Posts

February 26, 2015

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12:33 AM | ucsdhealthsciences:Think of an EyeIn this macro close-up of a...
ucsdhealthsciences:Think of an EyeIn this macro close-up of a human eye, two major elements are visible: the pupil and the iris. The pupil, of course, is the central aperture through which light passes to strike the retina. It appears dark because light rays entering the pupil are either absorbed by tissues inside the eye directly or absorbed after diffusely bouncing around inside the eye, with very little of the light escaping the same way it came in. The pupil is a marvel, but it’s […]

February 25, 2015

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6:46 PM | On trainees, money, and diversity
Money — it’s the crux of just about everything we do in science.  Want to bring in a new student or staff member? Money.  Want to do field or lab work? Money. Want to go to a conference? Money. It’s … Continue reading →
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6:02 PM | Can an awe-inspiring view boost the body’s immune...
Can an awe-inspiring view boost the body’s immune response? Awe is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of the world. Early in human history, awe was reserved for feelings toward divine beings – e.g., gods.In 1757, a revolution in our understanding of awe began thanks to Irish philosopher Edmund Burke. In A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, Burke detailed how we feel the sublime […]
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2:11 PM | A Few Spanish Treats.
The trip to Spain was absolutely stellar. I can’t begin to describe how beautiful everything was. Seville’s Alcázar was the architectural highlight. But we saw so many things! Like the Palacio Real in Madrid.   And Seville’s absurdly large cathedral. Like, really ridiculously large. And of course, Ronda’s “New Bridge”, which is difficult to comprehend. […]
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12:16 PM | Congratulations February Advisor of the Month!
Congratulations and thank you to Prof. Dr. Javier Alba-Tercedor! Javier only recently became a Mendeley Advisor, but has been incredibly helpful leading seminars at the University of Granada, where he is a Professor of a Zoology, to helping with Alpha and Beta testing of our forthcoming Android app. We also believe he is the first […]
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11:45 AM | How do you make figures?
Continuing on my stats and figure theme from last week, I’m curious as to how most of our readers make figures. I drafted this post before those posts appeared, and had no idea how common my approach of moving figures … Continue reading →
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5:19 AM | How Twitter is Shaping the #CommonCore Debate
The online fight over Common Core - fired off in 140-character bursts - is allowing a new kind of activist to gain political influence. While Louis C.K.’s Common Core Twitter rant might be the most famous, he is far from alone in taking to the social media platform to join the Internet war over the new controversial math and English standards most American schools have adopted. Parents and teachers, policy wonks and politicians, teachers unions and libertarian groups are among the 53,000 […]

February 24, 2015

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10:01 PM | "As we slowly approach the stage, our eyes transfixed on Ceres and her planetary dance, we find she..."
“As we slowly approach the stage, our eyes transfixed on Ceres and her planetary dance, we find she has beguiled us but left us none the wiser. We expected to be surprised; we did not expect to be this puzzled.” - UCLA’s Chris Russell talks about the mysterious bright spots on Ceres (a dwarf planet located in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter). NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will orbit around Ceres in March.
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6:13 PM | How Our Bodies Fight Off Dangerous ChemicalsYou can think of it...
How Our Bodies Fight Off Dangerous ChemicalsYou can think of it as though we’re all subjects in this massive experiment. What we’re doing with environmental chemicals such as flame retardants on furniture or the BPA in our plastic bottles is that we’re putting them into our environment without knowing the safety concerns of them. Everybody on the planet is exposed. The challenge to understanding how dangerous compounds get into our body is complex. The way we have been […]
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6:00 PM | Thesis Prison
Family Thesiswhisperer has spent the last month in our hometown of Melbourne. We caught up with many friends and relatives while we were there, some of whom are doing or have just completed doctorates. One friend got pregnant twice during her doctorate and had a longer journey than most. While we raised a glass to […]
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4:50 PM | Bob Beattie– a tribute
Bob Beattie (4 April 1939 – 10 February 2015) Robert Thomas (Bob) Beattie was born in Liverpool in 1939. He graduated from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in Natural Sciences in 1961, and then took a Master’s degree in Psychology at Liverpool University. He worked as a clinical psychologist in Oldham before coming to Keele in 1965 … Continue reading Bob Beattie– a tribute →
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3:28 PM | ACE Sides With the Worst For-Profit Colleges
Congratulations, One Dupont. You are now officially carrying the water for the worst of the for-profit higher education industry. On Monday, the American Council on Education (ACE) sent a letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce supporting Republican legislation that would overturn just about every effort that the Obama administration has made to rein in the for-profit college sector’s worst actors, who have been caught time and again taking advantage of low-income […]
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3:22 PM | The Biggest Losers in the No Child Left Behind Rewrite
Rural school districts and states with large, rural populations are poised to lose a disproportionate amount of funding and opportunities to innovate under a bill proposed by House Republicans, according to a report by the Obama administration. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at an on-the-record breakfast with reporters Monday morning to further detail his concerns with the bill, which would rewrite No Child Left Behind, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary […]
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3:11 PM | Speeding up the battle against slowing minds | Amy Coats
New research from UCL brings us closer to finding out what’s behind one of our biggest killersChristopher Devas has Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. For his wife, Veronica, this not only means watching Alzheimer’s rob Christopher of his memory and identity, it also means watching their shared memories slip away. “Close couples are joint custodians of each other’s experiences,” says Grayson Perry, the artist who has helped raise awareness […]
Editor's Pick
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3:00 PM | Q&A with Shaun Harper: Fix the System, and Black and Brown Men Will Follow
A new national collaborative explicitly aimed at improving outcomes for boys and men of color pivots from the current narrative and focuses on institutions that reduce the quality of life of black and brown men. Rise (Research, Integration, Strategy and Evaluation) will “identify best practices and opportunities for new research that can inform equitable policies, and ultimately create positive change in communities across the United States,” addressing four key areas: education, […]
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3:00 PM | The University of Iowa Gets Serious about Three Year College
The three-year college degree is one proposal we haven’t heard a lot about in policy circles lately. A few years ago some reformers presented as a way to cut the cost of college for many. If students had to take fewer classes, or they earned more credits in high school (or some combination of both of these things), well then we’d have them out in three years and everyone would save money. This idea is not ridiculous—the three year degree bachelor’s degree is common in […]
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1:00 PM | Academia and friendships
At one point I thought about writing a post about the difficulties that academia wreaks on friendships. All that moving about means picking up, making new friends and leaving behind the old. It is tough in many respects and it is easy to see the negatives of that part of the career. Check out #academicnomad…
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12:21 PM | Reflections on Seven Years.
Last week I was in Spain for a vacation with BB. We went to Madrid and to Andalusia, touring through the south and seeing amazing marvels in Seville, Ronda, and Granada. We ate at great restaurants and awful little holes-in-walls. We stayed in a couple of decent hotels and a couple of rat traps. We […]
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11:30 AM | How often are ecologists mentioned in the news?
More specifically, how often are they mentioned in the NY Times? Turns out the Times has an online tool to tell you! It gives you a time series of the % of all NY Times articles containing a specified word … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | The Science of Love
Hot on the heels of Valentine’s Day, here’s Inez Imray with an investigation into those fuzzy feelings called love. A week after February the 14th and this editor is still dwelling in post-valentine’s day blues, and dragging everyone into it by pondering if there is really a scientific basis behind love. It may sound silly,…
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1:21 AM | Lamar Alexander: Who's Afraid of Big, Bad Education Regulations
Tomorrow Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, will have hearings to propose cutting federal regulations on higher education as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. We should probably view this hearing with great skepticism. Last week the HELP committee also released a report “detailing ways Congress and the Department of Education could streamline and reduce federal regulations for […]

