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Posts

April 18, 2014

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11:32 AM | Se le femmine (d'insetto) hanno il pene
La femmina introduce il suo pene nella vagina del maschio. No, non ci siamo sbagliati a invertire i sessi e i relativi organi sessuali: su Current Biology infatti un gruppo di ricercatori giapponesi, svizzeri e brasiliani mostra il caso di animali, insetti in questo caso, con genitali a sesso invertito, in cui le femmine hanno il pene, e i maschi l’equivalente di una vagina. Gli insetti studiati dai ricercatori sono quattro specie del genere Neotrogla, sono sati scoperti in Brasile e […]
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11:00 AM | Feedback: Fenestration fun
Defenestrations in history, global flattening squashed, memetic engineering and you, and more (full text available to subscribers)
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9:45 AM | Proper attire for gardening
If your gardening shoes are no longer up to the job, you can recycle them into planters! Now that spring has finally sprung, we’re all spending more time out in the garden. It’s a great place to be when the weather is nice, and most of us could use the exercise after a winter indoors, but it pays to bear in mind some healthy and safety aspects if you want to avoid injuring yourself. It won’t take long, I’m just going to share with you some of the advice that I included […]
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8:16 AM | booksnewbooks: Title: Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of...
booksnewbooks: Title: Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern PlaguesAuthor: Martin J. BlaserSynopsis: A critically important and startling look at the harmful effects of overusing antibiotics, from the field’s leading expert Tracing one scientist’s journey toward understanding the crucial importance of the microbiome, this revolutionary book will take readers to the forefront of trail-blazing research while revealing the damage that overuse of […]
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6:42 AM | Taurine (and also cysteate) are described as “amino acids” in...
Taurine (and also cysteate) are described as “amino acids” in the literature, even though their acid group is a sulphonic, not carboxylic one. Both are derived from the essential but interconverted Cys & Met. It’s odd to notice, as I guess it’s something I would just take for granted. Similarly, there are phosphonic amino acids. A large part of this oversight is that the amino acids making up proteins are all carboxylic, but in the living cell these building blocks […]
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6:34 AM | Kepler-186f, il nuovo gemello terrestre
Si chiama Kepler-186f, è leggermente più grande della Terra, ed è l’ultimo pianeta individuato dal telescopio Kepler della Nasa, nella zona abitabile (ossia a una distanza a cui è possibile trovare acqua liquida sulla superficie) attorno alla stella Kepler-186, da cui appunto prende il nome. Ma Kepler-186f, presentato in uno studio pubblicato su Science, non è solo: altri quattro pianeti orbitano attorno alla stella, tutti individuati tramite il metodo […]
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6:23 AM | Così si spiega il morbo di Parkinson
Dietro la morte delle cellule neuronali all’origine del morbo di Parkinson si sa da tempo che si nascondo (anche) alcune mutazioni genetiche, ma il meccanismo con cui queste causino da ultimo la degenerazione cellulare non è ben noto. Oggi però uno studio, pubblicato su Cell, risponde in parte a questa domanda, aprendo le porte a nuove ipotesi terapeutiche. Un gruppo di ricercatori della John Opkins University di Baltimora, guidato da Ted Dawson del John Opkins Institute for […]
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4:22 AM | Cancer cells on a mission to the ISS
As part of an international project, a Danish professor will soon be sending a batch of thyroid cancer cells out into space. The aim is to figure out why the
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4:00 AM | #261 Accidents and Eccentricity
This week, we're learning about some of the most fortunate accidents and fascinating personalities in the history of science. We'll talk to astrophysicist and author Mario Livio about his book "Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe." And we'll talk to historian W. Bernard Carlson about his book "Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age."
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3:02 AM | Astro-Vid Of the Week: Adventures in Eclipse Webcasting
Totality! The April 15th 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse. (Photo by Author). Backyard astro-tech has certainly gotten much more sophisticated since we hand-sketched our first lunar eclipse as a kid back in the 1980’s. During this week’s total lunar eclipse, we thought we’d try our hand at live streaming the event. We’ve been a voracious consumer [...]
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3:02 AM | Upon a Sea of Stars by A. Bertram Chandler
A scifi classic! Don’t mess with John Grimes, and don’t ever dare to call him a pirate. He prefers the term privateer, thank you very much. This week, we take a look at the very latest collection of tales of the Galactic Outer Rim by A. Bertram Chandler, collected in one volume for the first [...]
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2:28 AM | Photo
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2:00 AM | Astro-Vid Of the Week: Adventures in Eclipse Webcasting
Totality! The April 15th 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse. (Photo by Author). Backyard astro-tech has certainly gotten much more sophisticated since we hand-sketched our first lunar eclipse as a kid back in the 1980’s. During this week’s total lunar eclipse, we thought we’d try our hand at live streaming the event. We’ve been a voracious consumer [...]
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2:00 AM | Upon a Sea of Stars by A. Bertram Chandler
A scifi classic! Don’t mess with John Grimes, and don’t ever dare to call him a pirate. He prefers the term privateer, thank you very much. This week, we take a look at the very latest collection of tales of the Galactic Outer Rim by A. Bertram Chandler, collected in one volume for the first [...]
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1:23 AM | equalityforher: Women’s History Month - Margaret Chan Margaret...
equalityforher: Women’s History Month - Margaret Chan Margaret Chan is known throughout the world for her efforts to increase global health. During her 9 years as Director of Health in Hong Kong she implemented new services to combat the spread of disease. Margaret Chan gained recognition for handling many different health issues including the avian influenza outbreak in Hong Kong in 1997 and the SARs outbreak in 2003. Chan is the World Health Organization’s current Director […]
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1:00 AM | Who owns the moon? In this episode we talk about cosmic property...
Who owns the moon? In this episode we talk about cosmic property rights. Who owns the moon? What about Mars? Can a company legally mine an asteroid? In space news: ULA and SpaceX go head to head at a Senate hearing committee, how tensions with Russia can negatively impact the US space programs, COSMOS, a new space plane is being developed and the original space shuttle wooden mockup is moving. You can watch the full Senate sub-committee video […]
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12:32 AM | It's Frisco Quake Day
It was 18 April 1906, 5:12 local time when the rumbling began. (Today that hour would be 6:12, a quarter-hour before sunup.) More than a full minute later, the shaking was still going on, and hundreds, maybe thousands of San Francisco's buildings had fallen, broken or caught fire. With the water supply rendered useless, fire raged over the city for three days and left half its people homeless. And that was only the beginning of the story of the great San Francisco earthquake, 108 years ago […]
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12:00 AM | Protein that gets sperm into egg identified
The protein Folr4 on a reproductive egg plays this crucial role in the fusion of the sperm and egg, research shows.

