Pure Pedantry

Archives for October, 2006

Ethical Stem Cells Redux

In August, there was a big press tizzy about so-called ethical stem cells. In the paper, a group headed by Robert Lanza working at a company called Advanced Cell Technology claimed that they could take a single cell from a human morula and create a embryonic stem cell line from that cell. Admittedly, this was…

The Synapse is Up

Synapse #10 is Halloween-themed and posted at the Neurocritic. Spooky. I love it. The next Synapse is on November 12 to be hosted on Developing Intelligence. Submission info here.

Check out this YouTube of bullets explodying things (is that even a word?) in slow motion!!!

A Road Trip for Lucy?

The famous skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis nicknamed Lucy is going on a field trip: After 4 years of an on-again, off-again courtship, Ethiopian officials have promised the hand–and partial skeleton–of the famous fossil Lucy to museum officials in Houston, Texas. The 3.1 million-year-old early human ancestor has been engaged to make her first public…

Keeping in my continuing theme of interspersing a little humanities with my sciences — I never was a kid who needed their food separated — here is your poem of the week, Langston Hughes’ Theme for English B. A little note on why: you can’t live in New York and not feel entangled with others…

Reminder: Submit to the Synapse

I’m a space cadet, but remember to submit to the Synapse today for tomorrow’s issue. It is being hosted at the Neurocritic (All glory to the Hypnotoad!!!…Check the link…you will understand). Submission details here.

I have argued repeatedly that I don’t think biological differences between men and women are sufficient to explain their different in representation in math and science (here, here, and here). Mixing Memory has a very thorough post arguing for the other side of the coin — how stereotypes can affect negatively affect performance. Definitely read…

I don’t really have time to post stuff today, but this post by Chad at Uncertain Principles is really good. It relates the failure to fully disprove Einstein’s idea of Local Hidden Variables (read it and he will explain) to Richard Dawkins failure to fully address ontological arguments for the existence of God: The point…

I hadn’t actually known this, but the creator of the Dilbert cartoons, Scott Adams, was diagnosed about two years ago with a rare disease called spasmodic dysphonia. Apparently he just recovered — in spite of overwhelming odds against that happening. First a bit about spasmodic dysphonia. Spasmodic dysphonia is a movement disorder involving the muscles…

Virtual colonoscopy is more comfortable. Just thought you should know: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researchers have found that “virtual” colonoscopy using a computer tomography (CT) scanner is considerably more expensive than the traditional procedure due to the detection of suspicious images outside of the colon. “Virtual colonoscopy will certainly play a role in…