Saturday, April 30, 2011
How long can you hold your breath? A minute? A minute and a half?
What do you think the world record is. Four minutes? Five minutes? TEN minutes? Think again.
Curiously the techniques involved don't involve keeping the brain alive without oxygen, that's simply not possible, but getting oxygen to the brain even though you aren't breathing
Thursday, April 28, 2011
The mystery of biodiversity –– how thousands of similar species can coexist in a single ecosystem might best be understood as the result of a massive rock-paper-scissors tournament, a new study has revealed.
From the UCSB pub, "Coastlines":
According to classical ecology, when two species compete for the same resource, eventually the more successful species will win out while the other will go extinct. But that rule cannot explain systems such as the Amazon, where thousands of tree species occupy similar ecological niches.
The childhood game of rock-paper-scissors provides one solution to this puzzle, report researchers at UC Santa Barbara and the University of Chicago in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A mathematical model designed around the game's dynamics produced the potential for limitless biodiversity, and suggested some surprising new ecological rules. Read the article here.
The link to the original source, published in PNAS is here.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The next Friends of the Santa Barbara Museum Library Lecture is Wednesday, May 11th at 7:00 PM. The evening will feature Curator of Malacology, Paul Valentich-Scott and Elizabeth Garfinkle, a San Roque High School student. Theirs is a unique research story. Read about it below.
Not just your everyday new species How does a small clam from deep water off Baja California end up being a local sensation with a Santa Barbara teenager? Collaborators Paul Valentich-Scott, Curator of Malacology, and Elizabeth Garfinkle, a junior at San Roque High School, will present their recently published research describing a new species of clam. The pair will discuss the initial discovery of the new bivalve and its surprising links to the past of central California.
Elizabeth is one of the few high school students globally who has described a new species. Her achievement has been chronicled in many local media outlets from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles. She took top honors at the 2011 Santa Barbara County Science Fair for this unique project. Come meet Paul and Elizabeth and learn more about the exciting journey that led to a new species being described in a zoology journal from New Zealand.
Admission is free but you need to make a reservation by e-mailing Terri Sheridan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 682-4711 ext. 134
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
For the most part, scientists are not formally trained in how to do peer review, nor given continuing education in how to do it better. And they usually don't get direct feedback from the journals or other scientists about the quality of their peer reviewing. Instead, young scientists learn from their advisors—often when that advisor delegates, to the grad students, papers he or she had volunteered to review. Your peer-review education really depends on whether your advisor is good at it, and how much time they choose to spend training you.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
I found this website that contains time lapse movies of fungi, molds, bacteria, slime molds and insects. Its pretty cool to see the time lapse of the Rhizopus on the strawberries and there are a few cool videos of the Pilobolus. This is so related to Thursdays lecture I couldn't help but be intrigued and a little grossed out by how successful these guys are at what they do. If you watch the Pleurotus djamor clip you will never look at an old book the same. Check it out!
Friday, April 22, 2011
"Investigating diversity and ecosystem function at multiple spatial and temporal scales"
The seminar will take place on Monday April 25 from 4-5pm in the MSRB auditorium.
CCBER is pleased to announce that our Monday evening seminar will feature local botanical expert,
Mary Carroll who will focus on identifying local grasses.
Monday 25th, 6-7pm, Harder 1013.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
"We found that the combination of microbes in the human intestine isn't random," says Peer Bork, who led the study at EMBL: "our gut flora can settle into three different types of community -- three different ecosystems, if you like."
Report at ScienceDaily and the paper, Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome, is published in nature this week.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Anyway, when we talk about human physiology, which we will shortly, it is always interesting to consider the human superlatives, Haile Gebrselassie or Usain Bolt.
But what is equally interesting is the revolution that is taking place further back in the pack. Virtually unreported in the media was the new world record by Canadian Ed Whitlock in the Rotterdam marathon last week. Whitlock ran 3:25:43. A very nice but utterly unremarkable time you might think. But Ed Whitlock is 80. He beat the old 80-84 world record by almost 15 minutes and Whitlock is not unique. The gains made at older age groups are really amazing. This, of course, is actually much more relevant to most of us - gains made in medical understanding affect both our longevity and also the quality of our life.
For an equally inspiring female example check out this New York Times article on the amazing 91 year old Olga Kotelko: The Incredible Flying Nonagenarian.
