Education

Bone-house wasps

A new species of spider wasp that protect their young with walls made of ant carcasses has been discovered in the forests of China. Dr. Michael Staab from the University of Freiburg discovered the new species which he named Deuteragenia ossarium meaning “bone-house wasp” since the wasps reminded him of the ossuaries in Europe with…

Kangaroo’s 5th leg

New research suggests that kangaroos use their tails as a 5th “leg”:

A few weeks back, we published a review about the development and role of the human reference genome. A key point of the reference genome is that it is not a single sequence. Instead it is an assembly of consensus sequences that are designed to deal with variation in the human population and uncertainty in…

As those of us in the US are planning our holiday weekend, I wanted to make sure you all know that Trolling With Logic will be doing a 24 hour charity show to raise funds for Engineers Without Borders! I had a marvelous time chatting with them back in January, so I jumped at the opportunity…

The Root 100 2014 is seeking your nominations. DEADLINE IS MONDAY. They are …just about ready to celebrate the innovators, the trailblazers and the influencers in the African-American community who have caught our attention in the past year. [They] will announce The Root 100 of 2014 and celebrate these 25-45-year-olds who are paving the way…

Day 4 — All the rest of the world

Yesterday was policy day, as far as keynote speakers were concerned. Lidia Brito is the UNESCO director of science policy and capacity building. Among the usual points about the need to change, building capacity and recognizing stakeholders, here is what I believe is her take home message: Science is changing, and that’s a good thing.…

  It is not surprising that Biwa salmon (image above), a subspecies of Oncorhyncus masou, do not adapt to seawater very well after having been landlocked in Lake Biwa, Japan for the last 500,000 years or so.  Researchers from Hokkaido University and Shiga Prefecture Fishery Experiment Station in Japan wanted to know what caused the salmon to…

New research published in PLOS Genetics shows that starving C. elegans (Caenorhabditis elegans) during the late larval stage of development when the worms are undergoing tissue growth and formation halts cellular activity at previously unknown checkpoints in their development. These findings show that nutrition is an important cue to signal whether or not the worms should…

Smashing Stuff and Making Ice Cream

A few weeks back, a Union alumnus who works at Troy Prep contacted the college to arrange a visit for a bunch of second-graders, and asked if faculty would be willing to arrange talks and demos for the kids. I said something like “Sure, we could probably make liquid nitrogen ice cream for them,” and…

Day 1 — continued

I should start with the ESOF 2014 opening ceremony, but instead, I need to go back to the rest of the journalists conference. Specifically to the prize – yes there was a prize. It went to a guy with dreadlocks down past his waist who stages science events in Christiania — the still-existent hippie/anarchist community…