Posts

July 04, 2014

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1:48 PM | Have a Happy and Bioluminescent 4th of July!
You know, I keep meaning to post more often to this blog.  But, as John Lennon famously observed, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."  So I will try to do better.  I have several interesting posts cooking, to keep readers up to date.  Hard to say how often people read these posts, but they have some value for me at least (in getting my thoughts down and events remembered).  Thus, onward and upward...But today is the 4th of July, a mixture […]
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12:53 PM | Steganography, phylogenetics and Flickr
How best to link the figure, to the paper & the underlying data? Whilst visiting EBI, Hinxton yesterday, Robert Hanson (computational chemist) reminded me of an interesting hack you can do to embed data in images. Back in 2010 it was widely reported that people were using Flickr to transmit data (secretly) in images. This general … Read more →

July 03, 2014

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9:45 PM | Igniting Sparks, Surviving Fireworks and Dog Science July!
Hey Julie, well, here I am, back in chilly, wintry Melbourne. #SPARCS2014 was an amazing event - such an intense three days of canine science, excitement, wonderful researchers and inspiration!  You've done a great job capturing the essence and feedback of this international conference over at DogSpies on the Scientific American Blog Network. I'm so pleased someone took photos, or I think I would have convinced myself it was all just a rather lovely dream! I loved our […]
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9:21 PM | Education Reform: You Can Fix the Sanctions but the Problem Is Still There
Beginning in 2010, the Obama administration offered states waivers from the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind Act, under which all students in America were supposed to be proficient in reading and math by this year, and if they weren’t, school would have to institute “corrective action” and restructuring plans. States weren’t on target to meet these requirements, of course, and the Obama waivers would allow states and districts to avoid NCLB sanctions, if they […]
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6:34 PM | Slow food culture in a fast food world   Chef Alice Waters...
Slow food culture in a fast food world   Chef Alice Waters believes that food can be a catalyst for deeper transformations in education and culture. At her UCLA talk, she argues that the grave issues we face — poverty, fair wages for workers, violence and climate change — are all by-products of something much deeper: a culture of fast food values. In the United States, there’s a complete mixing up of the idea of “affordability” and “cheapness.” […]
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4:24 PM | What Are the Most Expensive Colleges in America? Depends on How you Ask the Question
The U.S. Department of Education has just released its new college affordability numbers, designed to help families and students choose colleges. This also allows observers to look up fun things like the list of the country's expensive collages. So what are the costly ones? Well it's sort of complicated. In part this is because colleges can hide their true costs through financial aid polices. Colleges might officially charge a high price, but financial aid really means only fairly rich […]
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1:55 PM | More than Just Meetings - Xenopus, Advanced Imaging Workshop
It's probably true that most academic science events are conferences, developing...
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1:55 PM | In New Orleans, a Case Study in How School, Health Care Decentralization Affect Neediest Children
NEW ORLEANS —One New Orleans 15-year-old with explosive disorder felt abandoned after the only therapist she trusted left town. A 14-year-old diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, who became suicidal and threatened others, had to travel 300 miles to get admitted to a hospital. A 6-year-old with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was told he couldn’t come back to his public school until his mother found mental health care services for him. In recent years, New […]
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1:28 PM | The rest of the #realtimechemcarnival posts
Hi again, Apologies for the delay in posting the last #realtimechemcarnival roundup. It has been a hectic time in the lab and at home! @Fluorogrol contributed with his post on the oddities of scientific publishing, by reminding us that ” there’s free, and then there’s free“. Katherine (@KJHaxton) then gave us a glimpse into her outreach […]
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1:11 PM | A career as an environmental consultant (guest post)
Note from Jeremy: This is an email interview I conducted with Brian Gaas, who got a Ph.D. in oceanography and then went into environmental consulting. It’s part 4 in our series on non-academic careers for ecologists. For links to earlier … Continue reading →
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1:02 PM | Vision of the past
In this digital age, I just received a vintage gift…one complete issue of the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia !! Although we are now used to print a pdf version of a paper that we need to read, enjoy this vision of the past…   This will help us remember what a paper looks […]
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12:00 PM | Respectful conversation at academic conferences
You’re probably familiar with this scene from academic conferences: Person A and and Person B have been chatting for a few minutes. Person C strolls by and makes eye contact with Person A. Person C gives a big smile to Person A, which is reciprocated, perhaps with a hug. Both A and C enthusiastically ask one another about…
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11:12 AM | Thursday links: bird papers > insect papers, the genealogy of theoretical ecology, and more (UPDATED)
A day early because of the US holiday tomorrow. Also this week: Charley Krebs vs. the biodiversity-ecosystem function “consensus”, the gender distribution of major NSERC prizes, #Evol2014 word cloud, scientific journal blogs, how to do good science in one handy … Continue reading →
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11:12 AM | Thursday links: bird papers > insect papers, the genealogy of theoretical ecology, and more
A day early because of the US holiday tomorrow. Also this week: Charley Krebs vs. the biodiversity-ecosystem function “consensus”, the gender distribution of major NSERC prizes, #Evol2014 word cloud, scientific journal blogs, how to do good science in one handy … Continue reading →
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2:21 AM | Cerebrovascular physiology – article alert #85
Diabetes and the brain 425- Combined effects of type 2 diabetes and hypertension associated with cortical thinning and impaired cerebrovascular reactivity relative to hypertension alone in older adults – Tchistiakova et al. Exercise and the brain 426- Electromyographic, cerebral, and muscle hemodynamic responses during intermittent, isometric contractions of the biceps brachii at three submaximal intensities […]
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1:37 AM | The Metamorphosis of Biology: Now You See Me, Now You Don’t
In fourth grade, my classmates and I were assigned a project. We were to research our favorite animal at the local library, and give a presentation on this animal to the rest of the class. When it was time for our presentations, most of my classmates excitedly gabbed about lions, tigers, humpback whales, or dolphins. […]

