The Oyster's Garter

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Science served wet and salty.

Miriam Goldstein
14 posts

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  • October 8, 2010
  • 09:10 PM
  • 832 views

Sea Squirts, SLOSS, and Sex

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter


Long time readers will know how perverse and socially inappropriate the unseemly sea squirt is. But there is an interesting property of sea squirt pornography and local oceanography that may have consequences in the debates surrounding marine reserve design. Castillo and colleagues examined the spawning behavior of intertidal tunicates (Pyura praeputialis, an invasive) . . . → Read More: Sea Squirts, SLOSS, and Sex... Read more »

Castilla, J., Manriquez, P., Delgado, A., Gargallo, L., Leiva, A., & Radic, D. (2007) Bio-foam enhances larval retention in a free-spawning marine tunicate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(46), 18120-18122. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0708233104  

  • October 4, 2010
  • 10:20 PM
  • 705 views

Penguins Immediately Benefit From MPA

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter


There is much buzz these days about marine protected areas (MPAs) and no-take zones. We are approaching the age of assessment. There has been enough time passed where we should see a signal of improvement to verify conservation theory. While the data has been trickling in for many MPAs and there is in general an improvement . . . → Read More: Penguins Immediately Benefit From MPA... Read more »

Pichegru, L., Gremillet, D., Crawford, R., & Ryan, P. (2010) Marine no-take zone rapidly benefits endangered penguin. Biology Letters, 6(4), 498-501. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0913  

  • September 23, 2010
  • 11:05 PM
  • 956 views

Tide Pool: Cool Seeps, Parasitic Nematodes, and Magnetic Sea Animals

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter


An occasional series where we briefly report 3 new studies and tell you why they are cool!
Olu et al. in PLoS One examine the potential exchanges of species in cold methane seeps across the Atlantic Ocean from the Congo to the Gulf of Mexico. By culling data from the literature, the authors demonstrate, despite great distance, . . . → Read More: Tide Pool: Cool Seeps, Parasitic Nematodes, and Magnetic Sea Animals... Read more »

  • September 20, 2010
  • 10:30 PM
  • 1,014 views

Our Impacts on the Deep

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter



I could write about a detailed account of a new study in PLoS One.  I could discuss how the researchers imported information on the spatial extent of marine scientific research, submarine communication cables, radioactive waste disposal, munitions and chemical weapons waste disposal, military operations, oil and gas industry, and bottom trawling OSPAR maritime area of the . . . → Read More: Our Impacts on the Deep... Read more »

  • May 13, 2009
  • 02:42 PM
  • 1,090 views

My Double X debut: dolphin smackdown!

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

My very first blog post at the new Slate spinoff Double X is up. As Double X’s resident marine biologist, I figured that I needed to get the dolphin issue out of the way post haste.

It never fails. Every single cocktail party, as soon as someone finds out that I’m a graduate student studying marine [...]... Read more »

LYAMIN, O., MANGER, P., RIDGWAY, S., MUKHAMETOV, L., & SIEGEL, J. (2008) Cetacean sleep: An unusual form of mammalian sleep. Neuroscience , 32(8), 1451-1484. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2008.05.023  

  • February 14, 2009
  • 04:54 PM
  • 1,178 views

The research behind the squid sex

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

Though I’m totally thrilled that my ode to squid sex appeared in Slate, I only brought the funny to existing research. Since the format at Slate does not allow for citations, here they are.

The videos and the excellent sneaker male facts were from Dr. Lou Zeidberg’s research up at Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, CA. [...]... Read more »

  • February 11, 2009
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,780 views

Will dumping cornstalks into the ocean sequester carbon?

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

There a new ocean carbon sequestration scheme in town - dumping crop waste. A study published in Environmental Science and Technology last month proposes baling up corn husks and wheat stalks, weighting them with rocks, and tossing them into the deep sea. (Here’s the NYT blurb.)

