Posts

October 22, 2014

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6:42 PM | Whistleblower Who Exposed White House Tampering with Climate Science Dies
Rick Piltz passed away last Saturday. He spent decades working in the federal government and state government in Texas, and was a prominent whistleblower during the Bush administration. He later... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 21, 2014

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8:04 PM | Geologizing in the Realm of the Beast
September 8, 1762 the young son of the Yolle‘s, herding the flock of sheep, disappeared near the village of Laval in the province of Dauphiné (France). Only the poor remains of the boy, partially eaten by a mysterious creature, were recovered. The pastor of Laval, named Raphaël, later described an encounter with this creature: “the [...]
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8:04 PM | Geologizing in the Realm of the Beast
September 8, 1762 the young son of the Yolle‘s, herding the flock of sheep, disappeared near the village of Laval in the province of Dauphiné (France). Only the poor remains of the boy,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:10 PM | Aren’t Cancer Cells the Worst?
I try to find humor in some unfunny places, but I was never sure how to approach cancer. I first did a comic about cancer genes for my book What’s in Your Genes?, which seems to find the happy... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:32 PM | The Top 10 Martin Gardner Scientific American Articles
The “Mathematical Games” column in Scientific American that began in January 1957 is a legend in publishing, even though it’s been almost 30 years since the last one appeared. The... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:05 PM | Interview: The New Moon
Think you know about the Moon? I did, but then I started reading ‘The New Moon: Water, Exploration, and Future Habitation‘ (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and realized that my... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 20, 2014

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9:06 AM | Manh(a)ttan Recap: Sacrificing the Few for the Many [SPOILERS]
Rejoice, my fellow fans of Manh(a)ttan (a.k.a. “Fanhattans”), for this critically acclaimed fledgling series on WGN America has been renewed for a second season, just in time for the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 18, 2014

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9:59 AM | Physics Week in Review: October 18, 2014
It was Ada Lovelace Day this past week, So Here’s The Life And Times Of Ada Lovelace, The First Computer Programmer.  Related: Beyond Emmy (Noether) and Sophie (Germain): Resources for Learning... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 17, 2014

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4:19 PM | Barbie Reincarnate – Only This Time She Looks Human
Nobody goes around saying they want to look like Barbie when they grow up, at least not anymore. But with Halloween fast approaching, I dare you to find a class of kindergarteners that does not have... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:27 PM | Sage Grouse and Oil Drilling Can Co-Exist, Says New Report
Conservation groups and energy-development companies have been at odds the last few years over an odd, dancing bird called the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). These land-based birds... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 16, 2014

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5:55 PM | The Strange Medical Case of the Radioactive Landslide
The landslide of Köfels (named after a small village in Tyrol) is one of the largest recognized landslides in the Alps – large enough to dam up a 92 meters (300 feet) deep prehistoric lake and divide in two the valley of Ötz. Wood fragments discovered during the construction of a gallery in the landslide [...]
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5:55 PM | The Strange Medical Case of the Radioactive Landslide
The landslide of Köfels (named after a small village in Tyrol) is one of the largest recognized landslides in the Alps – large enough to dam up a 92 meters (300 feet) deep prehistoric lake and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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7:06 AM | Adventures in ACE I: In Which Oddities Are Explored
I recently spent an instructive few months reading Jonny Scaramanga’s blog, where I learned just how screwed up Accelerated Christian Education is. Imagine a room full of young kids stuffed in... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 15, 2014

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10:06 PM | Lifestyle Choices Could Affect Gene Sequences that Code for Cancer
It’s no secret that diet and exercise can directly impact our health. But for many people, genetic predisposition to disease – be it hypertension or diabetes or cancer – is often perceived as a risk... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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8:53 PM | Let's Get Small: A Panel on Nanoscience
Scientific American senior editor Josh Fischman joins nanoscience researchers Shana Kelly, Yamuna Krishnan, Benjamin Bratton and moderator Bridget Kendall from the BBC World Service program The... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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7:38 PM | A Wild Idea: Save Tasmanian Devils While Controlling Killer Cats
Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) disappeared from mainland Australia centuries ago, probably not long after humans first brought dingoes to the continent. A new plan could bring the infamous,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:00 PM | Scientific American Online Now Speaks Spanish
In 1845, when Scientific American was founded, the name was aspirational for a young country in the midst of the Industrial Revolution. Before the 1800s were out, however, it launched an edition in... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 14, 2014

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7:00 PM | Beyond Emmy and Sophie: Resources for Learning about Women in Math
Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of women in science, technology, engineering, and math. If you’d like to read about women in math for the occasion, you’re in serious... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:11 PM | Should we put our money where our citations are?
A while back I covered a study called “From funding agencies to scientific agency,” by researchers from Indiana University’s Department of Information and Library Science (Bollen, Crandall, Junk,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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9:01 AM | Bay Area Chance of a Lifetime: See Tanya Atwater at the Randall Museum!
This Thursday, Tanya Atwater will be speaking at San Francisco’s Randall Museum. For free! Her talk is about Living in the Plate Boundary, and it sounds awesomesauce: Superstar Geophysicist... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 13, 2014

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9:14 AM | Manh(a)ttan Recap: Thin Man Implodes [SPOILERS]
Secrets have a way of coming out, one way or the other, despite one’s best efforts to contain them, and boy howdy, do they ever on the penultimate episode of Manh(a)ttan. In the process,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 12, 2014

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9:17 PM | You’re not rehabilitated if you keep deceiving.
Regular readers will know that I view scientific misconduct as a serious harm to both the body of scientific knowledge and the scientific community involved in building that knowledge. I also hold... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:29 PM | Shooting the messenger: small RNA as a target for antibiotics
All living cells contain DNA; the code for producing every protein needed by the cell. As DNA is important it needs to be kept safe. Plants and animals keep their DNA tightly twisted and organised... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 11, 2014

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9:33 AM | Physics Week in Review (Nobel ’14 Edition): October 11, 2014
It was the Nobel Prize announcement that launched a thousand “How many physicists does it take to change a light bulb?” jokes on twitter. (I know, we all thought we were being totes... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 10, 2014

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7:12 PM | Disease Detectives Investigate Outbreaks at Home and Abroad
The medical sleuths of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been thrust into the limelight with the recent Ebola epidemic. Charged with chasing diseases and stopping outbreaks, they’re... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:51 PM | Grappling with the angry-making history of human subjects research, because we need to.
Teaching about the history of scientific research with human subjects bums me out. Indeed, I get fairly regular indications from students in my “Ethics in Science” course that reading... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

October 09, 2014

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11:00 PM | New Walter Isaacson Book: The Innovators
This week, the new Walter Isaacson book, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution has been released. I am a fan of his writing, having enjoyed many... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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8:54 PM | Poison Dart Frog Threatened by Toxic Gold Mines
A tiny species of poison dart frog barely the size of a human fingernail has been discovered in a pocket of forest in central Panama, but its unique chirps may not be heard for much longer. The new... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:21 PM | Play, Informal Learning Cultivate Kids’ Interest in STEM
When I was eight years old I couldn’t speak English. I’d been born in another country and came to the U.S. because my father’s postdoctoral medical research brought us here. Frustrated with my... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:30 PM | Build Your Own Fractal with MegaMenger!
Later this month, people will be gathering at museums and schools around the world to build giant Menger sponges as part of a global fractal extravaganza called MegaMenger. A Menger sponge is a... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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