Posts

July 21, 2014

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11:28 PM | Why This Man Climbed A 130 Foot Tree With Only A Vine to Steal Honey from Angry Bees (Video)
To the Bayaka people, who inhabit the jungles of the Central African Republic, honey is an extremely valuable commodity. Besides being a rare and delicious delicacy, it provides essential energy and nutrition. So, when a beehive is found in the jungle, some men are willing to take extreme measures to secure the precious honeycombs for their family. […]
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10:52 PM | UFO researcher Jacobs profiled – Relies on weak evidence and fallacies
This article falls for the appeal to authority, saying Jacobs is a tenured professor and “makes his case with well-reasoned, articulate explanations and applies a scholarly approach to his research, which he has shared in four books – printed by well-known and academic publishers.” Since when are there well-reasoned arguments for aliens visiting earth and… Source: Doubtful News
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10:31 PM | Behold: The Beauty of Solar Magnetism NEW VIDEO! As massive...
Behold: The Beauty of Solar Magnetism NEW VIDEO! As massive magnetic fusion reactors go, the sun is pretty awesome. This week’s video features all the violence and beauty that erupt from that big bright thing at the center of our solar system. We’ve got sunspots, coronal loops, solar flares, coronal mass ejections! Even an aurora or two! And thanks to the fine people of NASA and their fancy satellites, this one is dripping with #spaceporn. Watch below: (via pbsdigitalstudios)
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10:26 PM | NOAA: Earth Had Its Hottest June On Record
From NOAA: “The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2014 was the highest for June since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 38th consecutive June and 352nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for June was in 1976 and the last below-average global temperature for any month was February 1985. “ FYI May …
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10:02 PM | explore-blog: As if we needed another reason to appreciate how...
explore-blog: As if we needed another reason to appreciate how amazing bees are: Artist and beekeeper Ren Ri makes breathtaking sculptures using plastic, salvaged wood, and a swarm of bees. Well, to be fair, the bees did half the work :)
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9:00 PM | Age-Related Macular Degeneration Occurs Much Earlier Than Assumed
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of visual impairment and blindness in industrialized countries but it is questionable whether it can continue to be defined as a disease in people in their 50s and beyond. Investigations to determine the incidence of age-related macular degeneration undertaken as part of the Gutenberg Health Study of the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have shown that even persons under the age of 50 years […]
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8:00 PM | Less Random Fitness: A Refined Biological Evolution Model
Models for the evolution of life are now being developed to try and clarify the long term dynamics of an evolving system of species. Specifically, a recent model proposed by Petri Kärenlampi from the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu accounts for species interactions with various degrees of symmetry, connectivity, and species abundance. This is an improvement on previous, simpler models, which apply random fitness levels to species. The findings demonstrate that the resulting […]
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7:55 PM | The Chikungunya Virus: Yet Another Reason To Dislike Mosquitoes
Jul 21 2014 - 3:45pm By: Patricia Waldron, Contributor Image courtesy of Jentavery via flickr | http://bit.ly/1qxafvK (Inside Science) -- The Florida Department of Health reported the first cases of locally acquired chikungunya virus on July 17, and they are unlikely to be the last. Chikungunya (pronounced chik-ehn-GUHN-yuh) sounds foreign to American […]
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7:00 PM | Human Platelets Generated Using Bioreactor
Scientists have developed a scalable, next-generation platelet bioreactor to generate fully functional human platelets in vitro. read more
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6:37 PM | Grossman and MacLean in search for truth about tar sands - and for crowd-sourced cash
Two men from Massachusetts, veterans at getting information to the public, one by aerial photography the other by environmental news writing, have taken aim at the amazing Canadian oil boom. By all appearances they regard the mining and processing of hydrocarbon-pasted Athabascan tar sands in Alberta as an abomination for the province and the globe. Well, they have lots of company in that sentiment - and of course the scorn of many hard-hatted oil workers and their increasingly wealthy […]
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6:37 PM | Five big medical news stories you should ignore--and why.
