Education

Edison’s Christmas Lights: The Spirit of Innovation Shines On

By USA Science & Engineering Festival Founder Larry Bock Edison´s contribution to those wondrous beacons of the holiday season is a poignant one. On a wintry night during the Christmas season of 1880 — just weeks after introducing his revolutionary invention of the first practical incandescent light — Edison, in a bold move to promote…

Reduced heart function with low oxygen

“Drosophila melanogaster – side (aka)” by André Karwath aka Aka – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons –   Researchers at the University of California at San Diego were interested in understanding how exposure to low oxygen concentrations impact heart function. For humans low oxygen delivery to the heart can occur…

Man’s best…empathizer?

If you own a dog you may agree that it seems as if they understand our feelings. While some may call this anthropomorphizing, you know ascribing human emotions to animals, new research may vindicate the feelings of many pet owners. A study recently published in Royal Society Open Science provides evidence to suggest that dogs can mimic the emotional state…

According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, folate (which includes folates from food and folic acid supplements) is important for amino acid metabolism and methylation reactions in the body. Anyone who has had a baby knows that folic acid is an important nutrient to prevent the birth defect spina bifida. Folate and vitamin…

Homo naledi and the Chamber of Secrets ~ Psychology’s Inner Demons ~ Chilesaurus: The One That Went Vegan ~ Neurons Alter DNA All Day, Every Day Popular science fans may recognize some of these colorful titles from the most recent publication of Discover Magazine’s 100 Top Stories of 2015. We at Atheists Talk enjoy a…

While we’re waiting

The Weizmann Wave has been a bit dormant lately for various reasons, including the fact that we have been getting ready to launch our new website (same address, same content, slightly different look). While you eagerly await the new site, here is a quiz we put on Facebook to see if anyone has been following…

The Exotic Physics of an Ordinary Morning

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a talk at TEDxAlbany on how quantum physics manifests in everyday life. I posted the approximate text back then, but TEDx has now put up the video: So, if you’ve been wondering what it sounded like live, well, now you can see…

Polar bears vs Grizzly bears

I read an interesting article in the Alaska Dispatch News which examined interactions between arctic grizzly bears and polar bears. They found that although polar bears are larger, they tend to leave food sources when grizzly bears are around. This may be because polar bears typically spend a lot of time on sea ice without the need to…

Best Science Books 2015: Science Friday

As you all have no doubt noticed over the years, I love highlighting the best science books every year via the various end of year lists that newspapers, web sites, etc. publish. I’ve done it so far in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. And here we are in 2015! As in previous…

Imagine a simple hike in a grassy part of South America.  You hear a rattle and feel a quick stab of pain as fangs sink into your leg.  Toxins in the snake venom travel through your blood vessels and penetrate your skin.  If the snake is a South American rattlesnake, Crotalus terrific duressis, one of those toxins will…