Posts

March 03, 2015

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1:51 AM | When Is It Time to Put Down a Dog Who is Aggressive to People?
If there is anything harder than euthanizing a beloved dog for serious behavioral problems, I don’t know what it is. And yet, sometimes, that is an option that dog owners have to consider. These were some of the hardest cases I worked with when I was seeing clients full time. I would drive home, sick […]

March 02, 2015

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3:45 PM | Choosing Mates Wisely Is All The More Important When They Try To Eat You
A praying mantid pair. Photo by Oliver Koemmerling at Wikimedia Commons.Choosing our mates is among the most important decisions of our lives. We agonize over finding "the one", and for good reason. If we are going to spend the rest of our lives with one person and depend on that person to help create and raise our children, the stakes of choosing that person well are high. But at least we don't have to worry that if we choose wrong our partner will bite our head off... not literally, […]
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2:54 PM | New Creature Feature: The Coelacanth
The coelacanth (pronounced SEEL-uh-kanth) is an enormous, bottom-dwelling fish that is unlike other living fishes in a number of ways. They belong to an ancient lineage that has been around for more than 360 million years. Coelacanths can reach more than six feet long and weigh about 200 pounds, and they’re covered in thick, scaly armor. It’s estimated they can live up to 60 years or more. Read about what makes them so unique here: The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About the […]
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2:45 PM | The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About the Coelacanth
The coelacanth (pronounced SEEL-uh-kanth) is an enormous, bottom-dwelling fish that is unlike other living fishes in a number of ways. They belong to an ancient lineage that has been around for more than 360 million years. Coelacanths can reach more than six feet long and weigh about 200 pounds, and they’re covered in thick, scaly […] The post The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About the Coelacanth appeared first on WIRED.
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1:27 PM | Birdbooker Report 362
SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read […]

March 01, 2015

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4:02 AM | Reverse phosphorylation
See for review: Let there be anti-entropic light (1)   Squid are hyper-editors when it comes to RNA This is a great summary of what is currently known about anti-entropic light and nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated pheromone-controlled cell type differentiation. Excerpt: “During...Read more
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3:01 AM | An Optical Illusion As Seen By a Fish
Visual illusions are fun: we know with our rational mind that, for example, these lines are parallel to each other, yet they don’t appear that way. Similarly, I could swear that squares A and B are... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

February 28, 2015

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11:57 PM | Peacocks Produce Sounds We Can’t Hear
If you’re lucky enough, you may have seen a peacock displaying to a female. It’s an impressive event to witness: the peacock spreads and ruffles his enormous, brightly coloured tail feathers for a... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:01 AM | RNA-mediated repurposing in microbes and adapations in primate brains
Human-specific gene ARHGAP11B promotes basal progenitor amplification and neocortex expansion Excerpt: “…the C-terminal 47 amino-acids of ARHGAP11B (after lysine-220) constitute not only a unique sequence, resulting from a frameshifting deletion (fig. S10), but also are functionally distinct from their counterpart...Read more
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2:12 AM | A Dragonfly Story
I’ve been sick the last several days and I’m not up to writing a whole Friday 5 blog post today, but I still wanted to get SOMETHING up today.  So, I’m going to tell you a story.  It’s a story about this dragonfly: That’s a blue dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) and it is a largely unremarkable […]

February 27, 2015

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9:50 PM | Fluffy Friday – Citizen Science Tackles The Dress
So there’s this dress right . . . Last night I was doing some stand up science in the pub with Eu:Sci which was a huge amount of fun (thanks for the invite guys!) and then I may possibly have … Continue reading →
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4:53 PM | RNA-mediated “repurposing” is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled
 Evolutionary resurrection of flagellar motility via rewiring of the nitrogen regulation system Excerpt: The fast-spreading strain AR2F had acquired an additional point mutation in the σ54-dependent EBP gene ntrC, which alters an amino acid (R442C) within the DNA binding domain...Read more

February 26, 2015

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4:27 AM | From 3-D to epigenetically-effected 4-D genome make-up
Discoveries in 3-D Genome Make-Up and Genetic Changes: Clarification of differences amidst chromosome pairs and how gene expression is effected by chromosome folding Excerpt: “…offers a useful guide for future studies of the epigenome’s function in our evolution and diseases...Read more
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1:30 AM | Bad Weather for Insects (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)
This is what my backyard looked like yesterday: … and after melting off completely today, is what it will look like again tomorrow.  That’s not good insect weather right there…  I’m really ready for spring! _______________ Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

February 25, 2015

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6:39 PM | #StreetDog
No post tonight – whyever not?   Perhaps FluffySciences is too busy planning a social media assault . . .   Who knows?   #StreetDog

