September 2012 Archives

Are Science Journalists Rooting for Obama?

At its finest, science journalism is about reporting the latest, greatest discoveries from the best minds in the world and making those findings accessible to everyday people. It is also about debate, as scientists often disagree, sometimes bitterly, over how...

Live Chat: Gender Bias Against Female Scientists?

Via ScienceLive:Science is supposed to be a merit-based, bias-free profession--but research suggests that female scientists are hired less frequently and earn less pay and prestige than their male colleagues. Earlier this month, researchers at Yale University...

Why Your Favorite Food Doesn't Taste Good

Think of your favorite food. Maybe it's pizza, maybe it's pasta. Perhaps it's ice cream or enchiladas.Now imagine that your favorite food is right in front of you. Its tantalizing aroma wafts to your nostrils, making your mouth water in anticipation of...

The World's Coolest Robots

As man-hunting cyborgs, liquid metal police officers, or fussy nags, movie robots run with the humans, when not chasing after them. The real-life robots that we are used to seeing, though, are clunky, limited, and sometimes downright embarrassing (action...

For Team Sports Success, Turn Athletes into Teddy Bears?

Team sports are so fabulously entertaining to watch partly because pure physical ability doesn't solely determine the outcome. A highly skilled, superior team playing without teamwork can easily be defeated by a lesser skilled, inferior team playing with...

To Be Fit and Healthy, Live Like Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was a man of many talents: scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, sage, musician, postmaster, founding father, and fitness guru.That's right, a fitness guru.Wiser than Dr. Oz, less annoying than Richard Simmons, and long-lived like Jack...

In Defense of Hypocrisy

If you were asked about a moral issue, say prostitution or illegal immigration, and were then asked about it again a few moments later, would you hold the same belief? You might think so, but new research from Sweden shows there's not only a good chance that...

Live Chat: Does Calorie Restriction Really Extend Life?

Via ScienceLive:Last month, researchers reported that cutting calories didn't extend life in primates--but 3 years earlier, another study seemed to show the opposite. The findings underscore confusion about how calorie restriction affects the body and whether...

Modern Day Alchemists Routinely Make Gold

Sometime in the 1370's, French scrivener Nicolas Flamel purchased a strange 21-page book penned in a language unbeknownst to him. The minute, yet mystifying tome utterly engrossed Flamel, who promptly decided to dedicate his life to unraveling its secrets....

Has 'Big Science' Pushed Aside the Little Guy?

Are we now living in an era where big, important scientific discoveries are predominantly made by enormous far-flung teams of researchers? This is the conclusion of Professor Athene Donald, a physicist at Cambridge.It is true that the experimental...

Move over, Higgs. Is Laminin a Genuine 'God Molecule?'

Last week, as I was casually perusing YouTube for purposes of procrastination, I stumbled across an attention-grabbing headline: "Science Finds God Inside Of Us." Instantly intrigued, I gave the video a click.My laptop screen was quickly adorned with the...

A Mysterious, Misunderstood Method for Stress Relief

According to research conducted by the animated and intelligent British psychologist Dr. Richard Wiseman, people are living more fast-paced and stressful lives than ever before. One would not be hard-pressed to find others who agree with that assertion...Just...

Live Chat: New Treasures in the Genome

Via Science Magazine:The sequencing of the human genome drove home the discovery that genes were just a small part of our total DNA-- what made up much of the rest remained a big mystery. Now, a massive international project has begun to solve this mystery...

The Most Inspirational Science Videos

The pursuit of science can be a painstaking endeavor. Hard realities -- also known as "The Laws of Nature" -- exist, and frequently stymie our wistful hopes of advancement. In this quest, one of the only certitudes is that what we don't know will always dwarf...

Invisibility Cloaks: The Future Is Now!

According to Star Trek, humanity first encountered "cloaking devices" in 1986, but did not understand what they were until 2152. Of course, many of us muggles may have been befuddled by wizards wearing "invisibility cloaks" long before this.How would an...

Bacteria Have Immune Systems, Too

Human immunity, specifically the adaptive immune response, is based on recognizing and remembering molecules which pose a threat. After fighting off the initial assault, the body "remembers" the pernicious molecule via the long-lived memory T- and B-cells....

Live Chat: Sports-Related Head Injuries

Hard knocks to the head are unfortunate staples of contact sports like football and hockey, and mounting research shows that repeated head injuries can lead to early-onset dementia and other terrible neurological conditions. What, if anything, can be done to...

I Slept in Physics Class... But I Wasn't Missing Anything

I'd like to say that it was always unintentional. That I painstakingly struggled to keep my eyelids from closing, my head from drooping, and my consciousness from waning. But no, more often than not, I embraced it.The lecture hall had stadium seating. Steep...