Posts

August 01, 2014

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4:11 AM | 12th International Conference on Salt Lake Research: summary and analysis of outcomes
The 12th International Conference on Salt Lake Research was successfully held on July 14–18, 2014 in China. The conference was jointly organized by the International Society for Salt Lake Research (ISSLR) and Research and Development Center for Saline Lake and … Continue reading →

July 31, 2014

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9:11 PM | Q & A with Tyler Vitone
It’s always fun to have visiting scientists come to our lab — it gives us a chance to show off our beautiful campus and city and, mostly, reinvigorates us and reminds us why we do what we do. Plus we get to eat ice cream in the middle of the day using the thinly veiled excuse: “It’s made right here on campus!” Tyler Vitone, a master’s student in Andrea Lucky’s lab at the University of Florida, drove up to Raleigh this week to meet with the Dunn Lab and […]
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7:51 PM | The frontal cortex, freeing you from the straightjacket of genes
Robert Sapolsky – possibly the best neurobiologist science writer – has an article on teenagers and the krazy stuff they do: Around the onset of adolescence, the frontal cortex is the only brain region that has not reached adult levels of grey matter, made up of neuronal cell bodies. It would seem logical that gray matter […]
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7:06 PM | Forget the war for biodiversity, it’s just war.
A contributed essay from Professor Rosaleen Duffy, Professor of Political Ecology of Development, SOAS, University of London. Conservationists are facing some difficult and critically important choices over how to conserve elephants and rhinos in the wake of a rapid rise … Continue reading →
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2:41 PM | Biohackers Are Growing Real Cheese In A Lab, No Cow Needed
Real vegan cheese. It’s not an oxymoron, it’s a miracle of synthetic biology. Source: www.fastcoexist.com Genetic engineering on a small budget with a super goal. Filed under: Nature Conservation
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2:32 PM | Scientists discover vast methane plumes escaping from Arctic seafloor | EarthSky.org
“We are sniffing methane. We see the bubbles on video from the camera … All analysis tells the signs. We are in a mega flare.” Source: earthsky.org The significance of the mega flare is uncertain.  The research team is working … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Conferences need students: make them affordable
People go to conferences for a variety of reasons. Conferences are used to align future research priorities, and students and postdocs can “network.” Meetings also provide an opportunity to travel to cool places and take a vacation. When conferences are in fancy places, they might attract more people, but only those who can afford to go. We…
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11:37 AM | Guest post: where to eat and drink at #ESA2014
Note from Jeremy: This is a guest post from Chris Hamn, who until recently was a postdoc in the Dept. of Evolution and Ecology at UC Davis. Thanks very much to Chris for taking the time to write up his … Continue reading →
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1:36 AM | The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Updates
Rapid response to any wildlife emergency is vital in determining the ultimate outcome of any mission.  Every week the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Kenya Wildlife Service field teams operating within the greater Tsavo Conservation Area are tasked with the huge responsibility … Continue reading →
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12:26 AM | Deer at Coldwater Farm
We have two new fawns! Continue reading →

July 30, 2014

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10:47 PM | Wind Energy Now Cheaper than Coal
“Wind power today is cheaper than other forms of energy, not least because of a big commitment and professionalism in the field. This is true both for researchers, companies and politicians.” Continue reading →
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9:38 PM | Some thoughts about mine safety penalties
Mine safety penalties are pretty meaningless if they aren't paid, and more so if they aren't assessed.
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7:50 PM | Wordless Wednesday July 30
Tagged: Ecology, nature, reptiles, turtle, Wordless Wednesdays
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3:58 PM | ISI 2013 impact factors for the top 40 ecology journals
The new impact factors (for 2013) are out, and as in the last years (JCR 2012, JCR 2011 and JCR 2010), I list the 40 most highly cited journals indexed by the ISI Web of Knowledge under the subject “ecology”. To give you a reference to the general journals: Nature is now at 42.351, Science…
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3:24 PM | Update: Plant Health News (30 Jul 14)
Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the effects of typhoons in Taiwan and China, a new strategy for almond irrigation in California and a crackdown on fake seed sellers in Kenya. Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news! Agricultural losses from Typhoon […]
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3:07 PM | The public sphere of neuroscience
I have complained in the past about the lack of a blogosphere in neuroscience. And it’s not just bad for the community – it’s bad for the scientists, too. Here is a short selection from a piece on how twitter and blogs are not just an add-on to academic research: A lot of early career […]
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2:46 PM | Influenza: How the Great War helped create the greatest pandemic the world has ever known | @GrrlScientist
The Great War helped create the influenza pandemic of 1918, which eventually brought an early end to the Great War.I had a little bird,Its name was Enza. I opened the window,And in-flu-enza. ~ Children's Skipping Rhyme, 1918 Like most rhymes that one learns as a child, I had no idea at the time what this one meant, nor did I ponder its possible meaning as I grew older. But one afternoon, this poem's significance became startlingly clear to me. As I sat in a large university lecture hall where […]

Taubenberger J.K. (2006). 1918 Influenza: the Mother of All Pandemics, Emerging Infectious Diseases, 12 (1) 15-22. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1201.050979

