Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Hey guys,

It’s been a while since I last posted a blog, but I’ve got plenty of interesting stuff to tell y’all. I’ve been turtley busy, dudes. What can I say?

First of all, I was held up eating, I mean, ‘working’ during the Red Nose Day cake sale. Yum! Thank you to everyone who got involved in both baking AND buying. Judging took place and two tasty cakes won prizes. In the end we earned £177.15 for Comic Relief!

Gulliver Red Nose Day

And I’ve been stuck visiting my cousin the painted turtle. He’s like a super mutant (but not a ninja) turtle, and it shows in his DNA. You can freeze him solid or lower the oxygen levels, but he’ll keep coming back. Unstoppable. If you wanna learn more then check out the blog and get reading! I’m not jealous, but I wish someone would paint me…

 My last portrait’s looking a little dated (although, I’m thinking of growing back my hair like that. What d’ya think, guys?)

My last portrait’s looking a little dated (although, I’m thinking of growing back my hair like that. What d’ya think, guys?)

The RCUK policy on open access will be taking effect on 1st April. This policy supports free access to articles and encourages open access research that can be used by anyone all over the world. In my view shouldn’t be restricted from those who need it most.  I’m not just talking about students. I’m talking about people in developing countries in need of information! Who’s with me? How about you watch the video to learn loads more about this sweet new policy.

A heap of articles have popped up on the Biomed Central website that are worth a read. You may want to pay a quick visit to the blog on tuberculosis and diabetes to learn about their effects in developing countries.. Diabetes leaves people vulnerable to all sorts of infection, especially in developing countries, and tuberculosis doesn’t hold back.

Check out the pine beetle too. This bug is a real pest in forests and can even kill whole trees, but its genes are super crazy and worth reading about. The pine beetle even has a bacterial gene that helps in its pesky activities. Researchers sequenced the pine beetle’s genome, which may even help in stopping them from wreaking yet more havoc. Don’t want them eating up the forests, that would really bug me!

Pine Beetle

Credit: Ward Strong, B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations.

Speaking of creepy crawlies, I learned about the weeeirdest new technique: Squishomics! Scientists are busy making crushed bug DNA soup to study different species and biodiversity. Not only does it sound tasty, but this goo contains the relevant genetic information to identify unknown creatures!

Plus, better looking birds are better moms and raises healthier chicks even if they’re adopted babies. Nature really is crazy, man.

See you later, peeps.


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Well peeps since my last post I’ve been spreading the love in my super cute valentines outfit and scouting the globe for other examples of  turtle love!

Folks at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver have been sharing the turtle love with a proposal for introducing mobile nature reserves in our oceans. This would be a great help towards protecting my turtle homies and marine life buddies as we travel around the seas –  without increased marine protection it could be goodbye to fellow Gulliver’s all over the world!!!

My endangered snapping turtle bro’s in southern Ontario, Niagara need some BIG love too, they are super important for the ecosystem there and Patrick Moldowan, a fourth-year wildlife biology student at the University of Guelph is putting an ace petition together to help put measures in place to save them, they need your help toooooooooooooo, so please check it out and show your support dudes!

Don’t forget if you want to spread the Gulliver love too with your own clone then get in touch. Simply send a private message on my Facebook page with your address  – telling us where your clone will be living and what sciencey things he will be doing on his turtley adventures with you.

Finally I have been chatting with my friends Owl and Penguin at Animal Garden about Malaria and the amount of information available out there though Open Access – or not as the case may be!   



Well that’s enough from me for now, laters potatas….

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The festive season has been and gone and now it’s time to take down the decorations and get on with some science!  I hope everyone had a good time, 2011 was certainly a year to remember but man have I got plans for number 12!  What did everyone do for New Year’s Eve?  I went to a fancy dress party in my best Hoff costume, but it seems I wasn’t the only one to have that idea.  My crab homies have finally decided to come out of their shells and introduce themselves to the world, and boy do they love Baywatch.

You might think that a crustacean with a chest wig is pretty wacky, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.  Check out this list of the craziest critters of 2011 including the terrifying zombie ants which my buddies at BioMed Central risked their brains to warn the world about!  In all seriousness though I’m kinda disappointed not to feature in that list myself.  A turtle that can write – and do science – surely that’s wackier than a one eyed shark!

So I mentioned in my last post that I was interviewed by AnimalGarden for a Panton Discussion.  If you don’t know what a Panton Discussion is then check out December’s entry.   Before Christmas there was only a sneak peak, but now you can see the full video and learn about the turtley awesome things that I do.  Here’s a big shout to Peter and the AnimalGarden crew for giving me my big break.  Finally the recognition I deserve!

