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Eureka Alert! - 4 hours 47 min ago
(Wiley) Efforts must be made to decrease China's increasing cesarean section rate, suggests a new commentary published Aug. 20 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Biology News - Tue, 2014-08-19 18:16
Daylight was breaking over the central Pacific and coffee brewing aboard the MY Hanse Explorer. Between sips, about a dozen scientists strategized for the day ahead. Some would don wetsuits and slip below the surface to collect water samples around the southern Line Islands' numerous coral reefs. Others would tinker with the whirring gizmos and delicate machinery strewn throughout the 158-foot research vessel. All shared a single goal: Be the first research group to bring a DNA sequencer out into the field to do remote sequencing in real time. Against an ocean of odds, they succeeded.
Biology News - Tue, 2014-08-19 18:16
Handwashing with antibacterial soap exposes hospital workers to significant and potentially unsafe levels of triclosan, a widely-used chemical currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a study led by researchers from UC San Francisco.
Nature Newsblog - Fri, 2014-08-15 09:21
Mohammed Al Momany/NOAA
Don’t just gather data, do something. Scientists need to stop using a lack of knowledge as an excuse for not doing more to protect threatened species, a major gathering of marine conservationists has been warned.
“Science matters deeply, but we can’t let ourselves be trapped by the need to gather more data,” Amanda Vincent, a marine researcher at the University of British Columbia, told delegates at the opening of the International Marine Conservation Congress, which kicked off on 14 August in Glasgow, UK.
Vincent’s work with seahorses has involved fighting for better control of the international trade in these animals, many of which are endangered. Trade in seahorses is now restricted under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). If scientists had waited until they knew everything about every species – or even until they had enough data to propose detailed plans for managing catches in individual countries – this protection would never have arrived, she says.
Vincent told the meeting that every speaker who called for more data on a conservation issue should also be prepared to present a recommendation for something that could actually be done now.
Making an analogy with the medical profession, she told the meeting that doctors use all available evidence when deciding how to treat their patients, but when there is a lack of evidence for a particular condition they don’t generally stand by and do nothing. The oceans are under threat, says Vincent, and “you don’t do research while your patient is dying”.
She warned the gathering of conservation researchers that “we’re a bit weasely sometimes in hiding behind our lack of knowledge” and told them to “just get going”.
Follow the meeting on twitter via @dpcressey and #IMCC3
Ernst Mayr Library Blog - Wed, 2014-08-13 13:54
We were saddened to hear of the passing last week of J. Woodland “Woody” Hastings. He was a consummate scientist who did pioneering work in bioluminescence, quorum sensing, circadian rhythms, and more. But he was also a warm and generous human being, and he will be sorely missed.
The Library exhibit on Bioluminescence that was on display in the lobby of the Northwest Building last year was inspired by Woody’s work. The accompanying webguide (http://guides.library.harvard.edu/Bioluminescence) is dedicated to him.
For more information about Woody, visit the MCB webpage.