Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's Saturday - and boy do I have a load of science stories for you this week!

 "The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers."
Psalm 24:1-2


The uncertain future of the world's ugliest fish
"Can't the blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) get some love? This ugly, gelatinous, inedible fish now risks extinction thanks to humans..."
Read more here.

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They're calling this giant salamander a living fossil
"This is a dinosaur, this is amazing....We're talking about salamanders that usually fit in the palm of your hand. This one will chop your hand off."
Find the story and really slimy video here.

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Faster and Faster

"'...one of the most universal changes is that as humans age, they change the way they feel about time. As people get older, they just have this sense, this feeling that time is going faster than they are,' says Warren Meck, a psychology professor at Duke University."
Why does time seem to travel faster the older we get?  Well, here's the theory of a neuroscientist.  It's sweet, really, though it doesn't account for a lot of things and I'm not sure I buy it.  But, it is interesting, and it is sweet. See the story, hear the radio interview, and watch some video here.

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Singing the blues...or are they?

"Blue whales have changed their songs. It's the same old tune, but the pitch of the blues is mysteriously lower -- especially off the coast of California where, local researchers say, the whales' voices have dropped by more than half an octave since the 1960s."
What does all this mean? Find out science's best guess here.

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File this under "It Can't Hurt"

A new possible benefit of fish oil: 
"Taking a daily fish oil capsule can stave off mental illness in those at highest risk, trial findings suggest."
Find the rest of the story here.

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Hela cells - the amazing and complicated story of the "immortal" cells of Henrietta Lacks: 
"In 1951, an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer. She was treated at Johns Hopkins University, where a doctor named George Gey snipped cells from her cervix without telling her. Gey discovered that Lacks' cells could not only be kept alive, but would also grow indefinitely...."
This story is compelling on a number of levels.  Find an interview with the author, and an excerpt from the book here.

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The study which sparked an anti-vaccination panic has been officially discredited

Lancet relents, retracting the study it published a decade ago which fueled worldwide concern over MMR vaccines.  More here.

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Study confirms what many have long suspected about patients in "vegetative" states:

A new study found that some of its subjects, patients diagnosed with vegetative states, were able to communicate using their thoughts.
"Scientists have been able to reach into the mind of a brain-damaged man and communicate with his thoughts.The research, carried out in the UK and Belgium, involved a new brain scanning method. Awareness was detected in three other patients previously diagnosed as being in a vegetative state."
Read the rest of the story, and view related video here.

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2 comments:

Karin said...

Not quite done reading all your science links! Thanks so much for all the work to put this together. I enjoy your blog! That fish - I was sure I saw a grumpy fella like that that other day at the shopping mall, lol!!

Laurie M. said...

Absurdly humanistic isn't it. Glad you're enjoying my nerdy goodies.