Dr. Eleanor and friends have a fun new blog called Buzz Hoot Roar. In each post, they explain a scientific concept that interests or excites them (for example, the best thing about baby ants) in 300 words or less, and then work with graphic artists to illustrate it in a snazzy, jazzy way. We’re SUPER FANS and think you should be too – Below, Dr. Eleanor explains why she’s melding science and art together in this really cool and innovative way.
Ever since the folks in the Middle Ages revolutionized medicine by peeking into corpses, scientists have [...]
In this guest post, Dan Fergus, a researcher at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, picks up where Rob left off in the previous post, explaining how we use genetics and molecular biology to see the invisible life that covers our bodies and homes.
Many of you have participated in one of our microbiome projects, using sterile swabs to collect bacteria and archaea from your pillow, your doorframes, or even your belly button. You then close that swab back in its tube, seal it in an envelope and anxiously wait to learn the identity [...]
and it is focused on your toilet seat…
My grandmother, Barbara, often talked about growing up in a bedroom that was an observatory. She also, in her telling, sat on Faulkner’s front lawn and listened to him tell stories and swam in a small pond with her siblings while a man with one arm stood guard, shotgun in that one good arm in case he had to shoot a water moccasin. Most of these stories have, amazingly, proven to be true, but the one I could never make sense of was the idea that she grew up sleeping in an [...]
We’re continuing to explore new climate data collected inside and outside homes across the United States. Starting in March 2013, 50 participants in the Wild Life of Our Homes project kindly installed small data loggers inside and outside their home to record temperature and humidity.
We recently downloaded the first three months of collected data, and with each new pass at the data, we’re finding interesting relationships and patterns. Check out this new figure produced by Lauren Nichols:
Here you can see the average [...]
Our houses modify the climate around them. In great densities, our houses and other buildings can change weather patterns. Urbanization increases temperatures. It can also affect storms. Atlanta, Georgia actually causes lightning to form that would not otherwise exist. If one wanted evidence that we were messing with Zeus, this seems to be it. Cities change the weather outside, but what about the weather inside?
A single house on its own can create new climate conditions, conditions far different from those outside the front door (We love to be comfortable). But just how different? Ecologists have spent centuries characterizing [...]
In this post, our School of Ants guru Lauren Nichols answers a recent query from a family participating in SOA.
“Can you tell me why it’s important to collect data on these ants?” — Shelli & Son
This is a simple question we received by email last week from a family participating in School of Ants. I have to admit, I actually scanned our entire website, certain that we must have answered this in writing somewhere. Needless to say, I couldn’t find it – somehow we managed to overlook addressing this Very Important Question. I started crafting a brief [...]
Earlier in the week, Rob posted an open letter to the high school students who visited the lab to participate in a research opportunity studying face mites.
He reflected on how his teenage self perceived science, and how far off that perception was from the science he lives and breathes now. Go read it, if you haven’t already – he shares some important reminders for all of us, even those well beyond our teenage years.
Later on Twitter, Rob asked other scientists what they might say to the teenage version of themselves about a career in science.
Here’s a collection [...]
One of the most interesting findings in this paper was that the presence or absence of a dog in a home explained nearly half of the variation in the bacterial composition on the pillows and TV screens in the houses we studied.
As Rob explained in a recent blog post, the pillows in dog homes tended to have bacteria associated with dog mouths (such as [...]
Today, the Your Wild Life team took a cicada safari to Greensboro to collect some dead cicadas for the Urban Buzz project. We figured we couldn’t ask you all to do the heavy lift, without contributing a few data points ourselves.
And in the process of collecting, we learned a few things:
- As we noted on our first trip to Greensboro, dead cicadas are pretty easy to come by – We had good luck finding them near the edge of yards, close to curbs, and under “mother-lode” trees where emergence had been particularly intense (as evident by piles [...]