Posts

October 06, 2014

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10:22 AM | Bottom Lines and Reproducibility
I have a thing about reproducibility. I’m not the only one as this post on In The Pipeline shows.  Nothing annoys me more than someone spending their time and someone else’s money to carry out an experiment then not taking … Continue reading →
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9:07 AM | The Flawed Prokaryote
There are two types of biologist - those who think that prokaryotes exist and those who don't. Continue reading →
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5:06 AM | “Genetically Modified Organisms”: Would You Eat Them?
According to the Centre for Food Safety, 85% of American-grown corn is genetically engineered, and more than 75% of processed foods—for example, cereal, canned soup and margarine—contain genetically-modified ingredients. Proponents of genetically modified foods argue that GMO’s benefits the environment and reduces world hunger, while being no more dangerous to human health than naturally grown […]
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4:25 AM | Good Night!
Summer is gone and it is now fall, which means–pumpkin spice everything, sweaters, and 7pm is as dark as midnight. We call this change in daylight “daylight savings”, and in over seventy countries worldwide, the term ‘daylight saving time’ is implemented to refer to this change. Daylight savings time is a change in the standard […]
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4:13 AM | October 2: Engineer Summary
  This week at Future Science Leaders, the nine fearless, prospective engineers of our group picked up hammers and saws to practice yet another maker skill: carpentry. We began the session by reviewing the protocols, or step-by-step instructions, which we had each prepared in advance for the day’s project. The desired outcome, a shadow box for displaying our […]
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2:41 AM | Sugar Vs. Artificial Sweeteners
Introduction: Ever since my family heard about the artificial sweetener company Splenda, granulated sugar and brown sugar disappeared entirely from our daily lives. Both my grandma and my dad have high blood pressure and high blood glucose levels. As a result, they were so relieved when they discovered this 0 calorie additive. Up until now, […]
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2:25 AM | Don’t Judge Me!
Image By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons My friends (and imaginary subscribers- seriously, please subscribe) have been asking me to write a rant lately. I don’t know why. There is nothing entertaining about me writing a rant. I get antsy, easily irritable and overly focused on my computer. I also […]

October 05, 2014

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6:08 PM | The Science of Objectivity
The way we understand something will limit for us how much of it we will allow ourselves to see. If we understand science as the application of an objective scientific method — a method that is applicable across all situations — we … Continue reading → The post The Science of Objectivity appeared first on Plain Language Science.
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5:57 PM | Old Man of the Forest
Our department's graduate students took our fall camping trip over the weekend to southern Ohio, and we were treated to a really special animal: That's a big timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) hiding out under some fall leaves. This endangered species is both secretive and well camouflaged, so you could easily walk right past one of these bad boys even if you were lucky enough to be near one.This particular snake is part of a long-term study to understand the movements and […]
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4:58 PM | Unique Science Fair Experiment: What Prevents a Pasta Boil-Over?
There are so many science experiments that can be done in the kitchen! Here is one example: Macaroni Mayhem To design your own experiment, all you need is a testable observation, or idea, or solution to a problem. Background: This is how pasta is made in my house – boil water, add pasta, walk away … Continue reading »
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4:20 PM | On Final Year Projects
After a week of meeting with new project students, and answering many of the same questions several times, I’ve been scouting back through the archives looking for what I’ve said previously on the subject of surviving a final year project. … Continue reading →
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4:01 PM | The Scientist Who Discovered Ebola: “It Is Clear That the Virus Is Mutating”
Like many other topics in the news these days, the conversation about Ebola has lacked one critical element: balance. In this case, it’s not the usual political bias a la FoxNews vs. MSNBC. This time, it’s a polarization of the way in which people are presenting their coverage of the outbreak. Not surprisingly, many people have jumped on the ‘everybody freak out’ train. Fortunately, however, there have also been reasonable people letting other […]
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10:33 AM | Growing the Next Generation of Botanical Pioneers - who have to deal with a natural world "shredded by human demand"
By Mike Maunder, Interim Director, The Kampong, National Tropical Botanical Garden Two weeks ago I was in South Sudan working with East African and South Sudanese colleagues preparing a plant conse...See it on Scoop.it, via Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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5:08 AM | Local or Organic – how to make the choice?
In the last week of summer, I participated in a youth leadership camp called MVST (Metro Vancouver Sustainability Toolbox). The summer camp mainly focused on identifying sustainability issues around Metro Vancouver by immersing us into the nature. As part of the program, we visited the water-to-energy facility in Burnaby and also the colony farm, which […]

