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Coming soon to a cinema near you

The Human Speechome Project - "A baby is to be monitored by a network of microphones and video cameras for 14 hours a day, 365 days a year, in an effort to unravel the seemingly miraculous process by which children acquire language.". Selected video clips. Paper (PDF, 750KB). To test hypotheses of how children learn, Prof Deb Roy's team at MIT will develop machine learning systems that “step into the shoes” of his son by processing the sights and sounds of three years of life at home. Total storage required: 1.4 petabytes.
posted by Gyan on Jul 23, 2006 - 21 comments

who could be?

Against Pandas: "Pandas are endangered because they are utterly incompetent... Pandas are badly designed, undersexed, overpaid and overprotected. They went up an evolutionary cul-de-sac and it is too late to reverse."
posted by kliuless on Jul 2, 2006 - 57 comments

Stem Cells in nature

Nature has a somewhat technical but free supplement on stem cells (alongwith a podcast and related blog).
posted by Gyan on Jul 2, 2006 - 6 comments

Hemispherectomy

Living with half a brain - hemispherectomy, probably the most radical procedure in neurosurgery
posted by Gyan on Jun 29, 2006 - 50 comments

Learning can be fun.

Science sites of all kinds for kids. Archeology. Entomology. Natural Symphony. Baseball in Space. Philosophy. Process or Content. Science songs. Physics songs, relativity. String theory. Science and Art.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 26, 2006 - 9 comments

GATTACA

The Promise and Perils of Synthetic Biology
posted by Gyan on Jun 16, 2006 - 14 comments

Mmm ... lactic acid.

Researchers discover that lactic acid is more than just a byproduct. According to George A. Brooks, "lactate is the link between oxidative and glycolytic, or anaerobic, metabolism." You can read the abstract of the paper at the American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism.
posted by monju_bosatsu on May 17, 2006 - 19 comments

Johnny, Don't Eat Your Vegetables!

Eat less, live more - maybe.
posted by daksya on Apr 21, 2006 - 14 comments

And we thought putting them through college was hard!

Today in weird animals : An international group of scientists has described an animal that provides nutrition for its young by letting them peel off and eat its skin.
posted by Afroblanco on Apr 17, 2006 - 30 comments

Sisotim?

Mitosis reversed. Incompletely, but still... Here's the Nature paper(PDF). Here's the video (direct link to QT). Oh, and we can print organs now. O brave new world! (via, via)
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Apr 14, 2006 - 19 comments

Owls are rad.

Owls are rad. Sometimes they look kind of metallic and scary, sometimes wise, sometimes puzzled, and sometimes like skulls, (Index); sometimes they sound like dogs or pigs, sometimes they sound like a little train, sometimes they sound alarmed, (Index of MP3s); sometimes you come across an extensive gallery of Central and North American owls with pictures, ranges, video, and even a description of the '04-'05 Northern Owl Invasion; sometimes it's a dynamic range map of Owls of the Western Hemisphere; sometimes it's the OwlCam homepage with downloadable owl movies, sometimes it's a series of articles on all things owl; sometimes at BiologyBase it's a printable owl sighting lifelist, sometimes it's Ruru, the morepork, New Zealand's native owl at NZBirds. Or, w0t! w0t!, it's attracting barn owls and building nest boxes at World Owl Trust. Previous MeFi birding FPP.
posted by OmieWise on Mar 28, 2006 - 34 comments

sweet, sweet nectar

Nectivorous!!! Those that eat nectar: hummingbirds, honeyeaters, miners, honeycreepers, spinebills, wattlebirds, friarbirds, lorikeets, warblers, some parrots, and of course some bats!!! Many plants are adapted to such creatures!
posted by beerbajay on Mar 21, 2006 - 18 comments

ARTnatomy

ARTnatomy: Anatomical Basis of Facial Expression Learning Tool. See how all the different muscles in your face work. Flash interface; via Drawn!
posted by Gator on Mar 15, 2006 - 10 comments

