Posts

December 01, 2014

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5:56 AM | “Phantom Pain”: What Is It, and How Do You Cure It?
While watching an episode of House M.D., I learned about an interesting phenomenon: the use of a mirror box to cure phantom pain. Allow me to provide a brief recap of the episode; after Dr. House—in his typical arrogant and misanthropic way—angers a Vietnam war veteran by breaking into his house and exposing him as—gasp!—a […]
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5:50 AM | I’m too tired for this…
Image By Bagus bh (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons No, seriously. I’m not kidding. I’m way too tired for this. I just spent 45 minutes staring at a blank box and a blinking cursor. I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!!! Well there’s an idea… Most of my fellow Vancouverite highschoolers will know that the end […]
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4:52 AM | How does laser tattoo removal work?
So many of you must be familiar with tattoos–usually the coloured skin on those tough guys’ biceps and abs. However, when you don’t feel tough anymore, of maybe your skin has loosened and warped the image of your tattoo, you would definitely want to remove it. Contrary to popular belief, that is, the laser affecting […]
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2:33 AM | Harvard MRI Study Shows That Meditation Rebuilds Brain’s Gray Matter In Just 8 Weeks
Most people are aware that meditation has a number of benefits: lower blood pressure, reduced stress, and a decrease in tension-related pain are just a few of these benefits. But while the psychological benefits of meditation have long been acknowledged, scientists were still somewhat in the dark about the specifics of how meditation affects the brain. Until now, that is. Scientists from Harvard University just published a study that examined the effects of meditation on the physical […]

November 30, 2014

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9:59 PM | Basics of Technical Documentation Development (Part 1)
Technical documentation comes in many styles and formats, depending on the medium and subject area. While printed and online documentation may differ in various ways, it usually adheres to the same guidelines for prose, information structure and layout. Usually, technical … Continue reading → The post Basics of Technical Documentation Development (Part 1) appeared first on Plain Language Science.
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5:58 PM | Wanderers: An Awe-Inspiring Short Film About Exploring the Universe (Video)
A thirst for exploration is hard-wired into the human species. Whether its Ferdinand Magellan becoming the first to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, Jacques Cousteau exploring the mysteries of the underwater world, or Steve Fossett circling the globe in 15 days aboard a hot air balloon, humans have, for generations, pushed the limits of exploration. And in just the last 50 years or so, we have begun to explore a new frontier: outer space. In his recent short film
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7:16 AM | The Science of Productivity
Have you ever vowed before you went to sleep that you will wake up early the next day, workout in the morning, study for 6 hours straight, and finish everything on your to do list, only to end up procrastinating the whole day? Have you tried downloading a mass of productivity and time management apps […]
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6:15 AM | Family of Flames
During last chemistry class, I was able to experience the flame test by putting different sample elements/compounds on a bunsen burner. Amidst all my friends updating their SnapChat stories with the exciting lab, I found myself wanting to research more on the reason behind these colours. Thinking back, chemistry and the concept of emission spectrum […]

November 29, 2014

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11:47 PM | China Just Banned Their Radio and Television Broadcasters from Using Puns
China’s government is worried about a new threat to Chinese cultural heritage: the use of wordplay. An order announced last week by China’s State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television says, “Radio and television authorities at all levels must tighten up their regulations and crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language, especially the misuse of idioms.”   In no uncertain terms, the officials warned […]
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6:55 PM | This Mobile Solar Generator Can Provide Power, Clean Water and Wi-Fi to Disaster Areas
When disaster strikes, securing access to power, clean drinking water and the communications network are all integral parts of the initial response. That’s why the Ecos PowerCube is such an intriguing invention. The PowerCube’s designers – a company called Ecosphere Technologies – wanted to build a device that could provide significant amounts of off-the-grid power during disasters. The power is generated using solar panels equipped with high-power photovoltaic […]
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5:30 PM | End of week 9 update
No matter how determined I am to ‘write more’ of any sort (and there is a direct correlation between the quantity of writing here and the quantity of work done on drafts of papers – more blogging = more writing), … Continue reading →
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4:00 PM | Take a Listen: How Mindfulness Could Benefit Your Teaching Practice
Dig in a little deeper to how teachers and students are using mindfulness to stay focused and calm at school. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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8:53 AM | Plasmodesmata in integrated cell signalling: insights from development and environmental signals and stresses
To survive as sedentary organisms built of immobile cells, plants require an effective intercellular communication system, both locally between neighbouring cells within each tissue and systemically across distantly located organs. Such a system enables cells to coordinate their intracellular activities and produce concerted responses to internal and external stimuli. Plasmodesmata, membrane-lined intercellular channels, are essential for direct cell-to-cell communication involving exchange of […]
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8:37 AM | Ain’t No Thang But A Chicken Wang
Tis the season to be jolly and eat some great food! With American Thanksgiving having been on Thursday, my stomach is still full of the delicious pies… Unfortunately, my brother had a bad experience with the pie claiming it was too sweet. I don’t understand how one could possible think such a delicious dessert could […]
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8:05 AM | A Visual Approach to Scientific Communication
Reflections from the SEA-PHAGES SymposiumMary Williams's insight:Here's an inspiring presentation style to share with your students - it's very effective!See it on Scoop.it, via Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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6:30 AM | The Emergence of 4D Printing
3D printing seems to be quite a popular topic these days, mostly because of its contributions to many newly emerging techniques, such as printing skin grafts, stem cells, etc. In an article I recently read, it seems that another technique is being developed under 3D printing, one by the questionable name of 4D printing. I […]
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5:46 AM | Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
Admit it, you sang that in your head. It’s hard to believe that a year ago Frozen was the thing on everyone’s mind. I still clearly remember all the hype about it; going into the theaters, finding them filled to the max (sometimes more with youth than younger children), watching little girls fight over whether […]
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4:07 AM | Summary of November 25th
Last Tuesday, the first year future science leaders were very excited to work on their first unit of chemistry! During the session we were very fortunate to have two amazing UBC chemistry graduate students Susan and Amanda to guide us through what we will be learning and the intriguing projects we will be working on. […]

