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Science and Other Wild Affairs
An eclectic mix of articles about our world and the universe we live in, with some political commentary
Curated by Pamela D Lloyd
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First Picture of an Atom's Shadow—Smallest Ever Photographed

First Picture of an Atom's Shadow—Smallest Ever Photographed | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
See the smallest shadow yet photographed, and find out why the new imaging technique might fuel cyberspies' dreams.
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What we still don’t know

What we still don’t know | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
I used to think that science was about discovery, about adding certainty to what we know about the Universe. Discoveries happen, of course, but I’ve learned that the really exciting stuff happens n...
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Stem Cell Study Scrambles Egg Debate, Again - ScienceNOW

Stem Cell Study Scrambles Egg Debate, Again - ScienceNOW | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
Stem Cell Study Scrambles Egg Debate, Again - ScienceNOW...

 

"For more than 50 years, the seemingly ironclad biological rule was that women and other female mammals produce a finite number of egg cells during their embryonic development, then shut down egg production for good. Recently, however, a series of papers from reproductive biologist Jonathan Tilly of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and biologist Ji Wu of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China have sparked hopes that it might be possible to enhance fertility by stimulating new egg production in adult women or by producing eggs in the lab from stem cells. Their reported discovery of a population of rare ovarian stem cells in adult women and mice that appear to produce immature egg cells, or oocytes, has incited controversy among reproductive biologists, however, who report mixed success in reproducing the data.

 

"Now, a new study from a research team headed by molecular reproductive biologist Kui Liu of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), adds another note of caution. The work centers on a protein known as Ddx4 (also called Mvh) that appears during development in the germ cells that will give rise to sperm or eggs."

 

"Based on that data and several other lines of evidence, including experiments where the researchers attempted to cultivate new egg follicles in sterilized ovarian mouse tissue, Liu's team concludes that no egg-producing stem cells exist in mouse ovaries after birth—a summary that has met both hearty agreement and sharp criticism."

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Solar System's "Grotesque" Twin Found (GJ676A) - With Similar Exoplanets To Ours

Solar System's "Grotesque" Twin Found (GJ676A) - With Similar Exoplanets To Ours | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it

Dubbed GJ676A, the system has two rocky planets orbiting close to its host star, and two gas giants orbiting far away. This means the system is arranged like our system—though in GJ676A, everything is much larger. For instance, the smallest rocky planet in GJ676A is at least four times the mass of Earth, while the largest gas giant is five times the size of Jupiter.

 

Other multiple-planet systems have been discovered, such as HD10180, which has been called the richest exoplanetary find ever because of the seven to nine planets orbiting its host star.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The first cloned animals were cloned over a century ago

The first cloned animals were cloned over a century ago | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
Dolly the sheep comes to mind when we think of cloned animals. She was made famous as the "cloned sheep" made in the 1990s. But Dolly was a century late when it came to cloning.
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The Strange Beauty of the Glaucus Atlanticus Sea Slug

The Strange Beauty of the Glaucus Atlanticus Sea Slug | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it

The Glaucus Atlanticus—also called blue sea slug, blue bottle, sea swallow, blue glaucus, blue ocean slug, and blue dragon—is a type of nudibranch found in waters around the world.

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What Really Makes Us Fat

What Really Makes Us Fat | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
New research shows that not all calories are created equal. That might help us figure out how to keep people from getting fat.
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The Chemistry of Passion & Sex : What You Didn’t Know |

The Chemistry of Passion & Sex : What You Didn’t Know | | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
The Chemistry of Passion & Sex : What You Didn’t Know http://t.co/DIbZiRJd...
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Don't privatise nature: Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environment Network | RTCC - Responding to Climate Change

Don't privatise nature: Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environment Network | RTCC - Responding to Climate Change | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environment Network calls the tar sands exploration in Canada the worst single example of polluting that he has ever witnessed and warns against the privatisation of nature.
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Diabetes drug makes brain cells grow

Diabetes drug makes brain cells grow | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
The widely used diabetes drug metformin comes with a rather unexpected and alluring side effect: it encourages the growth of new neurons in the brain, according to researchers.
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Noam Chomsky - "The machine, the ghost, and the limits of understanding"

