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Posts Tagged "research"

Anthropology in Practice

Why Facebook Users Are Probably Not Committing “Virtual Suicide” in Droves

Do you have a friend who has sworn off Facebook? Not taking a break, but someone who has completely severed ties with the online social networking platform and the connections it houses? There have been a few recent headlines claiming that Facebook users are quitting the network over concerns about privacy in bulk. This news [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Can Smart Phones Help Create Smarter Science?

Can smart phones change the way we do research? Cognitive scientists believe that they may provide a vital means of widening the participant pool, as discussed in a recent September PLoS paper that explores the intersection of technology and behavioral experiments. The potential application of Internet-based research to extend laboratory exercises to wider audiences has [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: Traffic, Wine, and Vikings

It’s Thursday! Which means it’s time for my ResearchBlogging.org Editor’s Selections. Here are my picks for this past week: Can linguistic diversity be hazardous to your health? Sean Roberts at A Replicated Typo ran a series of statistical analyses on traffic patterns in Africa and found that the rate of road fatalities could predict linguistic [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: Will Industrialized Foods Be the End of Us?

Fish and Chips (Creative Commons/Chris Jones)

There’s a sign hanging in my local deli that offers customers some tips on what to expect in terms of quality and service. It reads: Your order: Can be fast and good, but it won’t be cheap. Can be fast and cheap, but it won’t be good. Can be good and cheap, but it won’t [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: Effects of Quality of Life, Google and Memory, Language, and Bears

One of my other homes online is at ResearchBlogging.org where I serve as the Social Sciences Editor. Every Thursday, I select notable research posts in anthropology, philosophy, social science, and research/scholarship, and in addition to the RB News page, I share my selections here on AiP. Here are the picks for this week: Is there [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

A Hangout IN Air–Off a Cliff Face–for Science

Jason Osborne rappelling, running Hangout On Air with phone, and looking for fossils. Credit: Aaron Alford.

When I last did a Google Science Fair Hangout On Air with Jason Osborne and Aaron Alford, founders of Paleo Quest, they were diving in a swamp looking for fossils. Yesterday, they took their fossil quest to new heights, rather literally: this time, they hung on ropes off the side of a cliff for a [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Kid Scientists Make Real Fossil Finds at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

Kids searching for fossils using SharkFinder kits at Scientific American's booth at the USA Science & Engineering Festival.

Kids searching for fossils using SharkFinder kits at Scientific American’s booth at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Credit: Jason Osborne Jason Osborne was trying to grab a quick lunch away from the crowds when his wife called his cellphone. “Jason, you’ve got to come see this boy at the booth. He’s amazing!” When Osborne, [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Science in Action Winner for 2013: Elif Bilgin

Elif Bilgin, winner of the 2013 Science in Action award, a $50,000 prize sponsored by Scientific American as part of the Google Science Fair.

“Genius,” Thomas Edison famously said, “is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” He would have found a kindred spirit in Elif Bilgin, 16, of Istanbul, Turkey, winner of the 2013 $50,000 Science in Action award, part of the third annual Google Science Fair. The award honors a project that can make a practical difference [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

The 2013 Science in Action Finalists

The winning project in 2012 was the Unique Simplified Hydroponic Method, developed by two 14-year-old boys, Bonkhe Mahlalela (left) and Sakhiwe Shonwe of Swaziland, in southern Africa.

