Daddy's girl. Photo from freedigitalphotos.net.Let’s take a moment to appreciate just how special dads are. Across the animal kingdom, fathers caring for their young is the exception, not the rule. Paternal care is most often seen in species in which males can be pretty sure that they are indeed the father (for example, in species that fertilize eggs outside of the mothers’ bodies or in socially monogamous species). Mammals rarely act fatherly - Only 10% of mammalian species show paternal care at all. But among mammals, primates (including ourselves) are more likely to do so.Dads do a number of things to care for their young: Depending on the species (and the individual), they may incubate them, provide them with food, groom them, keep them close to home, guard and protect them, and help them gain survival and mate-attraction skills. These behaviors are costly to a male, who could often be reproductively more successful by spending his time and resources courting more females. But they do it nonetheless.Regardless of whether a dad is behaviorally involved with his offspring, he contributes a fair amount to the individuals we grow up to be. Dads provide nearly half of our genes, which are the instructions for the production of all of our bodies’ tissues and chemicals. These tissues and chemicals don’t just make up our physical bodies, they underlie much of our physical abilities, susceptibilities to disease, and behavior patterns (including personalities).Just because about half of your genes are from dad and about half of your genes are from mom, doesn’t mean that you are strictly half-your-dad and half-your-mom. Imagine you are given two books of Thanksgiving Day recipes: Both books have the same recipe for turkey, so that is the one you are going to follow. But one book has a recipe for garlic mashed potatoes and the other has a recipe for plain mashed potatoes. If no one in your family likes garlic, you will likely follow the recipe for plain potatoes. In addition to choosing between recipes, you can also combine them: If one book has a recipe for stuffing with lots of garlic and onions and the other has a recipe for stuffing without garlic or onions, you could make stuffing with onions and no garlic. Your pairs of genes work in similar ways: if the two copies of a gene are different, you may get the trait of one of them or they could combine to give you an intermediate trait. If the versions of the gene are the same, you will likely just get that trait.When something is made by following the instructions in a gene, this process is called gene expression. Not all genes are expressed equally everywhere: All of the cells of our body have the same genes, but the way they express in a particular cell determines whether that cell is part of a lung, a heart, a brain or something else. If for a particular gene the instructions in the gene from one parent are followed and the gene from the other parent is ignored, this is called parent-specific gene expression. We have several traits that occur as a result of dad-specific gene expression.Your genes are lined up on doubled-stranded DNA, which is tightly coiled around proteins called histones. The DNA is then wrapped even more and packed into chromosomes. You have 23 different pairs of chromosomes in each cell, where one of each pair came from mom and the other came from dad. Figure adapted from an image by KES47 at Wikimedia.More variation is caused by the fact that two individuals with identical genes may not have identical traits. Our genes are encoded in strings of DNA, which are coiled around proteins called histones and then packed into chromosomes. Biological factors can cause the string of DNA to coil tightly around these histones, hindering access to any genes in that section of DNA. This reduces or even prevents gene expression from happening (Imagine what would happen if two pages of your Thanksgiving Day recipe book stuck together). Alternatively, other biological factors can relax the DNA string, increasing gene expression. Gene expression is often decreased or increased as a result of life experiences (such as social experiences, nutrition, or exposure to drugs and toxins). If a particular gene is decreased or increased this way in a sperm or egg cell, this effect can be passed on to the children (and often grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so on). This process of inheritance that is not a strict passing on of genes is called epigenetics. Epigenetics is a new and emerging field, but we have already learned that mothers that provide more parental care create lasting changes in their offspring that are passed down for multiple generations. It is likely that fatherly care has a similar effect. We also know that a father’s nutrition and exposure to drugs and toxins can pass several traits down the generational line through epigenetics.Dads play a special role in the individuals we become. Their behavior with us, genetic makeup, and even personal experiences shape our physical appearances, health, abilities and personalities. If you haven’t yet, take a minute to say “Thanks, Dad!”Happy (late) Father’s Day, Dad! Want to know more? Check these out:1. Curley, J., Mashoodh, R., & Champagne, F. (2011). Epigenetics and the origins of paternal effects Hormones and Behavior, 59 (3), 306-314 DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2010.06.0182. Wilkins, J., & Haig, D. (2003). What good is genomic imprinting: the function of parent-specific gene expression Nature Reviews Genetics, 4 (5), 359-368 DOI: 10.1038/nrg1062 And a special thanks to Tony Auger, Cathy Auger, Stacy Kigar, and Robin Forbes-Lorman for their feedback. ... Read more »
