An artichoke with legs: the pangolin

c026c5902911ebd8cf6c7c912cca0631Some days I just need a pick me up. While others take to the internet and fine photos of kittens telling them to hang in there, I seek the adorable face of the pangolin._80790888_cape_pangolin_spl624

Also known as the spiny anteater, it is the only mammal wholly covered in scales. They resemble artichokes on legs. Oh and they are beyond adorable.  415e1bec42a96a15e13e0323be919600

However, all 8 species of pangolins are endangered because they have one more distinction: the worlds most trafficked mammal. Their meat has become a delicacy in vietnam, which has rapidly wiped out populations of pangolins across South East Asia.

Read about their plight over at BBC, and for a little Friday pick me up, enjoy these lovely photos of my favorite mammal.


Being single in academia is also hard

In academia we often talk about the “two body problem”. By that I mean the difficulty of finding two academic jobs in one place, often causing one partner to make sacrifices in their career.

That sucks and I’m sorry.

But I think it’s important, especially when we’re talking about opportunities for women and minorities, to recognize that academia is hard for everyone. And being single and moving to a new place (which academia almost constantly requires), you lack the support system that a partner provides. Additionally, living in remote college towns and seeking a partner is difficult to impossible. This is especially true for women and the LGBT community and exacerbated as we get older.

This “one body problem” is summed up and explained nicely in this post over on EcoEvo. images

Academia vs. Industry

All of the contributors here at NiB are at a not permanent point in their career. Some are finishing their PhD, some wrapping up post docs, but all of us are on some level thinking about the next step.

And as such, I am considering the perpetual question, should I stay in academia or leave and go to industry?

The biggest problem is that I don’t know what industry looks like, and most of the information I hear about the differences are rumors. So this article, where a STEM PhD compares his own experiences in industry vs. academia, is really enlightening.



Everything you ever wanted to know about Vaccines, in one cartoon!

As a scientist I often get questions about new and exciting science in the news! Sadly most of this isn’t new… and the excitement is false.

But answering the questions, and better informing the public is worth it.

The anti-vaccine movement really bothers me, and people saying “vaccines cause autism, you can’t prove it doesn’t!”… sigh.

Luckily I stumbled across this amazing cartoon that answers every question you could ever have about vaccines.1-0YNh0FaiIcPmXzgzRO5u2g