Posts

October 09, 2014

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6:12 PM | Study of leaping toads reveal the mechanisms that protect...
Study of leaping toads reveal the mechanisms that protect muscles Most people are impressed by how a toad jumps. UC Irvine biologist Emanuel Azizi is more impressed by how one lands. “Toads are ideal for studying jumping and landing because they’re so good at it,” he noted. “This work is providing the basic science on how muscles respond during high-impact behaviors like landing or falling.” They discovered that during landing, toads’ muscles adapt to the […]
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6:00 PM | That Homework Kids Have Is Pointless
New research indicates that homework may not really be that important. This is not exactly groundbreaking—no one’s ever really been able to show that time spent doing homework mattered much for standardized test scores—but this study may perhaps be more rigorous because it looked at grades. One might expect to find a correlation between time on homework and grades, even if more time on homework doesn’t actually cause higher grades, because one might think that harder […]
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11:45 AM | Poll results: what should ecologists learn less of?
Here, for what they’re worth*, are the results so far from yesterday’s poll asking readers to name the most important thing for ecologists to learn more of, and the thing they should learn less of in order to free up … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Tubus tubulus
  Labs are usually ‘crawling’ with tubes – ranging from the larger, more common Tubus eppendorfis spp. microcentrifungus to the smaller Tubus pcr spp. flatlid and the closely related spp.roundlid (see Figure(d), above). The former has a remarkably varied diet and will sustain itself on many everyday lab solutions such as NaCl, buffers, BSA protein, and sometimes even DNA and RNA. The latter, […]
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6:30 AM | New Standards Seek to Measure What Students Actually Know
As students, employers, and policymakers continue to question whether earning a college degree really proves that graduates are ready for work, a new set of voluntary standards proposes to set out what they should be learning—and measure whether or not they have. The Degree Qualifications Profile specifies what students should know and be able to do at every level of their higher educations—what a bachelor’s or master’s degree actually represents, in other […]
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6:00 AM | They have chosen ignorance open letter
The national policymakers of an increasing number of Member States, along with European leaders, have completely lost touch with the reality of research, say a concerned group of European scientistsScientists from different European countries describe in this letter that, despite marked heterogeneity in the situation of scientific research in their respective countries, there are strong similarities in the destructive policies being followed. This critical analysis, highlighted in Nature and […]
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4:00 AM | Show Congress the Face of Biomedical Research—Your Face
ASCB’s third annual We Are Research campaign needs you and your labmates to put a face on biomedical research. At your next lab meeting, lab happy hour, or lab karaoke party, round up the gang, snap a photo of your team, and submit it ASCB’s third annual We Are Research campaign needs you and your labmates to put a face on biomedical research. At your next lab meeting, lab happy hour, or lab karaoke party, round up the gang, snap a photo of your team, and submit it here by […]

