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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in SCIENCE's LiveJournal:

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Friday, April 16th, 2010
10:11 am
Friday, September 19th, 2008
6:57 pm
Saturday, September 13th, 2008
5:11 pm
Check out some science:

SHOTD - Space Haiku Of The Day
Saturday, July 26th, 2008
5:26 pm
The Science of Locks


digg that

its the scientists way of getting into a locked car, WITH SCIENCE!
Sunday, July 20th, 2008
9:02 am
A Correlation between Obesity and IQ?

thats a map of obesity in the United States.
ok, now compare that map to this map of average IQ per state:

here is a the full size version of the map above

if I had the time, I'd take IQ data set and compare it statistically to obesity data set and see the correlation.

anyone feel like doing that?
8:56 am
The mutant gene that makes horses white

White horses, such as racing’s Desert Orchid or the Lone Ranger’s Silver, are actually mutants whose defective DNA carries a gene that accelerates ageing and rapidly turns their coats grey, scientist have discovered.

Such horses would probably never have survived in the wild but for one particular white horse, born thousands of years ago, which so caught the eye of ancient humans that they protected it and did their best to breed more, according to a new study.

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Friday, June 27th, 2008
2:00 pm
Stephen Hawking's explosive new theory
the Anthropic principle
here we are

They mention the idea of a bottom-up theory in the article but I think they miss the point. Hawkings idea is the perfect bottom-up theory because it means an infinite number of universes could develop, and maybe certain universes were successful (ie, didn't collapse on themselves in the first nanosecond, or didn't blow out to super massive nothingness and absolute zero in the first thousand years, and didn't have too much of this or that, allowing for stars and planets), only the universes that "worked" developed. Just like natural selection, just like the free market, just like your brain and everything in nature, a bottom up complex adaptive system.
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
3:36 pm
I love lepidoptery. I love the aesthetics of it. I love the how methodical it is. I love those old wooden map cabinets used to store all the butterflies under glass. I love everything about it.
Also, I love the internet
So, I love this:
New digital images of the butterfly and moth collections of Carl Linnaeus launched online for National Insect Week

Thats the press release. heres the good stuff
Its not really user friendly, but if you know what you're looking for, its cool.
Thursday, June 19th, 2008
2:54 pm
Do you think scientifically and rationally?

Do you have a naturalistic worldview, free of supernatural and mystical elements? Have you ever used the term "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"? Do you just love the scientific method? Are you always questioning the world, trying to find the most logical explanations?

then you may be a Bright

check it out - http://www.the-brights.net/
7:11 am
No Intelligence Allowed
Remember that creationist movie Expelled?

Well heres part 2:

Thursday, June 12th, 2008
4:49 pm
Friday, June 6th, 2008
2:27 pm
I can see applications for SAT prep companies already

Training can increase fluid intelligence, once thought to be fixed at birth
Fluid intelligence, an aspect of a person's IQ, allows people to solve unfamiliar problems by understanding relationships between various concepts independent of previous knowledge or skills. Research shows that training...
Click here for more information.

Can human beings rev up their intelligence quotients, or are they stuck with IQs set by their genes at birth? Until recently, nature seemed to be the clear winner over nurture.

But new research, led by Swiss postdoctoral fellows Susanne M. Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehl, working at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, suggests that at least one aspect of a person's IQ can be improved by training a certain type of memory.

Most IQ tests attempt to measure two types of intelligence--crystallized and fluid intelligence. Crystallized intelligence draws on existing skills, knowledge and experiences to solve problems by accessing information from long-term memory.

Fluid intelligence, on the other hand, draws on the ability to understand relationships between various concepts, independent of any previous knowledge or skills, to solve new problems. The research shows that this part of intelligence can be improved through memory training.

"When it comes to improving intelligence, many researchers have thought it was not possible," says Jaeggi. "Our findings clearly show this is not the case. Our brain is more plastic than we might think."

