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The Israeli Bank Robber Who Can Record Your Dreams

"The moral of the story is: if someone asks you to rob a bank, say 'yes.'" (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 3, 2011 - 11 comments

Cigarette smoking: an underused tool?

Serum hemoglobin is related to endurance running performance. Smoking is known to enhance serum hemoglobin levels ... alcohol may further enhance this beneficial adaptation.
A recent paper by Kenneth Myers in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reviews the potential benefits of smoking for endurance atheletes. [more inside]
posted by nangar on Nov 26, 2011 - 35 comments

The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System

Shattered Families, a new report from the Applied Research Center, has found that there are at least 5,100 children currently living in foster care who are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents. Executive Summary(PDF) and Full Report(PDF) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 26, 2011 - 19 comments

Revising Research

Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein (previously) argues that the majority of research by literary academics has no meaningful value. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Nov 21, 2011 - 77 comments

"The Fat Just Walks Away"

Obese monkeys lose weight by new drug that kills off fat cells. Adipotide is the newest weapon in the war on obesity. Unlike other weight-loss drugs that try to suppress appetite, boost one's metabolism, or block the absorption of fat, Adipotide blocks the blood supply that feeds fatty tissue. Studies show monkeys lost 11% of their body weight after 4 weeks of treatment.
posted by 2manyusernames on Nov 12, 2011 - 103 comments

Gageteer.

This video introduces the concepts behind Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer, a new open-source toolkit for building small electronic devices using the .NET Micro Framework. [more inside]
posted by Ad hominem on Nov 6, 2011 - 29 comments

Ig Nobel 2011

The 21st Annual Ig Nobel prizes were announced last night. [more inside]
posted by Orange Pamplemousse on Sep 30, 2011 - 45 comments

Wild West on the internet

Is the internet rewriting history? Teaching the difference between truth and propaganda online via BBC [more inside]
posted by infini on Sep 30, 2011 - 32 comments

The importance of stupidity in scientific research

The importance of stupidity in scientific research
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 29, 2011 - 42 comments

Saga Saga

Dr. Emily Lethbridge of Cambridge University is on a year-long research trip to document the settings of Icelandic Sagas. The short documentary Memories of Old Awake beautifully captures those dramatic landscapes, and you can read more about her research on her blog The Saga-Steads of Iceland: A Twenty-First Century Pilgrimage. (via) (previously)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 27, 2011 - 9 comments

Baltimore Lead Study

An experiment done in the 1990s exposed children to various levels of lead. The lawsuit filed in 2001 by the parents of over 100 participants accuses the Kennedy Krieger Institute that the scientists knowingly used the kids as test subjects in toxic dust control study. [more inside]
posted by hat_eater on Sep 19, 2011 - 51 comments

Neuroscience: removing free will since 6th century BC

Does the fact that our brain knows our intentions before we do negate free will? [SLNature]
posted by FrereKhan on Sep 15, 2011 - 172 comments

My wife and I thought this was a really awesome post!

Is that review a fake? A new paper from Cornell researchers proposes an algorithm for sussing out fake reviews from websites. Here's a summary of tell-tale signs.
posted by empath on Aug 24, 2011 - 71 comments

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness.

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness is a global organisation that matches people in need of distant genealogical research with remote volunteer researchers. Volunteer services range from help with searching physical records and obtaining documents to the discovery and photography of graves. [more inside]
posted by Ahab on Aug 8, 2011 - 13 comments

Water water everywhere

NASA May Have Discovered Flowing Water on Mars Dark, finger-like features appear and extend down some Martian slopes during late spring through summer, fade in winter, and return during the next spring. Repeated observations have tracked the seasonal changes in these recurring features on several steep slopes in the middle latitudes of Mars' southern hemisphere.
posted by modernnomad on Aug 4, 2011 - 65 comments

So You Think You Can Solve The Kennedy Assassination

Want to (dis)prove who killed JFK? Start with the 5 million pages of material in the National Archives' Assassination Records Collection1. Better review the 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits published by the Warren Commission. And each frame of the Zapruder film2. And just to be on the safe side, the operating manual for his then top-of-the-line Bell & Howell 414PD camera. (1: previously, but with outdated link. 2: related) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jul 23, 2011 - 73 comments

Science & technology might be exempt from E.U. austerity measures

There is an European Commission budgetary proposal to boost E.U. funding for science and technology by 45% from €55B to €80B by trimming some fat form the controversial Common Agricultural Policy. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jul 7, 2011 - 6 comments

Neolithic Grog!

