Posts

March 28, 2015

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7:26 PM | Olfaction, ecology, and intelligence
“I should think we might fairly gauge the future of biological science, centuries ahead by estimating the time it will take to reach a complete comprehensive understanding of odor. It may not seem a profound enough problem to dominate all...Read more
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3:06 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 27/03/2015
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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3:06 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 27/03/2015
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]

March 26, 2015

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11:50 AM | Watching a paradigm shift in neuroscience
When I finished my PhD 15 years ago, the neurosciences defined the main function of brains in terms of processing input to compute output: “brain function is ultimately best understood in terms of input/output transformations and how they are produced” […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...

Gordus, A., Pokala, N., Levy, S., Flavell, S. & Bargmann, C. (2015). Feedback from Network States Generates Variability in a Probabilistic Olfactory Circuit, Cell, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.02.018

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5:41 AM | A Snippet. How Do Long Bacteria Snip Apart?
by Elio | Surely there are limits to the size and physiology of bacterial cells. They can only get to be so big or so small, so full of ribosomes or so depleted of them, so fast or so extremely slow in their growth. Add another one to this list: are there limits to how precisely bacteria position their division site? What brings this up is that many of the bacteria encountered in...

March 25, 2015

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7:34 PM | Palau’s Reefs: Journey from Destruction to Recovery
Written by Alison Barrat and Andy Bruckner On a scientific expedition to Palau this January we saw thriving coral reefs that contained many species of large, healthy corals, and only a few miles away we found desolate looking reefs that had virtually no coral at all. Our science team recorded conditions that were optimal for…
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12:00 PM | This Nose Knows
Biology concepts – evolution, asymmetry, bilateral symmetry, phonic lips, whales, echolocation, encephalization quotient, densityThis picture gives you a good idea of just how big a spermaceti whale is. Captain Ahab wanted to take this guy on mano y mano. He was nuts.Captain Ahab had an obsession for the white whale in Moby Dick. It was a killer, but not a killer whale. It swamped boats, rammed ships, and generally made a nuisance of itself. But it seemed to be intelligent as well, the […]

Ridgway, S. & Hanson, A. (2014). Sperm Whales and Killer Whales with the Largest Brains of All Toothed Whales Show Extreme Differences in Cerebellum, Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 83 (4) 266-274. DOI: 10.1159/000360519

Oliveira, C., Wahlberg, M., Johnson, M., Miller, P. & Madsen, P. (2013). The function of male sperm whale slow clicks in a high latitude habitat: Communication, echolocation, or prey debilitation?, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 133 (5) 3135. DOI: 10.1121/1.4795798

BODDY, A., McGOWEN, M., SHERWOOD, C., GROSSMAN, L., GOODMAN, M. & WILDMAN, D. (2012). Comparative analysis of encephalization in mammals reveals relaxed constraints on anthropoid primate and cetacean brain scaling, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25 (5) 981-994. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2012.02491.x

Montgomery, S., Geisler, J., McGowen, M., Fox, C., Marino, L. & Gatesy, J. (2013). THE EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY OF CETACEAN BRAIN AND BODY SIZE, Evolution, 67 (11) 3339-3353. DOI: 10.1111/evo.12197

Citation
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12:00 PM | This Nose Knows
Biology concepts – evolution, asymmetry, bilateral symmetry, phonic lips, whales, echolocation, encephalization quotient, densityThis picture gives you a good idea of just how big a spermaceti whale is. Captain Ahab wanted to take this guy on mano y mano. He was nuts.Captain Ahab had an obsession for the white whale in Moby Dick. It was a killer, but not a killer whale. It swamped boats, rammed ships, and generally made a nuisance of itself. But it seemed to be intelligent as well, the […]

Ridgway, S. & Hanson, A. (2014). Sperm Whales and Killer Whales with the Largest Brains of All Toothed Whales Show Extreme Differences in Cerebellum, Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 83 (4) 266-274. DOI: 10.1159/000360519

Oliveira, C., Wahlberg, M., Johnson, M., Miller, P. & Madsen, P. (2013). The function of male sperm whale slow clicks in a high latitude habitat: Communication, echolocation, or prey debilitation?, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 133 (5) 3135. DOI: 10.1121/1.4795798

BODDY, A., McGOWEN, M., SHERWOOD, C., GROSSMAN, L., GOODMAN, M. & WILDMAN, D. (2012). Comparative analysis of encephalization in mammals reveals relaxed constraints on anthropoid primate and cetacean brain scaling, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25 (5) 981-994. DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2012.02491.x

Montgomery, S., Geisler, J., McGowen, M., Fox, C., Marino, L. & Gatesy, J. (2013). THE EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY OF CETACEAN BRAIN AND BODY SIZE, Evolution, 67 (11) 3339-3353. DOI: 10.1111/evo.12197

