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  • March 20, 2015
  • 03:55 AM
  • 59 views

How chemistry affects the evolution of life

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

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... Read more »

  • March 17, 2015
  • 07:25 PM
  • 93 views

Hippos are (almost) definitely whales, not pigs

by Isabel Torres in Science in the clouds

Hippos are strange mammals. They lack hairs and sweat glands, and have an unusually thick skin. The only other mammals that share these features with hippos are whales, but they look nothing alike, except they’re also huge and live in water. Coincidence? Traditionally hippos were included in the Suidae (pigs) branch of the mammalian evolutionary tree, but molecular data unambiguously shows that they're closely related to cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). This not only sounds unlikely........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2015
  • 02:54 AM
  • 90 views

Science, climate change and controversy

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: It’s inevitable: as science progresses, controversy happens. But sometimes, the public sees controversy where none exists. How to remedy that? ... Read more »

  • March 7, 2015
  • 10:17 AM
  • 111 views

How radiation from space affects the Earth's climate

by This Science is Crazy in This Science Is Crazy!

Convergent cross-mapping analysis finds 'modest causal effect' of cosmic rays on global temperatures over short timescales, but rules out effect on long-term global warming.... Read more »

Tsonis, A., Deyle, E., May, R., Sugihara, G., Swanson, K., Verbeten, J., & Wang, G. (2015) Dynamical evidence for causality between galactic cosmic rays and interannual variation in global temperature. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201420291. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420291112  

  • March 1, 2015
  • 06:23 PM
  • 112 views

Chancelloriids Revised

by Marc in Teaching Biology

Many Cambrian fossils are simply spines and sclerites unassociated with any body. Few of the exceptionally-preserved Cambrian freaks come with spines attached, and some of the most prominent of these are the chancelloriids. Originally described as sponges by Charles Doolittle Walcott back in 1920 (Walcott, 1920), modern researchers have found that the spines are very similar to those […]
The post Chancelloriids Revised appeared first on Teaching Biology.
... Read more »

Stefan Bengtson, & Desmond Collins. (2015) Chancelloriids of the Cambrian Burgess Shale. Palaeontologia Electronica. info:other/

  • February 28, 2015
  • 02:46 PM
  • 166 views

Life, NOT as we know it

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Life as we know it, when we peer deep into the vastness of space we look for someone — or something — that resembles ourselves. Carbon based, needs water lifeforms, but what if we’re being narrow-minded? A new type of methane-based, oxygen-free life form that can metabolize and reproduce similar to life on Earth has been modeled by a team of researchers suggests we are being too closed minded about life.... Read more »

James Stevenson,, Jonathan Lunine,, & Paulette Clancy. (2015) Membrane alternatives in worlds without oxygen: Creation of an azotosome. Science Advances. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1400067

  • February 6, 2015
  • 10:49 AM
  • 180 views

Cleaner Lakes Are Social Media Stars

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Minnesota is the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," at least 13 of which are named Clear. But some of these lakes are clearer and cleaner than others. Does that matter to the tourists who visit them? Researchers found an easy way to answer this question by taking a deep dive into Flickr.

Bonnie Keeler, a scientist at the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, explains that it's important to measure how the public is using various lakes, rivers and streams. Agencies that are trying........ Read more »

Keeler, B., Wood, S., Polasky, S., Kling, C., Filstrup, C., & Downing, J. (2015) Recreational demand for clean water: evidence from geotagged photographs by visitors to lakes. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1890/140124  

  • February 5, 2015
  • 09:10 AM
  • 149 views

Climate Change: Heatwaves and Poverty in Pakistan

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

The 2010 floods were among the worst that Pakistan has experienced in recent decades. Sadly, the country is prone to recurrent flooding which means that in any given year, Pakistani farmers hope and pray that the floods will not be as bad as those in 2010. It would be natural to assume that recurring flood disasters force Pakistani farmers to give up farming and migrate to the cities in order to make ends meet. But a recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change by Valerie Mueller ........ Read more »

  • February 5, 2015
  • 05:04 AM
  • 126 views

'One fossil can overturn anything' Interview with Jenny Clack

by Isabel Torres in Science in the clouds

Now happily living on land, our Devonian ancestors tried many ways to get out of the murky waters. Jenny Clack has been studying the water-to-land transition of vertebrates for many decades. Her discoveries broke dogmas and rewrote textbooks. Jenny Clack's passion for palaeontology began at a young age, but unlike most children, Clack found dinosaurs “rather boring” and was instead fascinated with weird older creatures from the Devonian era, over 360 million years ago......... Read more »

  • January 30, 2015
  • 05:33 AM
  • 144 views

Desirable difficulties

by Mirjam Sophia Glessmer in Adventures in Teaching and Oceanography

Initial harder learning might make for better longterm retrieval. A lot of the discussions at my university on how to improve learning focus on how to make it easier for students to learn. That never sat quite right with me … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 12, 2015
  • 05:08 PM
  • 221 views

Study shows rise in mass die-offs

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

You really don’t hear much about mass die-offs from mainstream news outlets; this might make you think they don’t happen that often. However, an analysis of 727 mass die-offs of nearly 2,500 animal species from the past 70 years has found that such events are increasing among birds, fish, and marine invertebrates. At the same time, the number of individuals killed appears to be decreasing for reptiles and amphibians, and is unchanged for mammals.... Read more »

Samuel B. Fey, Adam M. Siepielski, Sébastien Nusslé, Kristina Cervantes-Yoshida, Jason L. Hwan, Eric R. Huber, Maxfield J. Fey, Alessandro Catenazzi, & Stephanie M. Carlson. (2015) Recent shifts in the occurrence, cause, and magnitude of animal mass mortality events. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. info:/10.1073/pnas.1414894112

