SSD blueprint is the price tag, but as it marks such an improvement on the next best thing (SATA), it’s not a bad investment, especially considering it’s going to be the standard for the foreseeable future.

NVMe might not be the most budget-friendly storage solution but think of the productivity gains individuals and businesses would make with such a fast data transfer protocol.

Besides, one NVMe SSD today will be prime for use indefinitely, whereas older SSD variants will fall behind related technologies comparatively quickly, necessitating multiple replacements.

When it was released, NVMe was a nice-to-have, but these days, despite the cost, NVMe SSD storage is the smart choice if you’re thinking of picking up a new computer/laptop or starting a new build.

Final Thoughts

That said, bear in mind that although any NVMe SSD will surely give your system the kick in the pants you’ve been dreaming of, they’re not made equal. Some are better than others, so don’t skimp on the research side of shopping around!

Mte Explains: What Is An Rfc?

Understanding RFCs

You’ve probably seen the term RFC thrown around in reference to protocols and other applications that you’ve been using. Many developers include references to RFCs in the change notes to new versions of applications that they release. Why is this? What is this mysterious RFC everyone keeps talking about? As with any other seemingly obscure term on the Internet, there are explanations, but they don’t necessarily speak in a language that everyone can understand. And this is why MTE is going to take the time to explain RFCs to you!

To fully understand what an RFC is, one must also understand what gave birth to them, and why they were necessary at the time in which they were first created.

An RFC is a published document by an organization called the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). RFCs hold the rules for every single protocol you use to communicate over the Web. You’ll find very familiar ones like RFC 2616 (HTTP) and RFC 3920 (XMPP, used in Facebook Messenger). All of these things are available for everyone to see on the IETF’s RFC database.

Put simply, many RFCs will provide the public with all the details they need to know in order to fully understand how Internet protocols work. However, not all RFCs are declarations of Internet protocols. Some of them are there to show developers what the best practices are for interacting with a protocol or even to provide information about some other general topics. Others are just jokes (like this April Fools’ RFC). Also, you won’t find every protocol on IETF’s database. A number of them (like the BitTorrent protocol) are kept in other databases.

Why RFCs Are Important

When I was first developing programs and plugins that used the HTTP protocol, I needed a point of reference to learn how it worked. It doesn’t matter how much you know how to code; if you can’t find out how a protocol works, you can’t use it properly. The RFC I linked to above (2616) was very helpful in understanding some details.

The point I’m getting at is that RFCs can be used as a reference guide to protocols that have not yet fully been explained in simpler terms. It helps pioneers easily find the resources they need to develop the applications you love. There you have it!

Any More Questions?

Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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