Posts

December 21, 2014

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7:15 PM | Jacqueline du Pré – Talented Cellist who lost her abilities due to myelin loss
Jacqueline du Pré was an astounding English Cellist. She achieved high performance at a young age before she lost her abilities (at 28) to the loss myelin[*] of due to multiple sclerosis (MS). At first she lost sensation in her fingers so she used her visual senses to coordinate her fingers while playing. She is most famous for her iconic recording…
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1:15 PM | Christmas + Science =?
Santa’s Toy Factory- A one-of-a-kind Christmas experience At the Science Centre we believe in making science relatable and fun no matter what we do, and the Christmas season is no exception. But wait a minute…what do Christmas and Science have in common? The growth of mistletoe? Hmmm… The words Christmas and Science look odd in… Continue reading »
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11:42 AM | Blue Phase Anolis carolinensis Displaying
This fabulous photo of a blue phase Anolis carolinensis was snapped by Will Talley of the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo. It appeared in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA) monthly magazine, Connect, which sponsors an annual photo contest, and this photo was celebrated as one of the best entries. Will kindly gave us the backstory: “I was […]
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8:17 AM | Adam and Eve
A common theme at this blog is that I don’t like blanket statements to the effect that science and religion are incompatible. The main problem I have is that “religion” means so many different things to different people that it is pointless to paint with such a broad brush. A secondary point is that science…
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1:40 AM | The Absurdity of “Medical Marijuana”
Science is strangled by a government-imposed catch-22 that restricts access to marijuana on the basis that there is insufficient evidence supporting its medical benefits and safety, while blocking the research that would provide such information.
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12:39 AM | AGU Fall Meeting: Day 4
Thursday was a really exciting day. In the morning I sat in on a session about the hydrology of landslides, and especially how water storage in pore space affects landslide dynamics and discharge.

December 20, 2014

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11:43 PM | Best of 2014: #pandanation #allbridgers #rabs #SfN #cashmoneyscience
I can’t believe that I am approaching my 7th year of neuroblogging. This year was so so. There were some good parts in the middle but it started and ended on crappier moments. However, I’m looking forward to some promising moments in 2015, including the publishing of Meathead: Unraveling the Athletic Brain–a book that I have […]
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10:51 PM | BNA2015: Festival of Neuroscience – ABSTRACT DEADLINE EXTENDED! | Neuroscience Ireland
http://neuroscienceireland.com/2014/12/19/bna2015-festival-of-neuroscience-abstract-deadline-extended/Filed under: Uncategorized
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10:12 PM | Dr. G’s #AGU14 Spotlight – Citizen Science
The AGU Fall Meeting called attention to the growing opportunities and benefits of citizen science - especially work at the global level. Read about high altitude citizen science and the work of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation.
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7:21 PM | Reclaiming the Sound of Silence
Note: This post is a modified version of an article that I submitted to the Access to Understanding science writing competition sponsored by Europe PubMed Central, which required writing a summary of a science journal article chosen from a short list. So this post may seem different from usual—more narrowly focused and formally written—though I’ve edited it to fit the … Continue reading →
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4:46 PM | Two Personal Qualities More Vital To Success Than IQ That Most People Don’t Know
Here are two trainable personal qualities which predict success four times more than intelligence. Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick" Related articles:Can People’s Personalities Change? 4 Qualities of Truly Horrible Managers Here’s Why Believing People Can Change Is So Important in Life Intelligent People Are More Inclined to Trust Others The Personality Trait Linked […]
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3:49 PM | American college students say they would rather study with real books, not laptops
Originally posted on Quartz:Ebooks, tablets and computer-based learning might be pervading elementary and middle schools throughout the US, but college students are still old-school. A Student Monitor survey of about 1,200 students in 100 American colleges in October found that…
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3:00 PM | Science Caturday: Tourists Bring Unwanted Gifts
Oh noooo, a new article in The Atlantic says that the huge increase in the numbers of visitors to Antarctica in recent years may be making the penguins sick. A team led by Wray Grimaldi of the University of Otago … Continue reading →
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12:22 PM | Ibuprofen could boost life spans
Ibuprofen increases longevity in some lab organisms, which might mean it could combat aging. Science
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11:09 AM | Evolve an App Name: Results
On Thursday I ran an experiment to evolve an app name.  And here’s the name that won: I’m not sure if I could cope with having to say ‘Lingo Bingo’ for the next two months, but we’ll see. Here’s how it worked: Show the participant 10 app names for 20 seconds Hide the names and […]
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6:44 AM | ..and That’s What Science is all About Charlie Brown
I am just back from a whirlwind trip to the AGU Meeting in San Francisco. 25,000 Earth scientists in one place, and it’s among the largest science meetings on the planet. I shot some videos that I will post over the weekend, but in the meantime here is a talk I made in October 2013 (in Washington) as part of the AGU Science Speaker series.
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2:39 AM | Reaction to cricket epidemic led to a risky series of illegal imports.
In my previous post, I discussed how a Densovirus was crippling cricket production all  over the country. Acheta domestica Densovirus (AdDNV, for short) is a virus which causes paralysis, and kills almost every cricket it infects. It’s also incredibly resistant to degredation, and appears to spread in dust within facilities, making decontamination nearly impossible. The disease […]Read Post ›

