Page 3.14

Archives for February, 2012

Counterintuitive, not Inconceivable

On Casaubon’s Book, Sharon Astyk writes “counter-intuitively, demographers generally find that the conditions necessary for people to choose fewer children include radically lower child, infant and maternal mortality. [...] The less certain you are your children will live to adulthood, the more likely you are to have more of them.” This makes reassuring health care…

Celestial Square One

On Dynamics of Cats, Steinn Sigurðsson flags a few foreboding articles on the future of NASA. Sigurðsson says the orbiting telescope Galex, or Galaxy Evolution Explorer, will be shut down later this year despite continuing to function. NASA has withdrawn from the international research mission known as ExoMars, and many other “2011-12 programs appear effectively…

Reassessing Chronic Illness

On The Pump Handle, Liz Borkowski surveys a new report on chronic illness released by the Institute of Medicine. Borkowski writes, “diabetes and heart disease are what leap to my mind—in part because they’re so tied to the lifestyle factors of smoking, inadequate exercise, and poor nutrition, and in part because they cost our health…

A Class of 51

The Fordham Institute recently released their assessment of state science standards with a handy color-coded map—and California was the only state to receive a solid “A,” along with the District of Columbia. On Pharyngula, PZ Myers wonders how his state will ever get into college with a lowly “C.” He writes, “The Institute does a…

Full Speed Ahead?

On We Beasties, Kevin Bonham reports that scientists have genetically enabled E. coli to digest a sugar found in algae. Bonham writes, “Scientists have been picking this bug’s locks for decades, and it’s already been engineered to make not just ethanol, but many other useful products as well.” With the ability to metabolize sugar from…

Fresh Meat, Fresh Data

Posted to the homepage on January 20, 2012 On Aetiology, Tara C. Smith shares the results of her latest study into methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. She and her team “looked at not only conventional meats, but also ‘alternative’ meat products” labeled “raised without antibiotics” or “raised without antibiotic growth promotants.” Smith writes, “In our previous paper,…