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27 posts tagged with science by jjray.
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It's The A.C.C. People

WHY WE DON’T BELIEVE IN SCIENCE
posted by jjray on Jun 7, 2012 - 47 comments

0.0001 micromoles of oxygen per liter per year

If we look at how fast they metabolize, it would take them a thousand years just to reproduce themselves. They may be much older than this. There’s no way of knowing.

Microbes found deep under the North Pacific Gyre in 86-million-year-old red clay, potentially millions of years old, force us to rethink the timescales, ranges, and conditions that life can attain. (The main text of the paper is unfortunately paywalled.)
posted by jjray on May 19, 2012 - 34 comments

Ice

Ice
posted by jjray on Apr 15, 2012 - 33 comments

A Shory Biography of Emmy Noether

Amalie Noether: The Mighty Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of
posted by jjray on Mar 27, 2012 - 49 comments

Nature's 10

Nature's 10: ten people who mattered this year.
posted by jjray on Dec 23, 2011 - 14 comments

Harvard Natural Sciences Lecture Demonstrations

Harvard Natural Sciences Lecture Demonstrations presents videos, at times stunning and informative, of in-class science. [more inside]
posted by jjray on May 18, 2011 - 8 comments

Broadcast your cosmicity

365 Days of Astronomy is a 5-minute podcast where each episode is written and recorded by volunteers. Monthly night sky surveys; the early universe; seeing far– these podcasts are made by volunteers, and more are needed.
posted by jjray on May 9, 2011 - 1 comment

Yellowstone is big. No, really. Big.

New electrical conductivity measurements show the subterranean extent of the Yellowstone supervolcano to be a lot larger than previously known.
posted by jjray on Apr 13, 2011 - 40 comments

Four billion years ago a star left its legacy as it met its physically inevitable demise

A gamma ray burst nicknamed GRB 110328A (i.e. detected 3/28/2011) appears to be the legacy of a star being torn apart by a supermassive black hole, leaving a peak brightness one trillion times the sun's brightness as it met its ancient inevitable end.
posted by jjray on Apr 8, 2011 - 51 comments

Reflections on Pioneer

As they leave the solar system, the Pioneer spacecraft have anomalously decelerated, pointing to a possible gap in our understanding of gravity. Now, a computer graphics technique known as Phong shading predicts that the Pioneer anomaly is just a side effect of how the shape of the spacecraft reflects sunlight.
posted by jjray on Mar 31, 2011 - 57 comments

The Missing Transposable Link

In the 1940s Barbara McClintock discovered the remarkable phenomenon of mobile genetic elements, or transposons: parasitic DNA that makes up a significant fraction of the human genome. (Here is a video segment about McClintock: Part 1 & 2.) The discovery remains highly important: we now know that transposons play a role in driving genome evolution. Where do they come from? A compelling hypothesis is that some evolved from viruses.

Now a marine biology group at UBC has found a virus whose closest genetic relative is a type of transposon. (The paywalled paper's abstract is here.) But that is not even the interesting part. [more inside]
posted by jjray on Mar 6, 2011 - 35 comments

The walking cactus

Consider this animal, the newest fossil discovery from Jianni Liu in China. She calls it "the walking cactus." We have grasses and flowers and beetles in more varieties than you can imagine, and yet, in some deep architectural way, the developmental paths were set way back then, 500 million years ago. The Walking Cactus is just another souvenir of that crazy moment.
posted by jjray on Mar 1, 2011 - 68 comments

Wake up wormple!

Mind control of C. elegans worms with lasers.
posted by jjray on Jan 19, 2011 - 25 comments

Peer Reviewing an Opinion on Science and the Political Agenda

An opinion piece in Slate argues that the scientific agenda would benefit from increasing the paltry six percent of American scientists who identify as Republican. (This statistic previously on Metafilter.) Knight Science Journalism Tracker offers peer review of this point.
posted by jjray on Dec 8, 2010 - 98 comments

The Circular Jump is a White Hole

Circular jumps (previously) form when you turn on your tap and the water lands in a thin circular disk with a raised lip. Jannes et al have now shown that circular jumps are examples of hydrodynamic white holes: waves can escape the jump, but not enter it. [more inside]
posted by jjray on Nov 13, 2010 - 19 comments

On the interface of the two cultures of modern society

An examination of the differences between the literary and scientific cultures, by John Allen Poulos.
posted by jjray on Oct 24, 2010 - 32 comments

Rule 1: Register an Account

Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia. Aimed at scientists editing science articles.
posted by jjray on Oct 6, 2010 - 48 comments

On the precipice of the largest decrease in biomedical science funding ever.

Having taken on the biggest job in biomedicine — leading the US National Institutes of Health — Francis Collins must now help his agency over a funding cliff.
posted by jjray on Aug 16, 2010 - 19 comments

Gravity is Optional

Physicist Erik Verlinde proposed in a recent paper that the force of gravity can be derived from the principles of thermodynamics. NY Times explains. [Physicist Lee] Smolin called it, “very interesting and also very incomplete.”
posted by jjray on Jul 12, 2010 - 55 comments

Those ink blobs just rebuilt themselves.

Among 3quarksdaily's 80 nominees for the second annual 3QD prize in science is an excellent entry on the science of viscous laminar flows with a hard-to-swallow video: Why does the blob rewind? (Last year's science prize post.)
posted by jjray on Jun 3, 2010 - 8 comments

The Linux Gene Network

Yale scientists analogize the Linux call graph with the E. coli gene regulatory network in an open access PNAS article. Carl Zimmer explores the implications of network design versus evolution, suggesting that a more modular architecture in bacteria leads to a rugged (i.e. robust) system that does not "crash" like a computer.
posted by jjray on May 5, 2010 - 26 comments

Welcome Sophophora melanogaster

You may not recognize the difference between Sophophora melanogaster and the common fruit fly. That's because there isn't. The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature is proposing a name change from Drosophila melanogaster on scientific grounds, but it's ruffling the antennae of some scientists.
posted by jjray on Apr 10, 2010 - 31 comments

Targeting the Good Cell

Targeting the Good Cell: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covers the latest stem cell advances, built around a gripping 2008 series (1, 2, 3) about the competitive race to reprogram mature cells into functionally embryonic stem cells. [more inside]
posted by jjray on Mar 11, 2010 - 2 comments

When a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist...

Optimal Waist-to-Hip Ratios in Women Activate Neural Reward Centers in Men by Steven M. Platek and Devendra Singh.
posted by jjray on Feb 10, 2010 - 177 comments

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences is a 1960 essay by Eugene Wigner. Via Steve Strogatz.
posted by jjray on Jan 31, 2010 - 30 comments

What we really want to discover in the near future

Decades of Future Science. In which advances of the next few decades are wishfully thought up.
posted by jjray on Dec 23, 2009 - 22 comments

Pixar Meets Molecular Biology

The crowded, complex environment inside living cells makes understanding spatial relationships difficult for biologists. Now, 3D animation software Maya is being used not just for illustration, but to see how our intuition holds up. [more inside]
posted by jjray on Dec 15, 2009 - 13 comments

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