Archives for December, 2012

Thanks to this, we now have this: Five female health workers vaccinating children against polio have been shot dead in Pakistan in a series of attacks blamed on Islamist militants. One victim was a 17-year-old schoolgirl volunteer. … … Pakistan, where there has been a severe backlash against immunisation for polio and other diseases since…

BWAHAHAHAHA GMO virus to replace pacemakers

Im seriously, you guys. ANY MEDICAL CONDITION YOU CAN THINK OF: There is a scientist, somewhere, trying to use viruses to treat/cure that condition. The latest: Direct conversion of quiescent cardiomyocytes to pacemaker cells by expression of Tbx18 Lots of people, either through age or genetic defect, need pacemakers. Pacemakers, while functional, come with a…

OKC Atheists on CBS Sunday Morning News

We were all so excited for this opportunity, but it wasnt supposed to be like this. It wasnt supposed to be a piece on atheists, sandwiched between images of people mourning over slaughtered children and school officials. But thats what it is. And its fine– CBS didnt do a hack piece on us or anything……

Have a dog? Want to help science?

Record yourself playing with your puppies for 30-60 seconds and upload the vid to the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab website! Dog-dog play has been, relatively, well studied. The signs/signals/noises pups play, the repercussions for not playing by the rules, the benefits of play to an adult pup, its a very interesting fusion of evolution and…

CERVs! Crocodile ERVs (not chimpanzee!)

Uh oh. VIRAL NOMENCLATURE WAR!!! CERV vs CERV!!! Chimpanzee vs Crocodile!!! Its gonna be a THROWDOWN!!! … Or we can just read a neat open-access article about ERVs in crocodiles Strong purifying selection in endogenous retroviruses in the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in the Northern Territory of Australia Specifically, Crocodylus porosu, saltwater crocodiles, one of…

A lot of folks have been forwarding me this story from the New York Times–  In Girl’s Last Hope, Altered Immune Cells Beat Leukemia It is a FANTASTIC story about a little girl who had been sick from leukemia for two years, wasnt responding to conventional therapies, and her parents chose to try alternative medicine. …

Saturday Shillery: Oklahoma!

I love Oklahoma– Great school, great cost of living, genuinely nice folks, and believe it or not, a fantastic atheist/skeptic scene. You all know about FreeOK (one and my talk isnt up yet from two… SEEEETH!), organized by Atheist Community of Tulsa and the OKC Atheists.  Those groups are amazing, outside of the conference.  Ive…

Wrangling bad pop-science journalism

We all are familiar with the headlines: “SCIENTISTS SAY BROCCOLI CURES CANCER????” We all also know that pop-science articles are, functionally, useless.  Sometimes its editors manipulating article titles to make them more ‘catchy’, sometimes journalists trying to stir up controversy, sometimes its scientists and PR departments trying to oversell interesting (sometimes not so interesting) research.…

*sigh* Two years ago, this time, I was packing my bags for Antarctica. *sigh* As much as I would like to go back, I could never afford it… so I need to figure out how to get on one of these research teams working in Antarctica. See, abiogenesis, life on other planets– that is not…