Monthly Archives: September 2018

Understanding complexities for household energy management: lessons from a smart grid pilot project


Smart grid tools increase opportunities to reduce or shift residential electricity consumption, but can they shape residential energy culture? And what underlying factors influence this shift? A recent attempt at answering these questions is the focus of a study published in Energy, Sustainability and Society, by members of the Energy Policy Research Group and the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

Biology Technology

Aging and the intricacies of the immune system

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Why do our immune systems get worse as we age? New mouse model research published in Genome Biology explores the hypothesis that altered gene regulation in the precursors of specialized immune cells called B cells causes them to decline as we age. The study found aging to affect several genes that participate in pathways linked to growth and proliferation making this an important step forward in understanding aging and the immune system.

Biology Health

Evolution and development of white stripes in Nemo and his cousins

clownfish in coral reef

Coral reef fishes are well known for their tremendous diversity of color patterns but, to date, the underlying developmental mechanisms controlling the evolution of this phenotypic diversity are still largely unknown. Vincent Laudet, Pauline Salis and Bruno Frédérich, authors of a new study in BMC Biology, explain how they combined phylogenetic and ontogenetic approaches to reveal the process of color patterns diversification in the iconic clownfishes.


Lego bricks, program coding and text editing: how metaphors in the press shape the perception of science


Our language is suffused with metaphors, and – often without even realizing it – these metaphors influence the way we perceive things. But what do the metaphors used when talking about a certain area of science reveal about how we perceive this field? A study recently published in Life Sciences, Society and Policy attempts to answer this question for the field of synthetic biology, using a novel combination of metaphor and co-occurrence analysis to systematically examine implications in linguistic images in the news coverage on synthetic biology.

Biology Technology