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Archives for February, 2010

Double Standards

On Terra Sigillata, Abel Pharmboy reports on “sporadic, worldwide shortages of Arimidex,” a drug officially approved by the FDA for inhibiting hormonal transitions in breast cancer patients. But up to a thousand times more men use this drug than women, as a non-FDA-approved therapy for testosterone deficiency. Pharmboy wonders if men taking Arimidex has resulted…

Coming Back for More

Good things are great, but too much of a good thing can be bad. Especially when you can’t get enough. On The Frontal Cortex, Jonah Lehrer introduces us to ChatRoulette, a website that allows you to get “rejected, propositioned and yelled at” by other live strangers with webcams. With a single click, users can dump…

Chromosomes, X and Y

On Neurotopia, Scicurious offers a refresher course on mitosis. This vital process occurs every time a cell divides, as centrosomes pull apart replicated chromosomes with microtubules. Normal cell mechanics limit this “molecular tug of war” to about 50 iterations, meaning we can’t keep splitting chromosomes forever. But we can use meiosis make some babies. On…

Egg-laying and Circadian Clocks

On A Blog Around The Clock, Bora Zivkovic shares a newly published paper which he co-authored with researchers inspired by his blog. Their team recorded the egg-laying cycle of birds in the wild, where clutch sizes must answer to nature and not the hungry stewardship of a poultry farmer. They discovered that Eastern Bluebirds lay…

A Booster Shot of Science

Vaccines have guarded health and life for centuries, relegating once devastating diseases to near total obscurity. But many people now take vaccines for granted, and some blame vaccines for autism and other disorders. On Respectful Insolence, Orac reports the downfall of 1998 research which first tied MMR vaccines to the occurrence of autism in children.…

Celebrating Henrietta Lacks

On February 2, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by ScienceBlogger Rebecca Skloot was officially published. If you haven’t heard, everyone who has read this book has wonderful things to say. Dr. Isis on On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess declares it “the single best piece of non-fiction I have ever read. It is…

Epochs Underfoot

Fossils offer a rare glimpse into the past, as lifeforms we could scarcely imagine are preserved long after their day in the sun. But fossilization requires very specific conditions, and few things that die are turned to stone. On Living the Scientific Life, GrrlScientist presents Haplocheirus, a theropod with “three toes, a birdlike keel-shaped chest…

Sirius History & the Future of NASA

On Starts With A Bang, Ethan Siegel presents us with an interstellar mystery. As the single brightest star in the sky, Sirius has been well-known since ancient times. But while Sirius is unmistakably blue, several historical records describe Sirius as red. Two thousand years is not enough time for a normal star to change color,…