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 Jeremy – 

Just in time for snot season, scientists discover a ‘blue print’ for a universal flu vaccine. Yay Science!

“The immune system produces these CD8 T cells in response to usual seasonal flu,” Prof Lalvani said. “Unlike antibodies, they target the core of the virus, which doesn’t change, even in new pandemic strains.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Malaysian orchids must be super flattered by the orchid mantis.

“The orchid mantises we observed were not hiding amongst flowers, but were sitting on their own against a backdrop of green vegetation,” O’Hanlon said. “Thus, it was the body of the mantis itself that was attracting the pollinators, and not any flowers in its vicinity.”

From Sarah – 

Another awesome mimic??? WAHOO! But this time it’s Uropyia meticulodina moths and dead leaves.

And it’s not just brown like a curled up, dead leaf, it depicts a leaf catching the light, with shadows in all the right places and you can even see the veins casting tiny shadows along the curled underside. It’s like one of those optical illusions that still work even when you know it’s a trick.

Science news nexus PopSci is no longer allowing comments on their articles…and for really good reasons!

A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics… And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.

Speaking of comments on blogs, we here at Nothing In Biology have posted a very condensed blog commenter and contributor policy. And before you ask – yes, there is a Monty Python reference involved.

From Amy – 

An attractive, simple and delightful motions graphics piece explaining the big concepts in evolution. It’s so fun to watch, you won’t even know you’re learning!

From Noah –

The iconic Darwin’s Finches are being threatened by a parasitic, introduced fly.

“Usually their beak is all messed up,” said George Heimpel, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota who has done research on the fly. “And for Darwin’s finches we know that the beak is an important part of their livelihood.”

From CJ –

The requirements for a perfect colleague (according to one delusional scientist).

I will not work with a colleague that does not have a NIH or NSF career development grant.

I am not looking for any type of colleague that is materialistic or a gold digger or expects a collaborator to pay for everything.