Posts

October 10, 2014

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12:00 PM | Recommended reads #37
“If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it in an anonymous review.” Boat parts or names of unvaccinated children? A quiz. I’m not a big fan of crowdfunding, because of the asymmetries in who gets money. And I’ve seen firsthand that expressed need sometimes doesn’t match reality. Caveats aside, I really like this one: Planting…
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11:52 AM | Friday links: dump the Canadian CCV, unreclaiming zoology, billion dollar grant, and more
Also this week: new videos for teaching ecology, social media as professional development, the pluses and minuses of minority-focused conferences, the best ecology blog you’ve (well, I’d) never heard of, and more. From Meg: I added two fun, deep sea-related … Continue reading →
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11:31 AM | By-election results October 2014
The results of the by-elections held on 9 October 2014 are predictably being over-hyped in the media. OK, UKIP won in Clacton and came a close second in Heywood and Middleton. But I don’t think these results are as significant as some would claim. Concerning the Clacton result: (i) By-election protest votes are not unusual, […]
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2:14 AM | PhD scholarships available
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October 09, 2014

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11:01 PM | Still Life
I thought it would be a nice idea to have the occasional photography contest on the blog. So starting today and running until Monday 10th November anyone can submit one photograph to this Dropbox folder. Don’t make it obvious that it’s your image in case it biases the judge. The theme for this month will be ‘Changing Seasons’. Prizes will be determined in due course. I just want to say good luck. We’re all counting on you. Author: Adam Kane, […]
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10:44 PM | Male allies, trusting the system, and tone deafness at GHC
Every year, I look forward to attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. I enjoy being in a space with so many other talented technical women at all stages of their careers, from students to CTOs, where I can network, meet new people, meet up with old friends, hear about some cool research, […]
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9:53 PM | How To Not Be A Sockpuppet
As a pseudonymous blogger and defender of the idea of anonymous and pseudonymous writing, I believe that you shouldn’t need to use your real name in order for your ideas to be taken seriously. However, pseudonymity can be abused. When this happens they cross the line and become sockpuppets. But where exactly is that line? […]The post How To Not Be A Sockpuppet appeared first on Neuroskeptic.
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6:12 PM | Study of leaping toads reveal the mechanisms that protect...
Study of leaping toads reveal the mechanisms that protect muscles Most people are impressed by how a toad jumps. UC Irvine biologist Emanuel Azizi is more impressed by how one lands. “Toads are ideal for studying jumping and landing because they’re so good at it,” he noted. “This work is providing the basic science on how muscles respond during high-impact behaviors like landing or falling.” They discovered that during landing, toads’ muscles adapt to the […]
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6:00 PM | That Homework Kids Have Is Pointless
New research indicates that homework may not really be that important. This is not exactly groundbreaking—no one’s ever really been able to show that time spent doing homework mattered much for standardized test scores—but this study may perhaps be more rigorous because it looked at grades. One might expect to find a correlation between time on homework and grades, even if more time on homework doesn’t actually cause higher grades, because one might think that harder […]
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11:45 AM | Poll results: what should ecologists learn less of?
Here, for what they’re worth*, are the results so far from yesterday’s poll asking readers to name the most important thing for ecologists to learn more of, and the thing they should learn less of in order to free up … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Tubus tubulus
  Labs are usually ‘crawling’ with tubes – ranging from the larger, more common Tubus eppendorfis spp. microcentrifungus to the smaller Tubus pcr spp. flatlid and the closely related spp.roundlid (see Figure(d), above). The former has a remarkably varied diet and will sustain itself on many everyday lab solutions such as NaCl, buffers, BSA protein, and sometimes even DNA and RNA. The latter, […]
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6:30 AM | New Standards Seek to Measure What Students Actually Know
As students, employers, and policymakers continue to question whether earning a college degree really proves that graduates are ready for work, a new set of voluntary standards proposes to set out what they should be learning—and measure whether or not they have. The Degree Qualifications Profile specifies what students should know and be able to do at every level of their higher educations—what a bachelor’s or master’s degree actually represents, in other […]
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6:00 AM | They have chosen ignorance open letter
The national policymakers of an increasing number of Member States, along with European leaders, have completely lost touch with the reality of research, say a concerned group of European scientistsScientists from different European countries describe in this letter that, despite marked heterogeneity in the situation of scientific research in their respective countries, there are strong similarities in the destructive policies being followed. This critical analysis, highlighted in Nature and […]
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4:00 AM | Show Congress the Face of Biomedical Research—Your Face
ASCB’s third annual We Are Research campaign needs you and your labmates to put a face on biomedical research. At your next lab meeting, lab happy hour, or lab karaoke party, round up the gang, snap a photo of your team, and submit it ASCB’s third annual We Are Research campaign needs you and your labmates to put a face on biomedical research. At your next lab meeting, lab happy hour, or lab karaoke party, round up the gang, snap a photo of your team, and submit it here by […]

