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Text to Speech

AT&T Text to Spech put out by AT&T labs is interesting to play around with. Select your language and accent and then go wild. You can even translate if you select the right accent.
posted by tozturk on May 7, 2005 - 34 comments

Students go 'phishing' for user info

Students go 'phishing' for user info.
Indiana University grad students conducted an e-mail experiment showing the ease of login, username theft. The "hack" outraged some, but raised questions about privacy and the public sphere. A blog was created specifically to provide a forum for students involved in the study. The site lists comments -- some grateful that they have learned about phishing, but most are furious.
posted by ericb on Apr 27, 2005 - 13 comments

redlightgreen

This is good From RLG, an international not-for-profit organization of libraries, museums, and other research institutions, comes this incredibly useful research tool. Start with as vague a query as you like, it'll provide an ordered list of search limiters to help you zero in on the resources you need in a far more organic and rapid fashion than similar tools I've seen. An invaluable resource for students, librarians, and the curious.
posted by Grod on Apr 27, 2005 - 10 comments

...there’s nothing that suggests this is the beginning of an epidemic...

Updatefilter: Remember all the uproar over the new AIDS superbug? Well, think again. NY Magazine tells all about the "medical panic attack": ... After the frenzy died down, however, the new epidemic began to look a lot less fearsome. In fact, on closer examination, almost everything about this case seems murky. An investigation by the Department of Health turned up no evidence that the New York man passed the virus to anybody. And on March 29, the department put out a press release saying that the patient was responding well to his medications. ... “I thought this sounded familiar, so I Googled ‘superbug’ and ‘AIDS,’” said GMHC’s Gregg Gonsalves. He found two cases reported in 2001 by a noted Vancouver AIDS specialist, Dr. Julio Montaner. The Vancouver Sun quoted Montaner about the cases, but he could have been describing the newest Patient Zero ... March post on it here
posted by amberglow on Apr 24, 2005 - 14 comments

Sorry, can't hear you, there's a probe in my ear.

Wearing a shiny red hard-hat could be the latest way to gauge brain activity on the cheap, Aussie researchers report.
posted by greatgefilte on Apr 18, 2005 - 5 comments

AK's got a real cool tunnel.

The U.S. Army Permafrost Tunnel provides researchers a unique opportunity to study the composition and behavior of ice structures, ice-saturated soils and frozen bioorganics dating over 40,000 years before present.
posted by breezeway on Apr 5, 2005 - 4 comments

CiteULike

CiteULike is a site for tagging online academic articles. It lies somewhere in the intersection of del.icio.us, CiteSeer, and EndNote. When you tag an online article, you can add your own metadata, develop your own collection, and share other people's collections. You can also export your collection to BibTex or EndNote. While you can't access articles that you or your institution do not subscribe too, there seems to be a fair amount of CiteSeer stuff in there, for instance in relation to collaborative filtering. There are also some groups, such as The Philosophy of Information.
posted by carter on Feb 24, 2005 - 12 comments

Nature Publishing Group's Connotea

Nature Publishing Group's Connotea is an experimental bookmarking service for scientists. Created by Nature Publishing Group it lets you keep links to articles and websites you use and helps you find them again. It is also a place where you can discover new articles and websites through sharing links with other users. By saving your links and references to Connotea they are instantly on the web.
posted by tidecat on Feb 16, 2005 - 3 comments

A different kind of physics journal

Quantum Diaries - follow physicists from around the world as they experience the World Year of Physics 2005.
posted by Gyan on Feb 1, 2005 - 4 comments

37 degrees of separation

Mapping couplings at a high school Sociologists graphed the romantic and sexual relationships of 80% of an entire high school (832 out of ~1000 students). The research indicates that high schoolers lack sexual alpha-persons resulting in partner maps that are mostly long lines rather than the more hub and spoke like maps common in adult maps.
posted by Mitheral on Jan 31, 2005 - 47 comments

Israeli researchers discover gene for altruism

Israeli researchers discover gene for altruism Why are some people more prone to give charity or put themselves in danger in order to help others? A team of Israeli psychologists claim they have the answer - they've located the first gene linked to altruistic behavior.
posted by Postroad on Jan 24, 2005 - 26 comments

Ah, science.

