Zombie ant crowdfunding project

Dr. Charissa de Bekker is running a crowdfunding campaign to continue her work on zombie ants. We recently interviewed Dr. David Hughes about zombie ants , so check that out if you want to learn more about this amazing host-parasite system.  Charissa recently published a super cool paper (open access!) identifying compounds secreted by the zombie-making fungus while infecting its ant host, and next she wants to identify the genes responsible for ant manipulation. Check it out!

Weekly Weinersmith on hiatus

Hello!

As you have probably noticed, Weekly Weinersmith updates have been few and far between in the past few months. I really love doing this podcast, but this is the last year of my PhD and I have had to prioritize my dissertation experiments, manuscript writing, and applying for postdoc positions. I was hoping I would still have time to podcast, but my schedule simply isn’t allowing it. The experiment ends and all of my postdoc applications are due by early January, so our intention is to start back up again around that time.

Brachiolope podcast logo service markIn the meantime, you should be filling your ear holes with other Brachiolope Media Network podcasts! We recently picked up a fantastic podcast on astronomy called Astarium, which I highly suggest checking out. As usual, Science…sort of, Technically Speaking, and The Titanium Physicists are fantastic, and I’m sure will be more than able to fill the podcast-shaped hole (what shape is that?) in your heart until we return.

One last thing. The Brachiolope Media Network recently made our podcasts available through Podiversity. This is an android app that charges a low monthly subscription fee, and in return removes advertisements from the podcasts and provides a higher quality audio file. Best part for us is that your subscription fee goes to the people running the podcasts, so the Brachiolope Media Network can buy new microphones, pay our podcasting-related fees, etc. It’s a great way to support the shows.

Zach and I look forward to bringing your more nerdiness ASAP!

<3, Kelly

Kelly is a guest on Wild Ideas….the Podcast!

This week Zach is off to GaymerX and Kelly is furiously writing manuscripts. To hold you over until the next update, you should check out Kelly’s guest appearance on Wild Ideas…the Podcast! She talks about interactions between the host, parasites, and the microbiome. It’s a lot of fun!

You can also fill your podcast needs by checking out the other Brachiolope Media Network podcasts:

Science…sort of

The Titanium Physicists

Technically Speaking 

Episode 50: Dr. David Hughes on zombie ants

This week Zach and Kelly talk to Dr. David Hughes about zombie ants.

Links

Hughes Lab website (with links to publications)

Check out the Hughes Lab zombie ants Kickstarter!

Zombie ant videos

Plant Village (follow Plant Village on Twitter)

Photo by David P. Hughes and Maj-Britt Pontoppidan from Graveyards on the Move (click image to go to manuscript)

Photo by David P. Hughes and Maj-Britt Pontoppidan from Graveyards on the Move (click image to go to manuscript)

Episode 49: Dr. Joan Strassmann on Dictyostelium discoideum

This week Zach and I talk with Dr. Joan Strassman about Dictyostelium discoideum, a social amoeba.

Links

Queller/Strassman Research Group

Dr. David Queller - Dr. Strassman’s collaborator

Sociobiology - Dr. Strassman’s blog on life as a scientist

Strassmann/Queller publications on Dictyostelium

408px-Dictyostelium_Fruiting_Bodies

Episode 48: Naked mole rats

This week Zach and Kelly talk naked mole rats.

Links

The Kickstarter for Zach’s newest adventure of your own choosing gamebook has only 7 days left! 

Naked mole rat

Eusociality

Haplodiploidy

Paper 1: van der Horst et al. 2011. Sperm structure and motility in the eusocial naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber: a case of degenerative orthogenesis in the absence of sperm competition?

Press coverage on Not Exactly Rocket Science

Paper 2: Tian et al. 2013. High-molecular-mass hyaluronan mediates the cancer resistance of the naked mole rat.

Press coverage on The Conversation

Paper 3: Avivi et al. 2010. Neuroglobin, cytoglobin, and myoglobin contribue to hypoxia adaptation of the subterranean mole rat Spalax

Press coverage at Ars Technica

Episode 17: Dr. R. Douglas Fields and “The Other Brain”

NakedMoleRate

Episode 47: Biofilms and bumblebees

This week Zach and Kelly talk about cheating in bacterial biofilms, and how the microbiome influences susceptibility to disease in bumble bees.

Links

Trial of the Clone 2: Wrath of the Pacificist (Zach’s adventure of your own choosing game book) is up on Kickstarter!

Technically Speaking – A podcast about engineering, and the newest member of the Brachiolope Media Network family!

Paper 1 - Popat et al. 2012: Quorum-sensing and cheating in bacterial biofilms

 

Episode 42: Fecal transplants and eye development

Paper 2 – Koch and Schmid-Hempel 2012: Gut microbiota instead of host genotype drive the specificity of a natural host-parasite system

Red Queen hypothesis

Episode 25: Dr. Ryan Earley and “why are there males”?

Episode 46: Ryan and Ben hijack the Weekly Weinersmith

This week we let Ryan Haupt and Benjamin Tippett take over the show. Ryan and Ben are co-hosts on the Science…sort of podcast, and Ben is host of The Titanium Physicists podcast. Both of these podcasts are part of the Brachiolope Media Network, the podcast network to which the Weekly Weinersmith belongs. Ryan and Ben will talk about….well….you’ll see.

This podcast is probably not appropriate for a younger audience (you know, as usual).

Links

Barnacles

Baculum

Explosive eversion of a duck penis

Tapir’s third leg

Banana slug penis eating

Whale threesome

Kangaroo vagina

Kangaroo penis

The Dr. Dick Cox who studies penises

Detachable nautilus penises

Episode 45: Dr. Christopher Lynn on glossolalia

This week Zach and Kelly talk with Dr. Christopher Dana Lynn, an anthropologist at the University of Alabama who studies the relationship between glossolalia and stress in Apostolic Pentecostals.

Chris leads the Human Behavioral Ecology Research Group (HBERG)

Links

Chris’ manuscripts to which we refer:

Lynn et al. 2011: Glossolalia is associated with differences in biomarkers of stress and arousal among Apostolic Pentecostals

Lynn 2013: “The Wrong Holy Ghost”: Discerning the Apostolic Gift of Discernment Using a Signaling and Systems Theoretical Approach

Glossolalia

Marjoe (documentary)

Participate in the Pop Culture Knowledge & Mating Success Study

IndieGoGo campaign to keep summer undergraduate research going in the HBERG

University’s Alabama Lecture’s on Life’s Evolution (ALLELE) series

University of Alabama’s EvoS program (evolutionary studies major)

The Weinersmiths are on vacation!

Zach and I have been swamped with work lately, and are about to go on our very belated honeymoon. We will begin updates when we get back from the honeymoon in a few weeks.

<3, The Weinersmiths