Posts

January 19, 2015

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1:35 PM | Pipeline breach spills oil into Yellowstone River
Montana officials said Sunday that an oil pipeline breach spilled up to 50,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River near Glendive, Montana, but they said they are unaware of any threats to public safety or health. Continue reading →
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1:14 PM | India: Animal rights campaigners seek PM intervention to control captive elephants
Animal rights campaigners have urged prime minister Narendra Modi to immediately intervene to stop the widespread practice of using sharp-tipped goads, steel capture belts and other banned items to control captive elephants in Kerala. Continue reading →
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8:47 AM | Pathway to PhD: should I do a masters degree or an internship?
With deadlines looming for attractive PhD scholarships such as the Irish Research Council, current undergraduates often realise that the path to a PhD is somewhat opaque, with many different ways to get there. Finding a PhD is something we have covered already, but a question I often get asked is: do I need a MSc or can I go straight in, or what about an internship? There is nothing stopping you going straight into a PhD from your undergraduate degree, but it can be difficult to be competitive […]
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4:08 AM | Citizen scientists sought for wildlife monitoring in Montana
The Montana Wilderness Association is looking for backcountry citizen scientists to help collect data on wolverines and other wildlife on the east side of the Continental Divide. Continue reading →
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12:18 AM | Arizona projects picked for major conservation effort
Projects in three sites in Arizona will aim to save water, repair habitat and increase the ailing flow of the Verde and Colorado Rivers as part of a federal program sparked by the 2014 Farm Bill. Arizona projects picked for major conservation effort. Continue reading →

January 18, 2015

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9:06 PM | Wish You All a ‘Prosperous’ New Year—But What Does Prosperous Mean?
The year 2014 seemed a long year when it came a year ago but passed by very quickly giving way to another long New Year and fresh hope that the world would be prosperous. What does it mean for all the countries in the world to be Prosperous? It requires creating a successful, flourishing or thriving … Continue reading Wish You All a ‘Prosperous’ New Year—But What Does Prosperous Mean? →
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7:26 PM | The End of the Partisan Divide Over Climate Change
GR:  This argument relates to last week’s Stanford study that found the economic cost of CO2 emissions much higher than government estimates.  But, think about it.  So what if republicans and democrats get together. Tom Zeller Jr., Forbes.:  “The revelation … Continue reading →
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5:54 PM | Latest climate change battle may center on food pyramid
"We can't solve the climate problem with just what we are doing with fossil fuels and energy," said Doug Boucher, director of climate research at the Union of Concerned Scientists, which is lobbying for changing the pyramid. "Food is a big part of it." Continue reading →
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4:49 PM | Why Humans Need Animal Rights
Most people today do not understand that animals are essential elements of Earth ecosystems upon which we humans depend for survival. Acquiring this understanding leads to that most pragmatic of philosophies "The Land Ethic" (Leopold 1949). It also leads to respect for animals and their natural homes, leaving no room for animal cruelty and farming practices that produce harmful food products. Continue reading →
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6:40 AM | Don’t miss the Comet Lovejoy!
I subscribe to quite a number of Facebook Pages which have been sharing actively on the Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) recently, so much so that my first reaction was to ignore the posts that were flooding my Facebook Newsfeed (if you are familiar with how Facebook works). In my mind, I was thinking “Oh, show… Continue reading »
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1:12 AM | New Journal Announcement, Citizen Science: Theory and Practice
Originally posted on Citizen Science Association:Call for papers–Inaugural Issue and beyond Citizen Science: Theory and Practice is a new open-access, peer-reviewed journal published by Ubiquity Press on behalf of the Citizen Science Association. It focuses on advancing the field…
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1:06 AM | Does the myth of the solo genius scientist contribute to imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is the feeling that you do not deserve your accomplishments, that you are a fraud. I’m always amazed at how common imposter syndrome is (is there anyone who doesn’t feel like an imposter at least sometimes?), and am … Continue reading →

