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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 …
12 September 2018
By Shane M Hanlon Global warming is a political issue. It shouldn’t be, but it is. I recently wrote a post about it that outlined political views on the subject, probably best summarized by this1: Takeaway: majority of folks think that global warming is happening but views vary widely based on political affiliation. You might ask, “Yeah, but there are a bunch of different people in political parties. What about …
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
30 July 2018
By Sriparna Saha “You are so creative.” I cease to remember the number of times this label has been attached to me. I’ve always had an innate passion towards art but when the time came to choose a profession, I chose to pursue science. Some people m ight argue that science and creativity are disparate entities, but I believe that science is rooted in creativity and runs on imagination. Creativity in science …
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 …
17 July 2018
The end of the guinea worm’s life cycle looks like a scene from a horror movie: a thin, slimy creature emerging from lesions on the legs of the infected.
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.