Friday Coffee Break, St. Patty’s Style

Irish Coffee

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.

First of all, my deepest apologies for the lateness of this post.  As you may know I am a 4th year medical student and today was Match Day and I was deep in the throws of celebrating the completion of 4 years of medical education as well as learning where I will be training for the next three years in Family Medicine.   So, without further adieu, your links for this week.

CJ decided to that there were too many good links and had to share several.  First, as a skater herself she found an article relating to transmission of skin flora between close team mates and those competing in roller derby.  Next she decided to share how the sequester is going to affect science jobs and the next few years could be difficult.  But finally, a cool post on five animals that could possibly take over the world, which makes me look at spiders a little closer now.

Next, Jeremy likes the fact that new evidence from the Mars rover is favorable to the possibility of conditions that could have sustained life on the red planet.

From Sarah, some very cool slow mo predator vs. prey footage.  Gotta say this is pretty awesome!  She also found some up close and personal pics of jumping spiders.

From Noah, a video documenting several scientists as they inventory one of the worlds most biodiverse locations, the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.

Finally, in the spirit of March Madness, from Devin comes a battle of the Mammals. “Mammal March Madness from the Mammal’s Suck blog. Although the tournament is purely fictional, the facts and natural history information given out during the extended live tweet rounds are amazing. The first rounds are already complete, but tune in for the exciting finals. Live action via twitter: @Mammals_Suck and general info via the website:”

Friday Coffee Break, more news than a Giant Squid

Asian Palm Civet  (Wikimedia Commons)

Asian Palm Civet (Wikimedia Commons)

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.

Just about everyone here found the news from the Discovery Channel about the video footage of the giant squid facinating.  If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the clip at the bottom, it is just so bad ass looking. CJ recommends the blog Species New to Science for some additional background.

Following up on Sarah’s awesome post on Women in Science, why not check out how folks at the Eigenfactor Project compiled raw data on gender bias in publications and made a beautiful visualization. Devin (@devindrown) thinks it is particularly cool how the authors figured out how to sex the authors in the large corpus that is JSTOR. Be sure to read the methods for the details.

Sarah (@sarahmhird) points out this excellent blog post form Dr. Bik on the Postdoc life which follows up on the fallout from the Forbes story about Professors having least stressful job.

Via Jeremy (@JBYoder) see how conservationists are using the DNA inside fly guts to census biodiversity from Ed Yong (@edyong209) over at the Not Exactly Rocket Science section of Phenomena.

THE most unbelievable title and figure Sarah’s (@sarahmhird) ever seen. Check out this apt named publication in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Curse words are not just for when you experiment goes awry anymore.

Apparently nothing is absolute anymore. A study in published in Nature cooled quantum gas below absolute zero. Amy didn’t know that it was possible, did you?  Don’t lag behind the times. Check it out now. (You can get the story over at Scientific American as well.)

CJ is all about visual animals today and the Tardigrade is no exception. Check out this one because his face is so darn cute.

Via Amy: A study in Europe finds that choosing your child’s name poorly may make him/her dumber and lonelier.  If you’re thinking about procreating, this might be topically relevant for you.

When extreme violence can’t be explained, is genetic analysis warranted? You can read the Nature editorial here.

Amy highlights this exciting news: JSTOR begins offering free yet limited access to its online academic seo company library. Very helpful for when you are outside your institution, or lack access generally.

Did you know this existed, 2012 in Science? Now you do thanks to Sarah (@sarahmhird).

And now, what you’ve been waiting for, the Giant Squid!

A post on one of biology’s most confounding riddles: the latitudinal gradient in biodiversity.

A beautiful, but comparatively species poor forest in eastern Oregon

Explaining global patterns of biodiversity is a fundamental goal in biology. Understanding how the tens of millions of species on earth have arranged themselves into populations, communities, and ecosystems, is critical for conserving them in the face of a rapidly growing human population and global climate change.

ResearchBlogging.orgThe latitudinal gradient in species diversity is perhaps the most famous such pattern, and it has confounded biologists for decades. Almost invariably across taxonomic groups, hemispheres and continents, as one moves from polar regions towards the equator, species diversity increases (see the figure for a depiction of global bird diversity). The concept of diversity here can be broken down into three parts: “alpha diversity” or the diversity of species in a single location; “beta diversity”, or the turnover of species observed when moving among locations; and “gamma diversity” or the diversity of species found in an entire region. The latitudinal diversity gradient holds true for all three elements.
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