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Ecology / Conservation posts

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  • May 24, 2016
  • 02:31 PM
  • 41 views

Hatching Sea Turtles Get a Hand from Their Siblings

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Smashing out of its egg is only the first step in a baby sea turtle's grueling early days. The turtle fights free of its eggshell only to find itself buried underground. It has to intuit which way is up, then dig out of the packed sand. As soon as it breaks onto the surface of the beach, it begins a mad sprint to the ocean. All around are its brothers and sisters, flailing toward the water as fast as their own flippers will carry them. In the sea they'll keep swimming frantically, trying ........ Read more »

  • May 22, 2016
  • 08:17 PM
  • 65 views

Piggybacking Instead of Killing: New Insights Into Virus Community Dynamics

by Geoffrey Hannigan in Prophage

The human microbiome is an important component of human health and disease. It is an ecosystem of microbes that exists in and on humans, and can affect disease states through disturbances in composition, diversity, metabolism, etc. Understanding the human microbiome will not only allow us to better understand human health, but it will also allow us to treat medical conditions in new and effective ways (e.g. Fecal Microbiota Transplants).... Read more »

Knowles B, Silveira CB, Bailey BA, Barott K, Cantu VA, Cobián-Güemes AG, Coutinho FH, Dinsdale EA, Felts B, Furby KA.... (2016) Lytic to temperate switching of viral communities. Nature, 531(7595), 466-70. PMID: 26982729  

  • May 21, 2016
  • 03:44 PM
  • 103 views

Bacteria in branches naturally fertilize trees

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The bacteria in and on our bodies have been shown to be vital for human health, influencing nutrition, obesity and protection from diseases. But science has only recently delved into the importance of the microbiome of plants. Since plants can't move, they are especially reliant on partnerships with microbes to help them get nutrients.

... Read more »

Doty, S., Sher, A., Fleck, N., Khorasani, M., Bumgarner, R., Khan, Z., Ko, A., Kim, S., & DeLuca, T. (2016) Variable Nitrogen Fixation in Wild Populus. PLOS ONE, 11(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155979  

  • May 18, 2016
  • 09:36 AM
  • 130 views

Video Tip of the Week: JGI user meeting videos, and MetaSUB

by Mary in OpenHelix

This week’s Video Tip of the Week is actually a whole bunch of videos. Although I’ll highlight one here as our tip, there are many great talks from the recent JGI Genomics of Energy & Environment meeting. Although typically we focus on specific software tools for our tips, I think this is a nice case […]... Read more »

Afshinnekoo, E., Meydan, C., Chowdhury, S., Jaroudi, D., Boyer, C., Bernstein, N., Maritz, J., Reeves, D., Gandara, J., Chhangawala, S.... (2015) Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics. Cell Systems, 1(1), 72-87. DOI: 10.1016/j.cels.2015.01.001  

Alexa B.R. McIntyre, Lindsay Rizzardi, Angela M Yu, Gail L. Rosen, Noah Alexander, Douglas J. Botkin, Kristen K. John, Sarah L. Castro-Wallace, Aaron S. Burton, Andrew Feinberg.... (2015) Nanopore Sequencing in Microgravity. bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/032342  

  • May 14, 2016
  • 04:04 PM
  • 151 views

Bacteria are individualists

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

No two bacteria are identical - even when they are genetically the same. A new study from researchers reveals the conditions under which bacteria become individualists and how they help their group grow when times get tough. Whether you are a human or a bacterium, your environment determines how you can develop.

... Read more »

  • May 13, 2016
  • 09:08 AM
  • 157 views

The Dance Language of Honeybees Is Sloppy

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



"Dance like nobody's watching" is fine advice, unless somebody is watching, and she needs to translate your dance steps into instructions to find food. That's the case for honeybees. But even though the rest of the colony must interpret their dance moves carefully, it turns out honeybees are pretty sloppy dancers.