October 04, 2014

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11:03 PM | The World’s Largest Coal Mining Company Just Invested $1.2 Billion In Solar Power
Editor’s Note: I am extremely excited to announce that The Higher Learning recently acquired three talented new authors to help us bring you more valuable news and knowledge. Over the next few days we will be introducing you to them and their writing. The following article was authored by Noah Harness.  In the early 1970s, the government of India nationalized the country’s coal reserves to help accommodate the country’s rising energy demands. By 1975, the Indian […]
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5:25 PM | Rare diseases and mental disorders: the malfunctioning of the body
I have recently become interested in knowing about different diseases and mental disorders and while doing research on the internet, I came across some very unusual conditions that I find fascinating. These horrible conditions really demonstrate how much a defect in the brain’s coordination and functioning can affect our sense of consciousness, our behavior and our lives. […]
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4:48 PM | China’s “Miao Room” Has Officially Been Crowned The World’s Largest Underground Space (Video)
The cave known as the “Miao Room” has been the most talked about supercave online this year. What classifies it as a “supercave” you may ask? Well, to put it into perspective, the cave chamber is nine times the size of Houston’s astrodome. According to National Geographic… China’s immense Miao Room cavern, hidden beneath rolling hills and reachable only by an underground stream, is the world’s biggest cave chamber   The Miao Room cave […]
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6:35 AM | Week 5: Carpentry
This week was carpentry week in FSL. To some, this means complete anarchy. Students, given meager wisps of instruction, attempt to tap into their inner craftsman, haplessly making up—largely through trial and error—something close to the project of their dreams, all the while running around wielding many sharp, pointy objects. If this is what comes to mind, you […]
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5:57 AM | Yum… Late Night Snacking
  So as I’m sitting here in front of my laptop after a long day, all set for another weekly science post with a bag of salted nuts to mindlessly munch on, I thought it would be fitting to address a question that may have crossed your mind at one point or another—Why exactly are […]
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5:49 AM | The Science of Cliques
Happy October 3rd or as some would call it Mean Girls Appreciation Day! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, there is an iconic scene in the 2004 cult classic (also one of my childhood favourites) Mean Girls  where the love interest (Aaron Samuels) asks the main character (Cady) what day it is. As a result, on […]
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2:37 AM | Do microwaves cause cancer?
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Everyone hates this annoying and unwanted noise. Whether you are watching your favorite T.V. show or attempting to silently heat up last nights dinner, the unwanted microwave sounds interfere unnecessarily with your life. I mean yesterday while I was watching a football game, the microwave decided to rudely interrupt me. This event got me […]
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12:00 AM | Internet over sleeping!?
Recently, I have stayed up later than usual to complete my essays and study for tests! I have realized that I spend a significant amount of my time on my computer, but more importantly, the internet. As I desperately try to finish writing my essay, I also have a few tabs open to some social media […]

October 03, 2014

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10:10 PM | The Coolest Places On Earth: China’s Chimelong Ocean Kingdom (Pictures and Video)
Earlier this year Guangdong Province, China officially opened Chimelong Ocean Kingdom (also referred to as Hengqin Ocean Kingdom), the largest ocean theme park in the world. The huge aquatic theme park does not stand alone, not only does it include rides, a roller coaster, and tons of amenities, it’s also affiliated with a world-class carnival as well as a luxury hotel, making the resort an international tourist destination. The Chimelong Hengqin Bay Hotel is the largest ocean ecological […]
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4:28 PM | Amidst Growing Tension, Violence Breaks Out In Hong Kong’s Protests
It is now day 6 of the Hong Kong Occupy Movement, a series of pro-Democracy protests that started this past Saturday. The movement began with university students, who continue to be the main actors in the protests. Yesterday, Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary Carrie Lam agreed to carry out talks between the students and the government, but the students have demanded that these talks be publicly televised, a stipulation that leadership in Beijing is not at all comfortable with. Now, […]
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2:38 PM | Pandora’s DNA: Unpacking Scientific Discovery in “Women’s” Medicine
Sometimes it is hard to remember that science is not infallible. That it is a practice conducted by human beings – human beings who have ideologies, who have biases, who are doing the best they can...
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1:36 PM | Report Finds ‘Deeper Learning’ Model Improves Outcomes for All Students
The conversation about what kids need to know and to be able to do by the end of high school has gradually shifted over the past several years to emphasize not just rigorous content goals, but also... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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8:41 AM | How to read a scientific paper / How to read a paper in Plant Physiology
We posted these last year and have had excellent feedback."How to Read a Scientific Paper"(https://journalaccess.aspb.org/ReadaSciPaper/How%20to%20Read%20a%20Scientific%20Paper%20M%20Williams%20Mar%202013.pdf)"How to read a paper in Plant Physiology"https://journalaccess.aspb.org/CaseStudy/CaseStudy%20for%20How%20to%20Read%20a%20Sci%20Paper%20M%20Williams%20Mar%202013.pdfSee it on Scoop.it, via Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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4:04 AM | Ouch! That Hurts: The Science of Pain
Stubbing your toe, a headache that just won’t go away, a pulled muscle or a broken bone; these are all things that cause pain that we’ve probably all experienced at one time or another. While a stubbed toe might cause a full-blown crying fit at age 3, mild pain like that is something that we […]
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3:30 AM | Jury members: who killed Lovdeep?
The student investigators have provided their reasoning and conclusions for the murder of Lovdeep Citrine. We need a jury to decide who has made the best argument! Please read through the explanations (linked below) and let me know who you believe and why!  Note: if you want to see the evidence for yourself, it is […]
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1:41 AM | What’s Wrong With Microbeads in Toothpaste? (Dr. B for CBS News)
Those little blue microbeads in toothpaste might be able to cause some damage to your gums. That’s because these beads are made of polyethylene — that’s the same plastic that grocery bags are made of — so the microbeads never break down and can get embedded underneath the gums. Here, I’m interviewed by CBS San […]
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