Posts

October 07, 2014

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5:30 PM | Genes Determine How Coffee Affects You
Eight genes influence our preferences for a cup o' Joe.
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3:43 PM | My Master’s Work – Research on the Harris Line
I have created a page that  will discuss the work and findings that I conducted as a Master’s student at Bristol University. This work investigated a feature of human bone, called a Harris Line (HL), using a new perspective: a micro-CT scanner. Before continuing to read this page I strongly suggest reading my page entitled My […]
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2:02 PM | DNews: Why Does Everyone Hate Eye Contact?
Have you ever accidentally made eye contact with someone, and you immediately felt uncomfortable? Tara and Trace are here to explain why that is.
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9:00 AM | "The Book that Saves the World": When is a book legitimate science?
Yesterday in the mail, I received a copy of a book called Is It To Be: Terminal Alienation or Transformation for the Human  Race, written by one Jeremy Griffith, described in the book as an Australian biologist of unspecified (if any) professional affiliation.  This book arrived at my office address without my having ordered it (or paid for it), and the material included an advertising poster for the book and a long letter to me (clearly addressed from some mailing list because […]
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7:00 AM | The Experiment To Preserve An Anatomically Correct Crucifixion
There have been countless depictions of Christ on the cross, but members of the Royal Academy of Arts had noticed something---none of them seemed anatomically accurate. So they decided to figure out how to get a good look at just what a crucified body would become. They approached a London physician for his help and procured the body of James Legg, a convicted murderer. His body still warm, they nailed him to a cross and let the body settle, flaying it and taking a plaster cast for their […]

October 06, 2014

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9:18 PM | Which girl? Witch girl!
Today's news brings word of the skeleton of a 13-year-old adolescent unearthed from a cemetery in Italy that dates to the 5th-16th centuries AD.  From what I can glean from the report in Discovery News, the burial stands out because the adolescent was buried prone (face-down), which is abnormal for this cemetery.  I don't have time or energy at the end of a long Monday to thoroughly dissect this, so here are the highlights:First, the news media is calling this a "Witch Girl," in spite […]
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6:50 PM | Nurse Contracts Ebola in Spain
An assistant nurse at a Madrid hospital where two Ebola patients died has contracted the virus herself.
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5:37 PM | Explainer: Why Is the Secret Service Failing Obama?
The Secret Service is currently under fire for multiple security breaches and downright scandals. Threats to President Obama are particularly high these days, so why is the Secret Service failing so hard at their job?
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5:00 PM | How Do Doctors Test for Ebola?
Ebola is difficult to diagnose when a person is first infected because the early symptoms are also symptoms of other diseases, such as malaria and typhoid fever.
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1:38 PM | DNews: Why Are Peanut Allergies Becoming So Common?
Peanut allergies are becoming more and more common, and researchers are trying to find the cause. Trace is here to discuss this unique allergy, and how we might have finally found a cure.
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1:28 PM | Texas Ebola Patient Takes 'Turn for the Worse'
The man's condition is declining as officials monitor people he has come in contact with for signs of the Ebola virus.
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1:07 PM | How Science Discovered Different Types Of Blood
It's fairly common knowledge that we have different blood types and that those blood types dictate what we need when it comes to a blood transfusion. The idea of different blood types was only confirmed in 1900 by Austrian Karl Landsteiner, although earlier doctors had their suspicions when human-to-human transfusions failed. Until then, the idea of giving blood transfusions was a complicated one, and it was even tried with animal blood, although it ended badly. The post How Science […]
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9:00 AM | Big Data and its rationale - why are we still at it?
We're in the era of Big Data projects.  This is the result of a fervor of belief that more data, essentially comprehensive and completely enumerative, will lead to deeper or even complete understanding.  It is an extension of the idea of reductionism and induction that was a major part of the Age of Science, ushered in about 400 years ago with the likes of Bacon, Newton, Galileo and other iconic figures. Examples in physics include huge collider studies and very costly space […]

October 05, 2014

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5:34 PM | Moving forward
Ryan and I have been away for the weekend, a last minute break booked on Thursday evening when it looked – again – like the purchase of our new house* was going to fall through. We have been to Hayling Island, and seen the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, Fishbourne Roman Palace and Gardens, and West Dean Gardens. More on those last two later in the week. It was gone 5pm on Friday when we finally heard that the contracts had all been exchanged, and that we will be moving in the […]
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7:00 AM | The Holy Thug: Robin Hood Of Venezuela
The next time you need help getting out of prison or kicking a drug habit, why not offer a prayer to the Holy Thugs of Venezuela? Known in Caracas as the Santos Malandros, the Holy Thugs are real-life crooks who died in the ‘60s and ‘70s but are today revered as saints. And it isn't just criminals who worship these thugs. Even law-abiding citizens bring gifts for Ismael and his pistol-packing posse. The post The Holy Thug: Robin Hood Of Venezuela appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.
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2:30 AM | Bones Review - Season 10, Episode 2
The Lance to the HeartEpisode SummaryBooth and Brennan are desperate for answers to Sweets' murder but get nowhere on the phone.  At the Jeffersonian, Brennan, Daisy, and Edison examine his remains. Brennan notes a linear fracture to the right femur and Edison points out fractures on the greater cornua of the hyoid as well as crushing injuries to the thyroid cartilage.  The neck trauma makes Brennan think Sweets' killer was military trained. But Sweets' cause of death was an aorta […]

