3714 posts tagged with Science.
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A Book by Its Cover: The strange history of books bound in human skin

"Anthropodermic bibliopegy, or books bound in human skin," writes Megan Rosenbloom in Lapham's Quarterly, "are some of the most mysterious and misunderstood books in the world’s libraries and museums. The historical reasons behind their creation vary [...] The best evidence most of these alleged skin books have ever had were rumors and perhaps a pencil-written note inside that said 'bound in human skin'...until now." Anthropodermic biblipegy on Metafilter previously and previously. Warning: links may contain details disturbing for some. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Oct 23, 2016 - 7 comments

The teacher that you always wanted

Mr. Wright of Louisville Male High School I found this while I was supposed to be doing homework. This is way more interesting. (Warning: It's dusty in here...)
posted by dfm500 on Oct 19, 2016 - 12 comments

Accept your impermanence in this bag of bones, live a fulfilled life

D.S. Moss produces an occasional podcast, titled The Adventures of Memento Mori, subtitled a cynic's guide for learning to live by remembering to die. He talks about his ideas in an interview with the Eternal Life Fan Club (website), which can be summarized as embracing life by accepting death. There are eight episodes in the Adventures of Memento Mori so far, covering Plan on Dying, Communicating with the Dead, The Science of Immortality, Past Life Regression, Escaping Death, Thoughts in Passing, and Digital Afterlife. Remember to Die is also on Twitter and Instagram, and I am Mori on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 14, 2016 - 2 comments

Obituary: Great Barrier Reef (25 Million BC-2016)

The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old.
posted by brundlefly on Oct 13, 2016 - 78 comments

Midlife Replication Crisis

Repeat After Me: Psychology's Reproducibility Problem a comic by Maki Naro
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 6, 2016 - 33 comments

Mary Cavendish: 17th century duchess, author, scientist, philosopher

Browse through the history of science fiction and you don't see many women named. One of the first is Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who published a proto-SF novel in 1666, 152 years before Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Also notable, Mary Cavendish published her book, titled The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World (Internet Archive), under her own name. The book is a curious mixture of themes and styles: part science fiction, part fantasy, part scientific musing, part political tract, part social commentary and satire, and part autobiography. This diversity of topics reflected the amazing life and interests of its "Happy Creatoress," a woman of means but without formal education of her male peers. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 29, 2016 - 13 comments

Galactic Tick Day

September 29, 2016 is Galactic Tick Day, a celebration of our progress around the milky way.

Our planet Earth, along with the rest of the Solar System travels around the galactic center of the Milky Way Galaxy every 225 million Earth years. One centi-arcsecond of this rotation is called a Galactic Tick. A Galactic Tick happens every 633.7 days, or 1.7361 years.

Galactic Tick Day is set aside to acknowledge our Sun's motion, our progress around the home galaxy, and to celebrate humanity's knowledge of this motion.

Note: No spoons were harmed in the creation of this FPP. [more inside]
posted by Herodios on Sep 29, 2016 - 30 comments

Heavy flow

Ever wonder what it would be like to flush a toilet with mercury instead of water?
posted by Rhomboid on Sep 27, 2016 - 80 comments

Bad Science

The Inevitable Evolution of Bad Science "Now, imagine you’re a researcher who wants to game this system. Here’s what you do. Run many small and statistically weak studies. Tweak your methods on the fly to ensure positive results. If you get negative results, sweep them under the rug. Never try to check old results; only pursue new and exciting ones. These are not just flights of fancy. We know that such practices abound."
posted by dhruva on Sep 26, 2016 - 15 comments

Scientific Breakthroughs 10 Years On

Where are some of the celebrity molecules featured in past scientific breakthroughs? Science takes the time to follow up. [more inside]
posted by mark k on Sep 26, 2016 - 10 comments

I should have just eaten the 18 pounds of Red Leicester.

Deccan Chronicle: "In a study that has been widely welcomed, researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that eating cheese is good for our hearts." More from [askmen] [delish] [allure] [Telegraph - mentions other studies]. The actual research article conclusion: "A high daily intake of regular-fat cheese for 12 weeks did not alter LDL cholesterol or MetS risk factors differently than an equal intake of reduced-fat cheese or an isocaloric amount of carbohydrate-rich foods."
posted by Wordshore on Sep 24, 2016 - 40 comments

“Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.”