AnimalGarden interviews Gulliver, the Open Access turtle from Peter Murray-Rust on Vimeo.

Inspired by my new celebrity status I’m almost ready to grace the world with my first ever YouTube video on my brand new channel.  There’s a hint in my interview as to what’s coming – see if you can guess what it is.

Right I’m off to chat to my agent and fraternize with the stars, peace out!

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Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so… Hello Gullivites!

Happy Holidays! Just a quick post today. It’s been a turtley cool week! I’ve been transformed into a movie star! Well just a YouTube video, which will be posted on my new channel, but I was interviewed this week by AnimalGarden for a Panton Discussion, how cool is that!

I had a special e-postcard made for the holidays and I got to wear my new costume, I like it so much I might stay in it all holiday.

Oh, did you hear about the tortoise that had 45 babies. Her name is Kali and she is an African Sulcata, one of the largest species of tortoise in the world. She lives at Linton Zoo in Cambridgeshire and had her diddy dudes in two separate hatchings in March and April. But who’s the daddy? No one knows! The zoo has four males and is not sure which one is the pater familias!

Well I have to go now, have a great holiday everyone! Speak to you all in the new year, enjoy the festivities, hang tight.

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Happy Halloween Folks! As you may have guessed from the title of this post, I’ve transformed… into FrankenGulliver! or Gulliverstein whichever way you prefer, just my take on Frankenstein’s monster for Halloween.

It was Open Access Week last week and I’ve been super busy promoting open access across the globe. I’ve just returned from Ghana where I was taking part in Open Access Africa 2011.

I had a turtley cool time and made lots of new pals. You can read all about it and join the discussion here, and don’t forget to check out the photos on Facebook. I also visited the good ol’ US of A this week, and there are some great photos on my Facebook page of me and my new mates at Texas A&M University Libraries.

It’s the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness month, and here at BioMed Central we’ve come over all pink. That’s because Friday the 28th October was ‘wear it pink’ day for Breast Cancer Campaign and I donned a pink shell for the occasion. We’ve had lots of research published in our journal Breast Cancer Research this month including potential causes, risk factors and even a potential new breast cancer therapy! It’s not too late to join in the campaign so check out the  Breast Cancer Campaign website.

I hope you all have a spooky Halloween. Until next time gullivites! Until next time… Mwahahahahaha!

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These past few weeks have been all go-go-go! I have dispatched some of my highly trained clones to several conferences around the world. Here we are in Atlanta at the 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. See us shouting about the benefits of open access for all?

Nominations for BioMed Central’s 5th Annual Research Awards are open – if you know someone who has published a paper with my buddies at BioMed Central and you think it’s good enough to be considered by our panel of judges just drop us a line and nominate. We have prizes for biology, medicine or open data, they could be yours!

Let’s not forget it’s Movember, folks. Come on dudes, put down those razors and grow a tash like me and raise awareness for prostate cancer and men’s health.

There are lots of International Days happening this week. Today is UNESCO World Science Day which raises awareness of the impact science has on society. It is also Internet Week Europe. Hosted by London, this is the first five-day festival that celebrates the internet to be run outside of the Big Apple. Like the open structure of the internet, the entire European internet community is invited to get stuck in and program the festival – open structure, open celebrations. Any European individual or organisation can add an event to the official calendar and have it showcased and promoted online.

At BioMed Central we don’t just celebrate the powers of the internet and OA in Europe and North America…our Open Access Africa is in full swing, at Kenyatta University, Kenya where we are discussing OA in an African context.

Finally check out this little nugget. A study published in our journal Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention and Policy suggests that youngsters who dislike school are twice as likely to be involved in under-age drinking. Love science and stay clean, it’s a win-win situation!

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There’s now just 4 days to go until the big race where BioMed Central takes on Nature Publishing Group. This Tuesday I will join BioMed Central’s MD, Matt Cockerill, along with 20 other colleagues in a run across London. I’ve stepped up my training regime and have been exercising my butt off. We’ve almost raised £1000 for Computer Aid International but we still need your help!  If you’d like to sponsor me and the rest of the BioMed Central team, you can make donations here. I promise to run like the wind. Stay tuned for photos of me going the distance.

I’m turtley excited to learn that the Sparky Awards are back. The awards recognize students, educators and librarians who promote the universal benefits of sharing ideas. This year there’s a video contest to showcase students’ call for open access. The winning entry could receive an iPad!

Ah, to be sure! The first entire genome of an Irish individual has been sequenced. The research, carried out by a team from the University College Dublin and published in Genome Biology, provides an insight into the evolutionary history of this distinct lineage.