October 08, 2014

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11:00 PM | Are the days of parsimony numbered? Probably.
April Wright recently published a cool paper looking at how to bring morphological analyses of evolutionary relationships into the Bayesian realm. This is her take on it – enjoy!  Author Bio: My name is April Wright, and I’m a graduate student in David Hillis’ lab at the University of Texas at Austin. I’m largely interested […]
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7:37 PM | Feeling Other.
One characteristic that is common to most of us in AA is the sense that we feel “other” from the mainstream of society. We don’t belong. We don’t get it. We don’t feel comfortable participating in ordinary social and societal situations. We feel outcast, downcast; belittled and degraded. We seek ways to feel less like […]
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7:36 PM | New Jersey's Plan to Shut Down For-Profit Colleges
President Barack Obama has a plan to rate colleges based on things like tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of poor students in the colleges. Eventually he intends to distribute federal money at least partially based on this information. It’s somewhat controversial (intrusion of federal power and all that) but one state, New Jersey, appears to have a plan to be even more punitive, at least to for-profit colleges. According to an Associated Press […]
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6:56 PM | motherjones: Up and to the right for the 1 percent, flatlined...
motherjones: Up and to the right for the 1 percent, flatlined for the rest of us!  Using Emmanuel Saez's data from UC Berkeley, Mother Jones shows the disparities of gains made by the wealthy and everyone else. Also if you’re curious you can see what percent you fall into here.
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6:38 PM | What is the motivation for pursuing graduate school?
Last week an interesting hashtag was floating around twitter:  #whyididaphd.  It was great to see reflections on this topic, and during our most recent lab meeting, I asked my students why they were pursuing advanced research-based degrees, and here are some of their responses: Graduate school allows an opportunity for freedom to do the things […]
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2:41 PM | Report Outlines Efforts to Boost Diversity in Materials Science and Engineering Community
NC State played a leadership role in crafting a new national report addressing the lack of diversity in materials science and engineering.
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2:22 PM | Evernote for Research and Outreach
Below are the slides for the presentation Crystal and Mary did for the COMO 2014 Georgia Library Association (GLA) conference.  The talk was on Evernote, what it is and its most useful features.  Emphasis was on how to use it … Continue reading → The post Evernote for Research and Outreach appeared first on Personal Knowledge Management for Academia & Librarians.
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1:51 PM | President Obama Announces Pre-K Goal - But Is it Attainable?
Last week, President Obama took the stage at Northwestern University and announced a mission to improve the workforce with universal pre-K, saying, “By the end of this decade, let’s enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool.” The line was buried in a speech rich with rhetoric on a whole range of policy areas, but the president was light on details. (For more reporting on the speech, check out Education Week’s Lillian Mongeau.) The details, though, are actually […]
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1:28 PM | Despite the name, Teaching Assistantships support the research mission
For a typical Biology Department, TAs are a critical resource. Teaching Assistants run most of the labs in the department, and in some cases run recitations or help grade exams in large classes. In most places I have been the TAs are limited in the number of hours they can work in a given week, […]
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1:16 PM | White Lab PhD openings at the University of Florida
I’m looking for one or more graduate students to join my group next fall. In addition to the official add (below) I’d like to add a few extra thoughts. As Morgan Ernest noted in her recent ad, we have a relatively unique setup at Weecology in that we interact actively with members of the Ernest […]
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12:02 PM | ASCB Member William Moerner Wins Nobel Along with Eric Betzig and Stefan Hell
The resolution of traditional light microscopy was long thought to be limited due to the maximum diffraction of light. But today's Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry changed that. William Moerner, Eric Betzig, and Stefan Hell won for cleverly circumventing this limit and imaging at a whole new scale known as nanomicroscopy or superresolution imaging.  William Moener, Eric Betzig, and Stefan Hell (left to right)won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering nanomicroscopy.The […]
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11:43 AM | From a New Viewpoint
I have moved a mere mile or two from my previous home to my new abode at Churchill College, and yet it feels as if everything has shifted: my centre of gravity is this crucial mile further west and everything … Continue reading →
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11:13 AM | What should ecologists learn LESS of?
There are lots of things that it would be nice for ecologists to know more of. Natural history. Math. Programming. Statistical techniques. The mathematical foundations of statistics. Philosophy of science. Genetics. Evolution. Other things. If you’re like me, you probably … Continue reading →
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10:57 AM | Peer review workshop at University of St Andrews
As you know, we’re supporting the Sense About Science “Nuts and Bolts” peer review workshops that are regularly held in the UK. The next one will be on November 21st at the University of St Andrews. If you’re an early career researcher in Scotland or the North of England, this is well worth an [...]
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2:23 AM | I have the grey hairs to prove it
Macquarie University has apparently noticed the grey hairs I'm starting to get, they announced last week that I am one of six new Distinguished Professors. On top of that, on the same day, the Macquarie University Research Excellence Awards were presented, and Karl Hassan and I won the Research Excellence Prize in Science and Engineering. They made 90 second videos summaries for each of the research projects nominated for an award. Here's the video for our project on identification of a new […]
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12:18 AM | Yeast 2.0 on the radio
I was interviewed on 2SER this morning on the topic of yeast 2.0, biofuels and beer.Transcript and podcast can be found here.Louise Brown came along for moral support and snapped this action shot of the back of my head:

October 07, 2014

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11:01 PM | On the writing of a PhD thesis
“Writing a [thesis] is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.” Winston Churchill I’ve just finished my PhD thesis and thought I’d share some of my opinions on how best to go about writing one. But before we get there I’d like to express my […]
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10:17 PM | Debating the role of metrics in research assessment
I spent all of today attending the “In metrics we trust?” workshop organised jointly by HEFCE and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at Sussex University. It was an open session that was part of the information-gathering process of HEFCE’s … Continue reading →
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9:17 PM | UCSB’s Shuji Nakamura wins Nobel Prize in physics for the...
UCSB’s Shuji Nakamura wins Nobel Prize in physics for the blue LED From the cell phones of protesters in Hong Kong to the energy-efficient lightbulbs at the hardware store, there’s a pretty good chance that this year’s physics Nobel prize-winning invention is in your everyday life. The blue light-emitting diode (LED) is found in the screens of millions of phones as well as a cost saving replacement for incandescent light. Today, the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to the […]
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8:48 PM | How Gay-Friendly Does Gordon College Have to Be?
One Christian college in Massachusetts is having a hard time trying to address homosexuality today. The problem is the school's accreditation. According to an article in the Boston Business Journal: The higher education commission of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges met last week and "considered whether Gordon College's traditional inclusion of 'homosexual practice' as a forbidden activity" runs afoul of the commission's standards for accreditation, according to a joint […]
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3:28 PM | Let's Incentivize Colleges to Reduce Costs and Educate Students
If colleges want to reverse the declining number of teachers of color, create more STEM teachers, and calibrate teacher supply with district demand, then teacher preparation programs need to become less dependent on individuals’ tuition. The current tuition-driven system is incentivizing teacher preparation programs to prioritize quantity over districts’ needs. The country needs more effective STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers as well as teachers of […]
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3:22 PM | How Tuition Tracker Helps Kids Compare Colleges - and Other Tips for Overwhelmed Parents
New York - It’s the thick of college application season, and your child is diligently churning out common application essays while simultaneously studying for four or five advanced placement exams and researching scholarships, right? Well, maybe not. Click to find out how much college might cost you In households across the U.S. right now, (including my own) there’s likely a good deal of procrastination - along with frustration and anxiety about the endless array of essays and […]
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3:09 PM | Ending Higher Ed's Tuition Addiction to Produce Teachers We Need
If colleges want to reverse the declining number of teachers of color, create more STEM teachers, and calibrate teacher supply with district demand, then teacher preparation programs need to become less dependent on individuals’ tuition. The current tuition-driven system is incentivizing teacher preparation programs to prioritize quantity over districts’ needs. The country needs more effective STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers as well as teachers of […]
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