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Ecology / Conservation posts

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  • September 18, 2014
  • 04:52 PM
  • 8 views

How to Look for Otters

by Denise O'Meara in Denise O'Meara

In the first of a new series of posts about “How to Look for Mammals”, I take a look at one of our semi aquatic species, the Eurasian otter. The Eurasian otter is distributed across Europe and into Eurasia, but it is absent and restricted to small isolated pockets in some European countries. However, the species is slowly starting to recover across Western Europe. Ireland is a stronghold for the otter, and marks the western most point of the otter’s distribution. It is thought........ Read more »

Reid N, Hayden B, Lundy MG, Pietravalle S, McDonald RA, & Montgomery WI. (2013) National Otter Survey of Ireland 2010/12. Irish Wildlife Manuals No. 76. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dublin, Ireland. info:other/

  • September 18, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 12 views

Pythons and the Land - The Bangladesh Python Project Part IV --Guest Post--

by David Steen in Living Alongside Wildlife

By Jon Hakim

Make sure to start at Part I.

“Snake call!  It's the python.  Are you up?  We got a call for the python.”









The words were almost the same, but I woke up to see that
Caesar's face held a grimace.  The
call he feared had come. 






Let's back up to the night before.



In the last post I left you in a moment of triumph.  Kanai had led four of us right to our
target species... Read more »

Rahman, Shahriar Caesar, & et al. (2013) Monsoon does matter: annual activity patterns in a snake assemblage from Bangladesh. The Herpetological Journal, 203-208. info:/

  • September 17, 2014
  • 01:24 PM
  • 43 views

Biofilms: Using Bacteria for new Designer Nanomaterials

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

For most people biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in a streambed and dirty drains. While there are plenty of "bad" biofilms around – they are even the same stuff that causes pesky dental plaque and a host of other more serious medical problems – a team of researchers sees biofilms as a robust new platform for designer nanomaterials that could clean up polluted rivers, manufacture pharmaceutical products, fabricate new textiles, and more.... Read more »

Peter Q. Nguyen,, Zsofia Botyanszki,, Pei Kun R. Tay,, & Neel S. Joshi. (2014) Programmable biofilm-based materials from engineered curli nanofibres. Nature Communications. info:/10.1038/ncomms5945

  • September 17, 2014
  • 08:05 AM
  • 68 views

Should I Stay Or Should I Go

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Bacteria can swarm to conquer new territory or settle into structured biofilms, not unlike tribes that are nomadic versus those that build cities. New research indicates has shed light on the mechanics of swarming and biofilm production, including the function of extracellular DNA and secreted polysaccharides. Both biofilms and swarming depend on quorum sensing, and several new papers have identified chemicals that can interrupt quorum sensing in pathogenic bacteria and therefore prevent disease........ Read more »

Gloag ES, Turnbull L, Huang A, Vallotton P, Wang H, Nolan LM, Mililli L, Hunt C, Lu J, Osvath SR.... (2013) Self-organization of bacterial biofilms is facilitated by extracellular DNA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(28), 11541-6. PMID: 23798445  

Alteri CJ, Himpsl SD, Pickens SR, Lindner JR, Zora JS, Miller JE, Arno PD, Straight SW, & Mobley HL. (2013) Multicellular bacteria deploy the type VI secretion system to preemptively strike neighboring cells. PLoS pathogens, 9(9). PMID: 24039579  

  • September 16, 2014
  • 01:20 PM
  • 61 views

GM plants with modified 'eskimo1' gene have increased 'drought tolerance'

by This Science is Crazy! in This Science Is Crazy!

