Scientists Conduct Middle School Science Fair Project




I guess I should be glad they’re not inventing some statistical wizardry to prove something, but, this has to be the lamest publish or perish pieces I’ve seen for a while…..


Theory predicts that the approach of catastrophic thresholds in natural systems (e.g., ecosystems, the climate) may result in an increasingly slow recovery from small perturbations, a phenomenon called critical slowing down. We used replicate laboratory populations of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae for direct observation of critical slowing down before population collapse. We mapped the bifurcation diagram experimentally and found that the populations became more vulnerable to disturbance closer to the tipping point. Fluctuations of population density increased in size and duration near the tipping point, in agreement with the theory. Our results suggest that indicators of critical slowing down can provide advance warning of catastrophic thresholds and loss of resilience in a variety of dynamical systems.

This is shocking stuff.  Populations in conditions less favorable for growth are more vulnerable and more apt to cease to exist when various perturbations are introduced to the vulnerable population.  I think the study was about “tipping points”, or baking, I’m not sure which. 

I understand they’ll be picking up their game for their next study and verifying/replicating one of the experiments listed here.  You can also read about this exciting bit of published science here….. because yeast and the market are sames. 

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4 Responses to Scientists Conduct Middle School Science Fair Project

  1. gator69 says:

    I prefer tipping pints!

  2. Bruce says:

    I’ll give you an absolutely certain catastrophic tipping point: when the moneytree runs out of money.

    Think of all those climateers driving taxis….what a catastrophy!

    • suyts says:

      I couldn’t, and still can’t believe this was published. This is something which was known and understood by every 10th grade biology student. We knew this because our science teacher in the 7th grade showed us.

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