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  • July 30, 2016
  • 05:55 AM
  • 35 views

5 things we learned this week | open-access science week 30, 2016

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Finding flight MH370, origins of human speech, declining penguin colonies, safe carbon storage, and stressed out reef sharks: Here are five of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week.... Read more »

Jansen, E., Coppini, G., & Pinardi, N. (2016) Drift simulation of MH370 debris using superensemble techniques. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 16(7), 1623-1628. DOI: 10.5194/nhess-16-1623-2016  

Lameira, A., Hardus, M., Mielke, A., Wich, S., & Shumaker, R. (2016) Vocal fold control beyond the species-specific repertoire in an orang-utan. Scientific Reports, 30315. DOI: 10.1038/srep30315  

Kampman, N., Busch, A., Bertier, P., Snippe, J., Hangx, S., Pipich, V., Di, Z., Rother, G., Harrington, J., Evans, J.... (2016) Observational evidence confirms modelling of the long-term integrity of CO2-reservoir caprocks. Nature Communications, 12268. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12268  

Mourier, J., Maynard, J., Parravicini, V., Ballesta, L., Clua, E., Domeier, M., & Planes, S. (2016) Extreme Inverted Trophic Pyramid of Reef Sharks Supported by Spawning Groupers. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.05.058  

  • July 29, 2016
  • 07:00 AM
  • 36 views

Friday Fellow: Cute bee fly

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Recently the appearance of a new pokémon, Cutiefly, has brought a lot of attention to the real world species in which it is based. So why not bring it to Friday Fellow so that you may … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 27, 2016
  • 02:38 PM
  • 88 views

Deer Line Up North-South, Whether Relaxing or Running

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



If you're ever lost in a remote European forest, you might be able to get your bearings by finding a herd of roe deer. These animals like to align themselves roughly north-south, whether they're standing still or fleeing danger.

Roe deer are small, reddish or grayish grazers common in Europe and Asia. Petr Obleser, of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, and his coauthors studied the behavior of these skittish herbivores to look for evidence that they can sense the earth's ma........ Read more »

Obleser, P., Hart, V., Malkemper, E., Begall, S., Holá, M., Painter, M., Červený, J., & Burda, H. (2016) Compass-controlled escape behavior in roe deer. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 70(8), 1345-1355. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-016-2142-y  

  • July 26, 2016
  • 09:22 AM
  • 102 views

Fungi found flourishing following fire

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Morels and several other fungi (all members of the order Pezizales) are known to produce their mushrooms in recently burned soil, whether it's the result of a nice little campfire or an entire forest going up in smoke. The fire creates the right conditions for the fungus, which lies beneath the ground and so protected from flames and heat, to send up mushrooms. These mushrooms release spores into the environment, and the circle of life continues ever onward.In the case of morels, it's thought a ........ Read more »

  • July 25, 2016
  • 09:04 PM
  • 106 views

Wave that claw: how male crabs attract mates

by Emily Makowski in Sextraordinary!

Male Ilyoplax pusilla crabs wave their claws in the air to attract females, but why do different-sized males spend different amounts of time waving? The answer lies in research published this year. ... Read more »

  • July 24, 2016
  • 04:45 AM
  • 128 views

Week 29 In Review: Open-Access Science | 18 to 25 July

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Cave art, wild fires, new dinosaur with teeny T-rex arms, thirsty trees and a new method to create hydrogen from grass. Here are five of the latest scientific studies published open-access this week.... Read more »

Cooper, J., Samson, A., Nieves, M., Lace, M., Caamaño-Dones, J., Cartwright, C., Kambesis, P., & Frese, L. (2016) ‘The Mona Chronicle’: the archaeology of early religious encounter in the New World. Antiquity, 90(352), 1054-1071. DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2016.103  

Nagra, G., Treble, P., Andersen, M., Fairchild, I., Coleborn, K., & Baker, A. (2016) A post-wildfire response in cave dripwater chemistry. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 20(7), 2745-2758. DOI: 10.5194/hess-20-2745-2016  

Caravaca, A., Jones, W., Hardacre, C., & Bowker, M. (2016) H production by the photocatalytic reforming of cellulose and raw biomass using Ni, Pd, Pt and Au on titania . Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Science, 472(2191), 20160054. DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2016.0054  

  • July 21, 2016
  • 10:08 AM
  • 141 views

The decline of biodiversity: Past the point of no return?