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9:51 AM | “Beyond Boundaries” Into The Wilderness
INK Talks is an inspirational conference platform committed to spreading disruptive ideas and inspiring stories from the most unexpected sources. At INK 2014, the speakers were asked to describe why and how they were going “beyond boundaries” in their own work and daily lives… Please watch and share this INK talk: https://youtu.be/Z5RLTzya0v8

March 24, 2015

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10:04 PM | Shark vs. Cameraman, Ancient Islands, More!
We dive with full grown adult sharks most days and so we are relaxed with these little ones—but it’s not so easy if you are a cameraman and get caught unaware.
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6:36 PM | FDA struggles to define what “natural” means for food labels
After decades of debate there remains no generally accepted definition of a “natural” food product. Despite a gamut of products with the label prominently displayed, it has caused a headache in lawsuits for the government who have yet to define “natural”. According to new research, while regulatory agencies have refused to settle the issue, they […]

Petty, R. (2014). “Natural” Claims in Food Advertising: Policy Implications of Filling the Regulatory Void with Consumer Class Action Lawsuits, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1509/jppm.14.147

Citation
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6:36 PM | FDA struggles to define what “natural” means for food labels
After decades of debate there remains no generally accepted definition of a “natural” food product. Despite a gamut of products with the label prominently displayed, it has caused a headache in lawsuits for the government who have yet to define “natural”. According to new research, while regulatory agencies have refused to settle the issue, they […]

Petty, R. (2014). “Natural” Claims in Food Advertising: Policy Implications of Filling the Regulatory Void with Consumer Class Action Lawsuits, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1509/jppm.14.147

Citation
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6:36 PM | FDA struggles to define what “natural” means for food labels
After decades of debate there remains no generally accepted definition of a “natural” food product. Despite a gamut of products with the label prominently displayed, it has caused a headache in lawsuits for the government who have yet to define “natural”. According to new research, while regulatory agencies have refused to settle the issue, they […]

Petty, R. (2014). “Natural” Claims in Food Advertising: Policy Implications of Filling the Regulatory Void with Consumer Class Action Lawsuits, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1509/jppm.14.147

Citation
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6:36 PM | FDA struggles to define what “natural” means for food labels
After decades of debate there remains no generally accepted definition of a “natural” food product. Despite a gamut of products with the label prominently displayed, it has caused a headache in lawsuits for the government who have yet to define “natural”. According to new research, while regulatory agencies have refused to settle the issue, they […]

Petty, R. (2014). “Natural” Claims in Food Advertising: Policy Implications of Filling the Regulatory Void with Consumer Class Action Lawsuits, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1509/jppm.14.147

Citation
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6:36 PM | FDA struggles to define what “natural” means for food labels
After decades of debate there remains no generally accepted definition of a “natural” food product. Despite a gamut of products with the label prominently displayed, it has caused a headache in lawsuits for the government who have yet to define “natural”. According to new research, while regulatory agencies have refused to settle the issue, they […]

Petty, R. (2014). “Natural” Claims in Food Advertising: Policy Implications of Filling the Regulatory Void with Consumer Class Action Lawsuits, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1509/jppm.14.147

Citation
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6:36 PM | FDA struggles to define what “natural” means for food labels
After decades of debate there remains no generally accepted definition of a “natural” food product. Despite a gamut of products with the label prominently displayed, it has caused a headache in lawsuits for the government who have yet to define “natural”. According to new research, while regulatory agencies have refused to settle the issue, they […]

Petty, R. (2014). “Natural” Claims in Food Advertising: Policy Implications of Filling the Regulatory Void with Consumer Class Action Lawsuits, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1509/jppm.14.147

Citation
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6:36 PM | FDA struggles to define what “natural” means for food labels
After decades of debate there remains no generally accepted definition of a “natural” food product. Despite a gamut of products with the label prominently displayed, it has caused a headache in lawsuits for the government who have yet to define “natural”. According to new research, while regulatory agencies have refused to settle the issue, they […]

Petty, R. (2014). “Natural” Claims in Food Advertising: Policy Implications of Filling the Regulatory Void with Consumer Class Action Lawsuits, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1509/jppm.14.147

Citation
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6:36 PM | FDA struggles to define what “natural” means for food labels
After decades of debate there remains no generally accepted definition of a “natural” food product. Despite a gamut of products with the label prominently displayed, it has caused a headache in lawsuits for the government who have yet to define “natural”. According to new research, while regulatory agencies have refused to settle the issue, they […]

Petty, R. (2014). “Natural” Claims in Food Advertising: Policy Implications of Filling the Regulatory Void with Consumer Class Action Lawsuits, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1509/jppm.14.147