When honeybees return to the hive after finding nectar or other food, they famously do a "waggle dance" to tell their sisters where the food was. The waggle is a shimmying ........ Read more »

  • May 13, 2016
  • 04:35 AM
  • 125 views

Sex-dependent dominance of a large effects locus in Atlantic salmon

by Casper van der Kooi in genome ecology evolution etc

Many male and female-specific traits share a common genetic basis. Selection on these traits may, however, differ between the sexes, leading to sexual conflict. Sex-dependent dominance, where the dominant allele in one sex is recessive in the other, is expected … Continue reading →... Read more »

Barson, N., Aykanat, T., Hindar, K., Baranski, M., Bolstad, G., Fiske, P., Jacq, C., Jensen, A., Johnston, S., Karlsson, S.... (2015) Sex-dependent dominance at a single locus maintains variation in age at maturity in salmon. Nature, 528(7582), 405-408. DOI: 10.1038/nature16062  

  • May 12, 2016
  • 12:30 PM
  • 123 views

The Pantanal Diaries III: Ready to Mix

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Emerge into Brazil’s swamp, with Chiara and the Wildlife Conservation Society.... Read more »

Rodrigo Luiz Simas de Aguiar, & Keny Marques Lima. (2012) A arte rupestre em cavernas da região noroeste de Mato Grosso do Sul discussões preliminares. Espeleo-Tema, 23(2). info:/

  • May 9, 2016
  • 01:34 PM
  • 130 views

The Princess IS the Frog (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Hayley TrzinskiImage by Hayley TrzinskiThe Princess and the Frog is a very fun and imaginative children’s story… but not when pesticides are involved. Have you ever wondered how dangerous pesticides can be? Well, pesticides can harm more than just pests and weeds, and in the case of frogs, many pesticides and herbicides are causing problems. Atrazine, a chemical commonly used as an herbicide, can cause reproduction in male African clawed frogs to be impossible. In some cases, atrazine i........ Read more »

Hayes, T., Khoury, V., Narayan, A., Nazir, M., Park, A., Brown, T., Adame, L., Chan, E., Buchholz, D., Stueve, T.... (2010) Atrazine induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(10), 4612-4617. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909519107  

Mnif, W., Hassine, A., Bouaziz, A., Bartegi, A., Thomas, O., & Roig, B. (2011) Effect of Endocrine Disruptor Pesticides: A Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8(12), 2265-2303. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph8062265  

  • May 9, 2016
  • 11:53 AM
  • 114 views

African Grey Parrot

by Jason Organ in Eatlemania!

The Eatles are feasting on an African Grey Parrot. Come read about the natural history and conservation of this animal, courtesy of Animalia, Inc and the Organ Laboratory at Indiana University School of Medicine.... Read more »

Pepperberg IM. (2006) Grey parrot numerical competence: a review. Animal cognition, 9(4), 377-91. PMID: 16909236  

  • May 9, 2016
  • 11:14 AM
  • 29 views

All-Female Salamanders Have Superior Powers of Regeneration

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



The Amazons were a mythical race of warrior women who, in one version of the story, removed their right breasts to be more hardcore. But an all-female race of salamanders doesn't suffer from missing body parts. In fact, these animals have super-powered regeneration: when they lose an appendage, they can grow it back much more quickly than other salamanders do.

The secret lies somewhere in the salamanders' bizarre genetics. "They sort of defy definition," says Rob Denton, a graduate studen... Read more »

  • May 9, 2016
  • 06:51 AM
  • 133 views

Do Dragons Dream Of Tasty Crickets?

by Gunnar De Winter in United Academics

Sleeping reptiles show brain patterns resembling sleep cycles in mammals and birds.... Read more »

  • May 4, 2016
  • 03:32 PM
  • 185 views

Where to Snuggle a Hedgehoglet

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Did you know this is Hedgehog Awareness Week? The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has dedicated May 1 through 7 to the spiny garden animal. The society won't go so far as to call it Hedgehog Appreciation Week—perhaps that would be too much of an imposition?—but it does want to highlight some of the problems faced by hedgehogs. For example, weed whackers, which apparently in the U.K. are called "strimmers."

