Archives for January 7, 2008

Whooping Crane record broken in Texas

Texas is the winter home of the only self-sustaining wild population of Whooping Cranes Grus americana in the world and this winter record numbers have completed their migration and returned to the southern state. Whooping Cranes have been on the endangered species list since 1970, when only 56 birds survived in the wild in the…

A Stanford scientist has spelled out for the first time the direct links between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increases in human mortality, using a state-of-the-art computer model of the atmosphere that incorporates scores of physical and chemical environmental processes….

Lamarckian Mechanism in Ciliates

A group of scientists … has uncovered a new biological mechanism that could provide a clearer window into a cell’s inner workings…..What’s more, this mechanism could represent an “epigenetic” pathway — a route that bypasses an organism’s normal DNA genetic program — for so-called Lamarckian evolution, enabling an organism to pass on to its offspring…

Scientists Reinvent The Plant

Carbon is cycled from gas (C02) to solid (plant tissue) and and back (through fire, digestion, fermentation, etc.) again and again. Some of that carbon is trapped over long periods in the form of “fossil fuels.” The earth has, in a sense, grown accustom to having a huge chunk of the available carbon stored away…

Accepting the 2007 TED Prize, Bill Clinton says he’s trying to build a better world to hand his daughter. Unequal, unstable, and unsustainable, our world must correct its course, and private citizens (“like me”) can be powerful forces for change. His Clinton Global Initiative, fresh from success negotiating down pharmaceutical prices in the developing world,…

Twin Cities Science Events

At the Bell Museum of Natural History Cafe Scientifique: Looking at Lichens Tuesday, January 8, 2008; 6 p.m. Kitty Cat Klub, Dinkytown We’ve all seen lichens growing on rocks, trees, or buildings. Yet their unusual and complex structure often goes unnoticed. Though they appear to be a single entity, lichens are actually complex and versatile…

Open Source Hardware

The com units are broken, the transporter can’t penetrate the ion clouds, and the Klingon have you surrounded. You turn to Scotty and say, “Scotty, if you were any kind of engineer, you’d whip us up a Klingon Repellent device using this tricorder and these useless communicators.” “I cannae mind what I was thinkin’, Captain!…

Robot Update

High school robotics competition kicks off Some 35,000 high school students from over 1500 high schools in eight countries today began competing in the annual US FIRST student robotics contest. This year’s competition, dubbed “FIRST Overdrive,” challenges the student teams to build semi-autonomous robots that will move 40-inch diameter inflatable balls around a playing field…

Science News Tidbits

Bald Eagles; Parrot Fever; Polar Bears; Avian Flu; Mummified Dino

Blogospherics – Recommended reads

Why the Biological Fiction of Race Persists at Framing Science If race is a biological fiction, what are the reasons for persistent belief in this social myth? My colleague Tim Caulfield, Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta, points to research that shows genetic differences can more accurately be called “genographic…