Gamblin S.J. (2004). The Structure and Receptor Binding Properties of the 1918 Influenza Hemagglutinin, Science, 303 (5665) 1838-1842. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1093155

Barry J.M. (2004). The site of origin of the 1918 influenza pandemic and its public health implications (Commentary), Journal of Translational Medicine, 2 (3) DOI: 10.1186/1479-5876-2-3

Humphries M.O. (2014). Paths of Infection: The First World War and the Origins of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, War in History, 21 (1) 55-81. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0968344513504525

Osterholm M.T. (2005). Preparing for the Next Pandemic, New England Journal of Medicine, 352 1839-1842. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp058068

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2:21 PM | Occupational Health News Roundup
McDonald's ruling could be a major turning point for the fast food worker movement; federal commission clarifies rules for pregnant workers; miners with black lung may have been wrongly denied benefits; and a new OSHA whistleblower partnership is launched to support commercial carrier workers.
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1:29 PM | Tetrodotoxin-resistant snakes
This post will soon become available in Spanish.An adult male Taricha granulosa in breeding condition.There is enough tetrodotoxin in this newt to kill youand about 29 other people.Gartersnakes eat newts. I mentioned this remarkable fact in my article on the Scientific American Guest Blog, but it's interesting enough to warrant a more detailed treatment. In 1990, Edmund D. Brodie III and his father, Edmund D. Brodie Jr, published a paper in the […]
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12:36 PM | The Answer to Yesterday’s Plant Quiz
Many thanks to everyone who guessed at the identity of the plant species featured in yesterday’s post.  Here is another photo of the same plant species in bloom, from a little further away.  The species is commonly named “buckbrush”, which actually … Continue reading →
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11:36 AM | #ESA2014 bingo!
The bottom-left corner is pretty much a free cell.Filed under: Just for fun, Meeting previews and reviews
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5:20 AM | Climate Change? No, and Even If…
Visit the post for more. Source: cartoonmick.wordpress.comFiled under: Nature Conservation
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12:49 AM | The King’s Decree of 7-28-14, “Regarding the United States Navy and the destruction of Hawai’i’s marine environment”
It is difficult to find words to adequately characterize the the behavior of the United States foreign military forces now using Hawaiian waters for their war games, with little to no regard for the destruction such behavior is causing to our delicate ecosystem and marine life. Continue reading →

July 29, 2014

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11:44 PM | The control of nature: stewardship of fire ecology by native Californian cultures
Before the colonial era, 100,000s of people lived on the land now called California, and many of their cultures manipulated fire to control the availability of plants they used for food, fuel, tools, and ritual. Contemporary tribes continue to use fire to maintain desired habitat and natural resources.
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11:43 PM | Protect tigers: Keep them out of American backyards
We are eradicating tigers worldwide. Numbers are down from around 100,000 to less than 10,000. Today is International Tiger Day. Show your support by signing two petitions. Continue reading →
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11:05 PM | The Enemy of My Enemy Means More Food–Monkeys Use Human Shields
The human species a major driver of biodiversity loss across the globe. Occasionally, however, that propensity for extermination can become an advantage for animals that associate with us. What could be better protection from competing species than the presence of a menace that threatens wildlife? Sometimes, being the enemy of an enemy can turn us into a "friend"--or at least the lesser of two evils. This issue was highlighted in recent study involving the samango monkey (Cercopithecus mitis […]
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7:43 PM | Predation in Action!
Last week, I led a group of students and postdocs from the Entomology Department at NC State on an expedition to collect bees at the nearby JC Raulston Arboretum. We’re working on a project to investigate how urbanization affects the native bee community and their health. The Arboretum was a bee paradise! We saw over 20 different species of native bees in the course of an hour. Then a tussle happening mid-air caught our attention. At first we thought we had observed a pair of bumblebees […]
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4:32 PM | Are silly superstitions useful because they are silly?
(Attention warning: massive speculation ahead.) Auguries often seem made up, useless. Is that why they are useful? Dove figured that the birds must be serving as some kind of ecological indicator. Perhaps they gravitated toward good soil, or smaller trees, or some other useful characteristic of a swidden site. After all, the Kantu’ had been […]

Cockburn, J., Collins, A. & Frank, M. (2014). A Reinforcement Learning Mechanism Responsible for the Valuation of Free Choice, Neuron, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.06.035

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3:12 PM | Whales and ships don’t mix well
Wild ThingsOceans,Animals by Sarah Zielinski 11:14am, July 29, 2014 Researchers from Oregon State University tagged this blue whale in 2006. Tracking blue whales off California has revealed that their feeding areas overlap with shipping lanes.Oregon State Univ./Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)Being the largest creature on Earth hasn’t been much protection for blue whales. They were nearly wiped out […]
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1:31 PM | It’s all about the variance: science and life at N > 2
Variation is the grist for, and the flour from, the evolutionary mill. Without variation, no evolution occurs. With variation, evolution can generate even more variation by causing organisms in different environments to evolve different traits. We all know this, and we proceed accordingly in our research; but perhaps we too often take it for granted. Only sometimes are we smacked in the face by variation in such a way that it makes us pause and re-evaluate the way we view the world. Well, […]
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