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The impact of bad science in the headlines

The impact of bad science in the headlines | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Mary Williams's insight:

We’re putting together some information about bad science, headlines and public perception. It is, frankly, depressing.

 

“The more a technology is associated with “risk” in the media, the greater the public experiences as “risky” – this is called the ‘social amplification of risk’.”.(You can read more about that here http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/0272-4332.00062/abstract).

 

Solution? Education, education, education.

 

These data are from here: http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/Measles/EpidemiologicalData/

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Gary Stevens's curator insight, February 11, 2013 1:11 PM

Intresting correlation to explore for anyone looking for examples of poor science coverage in the media. Source of data is provided below.

Science Education 225's curator insight, March 4, 2013 10:37 PM

Data in UK 

These data are from here: http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/Measles/EpidemiologicalData/

Science Education 225's curator insight, March 20, 2013 8:29 PM

How can you interpret these 2 graphs. Go to the source and then explain what the graphs mean in 2 or 3 sentences

Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
Hooks and hot topics for university teachers and students
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Helping the "Plant Blind" to See. Nice essay by Chris Martine

Helping the "Plant Blind" to See. Nice essay by Chris Martine | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Guest blogger and Bucknell University professor Chris Martine, Ph.D., talks about guiding students away from their electronic devices and into the plant world."

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International Women's Day - CIMMYT honors "Superwomen of Wheat and Maize"

International Women's Day - CIMMYT honors "Superwomen of Wheat and Maize" | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

In anticipation of International Women's Day next Sunday, CIMMYT has curated a set of "Superwomen of wheat and maize" - check them out, an impressive group! Nice photos too.

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What makes a popular science video on YouTube

What makes a popular science video on YouTube | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Everyone's looking for an audience for their videos on YouTube, and there are plenty of science videos out there. But not all are popular so what makes one more interesting than another?
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Writing Good Multiple Choice Test Questions | Center for Teaching | Vanderbilt University

Writing Good Multiple Choice Test Questions | Center for Teaching | Vanderbilt University | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Vanderbilt University
Mary Williams's insight:

This is really useful

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Dr. Dea Conrad-Curry's curator insight, March 2, 12:04 PM

With the nationwide emphasis of student growth on teacher evaluation, educators are going to need to become proficient creators of local assessments that actually determine learning as an outcome of instruction and practice with concepts. Most of today's teachers do not feel competent in this realm. Here are some good steps to begin changing assessment from an outside provider to assessment as a true indicator of what kids are learning in schools today. 

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Humble plants that hide surprising secrets

Humble plants that hide surprising secrets | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
In this intriguing talk, biologist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim introduces us to rare plant species from isolated islands and regions of Africa. Meet the shape-shifting benjoin; the baume de l'ile plate, which might offer a new treatment for asthma; and the iconic baobab tree, which could hold the key to the future of food. Plus: monkey apples.
Mary Williams's insight:

This is a super talk. Teaching idea. Assign students the task of watching this video, and then exploring the Red List for other endangered plants (http://discover.iucnredlist.org/). They could write a summary of their selected plant and its habitat to share in small group discussions in class.

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The 25 biggest turning points in Earth’s history (from BBC Earth)

The 25 biggest turning points in Earth’s history (from BBC Earth) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
From leaps forward in evolution to devastating asteroid impacts, these were the turning points that shaped our world.
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Image analysis in plant science - challenges and perspectives (by Guillaume Lobet)

Image analysis in plant science - challenges and perspectives (by Guillaume Lobet) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Yes! Read this - a call to standardize and integrate tools for plant image analysis, and a call for more image specialists to join the green team. From Guillaume Lobet (@guillaumelobet)

Mary Williams's insight:

Guillaume's observations about the cycle of analysis tool maintenance is particularly important....

