Environment

2015 Experimental Biology- Day 2

I was very impressed by the graduate and undergraduate students who presented their research at the Scholander poster competition sponsored by the Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology section of the American Physiological Society this afternoon. I am sure the winner of the competition will be very difficult to select. Some highlights included: Bridget Martinez, graduate student at the University of California…

To the British Museum, via the Vets Head, of which more anon. Pen on oil, various hands, circa 2014. Or, if you prefer a more stringent test of your cultural levels, try to identify the provenance of this: The main theme for today’s visit was Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art which was…

Antarctica is pretty much covered with glaciers. Glaciers are dynamic entities that, unless they are in full melt, tend to grow near their thickest parts (that’s why those are the thickest parts) and mush outwards towards the edges, where the liminal areas either melt (usually seasonally) in situ or drop off into the sea. Antarctic’s…

Trial of former coal CEO on horizon, five year mark of disaster approaching

The trial of former coal company CEO Don Blankenship—the man largely responsible for the Upper Big Branch disaster—is scheduled to begin on April 20. I’m ready to let the Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. provide the best play-by-play.

There is a letter signed by top scientists demanding that science museums cut all their ties to Big Fossil, and where appropriate, kick the Koch Brothers off their boards. The letter says, in part, As members of the scientific community we devote our lives to understanding the world, and sharing this understanding with the public.…

This is one of those great examples of research you can probably use in an advanced biology classroom (high school) or intro college bio pretty effectively. It includes birds. It includes hormones. It includes evolution. What else is there, really? I did a very brief writeup on it here, and you can get the original…

A paper just out now in PNAS by Noah Diffenbaugh, Daniel Swain, and Danielle Touma shows that “Anthropogenic warming has increased drought risk in California.” From the abstract: … We find that although there has not been a substantial change in the probability of either negative or moderately negative precipitation anomalies in recent decades, the…

Climate scientists have noticed a disturbing pattern in the North Atlantic. This is the relative cooling of surface waters in the area fed by the Gulf Stream. This pattern has emerged over recent decades, and may portend very rapid and potentially disruptive climate change in the upcoming decades. The cooling is not subtle at all,…

For all you city-dwellers out there, next time you walk by a vacant lot that’s been refurbished with green gardens and budding trees, take note of your heart rate. You might find the pleasantly green view caused a welcome moment of relaxation and lowered stress.

The Quest for Truth: What Scientists can Learn by Observing Nature

Guest Blog by USA Science & Engineering Festival X-STEM Speaker Louie Schwartzberg Albert Einstein remarked, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” He knew something that many scientists and engineers overlook in their quest for truth: nature holds the answers we’re seeking! We’re simply here to learn nature’s language and laws and…