November 28, 2014

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9:39 PM | New video series: Deep Look
KQED Science, the science arm of the PBS member television station based in San Francisco has created a new series being aired on PBS Digital called Deep Look, where they allow us to explore the big... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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8:57 PM | A Large-Scale Ritual Animal Slaughter Taking Place In Nepal Has Animal Activists Outraged
A small village in Nepal is preparing to host an event that will potentially make the largest animal sacrifice ever. According to The Washington Post… “More than 1 million people have descended upon a remote temple in southern Nepal in recent days, where thousands of animals are set to slaughtered starting Friday as part of a ritual sacrifice to honor the Hindu goddess Gadhimai held every five years.”   In 2009, the event reportedly attracted over 5 million […]
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4:54 PM | Watch Snowflakes Form Right Before Your Eyes In This Enchanting Time-Lapse Video
If you went to elementary school in the United States, it’s pretty likely that you made a paper cut-out snowflake at some point. As a kid, these elaborate craft projects didn’t really seem to resemble real snowflakes – until you actually see a real snowflake up close, that is. To the naked eye they may look like little puffs of white powder, but snowflakes actually have very complex and intricate crystalline patterns, a result of the way in which they are […]
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3:18 PM | Step by Step: Designing Personalized Learning Experiences For Students
Each student is unique and learns in different ways. There are many ways to use this diversity as a classroom strength. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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12:54 PM | Building a miniature well
Groundwater dynamics in the kitchen. This activity is suitable for young children who wonder where the tap water comes from. All you need is some sand, an empty toilet paper roll, and some water. First, you need to build your well. You … Continue reading →
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10:23 AM | Biosynthesis, regulation, and domestication of bitterness in cucumber
From Science - this is a good article to read with students. It's a straightforward use of genomics and biochemistry to map bitter flavor traits, and it reveals something about selection during domestication.See it on Scoop.it, via Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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10:08 AM | How Is The Internet Changing Education? | Edudemic
Mary Williams's insight:Did you know that the UK Open University started broadcasting lectures on TV in 1971, and is currently the UK's largest university with 250,000 students?Did you know that by 2019 it is expected byat 50% of all classes taught will be delivered online (that's 5 years from now...). It's clear to me that how we teach is changing rapidly, with both good and bad effects. I'm contributing to a conference in London mid-December and we're going to try to sort out the good from […]
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10:01 AM | English Communication for Scientists- Free eBook
Chapters include: Unit 1 Communicating as a Scientist Unit 2 Writing Scientific Papers Unit 3 Writing Correspondence Unit 4 Giving Oral Presentations Unit 5 Interacting During Conferences Sessions Unit 6 Communicating in the ClassroomSee it on Scoop.it, via Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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8:26 AM | Arabidopsis PHOSPHATE TRANSPORTER1 genes PHT1;8 and PHT1;9 are involved in root-to-shoot translocation of orthophosphate
BackgroundIn plants, the uptake from soil and intercellular transport of inorganic phosphate (Pi) is mediated by the PHT1 family of membrane-spanning proton : Pi symporters. The Arabidopsis thaliana AtPHT1 gene family comprises nine putative high-affinity Pi transporters. While AtPHT1;1 to AtPHT1;4 are involved in Pi acquisition from the rhizosphere, the role of the remaining transporters is less clear.ResultsPi uptake and tissue accumulation studies in AtPHT1;8 and AtPHT1;9 knock-out mutants […]
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8:15 AM | Global diversity and geography of soil fungi
Fungi play major roles in ecosystem processes, but the determinants of fungal diversity and biogeographic patterns remain poorly understood. Using DNA metabarcoding data from hundreds of globally distributed soil samples, we demonstrate that fungal richness is decoupled from plant diversity. The plant-to-fungus richness ratio declines exponentially toward the poles. Climatic factors, followed by edaphic and spatial variables, constitute the best predictors of fungal richness and community […]
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8:15 AM | IRRI - The benefits of safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology
IRRI is a nonprofit research and education center established to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure environmental sustainability.See it on Scoop.it, via Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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8:09 AM | Our World in Data — Visualising the Empirical Evidence on how the World is Changing
Visualised in graphs I am presenting the long-term data on how we are changing our world. This is the Empirical View on How We Are Making Our World a Better Place. Topic by topic I cover the decline of violence and the increase of tolerance and political rights. Improving living standards, health and well-being; population changes and associated success in preserving our environment. Increasing knowledge about our word and spreading education.Mary Williams's insight:This is an excellent set of […]
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