Nudibranchs

What are nudibranchs? Jewels of the sea. Page after page of photographs of these squishy hermaphrodites.
posted by Gator on Mar 10, 2006 - 20 comments

Fractal Bacteria

These images remind us never to underestimate our opponent. -- The science behind the art (.pdf). Fractal art by way of bacteria growin' in a petri dish. A few more images here.
posted by Gator on Mar 7, 2006 - 7 comments

Indonesia - new species discovered

"Lost World" found in Indonesian Papua (with audio)
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome on Feb 7, 2006 - 21 comments

I'm blue, da boo dee, da boo die...

Blue Gene bears Blue Brain beats Deep Blue. Dr. Henry Markram answers questions in the FAQ. Neurons are beautiful. Blue Gene/L is now the fastest supercomputer in the world. IBM Research rocks. Deep Blue beat Kasparov almost a decade ago. Feeling Blue?
posted by reflection on Jan 29, 2006 - 10 comments

The Return of the Puppet Masters

Are brain parasites altering the personalities of three billion people?
posted by moonbird on Jan 21, 2006 - 56 comments

The concept of the Transhuman: human, the self, consciousness and their effects on the law

The first Transhuman Conference On the Law of Transhuman Persons: Whether or not you believe humans are set to evolve into gods, or AI is destined to achieve self-awareness the idea of the Transhuman is a thought provoking concept. Philosophers have debated the nature of the self, of the human for millennia. Is it time to start drafting new laws to govern all possible sentient beings on this planet? or is it all just a science of fiction? a comfortable humanist illusion?
posted by 0bvious on Dec 13, 2005 - 37 comments

Not so intelligent design?

Deep Time. “Once we realize that Deep Time can never support narratives of evolution, we are forced to accept that virtually everything we thought we knew about evolution is wrong.”
It’s not the latest salvo from the proponents of intelligent design... [more inside]
posted by nanojath on Nov 25, 2005 - 65 comments

MegaFeeders

Obesity: Epidemic or Myth?
posted by Gyan on Nov 16, 2005 - 54 comments

Biomed Bookshelf

The National Center for Biotechnology Information Bookshelf. I was searching for an online version of the CD that came with my Neuroscience, 3rd ed. (Purves, et al). What I found was pretty amazing - a full, searchable online version of my book (albeit the older 2nd ed.), including full-color diagrams. The NLM under the NIH has a division called NCBI which hosts a horde of other cool books. [Other aspects of NCBI covered previously; book archive previously on AskMe; more inside]
posted by blendor on Nov 14, 2005 - 4 comments

Seductive Solutions for Rough Illnesses

Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the Scientific Literature
posted by daksya on Nov 8, 2005 - 60 comments

Silent Resurrection!

Hair, toenails, bone, or what-have-you - this job's going to require some Quality Genetic Material! Because "...our aim is the 'resurrection' of actresses from the Golden era of silent cinema."
posted by squalor on Nov 4, 2005 - 20 comments

Don't fear the (bird) reaper

Evolutionary biologist Paul Ewald, author of The evolution of infectious disease and an expert on the development of pathogen virulence (see this, this and this for a good intro), responds to this editorial in Scientific American and pours cold water on fears of pandemic influenza.
posted by docgonzo on Nov 4, 2005 - 23 comments

Science of Sleep

Nature has a somewhat technical but free supplement on sleep
posted by Gyan on Oct 29, 2005 - 19 comments

The Biologia Centralia Americana Project

The Biologia Centralia Americana Project Using taXMLit (pdf) to document biological life in Central America. Explore the contents in both pictures and words. For pictures, zoom doesn't seem to work yet but enlarge does.
posted by obedo on Oct 5, 2005 - 1 comment

there's something actually in there

THE ULTIMATE SELF LINK: MY BRAIN. Use this excellent little MRI program to open .hdr 3d-scan files. Endless, disturbing fun.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Sep 28, 2005 - 27 comments

Were there ape pirates?

The Aquatic Ape Theory (often referred to as the AAT or AAH) says humans went through an aquatic or semi-aquatic stage in our evolution and that this accounts for many features seen in human anatomy and physiology. Using the principle of convergent evolution, it says that life in an aquatic environment explains these features, and that a transition from ape to hominid in a non-aquatic environment cannot. See also: BBC (excellent), Wikipedia, Google.
posted by grumblebee on Sep 20, 2005 - 48 comments

Brain Gain

Genes Reveal Recent Human Brain Evolution. Two important new papers in the journal Science (available here) from the evolutionary geneticist and rising star, Bruce T. Lahn (see this recent profile from The Scientist), are potentially the tips of some very large icebergs. The papers document how two genes related to brain properties that underwent strong selection during the course of hominid evolution, have continued undergoing strong selection since the emergence of anatomically modern man. The papers wonderfully illustrate how biological evolution is an ongoing process as well as the artificial distinction between “micro” and “macro” evolution, and promise to be controversial for two reasons: First, the brain genes underwent the strongest selection during two periods of cultural and technological efflorescence (roughly 37,000 and 5,800 years ago). Second, the genes are distributed very differently in modern human population groups, existing at very high frequencies in some groups and being very rare in others, ensuring that the modern function of these genes will be a source of more research and much impassioned debate. More observations from anthropologist John Hawks.
posted by Jason Malloy on Sep 8, 2005 - 54 comments

Shades of Grey in a Black & White Issue.

The Inequality Taboo - Charles Murray defends his ideas, published in the controversial book The Bell Curve.
posted by Gyan on Sep 5, 2005 - 71 comments

Intelligent Design by Trial and Error

A more efficient microbe genome. A more efficient sorting algorithm. A more efficient keyboard layout.
posted by fatllama on Aug 26, 2005 - 8 comments

biology

Kurt Stubers online collection of historic and modern day biology books.
posted by onkelchrispy on Aug 13, 2005 - 5 comments

Consciousness

Who are YOU?
posted by Gyan on Aug 7, 2005 - 47 comments

On-line Natural History

Wayne's World (an unfortunate name for a great website) is "An On-line Textbook of Natural History." I went looking for information on Vanilla, which I knew is the only commercial food product of an orchid, but which I didn't know is hand-pollinated, and found information on so much more. There are several extensive courses available on basic biology and botany, a huge section on chemicals in plants and animals, and tons of fun stuff like "The Truth about Cauliflory" and "Bat-Pollinated Flowers Of The Calabash & Sausage Tree." The index is extensive and covers everything from "Absinthe: An Herb That May Have Poisoned Vincent van Gogh" to "Ziricote: Beautiful Caribbean Hardwood In The Borage Family."
posted by OmieWise on Aug 4, 2005 - 10 comments

We no longer know what it means to be human,

EMBO's report on Time and Aging (free access) contains an essay wherein the author, Karin Knorr Cetina, from the University of Konstanz, Germany, argues that death and aging used to be major issues that defined what it means to be human and helped us find our place in society by showing us the limits of what is possible to achieve as a human. With the advances in science, particularly biological advances in slowing aging and technological advances in extending human function, we no longer accept our fate. Instead of accepting that we all grow old and die so we should take our place in society, with the expectation that if we contribute, society will take care of us, too, we now have promises being made by science that death and aging are no longer inevitable. Where are we headed, then? If we can no longer find our place by finding the limits of achievement and accepting our place within them, how do we work as a collective?
posted by Mr. Gunn on Jul 25, 2005 - 15 comments

You have evolved to like this interview.

