Despite dispute in the media, the scientific consensus is almost unanimous: the world is getting warmer as a result of human activity. But the scientific consensus is so clouded by politics that it’s very difficult for the average person to figure out what’s going on. I’m sick and tired of this, so what follows is a (hopefully) refreshing taste of dryness on the subject. No opinions, just the scientific consensus.
February 28th, 2013No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
December 19th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
Tau Ceti is the closest sun-like star in the galaxy. It’s only three times farther away than the nearest star system, it’s visible to the naked eye.
And there might be an earth-like planet orbiting it.
November 15th, 20121 Comment, All Posts, Featured, by Carter Bowles.
About a year ago, I had an opportunity to speak with Dr. Cliff Pickover about our shared fascination for the fundamental forces of the universe. I thought we had an interesting discussion, so when I got in touch for help with a project, I was happy when he offered another interview.
With a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Yale, Dr. Pickover has over 80 patents to his name and more than 45 books under his belt. His latest, The Medical Book: From Witch Doctors to Robot Surgeons, explores some of the most interesting breakthroughs in medical science throughout history.
Here’s what he had to say.
October 16th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
Scientists have known for a while that early experiences can effect brain development, but up until now this was only seen in children who underwent trauma. But a recent study at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that subtle things like books and educational toys will actually influence the way a child’s brain develops.
The study was led by Martha Farah, the director of neuroscience, and took twenty years. The results suggest that stimulation up to the age of four has an impact on the way the brain develops.
October 15th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
Autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus happen when the immune system starts attacking its own body. Up until fairly recently, not much was known about why this happens.
Not too long ago, researchers discovered a class of cells, called B10 cells, that plays an important part in the immune systems.
Most B cells produce chemicals called antibodies, which attach themselves to viruses and bacteria, either killing them directly or signalling T cells to move in for the kill.
But B10 cells serve a different purpose. They send out a chemical signal called interleukin-10 (IL-10), which tells the immune system when to tone down its efforts, preventing damage to the body.
Now, Dr Thomas Fedder and his colleagues at Duke University Medical Center have discovered they can culture these cells, and use them to treat others, at least in mice.
October 11th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
Far from a collection of hippies, researchers from the USDA, Iowa State University, and University of Minnesota have concluded that a new and improved crop rotation plan could improve environmental sustainability, and boost profits for those who use it.
October 8th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
September 7th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
Researchers have managed to return feeling to patients with paralysis for the first time ever, and a new theory makes predictions that could resolve the dark matter and dark energy problems faced by current physics. Meanwhile, we discover that a species of bird appears to hold “funerals” for their dead.
September 4th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, Featured, by Carter Bowles.
Black holes are a place where the universe goes to die. General relativity predicts that they carry you to the end of time and then deposit you inside the event horizon, where it becomes impossible to escape.
And yet Dr. Caleb Scharf, the Director of Astrobiology at Columbia University, wanted to tell me about a different side of black holes. Their intense gravitational fields are also a source of energy, and they may have played a part in the fact that our galaxy had the right ingredients for life.
August 23rd, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
For today’s Friday Roundup, scientists invent a bacteria that could turn waste into fuel, and NASA discovers that Titan probably has DNA fragments in its atmosphere. Meanwhile, Harvard stores 700 terabytes of data on a DNA microchip, and a chimp solves problems using stone tools.