Education

On Faculty Mentoring

One of the evergreen topics for academic magazines like Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education is faculty “mentoring.” It’s rare for a week to go by without at least one lengthy essay on the topic, many of which recirculate multiple times through my various social media channels. The latest batch of these…

Bio Databases 2016

Someone missed the memo. Over the past year, news and presentations by NIH leaders like Philip Bourne have communicated that the proliferation biologically focused databases is unsustainable. However, unlike last year, where the number of databases tracked by Nucleic Acids Research (NAR) dropped by three databases, 2015’s net growth was 136. Counting databases is hard As summarized in…

I am excited to report that it’s that time of year again when the American Physiological Society hosts their annual video contest! This year’s Phantastic Physiology Voyage theme is “Function Follows Form.” Here is just a sample of the fun videos in the contest: Please vote for your favorite physiology video here!

Decompression sickness

Animals exposed to military sonar are thought to develop symptoms similar to decompression sickness. Since microparticles in the blood are known to increase with decompression sickness in diving land animals, researchers explored whether levels were also increased in Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), that similarly hold their breath while diving. Microparticles are fragments of cell membranes. The…

New research published in Biology Letters suggests that, similar to dogs, horses may understand our facial expressions. In a quote published in Discovery News, study author Amy Smith (University of Sussex) said, “It’s possible that horses developed this ability during their 6,000-year co-evolution with humans, or indeed that individual horses learn it during their lifetimes.”…

Celebrating African American History Month with Role Models In STEM: Dr. James West

USA Science & Engineering Festival Speaker, Dr. James West, an Acoustical Scientist from Johns Hopkins University turned his childhood curiosity into a career of invention! Looking back on his childhood days in Prince Edward County, Virginia, acoustical scientist James Edward West, says curiosity ruled his life. “If I had a screwdriver and a pair of…

Antarctica: Links and Lack of Links

Internet Links and Social Links at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Here are some links of interest related to Trish Suchy and my NSF Antarctic Artists and Writers Project: Trish Suchy’s blog about our Artist’s and Writer’s project. David Ainley’s website about his research on Adelie penguins: Penguin Science The weather in McMurdo is here. Zach Sudman’s…

Our most recent helo trip out from McMurdo on our NSF Artists & Writers Project took us to Cape Evans, the site of Robert Scott’s Terra Nova Hut, where they based their 1910-1913 trip to the South Pole. We went with Anthony Powell (the filmmaker from Scott Base who made the movie “Antarctica: A Year…

Researchers are spending a lot of time exploring how the microbes living in our guts impact our health. In a new study published in Cell Reports, researchers wanted to know how the gut microbes of wild brown bears changes between summer and hibernation. They discovered that during the summer, the microbial species present in the gut are…

In yesterday’s post about the lack of money in academia, I mentioned in passing that lack of funding is part of the reason for the slow pace of progress on improving faculty diversity. That is, we could make more rapid progress if we suddenly found shitloads of money and could go on a massive hiring…