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Erin Johnson

President Obama declared the swine flu epidemic a national emergency on Saturday, after more than 1,000 US deaths–over 100 of them children–were confirmed as linked to the virus. The Centers for Disease Control report that this is purely a step towards preparedness, but many are wondering how effective this measure will be in preventing the…

How do we remember, collect, and recognize faces, and do sex and race have any role in how we process and treat faces, and ultimately people? On Collective Imagination, Peter Tu writes about how researchers can use differing theories of facial recognition to further developments in digital security technologies, citing that “this knowledge captured from…

This week, the Oprah Winfrey Show aired an episode reporting on the quality of life in Denmark. Here, Oprah sat down with a group of Danish atheists and discussed the role of religion–as well as expansive access to healthcare and education–in an improved lifestyle. In somewhat of a surprise to non-religious viewers, Oprah seemed supportive…

The Buzz: The Ardi Bandwagon

On October 1, 2009 paleontologists announced the discovery of the oldest known primitive hominid fossil, Ardipithecus ramidus dubbed “Ardi,” after 17 years of quietly studying its significance. Nearly a month after its grand unveiling to the media, biologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary anthropologists are still atwitter as scores of articles continue to be published around Ardi.…

The Buzz: Ocean Plastification

As SciWo explained to daughter Minnow last week in a video on Sciencewomen, lakes, ponds, oceans and other natural bodies of water are as ecologically important as they are beautiful. But the ecological health of many is severely compromised due to widespread pollution, global warming, ocean acidification and other factors. GrrlScientist shed light on the…

The Buzz: Earth Science Week

Last week, ScienceBloggers celebrated Earth Science Week with a flood of geocentric posts. This year’s theme this was Understanding Climate, and was the basis for a whole host of events in the coming days. Tuesday was No Child Left Inside Day, dedicated to taking kids outside to learn and play. If you weren’t able to…

Women’s taste in men varies naturally with their menstrual cycle–during the more fertile period, they are more drawn to a square jawline, heavy brow, facial symmetry, and other signs of masculinity. But a new study by a team of British biologists shows that women taking birth control are not subject to the same cyclical preferences;…

The Buzz: Bombing the Moon

Early Friday morning, NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, collided with the Moon at a speed of 5,600 miles per hour, in hopes that debris stirred up by the impact would provide valuable data about how much water might be hidden in craters near the lunar poles. While the plume of debris…

The Full Spectrum of Science

Photo by Ted Kinsman, as seen on Photo Synthesis. Far from being a world of sterile white labs and colorless data, science offers some of the most spectacular imagery imaginable. Take the microscopic guppy embryo, a finalist in Nikon’s 2009 Small World contest, which Frank Swain shares on SciencePunk. Or the punch-colored demonstration of Newton’s…

In the use of immunopharmacotherapy to treat drug abuse, antigenic molecules are hitched to molecules of the drug to stimulate a future immune response against the drug itself; as DrugMonkey reported this week, a recently published paper offers hopeful evidence that it could be a potentially effective treatment against cocaine addiction, though he cautioned, “It…