Posts

December 16, 2014

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2:24 AM | Cells of the century
No summary available for this post.
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2:24 AM | Cells of the century
No summary available for this post.
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2:24 AM | Cells of the century
No summary available for this post.
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2:24 AM | Cells of the century
No summary available for this post.
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12:51 AM | Residents of Former Top Secret Soviet Nuclear Village Suffering From Unknown Sleep Disorder
More than 100 of the 600 residents of Kalachi village in Kazakhastan have experienced a strange “sleep epidemic” at least once in the past few years. According to RT… “Every tenth villager of Kazakhstan’s Kalachi has unexpectedly fallen asleep in broad daylight – some unable to wake up for several days. Despite numerous attempts to find the cause of the inexplicable disorder, the Sleepy Hollow riddle remains unsolved.” In one case, eight […]
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12:30 AM | Retraction Watch awarded a two-year, $400,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation
You might think of it as a website winning a genius grant: Retraction Watch, after more than four years and 2,000 posts, has been awarded a two-year, $400,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation to expand its work with the creation of a comprehensive database of retractions. Such a database does not now exist, and its creation will close "a gap that deprives scholarly publishing of a critical mechanism for self-correction," according to the proposal by Reaction Watch's founders, Ivan Oransky […]
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12:30 AM | Scientific American reshapes blog network, cuts number of blogs and bloggers in half.
Scientific American has rebuilt its blog network to "create an improved balance of topic areas and bring in some new voices," the editors announced Dec. 15th. The move will cut the number of blogs and bloggers roughly in half, said Curtis Brainard, Scientific American's blogs editor. That means that some familiar names will no longer be part of the network. I haven't been able to get a list of the dropped bloggers, but the blogs page now lists farewells from several current bloggers, including […]