Wilkins, J., & Haig, D. (2003) What good is genomic imprinting: the function of parent-specific gene expression. Nature Reviews Genetics, 4(5), 359-368. DOI: 10.1038/nrg1062
If you never got around to buying Peter Suber‘s book “for busy people” about Open Access (OA) publishing , you might be pleased to learn that it’s now available under an Open Access license.... Read more »
Clair, K. (2013) Kevin Michael Clair reviews Open Access, by Peter Suber. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 39(1), 94. DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2012.11.017
s social psychology in a crisis? Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman sparked an online (and laboratory) dustup last fall when he accused certain social psychologists of undermining the credibility of their field. At issue is whether certain experiments can be replicated. Kahneman says they should be. Other scientists have reported that certain popular results can’t. And that’s a problem.... Read more »
Shanks DR, Newell BR, Lee EH, Balakrishnan D, Ekelund L, Cenac Z, Kavvadia F, & Moore C. (2013) Priming intelligent behavior: an elusive phenomenon. PloS one, 8(4). PMID: 23637732
A new study reveals that European primary care physicians find dealing with chronic pain patients to be challenging, but at the same time rate it as a low priority area. Across Europe 84% of the 1308 primary care physicians who participated in the study found, that their initial training in chronic pain management was not comprehensive.... Read more »
Kim Kristiansen, M.D. (2013) The Challenges of Pain Management in Primary Care. Picture of Pain Blog. info:/
We now return to our regular features, “Let’s impugn all the bloggers.” Let’s start with Geoffrey North, using a pulpit of Current Biology.
But there is also, I think, a danger here, which lies in the very speed of response, and the way that blogs are essentially “vanity publications” which lack the constraints of more conventional publishing — they are not reviewed, and do not even have to pass the critical eye of any editor.
North is not alone. Fred Schram, the Journal of Crustacean Biology editor, recently wrote much the same (albeit in a society newsletter rather than an editorial in the journal itself):
One can already see what lies down the road beyond that point, something truly OA – the blogosphere! But do we want to collect our scholarly information by monitoring personal blogs. There will be no peer review, no quality control of data presentation, no fixed PDFs, no assurance that what we read represents actual work has been done as claimed.
What strikes me about both North’s and Schram’s comments is they reflect a desire for there to be a back room. You know, the place where work gets done, out of sight. Then, after all the real deals are made, a glossy fait accompli version that lacks blemishes is presented for “the official record.”
There’s a reason that people don’t like back room dealings. It shuts people out. There’s no transparency. David Brin has often noted that we tend to demand transparency for everyone else, but privacy for ourselves.
Blogs have allowed a bunch of scientists who don’t often get invited into the back room to start commenting on what comes out of it. It’s no surprise that those in the back room, unused to the glare, might hate this.
These arguments also seem weird to me in emphasizing “the scientific record.” While vetting and quality control are good things, they have hardly produced a pristine “scientific record” (see Retraction Watch). It’s always been messy.
I do think there are dangers in a world where the critics are less accountable than in the more “traditional” system of peer-reviewed journals (which I well appreciate can be frustratingly slow in processing critical feedback).
How are journals, and their editors, more accountable than “critics”? Many journals have no “letters to the editor” section, or comments, or anything similar. And even if a journal does have such a section, who decides what is fit to see print? The self-same editors. Direct critiques of journal editorial processes in the same journals, or even different journals have been, in my estimation, rare. I am trying to think of examples. If anyone has them, please add them to the comments.
Journal editors may have a skewed view of this issue, given that they alone have an overview of the entire editorial process. Nobody else does. Everyone else is kept at least partially in the dark, deliberately so. Authors generally don’t know who reviewers are. Reviewers don’t communicate with each other. And none of them have much opportunity to have a dialogue with the editor.