  • December 30, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 366 views

Turning New Year’s On Its Head

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

The popular phrase is, “It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years.” Many organisms get to have both. We can learn a lot from studying old organisms, but perhaps the biggest question to answer is what constitutes a single life. Many living things seem to cheat; they have more than one life.... Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 08:02 AM
  • 322 views

Climate Change: Heatwaves and Poverty in Pakistan

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

In the summer of 2010, over 20 million people were affected by the summer floods in Pakistan. Millions lost access to shelter and clean water, and became dependent on aid in the form of food, drinking water, tents, clothes and medical supplies in order to survive this humanitarian disaster. It is estimated that at least $1.5 billion to $2 billion were provided as aid by governments, NGOs, charity organizations and private individuals from all around the world, and helped contain the devastating ........ Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 02:58 AM
  • 218 views

Estimates of Anthropogenic Nitrogen in the Ocean May Be High

by Wiley Asia Blog in Wiley Asia Blog - Life Sciences

Inundation of nitrogen into the atmosphere and terrestrial environments, through fossil fuel combustion and extensive fertilization, has risen tenfold since preindustrial times according to research published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles. Excess nitrogen can infiltrate water tables and can trigger extensive algal blooms that deplete aquatic environments of oxygen, among other damaging effects.

Although scientists have extensively studied the effects of excess nitrogen in terrestrial habita........ Read more »

Altieri, K., Hastings, M., Peters, A., Oleynik, S., & Sigman, D. (2014) Isotopic evidence for a marine ammonium source in rainwater at Bermuda. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. DOI: 10.1002/2014GB004809  

  • December 4, 2014
  • 04:30 PM
  • 284 views

Finding the real cost of climate change

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

How much does global warming really cost the world? Determining the Social Cost of Carbon helps put a actual dollar value on the climate damages per ton of CO2 released, and is used by -- among others -- policymakers to help determine the costs and benefits of climate policies. Remember, even on a global scale, the bottom line will always be profit. But now a group of economists and lawyers urge several improvements to the government's Social Cost of Carbon figure that would impose a regular, tr........ Read more »

Pizer, W., Adler, M., Aldy, J., Anthoff, D., Cropper, M., Gillingham, K., Greenstone, M., Murray, B., Newell, R., Richels, R.... (2014) Using and improving the social cost of carbon. Science, 346(6214), 1189-1190. DOI: 10.1126/science.1259774  

  • December 2, 2014
  • 12:51 PM
  • 319 views

Our Increased carbon dioxide output causes global warming and now we have proof

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Global warming, it’s a bigger deal than some people seem to realize. For years science has pointed to the increased carbon dioxide output as the main reason for man-made global warming. However, there has been no evidence to directly link CO2 output to global warming, well until now. Research has identified, for the first time, how global warming is related to the amount of carbon emitted.... Read more »

  • November 30, 2014
  • 01:31 PM
  • 282 views

Even more bad global warming news

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

While everyone (but seemingly the media) is on basically the same page with the fact that global warming is a human caused problem — and one we need to fix the effects of this change are still coming to light. Human-induced changes to Earth’s carbon cycle – for example, rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean acidification – have been observed for decades. However, a new study showed human activities, in particular industrial and agricultural processes, have also had significant impa........ Read more »

Kim IN, Lee K, Gruber N, Karl DM, Bullister JL, Yang S, & Kim TW. (2014) Chemical oceanography. Increasing anthropogenic nitrogen in the North Pacific Ocean. Science (New York, N.Y.), 346(6213), 1102-6. PMID: 25430767  

  • November 29, 2014
  • 10:23 PM
  • 322 views

Global Warming Denial: What Does it Take? A Case Study of Climate Change Denialists

by Nick in How to Paint Your Panda

Despite the established scientific consensus on global climate change, a substantial number of people, specifically Americans, deny its effects or its taking place. Why does this form of denialism persist so feverishly? What can mitigate this gap between the scientific community and the public?... Read more »

Finucane, M., Slovic, P., Mertz, C., Flynn, J., & Satterfield, T. (2000) Gender, race, and perceived risk: The 'white male' effect. Health, Risk , 2(2), 159-172. DOI: 10.1080/713670162  

Hamilton, L., & Keim, B. (2009) Regional variation in perceptions about climate change. International Journal of Climatology, 29(15), 2348-2352. DOI: 10.1002/joc.1930  

Kahan, D., Peters, E., Wittlin, M., Slovic, P., Ouellette, L., Braman, D., & Mandel, G. (2012) The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks. Nature Climate Change, 2(10), 732-735. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1547  

  • November 11, 2014
  • 10:50 AM
  • 372 views

A Four Billion Mile Road Trip to Grandma’s

by Mark Lasbury in The 'Scope

Mankind is about to take a huge step in understanding himself and his universe. The Rosetta orbiter has traveled 3.8 billion miles to catch comet 67P/C-G. Traveling at more than 24,000 miles per hour, the Philae Lander is now going to land on the comet. A visitor from deep space and from deep time, 67P/C-G contains clues about the solar system, water, and perhaps life itself.... Read more »

  • November 10, 2014
  • 03:57 PM
  • 276 views

A new way to look at Global Warming

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Global warming, nothing new with that and it’s here to stay for now. But while computer models churn out bleak forecasts for the planet’s future, we also have a more conceptual understanding of what is happening as humans pump carbon dioxide into the air. Unfortunately the traditional conceptual understanding of carbon dioxide wrapping the planet in a sort of blanket that traps more heat is not quite right.... Read more »

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