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Michael Habib
Works at University of Southern California
Attended Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Lives in Los Angeles
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Michael Habib

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This amused me...
 
The tardigrade creed. Via A Science Enthusiast and http://www.sarahmckayart.com/
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This is good. So we're challenge number six for them. I don't doubt that they will also survive us.
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Dinosaurs in 2015: the first year of OA majority

Dinosaur paleontology reached a major milestone last year - more than half of all new species descriptions (excluding birds) were published in Open Access papers. As a result, the anatomy, naming basis, and localities for most of the new dinosaurs named in 2015 can be immediately accessed by anyone, anywhere that has a working web browser. This is a potentially a big deal for a few reasons. Most obviously, there are many individuals other than specialists that want to read about dinosaurs, and this makes it much easier for them to do so.

This will also provide one of the first good comparisons of what happens to the utilization of knowledge in OA versus subscription journals. Since it was almost an even split (51% OA, 49% subscription), the 2015 dinosaur list can serve as a study sample moving forward - we can watch, for example, if those species that were published in OA journals end up being included in more datasets in the future or are more likely to be incorporated in educational materials within museums. It will also be interesting to see what citation rates are like for the OA papers versus the subscription papers over the next couple of years.

#dinosaurs #openaccess
2015 saw more new dinosaurs published in open access journals than ever before. How does it compare with previous years?
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Michael Habib

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Always excellent when a species turns out not to be extinct (well, okay, maybe except smallpox)...

The comments make me furious, though.
 
No one has seen a certain species of sea snake in more than 15 years, prompting concerns that they’ve gone extinct. So imagine the surprise of researchers when they spotted a pair of these elusive sea snakes off the coast of Western Australia.
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+Michael Habib​,thanks once again.

Shame, actually. It would seem the PR side isn't actually in the conservation game but money raising game.
The charity drives to fund charity drives aren't actually helping the real effort. 
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Michael Habib

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This is spot on...
 
New comic!
**Hey, visit the PHD Store: http://phdcomics.com/store
Link to Piled Higher and Deeper
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+Rajini Rao​, because it's about PPE. 
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Michael Habib

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Microscopy can be beautiful...
 
Zebra fish embryo 22 hours after fertilization. Via ZEISS Microscopy
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Kinda looks like the space junk in orbit about the Earth. At least it did at first.
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Michael Habib

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Not surprising, but an interesting way to quantify the differences...

h/t +Steve Esterly
 
Blind Grading of US Presidential Candidates Statements About Climate Change

+Seth Borenstein of +Associated Press asked 8 scientists to grade the statements of US presidential candidates. The scientists were recommended by scientific societies (not by AP), and were not told which candidate had made which statements.

Here are the results:
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/3e946f29fa534a0b9c1d064b16e06b61/ap-fact-check-most-gop-candidates-flunk-climate-science

The three democratic candidates scored the highest, with Hillary Clinton scoring the highest (94%). Ted Cruz scored the lowest (6%).

#climatechange #globalwarming #science #sciencecommunication

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No surprises here
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Michael Habib

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What I like about this article in the Conversation is that it takes a proactive, optimistic approach. Instead of just another "traditional tests suck" piece (which is true, but not helpful), Dr Sternberg instead takes the approach of "here's how we can test for all sorts of useful traits other than SAT grade analytical stuff".

From the article:

The truth is, you can’t get by in life only on analytical skills – you also need to come up with your own new ideas (creativity), know how to apply your ideas (practical common sense), and ensure they benefit others beside yourself (wisdom).

#education


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+Kimberly Chapman I fervently desire that to be the rational choice before any life choice is made easier with numbers instead of understanding the duties. 
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No mystery on which one I would use...
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..they concluded that azhdarchids were more likely terrestrial stalkers, similar to modern storks, and probably hunted small vertebrates on land..  

hmmmm... children beware... 
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Michael Habib

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"...a competent terrorism policy should at minimum avoid overt violations of international law. Unfortunately, Ted Cruz’s advocacy of carpet bombing territories held by the Islamic State, Ben Carson’s refusal to rule out the bombing innocent children and Donald Trump’s suggestion that we should target the families of terrorists fall into precisely that category."

You'd think that was pretty basic, but apparently not. What I find particularly concerning about all this (beyond the total moral bankruptcy) is that this race to be the most violent and unforgiving could be indicative of voter preferences. I hope not, but...
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+Michael Habib the law is not working. It's written for how the world should be not how it operates. 
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An experiment in bias

This is an interesting and elegant "do it yourself" style experiment in human bias. The individuals running the experiment took a Bible and gave it a fake cover labeling it as a copy of the Quran. They read selected passages to random people on the street, and asked for reactions and feedback (including contrasts with what those individuals thought was in the Bible). Of course, at the end, they reveal the trick and get a new set of reactions. The results are predictable but still amusing...

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Shame revealing misplaced beliefs is considered trickery when they trick is their belief. 
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The basic concept behind this research is rather brilliant in its simplicity (though the actual methods are hardly simple). Essentially, the geometry of habitat loss (rather than just total area) is an important predictor of extinction risk.
 
