Thursday, October 12, 2006

Science blog trek

I need to get out more. There's so much interesting stuff out there. Here are some finds from a recent trek around the science blogosphere:

Sex in an MRI Machine
This piece from Stuart Coleman at Daily Irreverence is to get your attention so you keep reading. Don't show it to your maiden aunt Bertha. It has sexually explicit stuff in it, like penises and vaginas. But perhaps not the way they're seen in porn flicks. The title explains it all. This is actual, bona fide research. Wish I could read the grant proposal for this... so I could plagiarize it.

Omega-3 oils & marijuana may stave off Alzheimer’s
Here's one that may be of more interest to Bertha, courtesy of the Neurophilosopher. And it isn't just about fish oil, either. "In recent months, various studies have provided evidence that apple juice, a Mediterranean diet, cabernet sauvignon and curry can either reduce the likelehood of developing Alzheminer’s or reverse the cognitive impairment which is symptomatic of the disease. To that list we can now add omega-3 oils. And marijuana."

Origins of Gene Structure
Dan Rhoads at Migrations tackles some difficult questions in evolutionary theory. Specifically, how can we explain the evolution of the intricate gene expression process in eukaryotic cells? Do we need to resort to models of "genetic drift" as opposed to "adaptive selection"?

Conditions for the Emergence of Life
This is another one from Dan. He likes to deal with difficult, fundamental issues in molecular evolution, and nothing is more fundamental than the question of how life got started. This article just sketches some of the questions about how life could arise from a self-organizing chemical system.

DarkSyde's Open Science Thread for 10/7/06
DarkSyde, who also blogs (sometimes) at Unscrewing the Inscrutable, is a regular contributor at Kos's place, on both politics and science. He posts a regular article on Fridays, and short link fests like this one from time to time. This particular fest has an item about quantum teleportation. Maybe I'll write more about that later. But what was really interesting was the following item from Sean Carroll.

The Cell Is Like Tron
For biologists, I should note that this Sean Carroll is Sean M. Carroll, the cosmologist, not Sean B. Carroll, the evo-devo biologist. Anyhow, the item here is actually mostly for biologists -- a spectacular computer animation of the internal structures of a cell. But it will impress, if not astonish, just about anyone. Do not fail to take a look at it. If you want to know what's going on, there's some explanation here, where you'll also find a high-res version. (A faster/smoother high res version is here.) This thing was originally mentioned at Pharyngula. As a free bonus, Sean also throws in a couple of links for physicists.


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