Posts

March 23, 2015

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7:03 PM | Research tidbits - AJB March 2015
The American Journal of Botany is a publication of the Botanical Society of America. Highlights of several interesting articles is a new feature of each month's volume; this is vol. 102 (3).  Mostly these are brief, non-technical descriptions of a study and they include a nice image. They give you some idea of the types of research, the diversity of scientific interests, and the kinds of questions that interest botanists these days.  You can also access the […]
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2:57 PM | Lighten up people, we're just messin' with you!
Oh, those fun-loving GnOPes.  Thank Tom Tomorrow for letting us in on the joke. To think anyone ever took them seriously. Seriously.  
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2:07 PM | A love letter to sponges
Like many kids interested in marine biology, growing up I wanted to work on sharks. After college I interned for a year at the Center for Shark Research at the Mote Marine Lab under the guidance of two great mentors, Jim Gelsleichter and … Continue reading →
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1:36 PM | The Art and Science of Art Conservation | @GrrlScientist
Behind-the-scenes looks at the science that goes into art conservation so we all can (potentially) experience the original work for ourselves rather than looking at a digitised scan, a poster-sized print or an encyclopaedia thumbnailWhen people think of great works of art, they probably think of Monet, van Gogh, Picasso, or Rembrandt. But rarely does anyone think of scientists; specifically, most people are unaware of the exquisite marriage of science and art that underpins art conservation so […]
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10:15 AM | The Gell-Mann amnesia effect
I spotted this in a tweet from Abe List yesterday, and love the idea. The original source is a speech by Michael Crichton (which is worth reading in itself). Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I refer […]
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7:53 AM | It's Museum Week on Twitter | @GrrlScientist
Today is the first day of Twitter’s international Museum Week, which celebrates our many museums, galleries and cultural institutions that make valuable contributions to science, the arts, history and culture around the worldIf you are a twitter fiend, as I am, and if you are passionate about museums, galleries and other cultural institutions, as I am, then you will be thrilled to learn that today is the first day of Museum Week on twitter. This community event runs from 23-29 March and […]
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2:00 AM | You Never Hear Much About Shrew-Opossums
You never really hear much about shrew-opossums or rat-opossums, the small group of living, South American marsupials properly called caenolestids or caenolestoids. Small (c 20-30 cm long in total),... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

March 22, 2015

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7:24 PM | The Nerve of Those ‘Saurs!
We know a great deal about non-avian dinosaurs from the bones and trace fossils they left behind. But …
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7:14 AM | The ChuckNorrisMicrobiome will get you, and you, and you ...
Some Saturday fun ... [View the story "The #ChuckNorrisMicrobiome will get you" on Storify] -------- This is from the "Tree of Life Blog" of Jonathan Eisen, an evolutionary biologist and Open Access advocate at the University of California, Davis. For short updates, follow me on Twitter. --------

March 21, 2015

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10:38 PM | “Never judge a book by its cover” Or My thoughts before reading The New Celebrity Scientists by Declan Fahy
As an avid reader (If we trust my goodreads 214 books in ten years) I have always praised myself for not judging a book by its cover. Thanks to that I have discovered some of the best books I have read … Continue reading →
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4:14 PM | Corned beef tomorrow
It's just about time, no, not for St. Patrick's Day, which TPP missed, but for his annual corned beef brisket for which St. Patrick's Day is just an excuse. This year's brisket got started about 4 weeks ago when TPP happened upon a huge brisket and having determined that the necessary ingredients were on hand proceded to begin curing this brisket. It isn't really necessary to cure the brisket this long, but larger briskets do take longer, and this is not a process to be hurried. There […]
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11:59 AM | Watch a baby hummingbird grow up | @GrrlScientist
For “Caturday”, I share a lovely video created by one of my birding pals that captures a mother hummingbird as she raises her son from hatching to fledgingSpring is springing! Already, a few of my Seattle birding pals have spotted hummingbird nests. Thus, since today is “Caturday”, I was inspired to share a video of a mother rufous hummingbird as she raises her son from hatching to fledging. In this video, you will see how fast the chick grows (especially its beak), and […]
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10:25 AM | From Julian Huxley to Quantum Biology
I am currently reading Evolution: the Modern Synthesis by Julian Huxley. He was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley (better known as Darwin’s Bulldog) and the brother of writer Aldous Huxley. What a family! I guess the discussions at their family gatherings were of a higher intellectual level compared to the Kardashians (although I guess this holds for […]
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4:19 AM | Will They Never Tire Of the Second Law?
Secondlawapalooza has broken out over at Uncommon Descent, with a series of posts trying one more time to convince the thinking world that either evolution or abiogenesis violates the second law of thermodynamics. They are unmoved by the fact that the violation exists only in their minds. One recent post, by Eric Anderson, is entitled,…

