Women are cheaters too. A look into female extra-pair copulations with other males

Sometimes, females will sneak off and copulate with males who might have better genes, while their normal mate is a better father (in terms of effort, territory and resources). The theory is that the females do this as a way to potentially increase the quality of her offspring (if some happen to be fathered by the extra male), but retaining the highest quality father. These… Read More

What’s the role of “ignorance” in science?

Stuart Firestein was the guest speaker at this month’s Secret Science Club. His area of research is neuroscience and the olfactory system, but at this talk he discussed his ideas on ignorance and how it is important for driving scientific research. Ignorance, according to Firestein, is what drives science because discoveries do not happen as a result of sequential studies and reasoning. It is more… Read More

The most high profile conference I’ve ever been to

International Civil Aviation Organization

Today is the second day of the meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)’s advisory body, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), in its 16th meeting (SBSTTA 16). This body makes recommendations for implementation of the Convention. There is an estimated 600 people here, with delegates and parties representing around 150 – 190 countries, and also attendees representing international organizations… Read More

The controversy over H5N1 research

Prominent researchers gathered on Feb. 2nd, 2012 for a panel discussion, sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), to discuss the moratorium on H5N1 research. Should researchers publish their studies? Would it be a threat to security if the wrong people were able to use their findings? As much as academia may think that they are insulated against modern affairs, what they do… Read More

Crowd-funding science projects through SciFund and RocketHub

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! In the giving mood? SciFund and RocketHub have teamed up to raise funding for over 50 diverse science projects. This is a bit like Kiva if you are familiar with microfinancing, except that this is straight giving and not loaning. They also offer rewards for different levels of giving, similar to some other giving sites like Kickstarter. Projects range from microbiology to… Read More

Migrating birds spreading a protozoal disease!

You may have heard about avian flu, and how migratory birds may be spreading the virus around and potentially allowing for new strains to emerge, but you may not have heard about birds carrying disease causing protozoans. In this peer-reviewed journal article published by EcoHealth, researchers are able to connect the migration of birds through Europe to the emergence of Trichomonosis in several places, such… Read More