All posts by LL

Iceland Reporting Trip Roundup

I went to Iceland in April to report on volcano monitoring during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption for Science Magazine.

That story, which appeared 23 April 2010, is here.

A pair of photos from my field trips appeared in my aunt’s Long Island newspapers (L&M Publications) the week of 26 April. See them here.

A first-person essay on the visit appeared in Global Talent, a Catalan science website, on 4 May, here.

Another feature, including two of my photographs, appeared in the Financial Times Weekend Magazine on 22 May, here.

A news item appeared in Discover Magazine in the September issue, here.

Virus-resistant cassava could be available by 2015

Cassava breeds that are resistant to two major viruses could soon be available to farmers in Africa.

Cassava mosaic disease and brown streak disease stunt the growth and rot the roots of crops, respectively.

Mosaic disease alone destroys an estimated 35 million tonnes of African cassava a year — the difference between needing to import food into Africa and achieving food independence, according to researchers at the US-based Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

The team has shown in the laboratory tests that genetically engineered (GE) tobacco plants resist brown streak disease. Their results will appear in Molecular Plant Pathology next month (August), Claude Fauquet, lead author of the study and director of cassava research at the centre, told SciDev.Net. Continue reading

Spanish science spending lockdown

Acoustic physicist Luis Goméz Ullate is having a hard time finding a job. Goméz, a tenured investigator with Spain’s national research council (CSIC) in Madrid, isn’t looking for himself — he’s helping out one of his graduate students facing the country’s increasingly difficult science labour market. “The options are tighter than usual,” he says.

Read the rest of this news story on Nature News [html] or here: [pdf].

This story has also gotten some attention on madrimasd.org (in Spanish): [html]

Collaborating with Citizen Scientists

Climbing one of the world’s biggest granite walls is different from climbing trees, as National Park Service botanist Martin Hutten discovered while dangling from a cliff in the spray of Vernal Falls high above the Yosemite Valley. Hutten apprenticed in the logging industry before he started graduate school, so he new how to climb trees. “I could trust myself to a rope,” he recalls, “but I’d definitely never hung off a cliff or collected [samples] from a cliff.”

Continue reading