Professor Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: "The machine, the ghost, and the limits of understanding: Newton's contributions to the study ...
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Back pains? Brain scans predict how long they’ll last | SmartPlanet

Back pains? Brain scans predict how long they’ll last | SmartPlanet | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
For people with sore backs, there’s a difference in brain scans between those whose pain subsides and those whose pain lasts for years.
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Jeremy Kubica - Google+ - Computational Fairy Tales

Jeremy Kubica - Google+ - Computational Fairy Tales | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
I added a few FAQs about the Computational Fairy Tales book to the book page. I am always happy to take more questions.
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Nutrient mixture improves memory in patients with early Alzheimer's

Nutrient mixture improves memory in patients with early Alzheimer's | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
A clinical trial of an Alzheimer's disease treatment developed at MIT has found that the nutrient cocktail can improve memory in patients with early Alzheimer's.
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Dr. Eric Horvitz and Dr. Peter Norvig: The Challenge and Promise of Artificial Intelligence

Join leading researchers Dr. Eric Horvitz of Microsoft Research and Dr. Peter Norvig of Google for an intriguing discussion about the past, present, and future of artificial intelligence, moderated by KQED's Tim Olson.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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The American Heat Wave and Global Warming | Good Math, Bad Math

The American Heat Wave and Global Warming | Good Math, Bad Math | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it

"Global warming is a big issue. If we're honest and we look carefully at the data, it's beyond question that the atmosphere of our planet is warming. It's also beyond any honest question that the preponderance of the evidence is that human behavior is the primary cause. It's not impossible that we're wrong - but when we look at the real evidence, it's overwhelming.

 

Of course, this doesn't stop people from being idiots."

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Musical Turing test: which audio clip was composed by a computer?

Musical Turing test: which audio clip was composed by a computer? | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it

Were you fooled by the machine? Listen to five audio clips and try to guess which piece of music was dreamed up inside the brain of a computer.


Via Mário Florido, Sakis Koukouvis
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From the Ashes, Acknowledging Climate Change

From the Ashes, Acknowledging Climate Change | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it

“I’m terrified for everybody in the west.”

Here is a man who has just lost the culmination of 23 years of his life and he has the humility to be concerned for everybody else. This, for me, highlights the difference between people who accept the scientific facts and those who don’t. There is no self-interest there. His concern is for his fellow man. Deniers will feign concern for their fellow man through suggestions that its a scam designed to take away everybody’s freedom or increase tax or whatever nonsense but deep down that is nothing more than blatant self-interest. One can imagine a denier in the same position as this man, looking for someone in the government to blame while crying over the loss of their wealth and trinkets.


Via SustainOurEarth
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Genes In Rheumatoid Arthritis Altered By Epigenetics

Genes In Rheumatoid Arthritis Altered By Epigenetics | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
It's not just our DNA that makes us susceptible to disease and influences its impact and outcome.
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Five ways to anticipate natural disasters | iSGTW

Five ways to anticipate natural disasters | iSGTW | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
@metoffice Flash floods hitting UK… EC-funded science can help meteorologists understand why and where they happen http://t.co/XKdM1imt...
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Ex-patient heads cancer cure bid

Ex-patient heads cancer cure bid | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it
A woman who survived blood cancer as a child becomes a scientist in the hope she can find a cure for the disease.
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Critical process in stem cell development identified

Scientists have discovered that environmental factors critically influence the growth of a type of stem cell--called an iPS cell -- that is derived from adult skin cells.
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Undersea Volcanoes Yield Oddities | Honolulu Star-Bulletin Local News

Undersea Volcanoes Yield Oddities | Honolulu Star-Bulletin Local News | Science and Other Wild Affairs | Scoop.it

"Dr. Peter Herring displays a black dragonfish,
a deep-sea fish found at a depth of about 1,000 meters. Scientists believe it might use its luminous cheek patches to communicate."

 

I saw this image making the rounds and tracked down what seems to have been the original article, published June 29, 1999, but still very interesting.

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