When the efforts of medical science converge to simply prolong existence, you envision Updike’s golfer Farrell, poking his way “down the sloping dogleg of decrepitude.” But scientists like Taivassalo and Hepple have a different goal, and exercise — elixir not so much of extended life as extended youthfulness — may be the key to reaching it. James Fries, an emeritus professor at Stanford School of Medicine, coined the working buzz phrase: “compression of morbidity.” You simply erase chronic illness and infirmity from the first, say, 95 percent of your life. “So you’re healthy, healthy, healthy, and then at some point you kick the bucket,” Tarnopolsky says. “It’s like the Neil Young song: better to burn out than to rust.” You get a normal life span, but in Olga years. Who wouldn’t take it?
Thursday, April 14, 2011
A few items Claudia mentioned today that are buried here on the blog somewhere.
- The Dan Morse Symposium happening on Friday (ie tomorrow).
- Eutrophication and recovery
- Sea Otters: Cute lil critters or sex crazed maniacs?
MCDB 161L: Research Immersion in Molecular Biosciences
Offered: Summer Session A, June 20 – July 29, 2011
Developed as part of the $1,000,0000 UCSB-HHMI initiative, this is an intensive (6 unit) undergraduate laboratory course covering basic approaches to research in molecular biosciences using model systems. In addition to the laboratory techniques, students learn hypothesis building, experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, as well as presentation skills. The 6-week course (Summer Session A) is taught in three modules, each based on current interdisciplinary biomolecular and biomedical research being conducted on the UCSB campus. This is a unique opportunity for UCSB undergraduate students to obtain practical training that will help them prepare for careers in biomedical research.
For more information and to apply to enroll in the course, see the attached flyer and the website:
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Special IGP Marine Science Seminar
Thursday, April 14, 2011
(pizza lunch following, on MSRB 2nd floor balcony)
Henry (Hank) Trapido-Rosenthal
Associate Research Scientist
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
University of Hawaii
Biomagnification of Toxins in Marine Food Webs
Some dinoflagellate algae and cyanobacteria produce toxins that have human health endpoints after being biomagnified as they move upwards through marine food webs. We are studying two of these toxins: (a) ciguatoxin, which is produced by dinoflagellates in the genus Gambierdiscus, and which causes poisoning in humans who eat toxin-containing reef fish; and (b) β-methylaminoalanine (BMAA), a “nonprotein” amino acid which can be produced by some cyanobacteria, and which can have neurotoxic effects on organisms at higher trophic levels after food web biomagnification. In this talk, I will first describe the results of our work with ciguatoxin here in the Hawaiian Islands. I will then describe work being done by ourselves and our international colleagues to address some mysteries associated with the ways in which BMAA is biomagnified and exerts its toxic effects.
Bienfang, P.K., DeFelice, S.V., Laws, E.A., Brand, L.E., Bidigare, R.R., Christensen, S., Trapido-Rosenthal, H., Hemscheidt, T.K., McGillicuddy Jr., D.HJ., Anderson, D.M., Solo-Gabriele, H.M., Boehm, A.B., and Backer, L.C. (2011) Prominent human health impacts from several marine microbes: History, ecology, and public health implications. Int. J. Microbiol., ID 152815, 15 pages.
Venn, A.A., Loram, J.E., Trapido-Rosenthal, H.G., Joyce, D.A., and Douglas, A.E. (2008) The importance of time and place: How genetically-different Symbiodinium algae are distributed in a variable coral reef symbiosis. Biol. Bull., 215:243-252.
Loram, J.E., Boonham, N., O’Toole, P., Trapido-Rosenthal, H.G., and Douglas, A.E. (2007) Molecular quantification of symbiotic dinoflagellate algae Symbiodinium in corals. Biol. Bull., 212:259-268.
Loram, J.E., Trapido-Rosenthal, H.G., and Douglas, A.E. (2007) Functional significance of symbiont clade in a coral reef symbiosis. Molec. Ecol. 16: 4849-4857.
Venn, A.A., Wilson, M.S., Trapido-Rosenthal, H.G., Keely, B.J., and Douglas, A.E. (2006) The impact of coral bleaching on the pigment profile of the symbiotic alga Symbiodinium. Plant, Cell Env. 29:2133-2142.
Yasuhara-Bell, J., Yang, Y., Barlow, R., Trapido-Rosenthal, H., and Lu, Y. (2010) In vitro evaluation of marine microorganism extracts for anti-viral activity. Virol. Jour. 7: 182-193.
Anderson, P.A.V., and Trapido-Rosenthal, H.G. (2009) Physiological and chemical analysis of neurotransmitter candidates at a fast excitatory synapse in the jellyfish Cyanea capillata (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa). Invert. Neurosci. 9:167-173.
