30 July 2010

Science online, relentlessly negative edition

Would you be less afraid of the big, bad wolf if we paid you? Photo by Eric Bégin.
  • Can't say "mission accomplished" just yet. Wednesday was day 100 of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The hole has been more-or-less plugged for a while now, and surface oil is disappearing, but we'll probably be watching the effects of this mess for years to come. Might as well have a Gulf Spill cocktail while you wait.
  • Can't buy their love. Offering ranchers compensation for livestock lost to wolves doesn't improve their opinion of wolves. (Conservation Maven)
  • Can't make them shut up. Disrupting quorum sensing, or "communcation" between bacteria, is a promising new approach to treating infections. Except that—surprise!—bacteria evolve resistance to QS disruption. (Lab Rat)
  • Can't expect them to be constrained by mere facts. The one little bit of actual science underlying claims that New Zealand was originally settled by Celts —the age of rat bones found on the islands—turns out not to be so accurate. (The Atavism)
  • Can't afford not to plan ahead. Ecologists should start planning for the end of cheap oil, and its many unpleasant consequences. (Conservation Magazine)
  • Can't be worse than the status quo ... or can it? The "tragedy of the peer-review commons" could be resolved by compensating reviewers, either with credit towards their own submissions, or just plain ol' money. (Jabberwocky Ecology)
  • Can't hurt to try. Eliminating soot pollution—which leaves the atmosphere much more quickly than carbon dioxide—could cut the effects of global warming in half within less than two decades. (Wired Science)
Can't be bothered to care for your larvae? Trick an elaisome-hunting ant, or a sex-crazed bee, into picking it up.

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