Scientists Singing About Science
Posted on June 30, 2012 Comments (0)
Fun video with scientists singing about science.
Special Summer Fun Issue of Make Magazine
Posted on June 28, 2012 Comments (0)
Make is really is a wonderful way to find ideas. Some people have the imagination to come up with all sorts of projects to try, I don’t. But Make takes care of that for you and provides really interesting ideas for things to try out yourself.
The summer fun guide includes over 50 projects for kids of all ages.
An Apple a Day is Good Advice
Posted on June 26, 2012 Comments (2)
Apples really are healthy food. They provide fiber and nutrients without a large amount of calories. Including them in your diet can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
a survey of eating and health habits, found that people who had eaten apples in any form over the past day were 27 percent less likely to have symptoms of metabolic syndrome than those who didn’t. The apple eaters also had lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation whose presence in the blood suggests an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.
“Our study suggests that ursolic acid increases skeletal muscle and brown fat leading to increased calorie burning, which in turn protects against diet-induced obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease,” Christopher Adams, M.D., Ph.D., UI associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa.
Until quite recently, researchers believed that only infants had brown fat, which then disappeared during childhood. However, improved imaging techniques have shown that adults do retain a very small amount of the substance mostly in the neck and between the shoulder blades. Some studies have linked increased levels of brown fat with lower levels of obesity and healthier levels of blood sugar and blood lipid, leading to the suggestion that brown fat may be helpful in preventing obesity and diabetes.
Today, Most Deaths Caused by Lifetime of Action or Inaction
Posted on June 24, 2012 Comments (2)
Our instincts lead us to fear the unknown and immediate threats (probably so we can be ready to run – or maybe fight). But today the biggest risks to an untimely dealt are not lions, other people out to get us, or even just random infection. We have to adapt to the new risks by taking action to eat healthfully and exercise, in the same way we we have evolved to avoid becoming a meal for a hungry beast.
Today the largest causes of death are heart disease and cancer (which account for more than 60% of the deaths causes by the top 10 leading causes of death). The next leading causes are non-infectious airways diseases, cerebrovascular diseases and accidents. Alzheimer’s, diabetes, nephropathies, pneumonia or influenza and suicide make of the rest of the top 10 leading causes.
In 1900 Pneumonia or influenza and tuberculosis took as many lives (per 100,000 people) and cancer and heart disease take today. We have done well decreasing the incidents of death (fewer deaths per 100,000) by greatly reducing and nearly eliminating some causes of death (the 2 leading causes from 1900 are good examples).
Using Robots to Collect Data on our Oceans
Posted on June 20, 2012 Comments (1)
Interesting idea to use self propelled robots to provide data on the oceans. They use no fuel to move, they use wave energy. They also have solar panels on the top. The wave gliders can travel to a distant area, collect data, and return to base. One of the big problems with convention methods of collecting data on the oceans is the large costs of placing the buoys (and the cost of servicing them).
Related: Wave Glider – The State of the Oceans – Autonomous Underwater Robot Decides on Experiment Options – Altered Oceans: the Crisis at Sea
Sex and Development of Life in the Ocean
Posted on June 16, 2012 Comments (0)
TED education is providing access to really interesting education material. In this webcast learn about fertilization, development and growth in the ocean depths.
Mountain Lions Returning to the Midwest USA for the First Time in a Century
Posted on June 15, 2012 Comments (0)
Things started to turn around for the cougar in the 1960s and 70s when, one by one, the bounties were rescinded and states made the animals a managed-game species. Today they are classified as game species in most states and a “specially protected mammal” in California. This allowed their populations first to grow and then to expand their territories.
Cougars are generalist predators, so LaRue says they can select any habitat with enough prey. They have also been shown to walk hundreds of kilometers in search of new habitat. “They have no problem traveling through cornfields or prairies for long distances if they have to,” she says. But cornfields and prairies aren’t suitable habitat for the cougars to settle in. She says they require forest cover, rugged terrain and dispersal corridors (typically rivers) that allow easy migration for both the cats and their prey.
Mountain Lions are very cool animals. So like our pets but with a size that means they can kill us, if they want. They are not much risk to us though. Occasionally their are attacks (now that the numbers of cougars are growing) but an extremely small number.
One Scientists 20 Year Effort to Defeat Dengue Fever
Posted on June 12, 2012 Comments (1)
As I have said many times scientific breakthroughs often follow many years of effort. Here is a great example of a scientist putting in great work for years and it looks like it is about to payoff for hundreds of millions of people.
“I think being obsessive,” he replied. “Being maybe a little ill in that regard. And it’s just that I seem to have focused my obsession onto Wolbachia instead of on to postage stamps or model trains.”
And even though his obsession has brought him to the point where he’s shown he can get his Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to spread in the wild, that’s not the success he’s ultimately after. “Success for me is having a significant impact on dengue disease in communities,” he says.
To do that, he’ll have to release his mosquitoes in a place where there’s a lot of dengue, and then see if that brings down the number of cases of the disease in humans. Those studies are being planned now.
The stakes are high. By some estimates, more than a billion people around the world are at risk for getting dengue. Even if it doesn’t kill you, I’m told a case of dengue can make you feel so bad, wish you were dead.
But Scott says it’s not yet time to celebrate.
“We’ve got some good preliminary data, and we’re on the path. And it’s looking good. But you know I am a realist. It could fall over at any day,” says Scott.
Friday Fun: Kitten and Bunny
Posted on June 8, 2012 Comments (4)
Just some fun for your Friday. Enjoy.
Webcast on Machine That Bores Subway Tunels
Posted on June 6, 2012 Comments (0)
This huge tunnel boring machine (12 meters in diameter and 95 meters long) digs subway tunnels without disturbing the buildings above. Up to 350 meters of tunnel can constructed in a week.
Prostate Cancer Drug so Effective Trial Stopped to Give Drug to All Participants
Posted on June 4, 2012 Comments (0)
Prostate cancer drug so effective trial stopped by Victoria Colliver
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year approved Zytiga, also known as abiraterone, for use in men whose prostate cancer had spread to other parts of their body and had already been treated with chemotherapy.
This trial focused on patients whose cancer had metastasized, may have been treated with other hormone therapies but had not yet gone through chemotherapy.
Prostate cancer, the second most common form of cancer in males after only lung cancer, is diagnosed in about 200,000 men in the United States each year. And while it is generally treatable, the disease kills nearly 30,000 men a year.
Because their disease is often slow-growing, about a third of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer won’t be treated. Another third will undergo successful treatment, which could include surgery, various hormone therapies or chemotherapy.
Still, a third of patients will have recurrent or aggressive disease that may have been caught too late. Ryan said men tend to die when the cancer spreads outside the prostate, mostly to bone, and the patient becomes resistant to hormonal therapy. The cancer cells rely on testosterone to exist, so typically doctors treat patients with testosterone-blocking hormone therapy.
But patients become resistant when the cancer cells develop the ability to make their own hormone and learn to survive even in the face of the testosterone-blocking drugs, giving the disease the ability to progress, Ryan said.
Zytiga is the first FDA-approved drug that can go inside the cancer cell and block it from making its own testosterone.
The trial involved 1,088 men who were being treated by 151 cancer centers in 12 countries. Each was given a low dose of the steroid prednisone, which works to combat the cancer
This is very good news. There is lots of positive news over the years. Often it seems to come to nothing years later. Promising drugs in the lab turn out to be far less promising in clinical trail. But very successful clinical trials are very good news. Even this kind of news though really should be confirmed by larger scale success, but this is a very good start.