October 04, 2014

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2:08 PM | Ethisch voedsel – Dierendag en Offerfeest
Het is Dierendag én Offerfeest! Die combinatie leefde al enkele weken of zelfs maanden voor de vierde oktober onder moslims met wie ik contact heb. Met een mengeling van humor en ow-wat-gaan-we-nu-weer-krijgen-verzuchtingen werd er...
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7:00 AM | Stalingrad: Operation Condom Drop
In 1942 and 1943, the Wehrmacht’s Sixth Army was trapped in the city of Stalingrad. The survival of this army was the key to the Reich’s survival on the Eastern Front. It was up to the Luftwaffe to airdrop supplies for the army. Not only did the Luftwaffe not deliver anywhere near the amount needed, but they delivered some ludicrously wrong supplies, including cellophane grenade covers, fish food, ground pepper, and a massive condom shipment. The post Stalingrad: Operation Condom […]

October 03, 2014

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6:16 PM | Who needs an osteologist? (Installment 17)
While this discovery is very cool -- embryotomy, or the surgical removal of a fetus, dating to more than a century ago -- both LiveScience and the University Museum in Chieti-Pescara need an osteologist:  Mummified Fetus Reveals Ancient Surgical Procedure / Mummified Fetus Discovered in Italy (Photos).First, the LiveScience reporter writes about an "ancient" (is 1840 "ancient"?) "surgical procedure" performed on a fetus (embryotomy, I'd argue, is a surgical procedure performed on a […]
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5:30 PM | Why Is Our Urge to Stereotype So Strong?
Bill Maher’s sweeping generalizations abut Islam aren't the first time someone publicly stereotyped an entire religion. Why do we do it?
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5:20 PM | DNews: Can Aspirin Mend a Broken Heart?
Unless they're very lucky, most people have endured a soul-crushing breakup or two. Could a simple pain killer everyone has on hand really be the key to getting past all of a breakup's attendant blahs?
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9:00 AM | An example of the problem of risk projection
One of the biggest problems in biomedical, including genomic, disease risk prediction is that it is almost always based on projections of past risks into the future. We wrote about that the other day (here), but here's yet another example--and they abound.Baby swimming; WikipediaThe Oct 1 NYTimes had a story about a boom in pre-school fitness programs.  If parents, and it will largely be middle-class privileged parents, adopt this fad, it may have long-term, even lifelong, […]
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7:00 AM | The Flying Russian Tank Of World War II
Well, gliding tank. A momentous event occurred in September 1942---the only flight of the Soviet Antonov-A40 glider "aircraft," which was, for all intents and purposes, a tank with wings. Defying physics and common sense, the contraption was able glide to a smooth landing, but the project was discontinued shortly thereafter.The post The Flying Russian Tank Of World War II appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.

October 02, 2014

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11:06 PM | Week 24 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
Today I had a full day looking at the Tulsty Collection of infant skulls. It is extremely interesting and I am learning quite a few new terms. These new terms relate to various diseases and skull shapes which have been observed on some individuals. Today I saw a few cases of anencephaly which causes portions […]
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6:00 PM | Ground Zero for HIV/AIDS Id'd
Colonial rule in Africa, urban growth, railway travel, unsterilized needles and other factors all helped create the perfect storm leading to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
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2:00 PM | Ebola Isolation Procedures: A Close Look
When treating an Ebola patient, doctors would take both contact and droplet precautions, just like they would with a patient who had the flu.
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12:40 PM | Failing Sense of Smell a Strong Predictor of Death
Olfactory dysfunction in older people could augur the end of life within just five years.
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9:00 AM | Ignore this study!
A piece in the New York Times reports that a new study shows that working long hours causes type 2 diabetes, but only in people of lower socioeconomic status.  The study is a meta-analysis of 4 previous studies and analysis of 19 unpublished studies, and is published in The Lancet: Diabetes and Endocrinology ("Long working hours, socioeconomic status, and the risk of incident type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of published and unpublished data from 222 120 […]
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8:45 AM | Micrograph of the Month: The Other Paisley Poop
Paisley Caves became well known a few years ago for it's famous coprolites, or fossil faeces, which were found to contain human DNA, dated between 14,170 and 14,340 cal. BP. Although there have been questions over the identification of these as human (and work is still ongoing), this ancient DNA analysis currently provides some of the earliest evidence for human occupation of North America. The research at Paisley has been key in demonstrating the utility of coprolites as an archaeological […]
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7:00 AM | The Killer Lunatic Who Helped Write Your Dictionary
Compiling the dictionary is no easy task---especially when it's the Oxford English Dictionary. It wasn't just definitions that were needed, but sentences as well. A massive project ultimately passed down to editor James Murray, the project was ultimately assembled by an impressive display of 19th-century crowdsourcing. One of the most prolific contributors with tens of thousands of submissions was a man named Dr. William C. Minor. Murray struck up a friendship with the man, and eventually found […]
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