New research takes steps towards finding the "gay genes." A study conducted on gay brothers in more than 100 families found several genetic regions of similarity with linkage to sexual orientation. This is kind of dense (scroll to the bottom of the page for the FAQ), but that's because it hasn't been written up in the press so there are only journal doc's and scientific summaries available.
This is the press release, which is clearer (Microsoft Word).
This is the article on the study, as published in the journal Human Genetics (PDF).
posted by joe_murphy on Jan 20, 2005 - 107 comments

Science

Recent neuroscience research suggests that Democrats and Republicans are not nearly as far apart as they seem (NYT). Will an awareness that we are conning ourselves to feel alienated from each other help to close the political gap? Or, are we conned by science and the media?
posted by semmi on Jan 18, 2005 - 16 comments

Gecko Feet might hold the key to inventing a self-cleaning adhesive.

Gecko Feet might hold the key to inventing a self-cleaning adhesive. The super-sticky feet of geckos allow them to adhere to almost any surface. But even though geckos never groom their feet, they don't lose their sticking power over time. Why? Turns out they're self-cleaning. . Scientists hope to be able to use this knowledge to create new, better kinds of dry tape and adhesives, like "duct tape that never loses its stick or bandages that come off without sticky residue or an 'ouch.'" Research info is here, along with some gecko pics.
posted by zarq on Jan 4, 2005 - 11 comments

Give a hoot, use your computer!

The World Community Grid is a project to use spare CPU cycles to help the world. The Grid is Windows only, but Folding@Home is a cross-platform way to spend your extra CPU cycles, in an effortless (for you) quest to cure disease. And of course there's the original donated cycle project, SETI@home.
posted by mosch on Dec 31, 2004 - 12 comments

Mobile-phone radiation damages lab DNA

Mobile-phone radiation damages lab DNA. Sure to be controversial and certainly not the last word, but it raises some interesting points of conversation. Government surveillance becomes much easier with wireless communications and there is a huge corporate financial investment in the infrastructure. Could we really trust the government(s) to tell us if this particular technology was harmful? And at what point would you give serious consideration to giving up a technology that had proved to be such an intrinsic part of your life? Are you addicted beyond the point of no return?
Other media carrying the story via Google News.
posted by spock on Dec 21, 2004 - 28 comments

Can you take a picture of a thought?

Perhaps the largest non-profit you never heard of, the Chevy Chase, Maryland-based Howard Hughes Medical Institute recently decided on the long-term mission of their currently-under-construction $500 million research facility in Ashburn, Virginia. Janelia Farm will strive to understand human consciousness in a 100-year timeframe. They plan to accomplish this by attracting the best and brightest, and non-conventional scientific minds to live at or near the research facility, and to work in a collaborative, the sky's the limit type environment.

disclaimer: I work for HHMI in a non-scientific role.
posted by pmbuko on Dec 2, 2004 - 41 comments

Diabetes cure?

On the path to a diabetes cure? (NYT reg req; BugMeNot; elsewhere)
posted by Gyan on Nov 12, 2004 - 14 comments

Brain in a Dish Flies Plane

Brain in a Dish Flies Plane. Hallowe'en-esque research conducted at the University of Florida.
posted by grabbingsand on Oct 29, 2004 - 3 comments

The Real Deal on Stem Cells

Stem Cells: Science, Ethics and Politics at the Crossroads
posted by Gyan on Oct 24, 2004 - 2 comments

Liberation? Perversion? Or a Guy with a

Alfred Kinsey: Liberator or Pervert? (New York Times link, I hope you know the drill by now.) A newish movie explores the life of Alfred Kinsey, sex researcher and founder of the Kinsey Institute. Kinsey was author of the controversial book Sexual Behavior In The Human Male. The controversy has blossomed oh these many years later with accusations that Kinsey's work is fraudulent, and conducive to child based porn and fantasy. The ultra-right seems obsessed with sexualizing his research in terms of "protecting the children". His observations have been linked to the addictive, destructive nature of pornography, that twists our notions of sex and love, and even enables the sexual abuse of college students in class. (Yeah, I know, that last sounds kinky, doesn't it?)
posted by Wulfgar! on Oct 5, 2004 - 11 comments

Pain bites.

