December 05, 2014

3:00 PM | New Indonesian Flycatcher Species Confirmed, 15 Years After First Spotted
An international team of researchers confirmed that an Indonesian flycatcher first observed by birdwatchers in the 1990s is, in fact, a species previously unknown to science. An elusive bird first spotted on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi 15 years ago now has an official name: the Sulawesi streaked flycatcher (Muscicapa sodhii). Read more about the discovery on Nat Geo’s Weird & Wild blog: New Bird Species Confirmed in Indonesia, 15 Years After First Sighting .
1:49 AM | Single-cell level assay of protein biosynthesis and degradation
High-throughput detection of miRNAs and gene-specific mRNA at the single-cell level by flow cytometry Excerpt: “We use this technique to show modulation of a microRNA critical for T-cell function, miR-155. We adapt this assay for simultaneous detection of mRNA and...Read more

December 04, 2014

2:23 PM | Meet the Weird and Wonderful Wombat
They have tough rumps, backwards-facing pouches, and poop out cubes. Plus they walk with an adorable waddle. Learn more about wombats in my latest Zoologic post: The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About Wombats .
1:51 PM | Journal Club: Do pufferfishes hold their breath when inflated?
SUMMARY: A newly-published study by a team of Australian scientists reveals that inflated pufferfish do not hold their breath, that they continue to obtain oxygen across their gills as usual. The researchers also found that even though inflated pufferfish consume as much as five times more oxygen than when they are resting, they do not compensate for their increased energetic demands by absorbing oxygen through their skin. Bloat, the porcupine pufferfish from the 2003 comedy, Finding Nemo When […]
5:14 AM | Glycine and GnRH: Am I being pedantic?
Posted to the FB page on 12/3/14 at Skeptics; Atheists; Realists; Agnostics; Humanists Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox take part in Monty Python sketch – video Excerpt: “I think you are being pedantic.” My comment: Some people may think I am being pedantic. My...Read more

December 03, 2014

7:53 PM | The executioner within us and our homicidal fantasies
Great crimes are sometimes committed by small people. Vasili Blokhin was born in 1895 in a poor Russian peasant family and at the age of 15 worked as a bricklayer, until he was mobilized on the World War I’s front. After the Bolshevik Revolution in October 1917, he actively adheres to the Soviet power as […] The post The executioner within us and our homicidal fantasies appeared first on Social Ethology.
5:46 PM | The Fashionable Scientist
Science, being the awesome beast it is, recently landed a ten year old probe on a comet. My laptop is three years old and it’s already beginning to groan and whine. But you’ve probably heard and seen the commotion over … Continue reading →
3:30 PM | Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Giant Caterpillar of the Giant Leopard Moth
For the past two years, this has been the time of the fuzzy caterpillars. I’m used to seeing hundreds of furry little wormy guys hustling across the road at work and making their way through the grass.  This year, I’ve hardly seen any, but the best one was this impressive beast: That’s a giant leopard moth caterpillar, […]
2:18 PM | New Brain Facts: Mapping the Brain
To fully appreciate brain function, scientists need to know what’s going on in the various regions in the brain, as well as how those regions connect and communicate with each other. Scientists are creating detailed atlases of mouse brains and trying to map functional connections in human brains as part of the National BRAIN Initiative. Read the whole story at Mapping the Way Forward For Brain Research .

December 02, 2014

9:01 PM | Hippocampus vs navigation
  The post Hippocampus vs navigation appeared first on Maze Engineers.

December 01, 2014

10:29 PM | Great Reads for 2014
This weekend I went to my favorite local bookstore (Arcadia Books in Spring Green, WI) and spent a bundle on books as Christmas presents. Of course, I ended up buying a bunch for me too, because I love books almost as much as I love dogs. (Okay, I don’t really love books as much as […]
6:19 PM | Extensive molecular evidence vs ridiculous theories
Mosquito Genomes Galore Whole-genome sequences of 16 different mosquito species reveal rapid evolution and could inform malaria research. By Ruth Williams | November 27, 2014 Excerpt: “…mosquitoes are rapidly evolving, exhibiting high degrees of gene gains, losses, shuffling, and even...Read more
5:37 PM | Crocodilians Hunt With Tools!
A crocodile lures in birds with sticks that would make a nice nest. Photo by Dinets published in Ethology, Ecology & Evoluton 2013.What would happen to mankind if crocodiles and alligators were to develop enough intelligence that they could hunt with tools? Would we see the rise of new dominant species as in Rise of the Planet of the Apes? Well, shudder in your boots, people, because we are already there! This week at Accumulating Glitches I talk about the discovery of how […]
4:18 AM | Acknowledgements
My exit seminar is this Tuesday, and (assuming all goes well) I’ll be Dr. Weinersmith by this Friday. There are […]
2:58 AM | Thanksgiving Travels to the Yucatan
For the second Thanksgiving, I travelled abroad. This one was just as eye-opening as the first; when my best friend from high school and I went to Venice and I saved her dignity after she fell into the Venetian Canal in the blistering cold (no, we weren’t drunk; the walkways were dimly lit and very dark […]

