Field of Science

Scientia Pro Publica #36

Welcome to this edition of the Scientia Pro Publica. Without further ado, I present to you the amazing submissions I have received from the ever-growing science blogging community.

Bees are useful, no one is denying that.
Kerstin Hoppenhaus brings to our attention an interesting case in her post called 'pleasures of fact-checking'. "Some claims become so common that nobody bothers to cite sources anymore" she says. But if the claim is not true  then it goes against the basic principle of science because it's not the 'truth'. The particular claim that she explores is "One third of our food supply is dependant on the pollination that is done by honeybees". Is it really true? Find out for yourself on his post.

What the whale!
Bec Crew writes about an extinct species of the sperm whale family that was highlighted in a recent discovery. It was discovered that this species called Leviathan melvillei had 40 cm long teeth (in addition to the big body and the sperm whales that exist today do not have upper teeth and the lower teeth are much smaller ). Scientists believe that with such massive teeth, these whales were actually eating other smaller variety of whales. There is a fascinating video about this discovery made by Nature. To read more about it head to the post here. There is also a funny dinner conversation of the pre-historic times that comes at the end of the post. Don't miss it.

Evolution of the menopause
"Men can keep churning out the sperm in their old age, but women can sometimes live twice as long (or more!) as their fertile years! Is it just me, or is that cool?" asks EcoPhysioMichelle. Head to the post to read more.

Sex reduces anxiety, no kidding!
It's EcoPhysioMichelle again who says "Sex and exercise have similar positive effects on the brain" and that "the harmful effects of physically stressful behaviors may be overridden if the behavior itself evokes pleasure in the individual". So, sex gets less stressful the more you have it. Read more here.

What's hot in science, literally!

The post written by Thomas is called Hotties of Science. And of course, he starts with the women in science and their 'hotness', then moving to the really hot things in science. Read more here.

Do language universals exist?
My co-blogger at Field of Science, Games with Words, explores the question "Is there an underlying structure (that is) common to all languages?" in his post.

How do we know what we know about protein function?
Iddo Friedberg, assistant professor at Miami University has devised a wicked plan to help understand and develop better tools for predicting protein function. Head to the post to read more.

I'm a scientist, get me out of here!
An idea taken from the hugely popular show, 'I'm a scientist, get me out of here' aims to help school students interact with real scientists in a reality game show format. Professor Stephen Curry of Imperial College London won the 2010 event and writes about his experience in this post.

Geology on an epic scale
The image shows a new vent that burnt through a parking lot in Yellowstone National Park. Chris Rowan writes about the origin of the Park which "encompasses the giant caldera of a hotspot-fuelled ‘supervolcano’ that last exploded 630,000 years ago". Read more here.
In the name of science, we dive!
People do all sorts of things for the love of science. Heather Olins, a graduate student at Harvard University dives to study deep ocean microbes situated close to hydrothermal vents. Pretty cool, eh? Read about his first dive here.

You just can't trust dolphins
Chuck explains that when people care more about "cute" animals, it's bad for science and conservation. Read his post here.

Play with Sharks. Yes, really!
David a shark biologist recently invoked the divine powers of citizen science to help him with a project while they learned something about sharks and their important role in our oceans, and (at least a few) went home and told their friends and family. Read his post here.

Save us
Thonoir of ninjameys is writing a series of posts on Endangered Species 2010 and in this carnival he highlights his post on arthropods. Read more here.

Colours are pretty and so are birds
John writes about a research done Piping Plover birds who were banded with different coloured bands and their migration tracked. Read more here.

Students and Social NetworksAre they very well behaved college students or is the media lying about youngsters waisting their precious time on the Internet. What do you think? Read here.

Science is a mystery, one that we love
Andrew of 360 degree skeptic writes about how a study on gender differences came up with some surprising findings. Read here.

What's so great about modeling?
This post is not about fashion. Why do we make models of things? Why do some scientists spend time making and analyzing mathematical and numerical models of systems and processes in nature? Read here to find out the answers.

Plagiarism at the BBC
The headline says it all. I feel sorry to read this, have a lot of respect for BBC.

Heroin in Vietnam
Dirk explores the results of the Robins Study which was responsible for turning the official story of heroin completely upside down. Read here.

Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog 
The blog features two posts on detoxifying cassava and on looking for leimotifs in the early history of wheat and rice.

Useful links for our readers:
Scientia pro publica blog, twitter
To submit articles to this carnival click here.
To become a host of this carnival click here.
Scientia Pro Publica #37 will be hosted here

Picture credits can be found on the respective posts


  1. Nice job Akshat - and many thanks for including my post. Will hopefully encourage some people to sign up for the next round of I'm a scientist!

  2. A very nice collection Akshat, thanks!

    Your report from "I'm a scientist" really sounds like enormous fun (and some enormous extra-work as well ;-) ) I am not a scientist, but I would have loved to take part on the students' side of the whole thing and to get to ask all those questions to some really smart people!

  3. Thanks guys for writing great posts. :)

  4. what a great selection. so glad I bumbled my way over here

  5. I am really glad to hear that Stratoz. You are welcome to come back for more.


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