What is the solution here?
How can one have a system that allows for rapid critical assessment, but
ensures any such criticism is fair and reasonably based, not based on
misunderstanding or ill-motivated?
Everything that North concern trolls about the blogosphere has always been happening at scientific conferences.
And yet somehow, scientific discourse does not collapse at conferences.
Nobody there talks about the need for “solutions” for the problems of
criticisms at conferences.
We’ve been down this road before. Here’s a small sample taste of how the authors of a review on BioEssays dismissed Rosie Redfield (and anything else that might be on the Internet) blogging about on arsenic life:
(T)hese “chat room” environments are not constrained or screened and at times become ad hominem attacks, which have no place in the scientific literature.
Let us not forget that a representative of the American Chemical Society said this of bloggers:
“We find little constructive dialogue can be had on blogs and other listservs where logic, balance, and common courtesy are not practiced and observed,” Glenn S. Ruskin, the group’s director of public affairs, said in an e-mail message.
We had L. Henry Edmunds, Jr., the editor of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, ranting against “bloggists”, telling Retraction Watch:
It’s none of your damn business.
I’m grateful to Embargo Watch for recording the reaction of the public information officer of a major university, the University of Manchester’s Aeron Haworth, brushing off Ed Yong (who told this story on the now defunct Posterous website):
I think you have all you need for a blog.
Common factors in all of these? For one, most have vested interests in the status quo of scholarly publishing: editors, society representatives, and so on. Large institutions used to be able to control attention because of the vast infrastructure needed to reach a mass audience. They are now freaking out that their infrastructure doesn’t mean that much. They face competition from people like bloggers who gain attention by doing remarkable things.
As Christie Wilcox pointed out, North’s article does not give any examples of where something bad happened. Not one. Not a single, solitary case where bloggers resulted in some poor scientists unfairly being tarnished. In contrast, North provides a positive example of where blogging had a good effect (Rosie Redfield’s critique of arsenic life).
So here’s my challenge: instead of jumping to “The Internet is bad” meme with both feet, instead of just bemoaning the blogs are bad, point some fingers. Name some names. Be specific about events that unfolded in ways harmful to the general scientific community, and not just things that make journals look bad.
Previously, I said nobody can assert they have authority. I’d like to note that the flip side is also true: you cannot dismiss authority, either. When editors and journals try to claim they have authority and blogerss don’t, they lose the very thing they want to have.
Hat tip to Malcolm M. Campbell, who asked for blogger’s response to this editorial.
North G. 2013. Social media likes and dislikes. Current Biology 23(11): R461. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.073; free full text
Arsenic life, four months later: pay no attention to the internet
Arsenic life, four months (and a bit) later: Reviewers with shovels
The deal is rotten
On The Danger Posed By Non-Expert Critiques Published To Large Audiences
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Using multiple regression, I animate state college entrance exam scores controlled for state participation levels and test preference. Then, I review a study on “noncognitive predictors” of college outcomes, which might eventually replace the SAT and ACT.... Read more »
Schmitt N, Keeney J, Oswald FL, Pleskac TJ, Billington AQ, Sinha R, & Zorzie M. (2009) Prediction of 4-year college student performance using cognitive and noncognitive predictors and the impact on demographic status of admitted students. The Journal of applied psychology, 94(6), 1479-97. PMID: 19916657
Hi Julie,(source: The Blue Dog)WOW! May was a seriously jam-packed month for dogs! I'm just as amazed as you are that it's already June. I think I'm in denial, although June means lots of fun things happening, like the SPARCS conference, so maybe it's actually OK that it's here.I loved your last post. So much great information - thank you for sharing! You mentioned how you avoid touching dogs if they don't want to interact and that got me thinking about a sense I haven't written about yet. We've covered views, smells, music and now, I'm going to touch on, well... touch. Not the bitey kind of touch, but the soothing, calm, stroking kind. The outside of a dog is good for our insides...It's true. Patting a dog is something we enjoy. The tactile experience of touching something soft and warm is inherently pleasing. Research has shown that human oxytocin (=happy/social/feel good/"love" hormone) levels rise when we interact with our dogs. Our blood pressure and heart rates lower when we pat dogs, as do our cortisol (=stress hormone) levels.