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Archives for September, 2009

Ligers are known in popular culture for being pretty much Napoleon Dynamite’s favorite animal, but a lesser known fact is that the lion-tiger hybrids are actually the largest of the big cats, more massive than either parent due to a quirk of genetics. As Razib explains on Gene Expression, parental imprinting is responsible for the…

The Buzz: Our Watery Moon

Last June, scientists were thrilled to find evidence of ice on Mars. Now, the galaxy is again proving to be more abundant in water than believed. Data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument aboard the Indian satellite Chandrayaan-1 has revealed that the surface of the Moon may be covered in either water or closely related…

The Buzz: Eruptive Media

This week, Eruptions’ Erik Klemetti sparked interest in the recent rumblings heard coming from Mt. Rainier in Washington State when he responded to a reader’s comment on increased seismic activity in the area over the past month. Klemetti’s response post, which reported on concrete facts surrounding the geologic events and featured a detailed graph of…

Should science writers and communicators drop the “technical jargon” in order to popularize science for the masses? What can major players in science culture do to maximize science’s “cool factor,” communicating important issues to the public at large? These questions were posed by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum in Unscientific America, released earlier this year,…

Most Americans are familiar with Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, but less well known is his personal struggle with the conflicting ideologies of science and religion. A new film from producer Jeremy Thomas, Creation, aims to tell the story of Darwin’s life through the cinematic lens—but Americans who would pay the box office…

Spotlight on Paleontology

Dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures are one of the first things that capture kids’ interest in science, but the fascination doesn’t end with childhood. Paleontology takes the spotlight on ScienceBlogs this week, where bloggers are highlighting its presence in the media and current events, the arts, and education. On Laelaps, Brian Switek responds to a…

(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Humans have voracious appetites–for food and drink, stability and comfort, emotional fulfillment. How we satisfy those appetites is the subject of several posts on ScienceBlogs this week. On Neurotopia, Scicurious discusses an fMRI study that looks at how certain brain regions are activated when we think about our favorite foods when we are hungry versus…

The Buzz: Beauty and the Dismal Science

Can the elegant models of mathematics and physics be applied to something so intrinsically complicated as the economic behavior of individuals? When economist Paul Krugman argued in The New York Times Magazine last week that the failure of economists to predict the current economic crisis was due to their reliance on beautiful but flawed models…

Darwin’s On the Origin of Species is the book that introduced the theory of evolution by natural selection and launched the field of evolutionary biology. But the text itself evolved, too, from the first edition published in 1859 to the sixth in 1872. Chapters were shortened and lengthened, words added and deleted—though, more were put…

The Buzz: Is Nuclear Power the Answer?

This weekend, ScienceBloggers discussed the virtues and downfalls of a world run on modern nuclear power. Benjamin Cohen sparked the dialogue on The World’s Fair with an interview with author and environmentalist Rebecca Solnit, famous for her opposition to nuclear power. Within just a few hours, Built on Fact’s Matt Springer responded, categorically arguing against…