3714 posts tagged with science.
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Darwin, extended

The "blind watchmaker" may not be as blind as we thought. A team of scientists at Princeton University discovers that organisms are not only evolving, they're evolving to evolve better, using a set of proteins to "steer the process of evolution toward improved fitness" by making tiny course corrections.
posted by digaman on Nov 11, 2008 - 66 comments

Portals Between Earth and Sun Open Every Eight Minutes

Magnetic Portals Connect Sun and Earth. "Like giant, cosmic chutes between the Earth and sun, magnetic portals open up every eight minutes or so to connect our planet with its host star. Once the portals open, loads of high-energy particles can travel the 93 million miles (150 million km) through the conduit during its brief opening, space scientists say." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Nov 5, 2008 - 34 comments

"You named your collaboration QAP? Really?"

The DiVincenzo Code [youtube trailer, geekery]. Faced with a strict demand from a funding agency to allocate research funds towards the dissemination of research ideas to the public, an experimental physics group at the University of Oxford produced a feature-length (55 min) action thriller about murder, ancient prophecy, tea breaks, and quantum computation. [more inside]
posted by fatllama on Nov 5, 2008 - 6 comments

Clones produced from mice frozen for 16 years

Production of healthy cloned mice from bodies frozen at −20°C for 16 years. Mammoths next?
posted by homunculus on Nov 4, 2008 - 22 comments

shrimp scampy

Oregon prof's immunology research produces viral video. "We were all amazed ... like 'wow, look at the shrimp go!'"
posted by nickyskye on Nov 4, 2008 - 21 comments


iBioSeminars is a new project from the American Society for Cell Biology to release freely available lectures from leading scientists on the web. It features talks on such diverse areas as stem cells, malaria, HIV, and biofuel production.
posted by pombe on Oct 30, 2008 - 4 comments

Gobekli Tepe

Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple? "Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey's stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization."
posted by homunculus on Oct 30, 2008 - 28 comments

Neural Correlates of Hate

Brain's 'Hate Circuit' Identified. "People who view pictures of someone they hate display activity in distinct areas of the brain that, together, may be thought of as a 'hate circuit', according to new research by scientists at UCL (University College London)."
posted by homunculus on Oct 29, 2008 - 34 comments

How Much

Quantum of culture. Terminology from quantum theory shows up frequently in art, films, poetry and sculpture. Robert P. Crease gauges the impact of quantum mechanics on popular culture. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 27, 2008 - 20 comments

"Demonstrations” by Caleb Charland

Caleb Charland's photographs artistically demonstrate the laws of physics. In "Solid, Liquid, Gas," for example, three similar glass-tumbler shapes are positioned on a film of water. One glass is filled with a separation of water, oil and alcohol. Another, overturned, contains an extinguished candle which, having burned up the oxygen inside the vessel, created a vacuum that sucked the water inside. The third vessel and the other pictures are just cool.
posted by Surfin' Bird on Oct 25, 2008 - 26 comments

I Contain Multitudes

First Person Plural. "An evolving approach to the science of pleasure suggests that each of us contains multiple selves—all with different desires, and all fighting for control. If this is right, the pursuit of happiness becomes even trickier. Can one self bind another self if the two want different things? Are you always better off when a Good Self wins? And should outsiders, such as employers and policy makers, get into the fray?" [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 25, 2008 - 27 comments

God schmod. I want my monkey man.

"We'll breed him and we'll see if his kids glow, too!" Meet Mr. Green Genes: (No, not that Mr. Green Jeans) Pic. Pic. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen on Oct 24, 2008 - 30 comments

To Idi Amin: I'm a idiot.

This isn't exactly the scarlet letter, but it might be a sign of something we've seen before (or maybe not, depending who you ask.) Still, you should probably get yourself one of these [see also] if you're planning to cry wolf! (You can also make your own.) [more inside]
posted by davejay on Oct 24, 2008 - 125 comments

And here I was worried about my cellphone cooking my brain...

UCLA researchers produce X-Rays by unpeeling Scotch Tape. That's right, Scotch Tape. [more inside]
posted by The Ardship of Cambry on Oct 23, 2008 - 35 comments

Moon OK Please

"India on Wednesday became the sixth nation to launch a moon mission when indigenously built PSLV-C11 rocket blasted off from the spaceport here carrying with it Chandrayaan-I, which will map the lunar surface." For India, The Future Is Here. [more inside]
posted by ageispolis on Oct 22, 2008 - 38 comments


Flow of Time is a BBC documentary that "tries to explain time and covers the different ways we have used to understand Time, religion, mathematics, relativity, and quantum mechanics." Part 1, 2, 3, 4 posted by nola on Oct 21, 2008 - 10 comments

Science! And lots of it!

The Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics hosts a treasure-trove of online scientific talks from leading scientists in their fields. [more inside]
posted by nowonmai on Oct 18, 2008 - 5 comments


SLYT: Professor Savage shows how the density of various gases will affect your voice in different ways... the fun way (by inhaling them). [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Oct 15, 2008 - 51 comments

It started out with mom not knowing how to use the telephone and progressed from there.

