This Week’s Good Reads: Long-Term Experiments, Symbioses, and Turtle Shells

1) Jeremy Fox did a great Q & A with Richard Lenski, who is best known for his Long-Term Evolution Experiment following colonies of E. coli since 1988. Lenski lends insight into the art of asking experimental questions, the challenges and promise of long-term experiments, and what questions he has answered and still hopes to answer with this project with no end.


From Here to Eternity–The Theory and Practice of a Really Long Experiment, PLoS Biology, Jeremy Fox and Richard Lenski

2) Rick Borchelt summarizes the findings of two new science communication studies:

How do millennials consume news?
“The key for those of us who want our news to be part of the information diets of Millennials is to match their assessments of which experts and what institutions become trusted information sources.”

Do hostile media perceptions affect action?
“the take-home message for communicators seems to be that rallying against hostile media may be an effective way to boost activism, albeit incrementally.”

Minding Millennials, Media Bias, ScienceWriters, Rick Borchelt

3) Great science communication satire here: Upvote This Post, Pleeease!, Bryn Nelson, The Last Word on Nothing


4) The Gordon Research Center’s Meeting on Animal-Microbe Symbioses happened this past week. A few people were tweeting at #GRC2015, although that hashtag appears to be confused with several different meetings that happened recently. Here are some papers that got on my radar:

Major evolutionary transitions in individuality, PNAS, Stuart West et al.

Metagenomics Meets Time Series Analysis: Unraveling Microbial Community Dynamics, Current Opinion in Microbiology, Karoline Faust et al.

Inoculation of Tannin-Degrading Bacteria into Novel Hosts Increases Performance on Tannin-Rich Diets, Environmental Microbiology, Kevin Kohl

Microbial Ecology in Hydra: Why Viruses Matter, Journal of Microbiology, Thomas C. G. Bosch et al.

Microbial Metaproteomics for Characterizing the Range of Metabolic Functions and Activities of Human Gut BacteriaProteomics, Weili Xiong

5) Blind Trust in Unblinded Observation in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution, Melissa R. Kardish et al.

6) Identification, Please, The New York Times Magazine, Helen MacDonald

7) E.P.A. Warns of High Cost of Climate Change, The New York Times, Coral Davenport

8) Could the Pope’s Encyclical Push Public Opinion to Tipping Point on Climate?, PLoS Blogs, Victoria Costello

9) How the Turtle Got Its Shell, NPR, Nell Greenfieldboyce

10) Once and Future Nut: How Genetic Engineering May Bring Back Chestnuts, NPR, Jill Neimark

11) Why Doesn’t Everyone Believe Humans Are Causing Climate Change?, NovaNext, Brad Balukjian

12) Lost in ‘Third Space’: The Impact of Public Engagement in Higher Education on Academic Identity, Research Practice and Career Progression, European Journal of Higher Education, Richard Watermeyer

13) When Publishers Aren’t Getting It Done, Medium, Neil B. Christensen

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