July 28, 2014

5:31 PM | What percent nature? What percent nurture?
The Nature versus Nurture debate is over: we no longer ask if genetics governs personality or if environment does. They work together, and it’s hard to pick their effects apart. But surely we can pick their effects apart a little? For example, if a dog trainer is trying to impress upon their students the importance of getting a puppy from a good breeder who takes behavior into account — or conversely, the importance of bringing a new puppy to a puppy class: what should she tell […]

Liinamo A.E., Peter A.J. Leegwater, Matthijs B.H. Schilder, Johan A.M. van Arendonk & Bernard A. van Oost (2007). Genetic variation in aggression-related traits in Golden Retriever dogs, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 104 (1-2) 95-106. DOI:

Strandberg E. & Peter Saetre (2005). Direct genetic, maternal and litter effects on behaviour in German shepherd dogs in Sweden, Livestock Production Science, 93 (1) 33-42. DOI:


July 27, 2014

9:32 PM | Second day
The second day (in Stuttgart) was more math than anything else, obviously. And it was mostly about industrial mathematics. First of all, I need to say that I was never attracted by these things, that seemed a little boring, but … Continue reading →

July 24, 2014

11:47 AM | 10 Minute Interview – The new Science of Geocognition
We are back! After a few weeks without posting, we thought it was about time we blogged! I have a HUGE backlog of 10 minute interviews that I have to transcribe from EGU 2014. The General Assembly was a great place to meet lots of young scientists doing all sorts of diverse and extremely interesting […]

July 21, 2014

8:00 AM | Science snap (#31): Mammatus clouds
After all the thunderous weather this weekend and being British, I thought I’d do a weather themed science snap. Don’t bolt yet; it’s a volcanic-weather themed! This is a picture of mammatus clouds following the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. These clouds are pretty rare, unusual and distinctive. Formally, the Glossary of Meteorology […]

July 17, 2014

6:00 AM | Science snap (#30): Aust Cliff, Gloucestershire
One of the most fascinating things about geology is its ability to reveal global events from evidence contained within a single outcrop. The cliff exposure at Aust in Gloucestershire, UK, is a spectacularly colourful example of this. Located beneath the original Severn Bridge, and running alongside the Severn Estuary, the 40m tall rock face records […]

July 15, 2014

9:12 PM | First day
As I was telling you in my previous post (link) I was at Stuttgart, and the time-table was more intense than I had expected at the beginning, though I enjoyed it a lot… It was really interesting, and it will take … Continue reading →

July 14, 2014

8:00 AM | Science Snap (#29): African Fairy Circles
  If you’re wandering among the arid desert that stretches from Angola to South Africa, you may notice the ground pot-marked by millions of circular barren patches. These striking features are known as “Fairy circles”, and can grow up to 15 meters in diameter. Tall grasses often surround these circles, further accentuating these miniature crop circles. How these […]

July 13, 2014

9:00 PM | Street numbers 1st month
The event Street Numbers had his first month. Really proud of everyone that participated and happy to say that there will be other 2 months of Street Numbers. Just take photos of the numbers around you: houses, buses, cars, prices in markets, … Continue reading →

July 11, 2014

5:22 PM | Box of Pox: The Return of the Smallpox
According to a CDC media release, vials labeled “Variola”, more commonly known as Smallpox, were found in an unused storage room in a laboratory at the NIH, Bethesda, which was used by the Food and Drug Administration. The laboratory had been shifted and these final materials were being transferred to the new facilities when these…

July 10, 2014

6:38 AM | The enigma of dome-headed dinosaurs
Pachycephalosaurids are a well know group of ornithischian dinosaurs from North America. If the name doesn't ring a bell, maybe these pictures will - apparently, the poor things were almost constantly butting heads with rivals, or charging off head-first for no apparent reason: [...]

July 09, 2014

10:23 PM | June Favorites
I know that it is almost the middle of July, but believe me that the beginning of this month was a lot harder for me (not complicated, but like my free time has just been divided by 2, which was … Continue reading →
11:43 AM | A typical day – In the beginning
A typical day at the beginning of my PhD was very different to a typical day towards the end of my third year. When starting a PhD (at least in Life Sciences), before anyone is let loose in a lab, there’s a lot of form-filling, health and safety inductions and even occupational health assessments that […]
6:00 AM | Aim high, shoot low? UK recycling rates missing the target
In 2008, the EU set a target for member countries to achieve a 50 % household recycling rate by 2020; last week, an amendment raised this figure to 70 % . The graph below shows the latest available data for the UK. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or an Earth scientist for that matter) […]
5:39 AM | Diseases of Displaced People: Cutaneous Leishmaniasis
Scabies, polio, tuberculosis, malaria, and a host of other diseases have been blamed on the penurious conditions that refugees are often forced to live in when in transitional shelters or refugee camps. In an “online ahead of print” report published in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, which is run by the CDC, another disease has…

