Blogs

A worthy cause: Help fund a "Patient Centered Probiotics Reference"

Feed: The Tree of Life

UPDATE 8/27/15 - May have had a brain cramp on this.  See comment from Richard Jefferson.  Not sure this is in fact a worthy cause.As many know I expend a lot of energy railing against overselling of the microbiome. And one aspect of this is the misinformation that is out there regarding probiotics. Well, this looks like it might help provide an antidote to some of the BS that is out there: (function() { var d = document, fr = d.createElement('script'); fr.type = 'text/javascript'; fr.async = true; fr.src = ((d.location.protocol.indexOf('https') == 0)?

Science is a maze

Feed: The EEB and flow

If you want to truly understand how scientific progress works, I suggest fitting mathematical models to dynamical data (i.e. population or community time series) for a few days.map for science?You were probably told sometime early on about the map for science: the scientific method.

#ESA100: The next dimension in functional ecology

Feed: The EEB and flow

The third day of ESA talks saw an interesting session on functional ecology (Functional Traits in Ecological Research: What Have We Learned and Where Are We Going?), organized by Matt Aiello-Lammens and John Silander Jr.As outlined by McGill and colleagues (2006), a functional trait-based approach can help us move past idiosyncrasies of species to understand more general patterns of species interactions and environmental tolerances.

Jennifer Gardy's Cats Poop for Science and @kittybiome

Feed: The Tree of Life

[View the story "KittyBiome 101 with Dr. Jennifer Gardy" on Storify]
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This is from the "Tree of Life Blog"
of Jonathan Eisen, an evolutionary biologist and Open Access advocate
at the University of California, Davis. For short updates, follow me on Twitter.

Possible project: NameStream - a stream of new taxonomic names

Feed: iPhylo

Yet another barely thought out project, although this one has some crude code. If some 16,000 new taxonomic names are published each year, then that is roughly 40 per day. We don't have a single place that aggregates these, so any major biodiversity projects is by definition out of date. GBIF itself hasn't had an update list of fungi or plant names for several years, and at present doesn't have an up to date list of animal names. You just have to follow the Twitter feeds of ZooKeys and Zootaxa to feel swamped in new names.

Possible project: A PubMed Central for taxonomy

Feed: iPhylo

F93f2e30d1cca847800e6f3060b8101aI need more time to sketch this out fully, but I think a case can be made for a taxonomy-centric (or, perhaps more usefully, a biodiversity-centric) clone of PubMed Central. Why?

#ESA100 The big-data era: ecological advances through data availability

Feed: The EEB and flow

Ecology is in a time of transition –from small-scale studies being the norm to large, global datasets employed to test broad generalities. Along with this ‘big data’ trend is the change in the ethical responsibility of scientists who receive public funds to share their data and ensure public access. As a result big online data repositories have been popping up everywhere. One thing that I have been doing while listening to talks, or talking with people, is to make note of the use of large online databases. It is clear that the use of these types of data has become commonplace.

TWIMO: This week in microbiome overselling - how the microbiome destroyed the Ego, Vaccine Policy, and Patriarchy

Feed: The Tree of Life

Well.  I guess thanks are in order to my friend and colleague David Pollock who pointed me to this on Facebook and asked if it fit the mold for an Overselling the Microbiome Award: How The Microbiome Destroyed the Ego, Vaccine Policy, and Patriarchy.  And, well, it certainly does.  This is just so so so so so painful I do not really even know what to say.

#ESA100 Have system -need science! The opportunities for green roof ecology

Feed: The EEB and flow

 Green roofs are now a mainstay of urban green infrastructure and a tool to promote sustainable urban development. A number of municipalities, including Toronto-where I live, now have bylaws or policies requiring green roofs on certain types of infrastructure. The rationale for these requirements is that green roofs provide direct energy savings, reduce albedo, reduce storm water runoff, and support other ecosystem functions and provide wildlife habitat. But it is these last two –the ecological benefits, though often touted, lack clear evidence.

#ESA100 Declining mysticism: predicting restoration outcomes.

Feed: The EEB and flow

Habitat restoration literature is full of cases where the outcomes of restoration activities are unpredictable, or where multiple sites diverge from one another despite identical initial restoration activities. This apparent unpredictability in restoration outcomes is often attributed to undetected variation in site conditions or history, and thus have a mystical quality where the true factors affecting restoration are just beyond our intellect.

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