Education

By USA Science & Engineering Festival Nifty Fifty and X-STEM Speaker Dr. Jeff Goldstein Note: The launch of the CRS-5 is set for 6:20 am ET, January 6, on SpaceX-5 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, adjacent to Kennedy Space Center, Florida. I thought it would be important to put up a blog post on the…

A new species of frog (Limnonectes larvaepartus) has been discovered in the rain forest of Sulawesi island in Indonesia. This species challenges the grade-school wisdom that taught us: ‘frogs lay eggs’. It looks like textbooks will need to be revised as this is the only known exception to that rule. Study author Dr. Jimmy McGuire (University…

Research has suggested that llamas may pack a powerful punch against HIV. This is because they not only have conventional heavy and light chain antibodies like those found in humans, they also have heavy chain-only antibodies as shown below. These so-called “llama antibodies” are smaller than the conventional antibodies found in humans. This helps the…

Sometimes when you go digging through the databases, you find unexpected things. When I was researching the previous posts on insulin structure and insulin evolution, I found something curious indeed.                     I wanted to find out how many different organisms made insulin, so I used a database…

On pinene and inhibiting enzymes. People of a certain age may remember a series of really funny commercials featuring Euell Gibbons and his famous question about whether you’ve ever eaten a pine tree.  “Some parts are edible” said Euell. Perhaps some parts are, but other pine tree products aren’t so nourishing.  Crystallography365, aka @Crystal_in_city  had a couple of…

Scientists have now determined the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Aoluguya reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). I wonder if the sequence will hold any more clues as to why Rudolph’s nose is so red and bright. Although according to this prior blog entry perhaps it was the other 8 reindeer who were different… Source: Ju Y, Liu H, Rong M,…

For the penultimate advent calendar of science stories post, we’ll turn to a great experimentalist with a great biography. This story also appears in Eureka: Discovering your Inner Scientist, but it’s too good not to re-use. Chien-Shiung Wu was born in china in 1912, at right around the time education of women was first legalized.…

In my last post, I wrote about insulin and interesting features of the insulin structure.  Some of the things I learned were really surprising.  For example, I was surprised to learn how similar pig and human insulin are.  I hadn’t considered this before, but this made me wonder about the human insulin we used to give…

Spend a Day With Some of the Nation’s Most Exciting Innovators at X-STEM!

As Dean Kamen, inventor of such amazing technologies as the the Segway human transporter and one of the world’s most advanced robotic arm prostheses, often says: “Our nation is enamored with sports and entertainment, but how can we groom kids to become as passionate about innovation?” At the Festival’s fascinating all-day X-STEM Symposium, presented by MedImmune…

Another weekend day, another story I’m going to outsource a bit. In this case, to the original scientist, who at the time of his discovery was a 13-year-old schoolboy in Tanzania: In 1963, when I was in form 3 in Magamba Secondary School, Tanzania, I used to make ice-cream. The boys at the school do…