No pain, no gain, they say, and when it comes to real pain, the inverse is true as well. "We now have research indicating there's a memory of chronic pain," said Dr. Doris K. Cope, director of chronic and cancer pain for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It changes the genic code sometimes, it changes the biochemistry, and it causes new proteins to be formed." Or in other words, the more pain you have, the more pain you have. (More on this.) It's no wonder, then, that more money is spent on pain relief than any other medical problem, and that there has been so much pain research and so many clinical trials revealing such painful facts as redheads feel more pain, men feel less pain, and that there's a genetic difference between tough guys and wimps. (Much more pain inside.)

posted by taz on Sep 20, 2004 - 31 comments

The Eyes Have It

Eyetracking for fun and profit. The Eyetrack III study observed 46 people for one hour as their eyes followed mock news websites and real multimedia content. This article summarizes their observations. Too impatient to read? Cool transparent heatmap overlay gizmo here. Via the rather cool creativebits.
posted by stonerose on Sep 15, 2004 - 10 comments

From Genesis to Apocalypse

From Genesis to Apocalypse: one more threat to NASA's pure research funding.
posted by luriete on Sep 8, 2004 - 6 comments

exxxtreeeeeeme gravity nerds

The Extreme Gravity Racing Series: featuring cars from Porsche, Volvo, and mazda among others. Yeah, it's basically soap box derby racing for adults. [via red ferret]
posted by mathowie on Aug 26, 2004 - 12 comments

Booz(t)e Up?

Drink to Your (Cognitive) Health. Moderate alcohol drinkers smarter than non-drinkers. [Abstract]
posted by Gyan on Aug 24, 2004 - 18 comments

Let There Be Light

Let there be light - Canadian researchers have devised a new polymer material by manipulating buckyballs (carbon atoms that look like soccer balls). The technology could be used to create optical (light based) switches to replace electronic network switches. It could lead to an Internet based entirely on light.
posted by paladin on Aug 22, 2004 - 4 comments

Voices from the past

Getting back into the groove : In the corner of a California university laboratory, two men are battling against time to perfect a machine that will read old recordings - using special microscopes to scan the grooves - and software that can convert those shapes into sound. Their work could bring history to life.
posted by starscream on Jul 26, 2004 - 15 comments

Speak Deutsch?

Being Bilingual Protects Against Some Age-related Cognitive Changes.
Full paper link.
posted by Gyan on Jun 14, 2004 - 20 comments

Microsoft does something not terribly evil

Scientific American on Microsoft's new, gigantic attempt at a Palo Alto.
posted by Tlogmer on Jun 9, 2004 - 9 comments

When drug companies hide data

When drug companies hide data.

"The attorney general's civil suit accuses the drug giant GlaxoSmithKline of committing fraud by concealing negative information about Paxil, a drug used to treat depression. The suit says that the company conducted five clinical trials of Paxil in adolescents and children, yet published only one study whose mixed results it deemed positive. The company sat on two major studies for up to four years, although the results of one were divulged by a whistle-blower at a medical conference in 1999 and all of the studies were submitted to the Food and Drug Administration in 2002 when the company sought approval for new uses of Paxil. At that time it became apparent that Paxil was no more effective than a placebo in treating adolescent depression and might even provoke suicidal thoughts.

My Dad was on Paxil until 26 days ago..... that's when he shot himself.
posted by Lusy P Hur on Jun 6, 2004 - 47 comments

Stem Cell Research

The False Controversy of Stem Cell Research. Kinsley: In fact, thinking it through is a moral obligation, especially if you are on the side of the argument that wants to stop or slow this research. It's not complicated. An embryo used in stem-cell research (and fertility treatments) is three to five days past conception. It consists of a few dozen cells that together are too small to be seen without a microscope. It has no consciousness, no self-awareness, no ability to feel love or pain. The smallest insect is far more human in every respect except potential.
posted by skallas on May 31, 2004 - 64 comments

MemoryNet

Modelling err.. something.
posted by Gyan on May 24, 2004 - 11 comments

MetaNanoTech

Molecular Media Project.
posted by Gyan on May 16, 2004 - 7 comments

genuine compassion

“Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do” (warning: extremely graphic verbal description; for a different perspective, here's a critique on the use of some references). "Homosexuals are sexually troubled people engaging in dangerous activities. Because we care about them and those tempted to join them, it is important that we neither encourage nor legitimize such a destructive lifestyle." Discuss.
posted by 111 on May 14, 2004 - 188 comments

Mammal Gene Memetics

Analysis Uncovers Critical Stretches of Human Genome.
posted by Gyan on May 11, 2004 - 9 comments

NeuroFilter

Interesting papers in neuroscience. From Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology.
PDFs
posted by Gyan on May 6, 2004 - 6 comments

Genesis

Genesis. "Life" from inorganic mixture. Full PDF paper : Spontaneous Formation of Cellular Chemical System that Sustains Itself far from Thermodynamic Equilibrium.
posted by Gyan on Apr 27, 2004 - 9 comments

Laser-o-vision!

