Posts

September 10, 2014

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3:30 PM | OYM48: Ratolesence
We’re running a two man show on this, the one year anniversary of On Your Mind.  Liam’s had yet another successful committee meeting and he’s come out of it with some new insights into his project, and his presentation style.  He’s switching from an exploratory to a hypothesis-driven approach to his project, and in the ...read more The post OYM48: Ratolesence appeared first on On Your Mind Podcast.
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3:05 PM | Service Loan Forgiveness: Big Benefits, Bad Incentives
Many critics have sounded the alarm on expensive graduate and professional degrees that are neither necessary nor worthwhile in terms of increased salary and job placement. But consider that for many students who pursue a master’s in education, the federal government will finance the entire cost, without limit, including all living expenses during enrollment. That’s one of the findings from our new paper out today, Zero Marginal Cost: Measuring Subsidies for Graduate Education […]
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12:00 PM | Active learning is flexible and designed to reach the reticent
I’ve gotten positive feedback about a post in which I explain how it’s not that much work for me to do active learning in the classroom. However, a couple entirely reasonable misgiving seem to crop up, and I’d like to give my take on those causes for reluctance to start up with active learning approaches. The first concern is that…
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11:43 AM | Polarization Imaging Reveals New Views of Hunt Library, Insight into Exciting Field of Research
These two photos of the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library use a false-color technique to reveal a characteristic of light called polarization.
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11:00 AM | Tractable != easy
When I give seminars about my work and when I write grant proposals, I often talk about how tractable it is – the hosts are see-through, allowing you to see internal parasites! You can maintain individual genotypes in the lab … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Kellogg’s plasmid preps
I’ve been thinking about Bioscience branding and logos – I had a fleeting thought about the style of the ‘Life Technologies’ brand and its [albeit tenuous] similarity with the Kellogg’s brand logo. Molecular bioscience research is no longer the realm of privileged academics e.g. the RNA Tie club of the 1950’s – more ‘Tied’ to the […]
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10:58 AM | Fresh Start, Fresh Anxieties
This is the time of year when anxious students-to-be – and their parents – are contemplating their future. Having established that they have got into University X once A level results are known, they have to work out what the … Continue reading →
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9:21 AM | Which plants are the influencers in plant-pollinator networks?
My PhD looked at two invasive plants that has contrasting effects on the native plant-pollinator network. Since then we advanced quite a lot on understanding why superabundant invasive plants with high reward levels can influence others via its shared pollinators, but … Continue reading →
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5:05 AM | Crowdsourcing Microbial Oceanography
For marine microbiologists getting out into the blue ocean is a big deal. Competition for ship time is fierce and we often propose and plan research voyages years in advance. Even with access to dedicated research vessels the ocean is enormous, and vast swaths of the ocean are rarely visited by scientists and therefore poorly sampled.To attempt to address this problem I set off on a expedition onboard an 18m sailing yacht in April last year to help prove the concept that citizen scientists […]

September 09, 2014

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11:05 PM | We’re back!
It’s that time of year again, the quiet before the storm of Fresher’s week and the start of a new academic year. After our short break, EcoEvo@TCD is back and raring to go. You can expect lots more posts about our research, seminar series, outreach activities, conferences and fieldwork as well as tips and tricks for surviving in academia. We’ve already kicked off the year with our second annual NERD club AGM. It was a great opportunity to discuss what we covered […]
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5:35 PM | The blood falls of Antarctica In some remote regions of the...
The blood falls of Antarctica In some remote regions of the antarctic there are glaciers that appear to be bleeding.  This makes for a stunning visual on the bright white snow, but what is going on here?   The falls are actually the product of a subglacial lake that is seeping out from a rupture in the glacier.  The red color comes from the microbes living in the dark cold lake that use iron to produce energy (think rust).  Scientists think that this population of organisms […]
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3:48 PM | Rankings, Rankings, and More Rankings!
We’re finally reaching the end of the college rankings season for 2014. Money magazine started off the season with its rankings of 665 four-year colleges based on “educational quality, affordability, and alumni earnings.” (I generally like these rankings, in spite of the inherent limitations of using Rate My Professor scores and Payscale data in lieu of more complete information.) I jumped in the fray late in August with my friends at Washington Monthly for our annual college […]
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3:41 PM | Americans Say They Support Federal Dollars for Pre-K
A new Gallup poll released this morning brought good news for early education advocates: Seventy percent of Americans say they support using federal dollars to increase funding to provide universal, high-quality pre-K. That’s a startling number, given the fight early education programs have seen even to maintain funding from year to year in the face of federal belt-tightening and the sequester. But the survey could offer hope to supporters of early education programs–and to […]
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3:00 PM | Fixing Urban Sinkholes: A Noisy Solution to a Dirty Problem
The pounding starts at 7:00 AM every morning outside my house here in Pittsburgh, and it’s been like that for 8 months now. Every weekday, whether it’s a backhoe ripping through asphalt, a jackhammer shredding up the concrete, or a buzz saw dicing the sidewalk, there is a plethora of noise that I wake up […]
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1:04 PM | Living Figures – an interview with Björn Brembs and Julien Colomb
Björn Brembs is a leading practitioner of Open Science, with a history of not only publishing openly, but also freely sharing the highly specialized research software generated by his lab. Björn’s collaborator, Julien Colomb began developing code to allow the lab to publish their data concomitantly with the analyses.  Taking the sharing of data and [...]
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12:00 PM | Where do you eat lunch? And does it matter?
Lunch culture seems to vary a lot from place to place. I will admit to sometimes eating lunch at my desk, even though it is seems a highly unusual thing at European universities. But these days it is rare for me to do that, partly because most people aren’t and partly because it is just…
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10:30 AM | This Is What Science Looks Like At NC State: Miguel A. Acosta
Miguel Acosta discusses his research concerning the development and characterization of microfluidic devices to study cancer.

