Posts

August 28, 2014

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10:57 AM | Good governance, democracy and investment in science
From what others have written here at sciblogs most readers will know that we have elections on in New Zealand soon. While reading the newspaper last weekend I encountered an opinion piece by political commenter Colin James that includes commentary on investing in science that readers might be interested in. His essay opens by talking [...]
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10:53 AM | Borexino, misurata in diretta l'energia del Sole
L’esperimento Borexino ai Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (Lngs) dell’Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Infn)è riuscito, per la prima volta, a misurare l’energia solare nel momento in cui viene emessa, in tempo reale. Lo studio, che parla in gran parte italiano, è stato pubblicato su Nature, e dimostra che sostanzialmente nel corso degli ultimi 100 mila anni l’energia solare non è cambiata. La novità più importante della […]
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7:29 AM | New implant heals major bone injuries
A new implant embedded with growth factors may help heal major bone injuries. Major damage to bones can be very difficult to repair – especially injuries of the face or the spine. There must be enough bone left on either side of the break to use traditional implants like plates and screws. If a lot […]
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7:23 AM | Choose a blog post and vote!
Choose your favorite blog post among the nominees at 3 Quarks Daily, and vote here!  (There are 3 MT nominees -- just sayin'!)
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7:14 AM | Your Body Is Many Different Ages
How old are you? Whatever you answered, you'll be glad to know that you're not 100 percent correct. Researchers have now developed an algorithm that examines the amount of patterning and chemical buildup in DNA, allowing them to get a look at just how old the different tissues in our bodies actually are. For example, if you're female, your breast tissue is about three years older than the rest of you. The post Your Body Is Many Different Ages appeared first on KnowledgeNuts.
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7:08 AM | Viviamo in un ologramma a due dimensioni?
Forse viviamo in una grande illusione. Forse le certezze su quello che ci circonda non sono solide come sembra. Non è l’incipit apocalittico di un nuovo Matrix, ma quello che intendono svelare i fisici del Fermi National Laboratory, che hanno messo a punto un esperimento – The Holometer, si chiama – per conoscere la vera natura dello spazio che ci circonda. Ovvero, più in particolare, per capire se quello che percepiamo come spazio tridimensionale non sia altro […]
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7:02 AM | Una lunga infanzia per nutrire un cervello affamato
Il cervello di un adulto rappresenta il 2% del peso corporeo e consuma più del 20% dell'energia richiesta dal metabolismo a riposo. In un bambino di 4 anni questa quota arriva al 66%. Secondo gli antropologi della Northwestern University (Illinois), che hanno pubblicato questi dati su Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, la lunga infanzia degli esseri umani sarebbe necessaria proprio per consentire lo sviluppo del cervello. Secondo il loro studio, i bambini crescono molto […]
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7:01 AM | Dynasty of the Plastic Fishapods
[This is the original, unedited text of my shorter, tighter (and I think actually better) News & Views piece for Nature, on the paper described below) Ambitious experimental and morphological studies of a modern fish show how a flexible phenotype may have helped early “fishapods” to make the long transition from finned aquatic animals into […]
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6:50 AM | A beautiful photo of a Senegalese bichir (Polypterus senegalus)...
A beautiful photo of a Senegalese bichir (Polypterus senegalus) from Carl Zimmer’s latest blog post for National Geographic. Unfortunately, I think the post and the Nature paper both get totally confused about the term “fish” (there is no such thing) and our common ancestry with early transitional tetrapods and the bichirs. They also completely miss the point about why bichirs are such awesome creatures. I might write a short post about that soon.
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6:07 AM | The Greatest Chess Tournament in the History of Chess Tournaments
The start of the school year, coupled with the looming deadline for the book I’m coediting, has left little time for blogging. I do, however, feel compelled to point out that six of the world’s top ten chess players have gathered in St. Louis for what is arguably the greatest chess tournament in the history…
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6:00 AM | PHOTO DU BoB-217
No summary available for this post.
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5:38 AM | Sci fi short – Abiogenesis
I think it’d be fair to suggest many scientists are sci fi fans. Hopefully some of my non-scientist readers are too! You might enjoy this short (4-5 minute) sci fi film by New Zealand animator, Richard Mans. Titled Abiogenesis it was backed by the New Zealand Film Commission, and has won a number of awards [...]
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4:03 AM | Postdoc positions at Duke University & MMTP
Postdoc positions in the Heitman lab and through the Molecular Mycology Training Program at Duke University, NC State, and University of North Carolina are available as of December 1, 2014. The Heitman lab at Duke University is seeking Postdoctoral Fellow applicants. The lab focuses on molecular determinants of development and virulence in the pathogenic basidiomycetes Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus […]
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3:56 AM | Self-Assembly For Me
by Elio | I have the grating feeling that the subject of self-assembly of complex biological structures may not always amass the level of respect it deserves. I reckon that its importance is generally appreciated but, as topics go, it tends at times to be set aside. Yet, this is one of the most magnificent aspects of biology, one that...
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2:54 AM | THE Darwin Fish.
Looks like this guy: Is the cartoon version of this guy: It walks. It breathes air. And apparently it can adapt to terrestrial life relatively “easily”. The scientists raised groups of bichir on land for eight months to find out how they would differ from bichir raised in the water. They found that the land-raised fish […]
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2:48 AM | Notes from a quantum mechanics boot camp: day 1
I have the good fortune of attending this year’s Nordita workshop for science writers, which is focused on quantum mechanics. …Continue reading →
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2:43 AM | What can gin and sperm farming tell us about animal rights?
Inspired by badly behaved boyfriends and a general disillusionment in mankind, several friends and I recently drunkenly devised a hypothetical ‘man-farm’ in which women reared men in specially constructed enclosures and harvested their sperm. I’d like to interject before launching into the specifics of our vision that our conversation isn’t usually quite as sinister and bizarre (although it is far too frequently fuelled by gin), and that none of us are of the […]
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2:40 AM | Nostalgia – The origins of my blog
A couple of days ago I was organizing my home office, which makes me feel like Indiana Jones trying to cross a thick forest.  I did find a couple of notebooks and just out of curiosity opened one.  I found the origins of my blog!  My very first blogpost was posted in Dec 10, 2010 …
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2:21 AM | Botanical Wednesday: Probably not the best place for a stroll
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12:30 AM | Goodbye, Maria
My colleague Maria Pereyra died today.I was on the search committee that helped hire her, and I was happy to have her in the department. She was usually in a good mood, with a smile on here face.This was a bit of a shock. She had seemed healthy, no obvious health problems. But now she is gone. It's very sad.
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12:04 AM | IN A WORLD… where telling the truth is a CRIME…. SHE became an OUTLAW!
You all might remember, Judy Mikovits and Age of Autism contributor Ken Heckenlively, were releasing a book on ‘their side’ of the XMRV fiasco (the scientific side of the XMRV fiasco). Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, and Other Diseases Yes, that is really the…
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12:00 AM | Reading the new map of breast cancer
In 2012 a landmark study produced a new genetic 'map' of breast cancer - today, the same researchers reveal one way to read it.

