Archives for February, 2008

Progeria researchers, anyone?

I received a very nice email from a high school student looking for a mentor for a research project on progeria: Currently, I’m in a science research program at school where we choose a topic of interest and study it for a period of three years, as well as design an experiment and carry it…

In more news of the weird…

I write about zoonoses (diseases transmitted between animals and humans) quite a bit here, but I don’t think I’ve ever written about animal-human sex. Here at Scienceblogs, though, you never know what you’ll find, and colleague Darren Naish has a post about, well, traumatic anal intercourse with a pig. And it comes from the peer-reviewed…

I’ve written previously how people will do crazy things for aesthetics. I know some would consider any tattoo in this category; I can’t since I have a few myself. However, I’d never heard of a 3D tattoo before. I don’t mean just the art appears to make the tattoo stand out and look 3-dimensional; I…

Last fall I wrote about the bizarre case of University of Pittsburgh geneticist Robert Ferrell. Dr. Ferrell, you may recall, had been prosecuted for sharing generally-harmless strains of bacteria with a colleague, SUNY-Buffalo art professor Steven Kurtz. Dr. Kurtz then used the bacterial cultures in an art display, which drew the attention of authorities following…

Four cases of measles have now been confirmed at a San Diego charter school–the first reported outbreak of measles in school-age kids in that city in 17 years. Unsurprising twist: None of the children, including the one most recently reported with the disease, has been vaccinated. New Scienceblogger Drugmonkey already hits the high (or low,…

Orgasmic reading

Well, it sure is Monday. 2 grant decisions back, no money. In the meantime, I’m up to my ears in bacteria samples, so I’ll send you over to the LA Times, where they have an entertaining pair of stories: The Science of the Orgasm, and Call him Doctor “Orgasmatron:” He was in the operating room…

Yellow fever: the American plague

The fever hit suddenly in the form of a piercing headache and painful sensitivity to light, like looking into a white sun. At that point, the patient could still hope that it was not yellow fever, maybe just a headache from the heat. But the pain worsened, crippling movement and burning the skin. The fever…

It’s not certain there will be a decision immediately, though: From the Iowa State Daily: The Iowa Board of Regents will meet Thursday to discuss the tenure denial appeal of Guillermo Gonzalez, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State, at its regional meeting on the ISU campus. The meeting is at 8:30 a.m.,…

Loss of a giant: Joshua Lederberg

Joshua Lederberg passed away on Saturday. Joshua Lederberg, Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist who shaped the field of bacterial genetics, and served as chair of The Scientist’s advisory board since 1986, died on Saturday (February 2). He was 82. Lederberg shared a Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine in 1958 for the discovery that certain strains…

Religion vs. public health redux

I mentioned previously a clash between religion and public health, where a Liberian immigrant was jailed for importing bushmeat. She argued that infringing upon her religious freedom in this manner was unconstitutional; authorities argued that she couldn’t put others at risk because of her religious beliefs. Another clash where religious beliefs are at odds with…