January 17, 2015

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11:46 PM | Wildlife and Fire in Australia and Shrinking Polar Sea Ice
Originally posted on Earth Report:South Australia Wildfires Kill and Injure Many Animals Some of South Australia’s worst wildfires in 30 years killed or injured an untold number of animals earlier this month in addition to destroying at least 32…
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4:00 PM | Unrelated to all that, 1/17 edition
Sparks in the dark: the attraction of electricity in the eighteenth century ‘A turkey is to be killed for dinner by the electric shock, and roasted by the electric jack, before a fire kindled by the electrified bottle; when the healths of all the … Continue reading →
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3:46 PM | Saving the Andean Cat
The rate of loss of the Andean Cat’s habitat isn’t known, and after 15 years of organized effort, the size and stability of the cat’s population isn’t known. Like most species of wildlife worldwide, the Andean Cat could slide away into oblivion before we even understand how and where it lives. Continue reading →
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1:34 PM | Top Ten Animals Playing Games
Here’s a countdown of animals having fun with what looks to be some pretty silly games
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12:54 PM | Shelf Life: Six ways to prepare a coelacanth | @GrrlScientist
How do you preserve a fish so researchers can study it for hundreds of years into the future? This video shows six different methods used by the American Museum of Natural history to preserve its coelacanth specimens for research.Coelacanths originally appeared in the fossil record between 415-360 million years ago. The first specimen was discovered and described from a fossilised tail in 1839 by biologist and geologist, Louis Agassiz. Originally thought to have gone extinct alongside the […]
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8:01 AM | Citizen Naturalist Field Work Opportunities
There are many citizen naturalist projects you can join. Continue reading →
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1:28 AM | Scientists: Human activity exceeding Earth’s limits
The paper contends that we have already crossed four “planetary boundaries.” Continue reading →
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1:26 AM | Planetary boundaries: Gauging the limits
Human civilization has arisen during a period of relatively stable environmental conditions during the past 10,000 years. Scientists fear that major changes in these conditions could pose a threat to our future. By the time a system reaches a certain … Continue reading →

January 16, 2015

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10:47 PM | Local New Jersey officials integrate worker safety into restaurant inspections; collect new insights on occupational risks
Food safety is at the top of the list for local restaurant inspectors in Rockaway Township, New Jersey. Recently, however, inspectors tested out the feasibility of adding a new safety checkpoint to the menu — the safety of restaurant employees. The effort was a success and one that organizers hope will ultimately lead to safer working conditions for food service workers statewide.
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10:19 PM | Not an “accident”: Richard Johnson, 31, suffers fatal work-related injury in Phoenix, AZ
This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality in the U.S. This one occurred on January 12, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ.
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10:00 PM | Sex chromosome evolution … in haploids, that is
In diploid organisms, the rates of mutation and recombination played a pivotal role in the evolution of sex-determining regions and, thus, sex chromosomes.  We know quite a bit theoretically and empirically in XY systems in mammals and ZW systems in … Continue reading →
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9:04 PM | Lemurs aren’t pets
Wild ThingsAnimals by Sarah Zielinski 4:05pm, January 16, 2015 NOT PETS  Ring-tailed lemurs are adorable wild animals. A new survey finds that thousands of lemurs, from many lemur species, are kept as pets in households in Madagascar, despite the practice being illegal.Eric Kilby/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)Whenever I see a ring-tailed lemur in the zoo, there’s always a moment when I […]
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8:27 PM | Future of Visiting Fellowship postdoc program in doubt
I was slightly alarmed to see this post indicating that NSERC’s Visiting Fellowship in Government Labs (VF) program had come to an end.  This is (was?) a program administered by NSERC whereby postdocs were placed in Canadian federal research labs … Continue reading →
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6:04 PM | Human Population Most Destructive Force on Earth
We are destroying the land, sea, and air of our planet as if we had other places to go. We do not. Continue reading →
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5:56 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Emily Graslie
In addition to interviewing traditionally trained scientists, I sometimes get the opportunity to interview the science communicators that help translate what happens in the lab to the rest of the world. Today’s interview is with the incredible science communicator, Emily Graslie. You may recognize her from her wildly popular YouTube series, The Brain Scoop, now based at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Before we started our interview, with me in Raleigh and Emily in […]
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5:11 PM | Felix Not Felicis: a tale of attempted photography
PERSERVANCE is the hard work that you do after you get tired of doing the hard work that you already did. (Quote on a tarp used to cover a moldering shelter found deep in the Trinidadian bush.)Some days everything goes just perfectly. The stars and planets align. All the stoplights are green. All your shots go through the hoop. All of a sudden, you are lucky in everything. Perhaps someone slipped some Felix Felicis into your morning pumpkin juice. Of course, most other days are a mix of lucky […]
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4:54 PM | Friday Roundup: The Week's Wildlife Links (January 16th, 2015)
We mustn't give up on protecting the Florida Panther (letter to the editor). New protections for Nicaraguan Jaguars. Leopards in India prefer to live around human habitats. A hotspot for human-tiger conflict transformed with sticks and teamwork. There is one Wolverine in the state of California. He was just captured on a trail camera. Plan to save the Monarch
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4:11 PM | Predators: feathered friend or foe?
On Wednesday January 14th the Pat Kenny show on Newstalk radio station hosted Professor Luke O’Neill (a prominent Trinity College Dublin Immunologist), in a segment exploring the causes of the huge declines seen in European bird populations newstalk.ie/player/podcast. Comments from both Professor O’Neill and Mr. Kenny implicating raptors and corvids in these bird declines provoked a storm on social media. Every Irish environmental NGO has strongly condemned these implications. […]
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