Posts

December 18, 2014

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1:00 PM | Evolution shaped the internal beauty of plants
As plants embraced the terrestrial lifestyle, they underwent a range of adaptations to increase their size and stature as well as to facilitate transport of water and/or solutes. These vegetative innovations, which include the development of vascular and mechanical tissues, increased the anatomical complexity of plants. Such specialization is reflected in the design of the […]
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1:00 PM | New uses for the pubic microbiome?
A few weeks ago I posted that 80,000,000 bacteria may be transferred when you make-out with someone for greater than 10 seconds. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that a bacterial signature may also be transferred during other intimate activities. At one point in the study, the two people who lived together suddenly had more similarity […]
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11:13 AM | Six Citizen Science milestones from 2014 – number four is out of this world
From vast lengths of DNA to years of collective teamwork, we look back on the achievements of our 300,000 Citizen Scientists in 2014.
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10:46 AM | Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize 2014: The Complete Shortlist
Are you travelling over Christmas? Looking for something to read while you digest your Christmas dinner? Or perhaps just wanting to expand your knowledge to impress your friends… Well we’ve got the answer – twenty brilliant articles about science, nicely packaged into a downloadable pdf for you to savour.. it’s the Science Writing Prize 2014 […]
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10:00 AM | (Other) lessons of the Broad Street pump: understanding causation isn't so easy
The iconic John Snow, often referred to as the "father of epidemiology," is commonly credited with discovering the cause of cholera after his careful, empirical examination of the 1854 outbreak of the devastating disease in the Soho neighborhood of London.  But I think it's only with hindsight that we can say this, and I think it's not quite right.Snow was nothing if not a detail man.  A physician, he was very much an empiricist, experimenting and observing to test his ideas about […]
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9:15 AM | Memory of seasons past controls germination
In research published this week in PNAS, Steve Penfield (formerly Exeter, now John Innes Centre) and Ian Graham (CNAP, York) and collaborators have shown that ‘mother’ plants remember seasons and use this memory to program germination time into their seeds. Working on Arabidopsis thaliana, Penfield found that the mother plant plays an important role in sensing temperature and forms[...] The post Memory of seasons past controls germination appeared first on […]
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8:39 AM | Studiare musica per aver maggior successo a scuola
Le ore di musica infatti favorirebbero lo sviluppo di aree del cervello legate al linguaggio nei giovani che provengono da situazioni socioeconomiche più svantaggiate
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8:23 AM | Le 10 personalità scientifiche del 2014
In cima alla lista di Nature c’è l’italiano Andrea Accomazzo, responsabile delle operazioni della missione Rosetta
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8:00 AM | You Really Can Buy Happiness
If money could buy happiness it seems that our society, which is practically obsessed with consumption, would have the happiest people on Earth. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. However, it doesn’t mean that money is incapable of buying happiness; we just have to spend it the right way. According to psychologists, we’re far happier when we purchase experiences as opposed to things. And the more we can involve other people in those experiences, the more content we will […]
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7:00 AM | PHOTO DU BoB-328
No summary available for this post.
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5:13 AM | The Demise Of The New Republic
While it’s hardly the most important thing going on in the world right now, we should take a moment to note the effective demise of The New Republic. There was a time when TNR was one of the best liberal journals of opinion to be found. In the late seventies and eighties, when the magazine…
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4:21 AM | Pictures Considered #22. Viva La Resolución!
by Christoph Weigel | Why should we consider this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry, and why in our 'Pictures Considered' section in the first place? A hint comes from one of the many press releases: "... for improving the resolution of optical microscopes." Aha! Microscopes are at the heart of microbiology since...
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3:59 AM | One More Post For the Endless Discussion
Well, it seems the big discussion is still going strong, even after six weeks. Incredibly, the comments still seem to be substantive and interesting. So here’s another post to continue the discussion. Plus with my own ongoing blog lethargy, it’s nice that there’s any activity going on around here at all! So feel free to…
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2:27 AM | In the matter of Walter Lewin, MIT goes medieval
By now most people must have heard the unpleasant news that Walter Lewin, the beloved and world-renowned physics teacher at MIT whose legendary video lectures drew comparison with the Feynman Lectures on Physics has been barred from campus and stripped of his emeritus professor title in response to charges of sexual harassment of a student in one of his MITx courses. Unfortunately, considering the very public fame that Lewin achieved, MIT has been frustratingly silent on divulging the details […]
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2:26 AM | Here’s how pearlfish call to each other from inside the bodies of other living animals
A new study has revealed how marine pearlfish communicate with each other from the confines of their very safe and comfy homes inside oysters – they use the internal structure of the shell to... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:11 AM | The Lord of the Rings Mythology Explained Before you see the...
The Lord of the Rings Mythology Explained Before you see the final Hobbit Movie, learn about the mythology of The Lord of The Rings universe. By: CGP Grey . Support: http://www.patreon.com/cgpgrey
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12:22 AM | World of Dig Craft: Greenpeace vs. Nasca Lines? Today, Liv...
World of Dig Craft: Greenpeace vs. Nasca Lines? Today, Liv reflects upon Greenpeace’s impact on the Nasca lines. Links: Links for the video:http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/10/peru-press-charges-greenpeace-nazca-lines-stunthttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/11286570/Peru-to-press-charges-over-Greenpeace-Nazca-lines-stunt.htmlhttp://io9.com/this-greenpeace-stunt-may-have-irreparably-damaged-peru-1669728616 Welcome to World of Dig Craft. In this series Liv Westring […]
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12:13 AM | Climate Reason
No summary available for this post.

