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Posts

April 23, 2014

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11:57 PM | Male Or Female? Once Upon A Time, It Was Less Clear
Man or woman? Male or female? Modern sociological woo about gender aside, in humans and other mammals, the difference between the sexes depends on one single element of the genome: the Y chromosome. It is present only in males, where the two sexual chromosomes are X and Y, whereas women have two X chromosomes. Thus, the Y is ultimately responsible for all the morphological and physiological differences between males and females.read more
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11:53 PM | Citizen Scientists Match Research Tool When Counting Sharks
Shark data collected by citizen scientists may be as reliable as data collected using automated tools, according to results published April 23, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Gabriel Vianna from The University of Western Australia and colleagues.read more
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11:53 PM | Scientists Discover A New Shape Using Rubber Bands
Cambridge, Mass. – April 23, 2014 – While setting out to fabricate new springs to support a cephalopod-inspired imaging project, a group of Harvard researchers stumbled upon a surprising discovery: the hemihelix, a shape rarely seen in nature. This made the researchers wonder: Were the three-dimensional structures they observed randomly occurring, or are there specific factors that control their formation? The scientists answered that question by performing experiments in which they […]
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11:53 PM | Microbes Provide Insights Into Evolution Of Human Language
Big brains do not explain why only humans use sophisticated language, according to researchers who have discovered that even a species of pond life communicates by similar methods. Dr Thom Scott-Phillips of Durham University led research into Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a type of bacteria common in water and soil, which showed that they communicated in a way that was previously thought to be unique to humans and perhaps some other primates.read more
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10:30 PM | School Choice and Neighborhood Community in Washington, D.C.
Yesterday afternoon, New America hosted a panel of experts for a discussion of school choice in Washington, D.C. It took Sam Chaltain’s recent book, Our School: Searching For Community in the Era of Choice, as a jumping off point for a productive conversation about education policies that are too often polarized. Here’s a bit of background on the book: For Our School, Sam spent a year “embedded” in two D.C. elementary schools. One is a traditional district […]
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10:28 PM | Historic Shipwreck in San Francisco Bay Rediscovered
A long-lost 19th century shipwreck on the bottom of San Francisco Bay is again on the map. Scientists recently re-discovered it using sonar.
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10:14 PM | controlled thermodynamic integral for Bayesian model comparison
Chris Oates, Theodore Papamarkou, and Mark Girolami (all from the University of Warwick) just arXived a paper on a new form of thermodynamic integration for computing marginal likelihoods. (I had actually discussed this paper with the authors on a few occasions when visiting Warwick.) The other name of thermodynamic integration is path sampling (Gelman and […]
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10:05 PM | Before and After
As we await photos from yesterdays release. I thought I would share some before and after photos of the released turtles. Above is 023 "Frankenberry". When this turtle first arrived we were unsure if the wounds to both eyes were severe enough that the turtle couldn't see. After a few weeks, the turtle started chasing food items through the water column. A stint on eye meds and antibiotics.
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10:00 PM | Anti-Patent-Troll Bill Passes US House of Representatives
A bill known as the Innovation Act has passed the House of Representatives and is headed to the Senate. The bill, sponsored by Congressman Bob Goodlatte, is designed to prevent “abusive patent litigation.” Some companies known as “patent assertion entities,” “non-practicing entities,” or (less politely) “patent trolls” have been criticized for actions such as sending … Continue reading →
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9:53 PM | Look Who’s Talking
Although they don’t have language the way humans do, animals can clearly communicate with each other (otherwise, why would they make sounds at all?). We usually view animals’ vocalizations as reflexive (a yelp in response to pain) or very general … Continue reading →
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9:40 PM | Tiger time in the Sping Thaw
Well as part of the last expedition to China we got up north. Very north.  There was still snow on the ground even though it was early spring.  This is one of the times when having a good relationship with the Chinese SFA matters. Got to se...
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9:35 PM | Could the menstrual cycle have shaped the evolution of music?
A new study suggesting that women select better musicians shows how women’s role in evolution is being redefined.
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9:35 PM | Wordless Wednesday: Pictures in food
 
