Monthly Archives: June 2011

Phytoremediation: a connection of chemistry and biology

In our anthropocentric culture, plants are thought of as a source of food, fiber, medicine, wood, slowing the rate of global warming, waste and water treatment, and a beautiful prop for our abode.  Secondarily, some may entertain ecocentric thoughts and … Continue reading

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Agent Orange: molecular and ecosystem consequences

On Friday, an AP news story mentioned that Vietanam and the United States will be working together to clean up the environmental damage left behind from the United State’s use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.  Those areas in … Continue reading

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Jean Henri Fabre: a lesson in observation and inductive reasoning

Scientific methodology requires the initial step of keen observation.  In order to phrase testable hypotheses and construct an appropriate experimental design, observations of some phenomenon must be made.  Observations lead to questions of how the phenomenon works or why the … Continue reading

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Arsenic can replace phosphorous in biological systems

This was a cool study that Connor K. brought to my attention winter term.  I thought it bears being posted so it can be referred to again.  It is amazing, although not surprising given arsenate has a similar molecular structure … Continue reading

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What’s wrong with this picture?

This was a nest on my forsythia wreath on my front door this spring.  Three of the eggs belong to a purple finch, the spotted egg belongs to a brown-headed cowbird.  This is a classic example of brood paratism, where … Continue reading

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Jon Lien: whale biologist, animal behaviorist, fishery biologist

Jon Lien is a world renowned whale researcher and conservationist who passed away April 15, 2010 at the age of 71.  I had the pleasure of working with Jon as a graduate student in the summers of 1990 and 1991, … Continue reading

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