April 10, 2015

11:33 AM | A week of links
Links this week: Behavioral Public Choice: The Behavioral Paradox of Government Policy. HT: Ryan Murphy Happiness and growth. The genetic component of sex offending. “[I]is growth mindset the one concept in psychology which throws up gigantic effect sizes and always works? Or did Carol Dweck really, honest-to-goodness, make a pact with the Devil in which she offered […]
4:24 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A tectonically-deformed Early Cambrian trilobite from southeastern California
This wonderful trilobite was found last month by Olivia Brown (’15), a student on the Wooster Geology Department’s glorious field trip to the Mojave Desert. Olivia collected it at Emigrant Pass in the Nopah Range of Inyo County, southeastern California. It comes from the Pyramid Shale Member of the Carrara Formation and is uppermost Lower […]
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

11:30 PM | Today's Spammy journal Editorial Board Offer #1
Just got this - pretty lame given that, well, I do not do anything related to this journal.Dear Dr.Jonathan A Eisen,  Hope this mail brings you good health and prosperityFisheries and Aquaculture Journal is successfully publishing quality open access journals with the support from scientists like you. We are aware of your reputation for quality of research and trustworthiness in the field of science and thereby we request you to be an Editorial Board Member of our Fisheries and […]
9:31 PM | Fossil Fish Sliced Prey With Bizarre Jaws
Paleontology collections are wonderful. Shelves and cabinets hold anywhere from thousands to hundreds of millions of years of …
8:14 PM | What Attention Is
Sometimes I still enjoy listening to my old, analog LP records, even with their snaps, crackles and pops. If we are going to argue that language is a system for harnessing attention, we ought to be clear which of the...
2:00 PM | Predicting replication
The Behavioural Economics Replication Project: This project will provide evidence of how accurately peer prediction markets can forecast replication of scientific experiments in economics. In order to incentivize prediction market activity, and collect evidence on actual replication, eighteen (18) prominently published studies in experimental economics were chosen for trading in prediction markets, followed by replication. […]
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 →
1:45 PM | April GENETICS Highlights
The April issue of GENETICS is out now! Check out the highlights below of the full Table of Contents here. Nascent transcription affected by RNA polymerase IV in Zea mays, pp. 1107–1125 Karl F. Erhard Jr., Joy-El R. B. Talbot, Natalie C. … Read MoreThe post April GENETICS Highlights appeared first on Genes to Genomes.
12:52 PM | Island Biogeography Revisited: an online experiment | @GrrlScientist
As an experiment in online book reading clubs, I will share a series of pieces about a group of scientists that is reading and discussing the book, Island Biogeography Revisited -- are you willing to join us?In the 1960s, the term “island biogeography” was coined by ecologists Robert H. MacArthur and E. O. Wilson, who wrote The Theory of Island Biogeography (1967, Princeton). This landmark book, which is still used today, describes a general mathematical theory that MacArthur and […]
6:45 AM | To Tennessee!
I’ll be heading off to Knoxville, Tennessee on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning I will be giving the big keynote talk at an undergraduate research conference at the University of Tennessee. Do you think maybe I’ll be talking about the Monty Hall problem? I think maybe I will! So, if you’re going to be in the…
3:49 AM | Why I’m Uncomfortable With #IAmAScientistBecause
I’m fairly new to Twitter, and given my inability to express thoughts concisely, I don’t tweet too often. I mostly just retweet things I find interesting, and use Twitter to publicize my articles and blogposts. But every now and then, … Continue reading →
1:19 AM | How unfortunate! Poodle pruning is a no-no.
One of the shrubs that you should never, ever poodle prune is Forsythia. When pruned properly Forsythia is an open shrub with some gracefully arching branches with a lacy look in when in flower. Sometimes an unruly shoot does grow straight up, but they are easily removed. When poodled the shrub is an ugly blotch of yellow when in flower and when not in flower it has no saving grace at all. The problem is that it's actually a fairly large shrub and takes quite a bit of […]
1:17 AM | More microbe-themed art - the Eden Project's "Human Biome"
Just got pointed to this Wired article by Katie Collins -- Eden Project's 'Human Biome' is a gross, musical microbe showcase (Wired UK)Fascinating project that I actually don't think is gross in any way.  From the articleInvisible You: The Human Biome will explore the community of microbes that live in and on each and every one of us. Artistic and interactive displays will show bacteria, fungi and viruses, with 11 artists commissioned to create works for the exhibition.I want to just […]

