October 01, 2014

11:26 AM | Using our posts as course material? Please tell us just so we know.
We’re aware of a number of courses at college and universities around the world that have used our posts as course material. But I suspect there are many more we don’t know about. We like to know about this just … Continue reading →
7:16 AM | What has nature ever done for us?
Anti-environmentalists and apathists often ask why bother to conserve nature – what does it do for us? Cue enthusiastic green arm-waving and heavy sighs from environmental scientists and ecologists who have faced this attitude their entire careers. Nature is undeniably important for the human race – we wouldn’t be here without plants fixing the sun’s energy into carbohydrates and producing oxygen as a by-product, we wouldn’t be able to grow any food to eat without […]
6:29 AM | Labguru Steps up to the Plate
Though Jeter is no longer stepping up to the plate, we're just getting started. In close consultation with customers including Victoria Yoon from Gladstone's Huang Lab and Alexander Chamessian from Duke's Ji Lab we've rolled out the ability to add a plate element to your protocol and experiment layouts. You may select the plate size, and quickly define the contents of each well. Here's a short video to see it in action:Well, well, well. Researchers may now easily and intuitively define the […]

September 30, 2014

8:56 PM | IPC4 Day 1 – Death is the road to awe
Following on from the previous post, the afternoon symposium was all about the applications and implications of vertebrate taphonomy. Matt Carrano kicked things off with a great talk on how microfossil bonebeds help to guide our understanding of terrestrial palaeoecosystems. Using sites from the well-known but poorly understood Cloverly Formation, he provided a key insight […]
5:19 PM | "The government pays twice for obesity: first for the corn subsidy (to make high-fructose corn..."
“The government pays twice for obesity: first for the corn subsidy (to make high-fructose corn syrup), and then for emergency room heart attacks and health care.” - UCSF’s Robert Lustig talking about how the United States needs to shift its policy on regulating sugar content in foods.
5:00 PM | Tenure track position at #UMichEEB in ecology or evolution of fishes or birds
Come join me at Michigan! We are doing a search for someone working on the ecology or evolution of fishes or birds. Here’s the ad: The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology ( and the Program in the Environment ( … Continue reading →
3:33 PM | Rare Disease Tweetchat summary
Our latest #F1000Talks tweetchat, about rare disease research, was a great success. We heard from researchers, patient advocates, and others, got everyone’s thoughts on the Ice Bucket Challenge, saw new collaborations and ideas form on the spot, and learned that the best incentive for data sharing is….cake.   Follow along with the tweets below, [...]
1:12 PM | Professional Advancement.
The foundations of my empire at MECMC are beginning to be laid. I have been here now for about 18 months. After two consecutive good performance reviews, I am being promoted. It’s not a major promotion in terms of my job, from an institutional perspective. But it’s a big deal to me. I was asked to […]
12:53 PM | IPC4 Day 1 – Using the past to inform the present
Welcome to the fourth International Palaeontology Congress! 900 palaeontologists have piled into the land of steak, sun, and malbec in Mendoza, Argentina, for the biggest palaeontology conference that draws from all parts of the field. What I want to do with these posts is just provide snapshot summaries of the talks I’ve been at to […]
12:45 PM | Institutional pride
Last night I asked a question on twitter about whether PIs felt some specific allegiance to their institution and I got some interesting responses. My thought was simply that many of us may feel ties to our department or even one's specific college, but I was trying to get at what it takes to extend […]
12:00 PM | Invasive species, immigrant emotions and a guilty conscience
I have a confession to make: I live in Sweden and I have lupines in my garden. I didn’t plant them, they were there when I moved in, but after two seasons I haven’t removed them either. In Sweden, I see escaped lupines along roadsides and although I’m not sure how much of a problem…
10:31 AM | The Root(worm) of the Problem: Unexpected Obstacles on the Road to Research
Scientists often have to spend an enormous amount of time becoming experts in things outside their field of study in order to do research they think is important. This is where a corn-eating beetle and a guy named Clay Chu come in.
Editor's Pick

