Oct 18, 2009 •
In the last few days I've been lucky enough to spend some time with the latest crop of up-&-coming young scientists :-)Yesterday I spent the day doing a Scholarship Biology preparation day for students in Hawkes Bay(very kindly hosted by...
Oct 16, 2009 •
- animal behaviour,
- new science stories,
- scholarship biology
On the way to work this morning I was listening to a Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast, & one of the topics under discussion was vampires. Vampire moths! How cool is that? Vampire bats I know about, & vampire finches, but...
Oct 15, 2009 •
This is a re-post of an item I first wrote back in July this year. It follows on from another post on moa feather colour (the link’s below) & reflects the fact that I am easily attracted by interesting bits & pieces 🙂 When I was looking for the original paper for my post on moa feather colour & reductionism, I found a whole lot of other equally interesting stuff. As one does. (It’s just so easy to wander off down some interesting side path & get completely distracted from the original task…) One of those ‘other’ papers was on fossil moa poo – coprolites – & what they have to tell us about moa feeding ecology (Wood et al., 2008). Moa have generally been regarded as browsers on trees & shrubs, occupying ecological niches that on other land masses … Read More
Oct 13, 2009 •
Coming back from last night's Cafe Scientifique over in Tauranga, the speaker** & I were talking about the nature of science, and moved from there to the seemingly quite widespread acceptance of what could be called 'non-science'. One of the...
Oct 12, 2009 •
At the end of my first-year lecture on evolutionary theory, I said that I didn't believe in the theory of evolution - I accepted it as the best possible current explanation for for the enormous body of information we have about life's...
Oct 11, 2009 •
My students & I spent our last couple of tutorials talking about how the mammalian immune system functions: innate immunity, acquired immunity, the whole lot. Our immune system is a wonderful & complex thing. But, just as we tend to...
Oct 09, 2009 •
While doing a little bedtime reading I came across a recent post by Orac that deconstructs some anti-vaccination nonsense spouted by a blogger (writing about some upcoming H1N1 flu vaccines) in the US. I don't want to repeat it all...
Oct 08, 2009 •
I've known for ages about the enzyme called telomerase, & I've known why it's important - but I have to confess that I've never actually thought particularly hard about why we need it. 'Why' being in the practical, 'what's going on...