Jaeggi, Buschkuehl and Walter Perrig from Bern University, Switzerland, along with Jon Jonides, their National Science Foundation-supported colleague from the University of Michigan, reasoned that just as crystallized intelligence relies on long-term memory, fluid intelligence relies on short-term memory, or "working memory," as it is more accurately called. This is the same type of memory people use to remember a phone number or an e-mail address for a short time, but beyond that, working memory refers to the ability to both manipulate and use information briefly stored in the mind in the face of distraction.

Researchers gathered four groups of volunteers and trained their working memories using a complex training task called "dual n-back training," which presented both auditory and visual cues that participants had to temporarily store and recall.

Participants received the training during a half hour session held once a day for either eight, 12, 17 or 19 days. For each of these training periods, researchers tested participants' gains in fluid intelligence. They compared the results against those of control groups to be sure the volunteers actually improved their fluid intelligence, not merely their test-taking skills.

The results were surprising. While the control groups made gains, presumably because they had practice with the fluid intelligence tests, the trained groups improved considerably more than the control groups. Further, the longer the participants trained, the larger were their intelligence gains.

"Our findings clearly show that training on certain memory tasks transfer to fluid intelligence," says Jaeggi. "We also find that individuals with lower fluid intelligence scores at pre-test could profit from the training."

The results are significant because improved fluid intelligence scores could translate into improved general intelligence as measured by IQ tests. General intelligence is a key to determining life outcomes such as academic success, job performance and occupational advancement.

Researchers also surmise that this same type of memory training may help children with developmental problems and older adults who face memory decline. But, that remains to be seen, because the test results are based on assessments of young, healthy adult participants.

"Even though it currently appears very hard to improve these conditions, there might be some memory training related to intelligence that actually helps," says Jaeggi. "The saying 'use it or lose it' is probably appropriate here."

Since it is not known whether the improvements in fluid intelligence last after the training stops, researchers currently are measuring long-term fluid intelligence gains with both laboratory testing and long-term field work. Researchers say it will be some time before a complete data set is available to draw any conclusions.
Thursday, June 5th, 2008
1:10 am
Monday, June 2nd, 2008
10:27 am
Anyone interested in the stock market?
x-posted around

Is anyone here interested in the stock market or work in the financial sector?

Well check it outCollapse )
Sunday, May 25th, 2008
1:09 pm
Spinochordodes tellinii

The nematomorph hairworm Spinochordodes tellinii is a parasitic worm whose larvae develop in Orthopteran insects (grasshoppers and crickets). This parasite is able to influence its host's behavior: once the parasite is grown, it causes its grasshopper host to seek out and jump into water, where the grasshopper will likely drown. The parasite then leaves its host; the adult worm lives and reproduces in water.

The microscopic larvae are ingested by their insect hosts and develop inside them into worms that can be three to four times longer than the host.

The precise molecular mechanism underlying the modification of the host's behaviour is not yet known. A study in 2005 indicated that grasshoppers which contain the parasite express, or create, different proteins in their brains than do uninfected grasshoppers. Some of these proteins have been linked to neurotransmitter activity, others to geotactic activity, or the body's response to changes in gravity. Further, it appeared that the parasite produces proteins from the Wnt family that act directly on the development of the central nervous system and are similar to proteins known from other insects, suggesting an instance of molecular mimicry.

A similar parasitic worm is Paragordius tricuspidatus.

Saturday, May 24th, 2008
4:11 pm
Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
1:44 pm
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
1:47 pm
Monday, May 19th, 2008
8:05 pm
The Perimeter of Ignorance
x-posted to my journal

The Perimeter of Ignorance
A boundary where scientists face a choice: invoke a deity or continue the quest for knowledge
by Neil deGrasse Tyson
From Natural History magazine — November 2005

Writing in centuries past, many scientists felt compelled to wax poetic about cosmic mysteries and God's handiwork. Perhaps one should not be surprised at this: most scientists back then, as well as many scientists today, identify themselves as spiritually devout.

But a careful reading of older texts, particularly those concerned with the universe itself, shows that the authors invoke divinity only when they reach the boundaries of their understanding. They appeal to a higher power only when staring into the ocean of their own ignorance. They call on God only from the lonely and precarious edge of incomprehension. Where they feel certain about their explanations, however, God gets hardly a mention.

Let's start at the top...
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7:56 pm
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