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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