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Posts

April 08, 2014

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7:29 PM | ‘Primitive’ cardiovascular systems
A 520-million year old cardiovascular system: It was both modern and unsophisticated. A simple, tubelike heart was buried in the creature’s belly—or thorax—and shot single blood vessels into the 20 or so segments of its primitive body. In contrast, x-ray scans of the specimen revealed profoundly intricate channels in the head and neck. The brain […]
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4:01 PM | Pictures say a thousand words: OSHA Silica Hearings week #3
OSHA's public hearing on its proposed regulation on respirable crystalline silica concluded last week. Some of the final witnesses included the American Petroleum Institute and the Laborers' Health and Safety Fund.
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3:23 PM | Plantwise Newsletter out now!
Check out the latest news and updates on activities of Plantwise and partners around the world. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox by emailing plantwise@cabi.org  Filed under: Agriculture Tagged: media, news, Plantwise, subscribe
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3:05 PM | Information theory of behavior
Biology can tell us what but theory tells us why. There is a new issue of Current Opinion in Neurobiology that focuses on the theory and computation in neuroscience. There’s tons of great stuff there, from learning and memory to the meaning of a spike to the structure of circuitry. I have an article in this issue and […]

Sharpee, T., Calhoun, A. & Chalasani, S. (2014). Information theory of adaptation in neurons, behavior, and mood, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 25 47-53. DOI:

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2:42 PM | Imagine not getting the PhD you’d been working towards… #datadramas
What would happen if you lost all of your research data? The loss of scientific data can have a devastating impact on careers. Imagine if you lost all of the research data you’d been diligently collecting for four years. Now imagine the knock-on effect; you wouldn’t get the PhD you’d been working towards and your future career would be impacted. This nightmare situation actually happened to Billy Hinchen. Hear his story.  Read more
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2:42 PM | Imagine not getting the PhD you’d been working towards… #datadramas
What would happen if you lost all of your research data? The loss of scientific data can have a devastating impact on careers. Imagine if you lost all of the research data you’d been diligently collecting for four years. Now imagine the knock-on effect; you wouldn’t get the PhD you’d been working towards and your future career would be impacted. This nightmare situation actually happened to Billy Hinchen. Hear his story.  Read more
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2:09 PM | Batmen (may) save your bank and put rice on your plate
[Another version of this article was first published on SciDev.net] Bats that prey on a major insect pest of paddy in Thailand could help ensure food security and save paddy harvest worth millions of dollars, according to a paper published in Biological Conservation. A team of German and Thai scientists modeled the predation of the […]
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12:16 PM | Hubbard Fellowship Blog – First Burn of the Season
It’s burn season on the Platte and our team is foaming at the mouth to get some fire on the ground. Prescribed fire is completely dependent on suitable weather conditions, so almost every day we wake up hopeful to burn, … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Readers Write In: What is this Ohio Snake?
I found this snake in my yard in Northeast Ohio. It is not aggressive at all and is prob less than 12 inches do you know what it is? I did not keep this snake I let him go. I only kept him long enough to take pictures I just want to make sure there aren't dangerous snakes around my house! Kara Ohio Readers: What is this Snake? ----- Snake Identification Post Ground Rules -Guesses
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11:21 AM | Emily Anthes discusses how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends
Emily Anthes is a science journalist and author. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Scientific American, Psychology Today, BBC Future, SEED, Discover, Popular Science, Slate, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.  Read more
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11:21 AM | Emily Anthes discusses how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends
Emily Anthes is a science journalist and author. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Scientific American, Psychology Today, BBC Future, SEED, Discover, Popular Science, Slate, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.  Read more
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11:00 AM | Why forests are full of trees
Forest trees have a long-standing niche in ecologists’ quest to unravel how so many species can coexist on so little . . .

