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Science News

Science News

News and discussion about interesting topics from the world of science.
Cloaked DNA Nanodevices Survive Pilot Mission -
Cloaked DNA Nanodevices Survive Pilot Mission
Successful foray opens door to virus-like DNA nanodevices that could diagnose diseased tissues and manufacture drugs to treat them It’s a familiar trope in science fiction: In enemy territory, activate your cloaking device. And real-world viruses use similar tactics to make themselves invisible to the immune system. Now scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have mimicked these viral tactics to build the first DNA nanodevices that survive the body’s immune defenses. - Halil from Bookmarklet
Eye ‘Training’ May Help Restore Some Vision Lost to Glaucoma - Health News and Views - -
Eye ‘Training’ May Help Restore Some Vision Lost to Glaucoma - Health News and Views -
"A new computerized eye-training program could upend the long-held belief that glaucoma-related vision loss is irreversible, a small study suggests. Daily “vision workouts” restored a significant degree of sight to a group of glaucoma patients by taking advantage of the brain’s talent for learning new tricks, researchers said." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Genes May Help Determine Your Pain Threshold - Health News and Views - -
Genes May Help Determine Your Pain Threshold - Health News and Views -
"It’s been a mystery why some people can withstand pain better than others. Now a new study suggests that genetics may play a role in whether your pain tolerance is low or high. Researchers pinpointed four genes that could help explain why perceptions of pain differ from person to person." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Your Penis Is Getting in the Way of My Science -
Your Penis Is Getting in the Way of My Science
Your Penis Is Getting in the Way of My Science
"Earlier today, scientists announced they'd discovered an insect with a new kind of female sex organ. It looks a bit like a penis, and is called a gynosome. But almost every news outlet covered the story by describing the insects as "females with penises." This isn't just painfully wrong — it's bad for science. Photo by Tim Masters via Shutterstock From reading the science news today, you'd assume that we'd found female bugs with penises, or organs that penetrate and inseminate their partners during sex. "In this group of insects, females wear the penises!" Discover magazine trumpeted. "In this insect, females have penises and males have vaginas," National Geographic elaborated. The Verge declared that scientists had found a "female penis," while Scientific American informed us that this female insect uses her "spiky penis" to "take charge." Even the original scientific article's headline included the phrase "female penis, male vagina." Related Scientists Discover the Gynosome, a New... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Extreme drought may predict plant responses to climate change -
Extreme drought may predict plant responses to climate change
Show all
"Whether tied to pests, pathogens, wildfires or water scarcity, massive drought-related tree die-offs have gained public attention and scientific scrutiny recently. Yet the die-offs have left many researchers wondering how entire plant communities are affected by such extreme climate conditions, including the drought currently plaguing California. extreme droughtToday a team of UC Davis researchers is seeking an answer to that question through new funding from the National Science Foundation’s RAPID grant program, which is designed for researchers responding quickly to important but fleeting events. Led by Professor Susan Harrison from the Department of Environmental Science and Policy and Associate Professor Andrew Latimer from the Department of Plant Sciences, the team has begun by re-sampling an existing network of plots throughout the state, along with two experimental plots, another set in southern Oregon and a 15-year monitoring study at the University of California’s McLaughlin... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
BBC News - Artists 'have structurally different brains' -
BBC News - Artists 'have structurally different brains'
"Artists have structurally different brains compared with non-artists, a study has found. Participants' brain scans revealed that artists had increased neural matter in areas relating to fine motor movements and visual imagery. The research, published in NeuroImage, suggests that an artist's talent could be innate. But training and environmental upbringing also play crucial roles in their ability, the authors report. As in many areas of science, the exact interplay of nature and nurture remains unclear. Lead author Rebecca Chamberlain from KU Leuven, Belgium, said she was interested in finding out how artists saw the world differently. "The people who are better at drawing really seem to have more developed structures in regions of the brain that control for fine motor performance and what we call procedural memory," she explained. In their small study, researchers peered into the brains of 21 art students and compared them to 23 non-artists using a scanning method called voxel-based... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Small sample size but worth looking at further. - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
UC Davis researchers help find birthplace of chili pepper - Appetizers Blog - The Sacramento Bee -
UC Davis researchers help find birthplace of chili pepper - Appetizers Blog - The Sacramento Bee