The Beer Archaeologist. "Biomolecular archaeologist" Dr. Patrick McGovern has unearthed millennia-old alcohol recipes and ancient medicinals, "by analyzing residues in ancient pottery. Now he's working with brewer Sam Calagione, (of Discovery Channel's Brew Masters, (autoplaying video)) whose pub Dogfish Head serves up beers based on recipes that are thousands of years old." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 26, 2011 - 45 comments

Please "Like" this post!

Facebook users are more trusting than other people. A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project takes a broad look at the social impact of social networking sites (SNSs). [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker on Jun 17, 2011 - 34 comments

"Here, eat this root."

The Triumph of New-Age Medicine "Medicine has long decried acupuncture, homeopathy, and the like as dangerous nonsense that preys on the gullible. Again and again, carefully controlled studies have shown alternative medicine to work no better than a placebo. But now many doctors admit that alternative medicine often seems to do a better job of making patients well, and at a much lower cost, than mainstream care—and they’re trying to learn from it." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 15, 2011 - 278 comments

"Sex selection defies culture, nationality and creed."

"Over the past few decades, 160 million women have vanished from East and South Asia — or, to be more accurate, they were never born at all. Throughout the region, the practice of sex selection — prenatal sex screening followed by selective termination of pregnancies — has yielded a generation packed with boys. From a normal level of 105 boys to 100 girls, the ratio has shifted to 120, 150, and, in some cases, nearly 200 boys born for every 100 girls. In some countries, like South Korea, ratios spiked and are now returning to normal. But sex selection is on the rise in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East." American journalist Mara Hvistendahl's new book: "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men," examines and tries to predict the actual and potential effects of unequal sex ratios on men, women and the social economies of the affected regions, including the recent spike in sex trafficking and bride-buying across Asia. More. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 10, 2011 - 65 comments

Rule 34 is Unsupported

Mind Reading: The Researchers Who Analyzed All the Porn on the Internet. "Searching all the porn on the Internet might not seem like the most scientifically productive activity, but computational neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam did it anyway. For their new book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World's Largest Experiment Reveals about Human Desire, Ogas and Gaddam analyzed the results of 400 million online searches for porn and uncovered some startling insights into what men and women may really want from each other — at least sexually." [more inside]
posted by bwg on Jun 2, 2011 - 85 comments

“I’d gladly put my balls on the chopping block for the benefit of mankind.”

The Revolutionary New Birth Control Method for Men. Link NSFW. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 31, 2011 - 106 comments

Viral link to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome questioned

Editors of the journal Science have asked the co-authors of a 2009 paper that linked chronic fatigue syndrome to a retrovirus called XMRV to voluntarily retract the paper. Science editor-in-chief Bruce Alberts and executive editor Monica Bradford cited concerns about the validity of the findings, saying other scientists hadn't been able to replicate them, among other reasons. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 31, 2011 - 64 comments

Research Blogging

Research Blogging is an aggregator for blog posts on peer-reviewed research. The posts are on various subjects, such as culinary trends in an extinct hominid , the distance and mass of Saggitarius A* and when chemists go to war
posted by Cloud King on May 28, 2011 - 5 comments

Open access for the win.

As a part of their new open access policy, Yale is releasing their vast digital images collection for free. Although it will take years to upload everything, the online collection is starting with 250,000 images. A sampling includes original Mozart manuscripts, maps from the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and John Trumbull's iconic Declaration of Independence. [more inside]
posted by thebestsophist on May 16, 2011 - 15 comments

A History of the Library as Seen Through Notable Researchers

"The New York Public Library’s Beaux-Arts Stephen A. Schwarzman Building celebrates its 100th anniversary this month on May 23. The Centennial offers a wonderful opportunity to reflect on Library use from the past 100 and uncover stories that can serve as inspiration for another century. One unique way to trace the history of the Library is through call slips. In order to use books in the research collection, patrons request specific titles by filling out a call slip, which includes the following information: author, title, and call number. Not all call slips have been saved over the years, but some have been preserved for posterity." Featured are slips from Max Eastman, Lewis Mumford, Dorothy Parker, John Dos Passos and R. G. Wasson...
posted by jim in austin on May 5, 2011 - 4 comments

