In the United States, a woman died a few months ago of a bacterial infection. This microbe was resistant to all antibiotics available in the US that we were capable of throwing at it.
A paper came out this week, looking at predictors of publication rates among 280 graduate students accepted and enrolled into a biomedical grad program. And — shocker, I know — grades and standardized test scores didn’t matter. The best predictor was the content of the letters of recommendation. You want to know which undergraduates have the greatest research potential? Listen to their undergraduate mentors. Here’s a drugmonkey post about this paper.
When I talk about climate change, I don’t talk about science. I’m (probably) not your dad or your boss or your professor so I can’t assign this to you or tell you to read it, but I do think this is a must-read.
With enough evidence, skepticism [may] thaw. (But denial, not so much.)
Even more evidence about the unfair biases that manifest in student evaluations of teaching. This experimental design is rather elegant.
What scares [him] about teaching students with ideologies not adequately grounded in fact.
You will want to read this melancholy story about the sparrow with four sexes.
A burrowing owl shows up in MacArthur Park. Which is a tiny little patch of nature in the middle of a heavily urbanized area. So cool.
Think you have fire ants but aren’t sure? Now there’s a 10-minute test for this, much like a pregnancy test. (Fortunately, you don’t have to try to coax the ant to pee on a stick, you just squish it.)
The governor of New York announced a plan to provide free tuition to state colleges and universities for low(ish) income students (those whose families earn less than $125,000 per year). Some folks were trying to claim that this wasn’t a good thing for those students, but fortunately, Sara Goldrick-Rab is there to set those folks straight. Of course it’s a good thing.
The Rusty-Patched Bumblebee gets listed as endangered. We still do have an Endangered Species Act in effect, and we still have an Environmental Protection Agency, for at least another week.
The site of George Lucas’s massive Museum of the Narrative Art has been announced, in the exposition park of Los Angeles, adjacent to the Natural History Museum of LA County (where I’m sabbaticaling). Exposition Park is becoming even more of a destination.
Scientific American blog network published a guest post from a guy who did research on the physiology of shrimp that got a lot of bad press from anti-science Republicans as “Shrimp on a treadmill.” Most notable about this guest post was that the editors initially ran the piece with a horribly sexist and wholly creepy line about how the author leers at students of his peers while they are doing fieldwork. They promptly edited the piece, but it never should have gone to press. (And if you’re a marine biologist, you probably want to watch out for this guy.)
A sexually harassing faculty member returned to teaching at UCLA, and was greeted by huge protests outside his classroom, loud enough that the classes were cancelled.
I imagine nearly all biologists know the historical story of PCR. If you don’t, then here you go. If you do, then I think this is a particularly well-crafted version of the story.
The National Review (a conservative publication) writes, “I guess we’re not going to make a fuss about that.”
Why this monkey had sex with a deer. (spoiler: he was horny).
How nostalgia for white Christian America drove so many people to vote for Trump. (Just in case you are still harboring the notion that this was about economic policy and free trade.)
Folks have been saying that Rex Tillerson has completely severed financial ties with his oil company if/when he becomes Secretary of State. But, that’s not true. The day he quits, he could go back as CEO.
New information comes out about how Nixon was even worse than we thought: he secretly undermined peace talks so that he could win the election in 1968.
Here’s another person to watch: my new senator, Kamala Harris. Who is awesome.
Have a great weekend, folks. (By the way, if you happen to be around South Island, I’ll be heading your way and sticking around for a few weeks. I’ll be flipping over lots of rocks, but I promise to put them back.)