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Newtonian dynamics unmodified

Good evidence that dark matter is for real.
posted by kliuless on Aug 16, 2006 - 57 comments

Whale evolution

Whales are ridiculous, thanks to their evolutionary origins as coyote-like mammals moved into the water about 45 million years ago and became more and more adapted to the marine life.
posted by chorltonmeateater on Aug 16, 2006 - 32 comments

Auroras

Auroras have had many explanations throughout history. Now, science has answered many questions, thanks to spending a lot of time in Antarctica taking time-lapse films.
posted by MetaMonkey on Aug 15, 2006 - 14 comments

Aletheia

Beethoven stretches out and relaxes. Gorillas belch to let others know where they are. Fish sing the body electric (.mov, 12 MB) for food and safety. How has your own perception shaped your worldview?
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 14, 2006 - 4 comments

Perihelion

Text messaging for teenage girls is like an orgasm explains neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine. The doctor from Yale provides the science behind why male and female brains are different in architecture and chemical composition.
posted by The Jesse Helms on Aug 8, 2006 - 82 comments

The water is reversible, but time is not...

"The trick to education is to teach people in such a way that they don't realize they're learning until it's too late."
Fluorescein-dyed water appears suspended in midair, only to "flow" upwards moments later. The careful dance of a splashing drop is frozen and taken for granted, painstakingly analyzed in a brilliant defiance of how water should behave. Such is the wonder of what modder Nate True calls his Time Fountain (YouTube embedded & worth it)—a well-documented, DIY version of classic science center favorite, the Water Piddler. MIT's own Strobe Alley is lined with photos created using the same technology, pioneered by Harold Eugene Edgerton, a professor whose work you're almost certainly familiar with. Naturally, some beautiful pieces have followed under the same ideal, courtesy Martin Waugh.
posted by disillusioned on Aug 8, 2006 - 14 comments

What Peace Did Hizbullah Shatter?

What peace did Hezbollah Shatter? asks Anders Stringberg in the Christian Science Monitor, a paper that has won the Pulitzer seven times and is particularly well-known for its in-depth coverage of the Middle East. Relying on the most recent United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) report , Strindberg believes that Hezbollah's attacks stem from Israeli incursions into Lebanon. In the same publication, another commentator says that the latest Levantine crisis is a 'moment of opportunity' but only if the U.S. asks Israel the hard questions.
posted by Azaadistani on Aug 7, 2006 - 162 comments

Rangaku - Dutch Learning

Rangaku (literally "Dutch Learning") refers to the body of knowledge developed in Japan during the Sakoku period (1641-1853) during which the country was closed to foreigners. As the Dutch trading post at Dejima was effectively an enclave of the Netherlands, for 212 years it was just about Japan's only way to keep tabs on European scientific progress (pdf). Rangaku has influenced Japanese medicine, anatomy, engineering, meteorology, and chemistry, among other fields.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 3, 2006 - 18 comments

Half-Life? Try Sixteenth-Life

Chilling Out Mr. Radioactive
A group of scientists at Germany's Ruhr University may have a way of cutting down the time it takes for radioactive waste to decay to a safer state. Instead of 1600 years for Radium-226, Prof. Claus Rolfs theorizes that he can cut that down to a mere 100 years, by encasing the materials in metal and then freezing them to very, very low temps to accelerate the radioactive decay.
posted by fenriq on Aug 1, 2006 - 28 comments

Cis-lunar space is no place to get whanged

War in Spaaaaaaaacccccce! A practical discussion of weapons that would work in space and orbital combat.
posted by Divine_Wino on Jul 28, 2006 - 42 comments

50s...RIBOSOME!

Only rarely is there an opportunity to participate in a molecular 'happening'. On an open field at Stanford University in 1971, several hundred students convened to undulate and impersonate molecules undergoing protein synthesis by a ribosome. Narrated by Nobel laureate Paul Berg and performed by a cast of very groovy cats. (via)
posted by Turtles all the way down on Jul 28, 2006 - 16 comments

Moses would be impressed!

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!)
posted by lenny70 on Jul 28, 2006 - 16 comments

Scientists say they’ve found a code beyond genetics in DNA

Scientists say they’ve found a code beyond genetics in DNA. The study by Segal et al. [PDF] establishes a model for predicting some (but not all) nucleosome placement. This is critical for understanding the regulation of gene expression.
posted by rxrfrx on Jul 25, 2006 - 31 comments

I'm absolutely sure that no antibody test in medicine has any absolute meaning.