December 15, 2014

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10:36 PM | Fascinating and painless chemistry lessons
I had to select this video on the element rutherfordium because of the  New Zealand link of the scientist the element is named after. It’s an interesting short lesson on rutherfordium and there is more where it came from – … Continue reading →
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10:06 PM | Shame on us
Emotions are complicated and never more so than in the realm of the scientific, where commonly accepted definitions are lacking. In a paper published in the journal Qualitative Inquiry, UC Santa Barbara's Thomas Scheff examines the basic emotions of grief, fear/anxiety, anger, shame and pride as they appear in scientific literature in an attempt to take a first step in defining them. "Emotion terms, especially in English, are wildly ambiguous," Scheff writes in the paper's […]
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9:53 PM | This Wrist-Worn Fire Ball Shooter Just Hit the Markets (Video)
Ellusionist is a company that sells a variety of gadgets for everyday magicians to aspiring master magicians and superheroes. Besides magic and tricks kits that show you how to create clever illusions, the company also sells innovative products with a tangible function, like their latest product: the “PYRO”. The fireshooter, according to Ellusionists, is a… “…first of its kind, high-tech, wrist-worn, James Bond style device that allows you to shoot […]
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8:31 PM | Impacts, extinctions and climate in the search for life elsewhere
Every so often our Earth encounters a large chunk of space debris which reminds us that our solar system still contains plenty of debris that could potentially have an impact on life on Earth. While the great bulk of planetary accretion occurs in the first few hundred million years after the birth of a given system, the process never really comes to an end. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology
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8:00 PM | Conservation Scientists Say Nuclear Energy Is Necessary For Biodiversity
Leading conservationists from around the world have called for environmental lobbyists to stop blocking nuclear energy in defiance of the science consensus. It's clean, it's green, and it's needed to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity. In an open letter to environmentalists, over 60 scientists ask the environmental community to "weigh up the pros and cons of different energy sources using objective evidence and pragmatic trade-offs, rather than simply relying on idealistic […]
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7:30 PM | Today's Global Warming Is Nothing Special
The rate at which carbon emissions might be warm Earth's climate today are a lot like the past. 56 million years in the past. The authors of a new paper believe the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM, can provide clues to the future of modern climate change. The good news: Earth and most species survived warming that was a lot more pronounced  -  up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit - than even the most dour predictions being made now. The bad news: It took 200,000 years to get back to […]
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7:19 PM | Flamingo Fun with Chris Torres – Breaking Bio Ep. 74
This week, we learn all about flamingos from molecular biologist/palaeontologist Chris Torres of the University of Texas at Austin. Chris also explains how he solved a 150 year old mystery in a natural history museum, and why his house is covered in pink. Show Notes:   Torres C. (2001). Relationships of Birds – Molecules versus(...)
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7:00 PM | Could Virtual Bodyswapping Make The World Post-racial?
You're probably not racist. As the world has gotten smaller, race as a bias has become less of a thing. Yet there is a test - the Implicit Association Test - that is guaranteed to show you are racist and weak observational studies that use it end up in a lot of mainstream media stories. Now there may be a way to cure it.read more
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6:56 PM | Brain-Like Circuits Can Mimic Pavlov's Dogs
New Transistor Design Emulates Mind's Plasticity
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6:44 PM | Birdbooker Report 349-351
SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read […]
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6:12 PM | Bárðarbunga Volcano Eruption Led To Earth Growing A New Layer Underneath
When the Bárðarbunga volcano beneath Iceland's Vatnajökull ice cap reawakened in August 2014, scientists got an opportunity to monitor how the magma flowed through cracks in the rock away from the volcano.  Although it has a long history of eruptions, Bárðarbunga has been increasingly restless since 2005, including a dynamic period in August and September of this year, when more than 22,000 earthquakes were recorded in or around the volcano in just four weeks, […]
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6:02 PM | In Test Cricket, Still Bet On The Home Team
Are umpires biased? There has been sociological woo produced trying to prove they are racist in baseball but a paper has found that if a cricket team has home umpires, some bias does get introduced, at least in Test cricket, the longest form of the sport .read more
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5:51 PM | New Test Finds Hidden Toxicity Of Antidepressants Earlier In Development
Though drugs spend years in development and hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars are spent in increasingly demanding clinical trials before approval, a lot of prescription drugs get added warning labels - or can even be withdrawn - after release to the public because of hidden toxicity that clinical trials did not find.  A new toxicity test invented at the University of Utah could make it possible to uncover dangerous side effects earlier in pharmaceutical development.read more
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5:41 PM | Caulerpa
"Lato" - seaweed salad"Sea grapes"Despite the productive abundance of the Gulf Coast near Houston, we don't have a particularly strong seaweed cuisine in the area - I was told that regulations forbid harvesting seaweed. But I've always held a soft spot for the seaweed salads in Asia made from lato or sea grapes. These are not available dried, and so can only be eaten in the countries there (I've even had them on sushi, although they're more commonly eaten as common vegetable fare). The little […]
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5:38 PM | Why Chinese Biotech Cotton Doesn't Lead To Pest Resistance, Even Without Non-Bt Refuges
In the United States in the 1930s, climate change and droughts and excessive agricultural practices combined to give the country a 'Dust Bowl' - as farmers became more stressed during the Depression they farmed harder, so ancient agricultural practices got left behind. Modern agricultural science is a little smarter. Scientists make sure farmers know the right application for pesticides and when it comes to biotech crops, they make sure pests don't develop 'herd immunity'.read more
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5:32 PM | Big Changes at the Scientific American Blog Network
Scientific American posted an announcement Dec. 15, stating that editors will be “reshaping” the Scientific American Blog Network and releasing new editorial guidelines for the network. What wasn’t entirely clear in the post, titled “A New Vision For Scientific American’s Blog Network,” was that a number of blogs on the network have been eliminated. The Dec. 15 post does not say that any blogs have been cut, but as soon as the post was published a number of […]
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5:32 PM | Big Changes at the Scientific American Blog Network
Scientific American posted an announcement Dec. 15, stating that editors will be “reshaping” the Scientific American Blog Network and releasing new editorial guidelines for the network. What wasn’t entirely clear in the post, titled “A New Vision For Scientific American’s Blog Network,” was that a number of blogs on the network have been eliminated. The Dec. 15 post does not say that any blogs have been cut, but as soon as the post was published a number of […]
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5:27 PM | Migrating 'Supraglacial' Lakes Could Trigger Substantial Greenland Ice Loss
Though some see snowstorms and believe global warming has been exaggerated, a new study using predictions of Greenland ice loss and its impact on rising sea levels instead finds that other models may be greatly underestimating it.   The new estimate simulates future distribution of lakes that form on the ice sheet surface from melted snow and ice, called supraglacial lakes. Previously, the impact of supraglacial lakes on Greenland ice loss had been assumed to be small, but the new research […]
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5:20 PM | The (cat) Beast of Bodmin Moor is old news
Dr. David Clarke at Sheffield Hallam University, an expert in journalism in the U.K., has followed the “alien big cat” phenomenon. The ABC idea is that large, out of place (OOP) cats (lions, black panthers, pumas/cougars) have colonized the British Isles. Their presence is responsible for the reported sightings of big cats, livestock kills and mystery… Source: Doubtful News Related posts:A joke? Black panther toy surprises observer Mystery skeleton of carnivore […]
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5:17 PM | Shot of science |3| Giant stars, Darwin awards, Birds, Human/Mice brains
Two giant stars are in the process of forming one supermassive star About 13,000 light years from where you are currently sitting, you can find the Giraffe constellation. For years, one of the brightest objects there was believed to be a single star but just last week, a team from Spain discovered that this bright […] The post Shot of science |3| Giant stars, Darwin awards, Birds, Human/Mice brains appeared first on HeadStuff.
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4:39 PM | Australians Offer to Ride by Muslims’ Side Amidst Fears of Retaliation for Hostage Situation
Yesterday, Man Haron Monis, a self-described extremist Muslim cleric, entered a Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney, Australia and took all of the store’s occupants hostage. The siege ended just a few hours ago after police stormed the cafe. As news spread that the hostage-taker was a Muslim, a coalition of Australian Muslim groups released a statement condemning the man’s actions. “We reject any attempt to take the innocent life of any human being, or to instil fear and […]
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4:21 PM | It’s American Atheists billboards time, again!
Christmas is fast approaching. So, naturally, American Atheists has launched its usual billboard campaign to nudge closeted atheists to come out and embrace the good news. AA President David Silverman is again spearheading what he calls the organizations’ “firebrand” approach to fighting religion. Despite being a lifetime member of American Atheists, I have criticized the group on this issue before [1], and recently, I did so again, on Twitter, which led to a back and […]
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4:07 PM | Engineering students aim to generate first breathable air on Mars
A project by students from The Univ. of Western Australia and Mars One astronaut candidate Josh Richards has reached the finals of an international competition to land vital experiments on the Red Planet. The Helena Payload project, which aims to generate the first breathable air on Mars, is one of 10 finalists in the Mars One University Competition and is the only successful entry from the southern hemisphere. Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that aims to establish permanent […]
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