September 08, 2014

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11:27 PM | ant-advancednerdtheories: ucresearch: Seeing a supernovae...
ant-advancednerdtheories: ucresearch: Seeing a supernovae within hours of the explosion For the first time ever, scientists have gathered direct evidence of a rare Wolf-Rayet star being linked to a specific type of stellar explosion known as a Type IIb supernova. Peter Nugent of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says they caught this star – a whopping 360 million light years away – just a few hours after it exploded. Hear more about this discovery → How is […]
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9:09 PM | Sometimes It Takes a Death to Teach Me About the Depths of Others...
I just received some sad news, so here is a short post to express how I feel about it.  As the poem by Delmore Schwartz, "Calmly We Walk through This April's Day,"  goes:"Time is the fire in which we burn..."But it goes on to add:"Time is the school in which we learn...."While I was in graduate school, one of the professors I saw around the building was Dr. Robert Schimke. He liked to tease and carry on, and I admit I didn't know him all that well. I kept my head low much of the time, […]
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6:17 PM | College-Rating Proposal Shines Spotlight on Powerful Lobby
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The annual meeting of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities this year had the tone of a revival meeting. “We have been under steady, unrelenting pressure,” declared the organization’s president, David Warren, who spoke of “an overreaching executive branch” he said sought to use unreliable statistics to measure the effectiveness of higher-education institutions that are vastly different from each other. Warren was […]
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6:10 PM | ASCB President-Elect Walter Wins Lasker
The UPR has unfolded into the 2014 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for ASCB President-Elect Peter Walter. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Walter was named co-winner winner today along with Kazutoshi Mori of Kyoto University for their independent but closely related work on untangling the unfolded protein response or UPR, a signaling pathway that protects cells by […]
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5:19 PM | Seeing a supernovae within hours of the explosion For the first...
Seeing a supernovae within hours of the explosion For the first time ever, scientists have gathered direct evidence of a rare Wolf-Rayet star being linked to a specific type of stellar explosion known as a Type IIb supernova. Peter Nugent of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says they caught this star – a whopping 360 million light years away – just a few hours after it exploded. Hear more about this discovery →
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1:22 PM | Ecology Letters now allows preprints; and why this is a big deal for ecology
As announced by Noam Ross on Twitter (and confirmed by the Editor in Chief of Ecology Letters), Ecology Letters will now allow the submission of manuscripts that have been posted as preprints. Details will be published in an editorial in Ecology Letters. I want to say a heartfelt thanks to Marcel Holyoak and the entire […]
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1:02 PM | Dr. Botstein Buys a Book
It was the one of the very few moments in his life when he was truly speechless, says Malcolm Campbell. He was at the 2013 ASCB spring Council meeting in Washington, DC, seated next to fellow ASCB councilor David Botstein who had just won one of the new $3 million Breakthrough Awards in Life Sciences. Waiting for the meeting to come to order, Campbell, a professor at Davidson College in North Carolina and a leading proponent of research-driven reform in undergraduate biology education, […]
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12:17 PM | Externalizing Responsibility.
In my work as a systems engineer in a hospital, I have a regular challenge that I face. Once I am called in to examine and model a system, I am almost invariably told that the true problem lies outside that system’s boundaries. The OR can’t fix its own turn-around time, because the real problem […]
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12:00 PM | This device can improve your quality of life
It’s easier to get work done if we use time efficiently and work to stay healthy. If I had to give a recommendation for something that can help out with those two things, near the top of the list would be: use a pressure cooker. Don’t have time to cook a real dinner? With a pressure cooker, you do. If…
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11:09 AM | Content Curation Tools 2: Alternatives to Scoop.it!
Back in May, we explored one of today’s most popular content curation tools: Scoop.it! Today I would like to broaden that discussion and look at a number of other alternatives to Scoop.it!. There are different aspects of content curation that … Continue reading → The post Content Curation Tools 2: Alternatives to Scoop.it! appeared first on Personal Knowledge Management for Academia & Librarians.
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11:00 AM | Where do you look for academic jobs in ecology?
It’s job season! If you’re on the market for an academic position, where do you look?* Here are the resources I know of. Suggest others in the comments! Ecology and Evolution-specific resources: Ecology jobs wiki, 2014-2015 edition Ecolog evoldir More … Continue reading →
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10:34 AM | New on F1000Research – 8 September 2014
A selection of new and featured content on F1000Research from the past week. To receive notification of all new articles, sign up for our table of contents alerts.   Featured article collection The Elasmobranch Biology & Conservation Collection acts as a scholarly hub for original research, ecologically important observations, data sets, computational tools and commentaries relating to [...]
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8:27 AM | Tristan Adventure 2: why am I here?
Why, one might ask, would a Canadian scientist working in the UK travel via South Africa to the most remote inhabited island in the world? The answer involves 19th-century British garrisons, fishing boats in Brazil and Namibia, Napoleon, a helicopter, and my mad Photoshop skillz. Tristan da Cunha comprises 4 main and 2 smaller islands.  […]
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