Posts

September 30, 2014

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3:33 AM | Personalized Medicine World Conference 2015: 55 speakers 7 of which are women #YAMMM #StemWomen
Well, umm, Ralph Snyderman, despite the email invitation I will not be attending PMWC 2015 Silicon Valley.  Why not?  Well how about the fact that you have 55 speakers listed, only 7 of which are women. Previous year's meetings are not much better.  For example, for the 2014 Meeting in Silicon Valley the Track 1 session (which they call the premier session or something like that) has a ratio of 52:5 Male:Female. -------- This is from the "Tree of Life Blog" of Jonathan […]
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12:41 AM | Adorable Alligatorellus
Today’s alligators, crocodiles, and gharials are gorgeous animals, but you’d be hard pressed to call them cute. Chirpy …

September 29, 2014

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11:16 PM | Episode 14 Field Guide: The Art of Dinosaurs
Conjuring up extinct environments, museums, books, and documentaries rely on art to show extinct animals revitalized in their ancient surroundings. This type of educational reconstruction is called Paleoart (or Palaeoart for the UK inclined). They are usually striking portraits of the weird place this planet used to be. But, you look at an image of a roaming Tyrannosaurus […] The post Episode 14 Field Guide: The Art of Dinosaurs appeared first on Past Time.
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10:24 PM | The Fourth International Palaeontological Congress starts well
MENDOZA, ARGENTINA–After an excellent opening lecture last night by Dr. Beatriz Aguirre-Urreta (“Palaeontology in the Southern Hemisphere: Benchmarks in the History of Discovery and Research”), we got down to the technical talks today in the Mendoza Sheraton for the 4th International Paleontological Congress. There were many presentations to choose from, as usual, so I had […]
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10:18 PM | Syntax Eases Communication (Well duh)
Yesterday I posted [here] a description of Maggie Tallerman's retort [abstract here] to the thought-firsters' idea that language evolved as a means of improved thought by allowing concepts to combine; we only later developed a way to externalize the thought...
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8:42 PM | You Should Know: Pinar Gurel and CauseScience
Welcome back to You Should Know, my weekly #ScholarSunday salute to Science Bloggers and Blogs you may not yet know about. This is installment number 12. Introducing…Pinar Gurel and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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8:10 PM | Postdoc: Institute for Environmental Genomics, University of Oklahoma
Postdoctoral Positions Available at the University of Oklahoma Multiple postdoctoral positions are available at the Institute for Environmental Genomics (IEG) and Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, the University of Oklahoma (OU) located in Norman, Oklahoma. The city of Norman is a university town with approximately 100,000 people and easy access to Oklahoma City, OK and Dallas, TX, […]
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6:02 PM | Science and Religion Blah Blah Blah
A perennial question, a constant product of the click-bait-and-outrage factory known as internet, that has been, and perhaps forever will be posed, answered, yelled about, and generally used to beat the life and enthusiasm out of so many reasonably evolutionary biologists is “CAN RELIGION AND SCIENCE (PARTICULARLY EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY FOR SOME REASON) COEXIST??!?!!?!!?” The answer […]
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5:37 PM | Water, water everything
This time of year is tricky for gardening especially when mild warm weather predominates, but things aren't growing so much. Gardens just don't look like it's the end of September out there, and it's easy to get lulled into complacency. So here's the thing: keep those newly planted trees and shrubs, especially conifers, well watered. Remember winter survival is more about desiccation than it is about cold. Deciduous plants drop all those water-wasting leaves, but most conifers […]
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5:17 PM | Postdoc: Yeast Evolutionary Genomics
The Hittinger Lab, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher with an exceptional background in bioinformatics, functional genomics, or evolutionary genomics. Experience analyzing Illumina sequence data, computer programming proficiency, and training in ecological or evolutionary genetics are highly desirable. The lab recently received generous funding for yeast evolutionary genomics research from the National Science […]
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4:36 PM | Birdbooker Report 339-40
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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2:18 PM | Neat news from the TetZoo-sphere
Here are some amazing things that me and my friends have been talking about lately. They all concern fascinating discoveries or insights into unusual aspects of tetrapod behaviour. We’ll start... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:54 PM | Island Biogeography in the Era of Humans
In some ways, islands provide a ready-made laboratory for studying evolution. Th...
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12:54 PM | ESC/ESS JAM 2014 Day 1 photos

