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Ecology / Conservation posts

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  • September 1, 2016
  • 11:19 AM
  • 877 views

Responsible resurrection: The ecology of de-extinction

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

March of the mammoths Improvements in our genetic tinkering capabilities have led several people to suggest potential uses for our newfound powers. Although we ought to add some nuance and note that those powers are still in development. In any case, one of those powers is quite impressive. De-extinction, or the process of bringing back […]... Read more »

  • August 31, 2016
  • 11:58 AM
  • 725 views

Why do we hate coriander?

by Alice Breda in la-Plumeria

In the morning you get up, trudge all the way to the sink, grab a bar of soap and rub it on your face. Sometimes, after you rinsed, you realize that some soap got into your mouth. The taste is nasty, pungent, more in your nose than on your tongue and it persists until you eat or drink something.

This sickening feeling doesn’t hit me only in my brightest mornings, but also every time in an ethnic restaurant or during a trip the cook decides to decorate my tacos or my curry with some chop........ Read more »

  • August 30, 2016
  • 04:55 PM
  • 719 views

Like mother, like daughter: why some animals teach their daughters more than they teach their sons

by Emily Makowski in Sextraordinary!

Why do some learned behaviors appear more frequently in daughters than in sons? I describe an article that attempts to answer this question by looking at dolphins, and briefly, chimpanzees.... Read more »

  • August 28, 2016
  • 08:45 AM
  • 496 views

How can saliva indicate evolution?

by vitul in Think, Ask and Resolve

Scientists, in a recent study, tested the saliva of five primates (including humans) for the MUC7 gene, which could give us deep insights into evolutionary paths.... Read more »

Xu, D., Pavlidis, P., Thamadilok, S., Redwood, E., Fox, S., Blekhman, R., Ruhl, S., & Gokcumen, O. (2016) Recent evolution of the salivary mucin MUC7. Scientific Reports, 31791. DOI: 10.1038/srep31791  

  • August 27, 2016
  • 02:27 PM
  • 535 views

Researchers report new Zika complication

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

If zika didn't seem scary enough in the media, there is new data showing that there could be a new neurological complication of infection with the Zika virus.

... Read more »

Medina, M., England, J., Lorenzana, I., Medina-Montoya, M., Alvarado, D., De Bastos, M., Fontiveros, S., Sierra, M., & Contreras, F. (2016) Zika virus associated with sensory polyneuropathy. Journal of the Neurological Sciences. DOI: 10.1016/j.jns.2016.08.044  

  • August 26, 2016
  • 06:00 AM
  • 715 views

Friday Fellow: Six-Spot Burnet

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Found in Europe, today’s Friday Fellow is a nice day-flying moth with beautiful colors and toxic compounds. Scientifically known as Zygaena filipendulae, its common name is six-spot burnet, burnet being the common name of moths in the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 25, 2016
  • 04:48 PM
  • 892 views

Polar Bears Stubbornly Stick to Habitats, Even as Ice Melts

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



"I don't know what you're talking about," said the polar bear. "Everything seems normal to me! Watch out for that puddle."

Up in the Arctic, things are getting slushy. But some polar bears are refusing to change their ways. Instead of compromising on where they spend their time, they're clinging to the icy habitats they've always loved. As those habitats keep shrinking, though, the bears will eventually find things too crowded and uncomfortable to ignore. 

Researchers divide polar bear... Read more »

Wilson RR, Regehr EV, Rode KD, & St Martin M. (2016) Invariant polar bear habitat selection during a period of sea ice loss. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 283(1836). PMID: 27534959  

  • August 19, 2016
  • 04:34 PM
  • 743 views

Cloth masks offer poor protection against air pollution

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Results of a new study by environmental health scientists suggest that inexpensive cloth masks worn by people who hope to reduce their exposure to air pollution vary widely in effectiveness and could be giving users a false sense of security, especially in highly polluted areas.

... Read more »

Shakya, K., Noyes, A., Kallin, R., & Peltier, R. (2016) Evaluating the efficacy of cloth facemasks in reducing particulate matter exposure. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. DOI: 10.1038/jes.2016.42  

  • August 19, 2016
  • 08:00 AM
  • 768 views

Friday Fellow: Asian Pigeonwing

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Today’s Friday Fellow is a creeping (but not creepy) plant with nice deep blue flowers shaped like a human female genitalia. Yeah, you read that right. Its scientific name is Clitoria ternatea, the genus name being a … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 19, 2016
  • 01:25 AM
  • 455 views

Virtual tour: Scientific field site in Greenland

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Explore how scientists in Greenland are monitoring environmental change in the Arctic with ScienceNordic's interactive map.... Read more »

