Posts

July 22, 2014

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3:35 PM | Bacterial antivirus system repurposed to attack HIV where it’s hiding
Cuts up copies of HIV that have inserted themselves into the genome.
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3:32 PM | Latest HIV purge claims prompt calls for more caution
Bone marrow grafts have helped both patients stay all but virus-free for three years. But the disease has come back before in others, and a simpler treatment is needed
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3:30 PM | skunkbear: The recent release of “Dawn of the Planet of the...
skunkbear: The recent release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" reminded me of one of my favorite ape vs. man films – this 1932 video that shows a baby chimpanzee and a baby human undergoing the same basic psychological tests. Its gets weirder – the human baby (Donald) and the chimpanzee baby (Gua) were both raised as humans by their biological/adopted father Winthrop Niles Kellogg.  Kellogg was a comparative psychologist fascinated by the interplay between nature and […]
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3:30 PM | Bats Set Their Internal Compass at Dusk—A First Among Mammals
Bats may be known for their stealth in the dark, but a new study shows they need light from the setting sun to navigate.
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3:30 PM | Yogurt to be kidding me: Five articles plagiarized in one retracted paper
After typing up 96 citations, researchers from the National Institute for Digestive Diseases, I.R.C.C.S. “S. de Bellis,” in Bari, Italy, apparently ran out of steam for the last five, earning themselves a retraction for plagiarism in a literature review of the effects of probiotics on intestinal cancer. Here’s the notice for “Intestinal Microbiota, Probiotics and […]
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3:29 PM | Another Mind-Crushing Illusion: Straight or Curved Motion?
From the twisted mind of brusspup comes another brain-hurting illusion. This one is really, really convincing, so tell me: When you look at this video, you’re seeing a circle of eight dots rotating as it spins around inside a bigger circle, right? No, you’re not. As brusspup shows, each individual white dot is moving in a straight line! The trick here is two-fold: One is that the dots aren’t moving at constant velocity (you can see that in the video at the 0:44 mark), and that […]
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3:25 PM | Economists reflect on challenges
What are the challenges for the next generation? 6 Nobel Laureates and 8 young economists present their views. An economist should not stand back. They often stand on the sidelines and just observe or describe. But instead they should just step forward and make a difference. Alex Teytelboym, #lindauecon11 alumnus As economists are constantly confronted with […]
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3:23 PM | Working For Friends
There’s a venerable rule in business: never work for friends. Many writers are in support of this rule. Others attempt to debunk it. Still others offer helpful how-tos, say, if […] The post Working For Friends appeared first on The Science Writers' Handbook.
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3:20 PM | Searching for the Genetic Roots of Mental Illness
In today’s New York Times, Benedict Carey and I have a feature about two big pieces of news …
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3:14 PM | "Do you think it’s a question of how much you balance that drive to achieve with being present and..."
“Do you think it’s a question of how much you balance that drive to achieve with being present and enjoying the moment? You know, it’s funny because I frequently get emails from young people starting out and asking, “How do I make a successful website or start my own thing?” And, very often, it’s tied to some measure of success that’s audience-based or reach-based. “How do you build up to seven million readers a month or two million Facebook […]
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3:12 PM | Star Wars Science!
If you’re curious why I just posted an article about the biology of the sarlacc that lives in the pit of Carkoon on Tatooine, written from the perspective of an interplanetary naturalist based on Earth… trust me, there’s a good reason.  Today, I’m taking part in a blog carnival all about the science of Tatooine in the Star Wars universe! Several superb science writers have posted awesome articles about Tatooine-related science, from climate to ecology to […]
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3:07 PM | Tatooine’s tangled bank – plants evolve in a galaxy far, far away
“It is interesting to contemplate a tangled dune, clothed with many plants of many kinds, all produced by laws acting around us. There is grandeur in this view of life, where so unforgiving an environment has taken but one common ancestor, and, over the millennia, forged such marvellous forms most beautiful. That this should occur, as it does elsewhere, in such an inhospitable place, speaks to the power and the universality of evolution – a creative force that that exceeds... Read […]
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3:04 PM | Development Of Airplanes Is Like Biological Evolution, Engineer Says
Airplanes and birds may have followed similar pattern to increase efficiency. Originally published:  Jul 22 2014 - 11:00am By:  Brian Owens, Contributor Science category:  Biology Engineering Physics News section:  Inside Science News Service […]
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3:01 PM | Diary of An Interplanetary Naturalist - The Sarlacc
C-3PO: “You will therefore be taken to the Dune Sea and cast into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful sarlacc.” C-3PO: “In his belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering, as you are slowly digested over a thousand years.” It was twenty years ago that I came into possession of that protocol droid. I was its fourteenth owner, although it would not disclose any information on the thirteen previous ones. By the time it entered my […]
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3:00 PM | Craft Beverage People: Do Better.