(source)These are just some of the reasons there is so much interest in researching further benefits of human-animal interactions and animal-assisted therapies....and we can be good for a dog's insides too!(source)Interestingly, other studies have shown that dogs' heart rate, cortisol levels and blood pressure can lower when we groom and pat them. Of course, this is not universal. Dogs are individuals and their preferences will vary. Not all pats are equalResearch suggests that dogs prefer to be patted in a soothing way. Not really surprising - think of how we like to be touched and compare a back slap with a gentle stroke. I know which would be more likely to lower my heart rate and relax me!A study that examined the reinforcing value of physical contact by grooming to dogs showed that length of grooming (longer=better) was more important than location of grooming in reducing heart rate. What are you doing this week? I'm off to Sydney for a few days to meet with loads of different working dog groups to talk Action Plan. I'll be sure to tell you all about it next time. Right now, I'm going to go give my dogs a nice long pat! Mia... Read more »
McGreevy Paul D., Righetti Joanne, & Thomson Peter C. (2005) The reinforcing value of physical contact and the effect on canine heart rate of grooming in different anatomical areas. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 18(3), 236-244. DOI: 10.2752/089279305785594045
Coppola Crista L., Grandin Temple, & Enns R. Mark. (2006) Human interaction and cortisol: Can human contact reduce stress for shelter dogs?. Physiology , 87(3), 537-541. DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2005.12.001
Hennessy Michael B., Voith Victoria L., Hawke Jesse L., Young Travis L., Centrone Jason, McDowell Angela L., Linden Fran, & Davenport Gary M. (2002) Effects of a program of human interaction and alterations in diet composition on activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in dogs housed in a public animal shelter. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 221(1), 65-91. DOI: 10.2460/javma.2002.221.65
Bergamasco Luciana, Osella Maria Cristina, Savarino Paolo, Larosa Giuseppe, Ozella Laura, Manassero Monica, Badino Paola, Odore Rosangela, Barbero Raffaella, & Re Giovanni. (2010) Heart rate variability and saliva cortisol assessment in shelter dog: Human–animal interaction effects. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 125(1-2), 56-68. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2010.03.002
O'Haire Marguerite. (2010) Companion animals and human health: Benefits, challenges, and the road ahead. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 5(5), 226-234. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2010.02.002
In the search for truth and answers, scientists often get it wrong. That’s the way science works; you test a hypothesis, compare your results, tweak your ideas, and maybe create a new hypothesis. Error is a big part of this process—but what if those errors are, instead, deliberate fraud? ... Read more »
Fanelli, D. (2009) How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data. PLoS ONE, 4(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005738
Much have been made in the media recently, of a February 2013 paper, published by a German group in the Annals of Internal Medicine, claiming that acupuncture may help relieve seasonal allergies. Always interested in examining the bold claims of efficacy by various forms of pseudoscientific, wannabe-medicine modalities (such as homeopathy, naturopathy, and so forth), I elected to go to the source; the paper was behind an annoying paywall, but thankfully, I had institutional access, and dove in. The paper... Read more... Read more »
Brinkhaus, B. (2013) Acupuncture in Patients With Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 158(4), 225. DOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-158-4-201302190-00002
Motivated by money? I confess I am. Well ok, not always: there are plenty of things that will trump a stack of greenbacks. However, few of us would object to a kindly benefactor plopping a million quid into our current account. Even for the least materially-minded, it would be difficult to ignore such an offer: … Continue reading »... Read more »
Take a look at these neurons. Ignore the fact that several of the brain cells look like snowflakes and at least one looks like an avocado. Can you pick out the drawings done by experienced, professional neuroscientists? What about the ones made by undergraduate science students?
Researchers at King's College London gave a simple task to 232 people: "Draw a neuron." (Actually, being British, they said "Please draw a neuron.") Some of the subjects were undergraduates in a neurobiology lecture. A small group were experienced neuroscientists who led their own research labs at the college. And a third, in-between group included graduate students and postdocs.