New research suggests that low blood pressure is a symptom, not a cause, of Alzheimer's Disease. While the cause of the disease is still unknown, some research suggests stress exacerbates its progression. Also, the problem is growing across the globe. So, while you never forget the challenges and revelations of those living with the effects of Alzheimer's, try to laugh and smile a little more.
posted by Panjandrum on Oct 14, 2008 - 20 comments

Bad Physics

Recurring science misconceptions in K-6 textbooks: CLOUDS REMAIN ALOFT BECAUSE WATER DROPLETS ARE TINY? Wrong! SOUND TRAVELS BETTER THROUGH SOLIDS & LIQUIDS? No it doesn't. GRAVITY IN SPACE IS ZERO? It's actually strong. THE SKY IS BLUE BECAUSE OF COMPLICATED PHYSICS. No, it's simple. And many more.
posted by vronsky on Oct 12, 2008 - 108 comments

neurobiology of trust

As the market plummets, it might be interesting to look at the neurological background in the breakdown of trust. The author, Jonah Lehrer, is a young brainiac writer for Seed and the excellent Frontal Cortex. l Scientists immediately discovered a strong neural signal that drove many of the investment decisions. The signal was fictive learning. l One way to think of the financial markets right now is that instead of being populated by rational agents, they're full of people with borderline personality disorder. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 9, 2008 - 32 comments

How We Evolve

How We Evolve: "A growing number of scientists argue that human culture itself has become the foremost agent of biological change, making us — for the past 10,000 years or so — the inadvertent architects of our own future selves." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 9, 2008 - 49 comments

Like nailing Jello to the wall.

"Nailing down Senator Obama's various tax proposals is like nailing Jello to the wall." Well, how hard is it, really? Initial attempts are not too promising. Some creative engineering fares better, but not a whole lot. Of course, Jesus can help. Oh well -- at least you can set it on fire. [more inside]
posted by limon on Oct 7, 2008 - 33 comments

Lacking Control Increases Magical Thinking

Of Jock Straps and Conspiracy Theories. A new study looks at how lacking control increases the tendency for magical thinking and illusory pattern perception. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 5, 2008 - 87 comments


Video of Dictyophora Indusiata. "When they find it, they sniff it. The scent of this mushroom causes sexual arousal, often to the point of orgasm." ^ Other interesting articles available from Aphrodisiology: List of Aphrodisiacs l Visual Stimuli l Pheromones & Perfumes. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 2, 2008 - 49 comments

It's not the economy, stupid.

"You know, we spent $3 million to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I don't know if that was a criminal issue or a paternal issue..." (previously) The infamous bear study bought up by McCain in the first debate is one of his favourite pork barrel examples, but little actual information is given about the study. Here is the website giving details about the project, with more info, a quick fact sheet and a podcast. This is one of the rare times when a candidate will air an opinion on science in a popular setting.... [more inside]
posted by scodger on Sep 29, 2008 - 129 comments

Coming soon to an episode of Primeval

According to new fossil evidence 50 million years ago the skies above London were ruled by a relative of the goose, the size of a light aircraft, with toothy crocodile-likejaws. Or as The Sun puts it... DON'T RUCK WITH THIS DUCK!
posted by Artw on Sep 26, 2008 - 37 comments

science visualization

2008 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge "The winners -- in categories including photography, illustration, informational graphics, and multimedia -- captured the crystalline beauty of diatoms, the expanse of the human circulatory system, a fairy tale tea party re-invented, and the dynamic life of a plant cell." (previously)
posted by dhruva on Sep 26, 2008 - 5 comments

Dark Flow

Mysterious New 'Dark Flow' Discovered in Space. "As if the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy weren't vexing enough, another baffling cosmic puzzle has been discovered. Patches of matter in the universe seem to be moving at very high speeds and in a uniform direction that can't be explained by any of the known gravitational forces in the observable universe. Astronomers are calling the phenomenon 'dark flow.' The stuff that's pulling this matter must be outside the observable universe, researchers conclude." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Sep 25, 2008 - 73 comments

Star Stories and the Nobel Prize

Star Stories explains the life and death of stars using a multimedia approach that incorporates images, animation, video and text. From the official website of the Nobel Foundation. Don't miss out on the other cool games . [more inside]
posted by ozomatli on Sep 25, 2008 - 6 comments

Conservatives are scaredy-cats

The Politics of Fear: Some Political Views May be Related to Physiology video, audio [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Sep 21, 2008 - 38 comments

One Web to Rule Them All

"I would like to take a broader look at the Web. I would like to consider what the Web can do for society on a scale we have not yet seen. And I would like to enlist your help to get us there." ― Tim Berners-Lee announces the World Wide Web Foundation [more inside]
posted by netbros on Sep 20, 2008 - 30 comments

New Reef Creatures Found in Australia

Hundreds of New Reef Creatures Found in Australia. Hundreds of new marine creatures have been discovered in three Australian reefs by CReefs, a census of coral reefs which is part of the Census of Marine Life, a ten-year initiative to assess global ocean diversity.
posted by homunculus on Sep 19, 2008 - 12 comments

