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Robby Bowles
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Carry The One Radio: Tapping into the Brains Avoidance Centers.

Make sure to check out +ScienceSunday's content partner, Carry the One Radio,and their  most recent episode interviewing Dr. Garret Stuber from UNC - Chapel Hill.

Some good stuff in this interview on dopamine and avoidance.

Carry The One Radio:  Tapping Into the Brains Avoidance Centers

Check out +ScienceSunday's content partner, Carry the One Radio, and their new episode with Dr. Garret Stuber at UNC, Chapel Hill.

The What - Traditionally, dopamine is known to transmit reward signals (food, sex, etc.) in the brain and promote behaviors that lead to that reward again. What you may not know, however, is that the area of the brain that releases dopamine, the ventral midbrain, also receives signals of aversion (things we find unpleasant or even dangerous) from a far-off brain region called the lateral habenula. These avoidance signals promote behaviors that lead us to avoid unpleasant or dangerous things in the world.

The Lab - These brain circuits are necessary for survival and are the focus of Dr. Garret Stuber and his laboratory at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Using a tool known as optogenetics, Dr. Stuber can excite specific populations of neurons within mouse brains and observe their effects on behavior. For example, by stimulating the neurons in the lateral habenula that signal aversion, he can cause mice to avoid the location in which they received that stimulation. He is essentially creating an aversive stimulus by stimulating the neurons that would normally respond to harmful or unpleasant cues in the world.

Why? - His work has important implications in addiction and psychiatric disorders

The episode can be found here:

#ScienceSunday   #SciSunRDB  
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K ceraaaaa
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Science in Action

I thought it would be fun to start snapping some photos of the science I'm doing on a daily basis. There are often cool visuals that we see everyday that you would never see unless you worked in a lab. This is a photo of our centrifuge as we purify plasmid for a lentiviral gene delivery experiment.

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I think you should cut out all the element symbols (from very safe plastic in red, white and black) and make the worlds coolest, science mobile.  Hung proudly from the nursery ceiling of course.  :)
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Solar Eruption.

May Your New Year be Filled with Science!

+Science Exchange shares one of the coolest science gifs of 2013.  This gif was produced from a video by NASA, which can be seen here:

NASA states:

"On July 19, 2012, an eruption occurred on the sun that produced a moderately powerful solar flare and a dazzling magnetic display known as coronal rain. Hot plasma in the corona cooled and condensed along strong magnetic fields in the region. Magnetic fields, are invisible, but the charged plasma is forced to move along the lines, showing up brightly in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 304 Angstroms, and outlining the fields as it slowly falls back to the solar surface. Music: "Thunderbolt" by Lars Leonhard, courtesy of artist. Credit: NASA/SDO/Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio"

Epic coronal rain on the sun captured by NASA.

More of the best science gifs of 2013:

#NASA   #smithsonian   #scienceeveryday  
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Happy New Year 2014
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Carry the One Radio: Pulling DNA.

Check out the most recent edition of Carry the One Radio (content partner with +ScienceSunday) on Sophie Dumont's work at UCSF. Her lab is working to understand how the chromosome (an organized structure of DNA) is divided and segregated into separate daughter cells. 

You can find the interview here:

Carry the One Radio: Pulling DNA.

We bring you the newest interview by Carry the One Radio (brought to you by +Sama Ahmed) of Sophie Dumont at the University of California, San Francisco.

Find the episode here:

The Process - When a cell divides (called a parent cell), it provides a complete copy of genes to each new cell that is formed (called daughter cells). This complicated process occurs repeatedly to accomplish an organism's development, repair, and replenishment. To reliably split the DNA correctly requires an orchestra of microscopic interactions among many molecules.

The Mechanics - While we know many of the molecules involved, scientists still know relatively little about the mechanical interactions that underlie this process. Our guest this month, Sophie Dumont, Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell and Tissue Biology at UCSF, hopes to understand these interactions. Specifically, her lab is working to understand how the chromosome (an organized structure of DNA) is divided and segregated into separate daughter cells.

The Implications - Her work has implications in various developmental disorders and cancer, which can result from errors in cell division. At the end of our talk she discusses what it’s like to be a woman in science and gives advice to listeners interested in a career in science.

#ScienceSunday   #SciSunRDB  
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+Mathieu Belanger-Camden You are correct that we are seeing cell division here.  The cells were engineered to have two fluorescent proteins expressed in fusion to microtubule EB3 and histone H2B.  mEmerald is tagged to microtubule EB3 which allows us to see the microtubules here in green and mCherry was fused to histone H2B which allows us to see the chromosomes here in red.  All of this was imaged on a laser scanning confocal microscope.
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A Mantis eating a fish!  One of my favorite +ScienceSunday posts this week.  Make sure to join us each week for #ScienceSunday  and during the weekdays for #ScienceEveryday .

