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Tag: Science


NASA

Early Astronauts Were Lucky to Survive the Unknown

Fifty years ago, John Glenn sat in a little metal capsule rocketing around the Earth, while down on the ground NASA scientists thought his eyes might change shape. (more)

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 READ MORE



Flickr / pointnshoot (CC-BY)

Mmmm, Test-Tube Hamburgers

Here’s a new Frankenfood twist on classic cuisine: A team of scientists in the Netherlands are this close to producing a hamburger made of meat generated from stem cells. Soon, we will be able to enjoy the delicious taste of test-tube hamburgers and other prime laboratory-grade delicacies (but at a price).

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 READ MORE



USFWS / Tom MacKenzie

Scientists Create Magnetic Soap to Cope With Oil Spills

Researchers have invented a kind of soap that can be magnetically corralled to help clean up toxic spills. The feat is accomplished by infusing more mundane suds with tiny iron particles that join together and react to magnets.

Posted on Jan 23, 2012 READ MORE


The Amazing Spider-Goat!

This is the kind of scientific story that’s a little “ooh” with some “ew!” mixed in, too: Scientists at Utah State University have cleverly combined goat and spider genes to make a normal-looking strain of goat that happens to be able to produce extra protein in its milk that can be made into spider silk.

Posted on Jan 17, 2012 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Brandonc (CC-BY-SA)

NASA: The World Won’t End in 2012

Sorry, all you Mayan-influenced doomsday enthusiasts, but it’s looking to some of the great minds over at NASA as though 2012 isn’t going to be particularly apocalypse-friendly as such. Ancient augury versus contemporary astronomy: Who will prevail?

Posted on Jan 2, 2012 READ MORE



John McNab (CC-BY)

Scientists List Their Favorite Discoveries of 2011

Increasingly chaotic weather, potentially habitable planets and closing in on the elusive Higgs boson are just a few of the developments observed and discoveries made by the scientific community in 2011. The editors at LiveScience asked university scientists to describe what they think were the most important advances of the year.

Posted on Dec 31, 2011 READ MORE



Centers for Disease Control

Scientists Make Killer Flu Virus Even Deadlier

More than half of the people infected with H5N1—the bird flu virus—are dead, so it’s a damned good thing the virus isn’t airborne. That is, until now. U.S.-funded researchers in the Netherlands have successfully engineered a viral H5N1 strain that can spread through the air, realizing fears of a potentially weaponized germ that infects easily and kills half its victims.

Posted on Dec 27, 2011 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC1 Matthew M. Bradley

And the Worst Natural Disaster Is …

An article in The Lancet argues that earthquakes are particularly devastating when compared with other natural disasters. Earthquakes “frequently affect populous urban areas with poor structural standards” and they impair emergency responders. Shifting tectonic plates killed more than 780,000 people in the last decade. (more)

Posted on Nov 6, 2011 READ MORE



WWF Greater Mekong

Extinction: Another One Bites the Dust

A subspecies of rhino native to Southeast Asia has been wiped out. There are now just 50 members of its parent species, the Javan rhino, left in the world. It’s a reminder that the danger in endangered is real, and we can’t just sit back and hope conservationists can keep human beings from annihilating Earth’s biodiversity. (more)

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 READ MORE



Poster Boy (CC-BY)

Global Warming Just Got Hotter

For the clueless or cynical die-hards who deny global warming, it’s getting awfully cold out there.

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 READ MORE


Stopping the Insanity

Like most people living through this jarring age of economic turbulence and political dysfunction, you can probably recall a moment in the last few months when you thought to yourself that our lawmakers and corporate leaders are all crazy.

Posted on Oct 6, 2011 READ MORE


Why an Unusually Melty Arctic Means Trouble

Dr. Tom Wagner of NASA is remarkably cheerful as he explains how the historic melting of sea ice in the Arctic threatens to exacerbate climate change across the globe.

Posted on Oct 4, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Gerry Dincher (CC-BY-SA)

Link Between Natural Gas Fields and Health Issues Remains Largely Undocumented

Last month, the investigative journalism nonprofit ProPublica published a report that highlights how dangerously little scientists and government officials know about the health consequences of living near a natural gas drilling site.

Posted on Oct 1, 2011 READ MORE



Marco Raaphorst (CC-BY)

Scientists Investigate Fish Shrinkage

Seafood fans beware: You and your appetites may be toying with evolution. A team of scientists is investigating the fallout from overfishing, which causes fish to be smaller and reproduce earlier, and whether these changes are short-term reactions or the result of unnatural selection. (more)

Posted on Sep 18, 2011 READ MORE



NASA / Artist concept of an SLS launch

This Is the Rocket That Will Take Us to Mars (video)

Who said NASA is dead? The space agency has unveiled its new rocket design—the most powerful ever if we go ahead and build it—capable one day of dropping a human or two on Mars.

