This was a guest post by Gwendolyn Nix.
In a recent article, FierceRoller tackled the notorious Golden Fleece Awards and the Wastebook, two award projects created and given by United States Senators decrying research proposals they deem silly and wasteful.
Naturally, as scientists, we nurse a certain outrage towards those without scientific training (or the determination to fully read a scientific paper) who assert that certain studies are worthless. I don’t go around the House of Representatives telling the Speaker of the House how to do his job. I wouldn’t even go to MacDonald’s and tell the fry cook that I could make better fries without the gumption prove it. Because I am excited to put my money where my mouth is, I’m going to analyze the Golden Fleece Award given to Robert E. Kraut and Robert E. Johnston on their study of why bowlers smile.
Among the lower Algae there is a family, the Volvocinæ, in which the differentiation of the many-celled body on the principle of division of labour has just set in; in some genera it has been actually effected, though in the simplest way imaginable, and in others it has not yet begun.
If you procrastinated on registering for the Third International Volvox Meeting, you’ve been granted a reprieve: the early registration deadline has been extended to the end of May. After that, it goes up by £50 (around $80). This has been a great meeting in the past, and this year promises to be even better. The conference kicks off with a collecting trip and includes sessions on life cycles, development, biophysics, evolution and ecology, genetics, phylogenetics and taxonomy, and genomics (program). At £250 for regular registration including accommodation (£180 for students and postdocs), this is a great deal. So if you can use an extra $80, go ahead and register before the end of May.
Here is a pdf version of the meeting poster.
Undergraduate Maggie Boyd has been awarded the Life Sciences Poster Award in the University of Montana Conference for Undergraduate Research for her poster “Motility in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.” This is kind of a big deal: only one poster award and one oral presentation award were bestowed in Life Sciences university-wide.
Maggie has also recently been awarded a Honerkamp-Smith Travel Grant to attend the Third International Volvox Meeting in Cambridge, U.K. this summer.
The somatic cells commit suicide by a process known as apoptosis — programmed cell death — that I wrote about here. This process involves a minimum of several novel genes as well.