"Somewhere between Puebla and Veracruz in central-east Mexico rests the cradle of culinary inspiration: The birthplace of the domesticated chili pepper. That’s the determination of an international team of researchers, led by a plant scientist at the University of California, Davis. That fact is more than an interesting tidbit to spice up dinner conservation. Chili peppers now rank as the world’s most widely grown spice crop. Rather than one geographically specific spot, the birthplace belongs to a fertile pepper-friendly region, determined the researchers. Extending from southern Puebla and northern Oaxaca to southeastern Veracruz, that region is further south than was previously thought, the researchers found. It’s also very different than the origin of common bean and corn crops, which are believed to have been domesticated in Western Mexico. The team used a four-pronged investigation, based on linguistic and ecological evidence as well as more traditional archaeological and... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science | Compound Interest -
A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science | Compound Interest
"A brief detour from chemistry, branching out into science in general today. This graphic looks at the different factors that can contribute towards ‘bad’ science – it was inspired by the research I carried out for the recent aluminium chlorohydrate graphic, where many articles linked the compound to causing breast cancer, referencing scientific research which drew questionable conclusions from their results. The vast majority of people will get their science news from online news site articles, and rarely delve into the research that the article is based on. Personally, I think it’s therefore important that people are capable of spotting bad scientific methods, or realising when articles are being economical with the conclusions drawn from research, and that’s what this graphic aims to do. Note that this is not a comprehensive overview, nor is it implied that the presence of one of the points noted automatically means that the research should be disregarded. This is merely intended to provide a rough guide to things to be alert to when either reading science articles or evaluating research." - Spidra Webster
Spidra Webster
Cheap microscopes: Yours to cut out and keep | The Economist -
Cheap microscopes: Yours to cut out and keep | The Economist
"IF EVER a technology were ripe for disruption, it is the microscope. Benchtop microscopes have remained essentially unchanged since the 19th century—their shape a cartoonist’s cliché of science akin to alchemical glassware and Bunsen burners. And that lack of change has costs. Microscopes are expensive (several hundred dollars for a reasonable one) and need to be serviced and maintained. Unfortunately, one important use of them is in poor-world laboratories and clinics, for identifying pathogens, and such places often have small budgets and lack suitably trained technicians. That, thinks Manu Prakash, a bioengineer at Stanford University, provides an opening for a bit of lateral thinking. And Dr Prakash’s mental sideways movement has led him to design a microscope made almost entirely of paper, which is so cheap that the question of servicing it goes out of the window. Individual Foldscopes, as Dr Prakash dubs them, are printed on A4 sheets of paper (ideally polymer-coated for... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Food quality at risk if climate change continues, study says - CBS News -
"The nutritional quality of food crops may be at risk if climate change intensifies, according to a recent study. In a wheat field test, scientists found that elevated carbon dioxide may inhibit plants' assimilation of nitrate into proteins. The findings were published online in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 6. "Food quality is declining under the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that we are experiencing," said lead author Arnold Bloom, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences in University of California-Davis, in a statement. The first study that may prove what many laboratory studies already demonstrated, elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere inhibited nitrate assimilation in the leaves of grain and non-legume plants. The assimilation, or processing, of nitrogen plays a key role in the plants' growth and productivity; it's also important for humans, since these plants use nitrogen to produce proteins that are vital for human nutrition.... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Apocalypse soon, if we keep on cutting science - opinion - 05 August 2013 - New Scientist -
Apocalypse soon, if we keep on cutting science - opinion - 05 August 2013 - New Scientist
"PESTILENCE, war, famine, death. I recently came face-to-face with all four at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, in a rare viewing of Albrecht Dürer's 15th-century woodcut Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In Dürer's time fear of the apocalypse loomed large. It wasn't so different when I was a child. Fear of nuclear Armageddon was a constant presence, but it helped fuel the US government's investment in science and science education, propelling the country to the top – and directly benefiting me. Now the fears of the 1960s have receded, the US government – or parts of it – are reopening the door to the four horsemen through a radical retrenchment of the science programme. Scientists are sometimes criticised for exaggerating the importance of their work, but I think they underplay it. Science is the main force that keeps the horsemen at bay. The US still leads the world in science spending overall. But if the spectacular shrinkage of government science funding continues, we... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
