Initially I thought getting to Redonda was going to be a challenge, but the helicopter made that aspect of the trip a delightful adventure. Living on Redonda for a week, though—that was tough. In retrospect, I’d say the challenge was simultaneously harder than anticipated but more comfortable than I’d feared.
Here’s a panorama of our camp:
...Read the full article.
By Prof. Schalk vdM. Louw, Centre for Plant Health Management, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.
A young pistachio orchard (foreground) in a larger
maize cropping system on the banks of the
Orange River, Prieska, South Africa.
This article appeared previously in the Ons Eie magazine, April 2007
Agricultural landscapes are by implication complex adaptive systems, tailored by anthropogenic interference. The relationship between structure and function, e.g. trophic structures, diversity - productivity connections and nutrient fluctuation patterns of such landscapes is fundamental in their organization, whether self-driven or regulated. In cropping system landscapes, we are obligated to understand the processes that influence the abundance, richness and diversity of biota that...Read the full article.
I’ve got this feeling that CRISPR is the next PCR. Have you ever met someone who was an early adopter of PCR? No, I mean an early adopter of PCR where the technique required three water baths, a swivel chair, a stop watch, and AN ACTUAL PERSON to move the reaction tubes between water baths every 30 seconds. Now it’s so common PCR is undergrad grunt work. That’s how I feel about CRISPR, like it will be undergrad grunt work in 20 years, so I better stop ignoring and start incorporating it into my science.
What is CRISPR?
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat
CRISPR is a natural immune response in bacteria to defend against viruses. It cuts both strands of the DNA of an invading pathogen, thereby disrupting replication and gene expression. Molecular biologists took this idea and turned it into a tool for...Read the full article.
I’ve decided to break up the Redonda posts thematically. There’s a bit of a beginning, middle, and end to the trip, but the experience day-by-day makes less sense than talking about big things that we were working on in Redonda that often spanned several days. First up, getting to Redonda!
As I’d mentioned previously, the...Read the full article.
A few months ago, Stephen Heard wrote a blog post that prompted us to have a brief twitter discussion on whether we sign our reviews. Steve tends to sign his reviews, and I tend not to, but neither of us felt completely sure that our approach was the right one. So, we decided that it would be fun for us to both write posts about our views on signing (or not signing) reviews. In the interim, I accepted a review request where I decided, before opening the paper, that I would sign the review to see whether that changed how I did the review. So, in this post I will discuss why I have generally not signed my name to reviews, how it felt to do a review where I signed my name, and what I plan on doing in the future.
First,...Read the full article.