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Posts

April 22, 2014

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4:26 PM | Spider bites are extraordinarily rare (and more unlikely than car crashes)
“It does not seem like this spider is a frequent biter and the reports of alleged bites in the media and from the general public greatly outnumber the reality of the situation” That’s a quote from a recent paper published by McKeown et al., titled Verified spider bites in Oregon (USA) with the intent to assess hobo spider venom toxicity. An important word in that title is ‘intent’. The author’s original goal was to figure […]
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4:25 PM | Researchers Use Noble Gas Krypton to Precisely Date Antarctic Ice
Scientists led by Dr Christo Buizert of Oregon State University have successfully used an innovative radiometric-Krypton-dating technique to determine the age of ice from Taylor Glacier, the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. The new technique is much like the more-heralded carbon-14 dating technique that measures the decay of a radioactive isotope and compares it to a [...]
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4:22 PM | The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management—Part II
Forage Fish: The Oceans’ Little Heroes Most Americans don’t think about fisheries policy when eating fish. But in fact, the supply of popular species such as cod, tuna, and salmon depends very much on how we manage them in the sea. If anglers, chefs, and diners want to continue catching, cooking, and eating fish, we…
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4:15 PM | Cataracts - A science-y cover of Macklemore’s...
Cataracts - A science-y cover of Macklemore’s “Cadillacs” from everyone’s favorite rapping science teacher, Tom McFadden. If you haven’t heard of Tom, he’s a teacher at The Nueva School in the Bay Area. His students don’t just learn science, they rap it, and they rap it well. Here’s some of their previous hits: That’s Metal (“Gas Pedal” cover) Watson and Crick vs. Rosalind Franklin rap battle All the Salamanders […]
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4:11 PM | Bringing the US Biomedical Research Establishment into Equilibrium
The need is great, and the time is now. The recent PNAS article "Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws" should be studied and discussed by individuals, educational and research institutions, and scientific societies. There may be no more, or fewer, sacred cows in biomedical research -- and many oxen may be gored as well. The paragraph below is reprinted from an AAMC newsletter of April 17, 2014. Bruce Alberts, Marc Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman, and Harold Varmus describe […]
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4:01 PM | 'Mafia' Cuckoos Rule By Fear, Foisting Young On Other Birds
A great spotted cuckoo Yathin S Krishnappa via Wikimedia Commons Great spotted cuckoos lay their eggs in other birds' nests, and the host does all the work of raising the impostor. But if the new foster parent doesn't cooperate and ditch the new arrival, the  the cuckoo sometimes retaliates, destroying the poor birds' other eggs. Brown-headed cowbirds behave similarly. Whaddaya gonna do about it?  Scientists have puzzled over this […]
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4:00 PM | Alzheimer’s? Forget about it!
Let’s face it, diseases that affect the brain are some of the hardest to deal with. Anyone who’s lost someone to alzheimer’s knows exactly what I am talking about. Looking […]

Acharya S., Safaie B.M., Wongkongkathep P., Ivanova M.I., Attar A., Klarner F.G., Schrader T., Loo J.A., Bitan G. & Lapidus L.J. & (2014). Molecular Basis for Preventing  α-synuclein Aggregation by a Molecular Tweezer, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289 (15) 10727-10737. DOI:

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4:00 PM | Challenge Accepted: Non-Atheistic Explanations for Sacrifice
Categories: Religion SkepticismOver at THE WEEK a few days ago, Damon Linker wrote an article titled “Why atheism doesn’t have the upper hand over religion.” In this article, Linker claims to have dealt a coup de gras to atheism: “The fact is that there are specific human experiences that atheism in any form simply cannot explain or account for. One of those experiences is radical sacrifice—and the feelings it elicits in us.” He goes on to list a few […]
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4:00 PM | Why Smart People Are More Trusting Trust is a vital part of...
Why Smart People Are More Trusting Trust is a vital part of everyday life. If you can’t trust anyone, than your life can be lonely. But, if you trust too many people, it’s easy to be betrayed or let down. Laci hangs out to discuss the surprising link between one’s level of intelligence and their willingness to trust others. via DNews Channel.
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4:00 PM | Peer Review
For the past few decades, scientific publication in a peer-reviewed journal was the gold standard. When you read a peer-reviewed journal, you might disagree with the conclusions of the authors, but you knew that it was solid work. And, for the most part, the top-tier journals are still like that. Journals like Nature, Science, and […]
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3:49 PM | The Most Important Earth Day
It is possible that this is the most important Earth Day. Earth Day is part of the process of broadening environmental awareness and causing positive change in how we treat our planet. We are at a juncture where we must make major changes in what we do or our Grandchildren, to the extent that they…
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3:38 PM | explore-blog: What time various cities wake up. Complement with...
explore-blog: What time various cities wake up. Complement with the wakeup times of famous writers, then see the science of our internal time. They were gonna include people who work in Internet, USA but the time wouldn’t fit on the same chart.
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3:30 PM | Plant paper retracted when new species turns out not to be so new
In December, a group of biologists in Thailand published a paper in the Nordic Journal of Botany heralding the discovery of a new species of plant: Bauhinia saksuwaniae, a new species from northeastern Thailand is described and illustrated. It appears to be an endemic and endangered species. The new species is obviously distinct from all […]
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3:30 PM | Wolverine In Real Life This little mouse has super healing...
Wolverine In Real Life This little mouse has super healing powers just like wolverine from X-Men! Well, kinda… via Animalist Network.
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3:30 PM | Forget Icarus, Fly As Close To The Sun As You Want!
Then he caught sight of the feathers on the waves, and cursed his inventions. He laid the body to rest, in a tomb, and the island was named Icaria after his buried child. —Metamorphoses Book VIII In a mythology beset by monsters created by malice (and sometimes bestiality) shines one crafted out of hope and […]The post Forget Icarus, Fly As Close To The Sun As You Want! appeared first on But Not Simpler.
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3:26 PM | Happy Earth Day! Here is a new time-lapse of images from the...
Happy Earth Day! Here is a new time-lapse of images from the International Space Station, titled The World Outside My Window. You may not be looking at it from this perspective, but you’ve got a world outside your window, too. Take care of it. Turn up your speakers, go full screen, and lean back. Heck … this one even goes to 4K. Enjoy. (video by David Peterson)
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3:23 PM | Astronomers Discover Relationship between Color of Galaxy, Size of its Bulge
The more massive the bulge of a galaxy, the redder the galaxy, says a team of astronomers reporting in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (arXiv.org). The Universe we can see is made up of billions of galaxies, each containing anywhere from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of billions of stars. Large [...]
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3:09 PM | Cleaning Up Maryland’s Little Falls Branch Creek
By Jo Dickison April 12th was a perfect day for a creek cleanup event. The morning air was crisp and the Little Falls Branch Creek in suburban Maryland was sparkling in the warm spring sun. The stream cleanup is an annual event hosted by the Westmoreland Hills Garden Club, Montgomery County Parks M-NCPPC (Maryland-National Capital Park…
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3:00 PM | How Does A Dog Drink Water? Dogs don’t have the same cheek...
How Does A Dog Drink Water? Dogs don’t have the same cheek muscles as humans so they can’t sip water like we do. Instead they scoop water with their tongues and make a huge mess in the process! via Animalist Network.
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3:00 PM | Celebrating Earth Day 2014
Ecologists and entomologists. Natural history buffs. Bloggers with green thumbs. We're among many WordPress.com users focused on nature and the environment. Today, let's celebrate the work of some of these bloggers.
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3:00 PM | Celebrating Earth Day 2014
Ecologists and entomologists. Natural history buffs. Bloggers with green thumbs. We're among many WordPress.com users focused on nature and the environment. Today, let's celebrate the work of some of these bloggers.
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3:00 PM | Celebrating Earth Day 2014
Ecologists and entomologists. Natural history buffs. Bloggers with green thumbs. We're among many WordPress.com users focused on nature and the environment. Today, let's celebrate the work of some of these bloggers.
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2:59 PM | Best hacks to pump up your productivity
Hands down, science journalism is one of the best jobs around. We get to traipse around with interesting people to interesting places, and we get to tell the coolest stories […] The post Best hacks to pump up your productivity appeared first on The Science Writers' Handbook.
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2:50 PM | Scientists Trace Origins of Domesticated Chili Pepper to Central-East Mexico
Linguistic, ecological, archaeological and genetic evidence show that the domesticated chili pepper, Capsicum annuum, originated in central-east Mexico more than 6,500 years ago. “Identifying the origin of the chili pepper is not just an academic exercise. By tracing back the ancestry of any domesticated plant, we can better understand the genetic evolution of that species [...]
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2:49 PM | Reggie Watts Riffs on the Red Planet I too have dreamed of going...
Reggie Watts Riffs on the Red Planet I too have dreamed of going to Mars, in addition to also not dreaming about going to Mars, because not all our dreams can be about Mars, that’s just crazy talk. (via Exploratorium)
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2:30 PM | The fundamentals of space-time: Part 1 - Andrew Pontzen and Tom...
The fundamentals of space-time: Part 1 - Andrew Pontzen and Tom Whyntie Space is where things happen. Time is when things happen. And sometimes, in order to really look at the universe, you need to take those two concepts and mash them together. In this first lesson of a three-part series on space-time, hilarious hosts Andrew Pontzen and Tom Whyntie go through the basics of space and time individually, and use a flip book to illustrate how we can begin to look at them together. View full […]
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2:22 PM | Frogs Survive Subzero Temperatures by Living as Ice Cubes
No matter how rough a winter you think you had, it was nothing compared to what a wood frog survives every year. Some of these little amphibians are still waiting for spring, when they’ll thaw out and turn from frog-shaped blocks of ice back into animals. Recently, scientists took a close look at wood frogs […]The post Frogs Survive Subzero Temperatures by Living as Ice Cubes appeared first on Inkfish.

Larson DJ, Middle L, Vu H, Zhang W, Serianni AS, Duman J & Barnes BM (2014). Wood frog adaptations to overwintering in Alaska: New limits to freezing tolerance., The Journal of experimental biology, PMID:

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2:15 PM | Using bugs—aphids, specifically—to spy on plants’ electrical communications
The bugs tap into the plant; researchers tap into the bugs.
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2:02 PM | The most honored paper airplane sweeper visits China
No summary available for this post.
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2:00 PM | US History Review: Miranda vs Arizona A quick over for students...
US History Review: Miranda vs Arizona A quick over for students seeking to understand the 1966 Warren Court decision, Miranda v Arizona. via Keith Hughes.
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