Guide Why Wars Widen: A Theory of Predation and Balancing

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The fear that a conflict will spread is often used as a justification for "peacekeeping" operations. But why and under what conditions is war likely to widen? When are concerns warranted and justified? This book answers these important policy questions. The book offers a theoretical explanation for war widening based on the decisiveness of warfare in a given era. It argues that conflicts are most likely to spread when the effects of warfare are limited, as states seek limited gains with a low cost.

In an era where warfare is decisive, in other words, an era of total war, wars are less likely to widen. By understanding whether a war occurs in an era of total war or limited war, we can then assess how likely that conflict is to spread. These cases capture both eras of limited war, total war and the transition between them. Finally the author looks to the future, to foresee what developments might limit the costs of warfare and make future conflicts likely to spread. The Seven Years' War 3. The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 4.

The Crimean War 5. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview This work explains how wars are most likely to escalate when the effects of warfare are limited. The author demonstrates that total wars during the modern era were very violent and were far less likely to spread, yet the cost of warfare is falling making future conflicts more likely to spread. Product Details Table of Contents. Table of Contents 1. World War 1.

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In keeping with that prediction, research has suggested that natural insemination alters the activity of vision-related genes in female bees. To determine the consequences of such changes, Joanito Liberti at the University of Copenhagen and his colleagues artificially inseminated queen bees and found that they became less responsive to light and were more likely to get lost on mating flights than were queens given saline. Inseminated queens also tended to leave their hives on mating flights two days earlier than control queens.

The researchers propose that this early departure was an attempt to compensate for their poor vision. Workers inspect drugs at a factory in Wuhan, China. A chemical reaction used in drug manufacturing around the world has had an eco-friendly makeover. A widely used industrial reaction that produces toxic waste could be replaced by one that yields only one by-product — water.

Since , that activation has often been carried out by a process called the Mitsunobu reaction, which requires two activating chemicals — one explosive — and generates two by-products, one of which is toxic. Seeking a greener version of the Mitsunobu reaction, Ross Denton at the University of Nottingham, UK, and his colleagues used a compound called a phosphine oxide as a catalyst to jump-start the reaction. The researchers say that their catalyst provides a more environmentally friendly way of making both drugs and agrochemicals.

Science Circular features on Titan resemble earthly lakes excavated by sub-surface explosions. Liquid methane and ethane collect in low-lying basins on Titan, creating lakes and seas — features that are rare in the Solar System. A similar process causes sinkholes to appear in limestone on Earth. The scientists noticed that many of these lakes have tall rims that rise steeply from the surrounding terrain.

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On Earth, similar rims are seen on craters that form when water and magma interact underground and then explode through the surface. Nature Geosci. A skin-cancer cell. Cells might rely on cues from their internal skeletons to expand without becoming cancerous. A cell must finely control its volume: it needs to grow to replicate, but if it swells too large, it teeters towards cancerous malignancy. Scientists have struggled to learn how individual cells achieve this balance, but one clue came from research that pointed to a pair of proteins called YAP and TAZ.

Cell Biol. Artist Tom Yendell, who was born without arms, wields a paintbrush between his toes. Two artists who paint by holding brushes between their toes have finely tuned brain regions that map onto individual toes — a feature not seen in most people. In humans and other primates, each individual finger is represented by its own sliver in a region of the brain called the somatosensory cortex.

Some non-human primates also have maps of toes in their brains, but humans do not. To find out whether humans who rely on their toes to an extraordinary extent have toe maps, Daan Wesselink at University College London and his colleagues scanned the brains of two men who were born without arms and who use their toes to paint, write and manipulate objects for daily tasks. The researchers did not see such organized activity in the brains of 11 people with hands. The authors suggest that toe maps are formed in the years before the age of During this crucial period, the brain is most malleable.

Cell Rep. Observations by the Sloan Foundation 2. Instead, researchers typically infer this attribute by comparing observations of stars with the results of models that predict how these bodies evolve through their lifetimes. Some stars, for instance, eventually bloat into giants. Giada Casali at the University of Florence in Italy and her colleagues have found an alternative method. A leaf blighted by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae , which deploys a protein that mimics those of the plants it infects. Credit: David J. Bacteria rely on a previously unknown trick to disarm a protein that is crucial for defending plants and animals from disease.

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Found in a wide variety of living things, heat shock protein 90 HSP90 helps to fold and assemble molecules that detect pathogen invasion and fight off infection. But Vincent Tagliabracci, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and his colleagues have found that bacteria can undermine this defence.

The researchers infected plants with the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae , a major plant pathogen that secretes a virulence protein called HopBF1. The team found that this protein mimics plant molecules that bind to HSP Compounds that inhibit HopBF1 might help to control crop pathogens, the authors say. HSP90 also promotes the growth and survival of many cancer cells, raising the tantalizing prospect that a therapeutic form of HopBF1 might block a wide range of tumour types.


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  4. Cell Just-hatched sea turtles scurry towards the safety of the waves, leaving trails similar to those seen in newly described fossils. The first known record of baby sea turtles making their run for the ocean has been revealed by fossilized tracks dating back about , years. After emerging from eggs buried in sandy nests, sea-turtle hatchlings race towards the ocean, which offers refuge from land-based predators. Credit: Jan de Vynck. Some of the imprints resemble those made by modern loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta ; other traces look like those made by modern leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea.

    Today, both these species typically nest in warmer regions more than 1, kilometres to the northeast, and rarely appear along the Cape south coast, suggesting that climate and sand temperatures were higher there when the tracks were made.