Categories: FeminismTags: beergentrificationmarketingracismsexismwineCN: Slurs; rape jokes; racist and sexist langage and images (mostly in links) It’s no secret that the artisanal food and beverage criticism field is a pretty privileged bunch. After all, to get into it you have to have disposable income, no ailments or conditions that would preclude imbibing a significant amount of alcohol or eating a wide range of foods, and spare time to devote to your blog––or, if […]
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3:00 PM | Why a Bunch of Science Writers Are Writing About a Fictional Planet
Tatooine is a desert planet, home to Luke Skywalker and Jabba the Hutt, as well as a menagerie of large beasts: banthas and dewbacks, krayt dragons and sarlacci. Tatooine is also, of course, not a real place. Science writing aims to convey ideas, engaging and educating readers on topics from biology to astronomy. Because science writing is focused on real efforts to understand the real universe, you might reasonably ask why a collection of science writers have chosen to spend... Read more
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2:59 PM | Chandra X-ray Observatory Celebrates 15th Anniversary
Fifteen years ago, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment on July 23, 1999, Chandra has […] The post Chandra X-ray Observatory Celebrates 15th Anniversary appeared first on Smithsonian Science.
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2:53 PM | Humans accepting climate change vs. Jell-O: The Coastal Effect
There is an old theory in psychology that characterizes humans as a bowl of Jell-O (Jelly for some of you). Life pokes at the Jell-O, the Jell-O jiggles. Eventually the jiggles begin to change the Jell-O, so certain kinds of pokes result in certain kinds of responses. The Jell-O gurgles, babbles, notices things, learns, develops,…
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2:45 PM | A talk with climate defeatist Paul Kingsnorth
Wen Stephenson at Grist: Some have called Kingsnorth a catastrophist, or fatalist, with something like a death wish for civilization (see John Gray in The New Statesman and George Monbiot in The Guardian). Others might call him a realist, a...
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2:41 PM | Living with malaria
Everyone in India, at some point in their lives, may have been infected with malaria. Now this may sound a little out there, but may not be something far away from reality. Just recently, Times of India reported that 67 people died in Tripura of malaria in the last month alone, and 55 among them, were children. The north eastern state of our country is amongst one of the most gravely hit
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2:40 PM | Minutes that changed the course of rock history
Brian Doyle at The American Scholar: On a spring day in 1964, a boy walked into the Oldfield Hotel in the London suburb of Greenford—or perhaps the White Hart Hotel in Acton, or perhaps an unknown pub on London’s North...
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2:38 PM | how mortality shapes our existence
William Boyd at The New Statesman: I want to start with a luminously beautiful – and luminously profound – quotation from Vladimir Nabokov’s autobiography Speak, Memory. He writes: “The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that...
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2:37 PM | U.S. Appeals Court Deals Blow To Obama's Health Law
The decision by a three-judge panel essentially throws out subsidies in the 36 states that did not set up their own insurance exchanges. The decision will be appealed.
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2:36 PM | Gaza conflict will traumatise a generation of children
Besides the death toll and obvious physical damage, Israel's attacks will leave many of Gaza's surviving children with post-traumatic stress disorder
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2:35 PM | Kim Philby and the hazards of mistrust
Malcolm Gladwell at The New Yorker: In December of 1961, a high-ranking K.G.B. agent knocked on the door of the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, asking for asylum. His name was Antoliy Golitsyn, and he had a remarkable secret to share....
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2:27 PM | Readers Respond: When Did You Get Hooked on Science?
Scientific inquiry has yielded novel cures for diseases, revealed distant planets and unearthed ancient civilizations. And behind these grand achievements are individual people with a burning question — one that, at some point, set their mind spinning and after that it never stopped. It’s likely that there came a point when science placed you under […]The post Readers Respond: When Did You Get Hooked on Science? appeared first on The Crux.
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2:22 PM | U.K. Orders New Inquiry Into Ex-KGB Spy Litvinenko's Death
Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of Vladimir Putin, died in 2006 after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium-210. The inquiry would identify "where responsibility for the death lies."
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2:20 PM | Hello Wonderful World of SciLogs!
Hello science readers of the internet! (and to any others who are reading this--alien life forms, octopuses, small children--you are probably lost and have no idea what I'm talking about, but I hope you'll stick around to find out). My name is Maren. It's pronounced just like Karen, but with an 'M' instead of a 'K'. I am currently a student studying biology and environmental science, and I'm working toward a career in science writing and communications. Communicating scientific discoveries... […]
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2:16 PM | U.K. Supermarket To Run On Electricity Made From Its Own Rotting Food
An Anaerobic Digestion Plant City of Lincoln, Nebraska One U.K. grocery store plans to power itself using biogas harvested from its own unsold, rotting produce. Yum. A Sainsbury's store in Cannock in central England is getting access to anaerobic digesters. The store plans to use electricity solely from the digesters, taking no electricity from the U.K.'s national power grid, which is fed by a combination of coal, natural gas, nuclear power plants and other sources. Sainsbury's will […]
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2:02 PM | Lots of famous physicists (videos)
A person named William Kite has been sending us letters—lots of letters— asking that we show more pictures of what he calls “famous physics people”. For the benefit of Mr. Kite (and in truth, merely because of the historical appeal of his name), here are two videos filled with, mostly, moving pictures of famous physicists, […]
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