"The International Peanut Genome Initiative—a group of multinational crop geneticists who have been working in tandem for the last several years—has successfully sequenced the peanut's genome. Scott Jackson, director of the University of Georgia Center for Applied Genetic Technologies in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, serves as chair of the International Peanut Genome Initiative, or IPGI. The new peanut genome sequence will be available to researchers and plant breeders across the globe to aid in the breeding of more productive and more resilient peanut varieties. Peanut, known scientifically as Arachis hypogaea and also called groundnut, is important both commercially and nutritionally. While the oil- and protein-rich legume is seen as a cash crop in the developed world, it remains a valuable sustenance crop in developing nations. "The peanut crop is important in the United States, but it's very important for developing nations as well," Jackson said. "In... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Engineered vaginas grown in women for the first time - health - 10 April 2014 - New Scientist -
Engineered vaginas grown in women for the first time - health - 10 April 2014 - New Scientist
"Vaginas grown in a lab from the recipients' own cells have been successfully transferred to the body for the first time. The surgery was carried out on four women who were born without vaginal canals because of a rare condition. The women, who were teenagers at the time of the operation, now have fully functioning sexual organs. "After the operation they were able to function normally. They had normal levels of desire, arousal, satisfaction and orgasm," says Anthony Atala at Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina, who led the research. He published the results only after four to eight years had elapsed following surgery, enough time for him to be sure there were no long-term complications. The four women had undeveloped vaginas because they all have a severe form of a condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome (MKRH), which affects about 1 in 5000 women. They also had some abnormal development of the uterus, although they did have a vulva – the external part... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Bluesun 2600
U.S. Navy Converts Seawater into Jet Fuel Using ‘Game Changing’ Technology | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building -
U.S. Navy Converts Seawater into Jet Fuel Using ‘Game Changing’ Technology | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building
U.S. Navy Converts Seawater into Jet Fuel Using ‘Game Changing’ Technology | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building
"United States Navy scientists claim they have successfully developed a method of converting seawater into jet fuel. Researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory developed a technology that extracts carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater and then converts these gases into a hydrocarbon liquid fuel. Sorcery you say? Well, the scientists haven’t just produced the fuel, they’ve also used it to power a miniature radio-controlled flying jet." - Bluesun 2600 from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Hand Soap Ingredient Can Up Body Bacteria Burden - Scientific American -
Hand Soap Ingredient Can Up Body Bacteria Burden - Scientific American
"The antimicrobial triclosan is a common ingredient in hand soap. But it's also found in shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste, even lip gloss. So it's not too surprising that triclosan also shows up in blood, urine, breast milk and mucus. But here's the weird thing—those triclosan residues may actually boost bacterial growth in our bodies. So says a study in the journal mBio. [Adnan K. Syed et al, Triclosan Promotes Staphylococcus aureus Nasal Colonization] Researchers swabbed inside the noses of 90 adults. 37 of the 90 tested positive for triclosan—and those who did were twice as likely to have the bug Staphylococcus aureus living in their noses. Rats, too, were more susceptible to staph if fed triclosan. Seems counterintuitive, but when bacteria are exposed to sublethal levels of antibiotics, they get stressed, and “they attach to surfaces and hunker down, in things we call biofilms." That's study author Blaise Boles, of the University of Michigan. He says that stash of staph could put... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
"When FDA first started evaluating the rules governing triclosan's use, Richard Nixon was still president," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass, who asked the FDA to take a closer look at triclosan in 2010 after the European Union banned the chemical from products that come into contact with food. - непростые коротышки
"Triclosan is added to many consumer goods such as cosmetics and detergents to kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth. It serves as disinfectant, preservative or antiseptic and is widely used in health care and animal husbandry. There is concern that this widespread use of triclosan may lead to the emergence or proliferation of harmful bacteria that are resistant to both biocides and antibiotics." European Commission SC - непростые коротышки
Spidra Webster
ScienceShot: More Trees = More Coffee | Science/AAAS | News -
ScienceShot: More Trees = More Coffee | Science/AAAS | News
