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Archives for December, 2008

When doctors opened the skull of a 3-day old from Colorado Springs to remove what they thought was a brain tumor, they were surprised to find a collection of organized body parts—including two small feet, a partial hand and intestines. “This was the most well-organized ‘tumor’ I’ve ever heard of,” said ScienceBlogger PZ Myers, who…

The Buzz: Coffee as Fuel

Coffee grounds may be able to provide energy beyond the caffeine buzz most drinkers seek, according to a study appearing this week in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The study’s authors claim that the oil contained in grounds, when extracted, could produce as much as 340 million gallons of biodiesel per year. ScienceBlogger…

The Buzz: Prosthetic Limbs Feel Real

Getting prosthetic body parts to feel real to an amputee typically requires invasive surgery. But now, using an illusion similar to the body swap illusion, Swedish researchers have demonstrated a noninvasive way to allow hand amputees to experience rubber prosthetic hands as part of their own bodies. The sooner the technique is applied after amputation,…

The Buzz: Flu Season Raises Concerns

As the time of the year approaches when influenza virus is most rampantly transmitted, ScienceBloggers are assesing current influenza vaccination practices and questioning how shortcomings in them could play out in a pandemic situation, which experts predict could arise in the near future. To help prevent contracting the flu this season, ScienceBogger PalMd advises frequent…

Notable ScienceBlogs posts will now be featured daily in the Science Times section of The New York Times Online, directly below the top 10 most popular science items in the Times. Likewise, this link exchange will provide visitors to the ScienceBlogs home page one-click access to recent Science Times articles, further extending the largest conversation…

What should humanity anticipate from WWIII? To find out, check out the Invitrogen-sponsored ScienceBlog, What’s New in Life Science Research. This week our group of experts and seasoned ScienceBloggers will explore the way biological warfare is developing in our modern world as new technologies emerge—and what we should do to defend ourselves.

A group of psychologists, ethicists and neuroscientists have added their voices to the growing debate over the merits and demerits of brain droping, the use of cognitive enhancement drugs like Adderall or Ritalin to improve mental performance. Their commentary, published online Sunday in Nature, argues that any adult in full mental health should be able…

The Buzz: Reward and Punishment

Give the dog a bone—or else he might not be willing to sit and shake for one again. Researchers have observed that when a dog sees another dog getting a treat for a similar task but does not receive one itself, he is less likely to cooperate in the future. This suggests that animals may…

Former US President Jimmy Carter reported Friday that his foundation has documented a drastic decline in cases of Guinea worm disease, a repulsive illness caused by an infection of the parasitic nematode Dracunculus medinensis. The worms feed off nutrients in the body and then emerge through the skin, usually the foot. If this pattern of…

The subject of one of the most famous case studies in cognitive psychology died Tuesday of heart failure. Referenced by the initials “H.M.,” Henry Molaison was known for losing his episodic memory as the result of an operation during which neurosurgeons removed parts of his medial and temporal lobes in attempt to curb his epilepsy.…