Life for these Fir seedlings began in unfortunate circumstances. Perhaps they...– Unsanctioned Restoration | forest habitat restoration, eco-artwork
Here, we use the concept of “citizen science” to quantify...– ESA Online Journals - Using citizen scientists to measure an ecosystem service nationwide
ESA Online Journals - An invasive species... →
With global increases in human impacts, invasive species have become a major threat to ecosystems worldwide. While they have been traditionally viewed as harmful, invasive species may facilitate the restoration of degraded ecosystems outside their native ranges. In New England, overfishing has depleted salt marsh predators, allowing the herbivorous crab Sesarma reticulatum to denude hundreds of...
Prey species with anti-predator defences, such as wasps and sticklebacks, were...– Stomach contents from invasive American bullfrogs Rana catesbeiana (= Lithobates catesbeianus) on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - Pensoft
Mind, Brain and Big Science
Comment on What’s Wrong with the Brain Activity Map Proposal: Fascinating read. BAM struck me as problematic from the beginning; not that it shouldn’t be done, necessarily, but it seemed like the wrong choice for a Big Science project, especially one with an ostensible public health goal. I’d argue that BAM proceeds from the possibly faulty assumption that it’s possible to...
The problem isn’t solely that self-appointed scientists often jump to faulty...– Neuroscience - Under Attack - NYTimes.com
We were told we had to sacrifice nature for the economy. In fact, we sacrificed...– Life at the End of the World: PW Talks with Andri Snaer Magnason
Our results for P. ornata suggest that males carrying a wrapped prey increase...– ScienceDirect.com - Animal Behaviour - Nuptial gift-giving behaviour and male mating effort in the Neotropical spider Paratrechalea ornata (Trechaleidae)
Today we know that the Milky Way is a galaxy a hundred thousand light-years wide...– Dung Beetles, Dancing to the Milky Way : The New Yorker
H5N1 demoratorium p.s.
Re: conversation at https://twitter.com/carlzimmer/status/294927572532359169 Would have been nice to see more of the older journalists distinguishing themselves, too. But just tracking down a critic isn’t enough in itself. There were plenty of pro-forma, down-at-the-bottom single-critic quotes in coverage. One has to make a judgement call about weighting the criticisms, and whether the...
Some Thoughts on H5N1 Moratorium Lift
Results of unscientific survey of mainstream H5N1 moratorium-lift stories near the top of Google News: Number of stories: 21 Stories in which top quote has a direct interest in continuing H5N1 transmissibility enhancement: 19 (nearly all Kawaoka or Fouchier) Stories in which top quote is critical of the research: 1 Number of quoted pro-transmissibility enhancement sources: 42 Number of...
The shared responses in the evolutionarily ancient mesolimbic reward system...– Frontiers | Birdsong: Is It Music to Their Ears? | Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience
The algorithm for building an organism is therefore not only stored in a linear...– The algorithmic origins of life
Eels—with their simplicity of form, their preference for darkness, their...– James Prosek in National Geographic Magazine - NGM.com
DuPont, based in Wilmington, Delaware, says that it carried out over 400 field...– Controversial weed-killer to be pulled from market : Nature News Blog
Journalism & Blogging
I’m going to tread carefully, as “What is a blog? What is journalism?” is the sort of path from which it’s easy to emerge hours later, all scratched up by thorns and directionally confused, and it’s past one o’clock and I haven’t crossed a thing off this damn to-do list … but, for practical purposes, think of Wired Science as a science section, something...
Repeated investigation of dead young or carrying of corpses has been observed in...– Giraffe mothers in East Africa linger for days near the remains of their dead calves - Strauss - 2012 - African Journal of Ecology - Wiley Online Library
In social evolution theory, it has become common wisdom that close family ties...– Current Biology - Social Evolution: When Promiscuity Breeds Cooperation
For co-infections by strains of the same species, increased co-transmission...– PARASITE CO-TRANSMISSION AND THE EVOLUTIONARY EPIDEMIOLOGY OF VIRULENCE - Alizon - 2012 - Evolution - Wiley Online Library
Our analysis shows that it is possible for unconditionally spiteful behavior to...– THE EVOLUTIONARY DYNAMICS OF SPITE IN FINITE POPULATIONS - Smead - 2012 - Evolution - Wiley Online Library
The monkeys scratched themselves more often when being distant from other group...– Scratching as a Window into the Emotional Responses of Wild Tufted Capuchin Monkeys - Polizzi di Sorrentino - 2012 - Ethology - Wiley Online Library
An (old) interview with Warren Ewens
WE: Of course there is a strong possibility that the neutral theory is assumed not because it is appropriate but because the math of that theory is so very simple compared to the math applying for any selective theory.
AP: Can I follow that up? Do you think that that has lead to models of phylogenetic change that is not very well supported by the evidence?
WE: I think that that is quite possible. However, here we enter into another question. In mathematical population genetics theory you know from the very start that you are making big simplifying assumptions. You are in a very different position from a physicist, who might believe that his mathematical models describe reality exactly. No sensible population geneticist would make any claim along those lines. He or she is forced to simplify, because reality is so complicated that you don’t know it in any detail, and even if you did know it and used math describing it faithfully, the analysis would be impossible to carry through. So simplification is unavoidable. I do not know whether the use of the neutral theory is too much of a simplification and has lead us to incorrect and distorted views about the true evolutionary tree, it’s shape and dimensions, but I suspect that there has been quite a significant distortion.
We conclude that early gentle touching of beef cattle has long-term persistent...– ScienceDirect.com - Applied Animal Behaviour Science - Gentle touching in early life reduces avoidance distance and slaughter stress in beef cattle
Humans cultivate more than food, producing clothing, construction materials,...– Current Biology - Male spotted bowerbirds propagate fruit for use in their sexual display
I Wanted to Predict Elections with Twitter and all I got was this Lousy...– [1204.6441]
Males of the spider Pisaura mirabilis offer prey items as nuptial gifts to...– ScienceDirect.com - Animal Behaviour - Gift carrying in the spider Pisaura mirabilis: nuptial gift contents in nature and effects on male running speed and fighting success
Any politician—Christian or otherwise—who uses the Christian scriptures to...– Santorum Obliquely Suggests Obama Worships Earth, Not God - The Daily Beast
Experiment shows that art students prefer abstract art to monkey art in about...– [1112.1669] Monkeys get a silver in Abstract Art Olympics
They found that 4 hours of exposure to a mixture composed largely of primary...– Environmental Health Perspectives: Photochemical Finish: Assessing the Genomic Impact of Secondary Air Pollutants
Facial composites made by combining individual faces are judged to be...– Human facial beauty: Averageness, symmetry, and parasite resistance
Racial Disparities In Databanking of DNA Profiles →
This paper, after outlining the legal growth and transformation of DNA databanks, examines how various steps in our criminal justice system create and magnify racial disparities, and how the law makes it nearly impossible to effectively address the problem.
A number of reproductive characteristics of termites differ substantially from...– Animal Behaviour : The mating biology of termites: a comparative review
A random, tiny gem from “Natural History Note: A Novel Terrestrial Fish Habitat inside Emergent Logs.” Reports of new habitats for a major group of organisms are rare. Fishes display diverse adaptations for temporary (amphib- ious) existence on land, but to our knowledge, none have ever been reported regularly living inside emergent logs. Here, we show that the mangrove killifish,...