Archives for December, 2010

What is knowledge?

Sorry for the radio silence on my part lately. My house got broken into… again… and I’m dealing with the fallout. I’m thinking about a post on knowledge, where it comes from, what it’s good for and if it matters. But before I write it, I’d like to get your input. What do you think…

If you read Alex Bradley’s guest post calling into question the claims of the recent Science paper stating the existence of microbes that can substitute arsenic for phosphorus in their DNA you might be wondering what to take away from it all, if the scientists can’t even agree on whether the study is valid or…

In the wake of the NASA excitement over the new arsenic study, and my promise to give a detailed review of the paper itself, I have recruited a colleague with strong opinons about the work, a solid chemistry and microbiology background, and “Dr.” in front of his name to share his analysis. I will be…

Arsenic it is… but the point really isn’t arsenic. That is what Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon stressed at the end of the NASA press conference today – that the research being unveiled is just opening the door to other unexamined possibilities for life. She said “I am interested in exceptions, why aren’t things constants in nature?”…

Cholera is shitty

(No pun intended) This just sucks: As cholera rampages through Haiti, some epidemiologists are warning that the country could face more than half a million cases over the coming year. Yet tracking and treating the disease is proving increasingly difficult as civil unrest grips the county. As if Haiti hasn’t already suffered enough. Vibrio cholerae,…

NASA announcement predictions

NASA has made a bit of a stir by announcing a press conference for tomorrow at 2pm EST. Scientists are going to reveal some exciting new findings relvent to the search for extraterrestrial life. Some people are anticipating/hoping that they will announce that extraterrestrial life has been confirmed. No one would be more excited than…