Posted on Sep 14, 2011 READ MORE



PBS.org

U.S. Deliberately Infected Guatemalans With Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The United States conducted experiments on unsuspecting Guatemalans in the 1940s in order to test the effectiveness of penicillin on STDs. According to the BBC, “some 1,300 prisoners, psychiatric patients and sex workers were deliberately infected with syphilis, gonorrhea” and other diseases. (more)

Posted on Sep 1, 2011 READ MORE



Fitsum Belay (CC-BY-ND)

Get Ready for Medicinal MDMA

A team of scientists in Britain is championing the cancer-fighting properties of Ecstasy, the touchy-feely party drug that makes you feel great whether or not it’s punching holes in your brain.

Posted on Aug 21, 2011 READ MORE



gonemovie.com

Jodie Foster Helps Fund the Search for Alien Life

The Allen Telescope Array in Northern California was shut down due to government budget cuts, but more than 2,400 donors, including “Contact” star Jodie Foster, gave enough money to keep the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute-run facility open a little longer. (more)

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 READ MORE



moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com

If You’re Under 35, You’ve Never Experienced ‘Normal’ Earth Climate

Physical scientist Robert Grumbine crunches some numbers to determine that “the last time the global mean was below the climate normal was March 1976.” Basically Grumbine is looking for “normal” climate, and he sees things diverging after 1940. So tell us, old-timers, what was it like before the planet started melting? (more)

Posted on Aug 2, 2011 READ MORE



imdb.com

Animal Harm

We have witnessed, in this film, a prolonged study in animal abuse. I think Terrace is the worst kind of sadist—the unknowing kind—and I think this very good film provides a record of “science” at its most useless.

Posted on Jul 11, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr/Venex_jpb (CC-BY-SA)

Autism Study Shifts Focus From Nature to Nurture

Research on autism in recent decades has emphasized the contributing role of genetics, but a new study out of UCSF and Stanford might prove to be a game-changer, ranking environmental factors (e.g., parenting) higher than biology in order of importance.

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 READ MORE



Vintage Collective (CC-BY)

Scientists Find the ‘Holy Grail of Heart Research’

Researchers in the U.K. have found a way to make the hearts of mice repair themselves—a feat that the British Heart Foundation calls the “holy grail” (when applied to humans, we’re guessing). (more)

Posted on Jun 8, 2011 READ MORE


Possibly Carcinogenic

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Posted on Jun 5, 2011 READ MORE


The Grim Beeper

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Posted on Jun 2, 2011 READ MORE


This Is What It Looks Like When a Black Hole Destroys a Galaxy

And you think you’ve got problems. Take a look at nearby galaxy Centaurus A, which is in a losing battle with a black hole nearly 55 million times bigger (in terms of mass) than our sun. As it dies, its guts are being sprayed out in a trail of carnage 2 million light-years long, and NASA has the intergalactic snuff film to prove it.

Posted on May 22, 2011 READ MORE



bbc.co.uk

‘Rogue’ Planets Found Roaming Through Space

What happens when planetary bodies go rogue? Well, that’s one universal mystery that scientists didn’t actually know of until a team of Japanese researchers claimed to have found 10 such free-range roamers—and what’s more, they might be shockingly common in space.

Posted on May 18, 2011 READ MORE



Aiwok (CC-BY-SA)

Research Finds Straight Men Like Looking at Fat Women, Penises

A couple of neuroscientists looked through a billion publicly available Web searches from about a million people and told Salon, “There are almost three times as many searches for fat women as there are for skinny women” and “men search for penises almost as often as they search for vaginas.”

Posted on May 15, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / KevinLallier Some rights reserved

Climate Shift Has Cut Global Wheat Crops, Study Finds

A report in the journal Science links temperature changes to a 5.5 percent decline in wheat production worldwide, with drop-offs occurring even in countries where technological efforts have diminished the impact of climate change on crop yields.

Posted on May 8, 2011 READ MORE



Mike Baird (CC-BY)

Take Two Walnuts, Jog and Call Me in the Morning

Contrary to popular belief, running might actually be good for your knees. In other health news: Walnuts are simply loaded with antioxidants and although all nuts may have healthy properties, walnuts make their cousins look downright schlubby.

Posted on Mar 28, 2011 READ MORE



tonystl (CC-BY-ND)

Scientists Predict the End of Religion in These 9 Countries

Researchers have adapted to religion a model used to forecast and explain the deaths of languages, and are predicting that in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland, religion is destined for extinction.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 READ MORE



YouTube / AssociatedPress

Millions of Dead Fish Puzzle Californians

Marine biologists are working to explain the millions of anchovies, sardines and mackerel that washed up dead in a Los Angeles area harbor Tuesday. Whether an algae bloom was a factor in the massive die-off is under investigation.

