The USDA Invests in Biology Education
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) might not come to mind when biology educators are searching for funding to support innovative projects, but the agency turns out to be a welcome partner in the field. In early 2013, the USDA joined other federal agencies and private funders in supporting the second Vision and Change in Biology Education conference. As Muquarrab Qureshi, assistant director of the USDA's Institute of Youth, Family, and Community, explained in an opening presentation, the USDA is concerned about the disparity between the high level of interest in science among younger students and the low number of coll...
Source: Eye on Education - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: BioScience Source Type: news

How Kindling Catches Flame: U-MD Transforming Undergrad Biology Education
At lunchtime, during a busy fall-semester day at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), a conference room is soon filled with research and teaching faculty, laboratory instructors, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and education specialists. The diverse group gathers in the Biosciences Research Building on a regular basis to focus on one thing: improving students' conceptual understanding of host–pathogen interactions. Find out more here.       (Source: Eye on Education)
Source: Eye on Education - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: BioScience Source Type: news

Essential Ingredients for Sustaining Undergraduate Research Programs
During Nitya Jacob's postdoctoral teaching fellowship, she conducted research with undergraduate students. From then on, the molecular biologist wanted student research to be integral to her career as an educator and scientist. When Jacob took a faculty position at Oxford College of Emory University, the 2-year school had no summer research program for students. To learn more, click here.       (Source: Eye on Education)
Source: Eye on Education - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: BioScience Source Type: news

Networking to Boost the Skills of Graduate Teaching Assistants
When Elisabeth Schussler arrived at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, (UT) she used her knowledge of evidence-based teaching practices to revise the undergraduate biology laboratory curriculum. Unfortunately, she had little control over how the curriculum was delivered. Many graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) at UT have never taught before their appointment and are neither required nor have the time to attend professional development programs. "Ineffective teaching can derail good curriculum," says Schussler, who is an assistant professor and the director of biology teaching and learning. "If you don'...
Source: Eye on Education - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: BioScience Source Type: news

AIBS Study on Leading Change in Undergraduate Education
Advancing biology education has always been integral to the mission of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). As part of AIBS's long-range planning process, the Education Committee was charged with identifying how this key part of the mission could be fulfilled most effectively. The Committee met in 2011 to discuss priorities for undergraduate biology education, to consider how to leverage efforts across the biological societies, and to identify what niche AIBS is best positioned to fill. In December, the Committee made three recommendations to the Board of Directors, proposing that AIBS develop a prototype...
Source: Eye on Education - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: BioScience Source Type: news

PULSE: Implementing Change within and among Life Science Departments
Many efforts are under way to support individual faculty-member development and course revision to achieve the outcomes described in the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Vision and Change: A Call to Action (2011) report. For their contribution, staff from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH-NIGMS) wanted to support systemic institutional change for entire departments. To that end, they formed the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) to colla...
Source: Eye on Education - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: BioScience Source Type: news

Discovering the Biology Education Research Community
When Sarah Eddy began work on her doctoral thesis, she assumed that her main contribution would relate to her field of study—behavioral ecology and the sexual selection of salamanders—but one of her more significant discoveries had nothing to do with amphibians and everything to do with what was going on in the classroom. As a graduate teaching assistant at Oregon State University, she realized how important it was to her to see students truly improve their learning. "It was in trying to figure out how to help students achieve more that I discovered education research literature," she explained. Many ...
Source: Eye on Education - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: BioScience Source Type: news

Collaborations Grow through the Introductory Biology Project
When Elena Bray-Speth, assistant professor of biology at Saint Louis University, presented her case study on the evolution of fur color in mice, little did she know that someone in the audience had developed a case on the very same topic. That person was Jim Smith, principal investigator (PI) of Evo-Ed (http://lbc.msu.edu/evo-ed), a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project that currently houses four evolutionbased case studies. "Elena and I met just after her session and I showed her our cases," said Smith, who is a professor in the Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Entomology at Michigan State U...
Source: Eye on Education - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: BioScience Source Type: news