Mantis Eating a Fish

This really has to be seen to be believed. A mantis (probably a very hungry one) pounces on and eats an actual fish. Although, given that they are capable of eating birds, it's not altogether too surprising. 

Praying Mantis vs Hummingbird

Learn more about mantises here:

#ScienceSunday     #SciSunBS  

h/t +Michael Habib 
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así es la vida.
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Have him in circles
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The Unexpected.

While out photographing Snowy Owls on Amherst Island this year, this hawk decided to get pretty close to me.  I always attempt to maintain my distance from the wildlife I photograph out of respect for them.  This hawk was not concerned about me and landed quite close to me.  I was appreciative of the great opportunity to get a close shot to this beautiful hawk.  You never know what to expect each day you go out to shoot, but I always enjoy it.  All in all, it was a great day of photography.

Cheers everyone.

Prints of this shot and other wildlife photographs available on my website at

#WildlifeWednesday  (+Mike Spinak +Morkel Erasmus)
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Nice shot
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Happy New Year Everyone!

I have been hoping to photograph Snowy Owls for a few years now, but have come up empty.  This was finally the year and I was able to find a number of them over my Christmas vacation and get a few photos.  They are truly magnificent and it was special to see them in the wild.  I had as much fun observing them as I did photographing them.  I look forward to my next encounter with them, but for now will have to enjoy the photos I took of them.

You can find more of my wildlife photography and prints for purchase on my website at

#WildlifeWednesday  (+Mike Spinak +Morkel Erasmus)
#widewednesdaypanorama  (+WideWednesdayPanorama +Ken McMahon +David Heath Williams)
#WinterWednesday  (+Antoine Berger +Logan Miller)
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Same to you +Johan Peijnenburg!
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Home Sweet Lab

Always nice when you get views like this from your lab window in the evening.

#ScienceEveryday #MyLab

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Cool!  Wish the view from your lab was in Ogdensburg.  :)
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Robby Bowles

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Father of the Year?

Check out this fun #ScienceSunday  post from +Rich Pollett showing tadpoles moving around in the male Darwin's frog vocal pouch as they develop!  

As a new father, it's incredible to see how other species have evolved to nurture their offspring.

Update - Unfortunately, +Tommy Leung has pointed out that this species is likely extinct.  Check out Tommy's post on the subject here:


Look at this GIF of tadpoles wriggling around in their dad’s mouth 

A male Darwin’s frog with a vocal pouch full of tadpoles. He carries them around until they develop into froglets and hop out of his mouth. (Natural World - BBC)

Darwin's frog:'s_Frog

Darwin's frog:'s_frog

ZSLEDGETV video> Movement of tadpoles within vocal sacs of Darwin's frogs

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Parece como aquellas personas que se tragan las palabras y suelen guardar lo que llevan dentro.
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What's So Special About Science?

I love this quote out of the AAAS presidential address.

“[t]here is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of Science and Literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of publick happiness” - George Washington, first annual address to congress which you can find here,

I also particularly like the concluding passage from the AAAS presidential address.

"The American public already highly values science and scientists and seems to have an intuitive grasp of heavy-tailed, not immediately monetizable, returns. Through communication with the public, we must continue to provide the evidence that may justify those beliefs—indeed, this is the mission of AAAS. But also as individuals, we must seize every opportunity to demonstrate that what we do is altruistic and idealistic and that it is also economically vital. Our message is that science is a single, unified, long-term enterprise in which basic science discoveries, and research accomplishments of applied science and engineering, are things to be admired in their own right that also, often unpredictably, lead to better jobs and better lives, new products and new industries. Both of these perspectives will be well served if the United Statesis able to keep itself (and help to put the rest of the world) on a Solow-inspired trajectory of technology-enabled exponential growth."

Check out the entire AAAS presidential address on the importance of science (and how much we should spend on it here,

#ScienceEveryday  (For when it's not #ScienceSunday )
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Have him in circles
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Scientist and Photographer
  • Duke University
    Postdoctoral Associate, present
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Durham, NC
Shreveport, LA - Merced, CA - Ft. Worth, TX - Philadelphia, PA - Ithaca, NY - Manassas, VA - Dale City, VA - New York City, NY
A Scientist at Duke University with a passion for photography and imaging.
Medical researcher at Duke University with a passion for photography.  My research focuses on back pain and tissue engineering, while much of my spare time ( the little there is) is spent doing photography.  My deep desire is to end pain and suffering and I use both my research and photography to work towards this goal.

My Photography:

Co-founder of #ScienceSunday here on plus.
  • Duke University
    Postdoctoral Scholar Biomedical Engineering, 2011 - present
  • Cornell University
    Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, 2011
  • University of Pennsylvania
    BSE Bioengineering, 2005
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