In other science news, research published in BMC Biology this week revealed the dangerous sex lives of bed bugs. Who knew?! Now, male bedbugs are known to be very unfussy when it comes to mating, mounting any well-fed bug they can see – regardless of age or gender. But a research team from Lund University has discovered how immature bedbug nymphs, who would  be harmed by the traumatic insemination technique practiced by the males, release alarm pheromones to deter this unwanted attention.

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Howdy from sunny Anaheim, USA! I’m recovering from the Experimental Biology meeting where I’ve been promoting the relaunch of BMC Biology with my BioMed Central peeps, Kiran, Deborah, Miranda, Ciaran and Mike. I was so busy I didn’t even manage to squeeze in a visit to Disneyland despite it being next door!

Working hard/drinking champagne

Sorry for the poor picture quality. You can see me in the background, working hard as usual.

To celebrate the new improved BMC Biology incorporating Journal of Biology, Editor, Miranda Robertson and I hosted a little party at our stand on Monday night. Lots of people turned up to help us celebrate including several Editors-in-Chief from our journals. We had cake, champagne and gave away our new BMC Biology t-shirts – check out the scrum below!

T-shirt scrum

FASEB has to be one of my favourite conferences – there were over 10,000 scientists from a wide range of disciplines. It was turtley cool to meet so many people – lots of them are already open access fans.

Speaking of open access – earlier this week a coalition of President, Provosts, and research Vice Presidents of 27 of the United State’s leading research universities and colleges issued an open letter calling for greatly increased public access to the results of research funded by major federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation

Last week it was announced that the Berlin 8 Open Access Conference, jointly hosted by Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, and Max Planck Society, Germany, will be held in October 25-27, 2010, in Beijing, China. October’s a busy month for me but I hope to make it there!

In science news, research from one of my favourite journals, BMC Evolutionary Biology, found that an increased proportion of male African buffalo are born during the rainy season. I bet there’s a lot of happy female buffalo out there with so many males to choose from!

Meanwhile, a BMC Research Notes study suggested that martial arts could be the key to helping osteoporosis sufferers fall more safely. Be careful near your grandparents!

A travelling science lab for kids

Finally, as you may recall a couple of weeks ago I held a competition for you to win one of my clones – the winners have now been decided. I’m lovin’ Carole’s suggestion for me to visit the BioBus – a travelling science lab for underprivileged kids. I can’t wait to teach them some turtley cool science experiments.  For those of you who missed out, don’t worry, there’s gonna be loads of other chances to win me throughout the year – just keep your eyes peeled!


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Yo peeps, welcome to my blog. Here you will find the latest open access and science news.

But first, some news about me. As you might’ve heard, I got myself a makeover – I’m now leaner and greener with an ace new shell. I’m Gulliver 2.0! But the good news doesn’t stop there – I’ve also managed to clone myself – not once, not twice, but several thousand times. Right now, there are 1000s of Gullivers swimming over to BioMed Central’s HQ in London. Next stop, world domination! If you become a friend of mine on Facebook you might win one of my clones throughout the year.

Become my friend on Facebook for a chance to win a clone

There’s been some major progress in the world of open access in the past week. Stateside, Congress takes another stride toward public access to research. Yesterday the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2010 (FRPAA) was introduced to the House of Representatives. The proposed bill would build on the success of the first U.S. mandate for public access to the published results of publicly funded research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and require federal agencies with annual research budgets of over $100 million to provide the public with online access to research articles originating from funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

A report in Nature noted that the US government’s push to open up scientific knowledge to all looks set to go into overdrive. Nice to see the US government bringing research out of its shell!

Still in the Americas, Cuba has announced its first forum for Open Access Information as part of the International Information Technology Congress (INFO 2010), April 19 to 23. Turtley cool to see Cuba keepin’ it real.

Some of my colleagues at BioMed Central have published a report entitled which provides some useful case studies for societies wishing to move to the OA model.

Save the date! Open Access Week is 18-24 October, put it in your diaries and let me know how you plan to celebrate. – sign up and you’ll get all the latest updates.

Moving on to science news, here at BioMed Central we’ve been publishing some mad research. First off, a UK study published in found that urine sprays during courtship send mixed messages…in crayfish (Haha, I had you worried there for a minute, right?) Then some researchers in the US and France writing in managed to decode the hyena’s laughter. Check out the study for some crazy soundbytes of hyenas’ giggles.

Walking through urine drives crayfish into an aggressive sexual frenzy apparently! The same can not be said for Turtles!

Finally, last week a report in revealed the first animal living without oxygen – is that cool or what? It also caused a bit of a media frenzy with articles in Popular Science, Wired and the BBC.

Well, that’s it for now folks. I’ll leave you with some photos of me in the lab. Do you like my lab coat? I had it specially made!

Gulliver Turtle's experiments

developing a product to make humans green like me!

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