Following up on yesterday's post, introducing recent work by UC-Santa Cruz students of science writing, here are some more of them for your reading pleasure:
Susan Young, at Inside Stanford Medicine:
For many high school and college students, July is a time for swimsuits and summer jobs, but for others, it’s the season to hang out in labs with human cadavers, in hospitals following physicians as they work, and in classrooms learning about immune cells. It’s time for summer educational programs...
Sascha Zubryd at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University:
Higher temperatures could hurt California and other premium wine-growing regions of the United States in the next 30 years, according to a new study led by Stanford University climate scientists.
Writing in the June 30 edition of Environmental Research Letters, the scientists report that by 2040, the amount of land suitable for cultivating premium wine grapes in high-value areas of northern California could shrink by 50 percent because of global warming. However, some cooler parts of Oregon and Washington State could see an increase in premium grape-growing acreage due to warming, according to the study...
Political candidates get more votes by taking a “green” position on climate change - acknowledging that global warming is occurring, recognizing that human activities are at least partially to blame and advocating the need for action - according to a June 2011 study by researchers at Stanford University.
Among Democratic and Independent voters, a hypothetical United States Senate candidate gained votes by making a “green” statement on climate change and lost votes by making a “not-green” statement - expressing skepticism about global warming - compared to making no statement on climate, the study found. Among Republican voters, the hypothetical candidate neither gained nor lost votes by taking either position...
Danielle Venton, at Wired.com:
Archaeopteryx’s status as the forerunner of modern birds is crumbling in the face of a new, closely-related fossil.
The new discovery, a feathered, chicken-sized dinosaur named Xiaotingia, has prompted a fresh look at the dinosaur family tree, casting Archaeopteryx as a bird-like dinosaur rather than dinosaur-like bird.
Archaeopteryx has been fundamental to our understanding of birds’ origins but, if confirmed, this finding questions those assumptions...
The comeback of Kenya’s elephant population is a huge conservation success story, as well as a huge problem for the country’s farmers. But scientists have found a new ally in the struggle to keep elephants from trampling crops: honeybees.
Like many animals, elephants are afraid of bees. So scientists recruited farmers in northern Kenya to test different types of barriers and found that fences made of beehives were far more effective than traditional thorn-bush fences at thwarting nighttime elephant raids...
Two recent studies of monarch butterfly populations paint very different pictures of the champion migrant’s long-term fate.
In March, ecologist Lincoln Brower of Virginia’s Sweet Briar College expressed concern that monarchs are perilously close to collapse. But in June, University of Georgia ecologist Andrew Davis found no clear population trend in the counts from two U.S. monitoring stations. Both studies were published in the journal Insect Conservation and Diversity...
Sandeep Ravindran's Blog:
This quarter I worked on a lot of multimedia projects, all focused on the same researchers I wrote my feature on. They’ll all be up on ScienceNotes 2011 soon, but in the meanwhile I thought I would put them up here...
Catherine Meyers at ScienceNOW:
If you dive into a pool and open your eyes, the underwater realm shimmers and blurs. Likewise, most fish plopped onto the deck of a ship take in a similarly warped world view. Animals' eyes are typically optimized for either air or water, but now scientists have discovered that one species of chiton, a type of algae-eating mollusk, may use simple, rocklike lenses to see equally well by land or by sea.
Chitons are also called "coat of mail shells" because they sport eight separate back plates, giving them the appearance of an armored knight. Hundreds of tiny eyes dot the surface of these plates, but scientists know very little about how the animals actually see. When biologist Daniel Speiser began studying chiton vision at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, even the material that formed the animals' eyes was a mystery.