The Science Communicator
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The Science Communicator
making science enjoyable for everyone
Curated by Nikki Kapp
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Scientists Develop World's First Cyber Plant

Scientists Develop World's First Cyber Plant | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
A team of scientists at Linköping University in Sweden have developed the first electrically augmented plant, creating both analog and digital circuits inside a living rose. This technology could allow scientists to regulate growth and chemical processes in plants, as well as harness photosynthesis to create new solar cells. 
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How does carbon offsetting work?

Your pocket guide to carbon offsetting -- in an entertaining, educational film. Offsetting has its followers and its detractors, now you can make up your own...
Nikki Kapp's insight:

Nice enjoyable short video explaining carbon offsetting 

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Meet the Sonic Artist Making Music with Plants

Subscribe to MOTHERBOARD: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-To-MOTHERBOARD In this episode of Sound Builders, we went to Los Angeles, to meet with Mileece. She's a son...
Nikki Kapp's insight:

this is SO cool and SO exciting... Bio electronic music, from electrodes on plants to sound... Giving a voice to plants. I hope this kind of interaction helps people understand the importance and sentience of plant life. 

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Deception - The Science Of Lying

Deception - The Science Of Lying | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
Lies, liars, and lie catchers. And the strange power of lying to yourself.
Nikki Kapp's insight:

"People who are happiest, lie to themselves more  // those who see the world exactly how it is tend to be more depressed."

 

"Those who tend more to being depressed, they see all the pain in the world and they tell you everything about themselves, what their weaknesses are, and the problem is that their right."

 

"We're so vulnerable to being hurt, that we are given the capacity to distort, as a gift."

 

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How online gamers are solving science's biggest problems

How online gamers are solving science's biggest problems | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
A new generation of online games don't just provide entertainment – they help scientists solve their trickiest puzzles. Dara Mohammadi picks 10 of the best
Nikki Kapp's insight:

This isn't the most recent article but gives a great overview on this wonderful concept - gaming for real science. I've always thought gaming to be a bit, no a huge, waste of time, but I understand it has the similar appeal to watching TV - "brain overload, need to zone out, this will immediately get me there."

 

I am way on board with these types of games though, a brilliant idea, taking advantage of the natural ability of the human brain to see patterns and the millions of people that spend hours playing computer games, to solve real scientific problems, quickly.

 

So next time you feel like you need a mindless activity, choose one that can actually have an impact. My favourite is Cropland Capture, using satellite images of the Earth to identify arable land to feed the world. 

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Biotech & Life Science Companies Target Emerging Markets In 2015

Biotech & Life Science Companies Target Emerging Markets In 2015 | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
As competition between life science companies intensifies, traditional markets – especially those in the Unites States – are beginning to see secondary markets catch up.
Nikki Kapp's insight:

If you're looking to work in biotech or life sciences, it would be worthwhile to check out these emerging markets who are deploying clever strategies to attract investment, ie.  "pharma entrepreneurs in Turkey do not have to pay income taxes until 2023, attracting investors, researchers and developers from oversees."

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Imaging plant cell walls helps us understand the barriers to synthesizing plant-derived biofuels

Imaging plant cell walls helps us understand the barriers to synthesizing plant-derived biofuels | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
Nikki Kapp's insight:

It's been a while since I've posted - I'll admit my time was largely swallowed by my Masters thesis and yoga teacher training. Now I'm subtly making a comeback with some self-promotion: my research publication. If the topic doesn't interest you, at least look at the pretty pictures :) 

 

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These Are Some of the Most Otherworldly Creatures You'll Find on Earth - Wired Science

These Are Some of the Most Otherworldly Creatures You'll Find on Earth - Wired Science | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
Nikki Kapp's insight:

underwater beauties. 

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Petridish - Fund Science and Explore the World with Renowned Researchers

Petridish - Fund Science and Explore the World with Renowned Researchers | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
Petridish lets you fund promising research projects and join first hand in new discoveries.
Nikki Kapp's insight:

A new direction for crowdfunding scientific research.

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Alan Betts: A Proposal for Communicating Science

Alan Betts: A Proposal for Communicating Science | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
The web site of Alan K. Betts where you can learn about his atmosepheric research, his talks, published writings and about the topic of climate change as it relates to the state of Vermont.
Nikki Kapp's insight:

Atmospheric researcher Alan Betts suggests a great way to communicate current research to the public - requiring all scientific journals to be published with a second version which is open access and in plain English, outlining the relevance and significance of these studies. Seems pretty appropriate considering how much of funding comes from the public. Betts speaks particularly to weather and climate studies - the information from which is vital for people to make informed decisions and to have an impact on the future of their earth, but they don't have access to scientific journals and even if they did, very few will have the background to understand the scientific language used. 

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Lab-Grown Model Brains | The Scientist Magazine®

Lab-Grown Model Brains | The Scientist Magazine® | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
Three-dimensional tissues called “cerebral organoids” can model the earliest stages of brain development.
Nikki Kapp's insight:

Scientists in Austria have built a model of the human brain from embryonic stem cells embedded in a support gel. This first step holds promise for building larger, "personal" brain models encoding the genetics of specific neurological disorders to facilitate the study of effective treatments. 