"Would you like a tree with your coffee? That may not sound like a good idea, but a new study suggests that mixing trees with coffee bushes could boost bird populations while improving crop yields. Among the chief threats bean growers face is the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei), an insect that lays its eggs after digging into coffee berries. Recent studies in Jamaica’s “high mountain” coffee farms suggest that introducing insect-eating warblers such as the black-throated blue warbler (Setophaga caerulescens, inset, about to snag a coffee berry borer) onto plantations can keep the pests in check. But sustaining a population of the birds on a farm is a challenge; because of borers’ small size and seasonal population changes, they make up only about 10% of warblers’ diets. To see whether adding additional bird habitat in the form of trees and shrubs (background, above) might make a difference, biologists created a series of computer simulations of the ecosystem in and around a... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Top N Reasons NOT to do a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology « – Bioinformatics -
Top N Reasons NOT to do a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology « – Bioinformatics
"We read a commentary in Casey Bergman’s blog titled “Top N Reasons To Do A Ph.D. or Post-Doc in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology”. It is a fantastic post, and everyone I talked to agreed with his points. By our nature, we feel uncomfortable, when everyone agrees with a viewpoint. Especially, the people I questioned agreed about becoming internet programmers in 1998, buying houses in 2005 and working on alternate energy in 2008. Is there anything negative about doing a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology? Reason 1. Bioinformatics has many layers, as discussed in the following articles. A beginner’s guide to bioinformatics – part I A beginner’s guide to bioinformatics – part II Unless you can reach Layer 5, you remain a glorified technician in the bigger picture of things. Do you really think that is good enough reason to get a PhD? To reach layer 5, you need to show some mathematical aptitude from much younger age. Changing course of the ship at postdoc stage is possibly... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Petition | Urgently reverse existing, proposed, and further cuts to RBG Kew’s annual operating grant in aid | -
Petition | Urgently reverse existing, proposed, and further cuts to RBG Kew’s annual operating grant in aid |
"Globally important conservation and science under threat at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew due to government cuts - £5M deficit will lead to loss of over 120 posts The UK Government need to urgently reverse the existing cuts to Kew’s annual operating grant in aid funding, and to cancel the proposed and any further future cuts. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with sites at Kew Gardens, London and Wakehurst Place, Sussex is a world-leader in conservation and botanical science, with over 250 years of historical excellence in these fields. Never before has Kew faced such a significant threat to its future. It now needs your help to ensure its globally-important plant and fungal collections can continue to be used to support plant and fungal science and conservation around the world. In 1983, 90 per cent of Kew’s funding came from the UK Government as grant in aid. The current amount has dropped to below 40 per cent as of this year. Funding was reduced by £0.9M in 2009-10, £1M in 2010-11, and... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Twitter / dyctiostelium: "The correct meaning of common ... -
Twitter / dyctiostelium: "The correct meaning of common ...
""The correct meaning of common phrases found in scientific papers!" via @FKuriBrena" - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Birds of a feather: hummingbird family tree unveiled | Reuters -
Birds of a feather: hummingbird family tree unveiled | Reuters
"For such small creatures, hummingbirds certainly have racked up an outsized list of unique claims to fame. They are the smallest birds and the smallest warm-blooded animals on Earth. They have the fastest heart and the fastest metabolism of any vertebrate. They are the only birds that can fly backward. And scientists reported on Thursday that they also have a complicated evolutionary history. Researchers constructed the family tree of these nectar-eating birds using genetic information from most of the world's 338 hummingbird species and their closest relatives. They said hummingbirds can be divided into nine groups, with differences in size, habitat, feeding strategy and body shape." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Satellite Shows High Productivity from U.S. Corn Belt | NASA -
Satellite Shows High Productivity from U.S. Corn Belt | NASA
"Data from satellite sensors show that during the Northern Hemisphere's growing season, the Midwest region of the United States boasts more photosynthetic activity than any other spot on Earth, according to NASA and university scientists. Healthy plants convert light to energy via photosynthesis, but chlorophyll also emits a fraction of absorbed light as fluorescent glow that is invisible to the naked eye. The magnitude of the glow is an excellent indicator of the amount of photosynthesis, or gross productivity, of plants in a given region. Research in 2013 led by Joanna Joiner, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., demonstrated that fluorescence from plants could be teased out of data from existing satellites, which were designed and built for other purposes. The new research led by Luis Guanter of the Freie Universität Berlin, used the data for the first time to estimate photosynthesis from agriculture. Results were published March 25 in Proceedings of the... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Most of the alarmist reports concerning CO2 fail to mention this. 600 PPM is probably optimal in the absence of warming. We are 100 years away from that level. Innovation not punitive correction will ensure a healthy biosphere. - Eric Logan from FFHound!