Now in its second year, the $50,000 Science in Action award, sponsored by Scientific American as part of the Google Science Fair, an annual global competition for teens ages 13 to 18, honors a project that can make a practical difference by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge. Submissions should be innovative, easy to [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Meet the Science in Action Finalists

Who will win the first $50,000 Science in Action prize, sponsored by Scientific American? This award, offered as part of the 2012 Google Science Fair, will recognize a student project that addresses a social, environmental, ethical, health or welfare issue to make a practical difference to the lives of a group or community, and that [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Enter the Science in Action Award at Google Science Fair

Scientific American is very happy to help expand the Google Science Fair this year with the new $50,000 Science in Action Award. The international online fair, launched in 2011, has three age categories, for teens from 13 to 18. The Science in Action Award will honor a project that addresses a social, environmental or health [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Citizen Scientists Study Whale Songs: Years of Work Done in Months

In November 2011, Scientific American, Zooniverse and a team of research partners launched the Web site Whale.FM, a citizen-science project devoted to cataloging the calls made by Pilot whales and Killer whales (Orcas), both of which are actually dolphin species. Different whale families have their own dialects and closely related families share calls. Underwater microphones, [...]

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Cross-Check

Proposed Ban on Ape Research Caps Summer of the Chimps

This summer has seen the release of a blockbuster movie, acclaimed documentary and news-worthy research paper that all—in different but weirdly complementary ways—present sympathetic portraits of chimpanzees, our hirsute doppelgangers. So this is an ideal time for a proposed ban on invasive research on chimpanzees and other apes. A sponsor of the Great Ape Protection [...]

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Dog Spies

Drop Outs and Bloopers: Behind the Scenes of Canine Science

95475525_93deaec7b8_q Thumb

I judge dogs when I meet them, but not in the way you might expect. You see, every dog and owner I meet gets filtered through a lens called “Potential Canine Science Study Participants.” The growing field of canine behavior and cognition research is not built on the backs of lab beagles. Instead, research depends [...]

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Dog Spies

Dogs and Cats in the Home: Happiness for All?

catanddog

‘Dogs and Cats in the Home: Happiness for All?’ was a Finalist in the inaugural ScienceSeeker Awards* in the category Best Post About Peer-reviewed Research (winners and finalists listed here). Congrats to all those recognized and many thanks to the judges** for putting in how many hours? A version of this post first appeared at [...]

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Dog Spies

The data is in: Adopt this dog

Erica Feuerbacher smiles when she talks, and why shouldn’t she? As a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida with the Canine Cognition and Behavior Lab, she spends a lot of time with dogs (or at least dogs in the form of data). Through her research, she meets many, many, many dogs, some of whom [...]

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Expeditions

Scientists Explore New Zealand’s Deep Sea (Part II)

sea urchin image

We made five planned dives during our voyage, each one a day long. It is a long day for the sub team. It takes several hours to prepare the submersible for the dive, and after seven to eight hours on the seafloor, another round of work is needed to prepare the sub for its next [...]

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Expeditions

Scientists Explore New Zealand’s Deep Sea (Part I)

Shinkai 6500 submarine

The JAMSTEC research vessel RV Yokosuka sailed from Nuku’alofa in Tonga this morning, heading towards New Zealand to explore the animal life on deep undersea mountains, or seamounts. A team of 14 scientists from Japan and New Zealand, 41 ships officers and crew are on board. The Yokosuka is the mother ship for the human-operated [...]

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Expeditions

You wanted to know: who are these scientists?

For the past few days we’ve covered some of the scientists on board through their PI’s: Kay Bidle, Jack DiTullio and Rachel, Petey and Jacob, Marco Coolen and Cherel, Anna Martins, Assaf and his gang. But there are still some scientists you haven’t met yet. Let’s go alphabetically. Benjamin Bailleul is a physicist turned physical [...]

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Expeditions

Status Update: Day 3 at the Cyclonic Eddy

June 19th, 2012 We stopped at one of our target points — a place where the scientists thought there would be lots of phytoplankton — a few days ago. The weather is nice, and the ocean is surprisingly calm (knock on wood). I’m hoping it stays like this for the rest of the trip. Everyone [...]

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Expeditions

All Aboard: how you can be a part of our research blog

Hi there! I’m Rose, a science journalist and producer. I live in Brooklyn now, where I write, produce and generally try to explain science-y things. But in a few weeks, I’ll be writing to you from somewhere far, far away from Brooklyn: the North Atlantic Ocean. I’m heading out to sea with a research group [...]

