Posts

November 11, 2014

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5:51 PM | Job Announcement: Moore Foundation Program Associate
This seems like a potentially interesting job.  I note - I love the Moore Foundation - and just about everything they are doing in science.  Below is the email I recieved from the Project Lead Jon Kaye:We have opened a search for a Program Associate. Details at the link below and attached. Please share with Bachelor’s and Master’s level individuals who may be interested. http://www.moore.org/about/careers?gnk=job&gni=8a8725d0494f97e601495deb88ba30cb We will […]
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4:50 PM | GSA journals partner with bioRxiv
    Today we announced good news for our authors who use the bioRxiv preprint server! In partnership with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the GSA journals GENETICS and G3 are rolling out a new feature that allows authors to submit … Read More The post GSA journals partner with bioRxiv appeared first on Genes to Genomes.
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2:46 PM | Stuff Matters wins Royal Society's 2014 Winton Prize for Science Books | @GrrlScientist
Mark Miodowniks Stuff Matters has won the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. Stuff Matters, published by Viking, takes the reader on a lively and engaging exploration of some of the myriad materials that shape the modern world.Fans of popular science books will be excited to learn that Professor Mark Miodowniks Stuff Matters won the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. Continue reading...
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12:24 PM | Bugs fighting bugs: the evolution of the arthropod immune system.
Since the beginning of time, animals have needed to protect themselves from invaders. They primarily do so via their innate immune system, in which trained killer cells attack foreign pathogens – ranging from microscopic bacteria to macroscopic worms. While we … Continue reading →
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8:33 AM | POTW Returns!
After taking last week off, Problem of the Week returns. This week’s problem has several possible answers, so even after a solution gets posted you can feel free to look for others. In fact, I’d be curious to know the various approaches people took to solve the problem. Did anyone come up with anything more…

November 10, 2014

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11:57 PM | Plasticity in mate preferences and the not-so-needed Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES)
[ This post is by Erik Svensson at Lund University; I am just putting it up.  –B. ]Andrew Hendry at McGill was kind enough to invite me to write a guest post at his blog, where I would explain why odonates (“dragonflies and damselflies”) are great study organisms in ecology and evolution, and I happily grabbed this opportunity. I will also re-publish this post at our own blog, Experimental Evolution, Ecology & Behaviour. Here I will try to put our research and our […]
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8:20 PM | Book Preview: Speaking Our Minds
This is a guest post by Thom Scott-Phillips, previewing his new book, ‘Speaking Our Minds: Why Human Communication Is Different, And How Language Evolved To Make It Special’, which has just been published by Palgrave MacMillan. Research in language evolution does not pay much attention to pragmatics – the study of the communicative basis of language use. By […]
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5:04 PM | Different genetic paths lead to the same phenotypic destination
Male field crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus) on the Hawaiian archipelago sing to attract mates using acoustic structures on their wings. While singing makes the ladies swoon, it also gives away the male cricket’s location, making it vulnerable to fatal attacks by … Continue reading →
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2:32 PM | The Meaning of Fitness
Thanks to the phrase “survival of the fittest”, fitness is quite a prominent ide...
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1:11 PM | Women in science – is there power in a union?
University science departments have a sexism problem. Often described as a ‘leaky pipeline’, the ratio of women to men decreases at each stage of the academic ladder, culminating in a massive lack of female professors. That this problem exists is … Continue reading →
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11:18 AM | Is masculinity toxic? (2014)
“For every problem, there is a solution which is simple, neat, and wrong.” HL Mencken I’d better get my disclaimer in quick. You will notice that this post is directed at individual members of the same group. But this is not to say that I have a problem with that group as a whole. Yes, […]
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7:00 AM | The Weird Racism of Doctor Who
Is Doctor Who a racist show? On the surface, it seems like a silly question. After all, there have been a number of prominent non-white characters. Moreover, the interracial and same-sex relationships in the show are presented as run-of-the-mill, everyday occurrences. Perhaps relatedly, the franchise has a strong reputation for its diverse and well-rounded portrayals […]
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3:05 AM | Grumble, Mumble Rumble
I ended my last post with a grumble about the impoverished view of humanity that I often encounter when I read linguistic musings. Most of the articlesI report on do not seem to grasp how much had to change for...
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1:25 AM | Sunday Chess Problem
Babson Task problems are hard work, so we shall resume our consideration of them next week. Instead I have a lovely lightweight problem for you this week, composed by Pal Benko in 1968. Actually, you can have an interesting philosophical discussion about whether this problem was composed or discovered. In the position below, white is…

November 09, 2014

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4:42 PM | Where Have All the Axons Gone in Autism?
Okay, I’ll admit, the study of neurite (i.e., axon and dendrite) formation isn’t my area of expertise. My background is more in neuropathology and genetics. But I had been working […]
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4:32 PM | Putting the gardens to bed for the winter
Since the leaf elves have come and gone, and some hard freezing temperatures are on their way, only a few more things need to be done to finish up the fall gardening. The fountain pond must be emptied and covered for the winter. The lily pond still needs to be de-leafed by removing the leaf catching net and sucking up the leaves around the margins. Then the filter system and cascade pump will be turned off for the winter and drained. The compressor keeps going. Some beds will […]
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1:33 PM | You Should Know Dr John A Johnson and Mahalo.ne.Trash
Welcome to fifteenth installment of my You Should Know Series. It’s where I give my own #ScholarSunday salute to Science Bloggers and Blogs I believe the rest of the world should follow. You Should... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:01 PM | Shouldering the Burden of Uncertainty
I awoke on the floor in the aisle of my United Airlines flight to Los Angeles, with three unfamiliar men crouched around me, bearing serious expressions as they looked down on my prone body. I was next to my seat. My daughter was crying inconsolably in her seat next to mine, and my wife was […]