Quark-Gluon Plasma

The ALICE Collaboration is building a dedicated heavy-ion detector to exploit the unique physics potential of nucleus-nucleus interactions at LHC energies. The aim is to study the physics of strongly interacting matter at extreme energy densities, where the formation of a new phase of matter, the quark-gluon plasma, is expected. This website aims both at introducing non-initiates to the field of physics covered by ALICE and at providing regular information on the evolution of the experiment, with detailed reports of its results and analysis.
posted by netbros on Sep 18, 2008 - 18 comments

twilight zone, the edge of light

The "terminator" is the dividing line between day and night as seen from on high. This shadow line is diffuse and shows the gradual transition to darkness we experience as twilight. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 16, 2008 - 44 comments

Charles Darwin to receive apology from the Church of England

"Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still." The comments are included on a Church of England website promoting the views of Charles Darwin to be launched on Monday.
posted by finite on Sep 14, 2008 - 41 comments

Quest for a true 3D Mandelbrot Fractal.

Quest for a true 3D Mandelbrot Fractal - a very nice exploration of Mandelbrot/Julia set fractals in various kinds of 3D space.
posted by loquacious on Sep 14, 2008 - 21 comments

LHC webcam

LHC Webcams. There's been a lot of LHC news lately but a less-publicized series of Compact Muon Solenoid proton collision tests is scheduled for today, and CERN has been kind enough to set up a live streaming webcam to watch the CMS in action. (There's also a view of the parking lot but I think that's more so underground-bunkered LHC staff can see the weather.) It's fairly dull viewing but if you're interested in the science of it all, it's great nerdy fun. Maybe you'll even see a black hole or two. ;)
posted by brownpau on Sep 11, 2008 - 22 comments

(Internetworking Frequency, 2.4 gigacycles.)

The Early Television Foundation and Museum Website covers the nascent days of the nation's pastime, with interesting items like mechanical TVs and programming schedules from 1939.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sep 9, 2008 - 11 comments

"Survivor: Extremophile Edition" Results Show

Is life possible even in the coldest depths of space? If so, this tough little guy has long been thought to be a good candidate. Now, finally, analysis of the Tardigrades (a.k.a. "water bears") exposed to open space as part of the TARDIS project is finally complete. So what's the verdict? [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Sep 9, 2008 - 39 comments


In a scant few hours, scientists will make the first attempt to circulate a beam in the Large Hadron Collider. Terrified of nothing, a few deeply misguided morons have sent death threats to the CERN team, probably because of Faith-Based Science. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Sep 9, 2008 - 213 comments

Amazing Physics Videos

Top 10 Amazing Physics Videos (via Wired Science) [more inside]
posted by Turtles all the way down on Sep 8, 2008 - 13 comments

pathos and pathology

"Hidden within the basement archives of Yale University's Historical Medical Library lie the original oil painting collection and personal papers of the first American surgeon to practice in China." Extraordinary paintings of compassion in a medical setting. [Warning, these are graphic depictions, some NSFW] Elegant, disturbing and moving portraits of patients by Lam Qua, commissioned by a medical missionary named Peter Parker in the 1830's. [No, not that Peter Parker. Via MeFite tellurian's awesome blog]. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 2, 2008 - 20 comments


The Medicalisation of Everyday Life. "As the pace of medical innovation slows to a crawl, how do drug companies stay in profit? By 'discovering' new illnesses to fit existing products." An extract from Ben Goldacre's new book, Bad Science. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 2, 2008 - 61 comments

ScienceDebate2008 Update

Barack Obama has responded to the 14 questions posed by ScienceDebate2008 (discussed previously). The Martian Chronicles has outlined some key points of his response. John McCain has not responded to the questions, but has indicated that he will respond.
posted by gruchall on Sep 1, 2008 - 63 comments

Make it work

"He's always thinking about lots of things — he's a pollinator, he brings ideas to the table" You probably know Neal Stephenson for his work as an author (generally in or adjacent to the Science Fiction genre), but he's also an inventor at Washington based "Idea Factory" Intellectual Ventures, a place with modern goals like stomping out malaria and preventing hurricanes. This is after his old job as part-time rocket scientist.
posted by Artw on Sep 1, 2008 - 17 comments

Wilder Penfield

Wilder Penfield, Neural Cartographer.
posted by homunculus on Aug 28, 2008 - 14 comments

retrovirally transforming pancreatic cells from adult mice into insulin-producing beta cells

Scientists Repurpose Adult Cells - "Scientists have transformed one type of fully developed adult cell directly into another inside a living animal, a startling advance that could lead to cures for a variety of illnesses and sidestep the political and ethical quagmires associated with embryonic stem cell research." [nature abstract, nature writeup, audio announcement]
posted by kliuless on Aug 27, 2008 - 21 comments

"Science is an integral part of culture"

The Unofficial Stephen Jay Gould Archive, an online library dedicated to the Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002). Includes an excellent selection of videos. And The Official Stephen Jay Gould Archive [still under development], which includes two of his books and his Harvard course online. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 26, 2008 - 40 comments

Why there are still monkeys

Why are there still monkeys?
posted by homunculus on Aug 25, 2008 - 110 comments

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