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Featured Project

July 25, 2018

Monitoring Bird Migration on Monomoy Island

From August to November, birds passing through Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in Maine on migration routes may unexpectedly fly into a net set up by scientists. Each morning scientists from Monomoy Bird Observatory will check for birds in the net and document the age/sex and condition of each bird before banding the bird and letting the bird loose. The results support informed management and conservation on the Refuge and across Cape Cod.

The banding station has been in operation since 2011 and all the staff and equipment are in place for a successful Fall season. The financial support from this campaign will provide the the food budget for the scientists over 11 weeks in the field and transportation to and from the island by boat. A small portion of the budget is dedicated to public outreach and dissemination of findings.

If you are curious what it is like to live in a lighthouse on a remote island, are interested in why a visual census is important, or would like a job as a bird bander you will not want to miss the lab note updates from this team. 

Featured Results

Crowdfunded scientific discoveries

Dietary Intervention has No Significant Decrease in Mercury Toxicity Among Native Communities in Peru 

Last year, a team of undergrads from Duke University hypothesized that dietary intervention could reduce mercury toxicity in humans. The results are in and they reported no statistically significant decrease in blood mercury concentration of the participants in their study. The small number of participants and variation in the data prevent the team from inferring an effect from the planned intervention.

We love featuring “negative” results because the most common answer a scientist gets when testing a hypothesis is they didn’t find significant results. Success on our platform is measured by successfully executing the research and sharing the learnings. Science is about the journey, not the destination.

The team learned that dietary interventions in the setting in Peru are feasible to implement when integrated with existing health post infrastructure. The challenge for them was getting participants to “buy in” and exhibit willingness to change their diet. The materials from their workshops educating the participants on how mercury affects human health and how mercury cycles through the environment is now available to the community.

This is a prime example of what we like to see in final results, successful execution of the scientific experiments and transparent reporting back to the public.
 

More Science

Projects Nearly There

The deadline to apply for the Wildlife Disease Association Challenge Grant is Wednesday, August 1st. Over $1,500 in grants will be awarded to the top participants. Historically, the Wildlife Disease Challenge has a 41% project funding success rate. Apply today.
 

Can we recycle lab plastics for 3D printing?
Turning lab plastic into 3D printing filaments

Extreme environments on Earth and harbors of life on Mars
Sampling serpentine rocks and soils in Sri Lanka

The Potential of Compost and Compost Tea on Athletic Turfgrass
Replacing chemical fertilizers with compost tea

An expedition in search of one of Australia's most mysterious marsupials
Does the desert rat-kangaroo still exist?

Early-Stage Drug Discovery for Chagas' Disease
This week we received 0.072 Bitcoin (equal to $576) to support this project.

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