Saturday, December 8, 2012

Science! Women! … and third-wave feminism?

I wasn’t sure if I loved this or not until I saw it was made at the University of Bristol.

Apparently it’s a parody of a thing, but I didn’t see the first thing, so… It’s just awesome.

(Also, I miss Bristol. Bristol is awesome. Although “Sexy and I Know It” will always give me flashbacks to Cambridge, three in the morning, and drunken housemates who, it must be said, were generous with their whiskey…)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 Sunday, May 6, 2012

scientistintraining:

I <3 fiddle heads and ammonites.

loopthelambdoid:

“As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life —so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls.” - Matt Cartmill [x]

loopthelambdoid:

As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life —so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls.” - Matt Cartmill [x]

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
bonedust:

brooklynmutt:

Scientists believe that this is the animal from which everything else evolved. The first multicellular being that spawned every living being in this world through billions of mutations, from fish to amphibians to reptiles to birds to mammals to you. It’s an amazing discovery. Its name is Otavia antiqua, and it is the oldest animal ever discovered: 760 million years old. Scientists claim that it used to chill out in calm, nice, shallow waters, chewing on algae and bacteria through its pores and into its little tube body.
Read: You Come From This Thing: The Oldest Animal Ever Discovered - Gizmodo 

so squishy

bonedust:

brooklynmutt:

Scientists believe that this is the animal from which everything else evolved. The first multicellular being that spawned every living being in this world through billions of mutations, from fish to amphibians to reptiles to birds to mammals to you. It’s an amazing discovery. Its name is Otavia antiqua, and it is the oldest animal ever discovered: 760 million years old. Scientists claim that it used to chill out in calm, nice, shallow waters, chewing on algae and bacteria through its pores and into its little tube body.

Read: You Come From This Thing: The Oldest Animal Ever Discovered - Gizmodo 

so squishy

Sunday, April 22, 2012

fuckyeahmolecularbiology:

Neuropathologist dissecting a fresh human brain. By studying the shape and structure of a brain, most brain disorders can be diagnosed. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease causes shrinkage and the fissures appear to grow. A stroke causes localised brain tissue death, and Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease gives the brain a spongy appearance with evident holes. This type of pathology is carried out not only to try to find causes of death, but also in research into all brain disorders.

(Source: neuroanatomyblog)

deconversionmovement:

Chimpanzee Ground Nests Offer New Insight Into Our Ancestors’ Descent from the Trees
ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2012) — The first study into rarely documented ground-nest building by wild chimpanzees offers new clues about the ancient transition of early hominins from sleeping in trees to sleeping on the ground. While most apes build nests in trees, this study, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, focused on a group of wild West African chimpanzees that often shows ground-nesting behaviour.
An international team of primatologists from the University of Cambridge and Kyoto University, led by Dr Kathelijne Koops, studied the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) population in the Nimba Mountains in Guinea, West Africa. All species of great ape build nests to sleep in each night. Construction of these shelters takes minutes as the apes bend, break and interweave branches into a circular frame, followed by tucking in smaller branches to form a sturdy but comfortable sleeping platform.
Read More

deconversionmovement:

Chimpanzee Ground Nests Offer New Insight Into Our Ancestors’ Descent from the Trees

ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2012) — The first study into rarely documented ground-nest building by wild chimpanzees offers new clues about the ancient transition of early hominins from sleeping in trees to sleeping on the ground. While most apes build nests in trees, this study, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, focused on a group of wild West African chimpanzees that often shows ground-nesting behaviour.

An international team of primatologists from the University of Cambridge and Kyoto University, led by Dr Kathelijne Koops, studied the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) population in the Nimba Mountains in Guinea, West Africa. All species of great ape build nests to sleep in each night. Construction of these shelters takes minutes as the apes bend, break and interweave branches into a circular frame, followed by tucking in smaller branches to form a sturdy but comfortable sleeping platform.

Read More

jtotheizzoe:

whyshouldeye:

Rise in Scientific Journal Retractions Prompts Calls for Reform - NYTimes.com

This is a hugely important article by the always-superb Carl Zimmer. It’s a mixture of “This shit’s really hard” with “Extreme pressure to publish quickly rather than completely” and a sprinkling of “Super-tight funding means that grant renewals and promotions depend on getting high-impact results out no matter what”.

jtotheizzoe:

whyshouldeye:

Rise in Scientific Journal Retractions Prompts Calls for Reform - NYTimes.com

This is a hugely important article by the always-superb Carl Zimmer. It’s a mixture of “This shit’s really hard” with “Extreme pressure to publish quickly rather than completely” and a sprinkling of “Super-tight funding means that grant renewals and promotions depend on getting high-impact results out no matter what”.

jtotheizzoe:

Claude Monet’s Ultraviolet Eye

Cézanne said that Monet was “only an eye - yet what an eye.”