Here are five disturbing medical reports that got a lot of attention but probably shouldn't have. One of them came out this week, and that prompted me to look through the Tracker's archives to find others. Here are the studies, and the reasons you should be suspicious: 1. "Nickel in early iPad likely triggered allergy in boy: study," Reuters reported on Monday. Two dermatologists "studied severe skin rashes afflicting the unidentified 11-year-old boy for more than six months, before discovering […]
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6:37 PM | NY Times reporter's book on race called "dangerous" and "deceptive."
In his book A Troublesome Inheritance, New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade argues that longstanding geographic economic disparities can be tied to behavioral differences between races, which can be tied to genes. It’s something of a reversal of the argument that Jared Diamond made in his book Guns, Germs and Steel. Last May, the Wall Street Journal ran a rave review of Wade’s book by Charles Murray, the author of the 1995 The Bell Curve, which was not well received in the […]
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6:37 PM | Methane apocalypse? Agog over Siberia mystery 'crater', tabs fail on pics that'd take fun out
There is one hell of a hole in western Siberia. It looks weird to people not deeply familiar with with what one may see while flying over Arctic permafrost. Media silliness has ensued. Here is a stunner of a story that disappoints immensely, considering it is from a sensationalist UK newspaper whose primary and rare, useful feature is its lavish display of instructive images with its stories: Daily Mail - by Travelmail Reporter (rewrite desk): Methane explosion? Meteorite crater? Scientists […]
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6:37 PM | Fortísima crítica al europeo Human Brain Project, cubierta inicialmente sólo por El Mundo y Materia
(English intro to Spanish lang post) More than 600 european neuroscientists signed last week an open letter to the European Commission criticizing the management and the scientific soundness of the $1.6 Billion 10-years Human Brain Project (HBP) which pretends to create a supercomputer simulation of the human Brain. Leaded by Henry Markram, the project raised concerns from the very beginning. Now a group of prestigious researchers argue it has “substantial failures”, […]
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6:37 PM | Did the NY Times use new Time Machine feature to make the same mistake twice?
The American Physical Society’s electronic newsletter carried a rather damning headline last week: The New York Times Revisits The "Debate" Over Electromagnetic Fields, Reviving Baseless Fears, While Ignoring What Has Been Learned. The piece, from a Forbes blog, lit into the Times over a new Tuesday science section occasional feature called Time Machine. The idea behind Time Machine is apparently to revisit stories from a quarter century ago. In early July, Kenneth Chang revisited a […]
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6:37 PM | Who pops anthrax in the freezer?
"Expired disinfectant, anthrax stored in unsecure freezers and labs, samples stored in Ziploc bags..." This is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at your service, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which wandered into the CDC to take a look. That tidbit comes from Jocelyn Kaiser in ScienceInsider, a blog at Science. I caught wind of it in Tabitha M. Powledge's On Science Blogs, which looks this week at lab safety and infectious organisms, among other […]
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6:37 PM | Pulitzer Prize-winner Deborah Blum to direct Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT.
Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and professor at the University of Wisconsin, has been named director of MIT's Knight Science Journalism program effective July, 2015. Wade Roush, a reporter, technology writer, and editor-at-large at Xconomy--and, before that, at Science and Technology Review--has been named acting director for one year until Blum's arrival. Deborah Fitzgerald, dean of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, said she was "very excited […]
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6:31 PM | Dance Of The Dwarfs
A new discovery that many small galaxies throughout the universe do not 'swarm' around larger ones like bees but instead 'dance' in orderly disc-shaped orbits is a challenge to our understanding of how the universe formed and evolved.    The universe contains billions of galaxies. Some, such as the Milky Way, are immense, containing hundreds of billions of stars. Most galaxies, however, are dwarfs, much smaller and with only a few billion stars. For decades astronomers have used […]
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6:18 PM | Health, demons and superstition
If you were to believe some people, the devil lurks in every corner. When a common cold is spreading in this cold season – there are people ‘binding the devil’ and praying that it will not reach them. Even among those who sat in biology classes and will put ‘virus’ as the cause of common […]
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6:13 PM | New Technology Could Boost Solar Cell Efficiency By 30 Percent
A decades-old discovery may be crucial to increasing solar panel efficiency. Originally published:  Jul 21 2014 - 2:00pm By:  Ker Than, Contributor Science category:  Chemistry Engineering Physics News section:  Inside Science News Service […]
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6:00 PM | Utilizing Fat's Healing Properties In Heart Disease
Too much dietary fat is bad for the heart, everyone knows that by now, but not all fats are equal. The right kind of fat keeps the heart healthy, and a paper in The Journal of Experimental Medicine shows how it works. Unlike saturated fats discussed in popular media, unsaturated dietary fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are known to protect against cardiovascular diseases. However, the mechanism and the specific fat metabolites responsible for this protection were
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6:00 PM | The SciFri Book Club Reads Dune
No summary available for this post.
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5:12 PM | The first ever picture of the Mandelbrot set, from this 1978...
The first ever picture of the Mandelbrot set, from this 1978 paper by Robert Brooks and J. Peter Matelski. For comparison, here’s a more modern representation of this fractal wonder:  (via Cliff Pickover)
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5:00 PM | A Genetic Cause Of Common Breast Tumors
A team of researchers made a seminal breakthrough in understanding the molecular basis of fibroadenoma, one of the most common breast tumors diagnosed in women. Led by Professors Teh Bin Tean, Patrick Tan, Tan Puay Hoon and Steve Rozen, the team used advanced DNA sequencing technologies to identify a critical gene called MED12 that was repeatedly disrupted in nearly 60% of fibroadenoma cases. read more
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4:50 PM | Intercepted Phone Calls Show Russia Directing Separatists to Seize MH17′s Black Boxes
The Ukrainian government has released recordings of alleged phone calls between pro-Russian separatists discussing the fate of Malaysian Flight MH17′s black boxes. Ukrainian security officials released the tapes on Sunday, claiming that they proved Russia had directed the separatists to find and hide the black boxes. The call is between Alexander Khodakovsky, leader of the […]
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4:18 PM | Mapping Environmental Effects On DNA One Cell At A Time
A new single-cell technique can help investigate how the environment affects our development and the traits we inherit from our parents. It can be used to map all of the 'epigenetic marks' on the DNA within a single cell,which will boost understanding of embryonic development, enhance clinical applications like cancer therapy and even reduce the number of mice used in research.read more
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4:13 PM | "I meet many people offended by evolution, who passionately prefer to be the personal handicraft of..."
“I meet many people offended by evolution, who passionately prefer to be the personal handicraft of God than to arise by blind physical and chemical forces over aeons from slime…What they wish to be true, they believe is true. Only 9 percent of Americans accept the central finding of modern biology that human beings (and all other species) have slowly evolved by natural processes from a succession of more ancient beings with no divine intervention needed along the way.” - […]
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3:40 PM | Economists set the course for a self-reflective debate
What makes a good economist? 6 Nobel Laureates and 8 young economists give answers. What is this world going to look like in 50 years – I’m worried and it ought to be a major concern of the profession. Robert J. Shiller Robert Shiller is one of six “Nobel Economists” featured in the two short […]
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3:07 PM | It’s being called the greatest letter ever sent home from school. Do you agree?
Earlier this month a primary school in England issued its students’ test results, and with them was...
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3:00 PM | Sennheiser MOMENTUM On-Ear Headphone Review
Being a big fan of in ear headphones and a Sennheiser fan I was excited to be able to have a good play with the latest MOMENTUM on-ear headphones in the Brazilian World Cup colours.  After all you can’t help but get swept up in what was World Cup mayhem! I’m not usually one for […]
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