Posts

April 12, 2015

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7:33 PM | Whale & dolphin meat tested in Japan exceeds mercury limits
GR: The two issues exposed here are animal protection, and environmental pollution. We shouldn't be killing and eating increasingly rare species, and we should stop polluting the oceans. Continue reading →
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2:39 PM | Evils of the Livestock Industry
Full acceptance of Leopold's land ethic requires that we consume a fully vegan diet, release all imprisoned animals, and do what we can to preserve and protect wildlife and wildlife habitat. Sometimes called biocentric ethics, Leopold's land ethic, that I prefer to call the Earth Ethic, is the only sensible behavior for our species. Anything else will lead to eventual decline and extinction of life on our planet. Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | A Tech Touch: Connecting Beaches, Parks, and Big Data
Smart city technology is going beyond data-collecting sensors in streetlights and on garbage containers. It’s expanding to beaches and parks, creating a feedback loop that will allow local Barcelona Metropolitan Area officials to better manage public spaces. This technology adds a layer of big-data information that, ideally, will help cities fill gaps where their smart … Continue reading A Tech Touch: Connecting Beaches, Parks, and Big Data →
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12:19 PM | A symbiosis toolkit: genetic analysis of mycorrhiza evolution
I wanted to write a bit more about my PhD and what I have been up to. However, I broke my knee 5 weeks ago playing rugby: rupturing two cruciate ligaments and fracturing my tibia… So I have been away from the lab. During an extended procrastination break I did however get chance to write this brief post, simplified to my level of understanding, about a recent Nature Genetics paper on the phylogenies of mycorrhizal fungi.  Mycorrhizal fungi form key association with plants. They […]
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10:30 AM | Publication requirements for graduation are a terrible idea
I’ve come across two cases in my relatively brief foray into post-PhD science where students at either the MSc or PhD level were faced with a requirement from their academic department to have n papers accepted/published, and n papers submitted for publication … Continue reading →
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4:11 AM | Greater sage-grouse face serious global warming threat
Sage-grouse and most other species on Earth are threatened by human progress and development that pollute the land and fill the air with heat-trapping gasses. Continue reading →
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4:04 AM | IUCN – Human development and biodiversity conservation can go hand in hand, study finds
What are our global development goals? Total annihilation of nature? The Trantor of Asimov's novel? The words "development" and "progress" are words that are used by those that seek to profit from human desires and fears. Continue reading →
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12:54 AM | 8 maps showing American lands are changing
“Maps are great tool for locating wildlands and wilderness areas we might want to visit, but they can also tell us much more. Maps can shed light on much larger stories about our changing country and our disappearing wilderness. “In … Continue reading →

April 11, 2015

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1:03 PM | Top Ten Cutest African Animal Babies
There are lots of amazing species that live at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, like the adorable animal babies featured in this top ten!
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11:38 AM | Sleeping hummingbird "snores" | @GrrlScientist
In today’s “Caturday” video, we watch a hummingbird “snoring” as she awakens from torpor in a small environmental chamber at a research station in PeruA few weeks ago, a twitter follower asked me if birds snore. I told her that snoring in birds is a sign of trouble requiring immediate veterinary intervention. But that question did make me ponder “snoring” in birds because, depending upon how you define “snoring”, you could claim that […]

