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SJC Science
Science education which informs, enriches and prompts action.
Curated by Peter Phillips
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Software Used for Facial Recognition Teases Out Secret Messages Hidden on Bird Eggs

Software Used for Facial Recognition Teases Out Secret Messages Hidden on Bird Eggs | SJC Science | Scoop.it

Some bird eggs have visual signatures that help them distinguish they own clutch from impostor cuckoo .

 

For most honest bird species, brood parasites like the cuckoo are no joke. These sneaky free-loaders comprise about one percent of all bird species. Sniffing out false eggs is serious business for many birds. Brood parasites plant eggs in unsuspecting nests and leave the duped foster parents to care for their chicks—usually to the deadly detriment of the foster parents' own babies. 

 

Now, researchers from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge have discovered one way that bird parents likely keep an eye on their own eggs: with special visual signature. The researchers used the same kind of software that companies rely on for facial recognition and image stitching but applied that technology to hundreds of eggs of eight different parasitized bird species. They call the new program NaturePatternMatch.

 

The host birds, they found, have previously unrecognized egg "signatures"—essentially, secret visual cues that allow them to recognize their own among the imposters. The more intensely the bird species is targeted by cuckoos, the more complex and sophisticated their egg signatures. Some of the host birds, they found, produce exactly the same egg, whereas some show variation within their own clutch or between females within the same species. All of these methods, the team says, would likely be effective strategies for lessening the likelihood of being duped.

 

"The ability of Common Cuckoos to mimic the appearance of many of their hosts' eggs has been known for centuries," the researchers say in a statement. "The astonishing finding here is that hosts can fight back against cuckoo mimicry by evolving highly recognizable patterns on their own eggs, just like a bank might insert watermarks on its currency to deter counterfeiters."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Earthquake Science, and the Disaster That Created It

What happened March 27, 1964? Alaska knows very well, . . . Join us to learn more about earthquakes with host Hank Green on this infusion of SciShow. ---------- Like SciShow? Want to help...
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Smithsonian Science Education Center - Play our newest game, HABITATS!

Habitats game released by the Smthsonian.
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Haven't had a chance to try this out yet, as it does not seem to play on iPhone.
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Researchers have made mini-retinas in a petri dish (ScienceAlert)

Researchers have made mini-retinas in a petri dish (ScienceAlert) | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Using human stem cells scientists have created mini-retinas that can sense light.
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Hope for macular degeneration, and colour blindness, even blindness?
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GM mosquitoes may aid malaria fight

GM mosquitoes may aid malaria fight | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Scientists create new strains of malaria mosquitoes that produce 95% male offspring, and can drive a rapid population crash in the laboratory.
Peter Phillips's insight:
Of course, there would need to be a sustained breeding and release of these mosquitoes into wild populations to make a difference. Females might eventually note the difference and find them sexually less attractive than their non meddled with mates: natural selection would select for females that could tell the difference. So all over in a few generations. Effective, but only in the short term.
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World Environment Day

World Environment Day | SJC Science | Scoop.it
50 'Why I love my environment' placards and a WWF panda onesie. St Joseph's College Echuca.
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Think locally. Act locally. Global education: local application.
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Murray River Virtual Field Trip

An introduction to the diversity of life along the Murray River. This presentation focuses on identifying relationships, habitat and change over time. It aim...
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The Universe - Cosmic Vistas, Magnificent Views of Space. A Video Documentary [4 hrs]

The "Journey to the Edge of the Universe" documentary film broadcast on National Geographic and Discovery Channels.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Peter Phillips
Peter Phillips's insight:

The Universe. Sit back and enjoy this 4hr free to air youtube ... Thanks to Nat Geo & Discovery Channel.

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Peter Phillips's curator insight, May 2, 2014 6:50 PM

The Universe. Sit back and enjoy this 4hr free to air youtube ... Thanks to Nat Geo & Discovery Channel.

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Downscaling to a tiny house to find big happiness

Downscaling to a tiny house to find big happiness | SJC Science | Scoop.it
The small house movement is gaining ground around the world with its vision of living simply and sustainably in small spaces. Jane Shields finds out how one of the movement’s leaders, Dee Williams, learned to live with less.
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Are You Teaching Content Or Teaching Thought? -

Are You Teaching Content Or Teaching Thought? - | SJC Science | Scoop.it

"Thinking is troublesome.  For one, it is an intimate act splicing time and space. It is done right here, but it spans moments in the pasts and reaches out uncertainly towards moments in the future. Put another way, you think in a singular, precise space about plural, imprecise times.

It also resists uniformity (and education loves uniformity). Thought hinges on schema (familiar forms and patterns we then impose unfamiliar data to make sense of it), and emotion (in part, our internal response to the former). It is as diverse as character, experience, and affection. It’s like defining art, establishing criteria for beauty, or causing love.  And whether it knows it or not, education has a thinking problem."


Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 11, 2014 8:58 AM

What is your primary goal as a teacher?  Do you teach social studies or do you teach students?  While this may feel like we are splitting hairs, the distinction is an important one that is at the at the heart of your own pedagogical approach.  This is some nice food for thought on the topic to reflect on how and why you teach. 

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Confirmed: Earth's oldest rock in Australia › News in Science (ABC Science)

Confirmed: Earth's oldest rock in Australia › News in Science (ABC Science) | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Ancient zircon crystals discovered in Western Australia have been positively dated to 4.374 billion years, confirming their place as the oldest rock ever found on Earth, according to a new study.
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HowStuffWorks "What is gravity?"

HowStuffWorks "What is gravity?" | SJC Science | Scoop.it
What is gravity? How does gravity affect virtually everything on Earth? Learn about gravity in this article from HowStuffWorks.
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10 Scientific Ideas That Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing

10 Scientific Ideas That Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Many ideas have left the world of science and made their way into everyday language -- and unfortunately, they are almost always used incorrectly.
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A well written post outlining misconceptions which lead to misunderstandings about the nature and strength of science. Pitfalls to avoid, or opportunities to explain? You decide.
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Smithsonian Science Education Center - Bridging the Gap Between Social Media and Science Education

Smithsonian Science Education Center - Bridging the Gap Between Social Media and Science Education | SJC Science | Scoop.it
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Smithsonian Science Education is a great resource for teachers and students that gets better everyday.
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Busting the megalodon myth: did a 3m shark get eaten by an even bigger shark?

Busting the megalodon myth: did a 3m shark get eaten by an even bigger shark? | SJC Science | Scoop.it
The white shark grin. She definitely knows something we don’t. Image: Flickr / Pterantula By Kirsten Lea Sometimes the internet goes a little crazy with quirky, fantastical, scary stories.
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A timely explanation from CSIRO quashing a developing urban myth, but at the same time teaching about science and the (great) white shark. A great :) read.
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Digital lighting goes organic | Student Science

Digital lighting goes organic | Student Science | SJC Science | Scoop.it
An environmentally friendly lighting technology promises not only to save energy but also to transform our indoor environment.
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Unusually detailed and well written article describes the future of lighting. It suggests that the era if the globe is coming to an end.
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Murray River Kayak.: How the Murray River course was shaped.

Murray River Kayak.: How the Murray River course was shaped. | SJC Science | Scoop.it

How the Murray River found its shape. Aboriginal dreamtime, geographical and geological perspectives on how the Murray River formed.

Peter Phillips's insight:

Many publications are highly technical. in this entry, I have tried to use more accessible language, but maintain as much accuracy as possible. If you have suggestions for improvements, let me know.

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Peter Phillips's curator insight, June 2, 2014 11:52 AM

Many publications are highly technical. in this entry, I have tried to use more accessible language, but maintain as much accuracy as possible. If you have suggestions for improvements, let me know.

Peter Phillips's curator insight, June 2, 2014 11:55 AM

Many publications are highly technical. in this entry, I have tried to use more accessible language, but maintain as much accuracy as possible. If you have suggestions for improvements, let me know.

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Change the way you think - WWF - YouTube

We live on a finite planet and sometimes our impact on it is greater than we realize. The seemingly isolated actions we take every day—from our choice of mor...
Peter Phillips's insight:
The first and most effective step towards living more sustainably is to become conscious of our habits.
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Track Your Carbon Footprint With These Apps

Track Your Carbon Footprint With These Apps | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Looking for a great, simple way to go extra green this Spring? Try calculating your carbon footprint on a regular basis with one of these straightforward, easy-to-use iPhone apps. Whether you're looking for an elaborate tracking method or a basic way to
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Can't wait to give these a try.

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Scientists warn of global warming's abrupt changes - Los Angeles Times

Scientists warn of global warming's abrupt changes - Los Angeles Times | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Scientists warn of global warming's abrupt changes Los Angeles Times.
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Ancient "Giant Virus" Revived From Siberian Permafrost

Ancient "Giant Virus" Revived From Siberian Permafrost | SJC Science | Scoop.it
The discovery of a previously unknown "giant virus" from 30,000 years ago in the Siberian permafrost is bringing researchers closer to understanding the complexity of viruses.
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Talking Philippine croc eggs! - YouTube

Did you know crocodiles can communicate from inside the egg? We're very excited to have Philippine Crocodile eggs just about to hatch and just had to share t...
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How cool
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5 Bad Habits You Can Blame Your Brain For

5 Bad Habits You Can Blame Your Brain For | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Next time someone gets annoyed with you for one of these bad habits, you can blame it on your brain.
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A human look at some our less helpful habits.
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