Community Colleges Giving Students a Framework for STEM Careers
Over the coming decade, our country will need one million more science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals than was originally projected. That is the conclusion of a February 2012 report, Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast-engage-to-excel-final_2-25-12.pdf), presented to President Obama by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The report stresses the importance of exciting early on students who are potent...
Source: Eye on Education - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: BioScience Source Type: news

New Insights into Animal-Borne Disease Outbreaks
In the wake of the recent Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, a reevaluation of the ways plague spreads through prairie dog colonies in the western United States has yielded insights that could help explain outbreaks of plague, Ebola, and other diseases that can be transmitted by animals to humans. These include West Nile Virus disease and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). The study, led by Dan Salkeld and Mike Antolin of Colorado State University and described in the journal BioScience, suggests that even deadly diseases may persist unnoticed in a population for years as smoldering infections, rather than jump fro...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Nitrogen Is a Neglected Threat to Biodiversity
Habitat destruction and the direct exploitation of species often occupy center stage in discussions of biodiversity perils. However, indirect harms, such as that posed by nitrogen pollution, remain underappreciated and poorly understood despite playing a key role in species declines. In an article for the journal BioScience, a team of environmental researchers led by Daniel Hernández of Carleton College, in Minnesota, outline the challenges associated with nitrogen. To better understand nitrogen-induced biodiversity imperilment, the authors surveyed 1400 species listed under the Endangered Species Act, finding a t...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Current Methods Cannot Predict Damage to Coral Reefs
The potentially devastating effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs are well reported. However, the methods used to evaluate the potential harm are often focused on individual species, viewed in isolation. According to an international research team led by Peter J. Edmunds of California State University, Northridge, this simplistic approach neglects broad-scale inter-species and inter-population dynamics that may have unforeseen consequences for ecosystems. "Most studies address the effects of ocean acidification on single species of corals and calcified algae in tanks," write the team members in an artic...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Hydropeaking Extirpates River Insects
Hydropower produces 19% of the world's electricity--far more than all other renewable sources combined. In the face of mounting climate-change effects, the rush to this profuse energy source is expected to continue. However, hydroelectric dams can also produce a number of environmental consequences, many of which are unrecognized or understudied. Writing in an article for BioScience, an interdisciplinary team led by Theodore A. Kennedy of the US Geological Survey identifies one such threat: these dams' ability to devastate aquatic insect populations and the food webs that those insects underpin. One of hydropower's be...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

AIBS Announces the Appointment of Scott Collins as BioScience Editor in Chief
AIBS is pleased to announce the appointment of Scott L. Collins to a three-year term as BioScience's editor in chief. He has held the position on an interim basis since April 2016, when he succeeded Timothy M. Beardsley. Collins, a Distinguished Professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma in 1981 and brings a wealth of experience to the position, both as a biologist and as a publications expert. In addition to his numerous academic positions, Collins served at the National Science Foundation as a Program Director for efforts ranging from Conservation and Resto...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Marine Ecosystems Show Resilience to Climate Disturbance
Climate-driven disturbances are having profound impacts on coastal ecosystems, with many crucial habitat-forming species in sharp decline. However, among these degraded biomes, examples of resilience are emerging. Writing in BioScience, Jennifer O'Leary, a California Sea Grant Marine Biologist based at California Polytechnic State University, and her colleagues describe these recoveries and highlight the possible implications for ecosystem-sparing management. To gain insight into disturbed coastal habitats, the authors surveyed 97 marine experts about their observations of climate-induced perturbations, including extreme ...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

The Redomestication of Wolves
On landscapes around the world, environmental change is bringing people and large carnivores together--but the union is not without its problems. Human-wildlife conflict is on the rise as development continues unabated and apex predators begin to reoccupy their former ranges. Further complicating matters, many of these species are now reliant on anthropogenic, or human, foods, including livestock, livestock and other ungulate carcasses, and garbage. Writing in BioScience, Thomas Newsome, of Deakin University and the University of Sydney, and his colleagues use gray wolves and other large predators as case studies to explo...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

The Benefits--and Potential Pitfalls--of Urban Green Spaces
With the rapid expansion of the urban landscape, successfully managing ecosystems in built areas has never been more important. However, our understanding of urban ecology is far from complete, and the data at hand are often patchy, leaving stakeholders without the tools they need to successfully manage human-affected ecosystems. Writing in BioScience, Christopher Lepczyk, a biologist working at Auburn University, and his colleagues discuss the future of urban biodiversity, highlighting trends and raising questions whose answers will be crucial for successful “green” management. According to the authors, manag...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Scientists Update Their " Warning to Humanity " on its Twenty-Fifth Anniversary
Scientists have long engaged the public and leaders on crucial matters of environmental stewardship. In 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists, along with more than 1500 signatories, issued the "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity," in which they argued that human impacts on the natural world were likely to lead to "vast human misery" and a planet that was "irretrievably mutilated." On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the landmark declaration, William J. Ripple, his colleagues, and over 15,000 signatories from 184 countries revisit the original warning in what they deem "A Second Notic...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Science Community Considers Approaches to Climate Disinformation
Despite overwhelming scientific agreement on the question of human-caused global warming, a major gap exists between this consensus and the public’s understanding of the issue. Writing in BioScience, Jeffrey A. Harvey, of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, and his colleagues examine the causes of the consensus gap, focusing on climate-denier Internet blogs and the ways in which they use topics such as Arctic sea ice extent and polar bear well-being to foment misapprehensions about climate change among the public. Harvey and his colleagues performed an analysis of 45 climate-denier blogs, noting that 80% relied pr...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

One Thing Leads to Another: Causal Chains Link Health, Development, and Conservation
The linkages between environmental health and human well-being are complex and dynamic, and researchers have developed numerous models for describing them. The models include attempts to bridge traditional academic boundaries, uniting fields of study under rubrics such as social-ecological frameworks, coupled human and natural systems, ecosystem services, and resilience theory. However, these efforts have been constrained by varying practices and a failure among practitioners to agree on consistent practices. Writing in BioScience, Jiangxiao Qiu of the University of Florida and his colleagues describe this state of affair...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Scientists Warn that Proposed US-Mexico Border Wall Threatens Biodiversity, Conservation
Amidst increased tensions over the US-Mexico border, a multinational group of over 2500 scientists have endorsed an article cautioning that a hardened barrier may produce devastating ecological effects while hampering binational conservation efforts. In the BioScience Viewpoint, a group led by Robert Peters, William J. Ripple, and Jennifer R. B. Miller call attention to ecological disturbances that could affect hundreds of terrestrial and aquatic species, notably including the Mexican gray wolf and Sonoran pronghorn. The authors argue that the border wall will harm wildlife populations by fragmenting, degrading, and elimi...
Source: BioScience Press Releases - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Upcoming Biology Education Conferences
The Life Discovery-Doing Science Conference is being organized by the Ecological Society of America, Botanical Society of America, Society for the Study of Evolution, and the Society for Economic Botany. March 15-16, 2013. St. Paul, MN. Develop new classroom materials with innovative biology educators at the BioQUEST Summer Workshop. June 10 - 16, 2013 Emory University Atlanta, GA Participate in hands-on workshops at the 2013 Annual Association for Biology Laboratory Educators (ABLE) Conference. June 25-28. Alberta, CA. Share your research and gain new knowledge at the Society for the Advancement of Biology ...
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: January/February Source Type: news

Get Involved
Share the efforts in your community that are advancing the Vision and Change recommendations and participate in the Change conference by submitting an abstract to AAAS by January 31st. Contribute your expertise to the Partnership in Undergraduate Life Science Education (PULSE) community. Learn about the working groups and join the conversation! Submit a proposal to the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) by March 20th to bring together researchers and educators focused on Interdisciplinary Integration within undergraduate education. Provide feedback on the second and final public draft of ...
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: January/February Source Type: news

New Publications and Reports
Learn about Disciplinary-Based Education Research (DBER) and the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER) in this month’s Eye on Education column in BioScience. Explore and use the new “Core Concepts and Learning Objectives in Plant Biology for Undergraduates” developed by the Botanical Society of America and the American Society for Plant Biology. Leadership for Interdisciplinary Learning: A Practical Guide to Mobilizing, Implementing, and Sustaining Campus Efforts, by Susan Elrod and Mary J. S. Roth, was published this fall by Project Kaleidoscope. Learn about th...
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: January/February Source Type: news

Attend a Conference
American Society for Microbiology’s Conference on Undergraduate Education, May 16-19 in Denver, CO. BioQUEST’s HHMI Quantitative Summer Conference, June 10-16 at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Annual Association for Biology Laboratory Educators (ABLE) Conference, June 25-28 at the University of Calgary in Alberta, CA. Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research 2013 National Meeting, July 11-14 at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Minneapolis, MN. National Association of Biology Teachers Professional Development Conference November 20-23 in Atlanta. GA. Annual Meeting of the Associ...
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: March/April Source Type: news

Upcoming Events
Project Kaleidoscope’s Transforming STEM Education: Inquiry, Innovation, Inclusion, and Evidence, Network for Academic Renewal Conference. October 31 - November 2, 2013. San Diego, California. National Association of Biology Teachers 2013 Professional Development Conference, November 20-23, 2013. Atlanta, Georgia Council on Undergraduate Research Biennial Conference. June 28-July 1st, 2014, Washington, DC. “Creating the Citizens of Tomorrow: Undergraduate Research for All.” Session proposals due November 15th, 2013.       (Source: Education Reports)
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: September/October Source Type: news

Professional Opportunities
Interested in bringing cutting-edge evolutionary science to your school and community? Apply to be a stop on NESCent’s 2014 Darwin Day Roadshow. For more information, please visit roadshow.nescent.org or contact Jory Weintraub (jory at nescent dot org). Deadline is Friday, November 27th. Interested in increasing knowledge and appreciation about insects? The Entomological Society of America and the Entomological Foundation are looking for scientists to help with their free workshop for teachers and an Insect Rodeo in conjunction with their annual meeting November 10-13, 2013 in Austin, Texas. Improve your ability ...
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: September/October Source Type: news

From AIBS
Are you leading transformations to the undergraduate biology program at your institution? If so, tell AIBS about your role, experiences with leadership development, and further needs by taking the Faculty Leadership Development Survey before November 5th. Do you work with graduate student teaching assistants? Read the latest “Eye on Education” column in BioScience to learn about a new network focused on improving graduate teaching assistants’ professional development and how you can become a part of the network.       (Source: Education Reports)
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: September/October Source Type: news

Attend a Conference
Association for Biology Laboratory Education 36th Annual Meeting, June 17-20, 2014, Eugene, OR Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research National Meeting July 17-20, 2014 Twin Cities, MN Council for Undergraduate Research 2014 Conference: “Creating Citizens of Tomorrow: Undergraduate Research for All’” June 28-July 1, 2014, Washington, DC 2nd Life Discovery-Doing Science Education Conference: “Realizing Vision & Change, Preparing for Next Generation Biology,” October 3-4, 2014, San José State University, San José CA     Re...
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: January/February Source Type: news

Networking Opportunities
The Partnership for Undergraduate Life Science Education (PULSE) has over 1200 members! Do you want to network with other PULSErs in your region committed to changing the practices of undergraduate life sciences education? If so, check out the PULSE Community Overview to find people near you. The Biology Teaching Assistant Project (BioTAP) is a new network for individuals who support and provide professional development for graduate teaching assistants. Visit the site to learn about the network and join the BioTAP listerv to share resources and ideas to develop GTA teaching skills to transform introductory courses and tra...
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: January/February Source Type: news

Share Your Work
Do you have a teaching resource or program that is suitable, scalable, and adaptable to secondary and post-secondary levels of education in addressing the objectives of both the K12 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Vision and Change for Undergraduate Biology Education? Submit your session idea before February 28th to present at the 2nd Annual Life Discovery - Doing Science Conference. The Association for Biology Laboratory Educators is calling for proposals from individuals interested in presenting mini-workshops and posters. Deadlines are March 15th and April 2nd respectively. The National Evolutionary S...
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: January/February Source Type: news

New from AIBS
Learn about the USDA’s commitment to improving undergraduate life science education and read about available funding opportunities in The USDA Invests in Biology Education, published in the January issue of BioScience. Read two recent education articles published in BioScience. One provides insights into How Students Think about Experimental Design: Novel Conceptions Revealed by in-Class Activities, by Sarah E. Brownell et al, and the other shares strategies for Improving Higher-Order Thinking and Knowledge Retention in Environmental Science Teaching, by Marion Dresner et al. Find out how the current labor market i...
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: January/February Source Type: news

Attend A Conference
2nd Life Discovery-Doing Science Education Conference. “Realizing Vision & Change, Preparing for Next Generation Biology” October 3-4, 2014. San José State University, San José CA. Association for Biology Laboratory Education 36th Annual Meeting. June 17-20, 2014. Eugene, OR Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research National Meeting. July 17-20, 2014. Twin Cities, MN Council for Undergraduate Research 2014 Conference. “Creating Citizens of Tomorrow: Undergraduate Research for All.” June 28-July 1, 2014. Washington, DC     Related Storie...
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: April/May Source Type: news

Developing an Interdisciplinary Program
Join BioQUEST at the new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory at the University of Delaware from June 21-28 for a week of exploring effective pedagogies to engage undergraduates in quantitative explorations of the natural sciences. BioQUEST workshops are ideal for two- and four-year faculty interested in exploring improved methods for teaching biology and other STEM subjects. For more information, visit Interdisciplinary STEM Education for Millennial Students and be sure to register by the May 9th deadline.     Related StoriesAttend A ConferenceUnderstanding Teaching PracticesSupporti...
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: April/May Source Type: news

Training Graduate Students to have Broader Impacts
Learn how the biology department at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed a course to teach science communication and outreach to their graduate students in “Amplify the Signal: Graduate Training in Broader Impacts of Scientific Research”, available via Advance Access with a subscription to BioScience.     Related StoriesAttend A ConferenceUnderstanding Teaching PracticesDeveloping an Interdisciplinary Program  (Source: Education Reports)
Source: Education Reports - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Tags: April/May Source Type: news

Scientists rewrite mice DNA so genes can be spread through species
Controversial procedure has huge potential to combat diseases such as malariaA controversial procedure that can spread particular genes through an entire wild species has been demonstrated in mammals for the first time.Researchers in the US showed that a “gene drive” could rewrite the genetic makeup of mice so that the rodents carried DNA that had been designed by the scientists.Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 23, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Ian Sample Science editor Tags: Genetics Science US news Biology World news Malaria Insects Environment Source Type: news

Climate change will affect the ratio of male-to-female newborns, scientists say
Global warming will have a variety of effects on our planet, yet it may also directly impact our human biology, research suggests. (Source: CNN.com - Health)
Source: CNN.com - Health - January 23, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

New vaccine offers fresh take on malaria fight
(Oregon Health& Science University) Early research on a new approach to protecting against malaria is offering promising, potentially long-lasting results against the persistent parasite that sickens hundreds of millions people each year. The approach uses a cytomegalovirus-based platform that's already being used in vaccines being developed to battle HIV and tuberculosis. This new vaccine reduced the malaria-causing parasite's release from the liver and into the blood of infected rhesus macaques by 75 to 80 percent, reports a paper published in the journal PLOS ONE. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Dual control: Plant peptide hormone generates distinct cell structures for water flow
(Osaka University) An international collaboration including Osaka University researchers has found that a peptide hormone regulates two different cell division processes that generate centrally important structures for the flow of water through plants. By binding to different receptors, the hormone controls the formation of not only xylem (the vessels that transport water up from the roots), but also stomata (the leaf pores through which water evaporates). (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

High-protein rice brings value, nutrition
(American Society of Agronomy) A new advanced line of rice, with higher yield, is ready for final field testing prior to release. On average, it has a protein content of 10.6 percent, a 53 percent increase from its original protein content. It also needs less heat, time, and usually less water to cook. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Plants can smell, now researchers know how
(University of Tokyo) Plants don't need noses to smell. The ability is in their genes. Researchers at the University of Tokyo have discovered the first steps of how information from odor molecules changes gene expression in plants. Manipulating plants' odor detection systems may lead to new ways of influencing plant behavior. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

New 3D nanoprinting strategy opens door to revolution in medicine, robotics
(University of Maryland) Engineers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have created the first 3D-printed fluid circuit element so tiny that 10 could rest on the width of a human hair. The diode ensures fluids move in only a single direction -- a critical feature for products like implantable devices that release therapies directly into the body. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Conservation efforts help some rare birds more than others, study finds
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Land conservation programs that have converted tens of thousands of acres of agricultural land in Illinois back to a more natural state appear to have helped some rare birds increase their populations to historic levels, a new study finds. Other bird species with wider geographic ranges have not fared as well, however. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

NC state researchers create 3D-printed soft mesh robots
(North Carolina State University) Researchers at North Carolina State University have created 3D-printed flexible mesh structures that can be controlled with applied magnetic fields while floating on water. The structures can grab small objects and carry water droplets, giving them the potential to be useful as soft robots that mimic creatures living on water surfaces or that can serve as tissue scaffolds for cell cultures. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

An icy forecast for ringed seal populations
(Ecological Society of America) Scientists have already observed and predicted that high ringed seal pup mortality rates are linked to poor environmental conditions like early ice breakup and low snow. Researchers have now gone a step further by coupling these hypotheses with forecasts of future spring snow and ice conditions, developing a mathematical model, and following it to some stark conclusions for populations off the Amundsen Gulf and Prince Albert Sound in Canada. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Astronomers find star material could be building block of life
(Queen Mary University of London) An organic molecule detected in the material from which a star forms could shed light on how life emerged on Earth, according to new research led by Queen Mary University of London. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

When species compete, physical structures and ecological relationships matter
(University of Oregon) When competing for limited resources, structures in an environment can be the difference between species coexisting or one species eliminating another. Relationships between species are important, too. Scientists have suspected that there is a deep relationship between biodiversity and physical structure, but nailing down that relationship has been elusive. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

When coral species vanish, their absence can imperil surviving corals
(Georgia Institute of Technology) As coral species die off, they may be leaving a death spiral in their wake: Their absence could be sapping life from the corals that survive. In a new study, when isolated from other species, corals got weak, died off or grew in fragile structures. The study has shown it is possible to quantify positive effects of coral biodiversity and negative effects of its absence. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Chemists warm up to preprint servers
(American Chemical Society) Preprint servers -- online sites that post scientific manuscripts for free, prior to peer review -- are well-established in fields such as physics and biology. More recently, two chemistry preprint servers, ChemRxiv and ChemRN, were launched. Although some chemists were initially skeptical, more are now embracing the idea of sharing their discoveries with the world before peer review, according to an article in Chemical& Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society. (Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science)
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - January 23, 2019 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Copy cats: When is a bobcat not a bobcat?
(University of British Columbia Okanagan campus) Two UBC Okanagan biologists, who have publicly solicited images of wild cats for their research, have answered that question. Their recently published study explains how hard it can be when it comes to wildlife classification -- even experts have difficulty agreeing on whether a cat in a picture is a bobcat or a lynx. (Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science)
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - January 23, 2019 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news