Blogs

Deconstructing creationist "scientists"

Feed: The EEB and flow

I’ve been fascinated by creationism since I first moved to Tennessee over twelve years ago –home of the Scopes “monkey” trial. And though I’ve been away from Tennessee for about seven years now, creationism still fascinates me. I find it interesting not because their arguments are persuasive or scientifically credible –they’re absolutely not; but rather my interest in it is as a social or maybe psychological phenomenon. Why, in the light of so much compelling evidence, do otherwise intelligent people hold on to something that contradicts the record of life that surrounds us.

Rediscovering some critical terms of use in microbial discussions: #microbiomania and #microbophobia

Feed: The Tree of Life

Earlier this week I was trying to come up with a short term to use when referring to the "Overselling of the Microbiome" and related hype. And I came up with one I really really like: microbiomania. The term just captures the essence of hype about microbiomes to me I guess.So - of course - the first thing to do was to see if anyone else used this term.  And the number one thing I looked at was domain names.  Nope.  Microbiomania.Com and Microbiomania.Org are now mine.  And then I started to search the interwebs. And surprsingly there was not much (in English at least).

CEO of Soylent goes even further off the deep end - going after his microbiome

Feed: The Tree of Life

Well, this is pretty deranged: Soylent CEO Is Lifehacking Water By Pissing In the Sink.  Forget all the wackiness of Soylent and the idea of limiting water intake.  And just look at the part of this on the micro biomeFeces are almost entirely deceased gut bacteria and water. I massacred my gut bacteria the day before by consuming a DIY Soylent version with no fiber and taking 500mg of Rifaximin, an antibiotic with poor bioavailability, meaning it stays in your gut and kills bacteria. Soylent's microbiome consultant advised that this is a terrible idea so I do not recommend it.

Making multi-authored papers work

Feed: The EEB and flow

Collaborative writing is almost unavoidable for ecologists – first author papers are practically a novelty these days, given the dominance of data-sharing, multidisciplinary projects, and large-scale experiments. And frankly, despite the inevitable frustrations of co-authors, collaborative writing tends to make a manuscript better. Co-authors help prevent things from getting too comfortable: too reliant on favourite references, myopic arguments, or slightly inaccurate definitions. The easiest collaborative writing, I think, involves small numbers of authors.

Some suggestions for having diverse speakers at meetings

Feed: The Tree of Life

Been having a lot of discussions online in response to my post (Apparently, the National Academy of Sciences thinks only one sex is qualified to talk about alternatives to sex #YAMMM) tracking the awful gender ratio for speakers and session chairs at meetings run by the National Academy of Sciences in their Sackler series.

Apparently, the National Academy of Sciences thinks only one sex is qualified to talk about alternatives to sex #YAMMM

Feed: The Tree of Life

Just got this email from Francisco Ayala:January 9-10, 2015 In the Light of Evolution IX. Clonal Reproduction: Alternatives to Sex Organizers: Michel Tibayrenc, John C. Avise and Francisco J. Ayala Beckman Center of the National Academies, Irvine, CA Evolutionary studies of clonal organisms have advanced considerably in recent years, but are still fledgling.

Microbiology Book for Kids: It's Catching by Jennifer Gardy and Josh Holinaty

Feed: The Tree of Life

A few days ago I wrote about how I wanted to share some information about what I have found to be good childrens' science books (based on reading books to my kids).  Well, here is another one: It's Catching: The Infectious World of Germs and Microbes by Jennifer Gardy and Josh Holinaty.

Microbe-themed art of the month: Seung-Hwan Oh portraits w/ mold

Feed: The Tree of Life

OK this is pretty cool (from a microbe-art-science point of view): An Artist Who Paints Portraits With Mold | WIRED.  Seung-Hwan Oh "had to set up a micro-fungus farm in his studio" and he puts film in a warm wet environment (note to self - there could be a new human microbiome aspect of this project depending on what warm wet environment is chosen) and sometimes seeds the system with some mold.  And then he lets nature do its work.See more about his Impermanence works here.

On identifiers (again)

Feed: iPhylo

I'm going to the TDWG Identifier Workshop this weekend, so I thought I'd jot down a few notes. The biodiversity informatics community has been at this for a while, and we still haven't got identifiers sorted out.From my perspective as both a data aggregator (e.g., BioNames) and a data provider (e.g., BioStor) there are four things I think we need to tackle in order to make significant progress.Discoverability (strings to things)A basic challenge is to go from strings, such as bibliographic citations, specimen codes, taxonomic names, etc., to digital identifiers for those things.

On identifiers (again)

Feed: iPhylo

I'm going to the TDWG Identifier Workshop this weekend, so I thought I'd jot down a few notes. The biodiversity informatics community has been at this for a while, and we still haven't got identifiers sorted out.From my perspective as both a data aggregator (e.g., BioNames) and a data provider (e.g., BioStor) there are four things I think we need to tackle in order to make significant progress.Discoverability (strings to things)A basic challenge is to go from strings, such as bibliographic citations, specimen codes, taxonomic names, etc., to digital identifiers for those things.

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