For Frogs, Surviving the Heat Could Come Down to What Is in Their Gut

Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrate class worldwide. Because they lack the ability to regulate their own temperature and moisture levels, climate change is playing a significant role in this growing peril (1). Climate change impacts amphibian survival in several ways. In addition to habitat loss, growing drought conditions make maintaining body moisture levels challenging and warming temperatures restrict activity periods needed for reproduction as well as increasing the risk of heat stress.

Heat tolerance varies by species, and understanding what influences these differences could help predict species survival. The gut microbiota is known to affect a wide range of functions in host animals, and recently studies have begun to investigate its role in host thermal tolerance (2).

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Top Science Books of 2016

While I planned to write about New Year’s resolutions for the first Promega Connections blog of 2017, I was sidetracked by some “best of 2016” lists—in particular, best science books. I realized though that these seemingly unrelated ideas overlapped at some level because every year I resolve to find time to read more books. What was once an easy and natural escape for me, like for so many others, reading for fun now requires a bit of effort and prioritization. With the continual distractions of Netflix, social media and online news stories, it’s a challenge to find time to read books the way I once did.

So, in honor of a new year’s resolution do more of what I like and less of what I don’t like, here is a list of what has been deemed the best science books of 2016. I culled through the lists of several of the most reputable science blogs and publications and looked for overlap among them. Between the Science Friday blog, New York Magazine’s blog, The Science of Us, Smithsonian Magazine, NPR, and the New York Times’ best of 2016 lists there are loads of suggestions to keep you reading until the start of the next decade. Below are eight recommendations that appeared on several “best of” lists. Continue reading “Top Science Books of 2016”