The researchers saw marked differences in how the three groups drew their brain cells. To confirm what they saw, they also pooled the drawings together and asked a new batch of subjects to sort the drawings into categories. These subjects agreed: the drawings clustered into distinct styles. The results are in the journal Science Education.
Did you pick out the pictures in the top row as examples from undergrads? Student sketches had lots of detail and were often labeled. In fact, they mostly resembled this classic textbook drawing from 1899, which the authors describe as the "archetype" of brain cells.
Sketches made by lab leaders are on the bottom row. These highly experienced scientists were more likely to make abstract or stylized drawings. Instead of imitating a textbook picture, they drew from their own personal understanding of what a neuron is. (Or possibly, for the scientist on the bottom left, what a martini glass is.)
The graduate students and postdocs, whose drawings are in the middle row, seemed to fall somewhere in between. They didn't label their drawings like undergrads did, and they didn't include quite so much detail. Their neurons were more likely to bend, and the nuclei of the cells were often hidden—in other words, the cells looked more like they would under a microscope, rather than on a textbook page. But they weren't quite as simplified and abstracted as the lab leaders'.
Lead author David Hay says that the three drawing styles represent "different cultures." Undergraduate students spit out textbook images; scientists in training draw on their own observations; and more experienced scientists make "highly conceptual" drawings that represent their personal judgment.
This matters because "learning to reproduce the textbook images is NOT learning science," Hay says. Even postdoctoral researchers didn't seem to have internalized the concept as much as the lab leaders had. However, Hay thinks there are ways that experienced scientists can help students gain perspective.
One way might be by physically acting out scientific ideas. After Hay and his coauthors had students try a couple such exercises—for example, walking on different paths through a laboratory to mimic how neurons grow—the students produced drawings that were more creative and less like the textbook.
Hay thinks students need to internalize scientific concepts before they can play around with them and make their own hypotheses. "Scientists do not simply know information," he says; "they put information to work to discover something new." Failing that, they can create formidable Pictionary teams.
HAY, D., WILLIAMS, D., STAHL, D., & WINGATE, R. (2013). Using Drawings of the Brain Cell to Exhibit Expertise in Neuroscience: Exploring the Boundaries of Experimental Culture Science Education, 97 (3), 468-491 DOI: 10.1002/sce.21055
Images: Hay et al.
... Read more »
HAY, D., WILLIAMS, D., STAHL, D., & WINGATE, R. (2013) Using Drawings of the Brain Cell to Exhibit Expertise in Neuroscience: Exploring the Boundaries of Experimental Culture. Science Education, 97(3), 468-491. DOI: 10.1002/sce.21055
Neuroskeptic readers will know that there’s been a lot of concern lately over unreproducible results and false positives in psychology and neuroscience. In response to these worries, there have been growing calls for reform of the way psychology is researched and published. We’ve seen several initiatives promoting replication and, to my mind even more importantly, [...]... Read more »
Mobley, A., Linder, S., Braeuer, R., Ellis, L., & Zwelling, L. (2013) A Survey on Data Reproducibility in Cancer Research Provides Insights into Our Limited Ability to Translate Findings from the Laboratory to the Clinic. PLoS ONE, 8(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063221
This is a piece about the present state, and potential future, of fraud in scientific research which I wrote for a Responsible Conduct in Research course taught at Columbia. There seems to be a trend as of late of prominent scientific researchers been outed for fabrications or falsifications in their data. Diederik Stapel’s extravagant web of […]... Read more »
Hey Julie,I hope you've had a fun week. I saw a new in-press publication with your name on it - "Smelling more or less: Investigating the olfactory experience of the domestic dog" - looks like a really great study, and so timely after my last post about dogs and olfactory enrichment! Looking forward to reading it (and all those other cool Learning and Motivation articles) over the weekend. So did you do your homework? Did you watch this clip from the Sydney Opera House's Ship Song Project? I wanted you to watch this clip, and more importantly, LISTEN to it, because it features lots of different musical styles. I don't know about you, but I certainly have a different reaction to the different styles. Some appeal to me more than others. Some I find relaxing, while others make me want to nod my head to keep the