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.


Concerned about coyotes getting your cats? Sarah is concerned that the cat may be a greater threat to nature more than nature is to the cat. “The estimated kill rates are two to four times higher than mortality figures previously bandied about, and position the domestic cat as one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in the nation. More birds and mammals die at the mouths of cats, the report said, than from automobile strikes, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills and other so-called anthropogenic causes.”

Sarah is also rethinking some assumptions she’s been making after reading about “why birds sing?” Finding mates? Fending off predators? Or simply because, like people singing in the shower, they love a good tune.

How to catch an insect? Noah says “Send a fly!” This predatory fly can apparently take down all shapes and sizes of insects and will do so before your very eyes.

Jeremy is reading Jerry Coyne rant on epigenetics (by his own admission, “puffery about epigenetics, and my usual role as go-to curmudgen”). Thinking a lot about epigenetics these days Jeremy?

Devin wants NSF to show him the money! More specifically he’s looking at a new take on how the government might distribute the cash for scientific research. Michael Eisen writes up an imaginary NIH which he believes will solve current shortcomings.

Jonathan notes that Twitter may allow us to track where we’ve been and announce it to the world (or Twitterverse as the case may be) but it may also be able to locate potential disease outbreaks!

Amy is reading about scientists from Scotland and the Czech Republic boldly go where no science has gone before! Although it is small, they have developed a tractor beam similar to those seen in StarTrek.

Finally for your viewing delight, Noah brings us the dating life of anglerfish.