November 30, 2014

7:34 PM | New Podcast: Lizards Can Learn by Imitation
Reptiles aren’t exactly known for their smarts. But maybe they’re just the victims of bad press. A new study shows lizards are capable of social learning through imitation, an ability previously thought to be limited to mammals and birds. Listen to my latest Experimental Podcast here: Lizard See, Lizard Do: First Evidence of Imitation in a Reptile .
7:19 PM | Chronicles of Athena – 18 Weeks
In the name of small anniversaries, Athena has now lived with me more than half of her life. Which might explain why she’s such a cheeky little madam. I can’t crouch down in the kitchen without having her leap up … Continue reading →
2:40 AM | Dual genomes: exposing the evolution industry
Multiple haplotype-resolved genomes reveal population patterns of gene and protein diplotypes Excerpt: “The CDP showed a significant overrepresentation of certain gene ontology (GO) groups (global tests Po0.001–0.009), using the programme FUNC23 (Methods). These groups included GPCRs, in particular olfactory receptors...Read more

November 29, 2014

8:22 PM | One test of bioenergetic health?
Success of new-generation metabolo-therapies in personalized medicine depends on measuring bioenergetic health Excerpt: “In one test, a comprehensive measure of energetic health, or its disease-related deterioration, can now be made. The prognostic and diagnostic value of bioenergetic measurements in patients...Read more

November 28, 2014

11:21 PM | Meaningful dialogue, anonymous fools and idiot minions
I use definitions to describe differences in behavior. I do not define biologically-based facts in attempts to make the definitions fit into the context of ridiculous theories about the development of behavior. I am not an idiot. An idiot is...Read more

November 27, 2014

2:53 AM | Epigenetic pharmacology and RNA-mediated transciptional landscapes
Last year, Vosshall’s group eliminated ideas about the involvement of beneficial mutations in the nutrient-dependent cell type differentiation of mosquitoes. orco mutant mosquitoes lose strong preference for humans and are not repelled by volatile DEET. This year her group showed...Read more

November 26, 2014

5:00 PM | Welfare Audit of Isla Nublar Facility
FAO INGEN GMT Re: Welfare Audit Isla Nublar Resort Welfare Audit of Isla Nublar Resort, Executive Summary The findings within are the final and mandated recommendations from this audit board and are summarised here. Dear Mr Hammond, Thank you for … Continue reading →
5:04 AM | RNA-mediated events and “The Theory of Everything”
The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time Co-author George F.R. Ellis won the 2004 Templeton Prize People like him are likely to recognize the top-down link from light-induced amino acid substitutions to epigenetically-effected neuronal structure and function. In my model, light-induced...Read more

November 25, 2014

4:05 PM | New Tool Use in a Bird
Under the right environmental conditions, and with a little innovation, great antshrikes prove they’re capable of cognitively flexibe tool use. Tool-use is a new behavior for this species – they’re using anvils to crack open the shells of invasive land snails. Read my latest Zoologic post: Faced With Invasive Snail, A Bird Learns to Use Tools .

November 24, 2014

10:25 PM | Do Dogs Distinguish Between “Training” and “Work”?
This is a throwback article, one that I originally wrote in August of 2008. I thought of it today because I’ve been going back and reading what I wrote about Willie when he was Maggie’s age. It’s been invaluable–so many things I forgot about Willie’s early years that I wouldn’t have remembered if I hadn’t […]
7:08 PM | Let’s Talk Turkey: 8 Surprising Facts About Turkeys
A wild male turkey struts his stuff. Photo by Lupin at Wikimedia Commons.1. Turkeys are all-American. The modern domesticated turkey is descended from the wild turkey of North America, which is essentially a pheasant. 2. Domestic turkeys can’t fly or have sex. Domestic turkeys have been bred to have enormous breast muscles for our dinner tables. Their breast muscles have become so large that these top-heavy birds have lost the ability to fly and even to have sex! Domestic turkey eggs now […]
2:55 PM | Caging horses
Standard practice in the horse world dictates that horses be stabled, and provided with food, water and a place to rest. This minimalistic requirement for keeping horses in stables is a clear limiting factor for the horse’s expression of normal behavioral repertoires which undoubtedly compromises well-being and welfare. A stall, whether you are selling vegetables … Continue reading Caging horses →

November 23, 2014

9:00 PM | Swarm Sunday: 11/9/14 – 11/22/14
  Just a few swarms to report from the last few weeks: USA: Tracy, CA Spain: Estepona And here is the US map for the last two weeks: Red pins are static swarms, yellow pins are migratory. Click the map to enlarge! Only 2 swarms in two weeks, but both were migratory, including one international sighting in […]
6:57 PM | Chronicles of Athena – 17 Weeks
My little baby is almost a grown up cat these days, everyone who sees her comments on how big she’s getting, which is very gratifying considering how skinny malinky she was for so long. It has been a crazily busy … Continue reading →
4:38 PM | Birdbooker Report 348
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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