Citation
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6:36 PM | FDA struggles to define what “natural” means for food labels
After decades of debate there remains no generally accepted definition of a “natural” food product. Despite a gamut of products with the label prominently displayed, it has caused a headache in lawsuits for the government who have yet to define “natural”. According to new research, while regulatory agencies have refused to settle the issue, they […]

Petty, R. (2014). “Natural” Claims in Food Advertising: Policy Implications of Filling the Regulatory Void with Consumer Class Action Lawsuits, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1509/jppm.14.147

Citation

March 23, 2015

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9:42 PM | Swimming With a Hawksbill Turtle, Barracuda, and More
This is the largest raised coral atoll on Earth: remote, inhospitable, spared from human interference, home to 100,000 giant tortoises, and surrounded by pristine reefs. This is Aldabra! It is truly one of the wonders of the world. And we on this Pristine Seas expedition to study and record its wildlife are thrilled to be…
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5:33 PM | New on Zoologic: Meet the American Alligator
The American alligator is North America’s largest reptile. They are surprisingly vocal and touchingly maternal. Learn more about these giants in my latest Zoologic post, The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About the American Alligator .
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2:34 PM | Komodo Dragons: Their Bite is Worse than Their Bark
By Shelly Sonsalla Komodo Dragon. Image by Arturo de Frias Marques on Wikimedia. Komodo dragons are the world’s largest living lizard and can be found only on select islands in the Indonesian archipelago. These massive lizards can grow to be 10 feet in length and up to 150 pounds! Their natural prey includes wild boars, deer, and water buffalo—animals which may outweigh them by several hundred pounds. So how does a lizard, even such a large one, manage to take down prey so […]

Christiansen P & Wroe S (2007). Bite forces and evolutionary adaptations to feeding ecology in carnivores., Ecology, 88 (2) 347-58. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17479753

Fry, B., Wroe, S., Teeuwisse, W., van Osch, M., Moreno, K., Ingle, J., McHenry, C., Ferrara, T., Clausen, P., Scheib, H. & Winter, K. (2009). A central role for venom in predation by Varanus komodoensis (Komodo Dragon) and the extinct giant Varanus (Megalania) priscus, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106 (22) 8969-8974. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0810883106

Merchant, M., Henry, D., Falconi, R., Muscher, B. & Bryja, J. (2013). Antibacterial activities of serum from the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis), Microbiology Research, 4 (1) 4. DOI: 10.4081/mr.2013.e4

Montgomery JM, Gillespie D, Sastrawan P, Fredeking TM & Stewart GL (2002). Aerobic salivary bacteria in wild and captive Komodo dragons., Journal of wildlife diseases, 38 (3) 545-51. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12238371

Citation
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2:34 PM | Komodo Dragons: Their Bite is Worse than Their Bark
By Shelly Sonsalla Komodo Dragon. Image by Arturo de Frias Marques on Wikimedia. Komodo dragons are the world’s largest living lizard and can be found only on select islands in the Indonesian archipelago. These massive lizards can grow to be 10 feet in length and up to 150 pounds! Their natural prey includes wild boars, deer, and water buffalo—animals which may outweigh them by several hundred pounds. So how does a lizard, even such a large one, manage to take down prey so […]

Christiansen P & Wroe S (2007). Bite forces and evolutionary adaptations to feeding ecology in carnivores., Ecology, 88 (2) 347-58. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17479753

Fry, B., Wroe, S., Teeuwisse, W., van Osch, M., Moreno, K., Ingle, J., McHenry, C., Ferrara, T., Clausen, P., Scheib, H. & Winter, K. (2009). A central role for venom in predation by Varanus komodoensis (Komodo Dragon) and the extinct giant Varanus (Megalania) priscus, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106 (22) 8969-8974. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0810883106

Merchant, M., Henry, D., Falconi, R., Muscher, B. & Bryja, J. (2013). Antibacterial activities of serum from the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis), Microbiology Research, 4 (1) 4. DOI: 10.4081/mr.2013.e4

Montgomery JM, Gillespie D, Sastrawan P, Fredeking TM & Stewart GL (2002). Aerobic salivary bacteria in wild and captive Komodo dragons., Journal of wildlife diseases, 38 (3) 545-51. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12238371

Citation
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2:34 PM | Komodo Dragons: Their Bite is Worse than Their Bark
By Shelly Sonsalla Komodo Dragon. Image by Arturo de Frias Marques on Wikimedia. Komodo dragons are the world’s largest living lizard and can be found only on select islands in the Indonesian archipelago. These massive lizards can grow to be 10 feet in length and up to 150 pounds! Their natural prey includes wild boars, deer, and water buffalo—animals which may outweigh them by several hundred pounds. So how does a lizard, even such a large one, manage to take down prey so […]

Christiansen P & Wroe S (2007). Bite forces and evolutionary adaptations to feeding ecology in carnivores., Ecology, 88 (2) 347-58. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17479753

