Life Science

Category archives for Life Science

There’s a new medical study of the effects of alcohol consumption that finds a surprising result: Controlling only for age and gender, compared to moderate drinkers, abstainers had a more than 2 times increased mortality risk, heavy drinkers had 70% increased risk, and light drinkers had 23% increased risk. A model controlling for former problem…

1491 by Charles C. Mann

We picked up a used copy of Charles Mann’s pop-archeology book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus a while back. I didn’t read it at the time, because I was a little afraid that it would be rather polemical in what I think of as the Neil Young mode– wildly overstating the awesomeness…

The New York Times today has a story with the provocative title Getting Into Med School Without Hard Sciences, about a program at Mount Sinai that allows students to go to med school without taking the three things most dreaded by pre-meds: physics, organic chemistry, and the MCAT: [I]t came as a total shock to…

Bird Blogging

Looking for something else, I was reminded of some pictures I took a week or two ago. This one came out pretty well: This also reminds me that it’s a really nice day here in Niskayuna, and I shouldn’t be spending it all at the computer. So, enjoy the bird picture, and I’ll post something…

As of 1:45 Monday, 217 people have cast votes in the Laser Smackdown poll. That’s not bad, but it’s currently being handily beaten by the 271 people who have voted for a favorite system of units. The nice thing about using actual poll services for this sort of thing, though, is that I can re-post…

What’s Eating Our House?

A neighbor pointed out to me yesterday that there’s a big hole in our clapboard siding that was made by some sort of bird. This morning, I got a picture of the culprit: I’m not quite certain why the animal kingdom has decided to trash my stuff this year– insane jealousy of Emmy?– but I…

What’s the application? Optical tweezers use focused light beams to trap small particles in the focus of the beam, and drag them around by moving the beam. What problem(s) is it the solution to? 1) “How do we move these tiny little things around without touching them?” 2) “How do we measure the forces exerted…

All Creatures Great and Small…

… are welcome in the DogPhysics Pet Gallery. Even aquatic ones: We’ve currently got seventeen dogs, six cats, two horses, a lizard, and these fish. If you’ve got a pet, of whatever species, and a copy of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, take a picture of the one with the other, and send…

The NSF’s Science and Engineering Indicators report came out not too long ago, and the bulk of it is, as usual, spent on quasi-quantitative measures of scientific productivity– numbers of degrees granted, numbers of patent applications for various countries, etc. I find all of those things pretty deeply flawed, so I tend to skip past…

Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz

I’ve gradually gotten used to the idea that as a semi-pro blogger, I will occasionally be sent review copies of books I’ve never heard of. These are generally physics books, and I have a stack of them sitting next to the bed at the moment, not being read nearly fast enough. It’s only recently that…