December 19, 2014

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11:09 PM | 500: a year review at chorasimilarity, first half
Personal post triggered by the coincidence of the year’s end and a round number of posts here: 500. I started this year with high hopes about the project described in the article GLC actors, artificial chemical connectomes, topological issues and knots. Louis Kauffman wrote in the introduction some unbelievably nice words about graphic lambda calculus: … Continue reading 500: a year review at chorasimilarity, first half →
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10:33 PM | New Zealand watersheds show the dirt on logging and grazing
Grazing animals and logging trees in New Zealand could affect water quality there, according to scientists working to determine how water quality problems in the country relate to land use. The results could help guide water-friendly policy in New Zealand and other parts of the world, according to Jason Julian, a geographer at Texas State University.
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10:08 PM | Congratulations Sarah Koenig
On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. So begins the serial podcast – a spinoff from This American Life featuring Sarah Koenig researching, editing and performing long form journalism which she and her staff have spent a year investigating. Adnan Syed […]
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8:46 PM | Wooster Geologist in Yorkshire
LEEDS, ENGLAND–It was my good fortune to attend this week the 58th Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Association in Leeds, Yorkshire, this week. I very much enjoy these meetings because of the high quality of the talks and posters, the collegiality, the field trips, and my chance to meet new colleagues and learn more about […]
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6:26 PM | Electromagnetic imaging helps scientists locate underwater methane
A simple compound found in underwater structures could generate warmth below the ocean, inside homes, and in the atmosphere. The location of the compound, methane, determines whether it’s dangerous, welcome, or world-changing. Now, a team from GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom has used electromagnetic images to more accurately identify and characterize a source of methane beneath the ocean floor.
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6:25 PM | ‘Tis the season to be shameless
I received two nice holiday gifties: My recent essay on race, genetics, and the Nicholas Wade affair heads up Nature’s top 10 list of Books & Arts pieces for 2014. <blows […]
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6:25 PM | ‘Tis the season to be shameless
I received two nice holiday gifties: My recent essay on race, genetics, and the Nicholas Wade affair heads up Nature’s top 10 list of Books & Arts pieces for 2014. <blows […]
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6:05 PM | Two Steps Forward, One Backward in Using fMRI to Predict Product Popularity
Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:In a study that lasted several years, low responses to unfamiliar songs in two areas of adolescent listeners’ brains (the orbitofrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens) were moderately accurate in predicting…
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6:04 PM | Student Raises $60,000 for Homeless Man Who Offered to Pay for Cab to Get Her Home Safely
Dominique Harrison-Bentzen is an art student at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, England. Not long ago, Dominique was wrapping up a night out when she discovered that she had lost her bank card. While trying to figure out what to do next, Dominique was approached by a homeless man known only as Robbie. Robbie offered the 22-year-old his last £3 ($4.67) so that she could pay for a cab to take her home safely. Dominique ended up declining the offer,
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5:30 PM | AGU Fall Meeting 2014: Day 3
Wednesday was a bit of a break in terms of activities for me. I had the chance to sit down and listen to some talks about multiparameter monitoring at volcanoes (including hearing about Diana Roman's "BENTO Box" instrument platform, which reminds me of the 'spiders' that the USGS uses to get seismometers out to difficult field sites).
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5:27 PM | Fishbook: Do prey social networks influence predator effects on reef fishes?
This is a talk I gave at the Western Society of Naturalists conference in Tacoma, Washington on November 14, 2014
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4:49 PM | Data from space illuminates Calaveras creep
Scientists have used satellites to more accurately measure the slow creep of land along the Calaveras and Hayward faults east of the San Francisco Bay, a finding that helped the researchers estimate the magnitude of future earthquakes. Both the Calaveras and Hayward faults are part of the San Andreas system, which sits at the boundary of two massive slabs of the Earth’s crust called the North American and Pacific plates. The plates slide slowly past one another, sometimes getting stuck […]
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4:16 PM | Computer models simulate asteroid impacts
An asteroid impact 100 miles (170 kilometers) off the coast of Maryland would send waves up to 50 feet (15 meters) high onto the shore an hour later and massive flooding would occur three hours after impact, according to a new computer simulation of hypothetical asteroid impacts. The model is the first of its kind and federal agencies have used it to assess potential hazards arising from such impacts in an effort to increase U.S. emergency preparedness, planning and management, the scientists […]
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