beat or even hum along. I was talking about this clip recently with my friend Mark (from SARC, in my head that always runs together "Mark-from-SARC") and of course we shifted to talking about dogs and music. As you do. That's normal - right?! What kind of music do dogs prefer? As part of my PhD research into kennel enrichment, I looked into this very question. The research in this area has been conducted in two kennel environments. Headphones on dog = silly (they hear around x4 better than us!) sourceIn the first study, scientists played five different recordings to dogs housed in a shelter kennel: - a control (nothing) - human speech- classical music- pop music- heavy metal musicto the dogs and recorded the behaviours of the dogs using an ethogram. Then they looked at the differences in the behaviour of the dogs during each condition. The dogs were significantly more likely to run around barking when the heavy metal music was played; and lie down, apparently resting quietly, when the classical music was on. There was no difference to their behaviour when the control, human speech or pop music were played. The second study showed similar results, with classical music linked to more sleeping and heavy metal correlating with more body shaking.(source)It's probably worth noting that these changes in behaviour may not reflect dogs' actual PREFERENCE for music. To assess that, we'd need to set up a study design that offered dogs a choice of multiple sound environments. But it certainly suggests that if we want to encourage behaviours associated with relaxation, like lying down, not barking, and sleeping; we should be piping some gentle classical music to the environment our dogs are in. I reckon my dogs quite like Chopin's Nocturnes... Read more »
Kogan Lori R., Schoenfeld-Tacher Regina, & Simon Allen A. (2012) Behavioral effects of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 7(5), 268-275. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2011.11.002
Wells D, Graham L, & Hepper P. (2002) The influence of auditory stimulation on the behaviour of dogs housed in a rescue shelter. Animal Welfare, 11(4), 385-393. http://www.ufaw.org.uk/v11main.php
What would be like to teach a class or describe someone about a protein, without visualizing its structure? Boring is one word that pops in my mind. I vividly remember the professor drawing two blobs touching each other, to describe protein-protein interaction, while explaining it either on the blackboard or on the transparencies of a over-head projector. Those were the days! Tracing back nearly 60 years back, when John Kendrew showed everyone a coiled mess, it has fueled every scientist's imagination to visualize a protein. The coiled mess is aptly titled "Turd of the century"!... Read more »
Craig, P., Michel, L., & Bateman, R. (2013) A survey of educational uses of molecular visualization freeware. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 41(3), 193-205. DOI: 10.1002/bmb.20693
By now you know, dear readers, that Cryptococcus gattii (CG), the deadly fungal pathogen and a native of tropical and subtropical regions of the world, has stealthily charted itself a course of world domination, starting with the Pacific Northwest of North America. I have also alerted you to the possibilities about its transmission - (a) that CG may have spread as a result of human activity, human and avian migration, and other natural means of dispersal; and (b) that slow,... Read more... Read more »
Springer, D., & Chaturvedi, V. (2010) Projecting Global Occurrence of Cryptococcus gattii . Emerging Infectious Diseases, 16(1), 14-20. DOI: 10.3201/eid1601.090369
Cogliati, M. (2013) Global Molecular Epidemiology of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii: An Atlas of the Molecular Types. Scientifica, 1-23. DOI: 10.1155/2013/675213
Newly discovered papers have shed light on a fascinating episode in the history of neuroscience: Weighing brain activity with the balance The story of the early Italian neuroscientist Dr Angelo Mosso and his ‘human circulation balance’ is an old one – I remember reading about it as a student, in the introductory bit of a [...]... Read more »
Sandrone S, Bacigaluppi M, Galloni MR, Cappa SF, Moro A, Catani M, Filippi M, Monti MM, Perani D, & Martino G. (2013) Weighing brain activity with the balance: Angelo Mosso's original manuscripts come to light. Brain : a journal of neurology. PMID: 23687118