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AmJBot explains Auxin to the perplexed - AoB Blog

AmJBot explains Auxin to the perplexed - AoB Blog | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
AmJBot has published a review of 100 years in Auxin research. That's a lot of research into a key plant hormone.
Mary Williams's insight:

Great, OA review of 100 years of auxin research

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News: Aggressive plant fungus threatens wheat production (2015)

News: Aggressive plant fungus threatens wheat production (2015) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting a serious threat to wheat production in the UK, according to research published in Genome Biology. The research uses a new surveillance technique that could be applied internationally to respond to the spread of a wide variety of plant diseases.


Wheat is a critical staple and provides 20% of the calories and over 25% of the protein consumed by humans. 'Yellow rust' caused by the fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (PST) is one of the plant's major diseases and is widespread across the major wheat-producing areas of the world. Infections lead to significant reductions in both grain quality and yield, with some rare events leading to the loss of an entire crop. New fungus strains have recently emerged that adapt to warmer temperatures, are more aggressive and have overcome many of the major defensive genes in wheat.


Lead author Diane Saunders of the John Innes Centre and The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC), UK, said: "Increased virulence, globalization, and climate change, are all increasing the scale and frequency of emerging plant diseases, and threatening global food security.


"Our research shows that in the UK we have a newly emerging population of wheat rust fungus that could be the result of an influx of more exotic and aggressive strains that are displacing the previous population. By continuing to use these new surveillance techniques, not only can we track and respond to the ongoing threat of wheat rust, but our technology opens the door for tracking other plant pathogens, including ash dieback."


Researchers from the John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory, TGAC and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany sequenced genetic material from 39 PST-infected samples of wheat collected from 17 UK counties in 2013.


By comparing the fungal RNA with fungal genetic information from previously prevalent populations between 1978 and 2011, they showed that there has been a rapid and dramatic shift in the PST population that could have serious implications for wheat production in the UK.


The 2013 PST samples showed more genetic variation and diversity, reflecting an increase in the evolutionary potential in the UK pathogen population that could enhance their ability to overcome disease resistance in wheat.


Of the samples, 11 were also genetically similar to a PST strain called "Warrior". The strain emerged in 2011 as a serious threat to European wheat production due to its virulence on an array of previously resistant wheat varieties. This indicates that a diverse PST population containing the "Warrior" strain is now prevalent across the UK.


This new diagnostic technique, called "field pathogenomics", could be applied internationally to respond to the spread of a wide variety of plant diseases. By rapidly pinpointing a fungus's genetic make-up from field samples, the technique is able to confirm outbreaks on particular wheat varieties and provides an efficient means of confirming whether previously resistant wheat varieties have been broken by virulent strains of the pathogen. This is in contrast to current techniques which can be lengthy, costly and are only able to sample a relatively small proportion of the fungal population.


The data collection and analysis took just a few months to produce from sample collections from the field, demonstrating the potential for the method to reduce delays and transform current disease surveillance systems. The highly detailed information that is generated could help inform disease incidence predictions and agricultural practices.


Hubbard et al. Genome Biology http://genomebiology.com/2015/16/1/23/abstract


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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George Beadle, The Mystery of Maize (1972)

George Beadle, The Mystery of Maize (1972) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

This is a wonderful article by George Beadle on the origins of maize, from the 1972 Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin.
https://archive.org/stream/bulletin43fiel#page/n211/mode/2up
Thanks to Jeffrey Ross-Ibara for sharing the link!

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AfroPop Music Video on Healthy Eating--through Beans! - YouTube

"Rwanda’s top musicians promote beans, a nutritious food that improves children's and women's health! The artistes (King James, Miss Jojo, Riderman,Tom Close, and Urban Boyz) have donated their talent for a healthier Rwanda. Help Rwanda say goodbye to malnutrition by sharing this great song! Swahili with English subtitles."

Mary Williams's insight:

I was trying to find photos of biofortified crops and I did even better - I found a cheerful video about iron-biofortified beans, developed by HarvestPlus. Great way to start your lesson on micronutrients!

Here's a crop biofortification update, too:

http://www.glopan.org/news/press

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AckerbauHalle's curator insight, February 25, 9:45 AM

Ich finde die spassbefreiten Aktivisten für irgendetwas "Gutes" immer ziemlich traurig, aber so ist halt Deutschland.