Laser-o-vision: A system that projects light beams directly into the eye could change the way we see the world.
posted by moonbird on Apr 27, 2004 - 18 comments

The Mind Project

The Mind Project. Delve into the research, including Iris and AI. Browse the curriculum. And, if you're a student or educator, or have Flash/programming skills, you can get involved. (Please note the site is always under development, and the interface is a little wanky - Flash intro.)
posted by tr33hggr on Apr 8, 2004 - 2 comments

No stem cell research

Thou shalt not make scientific progress. "Medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. But George W. Bush's religious convictions stand in its way."
posted by homunculus on Mar 24, 2004 - 45 comments

Eurodocs

Eurodocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe.
posted by hama7 on Mar 4, 2004 - 1 comment

Scientists Accuse White House of Distorting Facts

Scientists Accuse White House of Distorting Facts The Bush administration has deliberately and systematically distorted scientific fact in the service of policy goals on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry at home and abroad, a group of about 60 influential scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, said in a statement issued today.--would you believe the scientists or the people's (almost) choice? May need free reg for NY Times.
posted by Postroad on Feb 18, 2004 - 28 comments

the language boom

Language tree rooted in Turkey.
posted by the fire you left me on Dec 7, 2003 - 28 comments

A pox on both your houses...

New form of mousepox developed. A scientist has created an extremely deadly form of mousepox (a relative of smallpox) through genetic engineering. The new virus kills mice even if they have been given antiviral drugs as well as a vaccine that would normally protect them.
posted by Irontom on Oct 30, 2003 - 42 comments

Con-man, the next Einstein, or...?

Rupert Sheldrake, author of several books (The Sense of Being Stared At; Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home) that detail evidence for the existence of various extra-sensory perceptions. In a lecture for Microsoft Research [page contains link to a 73 minute streaming ASX file] entitled "The Extended Mind: Recent Experimental Evidence", he attacks the mechanistic view of nature and the materialistic view of the mind, and presents his own theory, which involves fields of Morphic Resonance, formative causation, and what he calls "The Extended Mind". Feel free to dismiss after watching.
posted by goethean on Oct 21, 2003 - 38 comments

MDMA Study Botched

A widely-reported study that showed recreational use of MDMA to cause Parkinson's diesase was found to be botched and has now been retracted. The results were not skewed, the margin of error wasn't miscalculated--the primates were given the wrong drug.
posted by brittney on Sep 7, 2003 - 19 comments

And you thought GRIZZLIES were violent...

Charlie Russell and Maureen Enns - authors of a popular book and the subject of a fascinating and well-recieved documentary - have been living for months at a time with bears in Kamchatka, demonstrating that man and grizzly can, in fact, inhabit the same landscape without violence - at least, no violence on the part of the bears... Their work has been brought to a tragic and all too human end... (Via Rafe Colburn, who notes, appropriately, "People suck.")
posted by JollyWanker on Aug 27, 2003 - 14 comments

Fishing for Information? Try Better Bait

Fishing for Information? Try Better Bait. [NYT] It's nice to see the NY Times take a stab at helping normal folk become better at searching the web. They point to Gary Price's resourceshelf.com, Greg R. Notess's searchengineshowdown.com and Danny Sullivan's searchenginewatch.com and Tara Calishain's researchbuzz.com.
It's just nice to see a story that's not All About Google for a change. Somewhat related articles: One over at O'Reilly On How To Build Your Own, and one at CNET on Nutch, an open-source web search engine.
Anyone have any favorite search engine tricks to share?
posted by Blake on Aug 22, 2003 - 3 comments

What did Pavlov’s dog think about Pavlov?

What did Pavlov’s dog think about Pavlov?
"Look at the poor man, every time I am hungry, instead of bringing me food, he rings the bell!"
Some people just figure it out, but here on MeFi we already knew it.
posted by MzB on Aug 21, 2003 - 9 comments

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