February 23, 2015

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10:41 PM | High School Is Not Just Adulthood Training
Recently, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker tried to change the mission of the University of Wisconsin system to focus on workforce training exclusively. After opposition from observers he was force to backtrack and the system will maintain its (rather more standard) search for truth and public service mission. But "just jobs" represents a common perspective on the purpose of college education, at least among conservative policy makers. We have public universities, basically, for jobs training. […]
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9:19 PM | On immortality
From the “Making dreams come true” department, we recently had a sauna installed at the new gaff. Warming up It’s very nice, and you should know that South Eastern trains have a special, hidden, weekend fare that lets you use … Continue reading →
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7:12 PM | This is what a brain aneurysm looks like. It took a team of top...
This is what a brain aneurysm looks like. It took a team of top experts at UCSF’s unique pediatric brain center to carefully remove this from 15-year-old Audrey’s brain.
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4:50 PM | Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructures
Everything we have gained by opening content and data will be under threat if we allow the enclosure of scholarly infrastructures. We propose a set of principles by which Open Infrastructures to support the research community could be run and sustained. - Geoffrey Bilder, Jennifer Lin, Cameron Neylon
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12:34 PM | The early evolution of birds – more complicated than trying to untangle your headphones..
Birds are a phenomenal story of evolutionary success. As modern-day dinosaur descendants, they occupy almost all environments and ecosystems around the globe, and are truly animals that capture our imaginations. However, how did they become so diverse, both in number and form? This is something only the fossil record can divine for us. Birds first appear in the Middle to Late Jurassic of China and latest Jurassic of Europe (hello, Archaeopteryx), around 160-150 million years ago. Their first […]
Editor's Pick
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11:40 AM | New on F1000Research – 23 February 2015
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 Strain-specific and pooled genome sequences for populations of Drosophila melanogaster from three continents. [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/515] Casey M. Bergman, Penelope R. [...]
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11:02 AM | Weird, and unwise, things to include on your cv (UPDATED)
So, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen someone include on their cv? Probably the weirdest I’ve heard of is someone who listed their IQ. Apparently IQ tests don’t measure “good judgement about what to put on your cv.” I’ve … Continue reading →
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6:08 AM | Our Washington Post Op-Ed Example Explained
Our op-ed in the Washington Post today uses a hypothetical student loan borrower to illustrate one of the reasons why the Obama administration revised the costs of the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program up by $21.8 billion. Politico reported the revision earlier this month, which was included in the president’s budget. Our op-ed provides some important context to the Politico article. It illustrates why graduates students — even those earning good incomes — are the biggest […]
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5:00 AM | (Re)-Announcing mangal
I'm really glad to announce that mangal, the ecological interaction database, is now officially live. It means that the rmangal package has reached version 1.0.0, and the database is now stable and fit for actual science. Take note of the new url: mangal.io. The website still has a few rough edges, but it will become gradually better over the next month or so. Among the new features are a better data browser, an updated page for each taxa with a list of all known interactions (see the […]
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