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Expeditions

Squid studies: Escape and impairment

san pedro mountain gulf of california

Editor’s Note: Marine biologist William Gilly is on an expedition to study Humboldt squid on the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System research vessel New Horizon in the Gulf of California. He and other scientists are learning about the giant squid, their biology and ecology on this National Science Foundation-funded expedition. This is his sixth blog post [...]

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Expeditions

Squid studies: Into the heart of squid country–or at least where it should be

map of gulf of california and gilly

Editor’s Note: Marine biologist William Gilly is on an expedition to study Humboldt squid on the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System research vessel New Horizon in the Gulf of California. He and other scientists are learning about the giant squid, their biology and ecology on this National Science Foundation-funded expedition. This is his second blog post [...]

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Expeditions

Squid studies: How does one get ready for an expedition?

squid study expedition gilly

Editor’s Note: Marine biologist William Gilly is on an expedition to study Humboldt squid on the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System research vessel New Horizon in the Gulf of California. He and other scientists will spend the coming weeks learning about the giant squid, their biology and ecology on this National Science Foundation-funded expedition. This is [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Solar-Powered Transmitters Reveal Secrets of Endangered “Little Devil” Seabirds

black-capped petrel

How do you gather information about a bird species that spends 99 percent or more of its time at sea? Until recently, there wasn’t an easy answer. But now scientists who are working to conserve the endangered black-capped petrel (Pterodroma hasitata) have come up with an innovative technique to improve our understanding of the rare [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Citizen Scientists, Funding Needed to Help Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Project

hawaiian monk seal

Endangered Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi) have a bad reputation among some local fishermen, who accuse the 200-kilogram mammals of eating the fish that the humans catch for their livelihoods. A new project aims to find out if that notoriety is deserved and the public—in particular, teens—has a chance to participate. The National Marine Fisheries [...]

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Food Matters

Probiotics, the Immune System, and Mouse Balls

yogurt

I don’t think I’m alone in my prurient interest in research related to sex, since those posts tend to be wildly popular. At the same time, I try mostly to stick to my field of expertise while blogging, and the intersection between sex and the immune system doesn’t happen that often (unless we’re talking about [...]

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Guest Blog

The Replication Myth: Shedding Light on One of Science’s Dirty Little Secrets

In a series of recent articles published in The Economist (Unreliable Research: Trouble at the Lab and Problems with Scientific Research: How Science Goes Wrong), authors warned of a growing trend in unreliable scientific research. These authors (and certainly many scientists) view this pattern as a detrimental byproduct of the cutthroat ‘publish-or-perish’ world of contemporary [...]

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Guest Blog

The Potential of LSD, Heroin, Marijuana and Other Controlled Substances in Brain Research

no drugs sign

Imagine being an astronomer in a world where the telescope was banned. This effectively happened in the 1600s when, for over 100 years, the Catholic Church prohibited access to knowledge of the heavens in a vain attempt to stop scientists proving that the earth was not the center of the universe.  ‘Surely similar censorship could [...]

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Guest Blog

Hallmarks of Cancer 7: Genome Instability and Mutation

BRCA1 structure

All cancers share ten underlying principles, also known as the Hallmarks of Cancer. You can read about the first six here. The seventh is defined as genome instability and mutation. Cancer Cells Evolve Not all cancer cells are equal. They vary, they compete, and the fittest survive to pass on their genes to daughter cells, [...]

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Guest Blog

Overprescribing the Healthy Elderly: Why Funding Research and Drug Safety Is Paramount

My frail, 92-year-old mother was prescribed 80 mgs of the cholesterol-lowering drug, or statin, simvastatin for years. She fell four times in the last four years of her life: the last fall was the least forgiving. Doctors diagnosed her with rhabdomyolysis, a life-threatening condition, and acute kidney failure; she was dead within 8 weeks. Source: [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Understanding medical news – “Between the Lines”

First, a confession—I’m a mathphobe, traumatized by growing up in a family skewed with an overabundance of math genes for whom math skills came as naturally as breathing.  I always got confused, and thought it was “sadistics,” not “statistics.” So it was with a bit of hesitation that I tentatively began Between the Lines (BTL), [...]

