Friday, May 29, 2015

In the News: Birds and the Bees (and the Butterflies)

Fig.1. A staff member at the American Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Conservatory can identify the animal in this picture in 139 different languages (Credit: Puparrazi via Flickr, 2009)

For this week's Follow Friday, learn about ongoing studies that highlight SciColl's four research initiatives, including protecting bee colonies, analyzing bird beaks, saving dental plaque, and more:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Teaching old data new tricks

Fig.1. Rock core samples, pictured, stored at the U.S. Geological Survey's Core Research Center. Data derived from core samples, among other types of samples, are useful in testing climate models. (Credit: USGS, 2012)

There’s an old saying that history repeats itself. But in the case of Carrie Morrill’s research, she’s looking to history to prepare for the future.

Friday, May 15, 2015

In the News: A Change in (Ancient) Tides

Fig.1. This adult deer tick and other members of its species are spreading into new areas in North America, thanks to climate change. The spread is a particular concern for public health because deer ticks are vectors for Lyme disease (Credit: Scott Bauer, USDA)

Ancient changes in the environment and modern disease response to climate change are the topics for this week’s #FollowFriday. Read about avian flu in the United States, the rise of Panama, the fall of a civilization, and more:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

So You Want To Be A Scientist?

Fig.1. Citizen scientists participating in the National Park Service’s Cascade Butterfly Project at Mount Rainier National Park (Credit: Kevin Bacher, 2012, via Flickr)

So you want to be a scientist? Not all science is done by people in lab coats holding pipettes. With so much research to be done, data to be analyzed, and places to visit - scientists are harnessing the power of the public’s curiosity. Citizen science is a great example of mutualism: scientists are able to gain assistance with research tasks, while the public participates in projects which interest them.

Friday, May 8, 2015

In the News: DNA Detectives

Fig.1. Transmission electron micrograph of two avian influenza A (H5N1) virions. H5N1 can cause the highly pathogenic avian influenza, which can jump the bridge between birds and humans (Credit: Cynthia Goldsmith/Jackie Katz, CDC)

New DNA technology and its applications can take disease research and response to the next level. For this week’s #FollowFriday post, read about tracing listeria outbreaks, testing for parasites, a portable DNA sequencer, and more:

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Chemistry of Ancient Rome

Fig.1. Aqueduct of Segovia, a Roman aqueduct in modern-day Spain (Credit: Arian Zwegers, 2013, via Flickr).

At the height of the Roman Empire, aqueducts stretched across Europe and helped sustain a population of one million people in Rome alone. As water rushed through these engineering marvels, it often left behind layers of sediment along the walls, which built up for hundreds of years. A recent study has found that the sediment, often deposits of calcium carbonate, may provide a highly nuanced and localized picture of the climate during ancient times. Such a specific record of temperatures or precipitation, along with historical and cultural accounts, would shed light on how human societies adapt to climate change.

Friday, May 1, 2015

In the News: Jurassic Park Herbivores and More

Fig.1. The bones of this curious, plant-eating dinosaur was found by a seven-year-old in Chile (Credit: Gabriel Lio)

This week in #FollowFriday, exciting research projects show how vital museums are to the scientific community. Read about a new oddball dinosaur, a biodiversity center in peril, the cycle of climate change, and more: