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12 October 2018
By Kathy Kelsey As a kid in school, I learned the narrative of the scientific method: a scientist makes an observation about the world which inspires a question, they pose a hypothesis, carry out an experiment, and produce and share their results. Now that I am a practicing scientist I have learned that this narrative neglects a key component: the process of building consensus among scientists. It’s important that we …
11 September 2018
As some of you might be aware, we have a (freaking awesome) Instagram account that features many of our scientists showing us their field sites, labs, outreach activities, etc. (if you’re not aware, you should really check it out). In addition to Instagram, we like to feature scientists in the field via our Postcards from the Field campaign through our Tumblr account. where scientists share stories and photos from their field experiences.
2 August 2018
Americans have strong feelings about climate change. In addition to political affiliation, it turns out that how old you are can influence the degree to which you accept human-influenced clinate change
25 July 2018
This is part of a series of posts from our own Shane Hanlon’s disease ecology class that he’s currently teaching at the University of Pittsburgh Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology. Students were asked to write popular science posts about (mostly) wildlife diseases. Check out all the posts here. By Victoria Wright Black lung disease is making a come-back. Characterized by shortness of breath and hypoxemia, a recent NPR article explains that not only are …
23 July 2018
This is part of a series of posts from our own Shane Hanlon’s disease ecology class that he’s currently teaching at the University of Pittsburgh Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology. Students were asked to write popular science posts about (mostly) wildlife diseases. Check out all the posts here. By Kausthubha Yaratha Since the postbellum period, Americans south of the Mason Dixon line have been widely stereotyped as lazy and unmotivated. Academics of the 20th …
16 July 2018
Bugs can be scary. Bugs can be especially scary when they are in your bed.
13 July 2018
Over the course of history humans have created hundreds of specialized breeds, each bread for a specific purpose, and originating from all corners of the globe. However, due to having such low ancestry in common, more recently scientists have begun to point to Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor (CTVT) disease as the most likely cause of the almost extinction of American dog breeds either before or during European arrival in the 15th century.
12 July 2018
In the 1950s, the Gros Michel banana was the most-exported banana in the world until a fungus known as banana wilt ravaged the banana population. The banana that we eat today is the Cavendish and is the replacement for the Gros Michel after it was led into near extinction by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum. It’s spreading across Southeast Asia, Australia and the Middle East, where bananas are grown. In the 1950s the banana industry almost completely collapsed because of the fungus, and through switching to the Cavendish they were able to keep the industry going. The banana is being infected by the fungus once again.
11 July 2018
In recent years, amphibians all over the world have been dying to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, affectionately referred to as BD. The fungus has been spreading at an alarming rate, and the death toll is rising. The sudden and dramatic outbreak of BD around the world has prompted a large-scale research effort to locate the origin of the fungus, which may reveal the genetic lineage of the fungus, as well as give us insight into preventing further spread of the disease.
10 July 2018
The Fore tribe in Papua New Guinea has a long history of ritualistic cannibalism, resulting in a crippling outbreak of a degenerative brain disease called Kuru in the 1950’s. The epidemic devestated the tribe, but some survivors of the Kuru epidemic are now found to show signs of evolved Kuru resistance and possibly other degenerative neurological diseases.