Kramshøj, M., Vedel-Petersen, I., Schollert, M., Rinnan, �., Nymand, J., Ro-Poulsen, H., & Rinnan, R. (2016) Large increases in Arctic biogenic volatile emissions are a direct effect of warming. Nature Geoscience, 9(5), 349-352. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2692  

  • August 18, 2016
  • 09:00 AM
  • 784 views

Sorry, I Don't Drink

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Koalas don’t drink a lot of water, but the spinifex hopping mouse and kangaroo rat put him to shame. They never drink. What water they need they get from the seeds they eat and from the fact that they conserve water amazingly well – including the water that they produce during metabolism. Adult mayflies don’t drink either – they don’t have working mouthparts! Of course, some only live a few minutes as adults, so it may not be that big a deal.... Read more »

  • August 17, 2016
  • 09:03 PM
  • 749 views

It takes a village to raise a capybara

by Emily Makowski in Sextraordinary!

Capybaras have been making headlines recently. First, they may have established a breeding population in Florida. Then, they took over the Olympic golf course in Rio (part of their natural habitat). This week, I discuss social groupings and parental care in these noteworthy rodents. ... Read more »

Dos Santos E, Tokumaru RS, Nogueira-Filho SL, & Nogueira SS. (2014) The effects of unrelated offspring whistle calls on capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris). Brazilian journal of biology , 74(3 Suppl 1). PMID: 25627382  

  • August 12, 2016
  • 08:00 AM
  • 605 views

Friday Fellow: Jataí Bee

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Certainly the most widespread, adaptable and well-known honey-producing bee is Apis melifera, commonly known as honeybee for obvious reasons. But there are a lot of other honey makers all over the world. Today I’m going to present … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 11, 2016
  • 12:05 AM
  • 722 views

Size of female-built nests affects how males act

by Emily Makowski in Sextraordinary!

Last week, I discussed how male quality in birds may be related to their song. How do males evaluate females in return? The answer may lie in their nests.... Read more »

  • August 8, 2016
  • 02:54 PM
  • 575 views

Pesticides used to help bees may actually harm them

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Pesticides beekeepers are using to improve honeybee health may actually be harming the bees by damaging the bacteria communities in their guts. The discovery is a concern because alterations can affect the gut's ability to metabolize sugars and peptides, processes that are vital for honeybee health.

... Read more »

Madhavi Kakumanu, Alison M. Reeves, Troy Anderson, Richard R. Rodrigues, & Mark A. Williams. (2016) Honey bee gut microbiome is altered by in-hive pesticide exposures. Frontiers in Microbiology. info:/10.3389/fmicb.2016.01255

  • August 5, 2016
  • 08:00 AM
  • 885 views

Friday Fellow: Beggar’s tick

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll What if the cure for cancer has been living in your garden all this time and you have been trying to get rid of it because it is an annoying weed? I cannot assure you that … Continue reading →... Read more »

Chiang, L., Chang, J., Chen, C., Ng, L., & Lin, C. (2003) Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus Activity of Bidens pilosa and Houttuynia cordata. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 31(03), 355-362. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X03001090  

Kviecinski, M., Felipe, K., Schoenfelder, T., de Lemos Wiese, L., Rossi, M., Gonçalez, E., Felicio, J., Filho, D., & Pedrosa, R. (2008) Study of the antitumor potential of Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae) used in Brazilian folk medicine. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 117(1), 69-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.01.017  

  • August 4, 2016
  • 03:07 PM
  • 767 views

Biomimicry is a promising approach for driving innovation

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new case study shows that biomimicry, a relatively new field that seeks to emulate nature to find solutions to human problems, can potentially expand intellectual property, increase energy savings and accelerate product innovation.

... Read more »

Emily Barbara Kennedy, & Thomas Andrew Marting. (2016) Biomimicry: Streamlining the Front End of Innovation for Environmentally Sustainable Products. Research-Technology Management. info:/10.1080/08956308.2016.1185342

  • August 3, 2016
  • 06:50 PM
  • 730 views

Chicks dig musicians, or, birdsong and male quality

by Emily Makowski in Sextraordinary!

Ah, music. Many people are profoundly affected by it, and so are birds. In fact, research by Byers et al. in the August 2016 issue of Ethology suggests that female prairie warblers can gain valuable information about a male through that male’s song, and use this information to decide whether to mate.... Read more »

Byers, B., Akresh, M., & King, D. (2016) Song and Male Quality in Prairie Warblers. Ethology, 122(8), 660-670. DOI: 10.1111/eth.12513  

  • July 30, 2016
  • 06:55 AM
  • 955 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
  • 08:00 AM
  • 901 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 »

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