Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science
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Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science
Scientists DO use metaphor to explain, clarify, and present concepts
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Candy Corn In Space

Candy Corn In Space | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
Astronauts are allowed to bring special “crew preference” items when they go up in space. NASA astronaut Don Pettit chose candy corn for his five and a half month stint aboard the International Space Station.
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'Pac-Man' moons: Cassini finds a video gamers' paradise at Saturn

'Pac-Man' moons: Cassini finds a video gamers' paradise at Saturn | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
You could call it "Pac-Man, the Sequel." Scientists with NASA's Cassini mission have spotted a second feature shaped like the 1980s video game icon in the Saturn system, this time on the moon Tethys. (The first was found on Mimas in 2010).
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Modern medical terms are still named after Nazi doctors. Can we change it? | Unofficial Prognosis, Scientific American Blog Network

Modern medical terms are still named after Nazi doctors. Can we change it? | Unofficial Prognosis, Scientific American Blog Network | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it

In 1977, a group of doctors began a campaign to change the name of an inflammatory arthritis after discovering it was named after a Nazi doctor who 

 

Reiter's disease aka reactive arthritis

the Clara cell

Wegener's granulomatosis

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In financial ecosystems, big banks trample economic habitats and spread fiscal disease

In financial ecosystems, big banks trample economic habitats and spread fiscal disease | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
Researchers have applied methods inspired by ecosystem stability and contagion models to banking meltdowns and found that large national and international banks wield an influence and potentially destructive power that far exceeds their actual size.

 

Using ecosystems thinking to examine human banking.  A reversal of sorts.

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It's not just what you eat, but when you eat it: Link between fat cell and brain clock molecules shown

It's not just what you eat, but when you eat it: Link between fat cell and brain clock molecules shown | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
Fat cells store excess energy and signal these levels to the brain. Deletion of the clock gene Arntl, also known as Bmal1, in fat cells, causes mice to become obese, with a shift in the timing of when this nocturnal species normally eats.

 

"Our findings show that short-term changes have an immediate effect on the rhythms of eating," says FitzGerald. "Over time, these changes lead to an increase in body weight. The conductor is indeed influenced by the percussionist."

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Achilles Had Only 2 Heels | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network

Achilles Had Only 2 Heels | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
Recently, I came across the headline “Scientists Find Achilles’ Heel of Cancer Cells”, describing the discovery of a histone deactylase (HDAC11) as a novel target for ...
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Climate science: Trends in use of words in scientific studies may impact public perceptions

The impact of climate science research on society is likely to depend on regular fashion cycles in the public's use of specific keywords relating to climate change, according to new research.
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Bioengineers introduce 'Bi-Fi' -- The biological 'Internet'

Bioengineers introduce 'Bi-Fi' -- The biological 'Internet' | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
Bioengineers have created a biological mechanism to send genetic messages from cell to cell -- something they've nicknamed the biological Internet, or "Bi-Fi."...
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Like a spring in a toy car: Catalysis mechanism of cell growth protein Ras clarified

Like a spring in a toy car: Catalysis mechanism of cell growth protein Ras clarified | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
Proteins accelerate certain chemical reactions in cells by several orders of magnitude. The molecular mechanism by which the Ras protein accelerates the cleavage of the molecule GTP and thus slows cell growth is described by biophysicists.
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Nature News Blog: Hot stuff: CERN physicists create record-breaking subatomic soup : Nature News Blog

Nature News Blog: Hot stuff: CERN physicists create record-breaking subatomic soup : Nature News Blog | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
Get Guinness.Physicists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider have achieved the hottest manmade temperatures ever, by colliding lead ions to momentarily create a quark gluon plasma, a subatomic soup and unique state of matter that is thought to have existed...
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The Triumph of Fantasy over Science, Part 1 « Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

The Triumph of Fantasy over Science, Part 1 « Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it

Rob Dietz uses the summer camp metaphor quite nicely:

 

Two competing camps attract people from all over the world. One is Science Camp, and the other is Fantasy Camp.At Science Camp, the counselors teach campers that we live on a single blue-green planet with finite resources. The curriculum at Science Camp focuses on figuring out how to conserve and share those resources. There’s a strong undercurrent of appreciation (maybe even reverence) for nature and humanity’s place in it — a desire to learn about and safeguard life on this planet.

