About the SA Blog Network
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    Katie McKissick Katie McKissick is a former high school biology teacher turned science writer and cartoonist based in Los Angeles, CA. Her first book is called What’s in Your Genes? and will be in bookstores December 2013. Her work can be found at Follow on Twitter @beatricebiology.
  • Underground Beauty


    On Symbiartic, September is a month-long celebration of science artists called the SciArt Blitz. A different science artist is featured each day, so head over and check out the latest from the science art world. This piece is a soon-to-be mural at the Denver Botanical Gardens in Denver, CO by Marjorie Leggitt. It illustrates the underground world [...]

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    A Genome is Not a Blueprint


    Image: 1936 Joy Oil gas station blueprints (top); sequence from human chromosome 1 (bottom). Source: from A Monkey’s Blueprint by Martin Krzywinski on SA Visual When artist Martin Krzywinski was challenged to come up with a graphic that quickly and concisely shows how the human genome is more similar to chimpanzee and bonobo genomes than [...]

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    Octomonth Belongs to the Octopus


    Over at Octopus Chronicles, Katherine Harmon Courage commemorated the eighth day of the eighth month with eight hiding octopuses. Let’s keep the octomonth celebrations going in honor of everyone’s favorite invertebrate. Head over to Octopus Chronicles to read more about these fascinating molluscs, pick up a copy of Octopus!: The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea, [...]

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    Dr. Fist-Bump


    Image Credit: Ghareeb et al. (2013), Journal of Hospital Infection Source: Fist Bumps for Germophobes by Christina Agapakis on Oscillator The thought of outlawing handshakes and making fist bumps mandatory for hospital employees might strike you as rather amusing. But in studies that attempt to quantify the transfer of potential pathogens via customary greetings such [...]

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    Guinness-Busting Bug


    Credit: China News Service/Zhong Xin Source: Bec Crew’s Largest aquatic insect in the world found in China on Running Ponies Remember the Guinness Book of World Records? Pouring over the pages of tiny text and black and white images of record breakers was a hallowed summer time-busting tradition, at least in my circle of friends. [...]

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    Have a Heart, Kill Your Lawn


    Source: Katie McKissick’s Symbiartic post: Don’t Be a Water Jerk. Image © Katie McKissick Few things are more inviting than a flawless green turf, stretching out before you like a luscious green tumbling mat – unless, of course, that lawn is in the Southwestern United States and you are aware of the severity of the [...]

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    The Emerging Mosquito


    Image Credit: © Alex Wild Source: Recipe For A Photograph #4: The Emerging Mosquito, on Compound Eye As the weather warms and spring marches into summer, mosquito pupae are shedding their skins and emerging from stagnant pools to search for warm mammalian blood. The thought of swarms of pesky mosquitoes and the itchy red welts [...]

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    Monitoring the Many Faces of Monitors


    Artist: Darren Naish Source: Monitor musings, varanid variables, goannasaurian goings-on… it’s about monitor lizards, by Darren Naish on Tetrapod Zoology If you’re not a herpetologist, you may be of the mindset that lizards all look the same, but that would only expose you for what you are: a human primate, finely attuned to the faces [...]

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    The Lure of Light

    A leatherback turtle hatchling. (Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife)

    “A sea turtle’s life begins in darkness,” writes John R. Platt of SciAm’s Extinction Countdown blog. Buried in nests along the beach about 50 centimeters below the surface, they must first break out of their eggs before climbing and scraping their way up through the sand. When they emerge, usually during the night, they face [...]

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    Shameless Self-Inflation

    christmas island frigatebird

    The Christmas Island frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi) know how to call attention to themselves, especially the males, which inflate bright, red gular pouches on their necks to attract females. This critically endangered species, native to Australia, is number nine on a recently released list of the world’s 100 most endangered and unique birds, published in Current [...]

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