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Mohi looks up at her mother. Confused. Afraid. Mother had always said that she had to keep her filtration veil on when they left their housedome. But now, here stood her mother, unveiled. The woman gifted an encouraging nod to her young daughter. Mohi removed her veil. Air! Light! The freshness of the breeze and […]... Read more »

Steffen W, Richardson K, Rockström J, Cornell SE, Fetzer I, Bennett EM, Biggs R, Carpenter SR, de Vries W, de Wit CA.... (2015) Sustainability. Planetary boundaries: guiding human development on a changing planet. Science, 347(6223). PMID: 25592418  

Newbold T, Hudson LN, Arnell AP, Contu S, De Palma A, Ferrier S, Hill SL, Hoskins AJ, Lysenko I, Phillips HR.... (2016) Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment. Science, 353(6296), 288-91. PMID: 27418509  

Oliver TH. (2016) How much biodiversity loss is too much?. Science, 353(6296), 220-1. PMID: 27418489  

  • July 18, 2016
  • 04:07 PM
  • 153 views

Eggs can develop without being fertilized in this sturgeon… but they don’t survive

by Emily Makowski in Sextraordinary!

Parthenogenesis is the development of eggs without fertilization. For the first time, it has been shown to occur in the sterlet sturgeon. ... Read more »

  • July 13, 2016
  • 10:30 PM
  • 170 views

Modeling influenza at ECMTB/SMB 2016

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

This week, I am at the University of Nottingham for the joint meeting of the Society of Mathematical Biology and the European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology — ECMTB/SMB 2016. It is a huge meeting, with over 800 delegates in attendance, 308 half-hour mini-symposium talks, 264 twenty-minute contributed talks, 190 posters, 7 prize talks, […]... Read more »

Gog, J.R., Ballesteros, S., Viboud, C., Simonsen, L., Bjornstad, O.N., Shaman, J., Chao, D.L., Khan, F., & Grenfell, B.T. (2014) Spatial Transmission of 2009 Pandemic Influenza in the US. PLoS Computational Biology, 10(6). PMID: 24921923  

  • July 13, 2016
  • 03:59 PM
  • 185 views

A New Tool for Studying Gorilla Health: Half-Chewed Food

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



In the mountains of Central Africa, scientists who study critically endangered gorillas have a new tool. They've discovered that they can learn what viruses gorillas are carrying by stealthily collecting half-chewed plants the apes leave behind.

If this sounds reminiscent of that class clown at the third-grade lunch table who would ask if you liked seafood and then say "See? Food!" and open his mouth wide to display his sloppy Joe slurry, don't worry—mountain gorillas are vegetarians. ........ Read more »

Smiley Evans T, Gilardi KV, Barry PA, Ssebide BJ, Kinani JF, Nizeyimana F, Noheri JB, Byarugaba DK, Mudakikwa A, Cranfield MR.... (2016) Detection of viruses using discarded plants from wild mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. American journal of primatology. PMID: 27331804  

  • July 13, 2016
  • 01:00 AM
  • 140 views

Another one bites the dust?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

The music theory literature has been suggesting it for a long time: the idea that simultaneous sounding tones with frequency relationships that are low integer multiples, like 1:2 (octave) or 3:2 (a perfect fifth), are determinant of how listeners perceive consonance. It is an idea that is often related to the overtone structure of natural sounds (such as the voice or string instruments) suggesting that musical harmony is reflective or even a result of the acoustic structure that is found in nat........ Read more »

Honing, H., ten Cate, C., Peretz, I., & Trehub, S. (2015) Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140088-20140088. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0088  

  • July 11, 2016
  • 12:48 PM
  • 139 views

Size matters (for both sexes of seahorses)

by Emily Makowski in Sextraordinary!

This week's article is about research on whether male seahorses contribute to the size of their offspring. Seahorses are unique in that the young develops in the male's specialized pouch.... Read more »

Faleiro F, Almeida AJ, Ré P, & Narciso L. (2016) Size does matter: An assessment of reproductive potential in seahorses. Animal Reproduction Science, 61-7. PMID: 27062576  

  • July 6, 2016
  • 11:29 AM
  • 212 views

Fish May Lose Their Jelly Friends in a Changing Ocean

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



In the open ocean, it's good to have friends. Some young fish like to buddy up with stinging jellies to stay safe from predators. Hiding under the shelter of a jellyfish's bell, they can grow up unharmed (as long as they dodge its tentacles). These fish include some species that humans rely on for food. But in a warming ocean, that buddy system may fall apart.

