HOORAY for Basic Science Research! And duck genitalia

Basic science =  scientific questions that are founded in understanding theory, or the natural world around us

Applied science = scientific research that is directly applicable to humans. i.e. Cancer research

The last few years of financial crisis have seen a rise in criticism over basic scientific research. NPR does a great job of summarizing the criticisms and explaining why seeking to understand duck genitalia is a solid biological question.

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Friday coffee break: Meeting David Attenborough, the best case ever for keeping your samples organized, and hope against the frog-killing fungus

birds

Here’s what we’ll be talking about while we’re waiting in line for a latte.

From Noah: The BBC’s new nature documentary host had an embarrassing meeting with her most famous predecessor.

From Sarah: A proposed bill of rights for science students, and terrifying news about increasing use of the strongest antibiotics as bacteria evolve to resist them.

From CJ: The NIH found some smallpox samples stashed in an old storage room. Oops? And meet the coywolf.

From Jeremy: There may be some hope that amphibians can develop immunity to the infectious fungus that’s been devastating global frog and salamander populations. And arctic shorebirds are shifting their nesting dates to accommodate warmer temperatures.

Friday Coffee Break: Moss piglets, Nye versus Newton, and Darwin versus racism

Posed photo shoot

Here’s what we’ll be chatting about while we lie on the beach with a latte.

From Sarah:

From Jeremy:

Friday Coffee Break

Every Friday at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! our contributors pass around links to new scientific results, or science-y news, or videos of adorable wildlife, that they’re most likely to bring up while waiting in line for a latte.

Americans who say they don’t “believe” in evolution still seem to understand it. (Jeremy)

Humans may have evolved bigger brains at the expense of muscle strength. (Jeremy)

What’s troublesome about Troublesome Inheritance. (Jeremy)

What’s an elfie? This is an elfie. (Sarah)

Two disturbing figures from Your Wild Life – regarding trash (this pertains to you, Georgians!) and poop. (Sarah)

 

PS. Ahoy!

 

Friday Coffee Break

Every Friday at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! our contributors pass around links to new scientific results, or science-y news, or videos of adorable wildlife, that they’re most likely to bring up while waiting in line for a latte.

From CJ: On getting the most for both you and your students during summer projects.

Also from CJ: After careful consideration, Dr. Indiana Jones is rejected for tenure.

From Jeremy: Apparently, it’s not the doctors who are driving up medical costs.

Also from Jeremy: “More than 40 percent of American students who start at four-year colleges haven’t earned a degree after six years.”

From Amy: A two-parter. First, a little backstory and second, the random things that correlate: a cautionary tale.

From Sarah:  Le Parc Naturel de la Mer De Corail - the world’s largest marine sanctuary.

Also from Sarah: Adjunctivits correlates with highest paid university presidents and *GASP* higher student debt.

FINALLY – AND WORTHY OF CAPS LOCK – A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO FORMER CONTRIBUTOR DEVIN DROWN, WHO WILL BE STARTING A TENURE-TRACK FACULTY POSITION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA, FAIRBANKS, NEXT JANUARY. WAHOOOOOOOOOO!

Friday Coffee Break

Every Friday at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! our contributors pass around links to new scientific results, or science-y news, or videos of adorable wildlife, that they’re most likely to bring up while waiting in line for a latte.

From Sarah: Well – THAT is a pretty good idea.

Also from Sarah: My inner naturalist and inner molluscophobe are fighting. Nifty or icky? Both, I guess.

From Amy: “There’s little about the discovery that isn’t gross. It looks like angel hair pasta. It’s undeniably enormous. And it’s cocooned in bat poop. It’s the world’s oldest…” what? The world’s oldest WHAT?!?!?

From Jeremy: The ways in which brood parasites and their hosts are super awesome seem endless…

Finally: Oh, emu poop, you are amazing.

 

PS – And thanks for the double helix-icious latte art, Nicole!

 

Friday Coffee Break

Every Friday at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! our contributors pass around links to new scientific results, or science-y news, or videos of adorable wildlife, that they’re most likely to bring up while waiting in line for a latte.

From CJ – Soon we will live…FOREVER! At least if we can figure out how these jellyfish do it.

From Noah – The death toll rises – researchers still counting and estimating birds killed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

From Amy – Better check your by-line! Middle initials make you seem smarter.

Also from Amy“Chameleon” vine mimics whatever plant it happens to be climbing…freaky.

From Jeremy – I hope they have space orchids: NASA wants a greenhouse on Mars (and soon!).

From Sarah – Apparently, I’m not the only one who is terrified of has wondered what lives in the Mariana Trench.

 

Friday Coffee Break

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A rather depressing new figure that is circulating around the social media sites about the prospects for a biology PhD. (From Sarah)

Beard trends in men are undergoing negative frequency dependent selection…. seriously. (From Sarah)

The world from the fabulous point of view of the snail. (From CJ)

Whooping cranes make a nest, lay an egg in Louisiana for the first time in 70 years. This reintroduction has been extremely difficult, with locals shooting captive bred released birds repeatedly and a host of other problems. It’s obviously not out of the woods yet, but this is amazing progress! (From Noah)

 

 

Friday Coffee Break

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Documenting butterfly life cycles through paintings, long before such things were done. Especially by women! (From CJ)

Whales eat a lot. So if there were a 100x more whales in the ocean than there are now, where did all their food come from? Turns out whales create a more fertile ocean using their own poop! (From Amy)

How can male academics better help and include their female counterparts? A new bi-weekly chat held by STEM women. (From Amy)

Never underestimate a salamander. Researchers in California have found that they may help combat the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. (From Noah).

Do you like charismatic megafauna? You’re not alone. Apparently the bigger the animal, the more publications. (From Jeremy)

One of the fastest changing ecosystems? The grasslands of the Dakotas. (From Jeremy)

WARNING! NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART! (These are both from Sarah)

First, a toad with a visible parasite in it’s eye.

Second, an intense botfly removal… 

And a slightly less gross video about a rare oarfish sighting. (From CJ)

Friday Coffee Break

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Well this is terrifying. Ebola outbreak in Guinea, that is both unexpected and spreading at an alarming rate. (From Sarah)

An eight year old girl tries to make the wooly mammoth the state fossil of South Carolina… and is blocked by state senators? (From Sarah)

APRIL FOOLS! Or not. A few science claims by people we wish were joking. (From Amy)

Just-so stories in science, dead-end explanations or a scientific horizon? In defense of a long held bias agains story telling. (From Jeremy)

Along the line of good stories, here we have a collection of images from the horror fiction genera featuring interesting organisms! (From Noah)