A critical moment in statistics

Statistical hypothesis testing with a p-value of less than 0.05 is often used as a gold standard in science, and is required by peer reviewers and journals when stating results. Some statisticians argue that this indicates a cult of significance testing using a frequentist statistical framework that is counterintuitive and misunderstood by many scientists. Biostatisticians have argued that the (over)use of p-vaues come from "the mistaken idea that a single number can capture both the long-run outcomes of an experiment and the evidential meaning of a single result" and identify several other problems with significance testing. XKCD demonstrates how misunderstandings of the nature of the p-value, failure to adjust for multiple comparisons, and the file drawer problem result in likely spurious conclusions being published in the scientific literature and then being distorted further in the popular press. You can simulate a similar situation yourself. John Ioannidis uses problems with significance testing and other statistical concerns to argue, controversially, that "most published research findings are false." Will the use of Bayes factors replace classical hypothesis testing and p-values? Will something else?
posted by grouse on Apr 11, 2011 - 45 comments

master of information

The New Biology - Eric Schadt's quest to upend molecular biology and open source it. (via)
posted by kliuless on Apr 9, 2011 - 35 comments

Recent research related to children

Recent research on children. (1) Brothers and sisters who argue a lot can improve their language, social skills and outcomes: Guardian article; paper on part of the research (pdf). (2) First findings from Understanding Society. Conclusions include: the unhappiness of children’s mothers with their partners affect children’s happiness, but this is not the case if children’s fathers are unhappy in their relationships; having older brothers or sisters doesn’t appear to affect children’s happiness, but having younger brothers or sisters is associated with less happiness; not living with both natural parents has a greater negative impact on a young person’s life satisfaction than their material situation. (3) A longitudinal study on people now in their forties has found that for these people reading is linked to career success, though not necessarily to better pay, whilst playing computer games and doing no other activities was associated with less likelihood of going to university. In particular, those who owned a ZX Spectrum or Commodore C64 were less likely to go to university. thinq interview with researcher. Guardian article. Telegraph article. (4) Poll about children’s attitudes to losing in sport. Press release. Data from children’s survey. Data from parents’ survey. (All three are PDFs.)
posted by paduasoy on Apr 9, 2011 - 30 comments

Chinese Scientific Progress to Overtake American Counterpart Earlier Than Anticipated

According to a new study from the UK's national science academy, the Royal Society, China is on course to outstrip US scientific output as earlier as two years from now. [SLBBC]
posted by modernnomad on Mar 29, 2011 - 37 comments

LIKE

The Like Log Study: [SLVimeo] What can we learn from Facebook reactions to online news? Sortable statistics from a study on Facebook "Likes" of major news sites and stories.
posted by Fizz on Mar 9, 2011 - 11 comments

Direct investment for homelessness?

Homelessness: Cutting out the middle men (Economist) "The most efficient way to spend money on the homeless might be to give it to them". [more inside]
posted by asymptotic on Feb 18, 2011 - 64 comments

The end of RNAi?

Research on RNA interference is losing steam. Biotech companies are giving the chop to RNAi, a gene-silencing mechanism once thought to have great promise for human medicine. [more inside]
posted by vortex genie 2 on Feb 8, 2011 - 22 comments

Greatest land predator ever didn't eat no stinking carrion

No Leftovers for Tyrannosaurus Rex: New Evidence That T. Rex Was Hunter, Not Scavenger [Full text] [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange on Jan 28, 2011 - 28 comments

get your group on

The Price of Altruism - George Price, a (troubled) father of group selection thru his discovery of the eponymous Price Equation, has a rather interesting biography... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 15, 2011 - 9 comments

Advance Market Commitments

Inducement Prizes -- Best known for the Ansari X Prize, the DARPA Grand Challenge and the Clay Mathematics Millennium Problems, inducement prizes have a long history, but their recent successes have led to increased government interest, viz. challenge.gov, and resulted in the development of vaccines, thanks in large part to the work of Michael Kremer.* [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 6, 2011 - 8 comments

The Luxury Prime

"The rich are different than you and me." A new study out of the Harvard Business School suggests that frequent use of luxury goods and services may encourage a narrower, more self-interested view of the world. Here's a link to the report itself. (Achtung! it's a PDF.)
posted by saulgoodman on Jan 5, 2011 - 72 comments

Feel like nobody really cares whether you live or die these days? Well, you might be on to something...