Dr. Stephen Lanka claims that H5N1 doesn't exist. Or AIDS. Or disease-causing viruses in general. "In humans, in the blood or in other bodily fluids, in an animal or in a plant there never have been seen or demonstrated structures which you could characterize as bird flu viruses or flu viruses or any other supposedly disease-causing virus. The causes of those diseases which are being maintained to be caused by a virus, also those in animals, which can arise quickly and in individuals either one after the other or several at the same time, are known since a long time back. However much you stretch things in biology, there is simply no place for viruses as the causative agents of diseases. Only if I ignore the findings of Dr Hamer’s New Medicine, according to which shock events are the cause of many diseases, and the findings of chemistry on the effects of poisonings and deficiencies, and then if I ignore the findings of physics about the effects of radiation, then there is a place for imaginings such as disease-causing viruses."
posted by Sticherbeast on Jul 24, 2006 - 118 comments

3D Starmaps

3D Starmaps by Winchell Chung. (I knew him for his game illustrations before I ever knew about his starmaps.) The site contains lots of information about how to make 2D/3D starmaps from standard star tables, a nice selection of pre-existing maps and one of the best listings of 3D starmap software around.
posted by jiawen on Jul 23, 2006 - 12 comments

Coming soon to a cinema near you

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. Paper (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.
posted by Gyan on Jul 23, 2006 - 21 comments

Politics at the FDA

"In 2006, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) distributed a 38-question survey to 5,918 FDA scientists to examine the state of science at the FDA. The results paint a picture of a troubled agency: hundreds of scientists reported significant interference with the FDA’s scientific work, compromising the agency’s ability to fulfill its mission of protecting public health and safety."
posted by daksya on Jul 20, 2006 - 25 comments

and lawnmowers everywhere fall into disrepair

The end of the lawnmower era is nigh. Microbiologist Joanne Chory may change the face of suburban one-upmanship as we know it. Imagine a weekend morning without the sound of lawnmowers. Can it really be just around the corner? Will men be willing to terminate their love/hate (mpg) relationships with their lawns? After all, a man and his mower are not easily parted.
posted by pmbuko on Jul 14, 2006 - 52 comments

Seeing is believing

Seeing is believing : Illustrations were essential in spreading new scientific and medical ideas and it was often the case that new developments in the sciences were accompanied by corresponding developments in illustrative techniques.
posted by dhruva on Jul 13, 2006 - 5 comments

Antique Celestial Maps

The U.S. Naval Observatory Library features high-res scans of images from antique books dealing with astronomy and navigation. Wallpapers, ahoy!
posted by Gator on Jul 13, 2006 - 18 comments

The Blue People of Troublesome Creek

Martin and Elizabeth set up housekeeping on the banks of Troublesome and began a family. Of their seven children, four were reported to be blue.

For those unfamiliar with the story of Martin Fugate & his descendents, the 1982 article from Science magazine entitled "The Blue People of Troublesome Creek" is a fascinating read; a recessive gene & decades of inbreeding lead to a clan of Kentucky hill folk with deep blue skin from head to toe.
posted by jonson on Jul 10, 2006 - 57 comments

European Climate

The Source of Europe's Mild Climate
posted by Gyan on Jul 9, 2006 - 17 comments

When I'm bad, do I still get to blame my brothers and sisters?

The New "Science" of Siblings An amusing article from Time magazine by Jeffrey Kluger which reports that your siblings have more influece on your personality than any other group-- parents, peers, spouses, children, etc. My ex-wife thinks I'm sarcastic, combative, insensitive, etc. Do I get to blame my brothers and sisters for this now? Another article on this issue "The Science of Siblings". Apparently, they could have made me more likely to be gay too.
posted by notmtwain on Jul 9, 2006 - 28 comments

Sources: Personal Opinion.

We need to get Stephen Hawking an AskMe membership. Stephen Hawking asks the Yahoo public how the human race is going to survive. Yahoo staff are excited. But the answers? Well, let's just say that there may be more utility in eating tweens after the nuclear apocalypse than listening to their ideas. To balance the stupid, Hawking has several of his lectures online. And there's great stuff on PBS's Stephen Hawking's Universe (though it's aimed at providing a basic understanding of astrophysics). Or, for a more animated view MC Hawking's (sometimes clumsy) "What We Need More of Is Science. (Previous mefi hawking here, here [where he seems to be answering his later question], here [where he presents another view on how humans will survive], and here.)
posted by klangklangston on Jul 7, 2006 - 56 comments

Suction is the female of movement and pressure is the male of movement.