Greater numbers of species go extinct when areas of their habitat are lost from the edge inwards compared to when they are lost from the centre outwards, finds a study in Nature Communications. Read the paper here: http://bit.ly/1PSnT8p
Extinction estimates aren't as accurate without taking into account the geometry of the lost habitat, new research suggests.
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oh my gosh ur so clever in dicovering any thing
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This is a great photo of a beetle initiating flight. The photographer has captured the moment when the posterior limbs are pushing off of the substrate (even insects initiate flight by leaping - Nachtigall and Wilson, 1967; Nachtigall, 1968; 1978; Schouest et al., 1986; Trimarchi and Schneiderman, 1993; 1995). There is also an obvious upward bend of the wings and a lot of twist.

These sorts of momentary wing shape changes (here caused by the rapid opening of the folded wings from under the elytra) are important features in the initiation of circulation and lift on the wings of small flyers, particularly insects, but are still relatively understudied. Some of the major groundwork in this area was laid out by Young et al. in 2009:

"Insect wings are complex structures that deform dramatically in flight. We analyzed the aerodynamic consequences of wing deformation in locusts using a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics simulation based on detailed wing kinematics. We validated the simulation against smoke visualizations and digital particle image velocimetry on real locusts. We then used the validated model to explore the effects of wing topography and deformation, first by removing camber while keeping the same time-varying twist distribution, and second by removing camber and spanwise twist. The full-fidelity model achieved greater power economy than the uncambered model, which performed better than the untwisted model, showing that the details of insect wing topography and deformation are important aerodynamically. Such details are likely to be important in engineering applications of flapping flight."

The full paper from which that abstract is taken can be found here: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/325/5947/1549.abstract (It is in Science, so the full paper is sadly paywalled.)

If you're looking for a great book on insect flight biomechanics, incidentally, this is the best one out there: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/6881.html. It might make a good a winter holiday gift for an entomologist in the family...

Thanks to +Jitte Groothuis for posting the amazing photograph.
 
This beetle has had it with all you "nope nope nope"-sayers!
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Education
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Anatomy (Ph.D.), 2004 - 2011
  • University of Virginia
    Biology (M.S.), 2001 - 2004
  • University of Virginia
    Biology (B.A.), 1998 - 2001
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Paleontologist. Gets to play with flying reptiles, dinosaurs, and swarms for a living. Enjoys tea and Kung Fu off the job.
Introduction
I spend my time teaching human gross anatomy and studying strange creatures from the deep past of Earth's history. I am particularly fond of publishing works on giant flying reptiles. When not contemplating the fossil record I can be found studying Kung Fu and growing orchids.

(Profile photo by Gus Ruelas)

My Curriculum Vitae


Some of my recent papers:

Han G, Chiappe LM, Ji S-A, Habib M, Turner AH, Chinsamy A, Liu X, and Han L. 2014. A New Raptorial Dinosaur with Exceptionally Long Feathering provides Insights into Dromaeosaurid Flight Performance. Nature Communications. 5 (4382)


Chiappe LM, Zhao B, O’Connor JK, Chunling G, Wang X, Habib M, Marugan-Lobon J, Meng Q, Cheng X. 2014. A new specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Hongshanornis longicresta: insights into the aerodynamics and diet of a basal ornithuromorph. PeerJ 2:e234 


Hone DWE, Habib MB, Lamanna MC. 2013. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of Solnhofen (Upper Jurassic, Germany) pterosaur specimens at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Annals of Carnegie Musuem 82(2): 149-175.


Habib M. 2013. Constraining the Air Giants: Limits on size in flying animals as an example of constraint-based biomechanical theories of form. Biological Theory: Special Volume doi: 10.1007/s13752-013-0118-y






Habib M. 2010. The structural mechanics and evolution of aquaflying birds. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 99(4): 687-698


Habib M.  2008. Comparative evidence for quadrupedal launch in pterosaurs. Pp 161-168 in Buffetaut E, and DWE Hone, eds.  Wellnhofer Pterosaur Meeting: Zitteliana B28

Bragging rights
I was selected as one of the "Brilliant 10" in Popular Science Magazine for 2014. My research was featured as one of the top 100 stories of 2009 by Discover Magazine.
Work
Occupation
Assistant Professor, Cell and Neurobiology
Skills
Anatomy, Biomechanics, Paleontology
Employment
  • University of Southern California
    Assistant Professor, Cell and Neurobiology, 2012 - present
    I teach Clinical Human Anatomy (Cadaveric). I research biomechanics, paleontology, robotics and comparative anatomy. Growing interest in astrobiology.
  • Chatham University
    Assistant Professor of Biology, 2009 - 2012
    I taught Clinical Human Anatomy (Cadaveric), Evolution, and Biostatistics. I had a fruitful research program in biomechanics, paleontology, and comparative anatomy.
  • National Aquarium
    Animal Husbandry: Rainforest, 2001 - 2001
    I provided animal care at the National Aquarium for reptiles, birds, and invertebrates. (https://plus.google.com/+nationalaquarium/posts)
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Los Angeles
Previously
Baltimore - Ellicott City - Charlottesville - Pittsburgh
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