September 28, 2014

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10:18 PM | The Essence of Christopher Gillberg’s E.S.S.E.N.C.E. Theory
“While in the past, child psychiatry had little interest in operationalised diagnosis, recent trends have made categorical diagnosis an integral part of everyday clinical and research practice. So focused are […]
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10:18 PM | Chasing Leprechaun Gold
Have linguists been hunting for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? The argument in favor of language beginning as personal thought is now dead and should be buried. What? You have always assumed language began as...
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1:02 PM | Muscling in
I know I haven’t posted anything for a while but I’ll get back into the swing of things very soon, I promise. Now that writing a dissertation is out of the way, I thought I’d write a little something about muscles, namely how they work and how they can be specialised for a particular function. […]
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1:00 PM | Does a standing desk lengthen your lifespan?
Standing desks are all the rage lately. These desks allow you to stand up while working on your computer. Some standing desks can be raised and lowered, so you can alternate during the course of the day between sitting and standing. The principal argument for these desks is that they provide health benefits.Proponents of standing desks claim, plausibly, that they give you more energy and improve posture. The CDC has found that standing desks (or “sit-stand” desks) reduce upper […]

September 27, 2014

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6:25 PM | Manhattan is a great drama about the problems of science careers
Some of the best dramatic fantasies project otherwise commonplace struggles and worries into extraordinary circumstances. Make that awkward teenage girl a vampire slayer, and put her in a high school that is literally built over a gateway to Hell. How … Continue reading →
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5:24 PM | Wooster Geologist over the Andes
MENDOZA, ARGENTINA–I have just arrived in Argentina for the Fourth International Palaeontological Congress to be held in this city all next week. I thank me colleagues at Wooster for making this possible, especially Shelley Judge who is teaching my History of Life class in my absence. I also thank the Faculty Development Fund at Wooster. […]
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4:48 PM | Democracy, predictability and the worrying state of international affairs
I usually consider myself an optimist, but I am scared, scared sh*tless, to be precise. Why? Because the responses of Western democracies to the threats posed by Putin and IS have been, are and predictably will be mindbogglingly stupid. The…Read more ›
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4:12 PM | Being Wrong is a Good Thing (as long as we learn from it)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started up again last night (at least, on my DVR it did).  The baddie du jour was Carl “Crusher” Creel, the Absorbing Man.  Like Colossus becomes solid metal, Creel can become whatever he touches.  In the comics, he’s an Avengers-level badass, like DC’s Metamorpho but dumber.  Metamorpho at least took high school chemistry and knows how to apply it.  Creel just bulks up and punches things.  In the show […]
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3:51 PM | Counter productive health care plans
If you need any evidence about why the USA needs more stream-lined, efficient health care plans, today's mail brought a datum, actually data. Yes, the Phactors needed a new post-65, post-retirement (for TPP) health care plan, and this required a considerable amount of paper work. Today's mail delivery consisted of two huge packages, one for each Phactor, a couple of booklets, or rather health care catalogs that would have made Sears & Roebuck proud, a total of almost 10 lbs of […]
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9:50 AM | A week of links
Links this week: Is your body mostly microbes? A nice take-down of  another trail of citations dead-ends. One thing I have learnt from my PhD research is that when it comes to citations, academics are lazy. A good piece on Peter Thiel. Curing death is on the agenda. Fixing gender bias in research subjects – because men and […]
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1:45 AM | Matching steps
My latest feature piece for The Hindu BLink, on the different ways to watch nature.

September 26, 2014

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6:38 PM | How Dinosaurs Set Up an Avian Explosion
If you were to take a stroll through the Late Jurassic forest, roundabout 150 million years ago, you …
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5:54 PM | Re-unite Pangaea
With all of this secessionist politics in the news, you might want a t-shirt like this to voice a more united position.  A number of years ago the paleobotanists had a button that said "give Pangaea a break", and this is the same joke just from a different perspective. Of course it would be more appealing if they had spelled Pangaea correctly. After all you wear such a shirt to look a bit clever, but in this case, not. 
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1:00 PM | Stuff online, bad algorithms edition
But with airplanes. The movement of lizard species introduced to new habitats by human travel follows the classic model of island biogeography. From Margaret Sanger to the lie detector. The real origin story for Wonder Woman. Perspective. How science should … Continue reading →
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1:00 PM | What we’re reading: A guide to Bioconductor, Latin American admixture, and the sordid truth about academic job hunting
In the journals Lawrence M., M. Morgan. 2014. Scalable genomics with R and Bioconductor. arXiv:1409.2864. This paper reviews strategies for solving problems encountered when analyzing large genomic data sets and describes the implementation of those strategies in R by packages … Continue reading →
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5:52 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A crinoid calyx from the Upper Ordovician of southern Ohio
This week’s contribution from the Wooster collections will be short. If all is going well, as this is posted I’m on my way to the Fourth International Palaeontological Congress in Mendoza, Argentina. I hope to have a few posts from that exotic place! The fossil above is the crown of a monobathrid crinoid called Xenocrinus […]
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