December 17, 2014

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11:33 PM | Why Do I Twitch When I Fall Asleep? "Hypnic jerk" might sound...
Why Do I Twitch When I Fall Asleep? "Hypnic jerk" might sound like a pretty good insult, but it’s actually a common sleep-related phenomenon. Perk up and let Josh explain. By: Stuff You Should Know.
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11:00 PM | Fish Converts Oyster Shell Into Speaker, Blasts Noise
In a pinch, oyster shells function as speakers for an industrious, communicative fish.
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10:44 PM | The Brain Scoop: The Fer-de-Lance by thebrainscoop: I love...
The Brain Scoop: The Fer-de-Lance by thebrainscoop: I love snakes. I love their physiology and anatomy, their behavior, their beauty, their deep integration into human mythology, culture, and folklore. You can guarantee if there’s a reptile hall at a museum or zoo, I make a beeline for the snakes. So, when it came to meeting Pablo Venegas - a man who I previously had only known from a larger-than-life photo in our Restoring Earth exhibit holding a massive bushmaster by its tail - […]
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10:36 PM | Shamanistic origin of Santa Claus?
Far out, man! In this nifty little article about Amanita muscari, the fly agaric, a spectacular mushroom, they suggest a story that TPP had never heard before. Now any botanist who knows their humanistic botany knows that this mushroom is a well known hallucinogen and toxic enough to scare the pants off this botanist. Yikes, don't try this mushroom at home folks, it could be your last trip. Siberian shamen were known to favor living in groves of birch trees, trees of life in some cultures, […]
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8:56 PM | Cochrane review: e-cigarettes and risk The Cochrane review on...
Cochrane review: e-cigarettes and risk The Cochrane review on e-cigarettes was published today (press release, review). Reading it was disappointing, as there was little communication of the uncertainty on e-cig safety as supported by research. This feels crucially significant given the example afforded to us in the recent history of biomedical research and the tobacco industry. Denial, downplaying, distortion and dismissal of evidence were key in the industry’s maintenance at […]
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7:36 PM | Science crowdfunding panel discussion
Earlier today, I took part in a panel discussion on Google Plus. Here is the archive of the discussion on YouTube:I am still working up a post about the story behind the #SciFund paper that came out in PLOS ONE last week. Stay tuned!
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7:36 PM | UChicago prostate cancer expert to use DOD grant to study racial disparities
Donald Vander Griend, PhD, and his colleagues received a three-year, $600,000 award from the Department of Defense to study health disparities between African American and Caucasian males with prostate cancer.
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7:35 PM | After more than 100 years
Without abundant material it were ridiculous to attempt a wide revision of these insects; and ... a mass of this material causes one's courage to sink at the sight of so uniform and apparently characterless a group.Claude Morley, 1912Back in 1912, three species of the parasitic wasp genus Ophion were described by two different entomologists, one of them was Claude Morley. This increased the number of known species in North America to eleven. Since then no new species was described although it […]
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7:19 PM | Under selection, an endangered species runs low on evolutionary “fuel”
The pale-headed brushfinch, Atlapetes pallidiceps, is a conservation success story, or at least the first chapter of one. The birds were thought to be extinct, until a 1998 survey [PDF] of Ecuador’s Yunguilla Valley found four nesting pairs, and observed them foraging for insects and fruit. Following that rediscovery, the Fundacion Jocotoco secured a reserve […]
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7:14 PM | Cougars to Enjoy a Ripping Birthday Bash
"Three orphaned cougars...called the North Carolina Zoo home since last March...Heath, Olive and Willow’s heartwarming story made national news last January. The cougars were rescued after a hunter in Oregon killed their mother. Once the hunter realized the adult cougar had kittens, they were taken to the Oregon Zoo where zoo keepers helped wean the animals. Zoo keepers believe if the kittens had not been rescued they would have starved or been eaten by a predator." "Due to their growing […]
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7:12 PM | Is the Smallest Multicelled Organism an Insect?
@Robot_Insect Is an insect the smallest non one celled animal? Which one is smallest? — Charles Simmins (@CharlesSimmins) December 16, 2014 Well, in short. No. It’s actually a microscopic, parasitic zooplankton that attaches itself to the outside of other zooplankton. … Continue reading →
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7:12 PM | Is the Smallest Multicelled Organism an Insect?
@Robot_Insect Is an insect the smallest non one celled animal? Which one is smallest? — Charles Simmins (@CharlesSimmins) December 16, 2014 Well, in short. No. It’s actually a microscopic, parasitic zooplankton that attaches itself to the outside of other zooplankton. … Continue reading →
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