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China Announces Plans to Export Greenhouse Gases to Terraform Mars

China Announces Plans to Export Greenhouse Gases to Terraform Mars | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
As an extension of China’s $16 billion plan to combat air pollution in its cities, today the CNSA announced an ambitious plan to export the nation’s emissions to Mars.
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Ford Looks To Biomimicry To Sustain Auto Industry

Ford Looks To Biomimicry To Sustain Auto Industry | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
Biomimicry could offer Ford a sustainable solution for the sticky problem of recycling glued-together car parts.
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Science of the People, by the People and for the People

Science of the People, by the People and for the People | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
From the White House to your house, federal agencies support citizen science
Nikki Kapp's insight:

Excited to see where "citizen science" goes - going to need a lot of coordination of data and metadata to make statistically significant conclusions. 

 

"It makes sense to draw on We the People. According to government statistics on occupations, there are about 6 million scientists in the U.S. Yet our human capital includes over 300 million potential citizen scientists (plus, one does not need to be an American citizen to be a citizen scientist in the U.S.). There is no need to limit our national energies for innovation and scientific revolutions to the small percentage of professionals when We the People can do citizen science."

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Song Composed From 133 Years of Climate Change Data

Song Composed From 133 Years of Climate Change Data | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
Daniel Crawford, a senior at the University of Minnesota, has written music for a string quartet that traces rising temperatures since the 1880s
Nikki Kapp's insight:

YES YES YES!!! This is the way - communicating scientific data through creative arts. 

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The Rhino Hunter - Radiolab

The Rhino Hunter - Radiolab | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
When shooting and killing an endangered species might be the best way to save it. This episode contains strong language.
Nikki Kapp's insight:

This podcast explains the complex economics of animal conservation. On one hand, millionaires who pay mega bucks to shoot game in places like Africa, are funding the future of animal conservation and are effectively increasing the populations of endangered animals. Versus the other side of the argument, where a better standard of moral practice needs to be set, for example when millions of dollars of illegal ivory was confiscated from poachers and burned in a pile - which, rather than increasing the value of ivory because of reduced supply, caused the whole market to collapse. 

 

 

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Music of the Spheres

Music of the Spheres | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
An art-science collaboration to produce the first piece of music recorded onto DNA molecules.
Nikki Kapp's insight:

This art-science instillation was spear headed by my brilliant friend Charlotte Jarvis who worked with scientist Nick Goldman. Love ideas like this, where science is portrayed through art.

 

Check out their kickstarter video here. In short, DNA can be used for mass data storage (and take up way less storage space than digital storage). This concept was portrayed through this instillation by encoding music onto DNA and dissolving it in soap solution, to literally bathe the audience in music. HOW COOL IS THAT.

 

The process looks like this:

music --> binary code (0/1) --> DNA code (ATCG)

 

As DNA synthesis become increasingly cheaper, this method would have a lot of advantages to storing large quantities of data (imagine preserving all of the texts from national libraries, in DNA)

 

Check out more of her work here - http://www.artforeating.co.uk/

 

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Antibodies Part 1: CRISPR

Antibodies Part 1: CRISPR | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
In 2012, scientists had a realization: hidden inside one of the world’s smallest organisms, was one of the world’s most powerful tools.
Nikki Kapp's insight:

Feed your hungry ears with this epic podcast on CRISPR - enabling the future of genetic modification. 

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Symbolia - bridging journalism & comics

Symbolia - bridging journalism & comics | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
Where comics and journalism meet. Founded by Erin Polgreen and Joyce Rice.
Nikki Kapp's insight:

This is brilliant and such a fun way to learn - especially great for younger generations who seem to suffer from increasingly short attention spans. 

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Botanicus Interacticus: Interactive Plant Technology

Botanicus Interacticus: Interactive Plant Technology | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it

Had no idea Disney was into researching plant interactions. My mind is racing with cool ideas of how this computing technology could be implemented! 

 

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10-Foot Bobbit Worm Is the Ocean's Most Disturbing Predator

10-Foot Bobbit Worm Is the Ocean's Most Disturbing Predator | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it

"Hate to leave you with the image of a beautiful tropical ocean swarming with sex-crazed 10-foot-long worms with hair-trigger jaws, but that’s totally happening now."


Nikki Kapp's insight:

Ello Bobbit!  "A mix between the Mongolian death worm, the Graboids from Tremors, the Bugs from Starship Troopers, and a rainbow."

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Overcoming Fears While Napping | The Scientist Magazine®

Overcoming Fears While Napping | The Scientist Magazine® | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
Repeated exposure to fear-associated stimuli during short bouts of sleep made study participants less frightened of related provocations once they awoke.
Nikki Kapp's insight:

Exposing yourself to fear-related smells while you're asleep could help you overcome certain fears! Its amazing what we can learn while we are alseep. 

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The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Sloths Teach Us About Energy Efficiency?

The Biomimicry Manual: What Can Sloths Teach Us About Energy Efficiency? | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
Sloth symbiosis can bioinspire energy efficiency and human industrial ecosystem design. Biomimicry is another great idea, like a baby sloth in a bucket!
Nikki Kapp's insight:

We could learn a few things from these docile, energy efficient creatures. 

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Spider silk coated with carbon nanotubes has multiple surprising uses

Spider silk coated with carbon nanotubes has multiple surprising uses | The Science Communicator | Scoop.it
Physicists have discovered that simple methods can result in surprising and environmentally friendly high-tech outcomes during their experiments with spider silk and carbon nanotubes.
Nikki Kapp's insight:

I think there's potential for a collaboration here - Steven could make good use of Randy Lewis' spidergoats (fact not fiction - they are engineered to produce spider silk protein in their milk for largescale production of spider silk which has many useful properties)

 

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-10/fabrics-spider-silk-get-closer-reality

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