While greater CO2 levels may be great for plants, they're not great for many other species and the loss of those would affect us (if all one cared about is our particular species). - Spidra Webster
... Eric, do you think high CO2 is concentrated in the American Midwest? - Andrew C (✔) from Android
No, Andrew present concentrations are greening the Sahel in Africa also. The Alarmists have an agenda and I have been interested enough to read extensively both pro and con. Little mention is made of any benefits it's all alarmism. Empirical evidence does not justify the extremes. - Eric Logan from FFHound!
And how do you explain the relative darkness of the American West here? - Andrew C (✔) from Android
I mean, this seems to me to be more like evidence of agriculture than CO2 "greening" specifically the Midwest. - Andrew C (✔) from Android
Drought which may be part of natural variation and saving the delta smelt. - Eric Logan
It must be really swell that anything bad might just be natural variation if it's even real and not just "alarmism" but anything good is a definitely real trend. - Andrew C (✔) from Android
When have you read a report from an agency trying to effect policy changes that included any semblance of balance are there any net benefits mentioned ? If I told you about only a persons flaws it would be true, but not the whole story. More energy in the system means more rain. However, it appears that some severe events such as hurricanes will become less severe. Arable land is... more... - Eric Logan
What do you think is the optimal level of CO2 for humans if continued warming is negligible or non existent due to anthropogenic increase ? Is it more or less in the absence of actual warming ? - Eric Logan
In the absence of anthropogenic warming /and ocean acidification/ and any other negative effects I may blanking on at the moment, then yeah, I wouldn't object to higher atmospheric CO2. But I don't think that's the world we live in. - Andrew C (✔)
Spidra Webster
The Great Georgian Fruit Hunt | Travel | Smithsonian -
The Great Georgian Fruit Hunt | Travel | Smithsonian
"In the basins of the Mediterranean, the Black and the Caspian seas, they line the roadsides and populate the villages with the roguish persistence of weeds. They grow from Spanish castle walls, the bellies of Roman bridges, and the cobblestones of Muslim mosques. They grow in neatly arranged orchards, while volunteer seedlings sprout from cracks in the walls and splits in the sidewalks. Few people look twice at a fig tree in western Asia, where the trees are as common as people themselves. Late each summer, the branches sag with the weight of the crop, and on the sidewalks below, fallen figs accumulate in carpets of jammy, sticky paste. Locals eat what they can, both fresh and dried. Other figs are canned, some reduced into syrup, and a few infused into liquors. In markets at the height of the season, vendors let their apples sit but madly push their fresh figs at passersby, wishing to sell them even for a trifle before the delicate fruits spoil. From This Story Photo Gallery Related... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
"As we drive out of Tbilisi in Maghradze’s four-wheel-drive Honda CRV, en route to see the old former capital city of Mtskheta, a bushy plume of foliage spilling over a fence catches Aradhya’s attention. “There’s a big green fig,” he tells Maghradze, who immediately pulls over on the busy boulevard. The tree, growing at the edge of a yard, is laden with large, pear-shaped fruits—and... more... - Spidra Webster
"The three also look beyond civilization during the 17-day hunt, seeking wild fruit varieties not yet cultivated, and while touring the parched hills of eastern Georgia, Aradhya bags dozens of samples of almond seeds. One is a fantastic coconut-flavored almond from along a highway just outside the capital, a variety that could someday produce favored cultivars in California’s industry.... more... - Spidra Webster
Bluesun 2600
Man-Made Earthquakes Update | Science Features -
Man-Made Earthquakes Update | Science Features
"The number of earthquakes has increased dramatically over the past few years within the central and eastern United States. Nearly 450 earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and larger occurred in the four years from 2010-2013, over 100 per year on average, compared with an average rate of 20 earthquakes per year observed from 1970-2000. This increase in earthquakes prompts two important questions: Are they natural, or man-made? And what should be done in the future as we address the causes and consequences of these events to reduce associated risks? USGS scientists have been analyzing the changes in the rate of earthquakes as well as the likely causes, and they have some answers. USGS scientists have found that at some locations the increase in seismicity coincides with the injection of wastewater in deep disposal wells. Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed for this purpose." - Bluesun 2600 from Bookmarklet
New Plant Compound From Strawberries May Prevent Alzheimer's And Memory Loss -
"Fisetin, a flavonol found in strawberries, mangoes, cucumber, and other fruits and vegetables, may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s, dementia, and age-related memory loss, according to research just out from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies." - imabonehead from Bookmarklet
