Gluten is a protein in wheat that's become associated with malnutrition, weight gain, and fatigue. But is there a kernel of truth to these claims? Learn about what gluten it is, why it causes problems, and whether or not there is cause for concern.Read More
We are a collection of researchers working in a wide variety of fields including microbiology, ecology, agriculture, dairy science, marine biology, and the philosophy of science.
What do we have in common? A desire to bring science in easily digestible and understandable pieces for those who are interested.
The Tsavo River. Running east from the border between Tanzania and Kenya, its waters are teeming with life surrounded by vast grasslands. This serene habitat holds a terror-filled story within its natural history; one which combines human intervention, habitat ecology, animal behavior, and the taste of human flesh. Dig in.Read More
Why does a plant grow a new leaf? Or start to flower? Or send out a branch of new roots? What tells a plant to - go? For centuries these underlying questions have employed plant physiologists; Prior to plant physiology even becoming a field of study.Read More
Horizontal pupils slit the bulbous eyes swivelling in a large alien head, floating above a bizarre tangle of arms rippling with color. Some species glow, others can kill you with a poison they don’t even make, but how much do you know about the basic morphology of these charismatic creatures?Read More
Fungal taxonomy may not be the world's most exciting subject, but those whom it does interest approach it with a passion. Over centuries of identification, classification, intense debate, and re-classification, even the most obscure fungi can end up with colorful histories that raise important philosophical questions about how we deal with the problem of naming things. Take a journey into the past with a shelf fungus called Ganoderma applanatum and see biology evolve from a gentleman's hobby into a complex science.Read More
Those of us living in temperate climates are all too familiar with the change of the seasons, but how much do we know about the biochemical changes that result in this vivid change in scenery? This FTDM post describes one of many molecules involved in leaf color composition: anthocyanins.
Photo credit: How Stuff WorksRead More
For those of us who live near the ocean or a large body of water, we follow the motion of the ocean; we plan our fishing trips around it, we SCUBA dive in, and we also predict on how devastating a potential coastal flooding could be. Governed by the sun, moon, and earth's rotation, natural forces like tides affect not only how us humans plan, but also how marine animals live. Learn about these natural forces and how it sets life by (and in) the ocean to a rhythm and in motion.Read More
An organism's genome is much more than a blueprint for its development. All along the double helix lie remnants of its ancestors, the half-buried and weather-scarred bricks of the evolutionary road its lineage traveled. In this post, learn how genes from modern fungi were used to determine the origin of the white rot group, which was responsible for solving an ancient environmental crisis.Read More
If you've been following the series, then you should know about some pretty weird forms of sexual reproduction. I want to take a step back from the specific mechanisms and talk about one of the key components of sexual reproduction: mating types.Read More