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March 26, 2014

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4:15 PM | Modern Lizard Lungs Offer Insight Into Ancient Reptile Breathing
If monitor lizards, alligators, dinosaurs, and birds all inherited their efficient lungs from a common ancestor, one-way breathing must be at least 20 million years older than previously thought.
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12:00 PM | Naked Mole Rats Don’t Feel The Burn
Biology concepts – thermoregulation, heat sensing, TRPV1, evolution, neurotransmitters, birds, ectothermy, diet-induced thermogenesisBBC television has a very nice Sherlock Holmes show running nowadays, but it has ticked off some mental health professionals. Sherlock describes himself as a high functioning sociopath. I have read several angry letters from those in the profession saying that he should stop doing so, he is using a mental disorder as an excuse for just plain rude […]

Smeets AJ, Janssens PL & Westerterp-Plantenga MS (2013). Addition of capsaicin and exchange of carbohydrate with protein counteract energy intake restriction effects on fullness and energy expenditure., The Journal of nutrition, 143 (4) 442-7. PMID:

Clegg ME, Golsorkhi M & Henry CJ (2013). Combined medium-chain triglyceride and chilli feeding increases diet-induced thermogenesis in normal-weight humans., European journal of nutrition, 52 (6) 1579-85. PMID:

Smith ES, Omerbašić D, Lechner SG, Anirudhan G, Lapatsina L & Lewin GR (2011). The molecular basis of acid insensitivity in the African naked mole-rat., Science (New York, N.Y.), 334 (6062) 1557-60. PMID:

Park TJ, Lu Y, Jüttner R, Smith ES, Hu J, Brand A, Wetzel C, Milenkovic N, Erdmann B, Heppenstall PA & Laurito CE (2008). Selective inflammatory pain insensitivity in the African naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber)., PLoS biology, 6 (1) PMID:

Smith ES, Blass GR, Lewin GR & Park TJ (2010). Absence of histamine-induced itch in the African naked mole-rat and "rescue" by Substance P., Molecular pain, 6 29. PMID:

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8:56 AM | Women in science: Leak in the pipeline
A new study by UNESCO outlining the involvement of women in science has some stark figures for India. The Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS) has put together an interactive infographic on women in science to highlight the global gender gap in higher education and scientific research. They aptly call it the “leaky pipeline”.  Read more
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7:00 AM | Identifying Termite Damage in Canada
The following post is by Ben Friedson, an student of Biology at George Washington University   Termites are often thought to infest only tropical or temperate areas. In fact, they thrive in most parts of southern Canada, especially along the coasts. They are commonly found in large cities like Toronto or Ottawa. The most common […]
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4:23 AM | Non-Classical Knights and Knaves
Recently I mentioned my new book Four Lives: A Celebration of Raymond Smullyan. I see the Kindle version is now available, so if you preferred an e-version, now’s your chance! The book is a tribute volume to mathematician Raymond Smullyan. He is best known for his numerous books of logic puzzles. In particular, he took…
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2:26 AM | A very depressing perspective on climate change
As an educator, you try to stay optimistic. But then at times you run into a commentary that just has the ring of truth, the clarity of severe pragmatism, and you don't like the conclusions it reaches.  See what you think.  Here it is.  TPP found this commentary very depressing, on a rather depressing day, just what wasn't needed. 

