Some 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.
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.
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.
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.
Usually new species are formed gradually, slowly, with the right conditions and mood lighting.
Roughly 17,000 new species are found every year.
But recently we have “discovered” a new species of lizard that speciated rapidly and under unprecedented conditions.
Read about it over at The New York Times.
Although cats indisputably rule the internet, dogs have been rocking the genomic world for quite some time.
A group of dedicated cat genomic enthusiasts recently met in San Diego to discuss moving forward on feline genomics. Read all about it over at Nature.
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.
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.
There is a long history of organisms evolving to look similar to toxic/poisonous organisms. For example, there are a plentiful number of butterflies that resemble the very toxic monarch butterfly.
But this is a new one for me: Chicks of the cinereous mourner has plumage that looks exactly like the caterpillar. It even moves the way the caterpillar moves! Check out this article over at National Geographic.
Or just watch this cute little caterpillar:
And the bird that wants to look just like them: