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By Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton College The other day, we attended a lecture called "Toxic and Venomous Marine Organisms." (Or something along the lines of "things that can kill you." You get the drift.) I learned something very important: Australia has many, many creatures that can kill the unsuspecting traveler. Don't get me wrong -- this is a wonderful country, and I love it here. But since we're doing fieldwork here, with a future emphasis on snorkeling, it pays to be careful. So, if you're curious, here are a few of the things I've learned about surviving in Australia -- and a few of the creatures that I'll be watching out for.
By Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton College Exactly a week ago, I arrived in Brisbane, Australia after close to 40 hours of travel. There was no time to sleep, though -- we arrived at 8 in the morning and got to work after roughly 48 hours with no sleep. When you travel to Australia, you lose a day because you cross the international dateline. Since I’m here studying ecology, I’m going to put up some more detailed information of Australian flora and fauna in my next few posts. For now, however, here’s a basic overview of the ecology of the Land Down Under.
Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton College I was lucky enough to interview Dr. Annie Bosacker, a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at Carleton College, who has done significant research studying babboons in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Her main research interest is in the social behavior of primates, specifically how social circumstances influence an individual's exposure to stress. Here, Dr. Bosacker speaks about her previous work, her interests in biology, and what it's like balancing a family and a successful career in biology.
Kaitlyn, Gerber, Carleton College For years, parental concerns regarding the dangers of heading the ball have been brushed off by players, coaches, and even FIFA, the international soccer federation. In 2001, a study conducted by the U.S. Soccer Federation and the UNC Orthopedic Clinic found that that intentionally heading the ball spreads out the impact over the entire body, minimizing risk of a concussion. But what if they were wrong?
By Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton College Earlier this year, JCPenny's immediately discontinued a t-shirt from their store that read "I'm too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me." Customers complained that the shirt was sexist and -- more importantly -- that it conveyed the message that girls are not as intelligent as boys. But while these items may cater to a dated stereotype, they inadvertently bring up an important issue in today's society: why is there still a "gender gap" between men and women when it comes to science and technology? Could it really be that, genetically, girls are inferior when it comes to doing math?
By Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton College Scientists have long known that the lungfish, a four-legged freshwater fish that can breathe through lungs as well as gills, is evolutionarily unique. However, a team of researchers at the University of Chicago have made another startling discovery: lungfish can "walk," using their thin limbs to lift their bodies and propel themselves along the bottoms of streams and lakes.
By Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton College NASA's Kepler mission, which seeks to detect and analyze extraterrestrial planets of near-Earth size, has confirmed the existence of a planet that could be suitable for life. With a radius that is 2.4 times that of Earth, Kepler-22b is the smallest confirmed planet in the "habitable" zone, the region around a star where conditions could permit liquid water to form.
By Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton College What are the physical laws that govern our universe, and how can we explain distant phenomena using basic materials here on Earth? On Wednesday, July 26, the New York Academy of Sciences hosted Professor Brian Cox, of the University of Manchester, as he introduced his new book and its accompanying Science TV series, “Wonders of the Universe.”
By Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton CollegeA new study shows that no matter how good we think we are, more often than not, liars cannot suppress all signs of a lie. But if this is true, why aren't we better at detecting lies ourselves? And is the ability to lie really programmed into our genes?
By Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton CollegeAn extensive new study by the University of Exeter has confirmed the warning that no one wants to hear: if the current global warming trend continues, one out of every ten species could face extinction by the year 2100.
By Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton College After a decade of research, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have successfully transformed brain and skin cells into new heart cells, a discovery with amazing potential to fight America's leading killer of adults.
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By Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton CollegeWith the warmer weather comes a variety of so-called "health tips" for surviving the summer months. But which of these are really true, and which are simply urban myths?
By Kaitlyn Gerber, Carleton CollegeLast Saturday, an Exxon-Mobil pipeline ruptured, spilling up to 42,000 gallons (approximately 1,000 barrels) of crude oil into the Yellowstone River and forcing the evacuations of many nearby residents.
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