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Observations

Glaxo Announcement Won’t End Biomedicine’s Conflicts of Interest

Image: Wikimedia Commons

GlaxoSmithKline broke with industry practice and announced that it will no longer pay scientists to promote its drugs, reports the New York Times. In an industry rife with conflicts of interest, this move is welcome news for consumers. It is unlikely, however, to have much effect. Entanglements between researchers and drug companies are thick. Drug [...]

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Observations

NIH Begins Gene Therapy Trial for Parkinson’s Disease

Image credit: Flickr/Tom M

All eyes were on Perry Cohen when he froze at the microphone. His voice failed him. He couldn’t read his notes. Eventually, the once-powerful Parkinson’s disease speaker had to be helped off the stage halfway through his speech. That was in February 2012, but the memory of that day is emblazoned in his mind. “It [...]

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Observations

Science Advisor Gives Hopeful Progress Report on Obama’s Achievements

John Holdren addresses audience at the Stevens Institute of Technology President

President Obama has restored science to its rightful place in the White House, says John Holdren, Obama’s senior science advisor. “Science is again where it should be,” he told an audience of 200 as part of a lecture series at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. on Wednesday, although he warned that the [...]

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Observations

Will Business Step In to End a Sequester-Driven Research Funding Gap?

By now we’re all painfully aware of the federal government’s across-the-board cutbacks on discretionary spending—better known as the sequester—and how it has imperiled publicly funded scientific research in the U.S. The only thing less clear than the sequester’s long-term impact on academia, industry and the economy is how to end its austerity measures, which could [...]

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Observations

Research into Contagious Bird Flu Starts after Moratorium

bird flu pandemic research h5n1

After public outcry against research into avian flu strains that can be transmitted among mammals, 40 of the top scientists working on the influenza strains signed a voluntary moratorium on research last January. The goal of the pause was to properly—and publically—weigh the potential risks and benefits of such investigations. Critics of the research noted [...]

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Observations

Best Countries in Science: SA‘s Global Science Scorecard

“Global society operates as a network of creativity and innovation.”–John Sexton, writing in Scientific American. In the October 2012 issue, we publish our Global Science Scorecard, a ranking of nations on how well they do science—not only on the quality and quantity of basic research but also on their ability to project that research into [...]

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Observations

U.S. Cancer Rates Could Be Cut in Half Today Based on What’s Already Known

doctor writing

More than half a million people died from cancer in the U.S. in 2011. We have many astounding advances in medicine to thank for that number not being higher. But that grim figure could also be a lot lower even without a breakthrough drug for breast or lung cancer. In fact, more than 280,000 of [...]

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Observations

FDA Approves First Targeted Drug against Cystic Fibrosis

conceptual drawing of lungs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a new drug that tackles the underlying cause of  cystic fibrosis (CF) in 4 percent of patients. The drug, called ivacaftor (brand name Kalydeco), acts by helping the body make better use of a protein that works incorrectly in cystic fibrosis patients. The underlying research behind this [...]

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Observations

Missing Medical Data Could Harm Patients

doctor and book

Big clinical trials—to test new drugs or procedures—generate reams of important data about safety and efficacy. Only a fraction of that information sees the light of day, a publishing practice that could put patients at risk, according to a special report published this week in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Even though scientific and medical [...]

