Posts

July 22, 2014

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1:34 PM | The Immigrant Kids Have Health Issues — But Not The Ones You'd Think
Politicians charge that the nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors who've come to the U.S. could put the nation at risk for everything from TB to mumps. Health officials tell a different story.
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1:33 PM | Should Pets Be Banished From the Bedroom?
New research examines the effect of sleeping with pets on their owner's health and happiness.read more
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1:32 PM | Nontraditional Animal Models—Beyond the Zebrafish, the Other Teleosts
Fishermen can tell you many tales of the teleosts but most cell biologists know but one—the zebrafish. That's a shame, says John Postlethwait, professor of biology at the University of Oregon, who made his scientific mark with the zebrafish but is a fan of a much wider circle of the teleosts, ray-finned fish whose ranks include nearly all of the important sport or commercial bony fish on Earth. Postlethwait thinks there are discoveries to be made amongst the lesser-known teleosts. […]
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1:30 PM | Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: Still an antivaccine crank after all these years
Only really long time readers will remember this, but back in the day (June 2005, to be exact), I discovered Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his antivaccine nuttery when he published his epically bad piece of antivaccine conspiracy mongering, Deadly Immunity, both in Salon.com and Rolling Stone (the latter of which doubled down on it…
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1:27 PM | “How Might Quantum Information Transform Our Future?”
So, the Templeton Foundation invited me to write a 1500-word essay on the above question.  It’s like a blog post, except they pay me to do it!  My essay is now live, here.  I hope you enjoy my attempt at techno-futurist prose.  You can comment on the essay either here or over at Templeton’s site.  Thanks […]
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1:27 PM | Detroit Pensioners Approve City's Bankruptcy Plan
The vote marked a major step in moving the city's bankruptcy forward. Retired police and firefighters overwhelmingly approved some cuts in their pensions.
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1:20 PM | A subway topologist
One of my favorite books when I was growing up was the Mathematics volume in the LIFE Science Library. I didn’t own the book, but my uncle did, and I’d browse through the book whenever I visited him. I was too young at the time to understand much of what I was reading. One of […]
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1:15 PM | Secret Grizzly Bear Feeding Site Discovered
Finding the feeding site for the grizzly bears and the 'highways' they take to get to it could help policymakers ban trophy hunting in the region.
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1:13 PM | World’s Largest Carbon Capture Facility To Be Built Near Houston
The world’s largest carbon capture facility is coming to Texas.  The US Department of Energy has announced that work will soon begin a project to capture up to 90% of the carbon emissions from the W.A, Parish Generating Station; a … Continue reading →
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1:11 PM | Crime and punishment
When I was prepping for my Slate Money podcast last week I read this column by Matt Levine at Bloomberg on the Citigroup settlement. In it he raises the important question of how the fine amount of $7 billion was determined. Here’s the key part:  Citi’s and the Justice Department’s approaches both leave something to […]
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1:06 PM | Mohammed Suliman’s Tweets from the War in Gaza
Mohammed Suliman's tweets from Gaza (via Juan Cole): Some were just tweeting and posting on Facebook about other people's death like I'm doing. Now people are tweeting about their death. — Mohammed Suliman (@imPalestine) July 20, 2014 Hani mourns the...
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1:04 PM | How to Unmarry Your Wife
Sarah Viren in The Morning News: It was sweltering the day I unmarried Marta, and we weren’t even together. I was with my little brother in a Penske truck, the flat haze of West Texas rising before us like the...
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1:00 PM | The cosmos laughs at our puny particle colliders
A while back, a few other science writers and I were chatting idly on Twitter about how common Higgs bosons might be in the cosmos. Not because they stick around very long — their lifetime is incredibly short — but because there are a lot of high-energy collisions near black holes, in supernova remnants, and […]
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12:55 PM | Malaysia Implements New Medical Device Policies
Medical device companies interested in doing business in Malaysia now have a clearer path to market thanks to the country’s Medical Device Authority (MDA) putting into place policies associated with the Medical Device Act. The Medical Device Act was initially adopted in the first quarter of 2013, and went into effect July 1, 2013, but ... continue reading
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12:53 PM | Against Intersectionality
Justin Smith in Berfrois: Does a Muslim Chechen migrant laborer in a provincial Siberian city –a ‘Caucasian’ if anyone ever was– enjoy ‘white privilege’? It seems offensive to suggest that he does. Of course, there is some scenario on which...