February 24, 2015

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8:11 AM | Shelf Life: the Olinguito’s Skull
SUMMARY: Instead of travelling to remote locations in faraway countries, scientists sometimes discover a new species by looking a little more closely at an old specimen in a museum drawer. Today’s video is from the American Museum of Natural History. It is the fourth episode in their year-long Shelf Life video series. Shelf Life is a bite-sized video exploration of some of the many natural treasures housed at the AMNH, how these specimens came to be there, the stories they... Read more
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1:04 AM | Let there be anti-entropic light (1)
Summary: Light-induced amino acid substitutions link cell type differentiation in plants to nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction in animals via the biophysically constrained chemistry of protein folding. Protein folding is perturbed by mutations that limit the ability of organisms to adapt to...Read more

February 23, 2015

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11:25 PM | Humans in the Wild.
This recent publication comes out of the lab of my graduate mentor. We actually brainstormed this experiment over libations on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Sometimes, the best science comes to mind outside of the lab and when your guard is down. Anyways, Adam, DG, and a group of undergrads sorted through the power grid of […]

Stowie, A., Amacarelli, M., Crosier, C., Mymko, R. & Glass, J. (2014). Circadian analysis of large human populations: Inferences from the power grid, Chronobiology International, 1-7. DOI: 10.3109/07420528.2014.965316

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8:21 PM | Winter Through the Lens
Just a few photos today. I’ve recently returned from San Antonio, celebrating my amazing sister Dr. Wendy Barker, at the Festschrift put on in her honor by her colleagues at the University of Texas, San Antonio. She is the real writer in the family, and I wish that each of you could have been there […]
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7:06 PM | An epigenetic trap (the prequel)
See also: An epigenetic trap (the sequel) Excerpt: “Support for the link from one epigenetic trap to cell type differentiation was included in the molecular epigenetics section of our 1996 review, which detailed how RNA-mediated chromatin remodeling occurs.” My comment:...Read more
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5:06 PM | Birdbooker Report 361
SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read […]
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3:06 PM | Effects of Iron Deficiency in Female Runners (A Guest Post)
By Ana Breit When people think of nutritional deficiencies, they probably picture women with goiters due to lack of iodine or other newsworthy examples. In reality, the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States is iron deficiency. Iron Deficiency (ID) is especially common in endurance athletes, especially female athletes. Start of 2013 Roy Griak Invitational Cross Country Meet at the University of Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Larson.Iron is the metal in humans […]

Auersperger I, Škof B, Leskošek B, Knap B, Jerin A & Lainscak M (2013). Exercise-induced changes in iron status and hepcidin response in female runners., PloS one, 8 (3) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23472137

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5:10 AM | My Blacklighting Rig
Imagine this.  You and some buddies pack a bunch of stuff into a truck or SUV or Subaru and head off into the wild for the night.  You carry with you some snacks, perhaps an adult beverage or two, a headlamp (because it’s going to be dark out there!), and some gear.  When you arrive […]

February 22, 2015

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6:19 PM | Chronicles of Athena – 30 Weeks
Those of you who have been following Athena from the beginning will remember she has a strong predilection for chewing wires. I used to be one of these pinterest addicts with fairy lights everywhere, the mood lighting in my life … Continue reading →
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5:37 PM | I get emails: Do Dolphins Have Prehensile Penises?
I’ve been busy these past weeks/months working on a new writing project, but I just had to take a few moments today to answer an intriguing question I received from a curious reader.  Especially since it involves a dolphin-science myth – something I always enjoy investigating. He/she writes: “There’s this common myth about male dolphins [&hellip
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5:12 AM | My Blacklighting Rig
Imagine this.  You and some buddies pack a bunch of stuff into a truck or SUV or Subaru and head off into the wild for the night.  You carry with you some snacks, perhaps an adult beverage or two, a headlamp (because it’s going to be dark out there!), and some gear.  When you arrive […]

February 21, 2015

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5:35 AM | Five Bad Photos of California’s Winter Invertebrates (Friday 5 – on Saturday)
Whew! It’s been a really busy few weeks! I recently received a grant to start up a citizen science after school program (which you’ll hear all about at some point – it involves bugs!!) and have poured almost every moment of my work time into that since the beginning of February. Then, right in the […]

February 20, 2015

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11:10 PM | Imagining that data historically supports evolutionary theory
1) Arguments in the evo-devo debate: say it with flowers! Abstract excerpt: A key question in evolutionary developmental biology is how DNA sequence changes have directed the evolution of morphological diversity. The widely accepted view was that morphological changes resulted...Read more

February 19, 2015

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10:31 PM | Urbanisation is changing the way birds sing
In 1800 only 3% of the world’s population lived in urban areas, yet as the industrial revolution picked up pace in the early 18th and 19th centuries the number of people moving […]
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12:15 AM | Atheism: Arrogant, useless, and divisive ignorance
Scientific Seeker Stuart Kauffman on Free Will, God, ESP and Other Mysteries By John Horgan | February 4, 2015 Excerpt: Horgan: What do you make of the antipathy toward religion expressed by Richard Dawkins and other “New Atheists?” Kauffman: … moral...Read more
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