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Observations

Nearly 400 Accidents with Dangerous Pathogens and Biotoxins Reported in U.S. Labs over 7 Years

working in biosafety level-4

A workplace accident might mean a paper cut or spilled coffee for many—or even loss of life or limb for others. For a select few scientists, however, a little slipup on the job could release a deadly virus or toxin into the environment. Some 395 reported “potential release events” of “select agents” occurred in U.S. [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Dumbo Octopus Gives Rare View [Video]

New, stunning video from a deep-sea vehicle reveals a rare view of the Dumbo octopus. Don’t let the name fool you—the Dumbo octopus (Grimpoteuthis) is no dummy. And those protrusions on the side of its body are not—like its cartoon namesake flaunts—big ears, but rather fins, which help it swim above the seafloor. This strange and [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Scientists Learn How to Put an Octopus to Sleep

octopus anesthesia sleep

We can’t really ask an octopus to count backward from 10. Which is just one of the tricky things about putting an octopus under. If knocking an octopus out (for science) sounds like an unusual procedure, well, it is. But it’s likely going to get a lot more common in labs around the world. Canada, [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

How Lil Wayne, the NYC Octopus, Will Help Scientists Understand the Brain

BROOKLYN—It wasn’t hard to name Lil Wayne. He actually volunteered to take the rapper’s moniker. On April 2, Frank Grasso, director of the Biomemetic and Cognitive Robotics Lab at Brooklyn College, showed me around his lab spaces—from where they build mobile robots to where they keep their axolotls and fiddler crabs to the crown jewel: [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Do Octopuses Feel Pain?

octopus pain

The past couple posts have described some pretty severe experiments on octopuses, including: showing how octopus arms can grow back after inflicted damage and how even severed octopus arms can react to stimuli. (For the record, animals in the studies were anesthetized and euthanized, respectively.) Without getting too far into the woods (or reefs) of [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Unusual Offshore Octopods: The Weapon-Wielding Blanket Octopus [Video]

blanket octopus

We continue our exploration of the many mysterious octopuses that live far from shore—and the eyes of humans. Today we meet the blanket octopus (Tremoctopus), a genus with four species that, until recently, had only been described based on female specimens. Why? Although they live in the vast open ocean, they are big (up to [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Unusual Octopods Elude Science: The Case of the Football Octopus

rare football octopus

Shallow-water octopuses can be difficult enough to find. They camouflage against corals, hide in holes and generally make themselves scarce. But researchers can at least attempt to observe and collect them by snorkeling, diving or skimming nets and bottom trawls. The rest of the vast, dark ocean, however, presents a much larger sampling challenge. So [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

3-D Printed Octopus Suckers Help Robots Stick

octopus robot suckers

Legions of animal-inspired robots are being created to improve military missions and disaster response efforts—from crawling cockroach-like RHex bots to leaping Sand Flea robots and the speeding Cheetah machines. Now, a squishier source for smart robo-tech has joined the ranks: octopuses. Teams of researchers are already developing soft-bodied, octopus-esque robots for search and rescue. These [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Octopuses Gain Consciousness (According to Scientists’ Declaration)

octopus consciousness declaration

Elephants cooperate to solve problems. Chimpanzees teach youngsters to make tools. Even octopuses seem to be able to plan. So should we humans really be surprised that “consciousness” probably does not only exist in us? This privileged state of subjective awareness in fact goes well beyond Homo sapiens, according to the new Cambridge Declaration on [...]

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Oscillator

Smellspace and Olfactory White

brain_odor_map

White is a mixture, made by a combination of signals at equal intensity across a perceptual space. White light can be split up into all the colors of the visible spectrum, and white noise covers a range of frequencies within the audible range. Our other senses don’t have as clearly defined ranges of perception. We [...]

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Oscillator

Our Smell Universe

Smell is notoriously subjective and hard to define. Odors can be perceived differently by different people depending on genetics, culture, past experience, the environment, and whether they’ve had a really bad sinus infection or not. Even worse, the same person can perceive the same smell differently at different times, depending on how the smell is [...]

