When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

It wasn't his lovably disheveled wardrobe, or his Elvis ring, but something else: the force of his flamboyant personality. Margolis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, didn't want to fit in with the crowd. He wanted to stand out.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.


Promiscuous Males And Choosy Females? Challenging A Classic Experiment

Dec 13, 2012

Of the 100 "top science stories for 2012" chosen by Discover Magazine, I am most fascinated by #42: "The Myth of Choosy Women, Promiscuous Men." It reports a serious challenge to an experiment that has remained a touchstone in evolutionary biology for over 50 years.

The study, on fruitfly mating, was done in 1948 by geneticist A.J. Bateman. Bateman showed that the male insects' strategy was to mate with many females, whereas the females' strategy was to be discriminating in their choice of partners. Male reproductive success, in other words, correlated positively with number of mates, but female reproductive success did not.

Now, ecologist and evolutionary biologist Patricia Gowaty and her colleagues Yong-Kyu Kim and Wyatt Anderson have repeated that study. They conclude something startling: Bateman blew it.

Before I explain where they say Bateman went wrong, I need to show how Bateman's conclusions rippled far beyond the scholarly world of fruitfly sex. His findings — promiscuous males, choosy females — seemed to strike a cultural chord. After biologist Robert Trivers cited it in a key 1972 paper on parental investment, the "Bateman principle" turned up everywhere. In my own field of primate behavior, for instance, field researchers expected to see (and thus often did) male primates with highly active sex lives and females who were coy, verging on sexual passivity.

And don't think that humans were left out of this picture. We've all heard it, right? When some big-name male public figure sleeps around, and cheats on his wife, isn't there always someone ready with an evolutionary explanation about vigorous male seed-sowing?

It's not that these Bateman-powered expectations have gone completely uncontested. Anthropologist Sarah Hrdy's 1981 book The Woman That Never Evolved pounded away, with careful field data, at the inaccuracy and sexism of assumptions about coy or passive primate females. As recently as 2009, though, scientists were still at work overturning the idea that Bateman's findings apply universally to humans.

Then along came Gowaty's team to take on the Bateman experiment itself.

In 1948, Bateman created isolated fruitfly populations and allowed free mating to occur within each. His goal was to count up the number of mates that males had, versus females. Back then DNA analysis wasn't available, so he couldn't link offspring with specific parents in that way. Instead, he reasoned that by using adult flies with mutations, he could trace an offspring back to a specific pair of parents. As Gowaty et al. wrote in their 2012 paper, he used "heritable, dramatic, and phenotypically obvious genetic mutations to identify the parents of offspring in small, replicated trial populations." The mutations included things like curly wings, thick bristles and deformed eyes.

Offspring, then, could have a single-dose mutation from either mother or father, or a double-dose, from both parents. (If they had no mutation, their parentage could not be traced.)

But here's where things went awry, as Gowaty et al. discovered when they ran the experiment using Bateman's methods. For one thing, the double-dose mutations seriously impacted offspring survival. "The crucial assumption of Bateman's method," Gowaty et al. wrote, "is that there is no reduction of offspring viability from inheritance of parental markers." But this turned out to be untrue — and because the non-surviving offspring weren't counted in the results, the data was skewed.

Also, Bateman's methods violated Gregor Mendel's laws of genetics. As Gowaty explained in an email message, sent to me on Monday:

Bateman's method over-counted the number of offspring for fathers, because there were more single-mutant offspring that had dad's mutation than mom's mutation. It's elementary, and essential in sexual species, that the number of offspring having Dads must equal the number with Moms.

The upshot? For both these reasons, Bateman didn't, in fact, show in any convincing way that fruitfly males are promiscuous and females are choosy.

The Gowaty et al. paper offers enough technical details to warm a geneticist's heart. For me, the best part is their study's broad implications. As Gowaty told me:

If we failed as a discipline to notice flaws [in the Bateman study], it makes one wonder, do we notice the flaws in other, more modern studies that also have results consistent with status-quo expectations?

Here, then, is a direct link between science and society. Because it made intuitive sense to many people that males would be promiscuous and females choosy, they were "dazzled" (Gowaty et al.'s word) by Bateman's central conclusion. But now, Gowaty told me:

The most important experimental data for the evolutionary justification for the double standard in humans is in question.

It's about time.

You can keep up with more of what Barbara is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.