Hier ist einmal ein Beispiel, dass es anders geht. Eine Werbung für Bohnen und gesunde Ernährung aus Ruanda. 

You got to lay it load  

Se connecter's comment, February 25, 11:42 AM
Cool the Youtube video !
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Future of Research events and reports - postdocs helping postdocs

Future of Research events and reports - postdocs helping postdocs | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Postdocs helping postdocs!
So many postdocs are organizing events and efforts to address the concerns about the future of research. Here is an excellent article by a group that organized one of the first "Future of Research" events. They nicely summarize key concerns and proposed solutions in the F1000Research article, "F1000Research Article: Shaping the Future of Research: a perspective from junior scientists" (http://f1000research.com/articles/3-291/v2).
More events are planned (some by faculty, others by postdocs)- see here http://futureofresearch.org/, including one at NYU in May http://nyu-postdocs.weebly.com/.
I urge you to read the F1000Research article for inspiration - maybe you'll even organize your own event to help other postdocs?
Meanwhile, you can contribute by completing a survey on plant science careers here ow.ly/JA4Hh

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Film can fun with Paul Williams

Film can fun with Paul Williams | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
http://www.biotech.wisc.edu/webcams?lecture=20150211_1900
Mary Williams's insight:

I really enjoyed seeing Paul Williams' lecture (http://www.biotech.wisc.edu/webcams?lecture=20150211_1900), which reminded me of the first time I saw him speak more than 20 years ago. Paul's always been a proponent of hands-on learning, so he handed out props....(see above).

In 1991, Paul was the first recipient of the ASPB's Excellence in Education award for his pioneering efforts to get plants into the classroom and curriculum

http://my.aspb.org/?page=AF_Past_Awardees#teaching.

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Plant growth patterns changing on much of Earth’s surface

Plant growth patterns changing on much of Earth’s surface | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
More than half of Earth’s land surface has seen major changes in factors such as leaf-on date and how much vegetation grows in a season.


This is not surprising, but it is important evidence.
Here's the summary, "Plant growth patterns changing on much of Earth’s surface"
https://www.sciencenews.org/…/plant-growth-patterns-changin…
and here's a link to the article in Nature Climate Change
"Three decades of multi-dimensional change in global leaf phenology"
http://www.nature.com/…/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2533.html

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Share your enthusiasm! Teaching Tools submission competition

Share your enthusiasm! Teaching Tools submission competition | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

For years we’ve been asking people how they define a great teacher. One trait that repeatedly comes up is “enthusiasm.” Nobody enthuses about plants better than plant scientists, so we’re offering you a chance to “share your enthusiasm”.


Have you got a passion for plant science? Do you have a favorite paper, experiment, topic, or method that you like to share with undergraduates? Have you found a clever way to engage students and stimulate their curiosity?


We are soliciting short pre-proposals for contributions to the Teaching Tools in Plant Biology feature of The Plant Cell. Tell us what you are excited about that you would like to develop into a Teaching Tools article. We will invite the authors of a selected few pre-proposals to submit complete articles for review. Upon acceptance they will be published as a Teaching Tools in Plant Biology feature in The Plant Cell and awarded a $500 stipend.


The three pre-proposal competition deadlines in 2015 are April 30th, August 31st and December 31st. You can find complete competition guidelines and the proposal submission form here (https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/aspb.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/Publications/TTPBCompetition.pdf).


As Charlotte Bronte said, “True enthusiasm is a fine feeling whose flash I admire where-ever I see it,” so go ahead and share your enthusiasm!

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Phytomonas : Trypanosomatids Adapted to Plant Environments

Phytomonas : Trypanosomatids Adapted to Plant Environments | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Over 100 years after trypanosomatids were first discovered in plant tissues, Phytomonas parasites have now been isolated across the globe from members of 24 different plant families. Most identified species have not been associated with any plant pathology and to date only two species are definitively known to cause plant disease. These diseases (wilt of palm and coffee phloem necrosis) are problematic in areas of South America where they threaten the economies of developing countries."

