Category: Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Science online, oily coral edition

Science online, oily coral edition

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Photo by ucumari.
  • Is anyone really surprised? Biologists working with NOAA have found the first clear evidence that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is damaging coral reefs. (Deep Sea News)
  • Drink the corn liquor, let the Ritalin be. Could Ritalin help fight cocaine addiction? (Neurotic Physiology)
  • Trade-offs are a bitch. Adaptation for swimming and seal-hunting has made the polar bear’s skull structurally weaker than those of its closest relatives. (Not Exactly Rocket Science)
  • Admixture is fun! Razib Khan examines genetic studies of major human ethnic groups. (Gene Expression)
  • Gotta get funded to do the science. Over at dechronization, Rich Glor lays out tips on writing a doctoral dissertation improvement grant. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 Part 5)
  • Scientific support for the siesta. A daytime nap can improve memory performance. (BrainBlogger)
  • Hint, hint. Submissions for the Open Lab 2010 collection of online science writing close at the end of the month. (The Thoughtful Animal)
  • This just in. Eating fewer calories than you burn results in weight loss—even when most of those calories are in Twinkies. (Weighty Matters)
  • Because you can’t develop Seasonal Affective Disorder if your brain is too small. Lemur species that live in habitats with greater seasonal changes have larger brains. (NeuroDojo)
  • Paging Dr. Pangloss. Psychologists are surprised to discover that the sight of cooked meat makes men less aggressive. They will no doubt also be surprised to find that it makes men ask for a fork and A-1 Sauce, too. (AOL News, McGill University press release)
  • Science is impossible. But that’s okay. Really. (We, Beasties)


Source: New feed

Science online, mysterious extra vertebrae edition

Science online, mysterious extra vertebrae edition

Wow. Lots of links this week. I’m using Google Reader again, so evidently getting better at aggregation and/or wasting valuable dissertation-completion time.
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Sundews catch insects on their sticky leaves, potentially putting them in competition with web-spinning spiders. Photo by petrichor.
  • Shape up, Dad. Female rats are more prone to develop diabetes if their fathers were obese—through an inherited metabolic disorder. (Neurotic Physiology)
  • Also useful for studying how lizards rebel against their creators. To study how lizards communicate, build a robotic lizard. No, really. (The Thoughtful Animal)
  • Sounds like the basis for a very strange odd-couple sitcom. Can a spider and a plant be competitors? Maybe, if the plant is carnivorous. (It Takes 30)
  • A species in the genus Rosa by any other taxonomic identifier … Rod Page contemplates the importance of taxonomic names to biological research, and how to handle them in modern data structures. (iPhylo)
  • Nobody could’ve predicted. BP’s cost-cutting and rapid corporate expansion probably contributed to a corporate culture prone to accidents. (ProPublica)
  • One more way in which sloths are weird. Almost all mammals—giraffes included—have seven vertebrae in their necks. But sloths have up to 10. A new developmental study suggests how those extra vertebrae evolved. (NY Times, h/t Mike the Mad Biologist)
  • Every little bit helps. A new study suggests that, without modern conservation efforts, the ongoing extinction crisis would be even worse. (Southern Fried Science)
  • Um. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Placebos are used all the time in pharmaceutical research, but very few published studies actually report what the placebo was made of. (Helen Jacques)
  • The salmon of doubt. The inaugural article in the Journal of Unusual and Serendipitous Results casts doubt on interpretation of functional MRI readings—when its authors find brain activity in a dead fish. (Byte Size Biology)
  • But it looks so cool when Don Draper does it. Dave Munger ponders the ultimate effectiveness of smoking bans and warnings. (SEED Magazine)
  • “Aspergirls” is one catchy neologism. Steve Silberman continues his exploration of human experience on the Autism spectrum with comedienne Rudy Simone—and opens an ongoing conversation with her at The Well. (NeuroTribes)

More sloth weirdness on video: they can swim! But the water’s a dangerous place, as David Attenborough will tell you.


Source: New feed