At Fantasy Camp, the counselors educate campers to believe that humanity can circumvent natural limits. Campers are taught that our unstoppable ingenuity can overcome any resource shortages or manage any amount of waste generation. There’s a strong undercurrent of consumption — a desire to accumulate ever more power and stuff in an attempt to gain complete control over life (and even death).

This division of the world’s people into two camps is a bit crude.

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Medusa reimagined: Reverse engineering a jellyfish with ability to swim

Medusa reimagined: Reverse engineering a jellyfish with ability to swim | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
When one observes a jellyfish pulsating through the ocean, Greek mythology probably doesn't immediately come to mind. But the animal once was known as the medusa, after the snake-haired mythological creature its tentacles resemble.
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Sprinkled nanocubes hold light tight

Sprinkled nanocubes hold light tight | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
Device based on scattered silver cubes could scale up light absorption for solar power.
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Auto-Immune: "Symbiotes" Could Be Deployed to Thwart Cyber Attacks: Scientific American

Auto-Immune: "Symbiotes" Could Be Deployed to Thwart Cyber Attacks: Scientific American | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
Running on CPUs to detect malware targeting embedded computers that run car system and utilities, symbiotes may not only serve as immune systems for their devices, but also help reveal a previously unseen ecosystem of malware...
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The Matilda Effect in science: Awards and prizes in the US, 1990s and 2000s

Science is stratified, with an unequal distribution of research facilities and rewards among scientists. Awards and prizes, which are critical for shaping scientific career trajectories, play a role in this stratification when they differentially enhance the status of scientists who already have large reputations: the ‘Matthew Effect’. Contrary to the Mertonian norm of universalism – the expectation that the personal attributes of scientists do not affect evaluations of their scientific claims and contributions – in practice, a great deal of evidence suggests that the scientific efforts and achievements of women do not receive the same recognition as do those of men: the ‘Matilda Effect’.

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How 'black swans' and 'perfect storms' become lame excuses for bad risk management

Instead of reflecting on the unlikelihood of rare catastrophes after the fact, a risk analysis expert prescribes an engineering approach to anticipate them when possible, and to manage them when not.
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19 Species of Ferns Named for Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is being honored by a Duke University biologist. Kathleen Pryer is naming a new genus of ferns found in Central and South America, Mexico, Arizona ...

Via Mary Williams
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Cancer. p53, guardian of the genome. [Nature. 1992] - PubMed - NCBI

One of the first citations to call protein P53 this.

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Wrens teach their eggs to sing

Wrens teach their eggs to sing | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
Teaching embryos the password for food helps parents avoid having to feed imposters.

 

Password!

 

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Quantum kisses change the color of nothing: New ways to measure the world at the scale of single atoms and molecules

Quantum kisses change the color of nothing: New ways to measure the world at the scale of single atoms and molecules | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
Even empty gaps have a color. Now scientists have shown that quantum jumps of electrons can change the color of gaps between nano-sized balls of gold. The new results set a fundamental quantum limit on how tightly light can be trapped.
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More Species Should Have Awesome Names Like Rasberry Crazy Ant | Wired Science | Wired.com

More Species Should Have Awesome Names Like Rasberry Crazy Ant | Wired Science | Wired.com | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it

Most animals have normal names: duck, cat, horse. But sometimes people come across a creature and decide to get fanciful. Not exactly a metaphor but deserves to be in the collection....enargia?

 

Figure of description; enargria:

group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description

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Pinball as a model for dealing with grief

The process of grieving can be compared to the workings of a pinball machine, where mourners’ movement between different stages of grief such as shock and depression may be unpredictable, according to new research.
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Seeing sprites: Researchers catch glimpses of electromagnetic bursts high in Earth's atmosphere

Seeing sprites: Researchers catch glimpses of electromagnetic bursts high in Earth's atmosphere | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it
High above the clouds during thunderstorms, some 50 miles above Earth a different kind of lightning dances. Bursts of red and blue light, known as "sprites," flash for a scant one thousandth of a second.
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takotsubo -- first noted in Japan

takotsubo -- first noted in Japan | Metaphor (plus other rhetorical figures) in Science | Scoop.it

Broken heart syndrome:  called Tako-tsubo, which means octopus trap...this is the temporary shape of the heart, which can occur after emotional stress.

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