The fitness of evolutionary psychology
posted by daksya on Jul 4, 2005 - 22 comments

Stem Cells - Rumor vs. Reality

Stem cell pioneer does a reality check
posted by daksya on Jun 26, 2005 - 9 comments

Interactive Biology Instruction

Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Biointeractive - a nifty biology instruction site.
posted by Gyan on Jun 8, 2005 - 7 comments

Stem cell research guidelines

The National Academies have finally released suggested guidelines for research with embryonic stem cells and chimeras.
posted by homunculus on May 3, 2005 - 3 comments

Synthetic Bacterial Computers

Multilingual bacteria are being used in synthetic biology techniques to display computer functionality.
posted by peacay on Apr 29, 2005 - 9 comments

Piss up ?

Taking a (the) piss. Handy hints from MoFi.This takes the cake. *efficiently urination for males: first of all, learn to urinate while in a seated position. It is more relaxing, less spray intensive, and the spreading of the loins allows for a relatively thorough emptying of the bladder. Spread legs slightly for optimal effect.(There's a lot mi)
posted by johnny7 on Apr 19, 2005 - 28 comments

Each of us a cell of awareness

The mitochondrion, the Krebs cycle and other cell biology animations. Flash.
posted by Wolfdog on Apr 17, 2005 - 13 comments

Organismal biology

BIODIDAC A bank of digital resources for teaching biology: And much, much, more, including B&W and color diagrams (with annotations), photographs, and some videos. Copying the material is permitted with conditions. Also available en français.

And if that is not enough taxonavigation for you, head over to Wikispecies.
posted by piskycritter on Apr 15, 2005 - 5 comments

Human Variety

The Nature of Normal Human Variety A talk with Dr. Armand Leroi (his website). "Almost uniquely among modern scientific problems [the problem of normal human variety] is a problem that we can apprehend as we walk down the street. We live in an age now where the deepest scientific problems are buried away from our immediate perception. They concern the origin of the universe. They concern the relationships of subatomic particles. They concern the nature and structure of the human genome. Nobody can see these things without large bits of expensive equipment. But when I consider the problem of human variety I feel as Aristotle must have felt when he first walked down to the shore at Lesvos for the first time. The world is new again." (via Arts & Letters Daily)
posted by Kattullus on Mar 29, 2005 - 17 comments

I, for one, welcome our T. rex overlords

T. rex soft tissue! No, not dino-kleenex -- scientists have extracted organic compounds from a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex bone. Can Jurassic Park be far behind?
posted by jimray on Mar 24, 2005 - 42 comments

Secrets of the X chromosome, revealed!

Female X chromosome 'cracked' - "The discovery, by an international consortium of scientists, shows that females are far more variable than previously thought and, when it comes to genes, more complex than men." Nature reports two new studies; one on the complete sequencing of the X chromosome for humans, which sheds some light on how sex evolved and how women differ from men, and another on how women express many genes from X chromosomes previously thought dormant.
posted by kliuless on Mar 16, 2005 - 31 comments

Transhumanism and effective use of the Web

More than Human - Ramez Naam's site promoting his new book (about emerging technologies for engineering human biology, more or less), has excerpts, a list of upcoming appearances, and even a full-fledged blog linking to articles and commentary that might be of interest to people curious about the book's transhumanist ideas. Now this is the way to do it.
posted by Mars Saxman on Mar 13, 2005 - 11 comments

At least the scientists can get along

Bridging the rift. A joint Israeli/Jordanian biological research centre straddling the border between the two nations is set to become operational in the near future. Scientists from Cornell and Stanford are involved as well. See what it'll look like (big PDF), and learn why studies of biosalinity and other forms of extreme biology are important.
posted by greatgefilte on Mar 4, 2005 - 9 comments

Open Source Biology

BIOS-Biological Innovation for Open Society is an open source biotechnology initiative based in Australia. Along with its parent organization CAMBIA, it aims to foster a "protected commons" for scientific information and technology. Tools and techniques are shared, and can be improved and repackaged, just like in open source software.
posted by OmieWise on Mar 4, 2005 - 2 comments

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