1999: Researchers at Wake Forest University
discover an incredible oddity: a mouse resistant to many forms of cancer
. The resistance is found to be inherited
(Pubmed link). 2006: They show that cancer resistance can be transferred
(Pubmed link) to non-resistant mice. 2008: They've found that the resistance is mediated through blood cells called granulocytes
, and that some humans potentially have the same ability to resist cancer. Now they need your help
. [more inside]
The Depravity Scale is an international research effort
that aims to scientifically standardize
the definition of legal terms such as "heinous"
, and "depraved"
according to input from the general public. But is the Scale itself
, er, a bad idea
? [more inside]
How much sleep do you really need? Six and a half to seven and a half hours.
People who sleep eight hours a night are 12% more likely to die in a six-year period than those who sleep less
. If your new lack of sleep means you get tired mid-afternoon, recent research says the solution is, shockingly, to nap
. And if you can't nap, at least learn the optimal way to dose yourself with caffeine
Two Spanish women meet in their late twenties and realize that they're identical twins.
The hospital had accidentally swapped one with another random newborn, and each family had unknowingly taken home the wrong baby. Now all three women - the two actual twins, and the one fake twin - are suing the hospital, who seriously did not have their act together.
But there are all sorts of ways this could happen. For example... [more inside]
is a general-knowledge website, designed for anyone above the age of about twelve with an interest in history. I found the site searching for dance history
, but it includes 400 broad topics with more added all the time. It approaches history as a narrative, making full use of chronology
. This is for the student as well as the researcher. [more inside]
When your research subjects notice you watching....
The fine folks over at Little Green Footballs discovered
"a pile of results and code" from an observation of their on-line discourse on a server at Carnegie Mellon. That led to a heated thread of sometimes paranoid speculation that eventually calmed down (somewhat) when the researcher's academic advisors posted a good-natured mea-culpa (wea-culpa?) and explanation
The blood substitute PolyHeme
has been previously discussed on MetaFilter
, but new evidence shows that PolyHeme actually raises the chances of death by nearly 30%
. PolyHeme was notable mostly for the reaction to its clinical trials
, which, controversially, did not require patient consent
garlic, ginger, habenero, kiwi, nutmeg, pineapple, spearmint, watermelon and many other vodka infusion experiments by the crack alconomics team of Waylan and Brendan
An unprecedented five consecutive years of stagnant funding for the National Institutes of Health is putting America at risk
- a few prominent research institutions get together to voice
their concern over flat funding of the National Institutes of Health over the past 5 years, in their report The Broken Pipeline
(pdf). Bloggers comment [1
Physical Review Letters' 50th anniversary retrospective
promises to be an interesting survey of the physics landscape for the past half-century.
is a student at Duke who is researching and advocating
to find a cure for chordoma
, a rare type of cancer that he was diagnosed with during his freshman year of college. He's not new to being an advocate-- when he was in high school, he and his mom (Dr. Simone Sommer) spoke publicly about the dangers of toxic mold
, which they had both experienced firsthand.
Apparently, the new black is... really, really black. "Researchers in New York reported this month that they have created a paper-thin material that absorbs 99.955 percent of the light that hits it, making it by far the darkest substance ever made -- about 30 times as dark as the government's current standard for blackest black."
But what possible benefit to society could come from this blacker than black substance? Why, invisibility cloaks
, of course! [more inside]
Harvard's Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted unanimously
last week to mandate "Open Access
" to published articles - a first at a U.S. university, though the dean will apparently grant a waiver
to anyone who wants to opt out. More
to follow? Peter Suber's Open Access News is tracking reactions
. [more inside]
Interested on how the gummint is using Spectral Sensing Technology do defend us from attacks? You'll feel much safer after viewing the Futuristic Sensor System Dramatic Research Presentation
of the 2008 International Symposium on Spectral Sensing Research (ISSSR-2008)
. (The tour of the Conference Site
is in the same vein, with different music.)
Study: Internet Not Dumbing Down Kids, Who Were Stupid Anyway. Full report!
The information literacy of young people, has not
improved with the widening access to technology:
in fact, their apparent facility with computers
disguises some worrying problems. Young people have unsophisticated mental maps of what the internet is, often failing to appreciate that it is a collection of networked resources from different providers. (Like tubes!)
"Australians must not use whales to justify the racist ideology"
The Australian government's [proto
] stance on Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean has drawn a strong response by an anonymous youtube poster
, citing racism as the core reason the Australian Government is taking a stand on the Japanese Whale Research Programme
[caution, gruesome video and yet more racist youtube comments].
It seems Steve
Irwin are trying to stop them
The Ephemera Society
was glancingly mentioned prior
, but deserves a better mention.
—An exhibit, an article
, and links
to Michael Ragsdale's 9/11 ephemera.
of Coca-cola print ephemera.
by Will Shortz on the ephemeral history of the crossword.
from the Louisiana Library Association's journal issue on ephemera, including Principles for Organizing an Ephemera Collection
and an Overview of Political Ephemera
- "If a new drug were as effective at saving lives as Peter Pronovost’s checklist, there would be a nationwide marketing campaign urging doctors to use it" [single page]
has been genetically engineered to no longer fear cats.
is now only a matter of time. [more inside]
. Researchers unravel the complex combination of physical and emotional reactions that influence our perceptions of what tastes good. Once upon a time, flavor research was a matter of asking housewives to munch a few potato chips... Now it's about providing an exceptional flavor "experience." And as scientists learn to exploit the ways we perceive flavor, food manufacturers will be able to refine their products to appeal to us as individuals. Welcome to the world of personally tailored mass-produced food.
