Prairie Chicken Portrait (by Jeff Dyck)
Greater prairie chicken - Tympanuchus cupido (Phasianidae) - Vulnerable
Sixth grader, Florida resident, and scientist extraordinaire, Lauren Arrington has done pretty well for herself at the ripe old age of twelve. Her science fair project studied lionfish (an invasive species in the ocean around Florida) and where they are able to survive. She determined that lionfish could survive in near-fresh water, which would included some rivers in Florida and would allow the species to invade further upstream and possibly cause further damage to Florida coast marine ecosystems. The results of Arrington’s simple project— where she placed lionfish in tanks of water with salinity levels— were news to marine biologists, who had not considered that lionfish might be able to survive in lower salinity levels than 20 parts per thousand.
Again. Dr. Jud needs to be credited. We have to support our fellow professional biologists who are trying to make a name for themselves. This was originally discovered in 2010 by Dr. Zack Jud.
He’s upset and rightfully so.
The fact that the little girl is so excited about science is an amazing thing but her parents are being completely unethical.
It’s a shame that this is happening right before the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists meeting in Chattanooga TN.
I feel kinda terrible hating on a 12-year-old, but yeah, I have notes. Every scientist stands on the shoulders of giants, that’s fine, but only a few then pretend they’re just really tall. Learning to cite sources, credit influences (poor Jud!), and put your work in the context of a larger endeavor is also part of science. That being said, I suspect that reductive popular science journalism is at fault here more than the girl herself or her family.
Speaking of her family, I’m not impressed by the daughter if two marine biologists conducting a marine biology experiment. I’m NOT saying they did it for her. But it’s a lot easier to do a project like this if you’ve already got access to experts and equipment. Maybe I’m oversensitive as someone who A) grew up as a low/middle class, blue collar kid in a university town and entered science fairs alongside professors’ kids who clearly had help…or B) has taught brilliant, curious kids who would make excellent scientists if they could overcome the class, racial, and geographic boundaries that life randomly threw in their paths.
At age 7, Gideon Gidori knew exactly what he wanted to be: a rocket ship pilot.
The only thing was, he was living in a tiny Tanzanian village where schools only went through grade six and books about space (or for that matter, any books) were scarce.
But that didn’t stop him. Now 15, Gidori is determined to become Tanzania’s very first astronaut.
Gidori has always been fascinated with stars and spent his boyhood nights staring at the clear skies above his hometown. “I think there is much more up there than there is down here, and I want to know what that is,” he says. When he becomes an astronaut, he hopes his first stop will be the moon – one of Jupiter’s moons, that is.
"They say that on Europa, there’s life," he says. "I want to be part of the crew that investigates it."
With the help of Epic Change, his dream isn’t just wishful thinking. The nonprofit, which raises money for education and technology, gave him a scholarship to study in the U.S. This May, Gidori completed his first year of flight training school at Florida Air Academy.
To finance his next school year, he’s using the allure of potato salad. Tanzanian astronaut potato salad, to be exact.
Inspired by the entrepreneur who raised more than $60,000 to make potato salad on Kickstarter, Gidori and his host family — Epic Change cofounders Sanjay Patel and Stacey Monk – are using the online platform to raise $35,000 to cover tuition and fees for next year. On their Kickstarter page, the trio has promised to throw the “greatest potato salad party in Tanzanian history” the day Gidori lifts off into space for the first time.
And the Tanzanian teen means it; he already has an experimental recipe in the works. As of July 22, a little more than $12,000 has been raised on Kickstarter and Rally.org.
Photo: It took 101 takes to get the right shot for Gideon Gidori’s Kickstarter video. He hopes supporters will fund his flight school tuition in exchange for a secret potato salad recipe. (via Kickstarter)
I feel uncomfortable when bio teachers use sexuality as an analogue or memory device for zygosity. In other words, using “homosexual” and “heterosexual” to help high schoolers remember and/or understand “homozygous” and “heterozygous.” It could be a conversation starter about healthy sexuality, gender, and pride, but I’ve only ever seen it used to disparage non-heterosexuals.
At one extreme, I knew a teacher who used hybrid vigor to explain why heterosexual couples were somehow superior to gay couples. (Don’t even ask me to explain her whacked-out rationale…My brain tunes out nonsense as a survival mechanism.). More often, though, it’s little things, like my CT from student teaching, teasing a male student about whether he would have sex with men. It made him nervous; I can’t say whether it was from threatened machismo or whether he was actually gay.
Ultimately it doesn’t matter what his sexuality was, whether gay, straight, or anything else. He and the other students (some of whom were gay, by the way) were learning more about the social position of non-heterosexuality than they were about Punnett squares. They learned that it’s ok to make fun of gay people & acts. They learned that at least one teacher, one supposedly trusted adult, thought it was gross and deserving of ridicule. They learn to distrust the rest of the teaching staff.
In this case, I asked my CT why she had done that. She said it shouldn’t matter to me since I’m straight. (Joke’s on her! I’m not! I just pass well!). She also said that anyone would know it was a joke, that that’s the only way “kids these days” will remember vocab, and that if she had upset a gay student, that the GSA met for 45 min every Thursday. She rounded off that round of Privilege Bingo with everyone’s favorite, “I don’t personally have a problem with gay people. I had gay friends in college.”
TL;DR: Bio teachers—check yourselves. If the only way you can teach zygosity is by making fun of homosexuality, the problem lies with YOU, not students or gay people or subject matter.
Electric Aliens? Bacteria discovered that exist on pure energyPublished time: July 19, 2014 18:24
Microbiologists based in California have discovered bacteria that survive by eating pure electrons rather than food, bringing an entirely new method of existence to awareness and raising questions about possibilities for alien life.
The ‘electric bacteria’ – as they have been dubbed by the team that discovered them – take energy from rocks and metal by feasting directly on their electrons. The hair-like filaments the bacteria produce carry electrons between the cells and their environment.
The biologists from the University of Southern California (USC) found that the new discovery joins more than ten other different specific type of bacteria that also feed on electricity – although none in quite the same way.
“This is huge. What it means is that there’s a whole part of the microbial world that we don’t know about,”Kenneth Nealson of USC told New Scientist.
Nealson explained the process by which the bacteria function. “You eat sugars that have excess electrons, and you breathe in oxygen that willingly takes them,” he said. Human cells break down the sugars in order to obtain the electrons – making the bacteria that only absorb the electrons that much more efficient.
“That’s the way we make all our energy and it’s the same for every organism on this planet,” Nealson said. “Electrons must flow in order for energy to be gained.”
Some of the bacteria even have the ability to make ‘bio-cables’ – a kind of microbial collection of wires that can conduct electricity as well as copper – renowned for its high electrical conductivity.
Such ‘nanowires’ were first discovered in a separate study conducted by researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark. Their presence raises the possibility that one day bacteria could be used in making subsurface networks for people to use.
“Tens of thousands of bacteria can join to form a cable that can carry electrons over several centimeters,” the New Scientist video on the subject points out.
read more from RT
QUITE POSSIBLY THE MOST AMAZING DISCOVERY OF MY LIFETIME.