March 20, 2015

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7:03 PM | Book in Brief: The Antarctic Dive Guide
I’m not going diving in the Antarctic anytime soon. I’ve averse to cold, I haven’t reupped by PADI …
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4:00 PM | Haploid-diploidy, a (brief?) history
Haploid-diploid life cycles are not only good exercise for the brain, but they’re also fantastic study systems to investigate a myriad of questions. Yet, the majority of molecular studies have focused on the diploid-dominated life cycles of animal and plant … Continue reading →
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1:57 PM | Eco-evolutionary Island Biogeography
(This post is by Tim Farkas. I am just putting it up. Andrew)If pressed to list the most influential paradigms of the last century, few ecologists would forget MacArthur and Wilson’s
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1:00 PM | British fineSTRUCTURE
Leslie et al. (2015) provide an analysis of genome-wide SNP data from over 2,000 individuals in the United Kingdom in a paper out this week in Nature. The population structure in the UK was limited with FST estimates averaged 0.0007, with a … Continue reading →
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12:51 PM | New books party: books that arrived recently | @GrrlScientist
This week, I share my thoughts about a travel-adventure story about a quest to see one of the world’s last surviving “unicorns” (the saola); a paperback about the natural history of Ebola and a second by the same author about the origins of HIV/AIDS, and a book that examines the strange behaviour of numbersThe Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures by William deBuys [368 pages, Little, Brown US; 2015; Guardian Bookshop; Amazon UK […]
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10:13 AM | Comunicação de Ciência | Congresso SciCom Pt 2015
(Nova data-limite para submissão de resumos: 27 de Março de 2015) O Congresso de Comunicação de Ciência SciCom Pt 2015, em Lagos, ambiciona ser um ponto de encontro de pessoas, mas também de projectos e percursos profissionais que envolvam a Comunicação de Ciência, à semelhança das edições anteriores, 2013 no Pavilhão do Conhecimento, em Lisboa […]
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8:00 AM | A week of links
Links this week: Psychological research sucks. Are humans getting cleverer? Why the $10,000 Apple Watch is a good thing, especially for people who can’t afford it. [O]ur findings suggest that correlations observed in affluent, developed countries between (i) wealth and health or (ii) parental income and children’s outcomes do not reflect a causal effect of […]
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7:55 AM | How chemistry affects the evolution of life
SUMMARY: In this fascinating video, Professor Ros Rickaby from Oxford chats with Professor Simon Conway-Morris at Cambridge about how Earth’s changing chemistry has affected evolution, and how this can sometimes lead to evolutionary convergence A feature of natural selection, or “survival of the fittest”, is that context defines what is “fittest”. Traits that are “fittest” in one habitat can become liabilities in others. This was observed first-hand […]
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5:20 AM | Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A bored and formerly encrusting trepostome bryozoan from the Upper Ordovician of Indiana
The lump above looks like your average trepostome bryozoan from the Upper Ordovician. I collected it from the Whitewater Formation of the Cincinnatian Group at one of my favorite collecting sites near Richmond, Indiana. In this view you can just barely make out the tiny, regular holes that are the zooecia (calcitic tubes that held […]
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3:19 AM | Animals Needn’t Be Posed…
…to get entertaining photographs of them. Sometimes, they’ll pose on their own, and if you spend enough time watching animals in their natural habitats, you get to capture gems like these!

March 19, 2015

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7:33 PM | GENETIC MUTATIONS ONLY GET DEAD THINGS & POPULATION GENETICS IS NUMEROLOGY – Neo-Darwinian quotes about & by Lynn Margulis
(1938 – 2011) An American biologist and notorious for giving out about the Neo-Darwinian version of our current dogmatic and blinkered view of evolution. She is famous in her own right for coming up with the origin of complex cells hypothesis which she says resulted in further complexity and diversity due to merging of simple cellular […]
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6:53 PM | Costly colouration in a forest moth: the tale of a ten-year research project
As part of the Canadian Entomology Research roundup (the first two posts can be found here and here), we will be sharing more detailed posts from the grad students involved in the published research. Below is a post from Jessica Ethier, sharing her research experience that spanned an undergraduate and PhD degree. I just published a […]
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6:04 PM | Common origins of RNA, protein, and lipid precursors
The origin of life on Earth is a fascinating topic. But […]
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4:50 PM | Carnivorous Croc Cousin Stalked the Triassic Carolinas
Movies have teasers. Books have sample chapters. And for fossils, there are photos of “unnamed taxa” in presentations …
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4:25 PM | Friday Fabulous Flower - Filberts
The filberts (aka hazel-nut, Corylus americana) are in flower in the upper midwest in March this year. Most people being quite plant blind don't even notice the catkins (3 shown here), the dangling inflorescences of pollen flowers some 3-4" long. So no one at all, including botany students, ever notice the brilliantly, dark red pistillate flowers. OK, they are pretty small, but they usually come in clusters of 2-3 flowers enclosed by bud scales (2 such clusters are in this image). Actually all […]
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4:18 PM | How chemistry affects the evolution of life | @GrrlScientist
In this fascinating video, Professor Ros Rickaby from Oxford chats with Professor Simon Conway-Morris at Cambridge about how Earth’s changing chemistry has affected evolution, and how this can sometimes lead to evolutionary convergenceA feature of natural selection, or “survival of the fittest”, is that context defines what is “fittest”. Traits that are “fittest” in one habitat can become liabilities in others. This was observed first-hand across […]
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