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The ‘perfect storm revisited’: food, energy and water security in the context of climate change - YouTube

"Streamed live on 26 Feb 2015

Some five years ago Sir John Beddington, Senior Adviser at the Oxford Martin School, raised the concept of 'The Perfect Storm' in which the issues of food, water and energy security needed to be addressed at the same time as mitigating and adapting to climate change. In this seminar he highlights changes that have occurred since then and the progress made and challenges that are currently faced."

Mary Williams's insight:

Here's the press release from the hosting institution, OxfoRD Martin School.

http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/news/2015_Beddington_seminar

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California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom: What's Growin' On?

California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom: What's Growin' On? | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Teaching resources for primary school classrooms.


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The importance of "enthusiasm" (for teaching and communicating science)

The importance of "enthusiasm" (for teaching and communicating science) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Next week we'll be talking about "enthusiasm" and how important it is when teaching and communicating science. Here are some quotations about enthusiasm - do you have any favorites?

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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, March 1, 2:48 PM

So true... passionate and enthusiastic teachers or mentors can change students' lives. It all starts from the heart. 

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Plants and Pathogens teaching tool updated and revised

Plants and Pathogens teaching tool updated and revised | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

We've updated and revised TTPB22, "Plants and Pathogens". http://www.plantcell.org/site/teachingtools/TTPB22.xhtml
Lots and lots of new references, a few new case studies and some new slides too. What a fascinating and wonderful topic to have a chance to revisit!

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Lights, camera, action: high-throughput plant phenotyping is ready for a close-up

Lights, camera, action: high-throughput plant phenotyping is ready for a close-up | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Terrific Open Access review of high throughput phenotyping - what, how and why.
This would be a really interesting paper to read with a plant physiology class. It brings the Wow factor of robotics and computer vision-assisted analysis tools to plant physiology and breeding. It also embraces the very modern ethos of the Maker Movement, "The growing Maker Movement and Community enable the design of low-cost custom phenotyping hardware with inexpensive 3D-printers, computers, microcontrollers, cameras, and a plethora of plug-and-play sensors." In other words, you can be a biologist and still (essentially) play with Lego....


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Convergent losses of decay mechanisms and rapid turnover of symbiosis genes in mycorrhizal mutualists, or "how decay fungi become mycorrhiza"

Convergent losses of decay mechanisms and rapid turnover of symbiosis genes in mycorrhizal mutualists, or "how decay fungi become mycorrhiza" | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

It's like watching evolution in action, a really interesting study


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GM regulation 'not fit for purpose', says Commons committee – and it's right

GM regulation 'not fit for purpose', says Commons committee – and it's right | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Johnathan Jones (The Sainsbury Lab) wrote about UK parliament's new report. His summary, "In summary, ten MPs from three parties currently seeking re-election have written a brave report on a controversial technology. Their recommendations are indisputable. There is nothing intrinsically risky about GM. Current regulation is not fit for purpose; we should regulate specific traits, not the method by which they are delivered, in each member state."
(Link to report http://www.parliament.uk/…/gm-foods-and-application-of-the…/)

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Plant Microbe Interactions summer school at Sainsbury Lab (great opportunity! Aug 2015)

Plant Microbe Interactions summer school at Sainsbury Lab (great opportunity! Aug 2015) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

This is such an amazing opportunity! Good luck applicants.


"We will accept a maximum of twenty students onto this course. Students can be at any career stage and sector or working or resident in any country and will be selected on the basis of abstracts describing prior experience and benefit to their research and career. Successful students will be notified soon after abstract submission closes on 5th May and asked to proceed to registration. Registration will be £720 and includes course materials, accommodation, excursion and social events"

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VCAC: Cellular Processes: Photosynthesis: The Movie

VCAC: Cellular Processes: Photosynthesis: The Movie | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Very good animation of photosynthesis from North Dakota State University

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