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Plugged In

Ask an engineer: grid-level battery storage

Robert Fares Photo_200px

We’re holding a live Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Twitter right now with Robert Fares, PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at UT Austin, about his research in grid-level battery storage. Follow along with #AskUT and @davidwogan @robertfares @zaragozaaustin. Update: I’ve embedded the discussion below. .@RobertFares Your study explores using batteries to balance the power grid [...]

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Symbiartic

Science Scribe Animates Toxic Couches

13-007FEATURE

The following is a guest post by Perrin Ireland, a Senior Science Communications Specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco. If you were at any of the recent Science Online conferences, you may have noticed her in some sessions stationed at the front of the room, taking notes in her dynamic “sketchnoting” [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Wordless Wednesdays: Pouched Rats enjoying treats

Cricetomys ansorgei African Giant Pouched Rat eating banana -

I was preparing a post and suddenly realized I prepared the EXACT same post 6 months ago! So here it is. A sentiment so nice, I present it to you twice: Wordless Wednesday: Pouched Rat having a treat. Why? Because Pouched Rats are the most adorbs!  

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The Urban Scientist

Wordless Wednesday: #madwriting all the live long day

#madwriting

This is pretty much ALL I’ve been doing day in and day out for several weeks now. Writing, Editing, Revising, Reading references, Re-reading references, Writing some more, etc. I’m focusing on the first manuscript from the Pouched Rat research I’ve been doing the last 2.x years. I’ve hammered out an Intro, Methods, and Results I [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Wordless Wednesdays: Research Snapshots 9

DNLee with Gambian Pouched Rat, Cricetomys gambianus

Confession: I kind of miss my pouched rats

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The Urban Scientist

You Should Know: July 29, 1972 Important date in Bioethics, Science and Black History

Dr. Breland Noble and Dr. Benjamin

The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment was an infamous clinical study that began in 1932, conducted by the Public Health Service at the Tuskegee Institute. July 29, 1972, it was revealed to the world and it came to an end. Peter Buxton, US Public Health Service worker had filed several reports about this unethical research. He blew [...]

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The Urban Scientist

You Should Know: Dr Robin G Nelson

spotlight-searchlight-RGN

Welcome to the tenth installment of You Should Know, where I give my own #ScholarSunday salute to Science Bloggers and Blogs you may not yet know about. Introducing … Dr. Robin G. Nelson Dr. Nelson is a Biological Anthropologist whose research explores family dynamics and how they may impact the health of individuals and communities. She [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Wordless Wednesday: Making Panyabuuku Plans

Cricetomys ansorgei African Giant pouched rat in a pot

I’m in planning mode for my return trip to Tanzania to study African Giant Pouched Rats, Cricetomys ansorgei This is what I spend a good portion of my time doing, live-trapping and capturing pouched rats, called panyabuuku, in the wild. This is what I actually have in store for me – literally! A large pile [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Wordless Wednesday: I study the most adorable species in the world – Pouched Rats

African Giant Pouched Rat Cricetomys ansorgei in trap looking adorable and eating banana 2

We can’t all study the most adorable, photogenic rat ever known, so I generously share all of the cuteness with you. Pouched Rats – the most adorable little beasties!

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The Urban Scientist

#DispatchesDNLee: Back in the field (Illinois)

Marissa Rice

I am on a Dispatches from DNLee Adventure, but this time it’s here in the States.  The last several days have been spent outside in the fields and farmlands of central Illinois. Good times. As a PhD student, I spent several weekends (spread over a few months) trapping and collecting prairie voles. Microtus ochrogaster, for my [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Wordless Wednesday: Sleeping Beauty

See those stuffed cheeks

Still bringing you Pouched Rat adorableness. Video recorded by M Sellers.

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The Urban Scientist

Spend a semester in Bermuda studying Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

beautiful jellies - how can you not love that?

Early experiences can really have a formative impact on a person’s life, even or perhaps especially when it comes to  career trajectories. I had several exciting exposures to sciences as a child and teen and in college – most of those experiences were related to animals, ecology, and the environment.  But I could have easily [...]

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