An Introduction to Aeroallergens

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Pollen is a microscopic grain discharged from the male part of a flower or from a male cone that can fertilize the female ovule.

Plants have evolved to have their pollen be transported either by the wind, or by insects or other animals. Insect and animal pollinated plants are not considered to be aeroallergens, not because people aren’t allergic to them, but because the pollen from those plants are not designed to be distributed in the air Continue reading

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Why Are There So Many Kinds of Plants?

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Welcome to guest blogger, USF Botany Professor Fred Essig

Estimates vary, but there are about 300,000 named species of plants, with more being discovered daily.  There may ultimately be as many as 500,000, if and when all are catalogued. Some botanists include some 10,000 species of red and green algae in such estimates, but others include only the land plants. Either way, it’s a lot. Continue reading

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The Real Causes of Obesity?

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A very warm welcome to noted human performance expert and Mayo Clinic physician, Dr. Michael Joyner

Is Obesity Research a Dead End?

Obesity is a big public health problem. Currently about two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese. While this rate appears to be stabilizing, it is also likely to have a big impact on early mortality and be an overall drag on public health statistics [MJJ1] in the United States.  Continue reading

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Aerobiology and Allergies

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Welcome to guest blogger,  Aerobiology researcher Frances Coates.

Asthma and allergies are becoming more and more prominent in society and outdoor allergens like ragweed and birch take their toll on the economy and those who have to deal with them.  A report from Health Canada indicates that asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions affecting Canadians, and since this is probably true of most countries, it explains why research in this field has such far reaching implications.  Continue reading

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Nuts About Nudibranchs

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Welcome to guest blogger, marine biologist Sam Craven, from Mad As A Marine Biologist.

As a marine biologist and a diver I feel incredibly privileged to have seen many of the delightful examples of life that the most biodiverse ecosystem on our planet, the coral reefs, have to offer, but nothing has kept by attention and enthusiasm as much as the group of shell-less molluscs, the nudibranchs. Continue reading

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“Do Big Viruses Really Make You Sick?”

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Welcome to guest blogger, noted biologist Alan Cann

For most of my research career, I worked on viruses with small genomes, such as poliovirus and HIV. For me, the attraction of these viruses is that it is easier to understand all the interactions that go on within a small genome than with an unfeasibly large genome such as that of a cell.

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Bacteria to Diesel?!

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U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered a microbe now being used to produce biodegradable plastic into a strain that can produce advanced biofuel.

More at:

http://dailyfusion.net/2013/07/new-microbe-strain-makes-diesel-fuel-from-greenhouse-gas-15540/

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Useful Mobile Bio Apps

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Gregg Clark at Saint Louis University has compiled a comprehensive list of useful biology apps.

http://libguides.slu.edu/content.php?pid=279697&sid=2303749

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Free Online Biology Courses

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For those who weren’t aware of it, MIT and Saylor are offering free Biology courses online.

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/biology/index.htm

http://www.saylor.org/majors/biology/?gclid=CPakhM3I0bgCFeXMtAodOBkA-Q

Happy Learning!

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1905: Einstein’s Annus Mirabilis

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Here is an interesting article from “sent2null” written by David Saintloth, regarding Einstein’s uncanny output in 1905. Not exactly biological in origin, but Einstein as a scientist is an inspiration to all.

1905 was a great year for physics, in this year a 24 year old patent examiner in Bern Switzerland published 4 fundamental papers in physics in 4 disparate areas of the field. The topics included special relativity, the relationship between energy and matter, Brownian Motion and the subject of this post, the photo electric effect.

The photo electric effect paper by Einstein was probably the most practical paper next to the brownian motion paper in that it provided an answer to a long standing problem in electromagnetic theory at the time that had stood as an embarrassment to particle physics. This embarrasment was a legacy of the work of James Clerk Maxwell and his fundamental equations of electromagnetism, by using a continuous wave analog to describe the energy of propagating fields Maxwell was able to do the astonishing, he explained the riddle that was the relationship between electricity and magnetism in clear mathematical terms and he was able to show how light must be itself an electromagnetic wave by showing that all such waves are limited by the speed of light “c” or roughly 186,000 miles per second.

For the rest of the article:  http://sent2null.blogspot.co.il/2009/11/1905-annus-mirabilus-photo-electric.html

 

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