April 10, 2015

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9:57 PM | FAQ, and answers thereto #3
The latest in a light-hearted look at the search terms folks use to find The Lab and Field.   kroodsma (2000, auk 117:1081–1083) Probably one of the most under-appreciated papers. You should really read it.   gay canadian scientists *waves*   how … Continue reading →
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9:21 PM | Researchers: Texting and driving bans reduce crash-related hospitalizations
Today, nearly every state in the country has a law that bans texting while driving. But do these laws make a difference?
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9:17 PM | Googly Eyes on Dogwood: Schizoxylon alboatrum
For a few weeks now, people all over the internet have been ecstatically posting pictures of their first morels of the year—people who obviously don't live in central Ontario. No morels here. Here there's still plenty of snow in the woods, so I don't expect any Morchella to poke up for at least another couple of weeks. But who cares? Even when I'm still wearing my winter scarf and earmuffs I can find even better things than morels. Well, not better for eating, I admit, but better in […]
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5:00 PM | Gorillas (genomes) in the mist
Mountain gorillas are an endangered great ape subspecies that number around 800 individuals, inhabiting mountain ranges in central Africa. They have been the subject of numerous field studies, but few genetic analyses have been carried out. Xue et al. (2015) sequenced … Continue reading →
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4:04 PM | Quick Tip for NSF DDIG Appliers
I just got back my NSF DDIG reviews, and I learnt something about the process that I think might be useful for others to know–do NOT expect reviewers to read anything more than the Project Description, or integrate information provided … Continue reading →
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2:56 PM | New Books Party: books that arrived recently | @GrrlScientist
This week’s books include a biochemist’s reasoning that protons are the fundamental reason that life evolved in the way it did; a botanist’s assertion that plants are intelligent beings; and an exploration of one of the basic principles of geology, plate tectonicsThe Vital Question: Why is life the way it is? by Nick Lane [352 pages, Profile Books; 2015; Guardian Bookshop; Amazon UK hardcover/Kindle UK; Amazon US hardcover/Kindle] Continue reading...
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2:26 PM | Plantwise on show at Afghan Annual AgFair
by Muhammad Faheem, Country Coordinator (m.faheem@cabi.org) and Zakria Faizi, CABI Associate, Afghanistan (faizizakria@yahoo.com) The annual AgFair exhibition was held from 21st to 23rd March in Badam Bagh, Kabul, Afghanistan, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL). The participants were from the government, non-governmental, private sector and farmer organizations. In this exhibition the […]
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2:25 PM | Liste de dix espèces d’oiseaux qui passent l’hiver au Canada
Vous pouvez aider ces oiseaux en construisant une mangeoire à oiseaux et de la remplir avec des friandises délicieuses
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12:00 PM | Recommended Reads #50
If the names Gould, Lewontin, EO Wilson, DS Wilson, Dobzhansky, or Tinbergen mean something to you, then oh my gosh you’ll find this interview very illuminating. It’s amazing, with a few decades of perspective, how frank people will be about their own experiences. Seriously, if you haven’t read this, I really really recommend you read…
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11:46 AM | Friday links: other people hate you (and that’s ok), R should be optional, RABBITS, and more
Also this week: sleep vs. you, Tony Ives vs. statistical machismo, tips for gender-balancing your seminar series, the origin of deanlets, a rare retraction in ecology, why ecologists and evolutionary biologists give good talks, and more. Lots of good stuff … Continue reading →
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9:48 AM | Update: Plant Health News (10 Apr 15)
Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the identification of genes that increase resistance to potato late blight, improved onion storage in Burkina Faso and the identification of a natural bacterium that kills plantain moth larvae. Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news! […]
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7:49 AM | Tern the Tide
In a previous blog post we wrote about the Little Tern conservation project at Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow, which we worked on last summer. While working on this project we recorded a unique behavioural response from Little Terns in a response to inundation by high tides, which we have published in the latest issue of Irish Birds and write about below. Little Terns nest in a scrape on shingle beaches and rely entirely on their camouflage for protection. Therefore they are acutely vulnerable to […]
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7:28 AM | A Feast of Fynbos: The Kirstenbosch Annual Plant Fair
Oxalis pers-caprae (Cape Sorrel) is a common member of the Oxalidaceae family. It is an integral ingredient of the traditional winter Cape stew 'Waterblommetjie Bredie'Photo: Alice NottenMuraltia spinosa (Tortoise Berry) has edible fruit that are rich in Vitamin C Photo: Alice NottenThis week Notes from a Cape Town Botanist is reporting on the upcoming Kirstenbosch Plant Fair, one of the most exciting events and fundraisers in the South African Botanical Society’s calendar. Come […]
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1:00 AM | Resource Convertibility (Part 2)
guest post by Tobias Fritz In Part 1, I introduced ordered commutative monoids as a mathematical formalization of resources and their convertibility. Today I’m going to say something about what to do with this formalization. Let’s start with a quick recap! Definition: An ordered commutative monoid is a set equipped with a binary relation a […]
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12:50 AM | Creature Feature XIV: Vasaka and Heliconia
Oops, forgot to post last month’s Creature Feature, on pollination syndromes in an Old World and a New World plant. Here it is! This piece is based primarily on the following papers: Shivanna (2009). Pollination biology, breeding system, and reproductive … Continue reading →

April 09, 2015

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9:18 PM | Scrum-like lab meetings
Organising successful lab meetings is not an easy task, specially when your group may not have a critical mass of PhD’s and PostDocs. Main aims of the meetings for most labs I’ve been include 1) stay up-to-date on what people is … Continue reading →
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5:32 PM | How You Can Help Lions, Elephants, Rhinos and Zebras!
Find out how Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is protecting some of the most endangered species!
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3:36 PM | Tiny sea turtles are swimmers, not drifters
Wild ThingsAnimals,Oceans by Sarah Zielinski 12:00pm, April 9, 2015 Scientists have long thought green sea turtles and other sea turtles species drifted passively in the oceans. But by tagging 44 turtles, including this green turtle yearling, researchers have found that the animals are swimming.Univ. of Central Florida (with NMFS Permit #16733)It has long been thought that after sea […]
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2:04 PM | NASA: Evidence for Global Climate Change
This report by NASA should resolve questions that many have about the causes of global warming. Explanations such as sun spots and wobble of the Earth's axis are not enough. Human produced CO2 is taking us far beyond what natural phenomenon can accomplish. Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | Visualizing Linkage Disequilibrium in R
Patterns of Linkage Disequilibrium (LD) across a genome has multiple implications for a population’s ancestral demography. For instance, population bottlenecks predictably result in increased LD, LD between SNP’s in loci under natural selection affect each others rates of adaptive evolution, selfing/inbreeding populations … Continue reading →
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