The two paintings you are looking at are from Claude Monet’s 1922-1924 series The House Seen From the Rose GardenIf the French impressionist icon was known for one thing, it was his focus on color over form in the creation of textured, emotional landscapes. 

Later in life, he developed horrible cataracts that made the colors that had inspired him for decades nearly impossible to perceive. The clouded lenses prevented him from seeing anything but reds and yellows.

In 1923, he underwent cataract surgery and had the lens removed from his right eye, resulting in a condition called aphakia. Through this lens-less eye Monet could now see deep into the blues, and perhaps into the ultraviolet range (usually obscured by our lens), barely able to focus using special eyeglasses.

The paintings above are of the same scene. The red and yellow version is painted as seen through his left eye, limited to the wavelengths allowed by his cataract. The painting on the right is deep blue and violet, as seen through an eye with no lens. Who can imagine how those colors appeared to his eye while being mixed on his palette?

In one sense, the surgery handicapped Monet from full creative perception. But at the same time it provided him with a perspective that perhaps no other artist had. More, and links to a book about color perception, at Download The Universe.

Bonus: Photography through the UV lens. See the world like a bee!

(ht to Carl Zimmer on the story of Monet’s lens)

Saturday, April 21, 2012
The anomalous is not what is marginal, unbalanced or organically in deficit; it is the product of an excess of organization, regulation and rationalization within a system. It is that which for no apparent reason comes, seemingly from outside, to disrupt the operations of the system. It is that which comes from the very logic, the excess of logic and rationality, of a system which, once it has reached a certain saturation threshold, secretes its antibodies, its internal pathologies, its strange dysfunctions, its unforeseeable, incurable accidents, its anomalies. Jean Baudrillard (via savage-america)
Friday, April 20, 2012
discoverynews:

Baboons Can Recognize Words
Baboons can learn to tell the difference between real four-letter words and nonsense combinations of letters. And once they figure out the patterns, these monkeys can guess with impressive accuracy whether a new word is real or fake.
Because baboons can’t actually read, a new study supports the theory that the brains of our primate ancestors held the necessary hardware for understanding written words long before humans evolved. Only after we starting writing and reading about 5,400 years or so did we apply our object-recognition abilities to letter symbols.
By the end of the training period, which included about 50,000 trials for each animal, all of the baboons had learned to recognize at least 81 words at an accuracy rate of about 75 percent, the researchers report today in the journal Science. One animal learned more than 300 words.
keep reading
image: Baboon eyes, Corbis

This article - as in, the original: Grainger, J. et al (2012) Orthographic Processing in Baboons (Papio papio), Science - and I have a coffee date. It&#8217;s just going to be the two of us and a couple of highlighters&#8230;

discoverynews:

Baboons Can Recognize Words

Baboons can learn to tell the difference between real four-letter words and nonsense combinations of letters. And once they figure out the patterns, these monkeys can guess with impressive accuracy whether a new word is real or fake.

Because baboons can’t actually read, a new study supports the theory that the brains of our primate ancestors held the necessary hardware for understanding written words long before humans evolved. Only after we starting writing and reading about 5,400 years or so did we apply our object-recognition abilities to letter symbols.

By the end of the training period, which included about 50,000 trials for each animal, all of the baboons had learned to recognize at least 81 words at an accuracy rate of about 75 percent, the researchers report today in the journal Science. One animal learned more than 300 words.

keep reading

image: Baboon eyes, Corbis

This article - as in, the original: Grainger, J. et al (2012) Orthographic Processing in Baboons (Papio papio), Science - and I have a coffee date. It’s just going to be the two of us and a couple of highlighters…

Fill the crania with mustard seeds, tap thrice - then spin around and make a wish?

"… cranial capacity was measured by filling the brain case with mustard seeds through the foramen magnum."

No matter how many times I read this in the methodology summary of a study - and it seems to be a fairly common method - it continues to amuse me.

It just seems so One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. You know?

For the curious, here’s the rest of how they do it:

"… Cotton was placed in the eye orbits, and other foramina were blocked. The skull was tilted to distribute the seed throughout, tapped twice to settle its contents, and then filled to the plane of the foramen magnum rim. The seed was then poured into a graduated cylinder and recorded to the nearest milliliter. The measurement was performed thrice and the average taken."

