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Cowbirds in Love. One of the kindest things a person can do for me is allow me to talk their ear off about cowbirds.

Cowbirds in Love

So if you read that whole comic, thank you! But if we are ever hanging out and you want to do me a favor, trust me, I still have more stuff to say about cowbirds. I barely even touched on cowbird evolution or cowbird development! They are a really, really, fascinating animal! Untitled. Populus tremuloides Michx.


Bird Song Hero Tutorial. The new, visual way to learn bird songs.

Bird Song Hero Tutorial

Train your brain to recognize over 50 bird songs with the Bird Song Hero matching game. Listen closely to featured songs and match each with the correct spectrogram visualization. You’ll be harnessing the power of the visual brain to help you identify the unique qualities of each song and commit sound patterns to memory. Bird Song Hero is a fun way to practice the key skills you need to ID all the bird songs you’re curious about.

Sections inside: This short introduction to Bird Song Hero trains you to interpret spectrograms, the sound visualizations scientists use to help them understand sound patterns. Remarkable biology from a backyard bird! Birdsong and human speech turn out to be controlled by the same genes. What Does Viper Venom Do To Blood? Snakes routinely make the top 10 list of things people are afraid of, so it might surprise many of you to know that about 85% of snakes worldwide are not venomous.

What Does Viper Venom Do To Blood?

In fact, of the 2,700 known species of snakes, only about 30 of them pose any kind of danger to humans. But, given the amount of damage that a snake bite can inflict, it’s probably not very surprising that a few are giving the others a bad reputation. Take Daboia russelii: an old world viper found throughout India and surrounding countries. Each year, Russell’s Vipers are responsible for thousands of deaths. Though there is a an effective antivenin available in the region, the widespread poverty and the fact that most bites happen in rural areas mean that not all victims are able to receive it. Immediately at the onset of the bite there is pain in the area, though blood begins to show up in the mouth within minutes and blood pressure will drop. Life of Mammals Pt.1: A Winning Design. BBC Weird Nature 3of6 Fantastic Feeding.avi. 1R0DRjH.jpg (530×353)

Inside a dead, infected ant. Inside a dead, infected ant So, by now you've all seen what a by Ophiocordyceps infected, manipulated and killed ant looks like: Published by Andersen et al. in The American Naturalist, 2009 But what does it look like from the inside?

Inside a dead, infected ant

Well, after the ant has been manipulated to go to an elevated position in the forest and has latched on to the foliage to secure it, its job as a vehicle for the fungus is done and its life ends. At this point the whole body is already filled with fungal cells surrounding the different tissues (brain, muscles, gut etc.). However, before the life cycle gets to this stage the fungal parasite first has to deal with all the different tissues inside its unfortunate host. The figure below depicts two infected ant head sections in which the many fungal cells sitting in between the otherwise so densely packed muscle cells can be seen: I only have 4 days left to reach my goal, so please consider donating!

Micro Monsters Episode 1. Live Wires. Today’s information age rests on a basic understanding of how electrons move.

Live Wires

The remarkable success of computers, cell phones, and other devices, such as solar cells, depends on our ability to mediate the flow of electrons through the semiconductors and microchips that control the function of these machines and give them their intelligence. But the importance of electron flow is by no means limited to these man-made systems; electron transfer is also central to energy storage and conversion in living cells. Organisms depend on the flow of electrons for key energy-generating cellular processes. Continuous electron flow is necessary for the formation of the electrochemical gradients that enable the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), life’s energy currency. In eukaryotes, including animals, this power generation is the specialty of mitochondria. Animals That Do Drugs.


Behavior. Ecology/Evolution. Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in action. of New England.pdf. Junk DNA — Not So Useless After All. Junk.

Junk DNA — Not So Useless After All

Barren. Non-functioning. Dark matter. That’s how scientists had described the 98% of human genome that lies between our 21,000 genes, ever since our DNA was first sequenced about a decade ago. The disappointment in those descriptors was intentional and palpable. It had been believed that the human genome — the underpinnings of the blueprint for the talking, empire-building, socially evolved species that we are — would be stuffed with sophisticated genes, coding for critical proteins of unparalleled complexity. But it turns out they were wrong. (MORE: Decoding Cancer: Scientists Release 520 Tumor Genomes from Pediatric Patients) ENCODE has revealed that some 80% of the human genome is biochemically active. (MORE: Why Genetic Tests Don’t Help Doctors Predict Your Risk of Disease) (MORE: Older Fathers’ Linked to Kids’ Autism, Schizophrenia Risk) Eager to put their new found scientific knowledge to work, scientists have already begun some of those studies.