ARTS MacArthur Foundation Announces 2016 ‘Genius’ Grant Winners [The New York Times] This year’s winners of the MacArthur fellowships, awarded for exceptional “originality, insight and potential,” and publicly announced on Thursday, include writers, visual artists, scientists, nonprofit organization leaders and others, who are chosen at a moment when the recognition and money — a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000 distributed over five years — will make a difference. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 22, 2016 - 39 comments

The Atlas of Living Australia

The Atlas of Living Australia contains information on all the known species (animals, plants and more) in Australia, aggregated from a wide range of data providers: museums, herbaria, community groups, government departments, individuals and universities. It contains more than 50 million occurrence records, based on specimens, field observations and surveys. These records are enriched by additional information including molecular data, photographs, maps, sound recordings and literature. Explore your area! [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 22, 2016 - 28 comments

Elements of humour, intrigue, and parody can be found

Cartoon Abstracts Academic papers summarised in cartoon form.
posted by Segundus on Sep 18, 2016 - 5 comments

Moving The Window of Acceptability

How Morality Changes in a Foreign Language. Studies show that the way we think about moral questions is subtly influenced by the language we're using at the time. People using a non-native language tend to be more cerebral and less emotional. What does this say about the concept of the moral center, or "just knowing" what's right and what's wrong?
posted by Kevin Street on Sep 15, 2016 - 12 comments

Intimidate, obfuscate, deny, litigate

Science silenced by subpoena "If scientific results conflict with right-wing ideas, the scientists must be lying."
posted by bitmage on Sep 14, 2016 - 45 comments

Eleven days

The Evolution of Bacteria on a “MEGA-Plate” Petri Dish - a cinematic approach to visualizing drug resistance
posted by a lungful of dragon on Sep 10, 2016 - 17 comments

Dataism: Getting out of the 'job loop' and into the 'knowledge loop'

From deities to data - "For thousands of years humans believed that authority came from the gods. Then, during the modern era, humanism gradually shifted authority from deities to people... Now, a fresh shift is taking place. Just as divine authority was legitimised by religious mythologies, and human authority was legitimised by humanist ideologies, so high-tech gurus and Silicon Valley prophets are creating a new universal narrative that legitimises the authority of algorithms and Big Data." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 7, 2016 - 45 comments

These products will no longer be sold under misleading marketing.

The FDA has banned antibacterial soaps. Manufacturers have one year to pull products containing any of 19 chemicals, including the common triclosan and triclocarbon, found in many liquid and bar antibacterial soaps. Recent studies have suggested that soap containing these chemicals is no better at getting you clean, and might actually be harmful to the environment and your body.
posted by Huck500 on Sep 2, 2016 - 66 comments

"It’s time-released food"

Scientists think cockroach milk could be the superfood of the future. Although most cockroaches don’t actually produce milk, Diploptera punctate, which is the only known cockroach to give birth to live young, has been shown to pump out a type of ‘milk’ containing protein crystals to feed its babies…Who needs kale and quinoa when you have cockroach milk supplements? [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Sep 1, 2016 - 101 comments

The mesa is a little darker today. Roger Tsien 1952-2016.

UCSD Chemistry Nobel laureate Roger Tsien dies. Amongst many other achievements, he is most well known as co-discoverer of Green Fluorescent Protein, which, as well as making headlines with glow-in-the dark rats, initiated a field that revolutionized biology and our understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of disease and life itself. More reaction and links from In The Pipeline. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on Sep 1, 2016 - 14 comments

Testing Nexus on 'NIMH' mice

Nanowire Mesh Monitors Mouse Brains - "Injectable 'neural lace'* brain-computer interface works in mice for months at a time." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 30, 2016 - 31 comments

Sad Face

Can smiling make you happier? Maybe not. We have no idea. ... The basic finding of Strack’s research—that a facial expression can change your feelings even if you don’t know that you’re making it—has now been reproduced, at least conceptually, many, many times. ... In recent years, it has even formed the basis for the treatment of mental illness. An idea that Strack himself had scoffed at in the 1980s now is taken very seriously: Several recent, randomized clinical trials found that injecting patients’ faces with Botox to make their “frown lines” go away also helped them to recover from depression. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna on Aug 29, 2016 - 19 comments

A Swarm of Controversy

In their struggle for survival against killer mites, bees get an unlikely ally: Monsanto. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Aug 29, 2016 - 12 comments

It's science, not mind-control!

