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 Noah: New surveys of a small nature reserve in Madagascar have turned up 36 previously unknown species of frogs.

Lead author of the paper, Gonçalo M. Rosa, told that the reason why this forest held so many frog species “is still a mystery.” He notes that up to 24 of the species in the forest may be endemic, i.e. found no-where else in the world but in tiny Betampona [Nature Reserve].

“And that’s why these numbers are so extraordinary (especially compared with other tropical forests),” Rosa exclaims. “Betampona is also considered a botanical ‘hotspot’ with 20 of the 100 most endangered Malagasy plants found within its borders!”

From Devin: Doctoral students could win a trip to Brussels from AAAS by turning their dissertation research into a dance.
The rules are simple. You must make a dance that not only captures the essence of your science but is also a cool work of art. Take a look at last year’s finalists for inspiration. Then enter the contest on the Gonzo Labs Web site. The competition is open to anyone in the sciences, broadly defined—engineers, mathematicians, and historians of science are welcome. You just need to be working on a Ph.D. or already have one. [links sic]
From Sarah: A new study finds that great tits (Parus major) are more likely to help other tits chase away predators if they know the other birds well.

“There are two explanations,” Ms Grabowska-Zhang told BBC Nature.

“One: birds join their neighbours because they think: ‘My nest could be next.’

“Or they join because their neighbours have joined their [predator chasing] mobs before, and they know that if they don’t reciprocate, they’ll be left alone next time. It’s sort of great tit tit-for-tat.”

From Jon: Women’s hearts may be more adversely affected by stress than men’s, based on measurements taken before and after a mental stress test.
This differing characteristic could potentially predispose women to heart problems while under stress, says study leader Chester Ray. He adds that the results came as a surprise, since previous studies men have significantly less blood flow than women during the physical stress of exercise, and could explain why women tend to have more heart troubles after stressful events, such as losing a spouse. The findings also reemphasize the importance of mental stress in affecting health.
Alongside the numerous cosmetic genital procedures he offers, Dr Ostrzenski trains practitioners in procedures including ‘g-spot fat augmentation’ and ‘g-spot surgical augmentation’. [link sic]