April 08, 2015

5:58 PM | Revisiting a Fossil Friend
Some fossils feel like old friends. As happy as I am to encounter petrified skeletons I’ve never seen …
4:26 PM | Dennett on the De-Darwinizing of Culture
This is Dennett at his best on cultural evolution, which, given the peculiar nature of his gifts, is also Dennett at his worst on cultural evolution. This recent video (talk given 19 March 2015) gathers many of Dennett’s recent themes and examples. The central thread is worthwhile – Dennett’s only idea on culture that’s caught […]
2:49 PM | New in G3: Genomic selection, ortholog detection, and Drosophila lines with global diversity
Check out the April issue of G3! Investigations A Bayesian Model for the Analysis of Transgenerational Epigenetic Variation Luis Varona, Sebastián Munilla, Elena Flavia Mouresan, Aldemar González-Rodríguez, Carlos Moreno, and Juan Altarriba G3 April 2015 5:477-485; Early Online January 23, … Read MoreThe post New in G3: Genomic selection, ortholog detection, and Drosophila lines with global diversity appeared first on Genes to Genomes.
2:43 PM | Lifelogging: quantified truths? | @GrrlScientist
Lifelogging uses modern digital technologies to record, track, measure and share everything from heartbeats to heartbreaks. An exhibition at Science Gallery Dublin uses science, art and technology to explore the ethics, consequences and potential future uses of lifeloggingThe motivation for my recent Dublin visit was to attend the Lifelogging exhibition at Science Gallery. Billed as an exploration of “new ways to track everything from heartbeats to heartbreak”, this interactive […]
2:41 PM | Don’t trust your data: reviewing Bioinformatics Data Skills
There is little debate on the importance of bioinformatics for the present and future of science. As molecular ecologists, we are likely more aware of this than most disciplines due to the data explosion that has accompanied the wide application of … Continue reading →
2:00 PM | The Future of the Postdoc
As someone who is finishing up and heading towards what is next, this article flat out scared me. But it is especially important to disseminate given that a change is needed, and it needs to be across all institutions. So read about the plight of the postdoc, potential avenues for change and what could/should/is being […]
12:00 PM | Why Do Males And Females Look Different?
Biology concepts – sexual dimorphism, phenotype, evolution, sexual selection, secondary sex characteristics, reproductive success, natural selectionElephants are an animal that we can picture easily in our head. But is this a male or a female? Don’t answer quickly, in African elephants both the males and females have tusks, but in the Asian elephants, it’s only the males (usually).We all know what a hippo looks like, an elephant, a duck. In most cases, if you name a species, […]

Dunn, P., Armenta, J. & Whittingham, L. (2015). Natural and sexual selection act on different axes of variation in avian plumage color, Science Advances, 1 (2) DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400155

Neumann, D. & Kureck, A. (2013). Composite structure of silken threads and a proteinaceous hydrogel which form the diving bell wall of the water spider Agyroneta aquatica, SpringerPlus, 2 (1) 223. DOI: 10.1186/2193-1801-2-223

Cunha, G., Risbridger, G., Wang, H., Place, N., Grumbach, M., Cunha, T., Weldele, M., Conley, A., Barcellos, D., Agarwal, S. & Bhargava, A. (2014). Development of the external genitalia: Perspectives from the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), Differentiation, 87 (1-2) 4-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.diff.2013.12.003

Hammond, G., Miguel-Queralt, S., Yalcinkaya, T., Underhill, C., Place, N., Glickman, S., Drea, C., Wagner, A. & Siiteri, P. (2012). Phylogenetic Comparisons Implicate Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin in “Masculinization” of the Female Spotted Hyena , Endocrinology, 153 (3) 1435-1443. DOI: 10.1210/en.2011-1837

Krüger, O. (2005). The Evolution of Reversed Sexual Size Dimorphism in Hawks, Falcons and Owls: A Comparative Study, Evolutionary Ecology, 19 (5) 467-486. DOI: 10.1007/s10682-005-0293-9

9:00 AM | #IAmAScientistBecause I get to do this:
Over the past few days, scientists around the globe have taken to Twitter with the hashtag #IAmAScientistBecause, giving their reasons for why they chose to become scientists. As far as scientist origin stories go, mine is not entirely uncommon. I wrote it years ago, back in 2009 when I was about to embark upon my PhD at the University of Hawaii — a degree which I completed last December. For me, science has always been about the natural world, especially the ocean. I was a […]
8:20 AM | On Bad Writing
One of the many problems with the essay discussed in yesterday’s post is that it was poorly written. Finnis and George seemed to go out of their way to be as unclear as possible, frequently choosing tortured, ambiguous phrasings when clearer options were readily at hand. This is something of an occupational hazard among academics,…
1:37 AM | How to Investigate Your Candidates
The political campaigning season has begun. It seems to be like the Christmas season, which now starts sometime around late…

April 07, 2015

10:57 PM | Quantum Jazz Biologist: Another Alternative to Darwinism
Filed under: alternative evolution, epigenetics Tagged: alternative to Darwinism, epigenetics, genes playing quantum jazz, Lamarck, Lamarckian evolution, Mae-Wan Ho, Quantum Evolution, Quantum physics biology
10:35 PM | A call for statistical editors in ecology
A new article in TREE wants to add a specialized reviewer to the peer review process. von Wehrden, Schultner, and Abson suggest that a statistical editor would expedite* the peer review process: “The review process of a manuscript with imperfect … Continue reading →
10:16 PM | Winning the plant lottery
You don't shop at big box stores for the best plants.  Sometimes even the labelling is iffy and the plants are not necessarily in the best condition. So TPP seldom shops in such stores, but then 2 years ago, a big box was the only store, the only nursery, the only plant purveyor who had red currant plants. While shopping for something else, TPP was lured by the end of season plant sale, and there were some nicely shaped magnolia shrubs for $20. And the label said, Magnolia […]
9:30 PM | Postdoc: Comparative genomics and bioinformatics
Postdoc position in comparative genomics and bioinformatics Applications are invited for a bioinformatics postdoctoral position in ?the research group of Laszlo G Nagy (Synthetic and Systems Biology Unit, Biological Research Center, Szeged, Hungary). We are now looking to hire new people with a background in bioinformatics, phylogenetics or fungal evolution. The Lab offers excellent training … Continue reading Postdoc: Comparative genomics and bioinformatics →
7:00 PM | Molecular Ecology’s best reviewers 2015
(Flickr: Kathrin & Stefan Marks) As a continuation of our post from last year, Molecular Ecology is publishing a list of our very best referees from the last two years (2013 and 2014). Our hope is that the people listed … Continue reading →
5:27 PM | Chapter 1: Stephen Hawking or how if Sheldon Cooper existed in real life he wouldn’t worship a scientific celebrity
Welcome to the second installment in my review and thoughts about the book “The new celebrity scientists” by Declan Fahy!  If you missed the first post here is a link to it. There is A LOT to say about this … Continue reading →
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