Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Geek Roundup: The Best Science Posts From My Internship (Part II)

I am blogging over at Geekosystem for the summer, and while I've been writing about some pretty different things than what I would post about here (like the official religious hat of the Pastafarian movement) I've also written a few posts about some interesting science topics. So, here is another link round-up of the interesting science stuff I've been covering for Geekosystem, and as a bonus here's a cute video of corgi's (yes, this was a post too).


New Monkey Adenovirus Jumps Into Humans: This post is about a virus discovered in Titi Monkeys at California's National Primate Research Center during a recent outbreak that killed several monkeys and infected a few humans. This is the first example of an adenovirus jumping into humans, and could have important impacts on viral gene therapy.

Parrot Parents Name Their Babies: Did you know that in the wild, parrots have "names" which are specific calls that their parents and other birds use to address them? I didn't, but this shows a pretty sophisticated social life among these birds, in addition to having a potential impact on future language studies.

Rainbow Toad Rediscovered After 87 Years Missing: The title of this post pretty much says it all, but click the link, I promise you won't be disappointed by how totally awesome this animal looks.

Stem Cells Grow Functional Mouse Teeth: This is the first time that researchers have grown the bone and enamel of a tooth strictly from stem cells and successfully implanted it into a mouse's mouth. Kind of gross, but also a very cool application of stem cell technology.

Quantum Dots Make Self-Assembling Nanoantenna: This was a really cool technology development that combined knowledge of nanomaterials and DNA to make a super-powered antenna that is more efficient and can assemble itself.

Battle of the Bugs: California To Launch Moth Killing Wasp Campaign: This was a really fun post to write because it deals with the controversial issue of using one insect species to attack another. There were some good comments on this one, including one from a representative of the California agency in charge of the wasp killers, who worked with me to find a more accurate picture for the post. It was cool to have that kind of interaction come out of the comments.

New Printable Solar Cells Are Easy But Not Efficient: Imagine solar panels that you could completely bend and twist while still having them work. You could make a solar dress or solar wallpaper! If only they were actually efficient...

First Photos Of Fish Using Tools, But Do They Really? Doing this post all I could think about was how much my first grade science buddies over at Lincoln-Hubbard School would have loved to see the pictures of this fish using a rock to help it eat. I did a series of posts for them about how animals use tools, and this would have been a great addition.

Diamonds Are A Quantum Computer's Best Friend: You should read this post just because it took me all day to teach myself the basics of quantum computing to put together a post that made sense. I bit off a little more than I could chew with this one, but with the help of Max (one of my editors) it came together.

Urine Recycling Experiment Will Be Conducted On Last Shuttle Mission: The title pretty much says it all, but if the idea of drinking pee doesn't completely gross you out, there is some really interesting technology at work in this experiment.

NASA Takes Huge Hit In Proposed Congressional Budget: I try hard not to weigh in on politics, but how funding gets allotted for government agencies is something that I find very interesting and have written about before. Right now NASA stands to lose about $2 billion in funding and lose the James Webb Space Telescope, which is a pretty devastating blow.

Forget Arsenic Life, Now We Have Chlorine Life: Arsenic life was a huge controversy in the science community last year. In this post I give a run down of the problems with that study, and how a new chlorine life study shows much more promise.

Fossil Of Largest Wombat Ever Discovered: One of Australia's great ancient mammals is the diprotodon a huge rhino-like animal. Researchers recently unearthed the fossil of the largest diprotodon ever found, and its the size of a small vehicle!

Massive Dust Storm Descends On Phoenix: I promise, you need to see this video. The footage of this dust storm is amazing, plus it is called a haboob and I will never get tired of saying that.

Dresden Laboratory Creates World Record Magnetic Field: World Records are world records and they are interesting just because, but this is actually important because the stronger magnetic field could be useful for a variety of scientific experiments.

Emotion Reading Technology May Soon Become Big Business: Say goodbye to awkward social encounters. Researchers are developing technology that can help you pick up on social cues and let you know when a conversation is going well, and when its time to abandon ship.

NASA Sues Astronaut For Selling Camera From Apollo 14: One of the astronauts that went to space with the Apollo 14 mission has tried to sell what he says is personal memorabilia, but NASA has intervened saying he never had the right to take the camera. This is becoming a pattern for NASA and it would seem like they either have a record keeping problem, or a theft problem.

The Fuel of the Future? Researchers Look To Aneutronic Fusion: I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you probably don't know what aneutronic fusion is. Don't worry, I didn't either but it seems like it could be a highly effective fuel to power longer/faster space flights.

Water Wrinkles On Fingers May Actually Have A Purpose: You are now dying to know why your fingers get so pruney when they get wet. Check out the post to find out why, its actually a pretty interesting evolutionary adaptation.

Tasmanian Devil Genome Sequenced: The Tasmanian Devil population has been ravaged by a cancer that can be spread by fighting/biting and it is nearing dangerously low population rates. The genome sequence could help researchers come up with a better plan to preserve the species by ensuring a higher rate of genetic diversity.

Whew, thats a lot of science, happy reading!

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