September 29, 2014

10:48 PM | ucresearch: Building a better cup of coffee The brave new world...
ucresearch: Building a better cup of coffee The brave new world of coffee? Think genetics. UC Davis geneticist Juan Medrano is known for his research on the genetics of milk (and the effect it has on humans), but recently has turned his research efforts towards coffee. The goal is to understand the variability of coffee genes at the DNA level. This would allow Medrano and others to accurately identify genetic forces that contribute to certain flavors as well as the crucial factor of disease […]
9:15 PM | The silly logic that congress has about climate change You may...
The silly logic that congress has about climate change You may have already seen the full segment on The Daily Show (you should if you haven’t) where John Stewart critiques a recent hearing held by the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology. It echoes a commencement speech that President Obama gave last spring at UC Irvine: Today’s Congress is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence about climate change.  They […]
4:22 PM | Ernest Lab Ph.D opening at University of Florida
So here it is, the first of the positions we’ll be advertizing as part of our move to the University of Florida. The official ad is below, but a few comments first. The position is for a student to work with me, but for those who aren’t really familiar with our groups, it’s important to […]
2:11 PM | Obsession in Sobriety.
Alcoholism is a disease of obsessions. It’s a disease of many things. I guess what I really mean is, “I’m about to talk about obsessions in alcoholism.” Because alcoholism is also a disease of isolation, of depression, etc.. It’s impossible to lay alcoholism at the feet of any one descriptor. But one powerful characteristic that […]
12:51 PM | New on F1000Research – 29 September 2014
A selection of new content on F1000Research from the past week. To receive notification of all new articles, sign up for our table of contents alerts. Featured article: Electrical maturation of neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells [v1; ref status: indexed,] Michael Telias, Menahem Segal, Ben-Yosef Dalit Researchers at Tel Aviv University developed [...]
12:00 PM | Let’s stop mixing up education and social capital
When people talk about the “value of a quality education,” they’re probably not talking about education. What does a “quality” education look like? It’s expensive. The money doesn’t really get you a better education. It gets you social capital. Expensive schools trumpet the “value” of an education. At expensive liberal arts colleges, any public assembly could turn…
11:47 AM | They’re just not that into you: the no-excuses truth to understanding proposal reviews (guest post)
Note from Jeremy: This is a guest post from Peter Adler. ********************************* We’ve all been outraged by the nit-picky, irrelevant, or downright wrong-headed criticisms that show up in proposal reviews. How could they have rejected the proposal because they didn’t … Continue reading →
11:00 AM | This Is What Science Looks Like At NC State: Makita Phillips
Makita Phillips talks about her research into insulators for use with superconductors.
11:00 AM | Busy is no myth
I have seen a few blog posts recently about the myth of busy in PhD students and other academics. In short, it seems that everyone is incredibly busy, all the time, and that how much time you don’t have is a proxy of your academic credentials. I disagree. Not with the premise – we are busy. All of us. We have plenty of things to do, and plenty of pressure to do them fast, so that we can do some more things fast and show our leadership and competitiveness and all of these things that […]
4:44 AM | Cross-country recap, and a brief hiatus
So I've made it across the country, and I'm now happily settled in California and getting used to my new job as a postdoc with the USGS! However, being a federal employee means I have different regulations to follow while using social media, so I'm going to be taking a break from blogging while I sort those out. To tide you over, here are some of my favorite photos from the cross-country drive, which was a great (though long) experience.
4:00 AM | Human Frontier Science Program Signs DORA but Chief Calls for Action from Those Making Real Career Decisions
Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker's organization, the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), made it official on September 19 when it signed DORA, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment. In signing, the HFSP, an international coalition funded by 15 countries to support basic life science research, pledged to follow the DORA principles to minimize the use of journal impact factors (JIFs) in scientific assessment for hiring, promotion, and funding. The HFSP's Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker says […]

September 28, 2014

11:05 PM | Un-reclaiming the name – I am not a zoologist
[Disclaimer - this is just my opinion. I do not speak for everyone at EcoEvo@TCD] Recently on Twitter there has been a call to “reclaim the name” of Botany accompanied with the hashtag: #iamabotanist. The response has been really cool – lots of different scientists working on different questions have posted pictures of themselves on Twitter, often with their plants. It’s amazing the diversity of researchers out there who identify as botanists. But why try to reclaim the […]

September 27, 2014

12:37 PM | The Memory Fades, The Emotion Remains
People with Alzheimer’s disease can experience severe memory impairments.However, according to a new study, the emotions associated with events can persist long after the events themselves have been forgotten: Feelings Without Memory in Alzheimer Disease In their paper, the researchers, University of Iowa neurologists Edmarie Guzman-Velez and colleagues, showed volunteers a series of emotional video […]The post The Memory Fades, The Emotion Remains appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Guzmán-Vélez E, Feinstein JS & Tranel D (2014). Feelings without memory in Alzheimer disease., Cognitive and behavioral neurology : official journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology, 27 (3) 117-29. PMID:

11:19 AM | Watch Jeremy’s talk on blogging at Utah State University
Earlier this month I gave a talk on blogging at Utah State University. A video of the talk is now online. The lighting and sound are a bit rocky right at the beginning, but they’re great after that. It’s a … Continue reading →

September 26, 2014

9:00 PM | Sometimes a Community College Degree Is Actually Worthless
This perhaps shouldn’t come as much of a surprise at this point, but now it’s official: there are some college degrees that don’t improve earnings whatsoever. At least as far as community colleges go, some degrees just really aren’t worth it. According to an article at the Hechinger Report: The research, conducted under the aegis of the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment and focused on community colleges, confirms the widely accepted belief […]
6:04 PM | My First Radio Interview About Teaching and Microbial Supremacy!
I am thankful for any readers of this blog, but have always wanted to reach out more, to discuss Microbial Supremacy, Overwhelming Microbial Goodness (OMG), and Matters Microbial in general.  Someday, I would like to write a book.  Any guesses as to the title I am thinking of? Pretty obvious, really.On campus, I am thought to be a little monomaniacal on the subject  (okay, a lot; guilty as charged).  But it was a fairly local phenomenon, with job interviews in the old days, […]
6:01 PM | The King Fire in California Above are some images of the King...
The King Fire in California Above are some images of the King Fire in the Sierra Neveada Mountains of California.  A research reserve run by UC Berkeley where scientists study how to manage wildfires is threatened by this fire.  One of these researchers is Scott Stephens, a professor of fire science, and was interviewed recently to talk about how many years of suppressing fires has actually contributed to the large scale blazes we see today. You can listen to his […]
4:00 PM | It's Time to Reform Work-Study Programs
The Federal Work Study program, which provides money to American colleges to hire students to do campus jobs, has long been a source of crucial spending money for students. It provides them with a reasonably convenient way to earn money while taking classes. Often they can even integrate the jobs with their studies, particular by working for professors or in academic departments where they also major. But the program isn’t really working very well, according to a new paper by Rory […]
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