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Archives for August, 2009

In his regular life, graduate student Matt Springer teaches undergraduates the basics of physics: the mechanics of heat, rotational motion, the relationship between kinetic and potential energy, and more. Matt takes a similarly instructional approach on his blog Built on Facts, walking readers through equations and concepts that might have grown a bit fuzzy since…

A recent paper in Nature Biotechnology reported the first complete human genome to be sequenced using third-generation, single-molecule sequencing technology. The genome sequenced belongs to one Stephen Quake, co-founder of the biotech company Helicos that developed the Heliscope instrument used to perform the analysis. On Genetic Future, ScienceBlogger Dan MacArthur analyzes the paper itself, explaining…

One week ago, physician PalMD of White Coat Underground began to document his day-by-day attempts to reduce his BMI through a combination of diet and exercise. Other ScienceBloggers were quick to jump in: Isis the Scientist, Janet Stemwedel, Bora Zivkovic and BikeMonkey have all offered dietary guidance to PalMD and related their own efforts to…

The Buzz: A Public Health Preview

For many Americans, it is difficult to imagine what going to the doctor would be like under a government-sponsored health care system. But members of the military and their dependents have firsthand experience with such a system under the US Department of Defense TRICARE program. On The Questionable Authority, Mike Dunford describes a recent trip…

The Buzz: Aquatic Apes? Not Likely

Were our human ancestors ocean-dwelling? In a TED talk on Greg Laden’s Blog, writer Elaine Morgan makes the case that human traits like subcutaneous fat, nearly hairless skin, and bipedalism—traits which distinguish us from chimpanzees and other close relatives—evolved during an aquatic stage in human history. ScienceBloggers, however, spare little belief for this Aquatic Ape…

A recent post by Megan McArdle on her Atlantic blog about the heritability of obesity prompted a discussion on ScienceBlogs about the often confused meaning of heritability. As Razib explains on Gene Expression, “Heritability is the proportion of trait variance within the population explainable by variance of genes.” The more an environment is able to…

A rainforest in…Iran? A volcanic eruption…on Venus? This week, ScienceBloggers are bringing our attention to places where nature is defying our expectations. No matter how well we think we know the patterns and forces of the universe, we are constantly surprised: On Gene Expression, Razib takes a look at Iran’s lush Caspian and Hyrcanian forests;…

Here at ScienceBlogs, we’re generally fans of the Discovery Channel. MythBusters is great. Man vs. Wild is thrilling. Planet Earth is, of course, one of the most sublime ways to spend an hour—or if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on the boxed DVD collection, eleven hours. Straight. But we just can’t get behind…

In this week’s episode of Science Saturday, John Horgan and George Johnson address the controversy over last week’s episode, which featured creationist Paul Nelson and science historian Ron Numbers. Also in this week’s episode, John and George take a stab at explaining rising health-case costs, John critiques Chris Mooney’s contention that we need more scientists…

The Buzz: Taking Data Digital

The Internet may have largely replaced many traditional means of storing and sharing information, but as ScienceBloggers are pointing out, it has far to go before its potential is fully realized, particularly in research. On Built on Facts, Matt Springer discusses what it would take to digitize the entire Library of Congress collection—scanning the pages…