Many types of fish take advantage of hop-on jelly trolleys. Ivan Nagelkerken, a marine biologist at the University of Adelaide in ... Read more »

Nagelkerken I, Pitt KA, Rutte MD, & Geertsma RC. (2016) Ocean acidification alters fish-jellyfish symbiosis. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 283(1833). PMID: 27358374  

  • July 6, 2016
  • 08:50 AM
  • 256 views

Why do we eat spices?

by Alice Breda in la-Plumeria

I love curries. My favorite is Indian tikka masala which is prepared with tomato, yogurt and many different spices including turmeric, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cumin, paprika, cloves and cinnamon. But I’m not the only one, because the passion for spicy dishes is shared among humans of all regions and ages. We eat them fresh, dried, whole, ground, raw or cooked, and our love for these tasty substances led explorers such as Polo, Magellan and Columbus to undertake risky expeditions in searc........ Read more »

Sherman, P., & Billing, J. (1999) Darwinian Gastronomy: Why We Use Spices. BioScience, 49(6), 453. DOI: 10.2307/1313553  

Billing J, & Sherman PW. (1998) Antimicrobial functions of spices: why some like it hot. The Quarterly review of biology, 73(1), 3-49. PMID: 9586227  

  • June 29, 2016
  • 06:20 AM
  • 174 views

Birdsong Babel: Different birds use different grammar rules

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Zizou listens carefully. She ignores her confines and tries to focus on the intruder’s song. There’s something odd about it. Something she can’t quite put her feather on. It’s familiar, yet… not familiar. The intruder is strong. He or she keeps signing incessantly. There’s no sight of him or her, though. She has to make a […]... Read more »

Olkowicz S, Kocourek M, Lučan RK, Porteš M, Fitch WT, Herculano-Houzel S, & Němec P. (2016) Birds have primate-like numbers of neurons in the forebrain. PNAS, 113(26), 7255-60. PMID: 27298365  

  • June 20, 2016
  • 09:12 AM
  • 116 views

Mosquitoes Don’t Like Parasites Either (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Maranda CardielA photograph of Culex pipiens, the species of mosquito that the researchers used in their experiment. Source: David Barillet-Portal at Wikimedia Commons.Everybody hates mosquitoes. They are annoying, persistent, and make us itch like crazy. Sometimes there are so many of them that we are afraid to go outside unless we want to risk getting covered in spots and scratching ourselves all over for the next week. And if that wasn’t enough, they can also carry dangerous diseases wi........ Read more »

Lalubin, F., Bize, P., van Rooyen, J., Christe, P., & Glaizot, O. (2012) Potential evidence of parasite avoidance in an avian malarial vector. Animal Behaviour, 84(3), 539-545. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.06.004  

  • June 13, 2016
  • 01:43 PM
  • 214 views

Experimental antibiotic treats deadly MRSA infection

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The antibiotic arms race is on, while we are rushing to find new antibiotics, bacteria are working on finding ways around them. With that in mind, a new experimental antibiotic developed by a team of scientists successfully treats the deadly MRSA infection and restores the efficacy of a commonly prescribed antibiotic that has become ineffective against MRSA.

... Read more »

  • June 9, 2016
  • 11:21 AM
  • 106 views

Back to life – Resurrection plants and the future of food

by Alice Breda in la-Plumeria

Life on Earth was born in water. Then, about half a billion years ago, the first organisms stare colonizing lands that offered new spaces, less predators and, in time, abundant oxygen and nutrients. Still, the indissoluble bond that living organisms had with water remained, and in order to survive in this new environment plants and animals had to develop anatomical, physiological and behavioral adaptations to better obtain, manage and save water. Plant bodies, as well as ours, are mostly made of........ Read more »

Moore, J., Le, N., Brandt, W., Driouich, A., & Farrant, J. (2009) Towards a systems-based understanding of plant desiccation tolerance. Trends in Plant Science, 14(2), 110-117. DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2008.11.007  

  • June 8, 2016
  • 04:08 PM
  • 290 views

Air pollution affects young people's psychiatric health

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Smog has been a part of modern life since the industrial revolution, unfortunately all that pollution isn't just hurting the environment -- but come on, you saw this coming... right? New research from Sweden indicates that dispensed medication for psychiatric diagnosis can be related to air pollution concentrations. More and more studies show that the brain and human cognitive development are affected by pollution.

... Read more »

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