July 02, 2014

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10:44 PM | Maybe Bill Gates Can't Ever Fix Education
Bill Gates has given some $28 billion, though the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to help fix the world's problems. He's tackled global poverty, agricultural development, disaster relief, and combatting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, with notable success. But there have also been some big failures. One of the biggest problems, he said, has been trying to fix American education. Maybe it's time to consider why that's so difficult for him. According to an Associated Press piece […]
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8:34 PM | The Micro House is a 3D printed house designed by students at...
The Micro House is a 3D printed house designed by students at UCLA’s futureLAB studio
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6:46 PM | Focusing on Latino Parents' Strengths
One of the biggest challenges for writing about traditionally underserved demographics in American education is to remember to take an assets-based approach. It can be easy to focus on what students from these backgrounds lack, rather than what they bring to the table. This is a common problem for education policy discussions orbiting Latino students. There’s no question that these students frequently face serious challenges: over one-third of Latinos are enrolled at high-poverty schools. […]
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6:15 PM | Blog carnival: Surviving the pre-tenure years
There's been some discussion on twitter and by email recently about how to successfully navigate the pre-tenure years as a faculty member. Now that I've had tenure for a full 38 hours, I'm obviously qualified to blather on incessantly about how one clears the bar. However, rather than take my word for it, I thought […]
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5:09 PM | "The issue of ‘food’ is not just about what we eat. It’s about delivery systems. Climate..."
“The issue of ‘food’ is not just about what we eat. It’s about delivery systems. Climate issues. Population growth. Policy. All of these and more come into play when you begin to think about the colliding forces that shape the world’s food future.” - Janet Napolitano on the UC Global Food Initiative. Today, a billion people suffer from chronic hunger or serious micronutrient deficiencies. Another 1/2 billion people are obese. There’s also […]
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4:48 PM | Reflections on my first year as department chair
Yesterday marked my one year anniversary of becoming department chair. (I celebrated by driving my kids around to various appointments all afternoon and making about 1,000 rainbow loom bracelets with my daughter. Ah, the exciting life of a working mom.) While the first year went quickly, I won’t lie: there were times when I wasn’t sure […]
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4:00 PM | Branching out at the New Horizons In Science Symposium (Mexico City)
A little while ago, as some of you may have guessed from my tweets, I was in Mexico City on a business trip. My reason for the whirlwind visit was to present a talk about volcanic hazards to the New Horizons in Science Symposium, a joint effort between the National Academies of Mexico, Canada and the United States.
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3:02 PM | Colleges Keep Increasing Discounts to Keep Students Coming
Colleges and universities continue to give record-high discounts on tuition, which is good news for students, but bad news for the institutions, a new report shows. The so-called discount rate—the amount of revenue that goes back out the door in the form of financial aid to fill seats—was projected to have grown to more than 46 percent at colleges and universities this past academic year, according to the report, from the National Association of College and University Business […]
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1:23 PM | Old Lab Animal Model Systems Gain New Respect—Paramecium Redux
When the fledgling ASCB held its big meeting in a down-at-the-heels hotel on the Chicago lakefront in 1961, it was something of a carnival of animals, lab animals. Peter Satir, who is now at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY, was present in Chicago. Fifty three years later when asked about the first scientific program, Satir couldn't help pointing out how many different organisms or parts thereof were being studied. Paramecium.Illustration by Johnny Chang, ASCBWhen the […]

July 01, 2014

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10:23 PM | The World’s Smartest Surfers UC San Diego, which has been...
The World’s Smartest Surfers UC San Diego, which has been home to 16 Nobel laureates, is well known for its elite academics. But only readers of major surf publications would know that UCSD perennially ranks among the best colleges in the nation for surfers. Other former members of the UCSD team include, of course, a rocket scientist. Jared Lang, a surfer on the team from 2005 to 2008 who majored in astrophysics, works as a system engineer for NASA, designing spacecraft for future […]
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4:35 PM | Where are Most of California's Tenured Teachers?
A California judge recently ruled that teacher tenure and other job protections violate a student’s right to education and, as such, are unconstitutional. The case, Vergara v. California, prompted speculation about what it would mean for other states where similar lawsuits might be filed. But what does the ruling - if it survives appeals - mean for California? The impact may be greater on some areas of the state than others. The map below shows the percentage of teachers with tenure by […]
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2:36 PM | “There’s an app for that” – interview with Alex Pico
Today F1000Research is very excited to announce the launch of the Cytoscape App Collection which consists of 15 new articles and an overarching editorial. Building upon the success of the BioJS Collection published earlier this year, our latest collection is a collaboration with Cytoscape, the open source software platform for [...]
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2:26 PM | Higher Ed Data Plan Would Supersize Burden
Last week, both the House and Senate key education committees took a step forward on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the House with a white paper outlining principles for reform and the Senate with a draft comprehensive bill. Despite both the Republicans’ and Democrats’ rhetoric calling for increased transparency, neither bill makes the one small change–repealing the ban on a federal student unit record data system– that could make a big difference in […]
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1:00 PM | ‘TipHead’
  Raising some Tip-Hell in the lab today !
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