From Our Own Borealis Blog

The War on Science

How science lost its credibility with the US public and what to do about it  By Pascal Lapointe, Policy and […]

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I’m actually going to do an experiment!

Last week I went to Philadelphia, to give a talk and spend a few days working with the former postdoc on the toxin-antitoxin manuscript.  This manuscript has a former Honours student as first author; it's has been languishing for most of the past two years, with a few spurts of progress.Until now we have been thinking that the toxin protein was not broadly toxic to cells, but somehow only prevented them from taking up DNA.  How it could do this was very puzzling, because our RNAseq analyses showed that the competence gene transcript levels reached normal levels under competence-inducing conditions.The main evidence for lack of toxicity was that the antitoxin mutant grows normally in rich medium, which it shouldn't if the toxin is harmful to growth or viability.  This mutant produces high levels of toxin RNA during growth in rich medium, and because there is no antitoxin present, the resulting…

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Episode 72: Las Hoyas

Las Hoyas is a Early Cretaceous lagerstätte (site of special preservation) located close to the city of Cuenca, Spain. In this episode, we welcome Ángela Delgado Buscalioni and Francisco José Poyato-Ariza, both from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, to discuss the details of this remarkable site. Angela and Francisco have recently edited a comprehensive overview of the Las Hoyas site. Like most lagerstätten, Las Hoyas is most famous for its vertebrate fossils, but what other taxa can we find there? What was the palaeoenvironment like? And which processes have governed the preservation of the fossils? Field works at Las Hoyas showing team of students on an exposed surface of laminated limestone in July 2007. Photo A.D. Buscalioni. Detail of an excavating surface with in situ notation for retrieval of taphonomic data (field cards), July 2006. Photo A.D. Buscalioni. Charophyte algae are preserved at Las Hoyas as complete vegetative apparatus. This slab shows…

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A new poison-dart frog: Ameerega shihuemoy

Poison dart frogs are a group of frogs in the family Dendrobatidae which are native to tropical Central and South America. These little frogs often have brightly colored bodies and the coloration is correlated with their toxicity. The more colourful the more poisonous. A new species was found in Peru.The species name shihuemoy corresponds to the Harakmbut word for "poison dart frog". The local Amarakaeri from Amazonian Peru coexist with the new species and their language belongs to the Harakmbut linguistic group.For the experts: We describe and name a new species of poison-dart frog from the Amazonian slopes of the Andes in Manu Province, Madre de Dios Department, Peru; specifically within the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve and the buffer zone of Manu National Park. Ameerega shihuemoy sp. nov. is supported by a unique combination of characters: black dorsum with cream to light orange dorsolateral lines, blue belly reticulated with black, and the lack…

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