Posts

December 18, 2014

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10:12 PM | How ancient Rome may help reduce our carbon footprint A key...
How ancient Rome may help reduce our carbon footprint A key discovery to understanding the longevity and endurance of Roman architectural concrete has been made by researchers using beams of X-rays at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Ancient Roman concrete consists of coarse chunks of volcanic tuff and brick bound together by a volcanic ash-lime mortar that resists microcracking, a key to its longevity and endurance for nearly 2,000 years. The mortars […]
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7:00 PM | Johns Hopkins Screws up the Admissions Process, Again
It happened again. In continuance of a depressing annual tradition, Johns Hopkins sent out acceptance letters to 294 students, by mistake. According to an article in the Washington Post: Sam Stephenson was steeling himself for another round of college applications after his first choice, Johns Hopkins University, turned him down. Then the 17-year-old from Culpeper County in Virginia received an e-mail from Hopkins on Sunday afternoon that suggested he might still have reason to […]
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7:00 PM | Why computer scientists and linguists don’t always see eye-to-eye
“You’ve just explained my entire life to me.” This was the last thing I was expecting to hear from Lori, my graduate advisor, in the midst of a discussion of my career plans. I gave a stiff smile and shifted uncomfortably in my chair. “What you just said,” she continued, “that’s why I’m here, not […]
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6:45 PM | Have you ever added vodka to your apple pie? There’s a...
Have you ever added vodka to your apple pie? There’s a scientific reason for boozing up a pie crust… Gluten develops in dough when two wheat proteins found in flour (glutenin and gliadin) are mixed with water. Because parts of these proteins do not like to interact with water, the proteins begin to stick to each other much in the same way oil droplets come together when suspended in water. As a flour-water dough is mixed, the glutenin and gliadin molecules interact to form an […]
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4:10 PM | Will Rapprochement Mean New Research Collaborations Between Cuba and the U.S.?
We asked Ruben Carbonell, National Academies member, Cuban American, and professor at NC State, what the rapprochement between Cuba and the U.S. may mean for fostering relationships and collaborations between U.S. research institutions and their Cuban counterparts.
Editor's Pick
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4:00 PM | 2014 article picks to appear on Twitter
It’s the end of the year again, and like last year, we will be tweeting some of our favourite articles published in F1000Research this past year. They’re the articles that our readers liked, articles that made the news, and articles that might not have that many views yet, but that we thought you should [...]
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1:27 PM | A Frightening Episode.
A couple of days ago, I passed out at my desk. Now, I have a lot of experience passing out from alcohol. This was not like that. I felt hot and tingly. It came on very suddenly. I felt very disoriented, and then I lost consciousness. I awoke a moment or two later, drenched in […]
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1:00 PM | Students say the darndest things!
Oftentimes, professors make sport of sharing humorously incorrect exam answers. I’ve seen a bunch of these during this end-of-semester grading season. When students don’t know the answer, they sometimes entertain us with witty, technically correct answers that don’t answer the intended question. (There’s a well-selling book about this. And at least one website, too). But that’s not what…
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11:59 AM | Logos for science projects – NQO COST Action
Here some test for the logo of our COST Action on Nanoscale Quantum Optics that will start shortly. Together with Andrè Xuereb we have produced this first logo. I like that it highlights that nanotechnology deals with the constituent of matter down to the nanoscale. In particular nanophotonics is the science of light (hence the […]
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11:56 AM | Hoisted from the comments: what do ecologists have Big Data on, and what don’t they?
It’s often said that we’re in, or will soon enter, the era of Big Data. We’ll have all the data we could possibly want, and so we’ll no longer be data-limited. Instead, the rate of scientific progress will be limited … Continue reading →
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10:00 AM | iGEM: Just Around the Riverbend!
If you’ve seen our two previous instalments in the iGEM series then you know who we are and what iGEM is – great! If you missed it, here’s what you need to know in a nutshell! iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines) is a synthetic biology competition, run by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in which participating…
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8:11 AM | It’s All about Science Policy this Week: the Good and the Bad
There has been much activity on what could loosely be termed ‘Science Policy’ this week, including both the long-awaited/significantly delayed BIS Science and Innovation (S+I) Strategy document (entitled, optimistically ‘Our plan for growth’) and the outcome of the REF2014. I … Continue reading →
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2:45 AM | ucresearch: Empathy, Art & Entertainment At his Google...
ucresearch: Empathy, Art & Entertainment At his Google talk (“The Neuroscience of Empathy”), UCSF’s Dr. Thomas Lewis answers the question:  Are depictions of destruction and pain in art designed to blunt our sense of empathy?: "If art works, it makes you feel something and often, say in a novel in which you identify with the characters, if something bad happens to them it is somewhat painful for you.  So I think good art evokes [empathy]. I […]