Posted on Mar 8, 2011 READ MORE



The Pug Father (CC-BY)

Baby Dolphins Are Washing Up Dead Along the Gulf

Scientists at the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies are investigating unusually high numbers of stillborn and aborted dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico region. Seventeen infant dolphins have washed up on shore so far this year, compared to an average of one or two a month, says one scientist. (more)

Posted on Feb 21, 2011 READ MORE



The Lopsided Law of Wall Street

The lopsided law of immigration vs. Wall Street, humans actually do make it rain, and Glenn Beck goes after Google. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Feb 20, 2011 READ MORE



BlatantNews.com (CC-BY)

Survey Says Teachers Lack Backbone When It Comes to Evolution

A couple of political scientists out of Penn State University went looking into the way evolution is taught in classrooms, and discovered that the vast majority of teachers are overly cautious in their presentation of the concept, contrary to National Research Council guidelines. (more)

Posted on Feb 2, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Chimpanz APe (CC-BY)

Stem Cells Blamed for Baldness

A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania believes defective stem cells cause male pattern baldness. Apparently the haywire cells cause shrinking follicles that produce microscopic hairs. A cure may be possible.

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Andrew Mason (CC-BY)

Conservative Brains Have More Fear, Less Courage

Scientists at University College London went poking around the noggins of a couple of MPs and 90 students and were surprised to discover that the brains of right-wing subjects were more prone to fear and anxiety and less so to courage and optimism when compared with their counterparts on the left.

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / The Pug Father (CC-BY)

Farm Animals Hog 80 Percent of U.S. Antibiotics

The overuse of antibiotics can lead to drug-resistant superbugs, so it’s cause for concern to the folks at Johns Hopkins’ Center for a Livable Future that the vast majority of bug-killing drugs aren’t even consumed by sick humans.

Posted on Dec 27, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / NASA

A New Twist in the Quest for Extraterrestrials

A young biochemist has caused a ruckus in the scientific community with her claim that one of the basic elements in the formula that has long been considered to define the building blocks of life may be swapped out—and for arsenic, no less.

Posted on Dec 2, 2010 READ MORE



WikiLeak This Ear

Today on the list: The GOP vs. Sarah Palin, what Google charges for government surveillance, and WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange’s political philosophy explained.

Posted on Dec 2, 2010 READ MORE



nytimes.com

Beauty and the Brain

How’s this for a mental image? In an effort to make our synapses sexier to the general public, one enterprising neuroscience aficionado and Ph.D.-to-be cooked up a book of pretty pictures of the human brain as rendered from past to present.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE



More News, Less Turkey

Today on the list: Bribing Israel, the possibilities of precognition, the value of banks (it’s complicated), and the incredible shrinking withdrawal date.

Posted on Nov 24, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Carolyn Coles (CC-BY)

Jet Lag Makes You Dumb (If You’re a Hamster)

Scientists gave some hamsters the frequent flier treatment and found that their brains birthed fewer neurons. The sleep-confused rodents also had learning and memory issues almost a month after their simulated travel ordeal.

Posted on Nov 17, 2010 READ MORE


How Robots Clean Up an Oil Spill

Those nerds at MIT have come up with something really amazing (not the first time). It’s a swarm of autonomous robots that talk to each other as they make their way around a spill, gobbling up the oil. Why didn’t we think of that?

Posted on Oct 11, 2010 READ MORE


From Tuskegee to Guatemala Via Nuremberg

News broke last week that the U.S. government purposefully exposed hundreds of men in Guatemala to syphilis in ghoulish medical experiments conducted during the late 1940s.

Posted on Oct 5, 2010 READ MORE



Reuters via Los Angeles Times

Biologist Wins Nobel Prize for Conceiving IVF Techniques

It’s been more than two decades since the birth of Louise Brown, the world’s first “test-tube baby,” and now one of the pioneers who helped make in vitro fertilization (and, by extension, Brown herself) a reality has been tapped to receive the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.

Posted on Oct 4, 2010 READ MORE



Bungie

Video Games Are Good for Your Brain

Don’t listen to Hillary Clinton. Video games are good for you. They make you and your children sharper, and kids should be able to play them without permission.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



Bollywood Jesus

Today on the list: How human beings could have made the universe, the movement to move Tony Blair’s memoirs to the crime section, the Social Security con and the Bollywood movie ... about Jesus.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 READ MORE



NASA, ESA, Hubble, R. Sahai (JPL)

Stephen Hawking Says Creation Was Godless, Inevitable

In his new book, the famed physicist dismisses the notion, sometimes peddled by scientists, that a deity was involved with the big bang: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. ... It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

Posted on Sep 2, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / sirtrentalot (CC-BY-ND)

Heavy Drinkers Live Longer Than Nondrinkers

A study has found that people who drink a lot of alcohol tend to live longer than people who never touch the stuff. So much for not burning the candle at both ends. But don’t go crashing that frat party just yet: People who drink in moderation, as in one to three drinks a day, live longest of all.

Posted on Aug 30, 2010 READ MORE



Adam Block / Mount Lemmon SkyCenter / University of Arizona

Riding the Milky Way in Tucson

A couple of days after I arrived in Tucson, there came a party invitation. The public was invited to the top of Mount Lemmon for a viewing of the annual Perseid showers, a breathtaking display of shooting stars. While I generally brake for sand, I also hit the road for star parties.

Posted on Aug 26, 2010 READ MORE


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