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September 2010

Written By: grant b on September 29, 2010 No Comment

“Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul.” – Papal astronomer Guy Consolmagno, SJ, speaking with Guardian before appearing at the British Science Festival.

Written By: grant b on September 28, 2010 No Comment

The New York Times has perspective on what a “really crappy job” looks like:

Collecting poop is our way of doing invasive research without being invasive. We cannot just collect any sample we see. We need to place the piece of poop into context. For both genetics and hormones we need to know the [...]

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Written By: grant b on September 27, 2010 No Comment

No, I mean this is the link.

Worth reading it is, too.

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Written By: grant b on September 26, 2010 No Comment

I’m a tarot enthusiast. I take the same approach to the cards as do the folks behind this deck – as a good way to create meaningful stories about your life (which is a good way to discover the secrets you keep from yourself). So of course I think the Science Tarot is a [...]

Written By: grant b on September 25, 2010 No Comment

SONG: “The Imperial Worm” [Download] . (To download: double right-click & “Save As”)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on “Warrior Worms Swallow Enemies Whole”, Discovery News, 14 September 10, as used in the post Worms, organize!.

ABSTRACT: You remember Empire of the Ants? Not the one written by H.G. Wells, but [...]

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Written By: grant b on September 23, 2010 No Comment

This hasn’t been a week for lyrics. September’s song will be completely shortly, followed by another penitential cover.

Written By: grant b on September 23, 2010 No Comment

You want a child who’s smart, calm and caring? Science Daily recommends doing it like the Neanderthals:

Three new studies led by Notre Dame Psychology Professor Darcia Narvaez show a relationship between child rearing practices common in foraging hunter-gatherer societies (how we humans have spent about 99 percent of our history) and better mental [...]

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Written By: grant b on September 21, 2010 No Comment

New Scientist is considerably cheerier about another transgenic thing coming out of the sub-continent – a new generation of high-protein potatoes:

Subra Chakraborty and colleagues at India’s Central Potato Research Institute in Shimla created the high-protein “protato” in 2003 by giving potatoes a gene from the grain amaranth, a South American plant [...]

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Written By: grant b on September 20, 2010 No Comment

Wired is feeling… apprehensive… about the latest progress made by the “Indian superbug” gene:

This week, I’m at ICAAC (the annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy), an enormous 12,000-person meeting focused on infectious diseases and the drugs to treat them, and talk of NDM-1 is everywhere.

The news is not good. This [...]

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