From special

SCIENCEGEEK ADVENT CALENDAR EXTRAVAGANZA! (DAY 9)

AWESOME MICROBIAL CHRISTMAS ART!  Fungal plates by Stephanie Mounaud: Bacterial plates by Niall Hamilton. Fungal Christmas tree. Top: Talaromyces stipitatus; Tree: Aspergillus nidulans; Ornaments: Penicillium marneffei; Trunk: Aspergillus terreus. – – – – – – – – – Fungal snowman. Hat, Eyes, Mouth, Buttons: Aspergillus niger; Arms: Aspergillus nidulans; Nose: Aspergillus terreus with Penicillium marneffei; Body: Neosartorya (See previous day)

SCIENCEGEEK ADVENT CALENDAR EXTRAVAGANZA! (DAY 7)

NITROGEN INCREASES FRESH WEIGHT AND RETAIL VALUE OF FRASER FIR CHRISTMAS TREES (As measured by number of buds as well as weight, length, and surface area of needles) Hinesley L.E. et al. HORTSCIENCE 35(5):860–862. 2000. Abstract. Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir. Christmas trees were fertilized for 5 years with four levels of N (0, 56, 113, or 170 kg·ha–1 per year) in spring, fall, or equally split between spring and fall. Nitrogen did not affect leader length, number of leaders, or bud frequency on the upper (distal) portion of the leader. Nitrogen increased bud frequency on the lower (proximal) 20 cm…

SCIENCEGEEK ADVENT CALENDAR EXTRAVAGANZA! (DAY 6)

HEIGHT OF CHRISTMAS TREE DRAWINGS AS A FUNCTION OF TIME: THE STUDY (Conclusion: the drawings get bigger at xmas time) Summary. Thirty male and 30 female srudents in Grade 6 of a local public school were asked to draw Christmas Trees on October 31, November 28, December 19, January 13, February 13, and March 13. Analysis of the height (cm.) of these drawings indicated that Christmas Trees drawn in November and December were significantly larger than those at other times (p < .01). There were no over-all sex differences. Sex x Trial interactions indicated that the main trial effect was…

SCIENCEGEEK ADVENT CALENDAR EXTRAVAGANZA! (DAY 4)

IN WHICH WE DETERMINE A GENETIC BASIS FOR THE GRINCH PHENOTYPE. (Something about G-protein signalling and a heart, two sizes too small) Scott I.C. et al. Dev Cell. 2007 Mar;12(3):403-13. Figure 1. The grns608 Mutation Affects Cardiomyocyte Specification: (A and B) Lateral views of 48 hpf embryos from grns608 heterozygote incrosses. In severe cases, mutant embryos ([A], top; [B]) lack a distinguishable heart (arrow); however, this defect is variable within the same clutch. TITLE: The G protein-coupled receptor agtrl1b regulates early development of myocardial progenitors. ABSTRACT: While many factors that modulate the morphogenesis and patterning of the embryonic heart have…

SCIENCEGEEK ADVENT CALENDAR EXTRAVAGANZA! (DAY 3)

IN WHICH WE ARE TOLD WHY RUDOLPH’S NOSE IS RED. “Epidemiology of reindeer parasites.” Halvorsen O. Parasitol Today. 1986 Dec;2(12):334-9. ABSTRACT: Every Christmas we sing about Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer, but do we give much thought to why his nose is red? The general consensus is that Rudolf has caught a cold, but as far as I know no proper diagnosis has been made of his abnormal condition. I think that, rather than having a cold, Rudolf is suffering from a parasitic infection of his respiratory system. To some this may seem a bit far-fetched as one would not expect…