Environment

Monday was a great day for comparative physiology at EB! I saw several highly notable posters and seminars that I would like to share with you: Catherine Ivy, graduate student at McMaster University compared deer mice that were raised at high altitudes versus those raised at lower altitudes and found that the ancestry of the…

For years, advocates have been calling on policymakers to reform the nation’s outdated chemical safety laws. Today, two such bills stand before Congress — one that advocates say better protects the public’s health and another that advocates warn is a dangerous step backward.

Maybe, maybe not. There is a new paper that looks at what climate scientists call “synoptic midlatitude temperature variability” and the rest of us call “cold snaps” and “heat waves.” The term “synoptic” simply means over a reasonably large area like you might expect a cold snap or heat wave to be. Specifically, the paper…

A new study by Sarah Moffitt, Tessa Hill, Peter Roopnarine, and James Kennett (Response of seafloor ecosystems to abrubt global climate change) gets a handle on the effects of relatively rapid warming and associated Oxygen loss in the sea on invertebrate communities. The study looked at a recent warming event (the end of the last…

There is some interesting new work carried out by researchers at Dartmouth College and the USDA Forest Service on the relationship between the Mountain Pine Beetle, major die-offs of forests in North America, and climate change. The Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) is a kind of “bark beetle” (they don’t bark, they live in bark)…

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.…