Fry, B., Wroe, S., Teeuwisse, W., van Osch, M., Moreno, K., Ingle, J., McHenry, C., Ferrara, T., Clausen, P., Scheib, H. & Winter, K. (2009). A central role for venom in predation by Varanus komodoensis (Komodo Dragon) and the extinct giant Varanus (Megalania) priscus, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106 (22) 8969-8974. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0810883106

Merchant, M., Henry, D., Falconi, R., Muscher, B. & Bryja, J. (2013). Antibacterial activities of serum from the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis), Microbiology Research, 4 (1) 4. DOI: 10.4081/mr.2013.e4

Montgomery JM, Gillespie D, Sastrawan P, Fredeking TM & Stewart GL (2002). Aerobic salivary bacteria in wild and captive Komodo dragons., Journal of wildlife diseases, 38 (3) 545-51. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12238371

Citation
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2:34 PM | Komodo Dragons: Their Bite is Worse than Their Bark
By Shelly Sonsalla Komodo Dragon. Image by Arturo de Frias Marques on Wikimedia. Komodo dragons are the world’s largest living lizard and can be found only on select islands in the Indonesian archipelago. These massive lizards can grow to be 10 feet in length and up to 150 pounds! Their natural prey includes wild boars, deer, and water buffalo—animals which may outweigh them by several hundred pounds. So how does a lizard, even such a large one, manage to take down prey so […]

Christiansen P & Wroe S (2007). Bite forces and evolutionary adaptations to feeding ecology in carnivores., Ecology, 88 (2) 347-58. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17479753

Fry, B., Wroe, S., Teeuwisse, W., van Osch, M., Moreno, K., Ingle, J., McHenry, C., Ferrara, T., Clausen, P., Scheib, H. & Winter, K. (2009). A central role for venom in predation by Varanus komodoensis (Komodo Dragon) and the extinct giant Varanus (Megalania) priscus, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106 (22) 8969-8974. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0810883106

Merchant, M., Henry, D., Falconi, R., Muscher, B. & Bryja, J. (2013). Antibacterial activities of serum from the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis), Microbiology Research, 4 (1) 4. DOI: 10.4081/mr.2013.e4

Montgomery JM, Gillespie D, Sastrawan P, Fredeking TM & Stewart GL (2002). Aerobic salivary bacteria in wild and captive Komodo dragons., Journal of wildlife diseases, 38 (3) 545-51. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12238371

Citation
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12:00 PM | When Antibiotic Resistance in vitro Does Not Tell You What You Need To Know
by Terry Roemer | Increasingly, it is becoming apparent that there is a deep difference between what happens in vivo and in vitro. The idea that one can comfortably extrapolate from the bench to, say, the bedside, is receding rapidly. Living things, not even the smallest ones, are no agar plates, however convenient and inexpensive these may be.

March 22, 2015

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9:58 PM | Albino Tapir Photographed – New on Weird & Wild
In my latest for Nat Geo’s Weird & Wild news, I write about how a camera trap caught a local legend on film – an albino tapir in Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest. To see my whole story, and photos, go here: Super-Rare Albino Tapir Photographed in Brazil.
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8:34 PM | the sonorous war cry of a very angry frog
I've always liked frogs. I remember, when I was probably around 4 years old, being fascinated by the tadpoles that Dad brought home in a big jar from a farm pond. Mum explained about how they'd gradually metamorphose (thought...
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10:52 AM | Can Neuroscience Teach Us About Winemaking?
Modern winemakers may have erred when they switched to producing high alcohol wines. According to a new paper, from Spanish neuroscientists Ram Frost and colleagues, a low alcohol content wine actually produces more brain activity in 'taste processing' areas than more alcoholic varieties do. But what does the brain really have to say about Beaujolais? Can scanning help us pick a Sauvignon? Will neuroimaging reveal the secret to a good... er... Nero d'Avola? In their paper, publishe

Frost R, Quiñones I, Veldhuizen M, Alava JI, Small D & Carreiras M (2015). What Can the Brain Teach Us about Winemaking? An fMRI Study of Alcohol Level Preferences., PloS one, 10 (3) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25785844

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March 21, 2015

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11:31 PM | Squid prolifically edit RNA to enrich their DNA
DNA, it’s what makes us, well us! Not that long ago, before we sequenced human DNA we assumed we had one of the largest genomes around. Frankly it wasn’t a bad assumption, but of course we found out this was far from the case and to make ourselves feel better we said size doesn’t matter. […]

Alon, S., Garrett, S., Levanon, E., Olson, S., Graveley, B., Rosenthal, J. & Eisenberg, E. (2015). The majority of transcripts in the squid nervous system are extensively recoded by A-to-I RNA editing, eLife, 4 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.05198

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