November 08, 2014

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6:24 PM | Terminology for Cultural Evolution: Coordinators and Phantasms
I’ve decided that it is time for some new terms. I’ve been using “meme” as the cultural analog for the biological “gene”, which is more or less the use that Dawkins had in mind when he coined the term. But I’ve decided to scrap it. I also need a term for the cultural analog to […]
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3:25 PM | A visit from the leaf elves
For those of you who may not know, the Phactors' estate has something like a dozen very large deciduous trees, and this means that our lawns and gardens get buried, deeply, in leaves. Enough leaves that senior citizens don't consider raking them for even a nanosecond. In addition to the raking, dragging heavy tarps loaded with leaves to the curb, when the curb can be 300 feet away, is nothing to be undertaken lightly even though our gardens are both our hobby and exercise program. This is […]
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1:41 PM | Terrestriality, high-walking and dimorphic snout crests: phytosaurs part II
Time for more phytosaurs. The previous article is probably required reading. Phytosaurs are (so far as we can tell) members of the great diapsid reptile clade Archosauriformes. After all, they have... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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10:04 AM | Beauty pageants for chickens | video | @GrrlScientist
Indonesia is home to a tiny breed of chickens that are kept and bred purely for ornamental reasons. So of course, that means their human caregivers must hold a beauty pageant where these diminutive birds can strut their stuff.Todays caturday video captures the relationship between people and birds. But, as is true for all birds, these birds are special. The birds in this video are a tiny breed of bantam chickens, ayam serama, which originated in the Malaysian state of Kelantan roughly 50 years […]
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8:05 AM | If the Earth would have plunged into darkness for 6 days…
“NASA announces that, in December, the Earth is going to almost completely fade into darkness for 6 days, due to a solar storm.” This rumor has recently circulated in the media and on social networks. Although, obviously, it was a little joke, a denial from the NASA’s official was necessary, in order to calm down […] The post If the Earth would have plunged into darkness for 6 days… appeared first on Social Ethology.

November 07, 2014

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6:01 PM | Book Review: The Nature and Origin of Language (Bouchard 2013)
This review appeared originally in the LINGUIST List at http://linguistlist.org/issues/25/25-4460.html Book announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/25/25-1636.html AUTHOR: Denis Bouchard TITLE: The Nature and Origin of Language SUBTITLE: First Edition SERIES TITLE: Oxford Studies in the Evolution of Language PUBLISHER: Oxford University Press YEAR: 2013 REVIEWER: Hannah Little, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Review’s Editors: Malgorzata Cavar and Sara Couture […]
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4:45 PM | The Epigenetic Revolution in Evolution is long overdue… but it’s happening
Junk & the Epigenetic caterpillar how new and not so new discoveries in biology are overturning our conventional model of evolution & health (credit: Wikispaces educational resources) A new synthesis is dawning… Professor Denis Noble (eminent physiologist) states: […] all the central assumptions of the Modern Synthesis (often also called Neo-Darwinism) have been disproven. Moreover, […]
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4:09 PM | Sweet Mother Monkey Milk Cortisol Reloaded
Mother’s milk is more than food full of essential nutrients and more than medicine packed with protective immunofactors. Mother’s milk contains signals- hormones of maternal origin- that influence infant metabolism, neurobiology, and behavior. Profs Frank “Skip” Bartol and Carol Bagnell coined the term “lactocrine programming” to describe the effects of these hormones in the baby. […]
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3:00 PM | “Dance your Ph.D.” winner gets up in the air to explain life underground
The winner of this year’s “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest, Uma Nagendra, studies fungi that infect the roots of pine seedlings—seedlings that grow too close to an adult tree, such as their own parent, can be at higher risk of fungal disease transmitted from the adult’s roots. Nagendra depicts those underground interactions, and what happens when […]
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2:44 PM | New books party: Books that arrived recently | @GrrlScientist
This week, I share my initial impressions of three wonderful hot-off-the-presses science books that just arrived in the mail; two books are about genetics and one is a diary by a citizen scientistThis week, several new books arrived that have made me so excited that I could barely tear myself away from reading them long enough to share my impressions with you. All of the books that I share with you today should be on everyones holiday gifts lists and on your reading lists! Continue reading...
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2:00 PM | Distal eQTLs, angry rats & zebrafish sex: November GENETICS highlights
The November issue of GENETICS is out today! Check out the highlights below or the full Table of Contents here. Genetic influences on brain gene expression in rats selected for tameness and aggression, pp. 1277–1290 Henrike O. Heyne, Susann Lautenschläger, Ronald … Read More The post Distal eQTLs, angry rats & zebrafish sex: November GENETICS highlights appeared first on Genes to Genomes.
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2:00 PM | Happy as a clam, despite genetic uniformity
  Introduced populations of non-native species are often associated with low genetic diversity, as measured by neutral genetic loci, and, thus, considered a paradox (but see Roman and Darling 2007). The study by Lise-Marie Pigneur and colleagues documents an extreme example … Continue reading →
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