July 08, 2014

6:46 AM | Thoughts on h-index (and Google Scholar Metrics 2014)
The 2014 Google Scholar Metrics have been released a week or so now. The list for the top twenty journals in Health and Medicine are: [drumroll] Now, one thing that needs to be clarified is that the Google Scholar citation index used is the h-index (over a period of 5 years). The interesting thing is…

July 07, 2014

8:38 PM | Visiting Stuttgart
This post is mostly a tourist-traveling post, so you might be surprised to see this on a math-blog. But I thought that this is better to introduce you to my week in Stuttgart, also another post will be about the … Continue reading →
3:05 PM | Florida Clampdown on Pain Pills Lowers Drug-Related Mortality
Ever since I started working with the homeless youth of Delhi, I have noticed their drug and substance dependence issues and how, despite knowing the ill-effects, they have not been able to get out from under the chemical spell. Thus, when I came across a short report in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports that Florida…

Johnson H, Paulozzi L, Porucznik C, Mack K, Herter B & Hal Johnson Consulting and Division of Disease Control and Health Promotion, Florida Department of Health (2014). Decline in drug overdose deaths after state policy changes - Florida, 2010-2012., MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 63 (26) 569-74. PMID:

2:33 PM | MERS CoV: Can it spread from camels to man?
The Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) is a novel single stranded RNA virus that has been doing the rounds in the Middle East, bits of Europe and North America. Given our experiences the last time we had a new respiratory virus (remember the pandemic?), things have moved rather fast this time once the…

Azhar, E., El-Kafrawy, S., Farraj, S., Hassan, A., Al-Saeed, M., Hashem, A. & Madani, T. (2014). Evidence for Camel-to-Human Transmission of MERS Coronavirus, New England Journal of Medicine, 370 (26) 2499-2505. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1401505

7:20 AM | Science Snap (#27): The Eye of the Sahara
Surrounded by thousands of square miles of ubiquitous desert, the “Eye of the Sahara” peers out from the Earth’s surface and at nearly 50 km wide, its easily visible from space too. The “Eye of the Sahara” is known as a Richat Structure, a geological feature consisting of a series of alternating circular layers of […]

July 06, 2014

10:57 PM | Sugar CuBes
First of all, my week in Stuttgart is over and I am back home with a lot of new things to share with you. Bare with me because I need a lot of time to prepare the posts about this … Continue reading →
4:39 PM | Ebola Outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are in the midst of an outbreak of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. The numbers that have been provided by the respective ministries of health and sanitation and the World Health Organization, which has been summarized in a CDC factsheet show frightening trends. Before proceeding further, let us take a look at…
3:00 PM | The Man with a million hits: John Ioanndis
If you are not aware of Prof. John Ioannidis and his work, well, you must have been living buried under the proverbial rock (also known as AIPG/AIIMS papers). He is what people usually call a gadfly. He wrote an article which took the world by storm, and not just for a day or two! He…
12:00 AM | New Vaccines in India’s Universal Immunization Program
Four new vaccines are being added to the arsenal of vaccines in India’s Universal Immunization Program. These include: Rubella, Rotavirus, Injectable Polio and Japanese Encephalitis for adults. This declaration was made on the Press Information Bureau website on the 3rd of July. Rubella: Although this was being administered as a part of the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine, […]

July 03, 2014

1:55 PM | More than Just Meetings - Xenopus, Advanced Imaging Workshop
It's probably true that most academic science events are conferences, developing...

July 01, 2014

4:07 PM | The Geometry of Pasta
I came across this book on the internet: ‘The Geometry of Pasta’ a book by  Jacob Kenedy & Caz Hildebrand (the London chef extraordinaire Jacob Kenedy and the British graphic designer Caz Hildebrand). I thought that this is such a nice idea, I love pastas … Continue reading →

June 29, 2014

4:19 PM | What a Mathematician can see in London
I will start a new category about traveling. Maybe it sounds a little strange to see something like this in a blog about math, but my blog is ‘Life through a Mathematician’s Eyes’ , so some traveling can find its … Continue reading →
11:01 AM | Moraines in Costa Rica? Really?
During a recent trip to Costa Rica in May, I had a conversation with some family and friends in which I uttered those words: “Moraines in Costa Rica? Really?” as they were describing a trek they’d undertaken earlier this year to the summit of Cerro Chirripó. This is the highest peak in the country (3819 […]
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