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12:48 PM | Hong Kong: Two Hospital Clusters Of MDR Acinetobacter Infections
Credit CDC PHIL   # 8856   Because it is such an international city, and boasts one of the most diligent (and open) public health agencies in the world (Centre For Health Protection), Hong Kong has become a terrific  barometer for the growth of multiple drug resistant infections from around the world.   One of the toughest bacteria that hospitals must deal with is called multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii, which in recent years has made headlines […]
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12:41 PM | Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League
William Deresiewicz in TNR [h/t: Simon During]: Let’s not kid ourselves: The college admissions game is not primarily about the lower and middle classes seeking to rise, or even about the upper-middle class attempting to maintain its position. It is...
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12:37 PM | Biology is a hard problem
New genetic disorders pop up all the time — each one represents a child who may face incredible challenges, or even be doomed to death. A child named Bertrand exhibited some serious symptoms — profound developmental disabilities — shortly after he was born, and no one could figure out what was wrong with him. So…
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12:37 PM | Writers or Missionaries?
Adam Shatz in The Nation: Shortly after September 11, I interviewed V.S. Naipaul about his views on Islam for The New York Times Magazine. Much of what he said was predictably ugly, a provocation calculated to offend liberal sensibilities. “Non-fundamentalist...
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12:30 PM | Magnolia Solar Is Using Nanotechnology to Develop High-Efficiency Thin Film Solar Cells
Magnolia Solar Corporation announced that it is pioneering the application of nanotechnology for both flexible CIGS and III-V solar cells in order to boost performance and lower costs.
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12:30 PM | A Ray of Hope … from the past?
Some good news from The New Yorker this week… First, the (nearly) nonagenarian magazine is opening up a large part of its archives to non-subscribers. A look into this library can be found here. Second, Andy Borowitz reports that once, this nation actually believed in science. That’s right, these United States supported and the advancement of […]
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12:30 PM | Insects Headline Art of Science Exhibit
Science is boring. Art is Stupid. Prove us wrong. These are the words that launched the annual Art of Science exhibition at Princeton University. The exhibit highlights examples of accidental art – images and video collected in the process of doing science that somehow go beyond the numeric values of their pixels. This year I was excited to have four of my photographs included in the exhibit. Taking photos while doing research gives students and scientists a chance to embrace their […]
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12:30 PM | How Loss of Hearing Leads to Improved Vision in the Deaf
We have all heard the amazing things the brain can do when deprived of one of the senses – stories about blind people with incredible hearing or deaf people with amazing visual skills. That is because the part of the brain responsible for hearing reorganizes itself in the deaf to take in visual information (and […]
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12:27 PM | NSF grant will further research on models of self-assembling systems
The models simulate or mimic complex biological processes, such as evolution, self-replication and immune system behaviors, and the formation of prions, protein particles that may cause brain diseases. The models can be used to help scientists develop artificial self-assembling systems in laboratories and will make valuable contributions to the theoretical understanding of biological systems.
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12:24 PM | Plunging Deep into Colliding Galaxies
Roughly 50 million light years from Earth is the most spectacular example of galactic collision in the sky: the famed Antenna Galaxies, two huge spiral galaxies in the middle of a cosmic train wreck. Playing out over hundreds of millions of years, the gravity of the two galaxies has distorted their shapes, flung out streamers of stars a million light years long, and triggered a burst of star formation so intense that billions of new stars are being born in the galaxy’s hearts. As mighty […]
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12:21 PM | Aliens are Sinners
To paraphrase Carl Sagan: in one unremarkable galaxy among hundreds of billions, there is an unremarkable star among hundreds of billions of stars in that one galaxy. Around that star revolves a world with life. Some people who live on that world believe they are the center of the universe. Sagan nicely puts into perspective [...]
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12:18 PM | Gaza Conflict Day 15: Here's What You Need To Know
During day 15 of the current conflict, Secretary of State John Kerry was in Cairo pressing for a truce modeled after the 2012 cease-fire, while Israel continued its offensive.
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12:13 PM | Foreskins used for witchcraft in Zimbabwe?
This is the weirdest excuse for banning circumcision I’ve ever heard. The foreskins can be used in witchcraft to make charms. A senator in Zimbabwe wants the government to outlaw the circumcision of children until the age of 18 so that they could make their own decisions concerning the procedure. She is using a unique… Source: Doubtful News
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12:03 PM | Getting Things Done At The Workshop School
An innovative approach to learning amid turmoil in the Philadelphia School District.
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12:01 PM | Exciting findings in schizophrenia genetics – but what do they mean?
A paper published today represents a true landmark in psychiatric genetics. It reports results of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of schizophrenia, involving 36,989 cases and 113,075 controls. Assembling this sample required collaboration on a massive scale, with over 300 authors involved. This huge sample gives unprecedented statistical power to detect genetic variants that predispose to disease, even if their individual effects on risk are tiny. The study reports 108 […]
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