Usually I like to keep my titles upbeat or exciting.
This post is neither. It is also (unfortunately) not an exaggeration.
93% of the Great Barrier Reef, the worlds largest coral reef, is experiencing coral bleaching this summer. Bleaching is code word for dying (not technically, it has to do with the coral polyps abandoning their exoskeleton (I think)).
Read about it over at NPR. And shed a tear for all those adorable coral polyps…
I am a fan of the uncharismatic (so far I’ve studied plants, snails, trematode and will soon branch to bees).
And there are few things in the world more universally charismatic than dinosaurs. Seriously, look no further than the Jurassic Park movies.
I promise that this is not the start of another AMAZING summer about dinosaurs (see last summer’s posts), but my love of the uncharismatic and my love of dinosaurs meet in this awesome comic about taphonomy! It’s the science of how bones are made into bones!
And it’s a pretty cute cartoon. Go check it out! I haven’t seen the Corkboard of Curiosities blog before, but it looks promising!
Mitocondria, the powerhouse of the cell, the most famous organelle found in all eukaryotic cells from Elephants to fungi.
That is until now.
Researchers at University of British Columbia have found the first example of any eukaryote that completely lacks mitochondria.
This is such a big deal, the wrote about it on NPR. Check it out!
I will admit it, I cannot get enough of microbiomes!
And it turns out, neither can other people. Even PHD comics have made an awesome little video about them.
Check it out!
I’m in the midst of dissertating (yes, that’s a verb), so my posts for the next few weeks will be short.
But in cased you missed it John Oliver devoted a whole segment to how science is important (YES!) but that science communication in the media is terrible.
WELL WORTH THE WATCH. NOW. WATCH IT NOW.
In the Origin of Species, Darwin described a “great Tree of Life” which is “fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever branching and beautiful ramifications.”
Ever since then biologist have been trying to describe such a tree. And it should surprise no one that the recent focus on microbial ecology has expanded the Tree considerably.
Read about it at the New York Times or in the paper over at Nature Microbiology .
Hug et al. 2016
Darwin’s tree, in concept and in the only figure published in his Origin of Species.
One megafauna hunting and killing another megafauna on the plains of Africa.
Your head immediately goes to the epic battles between wildebeests and tigers? Impala and cheethas?
But there is another equally gruesome battle playing out between elephants and… trees. Specifically the Baobab tree.
These behemoth trees (measuring 65ft in circumference at their base) store water in their trunk. And elephants can’t get enough.
Read about this epic battle over at National Geographics!