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9:30 PM | Space Fan News - 133 - Yuri’s Night with Ron Garan &...
Space Fan News - 133 - Yuri’s Night with Ron Garan & Space Shuttle Endeavour! Astronauts and a space party? Sounds like the place for Space Fans! Yuri’s Night is a celebration of the man that gave humanity that first step off of this planet and into space. Yuri Gagarin made the first orbit around our Earth on 12 April 1961 and on this day, Space Fans from across the world get together to celebrate this amazing accomplishment! Scott went out to the California Science Center in […]
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9:29 PM | John Dewey’s Encounter with Leon Trotsky
Richard J. Bernstein in Public Seminar (Book cover of The Later Works of John Dewey by John Dewey, edited by Jo Ann Boydston © Southern Illinois University Press | Amazon.com): [A]lready in 1934, Dewey saw the parallels between what was...
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9:28 PM | Gene therapy with electrical pulses spurs nerve growth
Deaf guinea pigs' hearing improves with electrical pulses from a hearing implant are combined with gene therapy, a new study shows.
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9:19 PM | Deciphering Buran, The Soviet Space Shuttle
There are countless magazine articles and websites that pit the American Space Shuttle against the little-known Soviet version, and declare a winner…usually the Soviets. This is NOT that kind of story. I understand that deep-seated national rivalries make it difficult to refrain from choosing sides in any kind of Soviet/American comparison. However a cage match between these two shuttles makes no sense in the first place, as I’ll explain. Furthermore, such comparisons only serve to […]
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9:11 PM | How Bionic Plants Will Change Everything! Robots seem to be...
How Bionic Plants Will Change Everything! Robots seem to be becoming more and more popular, as they make our lives easier and more efficient. Robots surrounded by organic material have made their way into pop culture with movies like Robocop. What would happen if we made a bionic plant? Trace reports on some new research showing how these genetically engineered plants will change the world! via DNews Channel.
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9:08 PM | Blogroll: Inviting ire and iron
Editor’s note: As we continue to invite bloggers out there in the wild to compose our monthly Blogroll column, Tien Nguyen penned the May 2014 column.  Read more
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9:00 PM | Used Tips – ‘Planet of the Apes’
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8:56 PM | Study Shows Aspirin Can Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risks For Those With Specific Gene
The humble aspirin may have just added another beneficial effect beyond its ability to ameliorate headaches and reduce the risk of heart attacks: lowering colon cancer risk among people with high levels of a specific type of gene. The extraordinary finding comes from a multi-institutional team that analyzed data and other material from two long-term studies involving nearly 128,000 participants. The researchers found that individuals whose colons have high levels of a specific gene product […]
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8:55 PM | Study: Iron Consumption Can Increase Risk For Heart Disease
A new study from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington has bolstered the link between red meat consumption and heart disease by finding a strong association between heme iron, found only in meat, and potentially deadly coronary heart disease. The study found that heme iron consumption increased the risk for coronary heart disease by 57 percent, while no association was found between nonheme iron, which is in plant and other non-meat sources, and coronary heart disease.read
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8:49 PM | "A Fred Sanger would not survive today's world of science."
Somehow I missed last year's obituary for double Nobel laureate and bench scientist extraordinaire Fred Sanger by Sydney Brenner in Science. The characteristically provocative Brenner has this to say about a (thankfully) fictional twenty-first century Sanger:A Fred Sanger would not survive today's world of science. With continuous reporting and appraisals, some committee would note that he published little of import between insulin in 1952 and his first paper on RNA sequencing in […]
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8:30 PM | Your Brain is Plastic Hank explains the gift that your brain...
Your Brain is Plastic Hank explains the gift that your brain gives you every day: the gift of neural plasticity — the ways in which your brain actually changes at the cellular level as you learn. via SciShow. Subbable: https://subbable.com/scishow Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com
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8:17 PM | Tracking the Lives of Nonstop Swimmers
How do you study an animal that never stops swimming? Find out how the Pristine Seas team is using technology to go along for the ride.
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8:17 PM | Tracking the Lives of Nonstop Swimmers
How do you study an animal that never stops swimming? Find out how the Pristine Seas team is using technology to go along for the ride.
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8:16 PM | Podcast: The Science of Shakespeare
This week on the podcast I chat with science writer Dan Falk about his new book The Science of Shakespeare. William Shakespeare lived in the thick of what we now call The Scientific Revolution: so did the scientific ideas taking root during this time influence the Bard's work? Scholars are still debating this issue, as Shakespeare never said anything definitive about the science of the day. Falk explores some of the theories, which range from casual mentions of infinity, to the idea that the […]
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8:00 PM | Love Letter to Food MinuteEarth provides an energetic and...
Love Letter to Food MinuteEarth provides an energetic and entertaining view of trends in earth’s environment — in just a few minutes! Alex’s Issue Brief:http://www.foodpolicy.umn.edu/prod/groups/cvm/@pub/@cvm/@fprc/documents/content/cvm_content_477272.pdf via Minute Earth. Subbable - https://subbable.com/minuteearth
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7:57 PM | Demand Slows for European Research Council Grants
A total of 3272 proposals were submitted in the 2014 European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant competition – the first one under the new EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020- which closed on 27 March. This means that, after years of substantial increases in the number of applications received, the demand for starting grants has stabilised. […]
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7:48 PM | That’s a lot of poop: nearly 179 million cases of acute diarrhea occur each year in US
Washing produce is never enough, but that’s what a researcher says in a review of causes of foodborne illness. A better suggestion would be rigorous on-farm food safety programs. In the United States, approximately 179 million cases of acute diarrhea … Continue reading →
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