(And the study is: Zihlman et al (2008) Morphological Variation in Adult Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) of the Tai National Park, Cote D’Ivoire, American Journal of Physical Anthropology 135:34-41 )

Monday, April 16, 2012
identificationmuseum:

The mineral component of bone is comprised mostly of the calcium phosphate mineral hydroxyapatite which is embedded in the organic component type I collagen. When bone is exposed to a mildly acid environment the mineral component leaches out leaving only the pliable organic component. Vinegar is the classic medium to use because it works slowly enough to release the calcium and not destroy the protein scaffolding that gives bone it’s characteristic shape. If left in vinegar long enough the collagen would become destroyed as well. This is a human fibula tied in a knot.

identificationmuseum:

The mineral component of bone is comprised mostly of the calcium phosphate mineral hydroxyapatite which is embedded in the organic component type I collagen. When bone is exposed to a mildly acid environment the mineral component leaches out leaving only the pliable organic component. Vinegar is the classic medium to use because it works slowly enough to release the calcium and not destroy the protein scaffolding that gives bone it’s characteristic shape. If left in vinegar long enough the collagen would become destroyed as well. This is a human fibula tied in a knot.

(Source: osteocentric)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dissertation data analysis 1.0: A list of useful computer programs for primatology graduate students

From Beast Ape and the Bleeding Heart Baboons
  1. A good reference management software program: There are many of these on the market. Some are free (Mendeley), some are ubiquitous (EndNote), while some are platform-specific (Sente-Mac). I use Sente, which has an embedded web-browser and pdf viewer (for mark-up and note taking) however it is a Mac-only and few people use it. Most of my friends swear by Mendeley, but I have yet to try it. The most important thing is to find one you like and stick with it. Accessing journal articles quickly and easily makes writing papers and “eventually” manuscripts with ease.
  2. Microsoft Excel (with VBA for writing macros). If you were like me, you arrived in graduate school with a passing knowledge of Excel. In other words basic knowledge of the most used functions (SUM, AVERAGE, STDEV, etc.) and a no real appreciation of the usefulness of this program. Moreover if you plan on collecting your data in the field electronically, chances are it will eventually make its way on to an Excel spreadsheet. Nearly everyone uses Excel (and other Microsoft Office applications) on a daily basis, but few use it to its full potential. Streamlining your data in Excel before importing it to other less “user-friendly” statistical analysis programs will save you lots of time. More importantly, if your data (behavioral data especially) end up as “strings” in your spreadsheets you will need to learn Visual Basic (VBA) macros to search strings and do basic data manipulation that Excel does not do well. Familiarize yourself with functions like (LEFT, RIGHT, MID, CONCATENATE, VLOOKUP, and HLOOKUP). Master “Pivot Table Reports” for quickly organizing data. Note: Office 2008 for Mac does not support VBA so Mac users make sure you get Office 2011.
  3. R and RStudio. R is an extremely powerful statistical computing language that is freely available. For someone with no experience with computer languages it can be intimidating. Seeing that blinking “>” and with no buttons to push for your “t-test” can make the best researchers quit and go back to SPSS. However, the R faithful have a strong online presence with plenty of help forums. Check out the Comprehensive R Network (CRAN) for all your R needs. RStudio is “integrated development environment” for R. In other words, it takes all the scariness out of that blinking “>” and turns R into to something more “user-friendly.” RStudio requires the full version of R to run, and makes importing data and packages much easier. Here is an excellent week-by-week introduction to R from a UPenn professor.
  4. NetLogo. Another freely available multi-agent modeling environment. This has its own package in R for extracting data from models and analyzing in R. I don’t use it, but my friends do.
  5. UCINET. Social network analysis is all the rage in behavioral biology and UCINET is the best of the social network analysis programs. While the learning curve can be steep (similar to R and MATLAB), do not fret! You can do just about all the SNA you need in this program and it comes with NetDraw visualization tool.
  6. MATLAB. If your institution has a license, MATLAB is one of the most widely used technical computing languages for research (both in academia and the private sector). MATLAB can be used for statistical analysis, data visualization, computational modeling, etc. I can’t speak much to using MATLAB as I just finished a seminar on it today (the real impetus for writing this post).
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
andreapandulis:


ResearchGate was built for scientists, by scientists,with the idea that science can do more when it’s driven by collaboration.


ResearchGate began when two researchers discovered first-hand that working with a friend or colleague based on the other side of the world was no easy task. The rapid evolution of technology has opened the door to change; by providing you with the right tools, we strive to facilitate scientific collaboration on a global scale.

andreapandulis:

ResearchGate was built for scientists, by scientists,with the idea that science can do more when it’s driven by collaboration.

ResearchGate began when two researchers discovered first-hand that working with a friend or colleague based on the other side of the world was no easy task. The rapid evolution of technology has opened the door to change; by providing you with the right tools, we strive to facilitate scientific collaboration on a global scale.