The society suggests posting pro-hedgehog leaflets around your neighborho........ Read more »

  • May 2, 2016
  • 03:50 AM
  • 174 views

A statistical regression approach to estimate zooplankton mortality

by sceintists from the Marine group at CEES in Marine Science blog




It is notoriously difficult to estimate mortality rates for zooplankton populations in the open ocean. In a new paper, Kvile and colleagues demonstrate that mortality estimation can be improved using a statistical regression approach (SRA) that takes into account advection and spatiotemporal trends in recruitment. Using this method on
Calanus finmarchicus survey data from the Norwegian Sea–Barents Sea, they find indications of increased mortality for the old........ Read more »

  • April 28, 2016
  • 09:33 AM
  • 214 views

Breathing Bordeaux is entirely different from drinking it!

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

It was the summer of 1882, and grape farmers in the Médoc region of southwest France (north of Bordeaux, on the Atlantic coast) had a problem.Schoolchildren (or university students, or just anyone travelling the roads along which the grapevines grew, depending on what source you're reading) were pilfering their grapes. To try and ward them off, some farmers decided to dissolve some slaked lime and copper sulfate in water and spray it on their grapevines closest to the roads. The idea was... Read more »

  • April 20, 2016
  • 06:49 AM
  • 239 views

The Pantanal Diaries I: Ready To Fly

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Emerge into Brazil's swamp, with Chiara and the Wildlife Conservation Society.... Read more »

  • April 18, 2016
  • 03:32 PM
  • 240 views

Are Territory Disputes Between Male Butterflies Influenced by Motivation?

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Nick Gremban Male speckled wood butterflies will “perch” on leavesand ends of twigs to look out over their territory for females. However, they have been known to be quite aggressivewith any intruding males! Photo by Alvesgaspar atWikimedia Commons, modified by Nick Gremban.Think about any territorial animal. Now think about its aggressiveness while it is defending its territory. Was your animal a butterfly? No? You mean the colorful wings and the natural association with flowers d........ Read more »

Bergman, M., Olofsson, M., & Wiklund, C. (2010) Contest outcome in a territorial butterfly: the role of motivation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1696), 3027-3033. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0646  

  • April 17, 2016
  • 03:00 AM
  • 280 views

Week 15 In Review: Open-Access Science | 11 to 17 April

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Swarming Red Crabs, 11,000-year-old shaman headdress, 'superfast' wing muscles, slowdown of giant airstreams, and sexually transmitted infections in Neanderthals. Here are five of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week, ... Read more »

Stadtherr, L., Coumou, D., Petoukhov, V., Petri, S., & Rahmstorf, S. (2016) Record Balkan floods of 2014 linked to planetary wave resonance. Science Advances, 2(4). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501428  

  • April 15, 2016
  • 07:31 AM
  • 94 views

Size matters: age and telomeres

by sceintists from the Marine group at CEES in Marine Science blog




Growing evidence suggests that the telomeres’ length (a non-coding DNA sequence localized at the end of the chromosomes) is related to individual breeding performances and survival rates in several species.

... Read more »

  • April 11, 2016
  • 02:00 AM
  • 165 views

Week 14 In Review: Open-Access Science | 4 to 10 April

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

River flooding boosts carbon emissions, six new species of Chinese dragon millipedes discovered, how ancient animals adapted to climate change, maths tell palaeontologists where to find fossils, and the Arctic Ocean was ice-free ten million years ago. Here are five of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week.... Read more »

Stegen, J., Fredrickson, J., Wilkins, M., Konopka, A., Nelson, W., Arntzen, E., Chrisler, W., Chu, R., Danczak, R., Fansler, S.... (2016) Groundwater–surface water mixing shifts ecological assembly processes and stimulates organic carbon turnover. Nature Communications, 11237. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11237  

Botha-Brink, J., Codron, D., Huttenlocker, A., Angielczyk, K., & Ruta, M. (2016) Breeding Young as a Survival Strategy during Earth’s Greatest Mass Extinction. Scientific Reports, 24053. DOI: 10.1038/srep24053  

Stein, R., Fahl, K., Schreck, M., Knorr, G., Niessen, F., Forwick, M., Gebhardt, C., Jensen, L., Kaminski, M., Kopf, A.... (2016) Evidence for ice-free summers in the late Miocene central Arctic Ocean. Nature Communications, 11148. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11148  

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