October 08, 2014

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11:00 PM | Are the days of parsimony numbered? Probably.
April Wright recently published a cool paper looking at how to bring morphological analyses of evolutionary relationships into the Bayesian realm. This is her take on it – enjoy!  Author Bio: My name is April Wright, and I’m a graduate student in David Hillis’ lab at the University of Texas at Austin. I’m largely interested […]
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7:37 PM | Feeling Other.
One characteristic that is common to most of us in AA is the sense that we feel “other” from the mainstream of society. We don’t belong. We don’t get it. We don’t feel comfortable participating in ordinary social and societal situations. We feel outcast, downcast; belittled and degraded. We seek ways to feel less like […]
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7:36 PM | New Jersey's Plan to Shut Down For-Profit Colleges
President Barack Obama has a plan to rate colleges based on things like tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of poor students in the colleges. Eventually he intends to distribute federal money at least partially based on this information. It’s somewhat controversial (intrusion of federal power and all that) but one state, New Jersey, appears to have a plan to be even more punitive, at least to for-profit colleges. According to an Associated Press […]
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6:56 PM | motherjones: Up and to the right for the 1 percent, flatlined...
motherjones: Up and to the right for the 1 percent, flatlined for the rest of us!  Using Emmanuel Saez's data from UC Berkeley, Mother Jones shows the disparities of gains made by the wealthy and everyone else. Also if you’re curious you can see what percent you fall into here.
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6:38 PM | What is the motivation for pursuing graduate school?
Last week an interesting hashtag was floating around twitter:  #whyididaphd.  It was great to see reflections on this topic, and during our most recent lab meeting, I asked my students why they were pursuing advanced research-based degrees, and here are some of their responses: Graduate school allows an opportunity for freedom to do the things […]
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2:41 PM | Report Outlines Efforts to Boost Diversity in Materials Science and Engineering Community
NC State played a leadership role in crafting a new national report addressing the lack of diversity in materials science and engineering.
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2:22 PM | Evernote for Research and Outreach
Below are the slides for the presentation Crystal and Mary did for the COMO 2014 Georgia Library Association (GLA) conference.  The talk was on Evernote, what it is and its most useful features.  Emphasis was on how to use it … Continue reading → The post Evernote for Research and Outreach appeared first on Personal Knowledge Management for Academia & Librarians.
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1:51 PM | President Obama Announces Pre-K Goal - But Is it Attainable?
Last week, President Obama took the stage at Northwestern University and announced a mission to improve the workforce with universal pre-K, saying, “By the end of this decade, let’s enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool.” The line was buried in a speech rich with rhetoric on a whole range of policy areas, but the president was light on details. (For more reporting on the speech, check out Education Week’s Lillian Mongeau.) The details, though, are actually […]
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1:28 PM | Despite the name, Teaching Assistantships support the research mission
For a typical Biology Department, TAs are a critical resource. Teaching Assistants run most of the labs in the department, and in some cases run recitations or help grade exams in large classes. In most places I have been the TAs are limited in the number of hours they can work in a given week, […]
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1:16 PM | White Lab PhD openings at the University of Florida
I’m looking for one or more graduate students to join my group next fall. In addition to the official add (below) I’d like to add a few extra thoughts. As Morgan Ernest noted in her recent ad, we have a relatively unique setup at Weecology in that we interact actively with members of the Ernest […]
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12:02 PM | ASCB Member William Moerner Wins Nobel Along with Eric Betzig and Stefan Hell
The resolution of traditional light microscopy was long thought to be limited due to the maximum diffraction of light. But today's Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry changed that. William Moerner, Eric Betzig, and Stefan Hell won for cleverly circumventing this limit and imaging at a whole new scale known as nanomicroscopy or superresolution imaging.  William Moener, Eric Betzig, and Stefan Hell (left to right)won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering nanomicroscopy.The […]
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11:43 AM | From a New Viewpoint
I have moved a mere mile or two from my previous home to my new abode at Churchill College, and yet it feels as if everything has shifted: my centre of gravity is this crucial mile further west and everything … Continue reading →
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11:13 AM | What should ecologists learn LESS of?
There are lots of things that it would be nice for ecologists to know more of. Natural history. Math. Programming. Statistical techniques. The mathematical foundations of statistics. Philosophy of science. Genetics. Evolution. Other things. If you’re like me, you probably … Continue reading →
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10:57 AM | Peer review workshop at University of St Andrews
As you know, we’re supporting the Sense About Science “Nuts and Bolts” peer review workshops that are regularly held in the UK. The next one will be on November 21st at the University of St Andrews. If you’re an early career researcher in Scotland or the North of England, this is well worth an [...]
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2:23 AM | I have the grey hairs to prove it
Macquarie University has apparently noticed the grey hairs I'm starting to get, they announced last week that I am one of six new Distinguished Professors. On top of that, on the same day, the Macquarie University Research Excellence Awards were presented, and Karl Hassan and I won the Research Excellence Prize in Science and Engineering. They made 90 second videos summaries for each of the research projects nominated for an award. Here's the video for our project on identification of a new […]
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12:18 AM | Yeast 2.0 on the radio
I was interviewed on 2SER this morning on the topic of yeast 2.0, biofuels and beer.Transcript and podcast can be found here.Louise Brown came along for moral support and snapped this action shot of the back of my head:
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