Posts

September 26, 2014

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4:00 AM | What’s in Your Genes?: From the Color of Your Eyes to the Length of Your Life, a Revealing Look at Your Genetic Traits
By Katie McKissick Synopsis: A crash course in genetics! Everyone knows that if you come from a family of brunettes, you’re likely to be born with brown hair. But did you know your hair color may […]

September 24, 2014

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4:00 AM | Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze?: And 114 Other Questions
By New Scientist and Mick O’Hare Synopsis: Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? is the latest compilation of readers’ answers to the questions in the ‘Last Word’ column of New Scientist, the world’s best-selling science weekly. Following the phenomenal […]

September 22, 2014

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5:53 PM | Vandana Shiva and GMOs
A recent New Yorker article by Michael Specter does an excellent job of putting the activism of anti-GMO campaigner, Vandana Shiva, into perspective. Shiva has since written a very critical response to Specter, and The New Yorker has responded to Shiva. The exchange is very enlightening. Shiva is a dedicated anti-GMO activist, perhaps the most [...]
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4:00 AM | The Secret Museum: Some Treasures Are Too Precious To Display
By Molly Oldfield Synopsis: The Secret Museum is a unique treasure trove of the most intriguing artifacts hidden away in museum archives from all over the world – curated, brought to light, and brought to life […]
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2:33 AM | How anti-vaccination is like a nuclear bomb
I’m not sure that anything fills me with despair more than the trend of parents refusing to vaccinate their children. A couple of weeks ago, an article in The Hollywood Reporter described how affluent Hollywood schools are experiencing outbreaks of … Continue reading →
Editor's Pick

September 19, 2014

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8:55 PM | Covering Ebola
As of September 14, 2014, 2,630 people have lost their lives to the Ebola virus, according to the CDC, with a total case count of 5,347. The current outbreak has been the subject of extended media coverage globally. But as journalists, bloggers and scientists come together to discuss the causes, implications, 'what if's', challenges and potential solutions of this outbreak, many of us have questioned whether we are focusing on the right things. Are we being scientifically accurate? […]
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8:55 PM | Covering Ebola
As of September 14, 2014, 2,630 people have lost their lives to the Ebola virus, according to the CDC, with a total case count of 5,347. The current outbreak has been the subject of extended media coverage globally. But as journalists, bloggers and scientists come together to discuss the causes, implications, 'what if's', challenges and potential solutions of this outbreak, many of us have questioned whether we are focusing on the right things. Are we being scientifically accurate? […]
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8:55 PM | Covering Ebola
As of September 14, 2014, 2,630 people have lost their lives to the Ebola virus, according to the CDC, with a total case count of 5,347. The current outbreak has been the subject of extended media coverage globally. But as journalists, bloggers and scientists come together to discuss the causes, implications, 'what if's', challenges and potential solutions of this outbreak, many of us have questioned whether we are focusing on the right things. Are we being scientifically accurate? […]
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12:23 PM | How To Be a Science Denier
This Week Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave an excellent lesson on how to be a science denier. Unfortunately, this was not a faux demonstration, he was sincere. If you recall, in 2012, Jindal advised Republicans to stop being “the stupid party.” This was a provocative statement. I wondered at the time if this signaled a shift [...]

September 16, 2014

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4:16 PM | ‘Eskimo1′ gene helps plants survive drought conditions
Genetic modification (GM) has been a hot topic for the past couple of decades, and with scaremongering over ‘Frankenstein foods’ you’d be forgiven for thinking that GM is only being used to produce horrifying steroid-addled mutant plants, which will one day develop a taste for human flesh and take over the Earth (like in Day…

Xu F, Liu Z, Xie H, Zhu J, Zhang J, Kraus J, Blaschnig T, Nehls R & Wang H (2014). Increased Drought Tolerance through the Suppression of ESKMO1 Gene and Overexpression of CBF-Related Genes in Arabidopsis., PloS one, 9 (9) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25184213

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September 15, 2014

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11:58 PM | Dr. SkySkull’s Monday Cavalcade of Interesting Science Stuff – September 15, 2014
While I’m working on more detailed blog posts, here’s a collection of interesting science-related stuff I came across over the past week! Buddhist singing bowls inspire new tandem solar cell design. A surprising amount of optics design is inspired by … Continue reading →
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4:00 AM | What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
By Randall Munroe Synopsis: From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall […]

September 12, 2014

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4:00 AM | Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements
By John Emsley Synopsis: What is the most common element in the universe? Can you name the noble gases? Everything we see around us is made of chemical elements, but most of us know little about […]

September 11, 2014

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12:38 PM | 19 Years of Feeding Animals GMO Shows No Harm
Often GMO critics will argue that the biotech industry is conducting a massive experiment with our food supply by introducing genetically modified organisms. The implication is that GMOs are not adequately studied, which is at best debatable, but in a way they are correct. We can look at what has happened in the 19 years [...]

September 09, 2014

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12:22 PM | Has Jack the Ripper Finally Been Solved?
Jack the Ripper is perhaps the most iconic serial killer in history. Part of the mystique of this dark figure is the fact that he was never identified, leaving room for endless sleuthing and speculation. Every Ripper fan has their list of favorite suspects, usually filled with famous and powerful people of the time to [...]
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4:00 AM | Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You
By Christine McKinley Synopsis: From the host of the History channel’s Brad Meltzer’s Decoded: the laws of the universe like you’ve never experienced them before.  This approachable book explains the world of physics with clarity, humor, and a dash […]

September 08, 2014

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3:39 PM | Dr. SkySkull’s Monday Cavalcade of Interesting Science Stuff – September 8, 2014
In order to make my blogging a little more regular, I thought I would start doing a weekly roundup of interesting science-based posts from around the internet! Also, there’s so much good stuff out there that should be shared.  With … Continue reading →

September 05, 2014

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12:09 AM | How sex-engineered prawns can fight deadly parasites
Worms. Having them can be as embarrassing as it is irritating, but for most, the worst they can do is force us to take a frantic and furtive scratch when we’re sure nobody’s looking. But sadly, some parasitic worms can cause far more problems: Schistosoma (blood flukes) can infect the urinary tract and intestines, with unpleasant…

Savaya Alkalay, A., Rosen, O., Sokolow, S., Faye, Y., Faye, D., Aflalo, E., Jouanard, N., Zilberg, D., Huttinger, E. & Sagi, A. & (2014). The Prawn Macrobrachium vollenhovenii in the Senegal River Basin: Towards Sustainable Restocking of All-Male Populations for Biological Control of Schistosomiasis, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 8 (8) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003060

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September 04, 2014

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12:40 PM | Doubt and Confusion over Global Warming
Global warming (or global climate change) continues to be a contentious issue because of the political ramifications of the science. When I talk to those who doubt human-caused (anthropogenic) global warming inevitably they express a strong political opinion about the implications of AGW – that it is being used to justify government take-over of private [...]
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