April 17, 2014

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10:46 PM | Meet Elsie MacGill, a legend in aircraft design and production...
Meet Elsie MacGill, a legend in aircraft design and production and the first female aircraft designer in the world. In 1938 she became Chief Aeronautical Engineer at Canadian Car and Foundry where she led the production and redesign of several planes including the Hawker Hurricane – the plane responsible for the most British victories in WWII. Most of the employees in the factory were women and by the wars end they had produced 1,400 aircraft, a massive feat. Elsie had forged new […]
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10:39 PM | Teachers Have a Respect Problem. Guess Why?
There’s big lawsuit in California. With the backing of a group called Students Matter, nine public school students from across the state are suing, in Vergara v. California, arguing that state laws make it so hard to to fire bad teachers in public schools that many students, especially black and Hispanic ones, can't get a "basic" education. Plaintiffs says this is about ensuring teacher quality. The opponents say this is about the labor rights of teachers. But there’s a problem […]
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9:40 PM | The Political Attractiveness of "Last-Dollar" Scholarships
The old adage about there being no such thing as a free lunch may hold true regarding a turkey sandwich on rye bread, but free lunches can happen in the world of higher education. An example of this is the growing number of “last-dollar” scholarships, in which private entities or state/local governments agree to cover students’ remaining tuition and fees after all federal grants have been provided. (Note that it does not cover room and board or living expenses—an […]
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9:15 PM | Even with rest, brain changes linked to football linger
The offseason may not allow enough time for football players' brains to heal from hard hits.
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9:00 PM | Wikipedia searches and sick tweets predict flu cases
Flu cases across the US can be accurately estimated using Wikipedia searches, and fluey tweets from Twitter users also give the game away
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8:57 PM | Rocket Girls: A Five day series into legends of aerospace...
Rocket Girls: A Five day series into legends of aerospace engineering
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8:49 PM | How a chimp goes mattress hunting
Chimpanzees prefer firm beds made of ironwood, a new study finds.
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7:44 PM | Magnetic nanovoyagers in human blood
While nanotechnology researchers have made great progress over the past few years in developing self-propelled nano objects, these tiny devices still fall far short of what their natural counterparts' performance. Today, artificial nanomotors lack the sophisticated functionality of biomotors and are limited to a very narrow range of environments and fuels. In another step towards realizing the vision of tiny vessels roaming around in human blood vessels working as surgical nanorobots, […]
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7:37 PM | Tiny Tyrannosaur Becomes Big News
Long before the Napoleon Complex became a common way to refer to those of us who are small but strong, the Nanuqsaurus hoglundi sauntered Alaska’s North Slope, unaware history would identify her as the smallest of the great tyrannosaurids.
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7:18 PM | Exotic material is like a switch when super thin
Researchers have shown how to switch a particular transition metal oxide, a lanthanum nickelate, from a metal to an insulator by making the material less than a nanometer thick.
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7:15 PM | Immigration, Unhealthy Dietary Habits, and Nutritional Status
Moving from one place to another takes effort and is fraught with unknowns. Different cultures, languages, laws, and more. People do this because they are seeking opportunity, to improve their circumstances. Contrary to this notion, Eldeirawi and colleagues report a negative effect of immigration/acculturation on nutritional status using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994). The data is not recent but the results are insightful, based on 1,559 Mexican […]
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7:06 PM | Early meat-eater may have led to larger plant-eaters
The newly identified Eocasea martini may have set the stage for later, much larger animals to become plant-eaters.
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