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They can have my spore applicator when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

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The insidious evils of ANOVA in ecology Experiments which outlive the researchers who start them Why we need simplicity and clarity in science (communication) The beauty of seeds When hip-hop. science and education collide A comic about fire ants, which are also a significant pest here in Australia


If you are only ever going to click on one of my links, make it this one. I watched this slo-mo, high def video of cheetahs running with a big silly grin on my face and tears in my eyes I had never considered sleeping bees before. Pretty cute Sex in cheese Old article, but the strangest-looking flower I have ever seen An attempt to illustrate human...

Today I learned…

… that when you are washing dead beetles (!), your grip with the forceps is very important. Too loose and a stray wrist movement will send a wet beetle flying towards you. Too tight, and the beetle will actually pop out of the forceps. And head right for you. The next one will go down your shirt. You won’t ever be able to find it.


Beauveria bassiana to help kill bedbugs. Nothing new here; just nice to see biopesticides getting some press! Old woodcuts preserve a history of beetles Award-winning science journalism Some algae can “eat” other plants A grad student’s guide to using social media for science

What happens to the ones that don’t die?

Today an experiment I’ve been helping with has finished. Four weeks after it started, it’s safe to assume that all the beetles who are going to die of fungal infection are dead. So what about the rest of them? I murdered them by stuffing them into the freezer. And it feels more like murder than the usual way of killing them. Fungal spores are everywhere,...


Creating the citizen scientist The hazards of eating wild mushrooms. Some friends of mine went to Italy on holiday, ate wild mushrooms picked and cooked by a family member and spent six weeks in hospital. I will consequently never eat fungi that wasn’t bought in a grocery store DNA sequencing used to halt MRSA outbreak – this headline skips a lot of...


Some of the most beautiful, intimate animal portraits I’ve ever seen Animal origami I think I knew that katydids have their ears on their knees, but now someone has studied how they hear with such tiny organs A virus that keeps replicating by preventing its bacterial host from committing suicide

Last week’s conference

It occurs to me that I didn’t blog about my first conference, which I went to last week. It was held in sunny Caloundra, right near the beach, but I’m afraid I didn’t have time to get down there. The three days were crammed full of stats talks and workshops, and I’m glad I took copious notes because I’m not sure I remember much of it. On the first day...


If you’re not yet sick of beautiful microscopy images, FEI/National Geographic also held a recent microphotography competition. Many of these are at a much higher magnification than most from the Nikon competition I posted the other day Gelatin with excellent properties can be made using human DNA, but we may be too squeamish. I don’t think I would...

A new development…

… in the way I look at household cleaning, thanks to working in a microbiology lab. Prior to this I did the normal detergent and clean thing on dishes and surfaces, and of course casually washed my hands with soap. Since spending time in a pathogens lab, I am much more fastidious! In the lab everything we use is doused with ethanol, at a bare minimum,...

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