The Empathy Deficit: "A recent study finds a decline in empathy among young people in the U.S." In fact, the report concludes "empathy levels have been declining over the past 30 years." Podcast on this topic here.
posted by saulgoodman on Dec 29, 2010 - 110 comments

"the paper could not have been refereed: its correctness is self-evident"

The Line Between Science and Journalism is Getting Blurry….Again by Bora Zivkovic is an excellent, James Burke-ish, essay on science, journalism, and a hopeful future for science journalism. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee on Dec 27, 2010 - 4 comments

The Futurological Congress

What Should Design Researchers Research? Report from 2020
posted by Artw on Dec 13, 2010 - 11 comments

Brush your teeth...never?

Scientists at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands have deciphered the structure and functional mechanism of the glucansucrase enzyme that is responsible for dental plaque sticking to teeth. [abstract]
posted by T.D. Strange on Dec 5, 2010 - 30 comments

Don't go together like a horse and carriage...

Time Magazine (with commentary from Jezebel) look at the question - why would people get married in 2010? These are reports based on a Pew Research survey that complements results with findings from census data. [more inside]
posted by k8t on Nov 18, 2010 - 104 comments

The Insanity Virus?

New research hints that schizophrenia and other mental illness may be caused by "endogenous retroviruses" stored in our DNA and activated by common infections such as CMV, toxoplamosis, or the flu
posted by T.D. Strange on Nov 12, 2010 - 98 comments

Bell System Technical Journal Archives

The entire run of the Bell System Technical Journal, from 1922-1983, is available online for your reading pleasure. Bell Labs on the blue previously
posted by rmd1023 on Oct 31, 2010 - 21 comments

Genetic basis found for ADHD

"Our findings provide genetic evidence of an increased rate of large CNVs in individuals with ADHD and suggest that ADHD is not purely a social construct." (abstract) Researchers find a genetic basis for ADHD, and the researcher hopes the finding will reduce the stigma associated with the disorder. But maybe it's more complex than just biology. In any case, children who are diagnosed at an early age are 10 times more likely to be depressed as adolescents. (abstract)
posted by desjardins on Oct 6, 2010 - 57 comments

Case Based Learning; Justin Case

Albert Einstein once articulated what many scholars have felt in their own work: The history of scientific and technical discovery teaches us the human race is poor in independent thinking and creative imagination. Even when the external and scientific requirements for the birth of an idea have long been there, it generally needs an external stimulus to make it actually happen; man has, so to speak, to stumble right up against the thing before the right idea comes. The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University [html][pdf] [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Oct 5, 2010 - 13 comments

The fights are so vicious because the stakes are so low.

Sabotage in the lab. "As the problems mounted, Ames was getting agitated. She was certain that someone was monkeying with her experiments, but she had no proof and no suspect. Her close friends suggested that she was being paranoid." Scientific research collides with human nature.
posted by bitmage on Oct 4, 2010 - 64 comments

An Artificial Ovary

Using a 3-D petri dish, Researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island have built a completely functional artificial human ovary that will allow doctors to harvest immature human egg cells (oocytes) and grow them into mature, ready-to-be-fertilized human eggs outside the body. (In vitro) The advance could eventually help preserve fertility for women facing chemotherapy or other medical treatments that may be destructive to ovarian folliculogenesis. Press Release. Article link. (paywall) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 29, 2010 - 24 comments

The Paradox of Metabolically Healthy Obesity

From Obesity Panacea, a blog is written by two obesity researchers: a 5-part series delving into the fascinating and seemingly paradoxical research on people who remain metabolically-healthy despite being obese: 1) Introduction: An Oxymoron? 2) Prospective Risk of Disease 3) Lower Risk of Mortality? 4) Is Weight Loss Detrimental? 5) Is Weight Loss Beneficial? [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Sep 17, 2010 - 40 comments

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