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is an Alaska-based research facility that studies an energetic and active region of the upper atmosphere. It is a group of high-frequency radio transmitters that send a focused beam of radio-wave energy into the aurora zone. Last year, instead of shutting it down, the US Military sold HAARP to the University of Alaska Fairbanks . But conspiracy theories abound: for example, HAARP caused the Haiti earthquake, or controls the weather” This weekend, HAARP's new owner will hold an open house to prove the facility 'is not capable of mind control’
posted by leahwrenn on Aug 24, 2016 - 64 comments

Here, we see a mefite in her natural habitat!

How natural are nature documentaries?
posted by ChuraChura on Aug 20, 2016 - 57 comments

Somewhere Between A Bottle Of Nail Polish And A Can Of Soda

FiveThirtyEight's "Science Questions from a Toddler" series aims to "use the curiosity of kids ages 5 and younger as a jumping-off point to investigate the scientific wonders that adults don’t even think to ask about. The answers are for adults, but they wouldn’t be possible without the wonder only a child can bring." Their most recent article is "How Big is a Fart?" [more inside]
posted by chainsofreedom on Aug 17, 2016 - 39 comments

Pac animal

World-record-holding balloon fiend Twinkie hunts down ghosts and balloons (but mostly balloons) in Pac-Dog
posted by a lungful of dragon on Aug 17, 2016 - 11 comments

"I wanted to try something a little bit different."

Generating fantasy maps - source code
posted by a lungful of dragon on Aug 16, 2016 - 30 comments

get back to the sponges

The NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer is currently livestreaming its exploratin of the uncharted deep sea ecosystems and seafloor the Wake Atoll Unit of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Tune in between 0830 and 1630 Fiji time for coverage; come for the corals, stay for the scientist banter. (Previous voyages from 2013 and 2014.)
posted by fight or flight on Aug 15, 2016 - 7 comments

Everything is Fucked: The Syllabus

PSY 607: Everything is Fucked. What does it mean, in science, for something to be fucked? Fucked needs to mean more than that something is complicated or must be undertaken with thought and care, as that would be trivially true of everything in science. In this class we will go a step further and say that something is fucked if it presents hard conceptual challenges to which implementable, real-world solutions for working scientists are either not available or routinely ignored in practice. [more inside]
posted by srboisvert on Aug 12, 2016 - 14 comments

Long in the Tooth

"She was born during the reign of James I, was a youngster when René Descartes set out his rules of thought and the great fire of London raged, saw out her adolescent years as George II ascended the throne, reached adulthood around the time that the American revolution kicked off, and lived through two world wars. Living to an estimated age of nearly 400 years, a female Greenland shark has set a new record for longevity, scientists have revealed." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 11, 2016 - 32 comments

You Won't Believe What Aliens Have Done In The Outer Solar System!

There's something weird going on beyond Neptune - A mysterious object has been discovered with an inexplicable orbit.
posted by marienbad on Aug 11, 2016 - 53 comments

Talk to a physicist. Call me on Skype. $50 per 20 minutes.

What I learned as a hired consultant to autodidact physicists My clients read way too much into pictures, measuring every angle, scrutinising every colour, counting every dash. Illustrators should be more careful to point out what is relevant information and what is artistic freedom.
But the most important lesson I’ve learned is that journalists are so successful at making physics seem not so complicated that many readers come away with the impression that they can easily do it themselves. How can we blame them for not knowing what it takes if we never tell them?

posted by CrystalDave on Aug 11, 2016 - 48 comments

...detected human presence in the Americas as early as 14,700 years ago.