"Lawsonomy is the knowledge of Life and everything pertaining thereto." The collected works of Alfred Lawson - professional baseball player, aviation pioneer, economist, scientist, theologist, and philosopher - are available to all. [more inside]
posted by UKnowForKids on Jul 6, 2006 - 6 comments

Stem Cells in nature

Nature has a somewhat technical but free supplement on stem cells (alongwith a podcast and related blog).
posted by Gyan on Jul 2, 2006 - 6 comments

Hemispherectomy

Living with half a brain - hemispherectomy, probably the most radical procedure in neurosurgery
posted by Gyan on Jun 29, 2006 - 50 comments

The Final Theory

Mark McCutcheon's book is a Top Science Bestseller at Amazon.com (currently #28, ahead of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. The reader reviews are overwhelming five star. In other news, the correct value of PI is 3.125 and the wheel has been reinvented. You may find this simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to physics useful when considering these ideas.
posted by unSane on Jun 28, 2006 - 48 comments

handprint: watercolors & watercolor painting

i began cataloging the colors, and put the color list on the web. over time, the paint catalog turned into a web site.
posted by ijoshua on Jun 27, 2006 - 7 comments

Learning can be fun.

Science sites of all kinds for kids. Archeology. Entomology. Natural Symphony. Baseball in Space. Philosophy. Process or Content. Science songs. Physics songs, relativity. String theory. Science and Art.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 26, 2006 - 9 comments

Restoration by Animation.

Fill in the blanks, connect the dots. We've had Star Trek special effects possibly redone, we've had Battlestar Galactica "reimagined". Now the BBC is replacing a couple of lost episodes in a live series Doctor Who DVD with animated versions, to match the soundtracks, which weren't lost. Of course, we've seen some Flash based episodes already.
posted by juiceCake on Jun 23, 2006 - 7 comments

A technological Hero

Leonardo is overrated: the steam turbine was invented two millennia ago by Hero of Alexandria who developed the aeolipile as a toy. Hero was also responsible for the first vending machine (for holy water) and hydraulic automatic temple doors, along with advances in areas as diverse as physics and mathematics. A translation of Hero's influential Pneumatics is available online, featuring illustrated examples of many of his inventions, many of which are related to clever devices for drinking or prayer, or both.
posted by blahblahblah on Jun 20, 2006 - 18 comments

Bye Bye Biosphere

In middle school during the late 80s, the biosphere was the coolness, but it's since fallen on hard times, and will now make way to the unending housing developments between Phoenix and Tucson (top story). Viva la science!
posted by bjork24 on Jun 19, 2006 - 22 comments

Experimental dog brain plays Quake 3 - Edit: Oh, wait...

I for one welcome our new dog brain in-a-dish Quake playing overlords... oh wait...nevermind
posted by daHIFI on Jun 19, 2006 - 19 comments

GATTACA

The Promise and Perils of Synthetic Biology
posted by Gyan on Jun 16, 2006 - 14 comments

The great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition

The return of astronauts to the moon by 2020? Yeah! Hurricane predictions, long-term monitoring of weather and climate change? Not so much. (related here and here)
posted by Smedleyman on Jun 15, 2006 - 78 comments

3,000 free online (science-y) books

From the U.S. National Academies Press: 3,000 Science, Technology, Medical, and Social Science Books Available Free, Online. The interface is clunky - you can only see one page at a time, can't download PDFs (except paid) and image view is via TIFF - but! the content is all there, and free. Some is quite technical, but much is readily accessible. Some idea of the breadth: A Doctor's Memoirs of Treating AIDS in Haiti, The "Drama of the Commons", The 1872 Research Voyage of HMS Challenger, Biography of Stephen Hawking, Biotechnology Research in the Age of Terrorism, Risk Reduction Strategies for Human Exploration of Space, Forensic Lead Bullet Analysis, 50 Short Essays on How Mathematicians Think, Recent Research on Non-Lethal Weapons, and Introduction to Tough Topics in Contemporary Science. Also, see their rather spiffy site on the cosmos.
posted by Rumple on Jun 12, 2006 - 13 comments

xkcd

xkcd: A sketchpad webcomic about love, science and love and science. Plus some other treats.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party on Jun 8, 2006 - 24 comments

Art of Science

Art of Science 2006 'images, videos and sounds—produced in the course of research or incorporating tools and concepts from science.' Previously on MeFi.
posted by dhruva on Jun 5, 2006 - 4 comments

Forever Pregnant II: Morality Boogaloo

The new lies about women's health (image slightly NSFW) according to Glamour. More on why every egg is sacred to the Bush administration. [via Wired's Sex Drive Daily]
posted by boost ventilator on Jun 3, 2006 - 90 comments

Nanogoose

On the heels of microscopic jewelry rides golden buckyballs (full text).
posted by Mr. Six on Jun 1, 2006 - 11 comments

I love the smell of alkali metals in the morning...

