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Archives for January, 2012

On Discovering Biology in a Digital World, Sandra Porter imagines the fallout of HR 3699, a bill that would eliminate the requirement for free public access to NIH-funded research papers. Porter writes, “The reasoning behind this requirement is that taxpayers funded everything about the research except for the final publication, and so they have already…

Endless Questions?

What’s better than an answer to a question? More questions, perhaps? ScienceBloggers have been very quizzical the last few days, beginning with Jason Rosenhouse on EvolutionBlog. After co-authoring Taking Sudoku Seriously with Laura Taalman, Rosenhouse wondered if 17 is really the minimum number of clues needed to solve a Sudoku puzzle. Although no one has…

Science for the Future

On the USA Science and Engineering Festival blog, founder Larry Bock addresses the “declining number of young Americans entering the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).” The Festival expo will take place April 28th and 29th, aiming to “inspire the next generation of science and technology innovators through exciting unforgettable ways.” Bock says…

Four First Glimpses

When the stars align, the results can be nothing short of spectacular. On Starts With a Bang, Ethan Siegel shows us an “Einstein ring” photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope. This celestial halo surrounds a massive red galaxy, and is in fact light from a much more distant galaxy focused by gravity. Ethan explains, “gravity…

Coaxing the Higgs out of Hiding

The Higgs Boson, an elementary particle thought to give mass to all other particles, remains an elusive final piece of the Standard Model of physics. On The Weizmann Wave, Professor Eilam Gross writes “many scientists believe that the Standard Model will stand or fall on the discovery of Higgs boson particles or proof that they…

Too Green to Be True

Renewable energy sources could allow for a prudent decrease in CO2 emissions while still powering a populous, electrified global economy. On The Pump Handle, Mark Pendergrast examines the proverbial canary in the coal mine, Japan. Wary of imported fossil fuels and burned by nuclear disaster, Japan is looking toward solar, geothermal, wind, water, and biomass-powered…

Burning the Midday Oil

Not one to let physical and economic reality get in the way of a good one-liner, Newt Gingrich recently remarked that the United States could “open up enough oil fields in the next year that the price of oil worldwide would collapse.” But as Sharon Astyk reports on Casaubon’s Book, it can take years to…

Fundamentally Too Fast

After announcing in September that they had detected neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light, OPERA researchers immediately set out to replicate their results. On Uncertain Principles, Chad Orzel says they reconfigured the neutrino beam, which originally fired 10,000-nanosecond pulses, “to produce much, much shorter pulses—less than 10ns. And while they’ve only been running…

The Biodiverse and the Dead

On Greg Laden’s Blog, we learn that “a subspecies of ‘Black Rhino’ also known as the ‘browsing rhino’” has gone extinct in Africa, while Northern White Rhinos and Javan Rhinos have likely met the same fate. Dr. Dolittle says the last known Javan rhinoceros in Vietnam was found “with its horn cut off, most likely…