The authors claim that marine creatures will be unable to [...]... Read more »

  • February 5, 2009
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,498 views

When sponges ruled the earth

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

For nearly 100 million years, sponges alone ruled the seas. In a study published in this week's Nature, researchers found chemical traces of sponges that were over 635 million years old. ... Read more »

Gordon D. Love, Emmanuelle Grosjean, Charlotte Stalvies, David A. Fike, John P. Grotzinger, Alexander S. Bradley, Amy E. Kelly, Maya Bhatia, William Meredith, Colin E. Snape.... (2009) Fossil steroids record the appearance of Demospongiae during the Cryogenian period. Nature, 457(7230), 718-721. DOI: 10.1038/nature07673  

  • January 9, 2009
  • 02:15 PM
  • 2,007 views

The risks & benefits of geoengineering

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

Geoengineering - the deliberate manipulation of the earth’s atmosphere in order to mitigate global warming - seems to be gaining more credibility worldwide. Just today, Wired reports that an iron fertilization experiment is being conducted in the Southern Ocean by Indian and German scientists.

Though iron fertilization is the best-known geoengineering proposal (thanks to Planktos’ shenanigans), [...]... Read more »

Philip W. Boyd. (2008) Ranking geo-engineering schemes. Nature Geoscience, 1(11), 722-724. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo348  

  • October 30, 2008
  • 01:51 AM
  • 1,827 views

How a coccolithophore without its plates is like a grin without a cat

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

Dear Oyster’s Garter,

I’m a coccolithophore, a single-celled marine plant with a shell made of tiny plates. I come from a long line of mighty ocean warriors. Our massive blooms rule the waves, thriving in nutrient-poor waters where punier plankton fear to tread. (I don’t want to sound too scary, though - we are benevolent overlords, [...]... Read more »

M. Frada, I. Probert, M. J. Allen, W. H. Wilson, & C. de Vargas. (2008) From the Cover: The "Cheshire Cat" escape strategy of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi in response to viral infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(41), 15944-15949. DOI/10.1073/pnas.0807707105

  • October 13, 2008
  • 03:29 PM
  • 1,899 views

How’s the air down there?

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

All animals need oxygen. Land animals have it easy, with all this air just floating about free for the breathing, but marine animals rely on oxygen that is dissolved in the water. Oxygen can only dissolve into the ocean from the surface, so it’s a limited resource. That’s why there’s natural low-oxygen habitats, like deep [...]... Read more »

R. Vaquer-Sunyer, & C. M. Duarte. (2008) Thresholds of hypoxia for marine biodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(40), 15452-15457. DOI/10.1073/pnas.0803833105

  • September 26, 2008
  • 09:32 AM
  • 1,487 views

Absence makes the sperm grow smaller

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

Dear Oyster’s Garter,

I am an attractive male sea squirt (a Styela plicata, in case you were wondering) in the prime of life. I live alone on the underside of a nice dock, I’ve got plenty of tasty phytoplankton to eat, and my siphons have extremely handsome pleats. But I’m worried, because every time I [...]... Read more »

A. J. Crean, & D. J. Marshall. (2008) Gamete plasticity in a broadcast spawning marine invertebrate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(36), 13508-13513. DOI/10.1073/pnas.0806590105

  • April 6, 2008
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,687 views

Soil bacteria eat antibiotics for breakfast - literally

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

Never mind plain old antibiotic resistance - some soil bacteria can actually EAT antibiotics. In this week’s Science, researchers reported that they isolated hundreds of types of bacteria from regular soil and grew them in the lab with antibiotics as their sole food source. Not only did the bacteria survive, but some strains happily munched on common antibiotics like penicillin & ciprofloxacin. NOM NOM NOM indeed.... Read more »

G. Dantas, M. O. A. Sommer, R. D. Oluwasegun, & G. M. Church. (2008) Bacteria Subsisting on Antibiotics. Science, 320(5872), 100-103. DOI/10.1126/science.1155157

  • March 12, 2008
  • 10:12 PM
  • 1,106 views

Evolution in the urban jungle

by Miriam Goldstein in The Oyster's Garter

I’ve written about my love of urban wildlife before, but this French weed is taking it to a whole new level. In the latest edition of PNAS, French scientists report that a humble sidewalk week has actually changed its reproductive strategy in just a few generations in order thrive amidst the vast concrete plains.
Crepis sancta ... Read more »

P-O Cheptou, O Carrue, S Rouifed, & A Cantarel. (2008) Rapid evolution of seed dispersal in an urban environment in the weed Crepis sancta. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(10), 3796-3799. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0708446105  

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