December 17, 2014

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10:14 PM | "It should be simple, using as few ingredients as possible. It should be comforting. It’s..."
“"It should be simple, using as few ingredients as possible. It should be comforting. It’s something you want to eat when you’re cold. You want something gushy, a messy-ass pie, not something you see on the front of a magazine."” - Baker Zoe Nathan advice on pie baking at UCLA’s Science and Food event  Learn some more about the science that goes into making a tasty (messy-ass) pie →
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9:06 PM | AGU Fall Meeting 2014: Day 2
Tuesday I spent most of my time in the poster hall - a full day on my feet, in fact, which I'm regretting slightly today. In the morning I was learning about fluids and mineralization in hydrothermal systems in a number of places - Iceland, Chile, mid-ocean ridges, among others - and in the afternoon I saw some presentations on eruptive dynamics, particularly at my old field area of the Santiaguito lava domes in Guatemala.
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8:53 PM | End of teaching update
I have done my last teaching for 2014. Today’s Materials Chemistry and Catalysis poster session went surprisingly well, and even those whose posters were not the best defended them with conviction. Of course, marking remains to be done, but my next undergraduate lecture will be on X-ray diffraction, in 2015! I now switch to research … Continue reading End of teaching update →
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8:15 PM | Updated Cerebrovascular Physiology Links – 17/12/2014
I have updated the Cerebrovascular Physiology Labs section. You will now see a link to the lab of Dr Hélène Girouard from Université de Montréal. Her research interests are related to cerebrovascular pharmacology, neurovascular coupling and interactions between astrocytes and blood vessels. In addition, I have added a new section entitled “Theses”, where you will […]
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7:34 PM | skunkbear: skunkbear: Back when I was a studying biology, I...
skunkbear: skunkbear: Back when I was a studying biology, I noticed that a lot of anatomical terms sound like they come straight from Middle Earth. So, to celebrate the release of the last Hobbit film, I’ve created this INCREDIBLY nerdy quiz. Do these words and phrases refer to parts of the human body, or reference people and places from J. R. R. Tolkien’s work? Antrum of Highmore Crypt of Morgagni Caves of Androth Lobelia Loop of Henle Scapha Great Vein of Galen Halls of […]
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3:19 PM | Why Did Mississippi Lose out on Preschool Funding — Again?
Mississippi’s flawed application and underdeveloped plans to provide preschool for all children is partly to blame for why the state’s youngest learners were bypassed once again for federal funds that could have provided a boost to early education, a review found. Last week, Mississippi was passed over for a preschool grant that would have tripled the number of children enrolled in early education classes in four years, increased the number of highly qualified preschool teachers and […]
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11:23 AM | Preferring a preference index
I’ve been reading about preference indexes lately, specifically for characterising pollinator preferences for plants, so here is what I learnt. Preference is defined as using an item (e.g. plant) more than expected given the item abundance. First I like to use … Continue reading →
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11:14 AM | Ecologists who are awesome at things besides ecology
In this old post asking readers “What were you, or what were you going to be, before you became an ecologist?”, several examples came up of ecologists who were or are very accomplished at something besides ecology or some related … Continue reading →
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6:53 AM | OYM58: Ain’t no REST for Nipun Chopra
We’re excited to welcome Nipun Chopra (@nipunchopra7) to the On Your Mind studio this week, who’s taken time out of his own science and podzilla life to talk neuroscience with us.  Having gone from high school biology teacher to doctoral student at Indiana University Indianapolis, he’s got a lot to add to the On Your ...read more The post OYM58: Ain’t no REST for Nipun Chopra appeared first on On Your Mind Podcast.
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1:46 AM | ucsdhealthsciences: JUST THE FAQs: Why Do Macrophages Do What...
ucsdhealthsciences: JUST THE FAQs: Why Do Macrophages Do What They Do? A new study led by Christopher K. Glass, MD, PhD, UC San Diego School of Medicine professor, answers longstanding questions about what makes a macrophage the sort of macrophage it is. What are macrophages and what do they do? Macrophages are a type of immune cell. They respond to infections and injuries in the human body. Macrophages are found in all tissues of the body, where they are best known for engulfing invading […]

December 16, 2014

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6:51 PM | What right do they have?
What right to members of the public have regarding decisions to undertake large science projects? a) The right to be informed? b) The right to be consulted? c) The right to vote? I’m not sure c) has ever happened so let’s look at some examples of a) and b) a) The public was informed that […]
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6:10 PM | Make the best pie ever using science One of the staples of the...
Make the best pie ever using science One of the staples of the holiday season is pie and while you may have Grandma’s recipe for the perfect crust, do you really know what goes on at a molecular level? UCLA biophysicist Amy Rowat shares some of the scientific aspects of apple pie and explains how you can apply these insights in the kitchen. Think of butter as a gas. Butter is really just a bunch of teeny tiny water droplets dispersed in a matrix of fat. In the oven, these water droplets […]
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5:00 PM | AGU Fall Meeting 2014: Day 1
And we're off! Monday was a mixed bag of service and science for me - I started off as a panelist for the first-ever workshop on Honors nominations, talking about the successful nominations I've seen while serving on the Science For Solutions committe
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2:24 PM | Why University of New Orleans Faculty Would Be Better off Taking Their Concerns to a New Governor
NEW ORLEANS - Organizing to solve deeper political problems requires much more effort than the finger pointing currently under way at the University of New Orleans. The schools’ Faculty Council issued a vote of no confidence for Peter Fos, its president, a week before the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approved Fos’s plan to eliminate seven academic programs from the institution. Low enrollments and wanting completion rates were the cited reasons why […]
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1:36 PM | Everything is Slower than I Want.
I’m in an impatient place at the moment. My anxiety has been off the charts lately, about everything. Health, home, work. I’m disappointed at how rapidly my fitness falls off when I take a break. Even just a few weeks off and I feel like I’m substantially degraded from my peak at the end of November. […]
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1:00 PM | Be a gracious winner and not a sore loser (or don’t be a jerk)
There are a bunch of life skills that come in handy in academia. Some are obvious and discussed a lot like time management, setting goals, getting stuff completed, etc. Others fly under the radar but maybe shouldn’t. One of those things is how you handle competition. Academia is one of those careers where competition is…
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11:37 AM | Some talks that surprised me from #BESSfe
I have a quick post about the joint BES-Sfe meeting in Lille at Journal of Ecology Blog. My talk went very well and if interested you can find the slides here.
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