August 27, 2014

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11:17 PM | Enjoy.
Vintage Shark Illustrations Are Jaw-Droppingly Gorgeous http://t.co/bq622ZYZyb #sciart— Jason G. Goldman (@jgold85) August 27, 2014
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10:40 PM | Fish that 'Walks' Holds Clues to Animal Evolution
Unusual fish that walk and breathe air turn out quite differently when raised on land, rather than in water.
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10:37 PM | Wordless Wednesday August 27
Tagged: Ecology, light, nature, photography, trees, Wordless Wednesdays
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10:19 PM | NC Zoo Bobcat Kitten
The NC Zoo bobcat kitten has completed quarantine and will soon go on exhibit, according to Senior Staff Meeting Notes from today. [Photo by Valerie Abbott]
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9:53 PM | Concentrate Organic Matter at Surface to Improve Soils
Organic matter is the key to soil quality, but building soil organic matter levels can be slow and expensive. There is an alternative. Research shows (Franzluebbers, 2002) many soil functions improve when organic matter is concentrated in the top 2-3″ of the soil, and that, for many soils and environments, this may be the most effective way to improve soil quality. Soil organic matter (SOM) is crucial for many soil functions, and so has been a primary indicator of soil quality. The % […]
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9:06 PM | Lasting impressions: an epigenetic imprint of past viral infection
Christine E. Birdwell and Rona S. Scott Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, Shreveport, LA 71130 Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a prevalent human herpesvirus affecting over 90% of the adult population worldwide. Most individuals harbor EBV asymptomatically as lifelong ... The post Lasting impressions: an epigenetic imprint of past viral infection appeared first on EpiBeat.
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8:27 PM | La levitazione magnetica per oggetti non magnetici
Sembra paradossale, ma è più facile sollevare un treno che muovere una bolla di sapone – almeno usando un campo magnetico. Ma le cose potrebbero presto cambiare: i ricercatori della Harvard University, infatti, hanno appena messo a punto un sistema basato sul principio della levitazione magnetica, con il quale è possibile ruotare e orientare con delicatezza oggetti fragili in qualsiasi direzione. Gli scienziati, che hanno pubblicato la loro scoperta sulla rivista […]
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8:17 PM | "Economics of Wildlife Tourism"
How can whale shark tourism be kept sustainable? http://t.co/EmBkOABgAA The economics of wildlife tourism, in my latest at @conservationmag— Jason G. Goldman (@jgold85) August 22, 2014
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