The dog's nuts of the periodic table.
posted by ozomatli on May 30, 2006 - 41 comments

Thomas Henry Huxley and Matthew Arnold on Classics

In 1875, Josiah Mason gave a gift to establish a college which was called the Mason Science College (now a part of the University of Birmingham). Within the terms of the gift to the institutuion, one of the stipulations was that classics not be taught. Of course at such an institution, the Founder Day's address was logically given by Thomas Henry Huxley on the place of Science in Education. Huxley preached the virtues of science and derisively dismissed all value in studying classics, and he wondered whether any rational person would choose to study classics over science. His conclusion was that the only people who would choose a study of classics are those like "that Levite of culture" Matthew Arnold. Arnold took the opportunity to respond to his friend. In his reply, Arnold acknowledged that nobody would expect him to engage Huxley in a debate about science, and though he wouldn't presume to take on Huxley in such a debate, he did want to mention something that struck him as he thumbed through a book of Huxley's friend. Arnold noted that he was struck by the idea that "our ancestor was a hairy quadruped furnished with a tail and pointed ears, probably arboreal in his habits." Arnold acknowledged that he isn't a scientist and therefore doesn't dispute such a claim, but he did want to point out that even if that were true, with regards to this good fellow, there must have been a necessity in him that inclined him to Greek. And would always incline him to Greek. After all, we got there, didn't we?
posted by dios on May 26, 2006 - 27 comments

Physics is "phun"! (And "krazy")

Is this guy an awesome teacher or just crazy? Or maybe it goes hand in hand. Think back to the days of high school and college science classes. For most people, it probably wasn't chalkboards full of endless physics equations that got them interested in the sciences, but rather the crazy, cooky and awe-inspiring professors who do dramatic and unique demonstrations to get students interested. What makes a good teacher or professor? Is this teacher really reckless or is it a legit demonstration that benefits students?
posted by RockBandit on May 25, 2006 - 65 comments

Men will be men

Sexual ornaments grow out of all proportion It seems that men will be men throughout the animal kindom, not just our little lonely corner of of it. Most body parts grow proportionally with the rest of the body as individuals of a species become larger, although scientists have long known that visual cues of reproductive prowess are a special case. But is this the case with everyone?
posted by pezdacanuck on May 23, 2006 - 41 comments

Let's just take one more...

How many group photographs do you have to take to get one in which nobody is blinking? Nic Svenson and Dr Piers Barnes work it out.
posted by d-no on May 22, 2006 - 9 comments

Kicking a dead horse with mammalian feet evolved from ancient mammal-like reptiles that, in turn, evolved from fish.

Evolution just won't go away. New evidence suggests the development of the human embryo mirrors our species' course of evolution. This guy seems to be stirring up all kinds of trouble these days. It makes me wonder: does this new information help determine the quality of being human? From the link: "Another supposed vagary produced by the abortion issue is the question as to when the embryo or fetus becomes human. Rivers Singleton, Jr. states in his article in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, that, for some, conception defines the point of being human, whereas, for others, various periods of development suffice to 'distinguish human from non-humans.'"
posted by narwhal on May 19, 2006 - 41 comments

Humans:1 Genome:0

The final chromosome in the human genome has been sequenced. The Human Genome Project has completed sequencing Chromosome 1 and has published its work in Nature here. If you're impatient, here's a sneak preview..
posted by BlackLeotardFront on May 17, 2006 - 32 comments

Burying Freud

Burying Freud. A collection of essays and responses by and about Freud's harshest critics, including "Confessions of a Freud-Basher" by anti-Freud point man Frederick Crews, interviewed at length here.
posted by mediareport on May 15, 2006 - 32 comments

Odd but fun short films...

The odd films of Neural Surfer. I've yet to watch them all but my fave so far is Little Things that Jiggle: Richard Feynman and Atomic Physics {google vid}, which is part of the Philosophy in less than five minutes (sometimes) series.
posted by dobbs on May 10, 2006 - 10 comments

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