April 07, 2014

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11:59 PM | A re-SMARCable finding
On March 23, Nature Genetics published 3 related papers reporting the finding that SMARCA4 is frequently mutated in a rare ovarian cancer type, small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) [Jelinic et al 2014, Ramos et al 2014, Witkowski et al 2014]  … Read more
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11:59 PM | A re-SMARCable finding
On March 23, Nature Genetics published 3 related papers reporting the finding that SMARCA4 is frequently mutated in a rare ovarian cancer type, small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) [Jelinic et al 2014, Ramos et al 2014, Witkowski et al 2014]  … Read more
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10:19 PM | Sage grouse struts his stuff
Like gyms or bars, lekking grounds are social performance spaces, where males spread their tail-feathers, inflate their impressive chests, and strut about, calling amorously to the lady birds. Ecologist Gail Patricelli of UC Davis captured this video of a lek near Hudson, Wyoming. US Fish and Wildlife Service named the grouse’s habitat, the Great Plains sage-steppe, one of the most imperiled ecosystems in America.
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10:12 PM | Serving Up Beer (and Science!)
Generally speaking, any time we get to leave the confines of our labs and offices to engage the public in the science of their daily lives, we’re pretty stoked. When that public engagement has something to do with BEER, well, that’s just AWESOME. So was the case Saturday when Your Wild Life, in partnership with the NC Science Festival and the NC State Brewing Lab, set up shop in the Science of Beer Tent at the World Beer Festival in downtown Raleigh. We served up samples of three […]
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9:28 PM | Emporia Expedition: Kansas Entomological Society 2014 Meeting
Saturday was the 2014 meeting of the Kansas Entomological Society in Emporia, Kansas, and I joined the University of Arkansas delegation on the 4 hour trip to attend. The week leading up to the meeting was stressful, with preparing my talk and not feeling well towards the end of the week, but everything worked out fine.I will say that I need to start preparing my talks sooner. I'm apt to procrastinate, which gives me a tendency to put off writing my talks until a few days before I give it. This […]
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7:17 PM | Peaks and Valleys in the Genome
(This post is by Marius – I am just putting it up. Andrew.)Driven by methodological advances, evolutionary biology is currently much concerned with understanding the way selection shapes the genome. In the search for such signatures of selection – and ultimately the loci associated with them – we often pursue a similar strategy: we compare populations at thousands of genetic markers with the hope of finding genomic regions of particularly high or low differentiation relative […]
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5:45 PM | Talking “rubbish” with the environment minister
Sitting down with Minister of Environment Laila Iskandar at Alexandria’s ongoing Biovision conference, she talked to Nature Middle East about going back to the basics in terms of solid waste sorting and recycling–a thing that was overdue, according to her.  Read more
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5:45 PM | Talking “rubbish” with the environment minister
Sitting down with Minister of Environment Laila Iskandar at Alexandria’s ongoing Biovision conference, she talked to Nature Middle East about going back to the basics in terms of solid waste sorting and recycling–a thing that was overdue, according to her.  Read more
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4:41 PM | Birdbooker Report 315
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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2:29 PM | Texas farmers fear arrival of new Dust Bowl
“Texas farmers fear arrival of new Dust Bowl  Those who have lived in America most of their lives know a little something of the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Now, Texans are becoming concerned about … Continue reading →
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2:14 PM | World Week for Animals in Laboratories
April 20-26, 2014 Please Help End the Needless Abuse of Animals for Cosmetics Testing Please join In Defense of Animals (IDA) and others for World Week for Animals in Laboratories. IDA is sponsorin… See on donlichterman.wordpress.comFiled under: Nature Conservation
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2:10 PM | Recall: Something Even Nastier than Usual Lurks in Tyson Chicken Nuggets!!!
Sunday, April 6, 2014 Recall: Something Even Nastier than Usual Lurks in Tyson Chicken Nuggets Daisy Luther Activist Post Just in case chicken “nuggets” aren’t disgusting enough, now Tyson has been… See on inprisonedwomen.wordpress.comFiled under: Nature Conservation
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2:01 PM | CANNED HUNTING: South Africa’s SHAME
See on Scoop.it – Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News (#EcoSciFi) There is something so reprehensible about Canned hunting that people worldwide, from all walks of life, came together on March 15, 2014 to protest against it.           … Continue reading →
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1:00 PM | The sky is the limit for urban agriculture. Or is it? What can cities hope to get from community gardens and urban agriculture?
No summary available for this post.
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12:53 PM | Hummingbirds: still evolving endless forms most wonderful | @GrrlScientist
A new study finds that the rising Andes is tied to the rapid speciation of hummingbirds. This study also predicts that hummingbirds will evolve twice as many species as what we see today."There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are […]

McGuire J.A., Witt C.C., Remsen, Jr. J.V., Corl A., Rabosky D.L., Altshuler D.L. & Dudley R. (2014). Molecular Phylogenetics and the Diversification of Hummingbirds, Current Biology, DOI:

Hoorn C., Wesselingh F.P., ter Steege H., Bermudez M.A., Mora A., Sevink J., Sanmartin I., Sanchez-Meseguer A., Anderson C.L. & Figueiredo J.P. & (2010). Amazonia Through Time: Andean Uplift, Climate Change, Landscape Evolution, and Biodiversity, Science, 330 (6006) 927-931. DOI:

Mayr G. (2004). Old World Fossil Record of Modern-Type Hummingbirds, Science, 304 (5672) 861-864. DOI:

Doorn G.S.V., Noest A.J. & Hogeweg P. (1998). Sympatric speciation and extinction driven by environment dependent sexual selection, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 265 (1408) 1915-1919. DOI:

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12:00 PM | Occupational Health News Roundup
President Obama highlights the ways inadequate paid-leave and wage policies affect women workers; a California bill would hold companies liable for violations by the temporary labor firms they contract with; and OSHA proposes $2.3 million in fines against a company that exposed workers to asbestos and lead hazards.
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12:00 PM | Driftwood faculty and decisions about course content
Here’s an incident, or really just a conversation, that left a little scar on me. Around the time I was finishing up my PhD, I was given the opportunity to give a seminar at my alma mater. I had sit-down conversations with some of my undergraduate professors. As I was somewhere in the process of starting a […]
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11:30 AM | How to break out of a scientific career rut, Part 3: Investigate internal barriers
 Contributor, Ben Thomas  … Read more
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