New study uses siRNA and 35S promoter to regulate multiple genes including ESK1 to improve drought tolerance in Arabidopsis... Read more »

  • September 15, 2014
  • 12:06 PM
  • 49 views

Poop Transplants Let Pack Rats Eat Poison

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Can’t eat poison without dying? Maybe your gut microbes are to blame. Rodents in the Mojave Desert have evolved to eat toxic creosote bushes with the help of specialized gut bacteria. Although scientists had long suspected that bacteria might be key to the rats’ power, they proved it by feeding the rodents antibiotics and ground-up […]The post Poop Transplants Let Pack Rats Eat Poison appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

Kohl KD, Weiss RB, Cox J, Dale C, & Denise Dearing M. (2014) Gut microbes of mammalian herbivores facilitate intake of plant toxins. Ecology letters, 17(10), 1238-46. PMID: 25040855  

  • September 13, 2014
  • 10:14 AM
  • 74 views

Solving the puzzle of Greenland melting 20,000 years ago

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New computer modeling and experimental ice core data shed light on the mystery of Greenland melting 20,000 years ago. This information will be helpful in refining current climate models.... Read more »

Buizert C, Gkinis V, Severinghaus JP, He F, Lecavalier BS, Kindler P, Leuenberger M, Carlson AE, Vinther B, Masson-Delmotte V.... (2014) Greenland temperature response to climate forcing during the last deglaciation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 345(6201), 1177-80. PMID: 25190795  

  • September 8, 2014
  • 09:05 PM
  • 94 views

The atmosphere and what we eat: significant increases in greenhouse gas emissions predicted for high-calorie diets recommended by USDA

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New research shows that shifting to recommended, high-calorie USDA diets could increase GHG emissions due to the dairy required to make up for reduced meat/poultry calories. What we eat impacts our long-term environment!... Read more »

  • September 5, 2014
  • 01:56 PM
  • 113 views

Artificial Cells: They’re alive!!

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Frankenstein’s monster was (in the story) a scientific marvel that could not be matched. Growing up with the story, the idea of creating life where there was none was a feat that I had once thought was going to always be science fiction. Maybe this is why I was so surprised when I found out that scientists, using only a few ingredients, have successfully implemented a minimalistic model of the cell that can change its shape and move on its own.... Read more »

Keber, F., Loiseau, E., Sanchez, T., DeCamp, S., Giomi, L., Bowick, M., Marchetti, M., Dogic, Z., & Bausch, A. (2014) Topology and dynamics of active nematic vesicles. Science, 345(6201), 1135-1139. DOI: 10.1126/science.1254784  

  • September 1, 2014
  • 03:12 PM
  • 94 views

The hope behind climate change: adaptation strategies for coastal regions

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Hopeful news on Labor Day! A commentary discusses how IPCC reports have become more optimistic and describes adaptation pathways being used by coastal regions to prepare for climate change.... Read more »

Brown, S., Nicholls, R., Hanson, S., Brundrit, G., Dearing, J., Dickson, M., Gallop, S., Gao, S., Haigh, I., Hinkel, J.... (2014) Shifting perspectives on coastal impacts and adaptation. Nature Climate Change, 4(9), 752-755. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2344  

  • August 31, 2014
  • 11:31 PM
  • 110 views

August lives up to its definition: respected and impressive

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

The things we noticed in and around canine science over the past two weeks, Storified in one neat location for your convenience:[View the story "Do You Believe in Dog? [16-31 August 2014]" on Storify] Further reading:Feuerbacher E.N. (2014). Shut up and pet me! Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) prefer petting to vocal praise in concurrent and single-alternative choice procedures, Behavioural Processes, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2014.08.019 Gygax L. (2014). The A to Z of sta........ Read more »

  • August 28, 2014
  • 11:48 PM
  • 142 views

A Map to Build Roads to a Better Future

by Yao-Hua Law in TORCH

When I learned that the pesticide DDT–widely toxic and now widely banned–has snaked its way into polar bears and beluga whales, I questioned if any environment remains pristine on terrestrial Earth. Perhaps, the thick, hostile and unyielding rainforests of Borneo might prove a bastion? Then in 2013, satellite images showed roads penetrating deep into Borneo. […]... Read more »

