The things we do…

My advisor has always maintained that a field crew runs on its stomach.  In other words, well-fed field assistants are much happier and much more productive – not to mention much less likely to mutiny. There is no doubt that this is true.  Trying to run a field crew without an adequate supply of coffee, chocolate, or wine is an enterprise doomed to failure.  But – at the risk of disagreeing with my advisor –…

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The Pet People to Follow in 2018

The canine and feline scientists, pet professionals, bloggers and organizations to follow on social media in 2018.Photo: Ramon Espelt Photography (Shutterstock)Are you looking for some new accounts to follow in 2018? I’ve updated my list of some of the best people and organizations to follow on Twitter and Facebook if you’re interested in companion animals, science, and the human-animal bond.Not only do they produce great content of their own, they also have a varied feed…

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Why I rejected your request for free photos

This post is dedicated to all the people who have completely lost their sense of common decency. I have a destructive humbleness that most people do not understand (myself included). I do not have a Patreon page, I do not run ads on this website, I have never asked for donations*. However, for some reason I get the feeling that this leads people to believe I do everything for free. This could not be further…

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Where did all the tail clubs go?

Today is a New Paper Day! This time, we’re talking about the evolution of tail weapons! (Two Ankylosaurus duke it out with their tail clubs. (c) Jack Mayer Wood, used with permission) Readers of this blog will not be surprised to know that I find ankylosaur tail clubs quite interesting. I’ve been lucky to get … Continue reading Where did all the tail clubs go?

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Tricking the body to accept transplanted organs

A stem cell therapy to reboot the immune system may give organ transplant recipients longer and better outcomes.Dr. Gary Levy is undertaking an innovative new trial aimed at improving the outcomes of organ transplantation. Photo: University Health Network.Donated organs provide new hope and extended life for the more than 2,500 Canadians who receive a transplant each year. But for many of these patients, the new organs also come with a catch: they have expiration dates.The main…

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Questions about CRISPR-mediated phage immunity

Thursday's post described the hypothesis that bacteria might use gene transfer agent particles to inoculate other cells in the population with fragments of phage DNA, and outlined an experiment to test this.  Now I'm realizing that I need to know a lot more about the kind of immunity I should expect to see if this GTA-as-vaccine hypothesis is correct.Simplistic outline of the experiment:Infect GTA-producer strain of R. capsulatus with phage under conditions where the infection…

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Un cerveau divisé en deux, ça donne une ou deux personnes ?

Un peu comme la semaine dernière, on pourrait dire que les travaux dont on va parler cette semaine remettent en question une série d’expériences devenues des classiques en sciences cognitives, celles sur les patients à cerveau divisé (« split brain », en anglais). Vous me direz : c’est dans l’ordre des choses que des résultats d’expériences scientifiques soient éventuellement raffinés et/ou remis en question. Mais ces deux cas se ressemblent d’une part par l’importance du…

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There’s no such thing as “an unrelated genus”

 Image: Osmia rufa, André Karwath, CC BY-SA 2.5; Boletus edulis, Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-SA 4.0; Volvocales, Aurora M. Nedelcu, CC BY 2.5; Chimp, Aaron Logan, CC BY 2.5; Ranunculus asiaticus, Leif Stridvall, CC BY-SA 2.5; Isotricha intestinalis, Agricultural Research Service/USDA CC 0; Compilation, Vojtěch Dostál, CC BY-SA 2.5.  (My writing pet peeves, part 4) There […]

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There’s no such thing as “an unrelated genus”

 Image: Osmia rufa, André Karwath, CC BY-SA 2.5; Boletus edulis, Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-SA 4.0; Volvocales, Aurora M. Nedelcu, CC BY 2.5; Chimp, Aaron Logan, CC BY 2.5; Ranunculus asiaticus, Leif Stridvall, CC BY-SA 2.5; Isotricha intestinalis, Agricultural Research Service/USDA CC 0; Compilation, Vojtěch Dostál, CC BY-SA 2.5.  (My writing pet peeves, part 4) There […]

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