Tag Archives: university of edinburgh

Wild sheep show benefits of putting up with parasites

In the first evidence that natural selection favors an individual’s infection tolerance, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh have found that an animal’s ability to endure an internal parasite strongly influences its reproductive success. Reported in the journal PLoS Biology, the finding could provide the groundwork for boosting the resilience of humans and livestock to infection. (more…)

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Spiral galaxies like Milky Way bigger than thought, says CU-Boulder study

Let’s all fist bump: Spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way appear to be much larger and more massive than previously believed, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study by researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope.

CU-Boulder Professor John Stocke, study leader, said new observations with Hubble’s $70 million Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, or COS, designed by CU-Boulder show that normal spiral galaxies are surrounded by halos of gas that can extend to over 1 million light-years in diameter. The current estimated diameter of the Milky Way, for example, is about 100,000 light-years. One light-year is roughly 6 trillion miles. (more…)

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12 Top Universities Partner with Coursera

If you were skeptical about the whole Ivy League online education thing catching on when you heard about edX, you may be surprised to learn that Coursera, an online education startup lead by two Stanford professors, just formed partnerships with 12 top universities to provide free online courses to the masses, according to The Huffington Post.

The universities that will now be providing free online courses to Coursera users are: Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, California Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Rice University, University of Illinois, UC San Francisco, University of Virginia, University of Washington, University of Toronto, University of Edinburgh, and Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. (more…)

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It’s in the Genes: Research Pinpoints How Plants Know When to Flower

Scientists believe they’ve pinpointed the last crucial piece of the 80-year-old puzzle of how plants “know” when to flower.

Determining the proper time to flower, important if a plant is to reproduce successfully, involves a sequence of molecular events, a plant’s circadian clock and sunlight.

Understanding how flowering works in the simple plant used in this study – Arabidopsis – should lead to a better understanding of how the same genes work in more complex plants grown as crops such as rice, wheat and barley, according to Takato Imaizumi, a University of Washington assistant professor of biology and corresponding author of a paper in the May 25 issue of the journal Science. (more…)

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Voice(s) of Comedy

U alum Maria Bamford gains fame as a comic, voice actress, and quirky commercial character

Sometimes it’s good to draw the long straw on work assignments.

That’s how it feels when you start doing research (read: watch a few Youtube clips) for a story on Maria Bamford, the University of Minnesota alumna who has made her mark as a stand-up comedienne, a versatile voice-over actress, and, in recent years, as the hyper-intense Black Friday shopper in Target television commercials.

Bamford’s credits are lengthy, including multiple appearances on the late-night talk show circuit (“The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live”), her own web series, and a number of comedy albums. She has guest starred on “The Sarah Silverman Program” on Comedy Central, and is the first female comic to have two half-hour “Comedy Central Presents” specials. (more…)

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Scientists Discover New Site of Potential Instability in West Antarctic Ice Sheet

AUSTIN, Texas — Using ice-penetrating radar instruments flown on aircraft, a team of scientists from the U.S. and U.K. have uncovered a previously unknown sub-glacial basin nearly the size of New Jersey beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) near the Weddell Sea. The location, shape and texture of the mile-deep basin suggest that this region of the ice sheet is at a greater risk of collapse than previously thought.

Team members at The University of Texas at Austin compared data about the newly discovered basin to data they previously collected from other parts of the WAIS that also appear highly vulnerable, including Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier. Although the amount of ice stored in the new basin is less than the ice stored in previously studied areas, it might be closer to a tipping point. (more…)

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