Laurance, W., Clements, G., Sloan, S., O’Connell, C., Mueller, N., Goosem, M., Venter, O., Edwards, D., Phalan, B., Balmford, A.... (2014) A global strategy for road building. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature13717  

  • August 27, 2014
  • 05:39 PM
  • 130 views

Climate change research roundup: hiding heat in the Atlantic and the Arctic carbon cycle

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A quick roundup of new climate change research in Science: the Atlantic Ocean may be hiding the missing heat to explain the global warming hiatus, and photochemical processes in the Arctic are releasing more CO2 than previously thought.... Read more »

  • August 24, 2014
  • 06:27 PM
  • 112 views

Mosquitoes on the move: climate change and its effect on vector-born diseases

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A new modeling study has shown that dengue fever incidence will likely increase in Europe over the next century due to climate change increasing its temperature and humidity.... Read more »

  • August 24, 2014
  • 09:38 AM
  • 122 views

This Month in Blastocystis Research (AUG 2014)

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

August 2014 saw interesting data emerging on Blastocystis in the background population, mRNA polyadnylation in the Blastocystis nuclear genome which calls for genome reannotation, and a large focus on Blastocystis in the ICOPA 2014 Congress in Mexico City.... Read more »

Fayer R, Elsasser T, Gould R, Solano G, Urban J Jr, & Santin M. (2014) Blastocystis tropism in the pig intestine. Parasitology research, 113(4), 1465-72. PMID: 24535732  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 11:15 PM
  • 122 views

Global Warming Denial: Common Arguments and Misconceptions

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

An informal collection of common arguments and misconceptions by global warming denialists, as well as my rebuttals. Uses relevant data from IPCC, NOAA, NASA and peer-reviewed literature. Its purpose serves to inform the general public about these false claims so that we can escape this bout with pseudoscience a bit faster.... Read more »

Mann, M., Zhang, Z., Rutherford, S., Bradley, R., Hughes, M., Shindell, D., Ammann, C., Faluvegi, G., & Ni, F. (2009) Global Signatures and Dynamical Origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly. Science, 326(5957), 1256-1260. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177303  

  • August 22, 2014
  • 05:13 AM
  • 143 views

Is Intelligence Actually Beneficial To Survival?

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

Research shows that more intelligent animals might not always be best suited for survival. Some researchers speculate that intelligence may be a trade-off. Fast learning may correlate with other traits, such as being less aggressive, which could weaken chances for survival. Slower learning may indicate that other choices are being made, and this variety could prove advantageous later.... Read more »

  • August 21, 2014
  • 02:21 AM
  • 138 views

Do You Believe in Dog? A New Ball Game

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hello Do You Believe in Dog(ers)!(source)After two years of mostly pen-pal style blogging, we're excited to share our new direction!When we first decided to create Do You Believe in Dog?, we committed to blogging back and forth about canine science for two years. We were able to celebrate achieving that goal at the recent 4th Canine Science Forum in Lincoln, UK and also reflect on the future of Do You Believe in Dog?The DYBID blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds have become vibrant places to ac........ Read more »

Fischhoff B., & Scheufele D. (2013) The science of science communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(Supplement 3), 14033-14039. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1213273110  

  • August 20, 2014
  • 07:03 PM
  • 115 views

Anthropogenic climate change and glacial loss explained by a single number: 25!

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New analyses using climate circulation models and glacial dynamics indicates that anthropogenic forcing has caused 25% of glacial loss over the past 150 years and 69% over the past two decades.... Read more »

  • August 20, 2014
  • 10:07 AM
  • 135 views

How Humans Are Helping Ravens and Hurting Hawks

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

You’ve already picked a side in the bird wars, whether or not you know it. As humans carve up formerly empty expanses of the western United States with our roads, electrical towers, and power lines, we’re inadvertently giving a boost to ravens. Meanwhile, the birds of prey that once ruled the land are being left […]The post How Humans Are Helping Ravens and Hurting Hawks appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »

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