Science Saturday - this is a wet one!

 Watery Wonders

An ocean-going roly poly? A giant seafaring pill bug? Check it out here. And don't miss the little video!
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How does the Deepwater oil spill rank among other famous oil spill disasters?  Get some perspective here. Also, for more discussion of the potential impacts of this environmental emergency look here and for solution options: here.

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Seen from space! Check out the world's largest known beaver dam. And don't miss the video! Beavers are remarkable.
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Understanding Bioluminescence


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Washing Your Hands of the Matter

New research suggests that when Pontius Pilate washed his hands after condemning Christ to death, he probably did feel better about his decision. 
"A study finds that people making a tough decision may find some solace in washing their hands. Writing this week in the journal Science, researchers report that having test subjects wash their hands after making a difficult decision could reduce 'cognitive dissonance,' the uneasiness that comes from holding two opposing ideas in your mind at the same time."
 I found this interview with the author of the study fascinating. I hope you will too.
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Parasites to the Rescue!

Over the last several decades we've come to understand the importance of cleanliness to good health. Unfortunately we humans can never seem to resist getting too much of a good thing. We've made many advances, but are only beginning to understand the effects of too much sanitation, anti-biotic resistant bacteria are a well-known example. Growing up, I was taught to dread worms - you know, the kind that can live in your body, like pinworms or tapeworms. And in fact certain kinds of human parasitic worms are known to cause some health problems, which is why we've gone out of our way, and been fairly successful in eradicating them from the population. And unexpected effect, however, has been, of all things, a rise in allergies. The instances of allergies rises as worm infestations decline. Some, upon hearing of this correlation, have gone so far as to intentionally infect themselves with hookworm in order to cure themselves of asthma. For reasons that are probably obvious, the health industry at this point in history is loathe to re-infest the population with parasites. Instead, they are making great strides toward understanding the mechanisms by which these wee beasties suppress allergic responses in their hosts. The future looks promising. Check out the story here.

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Nature vs. Nuture taken to the Cellular Level

Down to the level of stem cells environment, not just genetics, appear to play a determinative role. Check out what new research is teaching us about the nature of various types of stem cells and what causes them to differentiate. 

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Fainting just might save your life!

Comments

I love those goats! They're so cute. I saw them on some Animal Planet show ages ago. What a hoot!
Simple Mann said…
Ha - saw my native Fort Worth "Stockyard Station" sign in the background at the beginning of the goat video. Cool. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something about those goats remind me of the more extreme "charismatic" types (like would be found at a Benny Hinn or Todd Bentley rally). Curiously, I don't think I have ever heard of any fainting sheep...

:)

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