Animals Biodiversity Ecology 

Megabiota, Largest Life, Vital to Biosphere

By Mackenzie Myers @kenzwrites Large organisms such as whales, elephants, and redwoods are often featured in awe-inspiring nature documentaries, but they’re more than just oohs and ahs. Their existence or extinction could make or break the planet as we know it.  Megabiota—the largest plants and animals—are more likely than smaller organisms to go extinct as a result of climate change. And the rest of us could be in big trouble if they do, according to a recent study.  The charisma conundrum Think of successful conservation campaigns. Which animals are deemed…

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diversity in science Biota Project Blogs 

Diverse Scientific Superstars: A Celebratory Parade

Part 1:  Space Travel & Environmental Conservation By Micah Miles (@MC_Miles1), Daniela Zarate (@daniela.x.zarate), Gracia Arellano, & Jessica Monterrosa Mena for The Biota Project (@thebiotaproject) Google the word ‘scientist’ and prepare for a wave of heteronormative white men to inundate your search results. The broad disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics comprise the four branches of the mighty STEM umbrella, covering topics as diverse as squid toxins and artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, the diversity of the scientists conducting the research does not often match the broad diversity of the science…

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toxoplasma Animals Biology Health 

Toxoplasma Infection Makes Mice More Brave

By Mackenzie Myers, @kenzwrites Quiet as a mouse. Timid as a mouse. When’s the last time you heard a mouse described as brave?  The scientific community has already established that a parasite carried by cats and their feces, Toxoplasma gondii, causes infected mice to lose their fear of feline predators. But a new study from researchers at the University of Geneva and the University of Toronto points to a decrease in anxiety that may be less specific than previously thought, giving mice a one-size-fits-all fearlessness.  What is Toxoplasmosis? T. gondii,…

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