October 01, 2014

5:55 PM | EUMETSAT Conference 2014: Final highlights
The EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellites Conference 2014 featured a lot of new science. Two particular points which stood out to me was the assimilation of new products into numerical weather forecasting systems, and the use of satellite data in improving our … Continue reading →
5:12 PM | Why are human faces so unique? What’s in a face? The...
Why are human faces so unique? What’s in a face? The amazing variety of human faces — far greater than that of most other animals — is the result of evolutionary pressure to make each of us unique and easily recognizable, according to a new study out of UC Berkeley. Behavioral ecologist Michael J. Sheehan explains that our highly visual social interactions are almost certainly the driver of this evolutionary trend. Many animals use smell or vocalization to identify […]
4:58 PM | Our People—Five ASCB Members to Receive BRAIN Grants
NIH announced Tuesday the recipients of the first round of research grants toward understanding the brain as part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. $46 million in funds was awarded to over 100 investigators who proposed developing new technologies to accelerate neuroscience research. The $46 million from the NIH is part of a larger $300 million public-private effort by the Obama Administration to revolutionize our understanding of […]
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…
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