March 25, 2014

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10:21 PM | The kid with slightly less fear of some specific thing than he had prior to experience with that thing
OK, so my son is outside with a hatchet and a saw, cutting branches in the carport.  He gets bored with doing things efficiently and tries to take “shortcuts” that in fact cost a lot more energy.  I happen to have a lot of experience with hand tools in terms of manual labor (almost none in terms of craftsmanship), but he doesn’t want to listen to me about the boring, efficient way to do things.  He also didn’t want to wear gloves until after he had nicked […]
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9:31 PM | Fossil of Giant Turtle Atlantochelys Reunited With Its Other Half After 163 Years
Exposed fossils are not usually long for this world. Baked in the sun, battered by rain, and scratched …
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9:27 PM | Sentences and Events
Does a martial-arts action strike you as a well-executed ballet or a confusing oleo of hands and feet? The current thesis favored on this blog is that language is a system for directing one another's attention so that we can...
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7:17 PM | Wrap up of Twitter chat on the human microbiome with a high school bio teacher
It started with this @phylogenomics Hi! I am working with a HS Bio teacher who is about to teach Bacteria-would you be willing to do a Twitter chat w/ our class?— Jessica Webb (@LISDMedia) February 26, 2014 And eventually we worked out a date, which was yesterday. Now I note I had no idea who these people are/were. But it seemed like a good chance to do some some outreach. So I said yes. And yesterday it happened. OK it was chaotic. But it was fun. Here is a Storify of the Tweets. […]
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6:36 PM | The Molecular Ecologist: Charles Goodnight
Over at The Molecular Ecologist, John Stanton Geddes continues his interview series with quantitative geneticist Charles Goodnight, whose work covers everything from multi-level perspectives on natural selection to the the causal linkage between directly measurable trait variation and interactions between individual genes. Here's a sample of what Goodnight has to say about the group selection versus kin selection debate (which I've discussed here before):Why the controversy continues today is […]
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6:16 PM | EvoLang Preview: Detecting differences between the languages of humans and Neandertals
This year’s EvoLang is busy – around 100 talks in 4 parallel sessions and 40 posters.  Replicated Typo is hosting a series of EvoLang previews to help people decide on what to go and see.  If you’d like to post a preview of your own presentation, please get in touch with sean.roberts@mpi.nl. Roberts, Dediu & […]
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5:56 PM | A green, sustainable New York City?
Well, if you can do it for NYC, you can do it for almost anywhere, but really, folks?  Think about it for a moment. If you only consider food, you have to have an area about the size of Connecticut just to grow enough food for the population of NYC. There is no magic; the food must come from somewhere, in fact it comes from thousands of somewhere that in total are larger areas than the neighboring state, and all that transportation does have a cost in terms of energy and […]
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4:26 PM | WHO doubles estimates of air pollution’s health toll
The World Health Organization has singled out air pollution as the number one environmental health risk in the world. In 2012, more than 7 million people worldwide died as result of exposure to either indoor or outdoor air pollution — one of every eight deaths — the Geneva-based organization warns in a report released today.  Read more
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3:03 PM | Life isn't fair; science isn't fair
TPP is in a bit of a funk. This happens to many people who anticipating some hints of spring wake up instead to an overnight snow fall. First, my watch thinks it's Jan. 1, 2005, and then my toast gets overdone. How much can one human stand? A scan of the news finds a both laughable and yet depressing item: creationists in the USA, mostly fundamentalist Christians, want equal time because the new science program Cosmos isn't being fair. Well, science isn't about fairness. […]
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11:04 AM | Chemistry cover up
Occasionally our cover art ends up in nice frames and adorns office or corridor walls at various universities. The Leigh group at the University of Manchester took a different approach, however. Take a look at the curtains for their safety showers!  Read more
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10:08 AM | People behind the Science: Dr. Charles Goodnight
This month, we touch on the always-exciting topic of multilevel selection in our Q&A feature with Dr. Charles Goodnight of the University of Vermont. In addition to his work on multi-level selection, Dr. Goodnight has also studied the effects of founder … Continue reading →
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8:19 AM | Repost: Conversations With My Grandpa
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill. At the time, it was the biggest oil spill in US history.  As far as the cleanup is concerned, the Exxon spill is far from over. But Exxon isn’t the spill that weighs on American minds. I wrote the following post in June of […]The post Repost: Conversations With My Grandpa appeared first on Science Sushi.