How Did People Migrate to the Americas? Bison DNA Helps Chart the Way [The New York Times] “Two teams of scientists have succeeded in dating the opening of the gateway to America, only to disagree over whether the Clovis people — one of the first groups from Siberia to reach the Americas — ever used the gateway to gain access to the New World.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Aug 10, 2016 - 12 comments

No surprises for Table Tennis

A Visual History of Which Countries Have Dominated the Summer Olympics
posted by a lungful of dragon on Aug 10, 2016 - 31 comments

Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever – CRISPR

Designer babies, the end of diseases, genetically modified humans that never age. Outrageous things that used to be science fiction are suddenly becoming reality. The only thing we know for sure is that things will change irreversibly. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Aug 10, 2016 - 55 comments

Smart Dust Is Here

Engineers Create The First Dust-Sized Wireless Sensors That Can Be Implanted Into The Human Body. Relevant paper here.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Aug 6, 2016 - 70 comments

VDAP turns 30

30 Years Saving Lives from Volcanoes VDAP was established in 1986 in response to the tragic eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia that killed more than 23,000 people. Recognizing that the tragedy could have been averted with assistance before the eruption, the USGS and USAID/OFDA formed VDAP.
posted by Michele in California on Aug 2, 2016 - 4 comments

Cathedrals inside you

Vaults are large, barrel shaped protein complexes. Found in most eukaryotic cells, their exact function is currently unknown. [more inside]
posted by lucidium on Aug 1, 2016 - 17 comments

Daddy can you multiply triples?

A group of Science YouTubers got together to perform a tribute to a scientist Hamilton, in the style of his political musical namesake.
posted by divabat on Aug 1, 2016 - 14 comments

Photosynthetic Solar Cells

Breakthrough solar cell captures CO2 and sunlight, produces burnable fuel “The new solar cell is not photovoltaic — it’s photosynthetic”
posted by Michele in California on Jul 31, 2016 - 47 comments

So, the unknowable kicks in

Logic hacking - "Writing shorter and shorter computer programs for which it's unknowable whether these programs run forever, or stop... the winner of the Busy Beaver Game for N-state Turing machines becomes unknowable using ordinary math - somewhere between N = 5 and N = 1919." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 30, 2016 - 17 comments

Ice Bucket Challenge funds ALS Breakthrough

Want some good news for terrible times? It seems the Ice Bucket Challenge viral fundraiser for ALS research has yielded identification of a common gene amongst 15,000 ALS patients. It's still early days for this research, but it's progress: progress funded as the result of a viral phenomenon.
posted by hippybear on Jul 27, 2016 - 27 comments

Meet Luca, the Ancestor of All Living Things

Genes that do the same thing in a human and a mouse are generally related by common descent from an ancestral gene in the first mammal. So by comparing their sequence of DNA letters, genes can be arranged in evolutionary family trees, a property that enabled Dr. Martin and his colleagues to assign the six million genes to a much smaller number of gene families. Of these, only 355 met their criteria for having probably originated in Luca, the joint ancestor of bacteria and archaea.
Meet Luca, the Ancestor of All Living Things [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jul 26, 2016 - 36 comments

Still can't remove the male gaze, though

Thanks to science, you can now change the way a person gazes in a photo in a not at all totally creepy or derpy way.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jul 26, 2016 - 38 comments

Rubber Johnny II: Electric Boogaloo

Meet Graham, an interactive sculpture developed by a trauma surgeon, a crash investigation expert and a Melbourne artist to show what humans might look like, if they had evolved features to withstand car crashes (via)
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jul 22, 2016 - 25 comments

"That was the eureka moment."

Biology textbooks tell us that lichens are alliances between two organisms—a fungus and an alga. They are wrong.
posted by komara on Jul 22, 2016 - 39 comments


ABC (potentially NSFW, due to CGI butts) by Alan Warburton (previously), as inspired by the work of Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland (kinda previously)
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jul 19, 2016 - 5 comments

The seven biggest problems facing science, according to scientists

In the past several years, many scientists have become afflicted with a serious case of doubt — doubt in the very institution of science... So we sent scientists a survey asking this simple question: If you could change one thing about how science works today, what would it be and why? We heard back from 270 scientists all over the world, including graduate students, senior professors, laboratory heads, and Fields Medalists. They told us that, in a variety of ways, their careers are being hijacked by perverse incentives. The result is bad science.
posted by forza on Jul 14, 2016 - 39 comments

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