Why can't a man think like a woman, and a woman think like a man? -
Whether our brains differ structurally is a hot topic in neuroscience. Recently, a neuroimaging study suggested that female brains are functionally more suited to social skills including language, memory and multi-tasking, while men are hard-wired to be better at perception and co-ordinated movement. But are these abilities innate to our gender, or are they influenced by the environment? Are these studies subject to gender biases themselves? - Halil from Bookmarklet
The gender specific toys children play with - for example dolls for girls and cars for boys – could be changing how their brains develop. Many toys aimed at boys involve physical skills and logic, whereas many girl-aimed toys involve nurturing behaviours and socialising. These kinds of gender-specific toys and encouraging only gender-specific play could limit potential in both sexes.... more... - Halil
Spidra Webster
Scenes from the Postdocalypse | Mother Jones -
Scenes from the Postdocalypse | Mother Jones
"How do you become a scientist? Ask anyone in the profession and you'll probably hear some version of the following: get a bachelor's of science degree, work in a lab, get into a Ph.D. program, publish some papers, get a good postdoctoral position, publish some more papers, and then apply for a tenure-track job at a large university. It's a long road—and you get to spend those 10 to 15 years as a poor graduate student or underpaid postdoc, while you watch your peers launch careers, start families, and contribute to their 401(k) plans. And then comes the academic job market. According to Brandeis University biochemist Gregory Petsko, who recently chaired a National Academy of Sciences committee on the postdoctoral experience in the United States, less than 20 percent of aspiring postdocs today get highly coveted jobs in academia. That's less than 1 in 5. Naturally, many more end up in industry, in government, and in many other sectors—but not the one they were trained for or probably... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Black death was not spread by rat fleas, say researchers | Science | The Observer -
Black death was not spread by rat fleas, say researchers | Science | The Observer
"Archaeologists and forensic scientists who have examined 25 skeletons unearthed in the Clerkenwell area of London a year ago believe they have uncovered the truth about the nature of the Black Death that ravaged Britain and Europe in the mid-14th century. Analysis of the bodies and of wills registered in London at the time has cast doubt on "facts" that every schoolchild has learned for decades: that the epidemic was caused by a highly contagious strain spread by the fleas on rats. Now evidence taken from the human remains found in Charterhouse Square, to the north of the City of London, during excavations carried out as part of the construction of the Crossrail train line, have suggested a different cause: only an airborne infection could have spread so fast and killed so quickly. The Black Death arrived in Britain from central Asia in the autumn of 1348 and by late spring the following year it had killed six out of every 10 people in London. Such a rate of destruction would kill... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Spidra Webster
Teen to government: Change your typeface, save millions - -
Teen to government: Change your typeface, save millions -
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"An e. You can write it with one fluid swoop of a pen or one tap of the keyboard. The most commonly used letter in the English dictionary. Simple, right? Now imagine it printed out millions of times on thousands of forms and documents. Then think of how much ink would be needed. OK, so that may have been a first for you, but it came naturally to 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani when he was trying to think of ways to cut waste and save money at his Pittsburgh-area middle school. It all started as a science fair project. As a neophyte sixth-grader at Dorseyville Middle School, Suvir noticed he was getting a lot more handouts than he did in elementary school. Interested in applying computer science to promote environmental sustainability, Suvir decided he was going to figure out if there was a better way to minimize the constant flurry of paper and ink. Reducing paper use through recycling and dual-sided printing had been talked about before as a way to save money and conserve resources,... more... - Spidra Webster from Bookmarklet
Follow up article from a guy who works at Adobe and studied printers + fonts - Zulema ❧ spicy cocoa tart from Android
I knew there would be real world design issues he hadn't considered but I still think it's a heck of a science fair project. - Spidra Webster
10,883 Scientific Studies Agree Global Warming Is Real, and Caused By Humans. Two Do Not. -
Powell notes that very, very few of climate change deniers--who tend more towards filling Congressional hearings and cable "news" networks with their own carbon dioxide emissions--have ever written a peer-reviewed scientific article in support of their "position." That's because if you write an article subject to peer review for a scientific publication, you have to back it up with...evidence. - Halil from Bookmarklet
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