Jonathan L. Ramseur (2010). Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service , 7-5700 (RL33705) Other: Link

USCG Spill Compendium (2005). Cumulative Data And Graphics For Oil Spills (1973-2004), USCG,

Ralph A. Bianchi, Edward E. Johanson & James H. Farrell (1973). The Application of Skimmers, Piston Films,and Sorbents for Open Water Spills , Offshore Technology Conference,

U.S. Department of Homeland Security & U.S. Coast Guard (2004). California SONS 2004, After Action Report,

Paine, R., Ruesink, J., Sun, A., Soulanille, E., Wonham, M., Harley, C., Brumbaugh, D. & Secord, D. (1996). TROUBLE ON OILED WATERS: Lessons from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 27 (1) 197-235. DOI:

SWEDMARK, M., GRANMO, A. & KOLLBERG, S. (1973). Effects of oil dispersants and oil emulsions on marine animals, Water Research, 7 (11) 1649-1672. DOI:

CM Tarzwell (1971). Toxicity of oil and oil dispersant mixtures to aquatic life. , Water pollution by oil. London, The Institute of Petroleum. P. Hepple (Ed.) , 263-272.

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5:19 AM | A Follow-Up To the Previous Post
I’m back from Atlanta. Did anything happen while I was gone? Well, some people replied to my previous post. Of course, I knew when I posted it that many would disagree with my views. What I had not anticipated was that the main criticisms leveled at me would be so far removed from anything I…
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12:58 AM | The Problem with Greece
Greece’s economic crisis that started at the end of 2009 – which has increased unemployment from 10% (2009) to 27.5% (last quarter of 2013), and decreased GDP in millions of euros from 231.081 (2009) to 182.054 (2013) – has had a moderate negative impact on the country’s R&D and its ability to innovate, compared to other sectors. Spending on research and innovation is stuck at around 0.5%. Given that most research money in Greece comes from the public purse, the […]

March 24, 2014

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7:58 PM | Want to see us in your Facebook News Feed? You should probably do this one weird thing.
A whole lot of folks—433!—have “liked” the Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! page on Facebook, which ought to mean that all those people see new posts from the site right in their Facebook News Feed. But we’ve found that our Facebook posts are typically seen by a lot fewer than 433 folks—and the number seems […]
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7:54 PM | Want to see us in your Facebook News Feed? You should probably do this one weird thing.
A whole lot of folks—875!—have “liked” the Molecular Ecologist page on Facebook, which ought to mean that all those people see new posts from the site right in their Facebook News Feed. But we’ve found that our Facebook posts are … Continue reading →
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7:46 PM | WMO: “No standstill in global warming”
The past year was the six-warmest year on record since temperature records began in 1850. Global average surface temperature in 2013 was 14.5 °C – 0.50 °C above the 1961–1990 average and 0.03 °C above the 2001–2010 average – the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports in its latest statement of the status of the global climate, released today.  Read more
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7:39 PM | UK funders get tough on privacy breaches
Leading UK organizations that fund research have threatened to revoke the funding of scientists who determine the identities of participants in medical and genomic studies who had expressed a wish to remain anonymous.  Read more
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6:23 PM | An evolutionary account of how basketball players grow old
The last time I played basketball was around my friend Peter’s house. We were maybe 15 years old and became distracted by pigeons having sex on the garage roof. I am the kind of human who associates dunking with Rich Tea biscuits and dribbling with sleep. With these caveats, I will talk to you now […]
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5:09 PM | Birdbooker Report 312-313
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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5:00 PM | Endorsing the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles
We are very pleased to share that NPG has endorsed the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles.  These principles are a synthesis of previous guidelines and have been released by the Data Citation Synthesis Group a collaboration involving CODATA, the Research Data Alliance, members of the Force11 community, publishers and others.  Read more
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4:30 PM | How to break out of a scientific career rut part 1: Recognise your reasons
Contributor, Ben Thomas  … Read more
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3:59 PM | Dinosaur Culture
Dinosaurs are everywhere. They crumble out of outcrops, are reconstituted in museum halls, star in big-budget films, and …
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1:32 PM | NASA Study and Civilization Collapse
I was invited to speak on The Morning News late last week to discuss a recent NASA-funded study which suggested our civilization was doomed to collapse within 15 years due to economic inequality and ecological instability.  You have probably heard about this study by now as it has received a considerable amount of press and […]NASA Study and Civilization Collapse was first posted on March 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm.©2013 "The Advanced Apes". Use of this feed is for personal […]
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