Toledo, G., Green, W., Gonzalez, R., Christoffersen, L., Podar, M., Chang, C., Hemscheidt, T., Trapido-Rosenthal, H.G., Short, J.M., Bidigare, R.R., and Mathur, E.J. (2006) High throughput cultivation for isolation of novel marine organisms. Oceanography 19:120-125.
Owen, R., Mitchelmore, C., Woodley, C., Trapido-Rosenthal, H., Galloway, T., Depledge, M., Readman, J., Buxton, L., Sarkis, S, Jones, R. and Knap, A. (2005) A common sense approach for confronting coral reef decline associated with human activities. Mar. Pol. Bull. 51:481-485.
Trapido-Rosenthal, H. G., Zielke, S., Owen, R.J., Buxton, L., Boeing, B., Bhagooli, R., and Archer, J.A. (2005) Increased zooxanthellae nitric oxide synthase activity is associated with coral bleaching. Biol. Bull. 208:3-6.
In order to generate lively discussion, Ms. Skloot requests that you attend the Campbell Hall Lecture the prior evening (4/11 8PM Campbell Hall) to avoid duplicating Questions & Answers raised there. The CCS special engagement on April 12th is specifically for Rebecca to go deeper into the discussion of the book with students and faculty. In preparation, it is also asked that you acquaint yourself with the FAQ page on Rebecca's website:
A limited number of free tickets are available for the event at Campbell Hall. Please see Casey in Room 102 CCS (email@example.com). These will be available on a first come, first served basis.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
This article discusses a pretty interesting case of endosymbiosis, the first of its kind seen in vertebrates. I am very curious about how the algae actually gets in their cells and if there is some bizarre vertical transmission mechanism as mentioned in the article.
Don't worry it's short, no TLDRs!
Original paper is here.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Chasing Haeckel - A documentary centered on Ernst Haeckel's drawings of radiolarians sets the unity of art and science in motion
Selections from the the film Proteus, a documentary concerning the life, work, and philosophy of Ernst Haeckel, a 19th century naturalist. The film tells of the man's character and influences while using his detailed engravings of Radiolaria, single celled marine organisms, to make animated progressions
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Awesome opportunity. Get involved in research, see beautiful places, get fit, and help save a declining amphibian species. What more could you ask?
Andrea needs help with back-country field work studying disease dynamics in mountain yellow legged frogs. The work will involve hiking, backpacking, catching frogs and testing them for chytrid infection, and collecting water samples. Contact Andrea directly if you are interested: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO SIGN UP TO POST TO THE BLOG
You all received an invitation to join the blog at the start of the Winter quarter. If you need me to send a new invite just let me know.
The invite comes as an e-mail from google with the heading: 'You have been invited to contribute to John Latto's blog'
This will contain a link. (The information that follows is what I think happens but if it is different just follow the instructions). If you click on the link you will have two choices:
If you already have a Google account just log in with your username and password and follow the instructions.
If you don't have a Google account then click the link to sign up for an account. This requires very little in the way of information - just a valid e-mail, the password you want, and the name you want to use. I think you will then get sent an e-mail with a link to click on to validate your account.
If you haven't received that e-mail then check your spam folder since it is an automated e-mail it may have been filtered out as spam.
HOW TO POST
Adding posts is really easy. Starting from scratch you would go to:
and sign in at the top with your Google username and password.
You should then see the dashboard with the EEMB40 Blog. Click on 'New Post' and a simple word processor type screen will come up. Adding a text only post is as simple as typing it and hitting 'Publish Post'. You will probably also want to add links though (the whole point of the blog really) and adding links is very easy. Just highlight the text you want linked and click the word 'link' on the toolbar at the top of
the entry form. Just cut and paste the link in directly from your browser, including the http://.
Further buttons at the top allow you to format the text, add pictures, spell check and, usefully, remove all the formatting from any section. You can preview posts before publishing them if you wish. Oh and the spellcheck is automatic and very easy to use but comes up with some very strange and amusing corrections for words it doesn't know. It is a good idea to test any links after you have posted to make sure they work (and work as you expect).
Let me know if you have any questions. Rather than give a big long tutorial on how to use the blog publisher I suggest you just play with it and then ask questions. It is very easy to delete posts, and preview them before you publish, so you can practice without messing anything up.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
What great opportunities to see E. O. Wilson: this Thursday at CCS from 4-5 in the art gallery (free), and/or at Campbell Hall at 8pm ($15). Hope you will take advantage.
To inspire you, here is his biography. And here is an interview of E. O. Wilson on “Bill Moyers Journal”
And finally, in 2007 he won the prestigious TED prize.
See his TED talk and what he wants to do with his $100,000 prize money: