Posts

August 11, 2014

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3:06 AM | Minions in Action!
Some of you may recall we received MinION sequencing devices from Oxford Nanopore as beta testers. It's taken a while, but Mike Gillings now has them up and running. Whether they can actually generate useful data is still something we're working out, but in the meantime here are some action photos.The MinION is the USB device plugged into the laptopEach dot on the screen represents a protein nanopore through which a DNA molecule is moving and being sequenced. The different colour of the dots […]
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2:18 AM | Best Wishes Daniel
The Paulsen lab went on an outing Friday night to the University bar to farewell Daniel Farrugia. Daniel has just submitted his PhD thesis on genomic analyses of the opportunistic pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii, where he was investigating what is different between strains from hospital-acquired infections, community-acquired infections, and environmental isolates. Daniel has published papers in PLoS One and The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy; another paper about to be submitted to […]
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12:28 AM | Accelerate the progress of your research by using this one weird old tip!
(Photo and title by Sonja Babovic; used with her permission) Other geeky things that made me laugh recently: Mad science looks pretty similar to normal science As does Lego science  

August 10, 2014

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6:57 PM | mashable: Rollie the armadillo acts just like a puppy! You may...
mashable: Rollie the armadillo acts just like a puppy! You may have already seen the video above of Rollie playing with his favorite toy, but unlike your pet dog, armadillos have very poor vision.  In fact they’re being studied to understand vision disorders in humans.   They actually have a lot of peculiar qualities.  Did you know that armadillos give birth to identical quadruplets and on average sleep up to 18 hours per day? Two UC Davis alums have published a book […]
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3:44 PM | The new Premier League season: finance and hype
With the start of the new Premier League season less than a week away, I find myself not exactly looking forward to it. All the top teams have been busy spending ridiculous sums of money to strengthen their squads – OK, it’s what you have to do, but it has diminished the sport so much […]
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3:43 PM | The new Foursquare Android app: initial reaction
The new Foursquare Android app became available from the Google Play Store last Wednesday, 6th August. I’ve been using it pretty continuously since then, and can offer an initial appraisal. I’ve already discussed at length my disappointment that Mayorships, badges and (finally) points were lost, so I judge the app as it is and not […]
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9:00 AM | Canine Science Forum 2014 - we come full circle!
Aw - it's Us @ CSF2014! Thanks Tamás Faragó :)Dear Julie,while you've been off enjoying the fjords of Norway and I've been recovering from six legs of long haul flying with a three year old as hand luggage, I thought I'd put up a quick post to recap the wonderful week in Lincoln, UK that was the (Feline and) Canine Science Forum 2014.Such a fun, stimulating, inspiring week comprising the Feline Science day (Monday), public lecture by James Serpell (rhymes with […]

Hecht J. (2014). Tribute to Tinbergen: Public Engagement in Ethology, Ethology, 120 (3) 207-214. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eth.12199

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7:08 AM | A journey to Tristan da Cunha
Starting this Friday, I’ll begin my journey to the most remote inhabited island in the world – the UK Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha.  I’m headed there as part of a project funded by the Darwin Initiative, and the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) to do the first quantitative survey […]
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6:10 AM | What I expect from ESA 2014 (biodiversity, global change, pollination, networks and more)
This is blog post that will appear in J. of Ecology blog soon, but in the meanwhile I thought would be good to post it here as ESA is already starting. Hope to see you there! ———————– Its always exciting … Continue reading →

August 09, 2014

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4:46 PM | Terminal Lucidity: Myth, Mystery or Miracle?
Can sick people gain mental clarity just before they die? University of Virginia researchers Michael Nahm and Bruce Greyson explore this issue in a gripping (if macabre) paper published in the journal Omega: The death of Anna Katharina Ehmer: a case study in terminal lucidity.The authors discuss the case of Anna Katharina Ehmer, a German […]The post Terminal Lucidity: Myth, Mystery or Miracle? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Nahm M & Greyson B (2013). The death of Anna Katharina Ehmer: a case study in terminal lucidity., Omega, 68 (1) 77-87. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24547666

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4:00 PM | Used Tips – ‘parents’
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11:37 AM | Semi-hiatus for the ESA meeting
Just FYI: Dynamic Ecology will be on semi-hiatus during the ESA meeting. We’re not planning any meeting preview posts this year. And we’re not planning to post during the meeting either, though I suppose we might change our minds if … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Used Tips – ‘feathers’
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12:16 AM | Making new soft materials by distoring the boundaries of oil and water
Image: Hugh Martin. Delicious Mayonnaise Ever since mayonnaise was invented in 1756, people have wanted to make more soft materials. From the moisturising cream that you rub into your face, to the paint that you spread on your walls, soft materials are all around us. What makes a soft material soft? You can consider anything […]

August 08, 2014

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11:39 PM | Open Science News – 8 August 2014
What was new in open science this week? F1000 Specialist extraordinaire Ross Mounce is at it again! Check out his interview at opensource.com on why Open Science is the future of scientific discovery. As divided as it is, even the US Congress is concerned about reproducibility in research! We might not all [...]
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8:34 PM | In which I receive a gift
What do you buy the female scientist who has everything? A few days ago I noticed a news clip in the London Evening Standard, mentioning that a new line of Lego featuring women researchers had sold out within hours of … Continue reading →
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6:00 PM | MOOCs Will Never Replace Real College. They'll Just Fix It
Unbundled! Revolution! Disruptive technology! For the last decade or so education futurists have been predicting radical changes to the structure of American colleges as a result of advances in technology. While certainly students use more new and innovate gadgets in college —indeed, many of these gadgets are a crucial part of their courses—the revolution hasn’t really happened. The basic structure of college, and its pricing, remains unchanged. As Benjamin Winterhalter puts […]
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4:12 PM | How to float a ping pong ball in mid-air Dianna “Physics...
How to float a ping pong ball in mid-air Dianna “Physics Girl” Cowern, physicist at UC San Diego’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, explains in this video how The Coandă Effect can make a ping pong ball float in mid-air. Read more about Diana Cowern and her quest to encourage girls to pursue science.
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4:00 PM | Used Tips – ‘data’
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1:53 PM | Are Some Elite Colleges Understating Net Prices?
As a faculty member researching higher education finance, I’m used to seeing the limitations in federal data available to students and their families as they choose colleges. For example, the net price of attendance measure (measured as tuition and fees, room and board, books, and other expenses less any grants received) is only for first-time, full-time students—and therefore excludes a lot of students with great financial need. But a new graphic-heavy report from The Chronicle of […]
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1:49 PM | As State Pre-K Expands, Where Does Head Start Fit In?
Much of the expanding policy conversation around early childhood education has revolved around state pre-K. Head Start, the country’s largest early education program, has been somewhat left out of the conversation. Providing approximately one million children from low-income families with comprehensive services, Head Start can play a pivotal role in the lives of many youngsters. When implemented well, Head Start can be a high-quality pre-K model. However, the program has its critics and […]
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1:00 PM | Used Tips – ‘Stockholm’
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11:58 AM | Friday links: highly significant increase in marginal significance, hidden female authors, the evolution of Groot, and more
Also this week: smartphone microscopes, ranking universities way back when, grade inflation and what to do about it, trading sex for co-authorship, why it feels like you work 80 hours per week even though you don’t, how to write fast, … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Used Tips – ‘change everything’
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4:16 AM | Thanks, but no thanks
I am posting from the q-bio Summer School, where we are enjoying many discussions about modeling. Several lecturers have advised the junior modelers attending the school, who are mostly graduate students and postdocs, to find an experimental collaborator. I appreciate the advice and the benefits of having an experimental collaborator, but I am usually quite irked by the reasons stated for seeking out opportunities to collaborate with an experimentalist. One reason I've heard many times is that […]
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12:00 AM | Do Narcissists Know They’re Narcissists?
According to a provocative paper just published, it’s possible to accurately determine how narcissistic someone is by asking them just one thing. Here’s the question in full: To what extent do you agree with this statement: I am a narcissist? (Note: The word ‘narcissist’ means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.) Answer on a scale from 1 […]The post Do Narcissists Know They’re Narcissists? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Konrath S, Meier BP & Bushman BJ (2014). Development and Validation of the Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS)., PLoS ONE, 9 (8) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25093508

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August 07, 2014

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7:17 PM | ucsdhealthsciences: Pepper and Halt: Spicy Chemical May Inhibit...
ucsdhealthsciences: Pepper and Halt: Spicy Chemical May Inhibit Gut Tumors Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that dietary capsaicin – the active ingredient in chili peppers – produces chronic activation of a receptor on cells lining the intestines of mice, triggering a reaction that ultimately reduces the risk of colorectal tumors. The findings are published in the August 1, 2014 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation. The […]
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6:28 PM | Streamlining in Early Ed Doesn't Mean Eliminating Programs
Observers of early childhood education in the U.S., from parents to researchers to policymakers, would be hard-pressed to find much evidence that the country has any system at all. Child care providers are siloed from pre-K teachers, who are often removed from opportunities available to K-12 schools. Families face a hodgepodge of eligibility rules and requirements as they move from home visiting to Head Start (or to a state-funded pre-K program). Even federal funding streams barely intersect, […]
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5:13 PM | Paid Interns Only.
I don’t accept unpaid interns. MECMC is a teaching hospital, and it is affiliated with VFU, a major university with a prominent medical college. Just down the way there is UHR, another fine school with a well-respected school of medicine, and school of nursing. Vast swarms of undergrads at both institutions are, like just about […]
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4:31 PM | Building a Better Student Loan Default Measure
Student loan default rates have been a hot political topic as of late given increased accountability pressures at the federal level. Currently, colleges can lose access to all federal financial aid (grants as well as loans) if more than 25% of students defaulted on their loans within two years of leaving college for three consecutive cohorts. Starting later this year, the measure used will be the default rate within three years of leaving college, and the cutoff for federal eligibility will […]
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