Sex like a handshake
(even baby sex
?) Titilation and humor from Vanessa Woods
, researcher at the Lola Bonobo
In the U.S., motorists do not pay their way.
The US government spends more on highways and other auto-related expenses than it receives from auto-related taxes, unlike almost every country in Europe. In a recent report [pdf], Mark Delucchi
calculates automobile-related costs and revenues in three different ways and concludes the subsidy is around 20-70 cents per gallon or $24-105 billion in 2002. But what are automobile-related costs, you ask? [more inside]
was studying to be an Episcopal priest in the mid-1950s when he learned, shortly after his father's death, that his father, Oklahoma State Representative Ira D. Humphreys
, took trips to New Orleans to have sex with other men. After being dismissed as an Episcopal priest in the 1960s, Laud Humphreys then enrolled as a sociology grad student where he completed a dissertation about men who had sex with other men in public bathrooms in St. Louis
, which Humphreys researched by agreeing to serve as a "watch queen"
, looking out for the police. After writing down the license plate numbers of the men having sex, Humphreys traced the men's addresses and contacted them in disguise, claiming to be collecting data for a public health survey. The research, which was condemned as unethical
for its use of covert methods
, was published in 1970 as Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places
. [more inside]
The Placebo Effect In Action
. "When patients believe a drug will help them, they sometimes heal themselves"
(a report on a new study from Columbia University and the University of Michigan). And, an additional take
on the Placebo Effect from the Skeptic's Dictionary.
is one of several free, open source research tools
developed by the previously mentioned
Center for History and New Media. It runs within Firefox and allows you to easily capture bibliographic information from a variety of online databases and catalogs
, insert in-text citations
and generate properly formatted bibliographies... if you're into that. (Also check out CHNM's fantastic projects page.)
"Grigioni, now back in Switzerland, said she could normally get tortoises to ejaculate within minutes, but spent months manually stimulating George and never extracted semen from him
You are most welcome.
sigh. Bill Gates must feel like several billion dollars.
In their own words...
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health
recall the early years
of AIDS, from diagnosis of the then-unknown disease, to discovering the viral cause
, and from there to the search for treatments. The site features interviews
(including several with virologist Robert Gallo
), early publications
, and a collection of archived image materials
New study reveals prejudices amongst disabled.
A research paper
by Mark Deal, a PhD student and researcher at UK disability charity Enham
reveals the news
that disabled people have the same prejudices about disability as non-disabled people:
the research points to a hierarchy of impairment, ranking Deaf as the most ‘desirable’ impairment followed by Arthritis, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, HIV/ Aids, Down’s syndrome and Schizophrenia amongst disabled people. These prejudices are almost identical to those held by the non-disabled sample, with the only difference being that Cerebral Palsy and HIV/Aids were placed in reverse order.
Teenager Thiogo Olson
achieved nuclear fusion with an apparatus built in his basement from parts found at his local hardware store and on eBay. Another teenager
put together her very own Littrow Spectrograph for $300. Young people have been doing some fascinating science
ever since the first kid combined vinegar and baking soda in their model volcano
. Not only are they making some remarkable discoveries
, they're finding it pretty lucrative
If you've ever thought that music can be an extremely intuitive and effective way to communicate things, then Stanford Professor Jonathan Berger (samples of his music)
is doing some research that might interest you. (via)
The Edison of our age?
Stanford Ovshinsky may not be a household name, but his inventions have the power to change
Recombinant Activated Factor VII
--the Food and Drug Administration said that giving it to patients with normal blood could cause strokes and heart attacks... the Army's faith in the $6,000-a-dose drug is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence and persists despite public warnings and published research suggesting that Factor VII is not as effective or as safe as military officials say. ...
100+ authoritative research sources that are available online.
Various topics, real info. Think of it as a kind of do-it-yourself AskMe, or you know, a research library.(via Making Light)
Michael J. Fox makes an impassioned plea
(YouTube) to Missouri voters asking them to vote for Claire McCaskill
for the us Senate.
Tasty Research: A digest of interesting academic research
Read about interesting topics of research (mostly sociology). Science is fun! [via mefi projects
Coverage with Evidence Development.
Never heard of it? Me neither, until today. It's what they call this idea: if you want to be covered by Medicare, you're forced to participate in medical research.
The AMA approves
(article abstract only). So much for informed consent.
The Internet and our social and psychological well-being
: This older study
correlates Internet use with declining social relationships and isolation. A more recent study (PDF)
shows that the Internet has changed and positively affects social relationships.
Ketamine has been found
" improve symptoms of depression by influencing glutamate
levels in the brain. A Forbes article
notes that 70% of patients say improvement, and up to 29% were "nearly symptom free within one day". However, research
into the effects of ketamine on depression is not exactly new.
A new study
by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa
suggests there are more beautiful women than handsome men, finding that attractive people are significantly more likely to have a daughter than a son. Previous Kanazawa research found big and tall
parents, scientists, mathematicians, engineers
, and violent men
tend to have sons; while nurses, social workers and kindergarten teachers tend to have daughters. [Via]
You can drift, you can dream, even
walk write on water
Researchers at Akishima Laboratories
have developed a device that uses waves to draw text and pictures on the surface of water. Here is a PDF
file about the project (I think it is in Japanese, but it has pretty pictures!)
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
(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