Time for reflection (By Wieselblitz)Hi Mia! Love the lavender research! Learning that dogs show different behaviors when exposed to different scents could help us prime environments to be associated with particular dog behaviors and moods (you noted that exposure to peppermint and rosemary are associated with activity and barking while exposure to lavender and chamomile bring out resting). At the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab, we have a new paper coming out soon in Learning and Motivation -- the study included testing the effect of lavender on dogs' food preference. More on that later!Speaking of being in a calm, more restful state, I know 15 people who recently (hopefully) just entered a period of calm. I teach an Applied Animal Behavior class to Anthrozoology Masters students at Canisius College, and the semester just ended. The Anthrozoology program is a unique hybrid Masters program, hybrid in the sense that at the beginning of each semester, students and teachers meet for 4-days of in-person learning at the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY. I get to meet the awesome students, although Buffalo in January can be incredibly cold with quickly changing weather. I say this even after spending 4+ years in Madison, WI where people deal with the winter like this. So I guess Canisius is a good place for me.(Just a little bike ride)Digression #1: Anthrozoology InternSpeaking of Anthrozoology in the online sector, y’all at the Anthrozoology Research Group are looking for an Intern! Applications due by May 24, 2013. Intern responsibilities and requirements listed here. Digression #2: Hybrid coursesMaybe you are familiar with hybrid degree programs? I first learned about them through one of my mentors, Darcy Luoma, who holds a Masters of Science in Organization Development through Pepperdine University. Darcy is now the Lead instructor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Professional Life Coaching Certificate, which is a blended-learning certificate program. I follow Darcy on Facebook.I have been finding my way as a teacher in the hybrid / online academic world and enjoying it -- although a helpful, approachable guide is paramount! Leah MacVie, a learning advocate, instructional designer and cupcake connoisseur, is my go-to person at Canisius College. Leah is a bonafide rockstar in helping online teachers create and manage classes. I follow her on Twitter @leahmacvie and her blog.Reflecting on Applied Animal BehaviorApplied Animal Behavior in actionAnyway, hopefully the students in my Applied Animal Behavior class are having some moments of calm and rest since the class ended. We covered A LOT of material this semester. The journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science reminds us that this field can include hundreds of topics, and then some! Broadly speaking, we covered ethology of domestic animals, pain and stress physiology, needs and preference assessment, abnormal behavior, affective states, welfare, naturalness, ethological approaches to human-animal interactions, species management and reintroductions, and assessing and treating behavior problems.As the end of the semester neared, we reflected on our 15 weeks of Applied Animal Behavior. Here some of the class’s big take-ways.* General ReflectionsDon’t jump to conclusionsThis class has expanded my knowledge of animals in captive environments and practices like reintroductions. It gave me a way to look at these situa... Read more »
Mason G., Clubb R., Latham N., & Vickery S. (2007) Why and how should we use environmental enrichment to tackle stereotypic behaviour?. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 102(3-4), 163-188. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2006.05.041
Is 'cloning' appropriate terminology for somatic cell nuclear transfer derivation of human embryonic stem cells?... Read more »
Tachibana, M., Amato, P., Sparman, M., Gutierrez, N., Tippner-Hedges, R., Ma, H., Kang, E., Fulati, A., Lee, H., Sritanaudomchai, H.... (2013) Human Embryonic Stem Cells Derived by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. Cell. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.006
What can the members of multiple animal species (cat, dog, bird, ferret, llama, alpaca, elk, goat, sheep, horse, porpoise) have in common with humans? Deeper philosophical questions aside, all of them have fallen prey to a deadly fungus spreading gradually, but steadily, in western North America (southwest Canada; US states of the Pacific Northwest, PNW) for over a decade.1 Well, what-ho, what-ho Cryptococcus gattii (CG), I believe we have been introduced. The disease, cryptococcosis, generally, affects the lungs first, later... Read more... Read more »
Datta K, Bartlett KH, Baer R, Byrnes E, Galanis E, Heitman J, Hoang L, Leslie MJ, MacDougall L, Magill SS.... (2009) Spread of Cryptococcus gattii into Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Emerging infectious diseases, 15(8), 1185-91. PMID: 19757550
Marr KA, Datta K, Pirofski LA, & Barnes R. (2012) Cryptococcus gattii infection in healthy hosts: a sentinel for subclinical immunodeficiency?. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 54(1), 153-4. PMID: 22075791
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010) Emergence of Cryptococcus gattii-- Pacific Northwest, 2004-2010. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 59(28), 865-8. PMID: 20651641
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