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Identifying the source of stem cells

EAST LANSING, Mich. – When most animals begin life, cells immediately begin accepting assignments to become a head, tail or a vital organ. However, mammals, including humans, are special. The cells of mammalian embryos get to make a different first choice – to become the protective placenta or to commit to forming the baby. read more

Assorted links

1. RBC theory won’t die soon. 2. Beware of fake priests in cemeteries. 3. Scott Alexander on whether polyamory is boring. 4. Average is Over, Sydney beach bum edition.  And Bolivia legalizes child labor for ten year olds. 5. Not your grandfather’s pot. 6. A Larry Summers summary post on secular stagnation. 7. My 2013 […]

"Down Under" Physicists Propose a Radical Parallel Universes Theory

Australian physicists are challenging the foundations of quantum science with a new, and of course, unfalsifiable, theory based on the existence of, and interactions between, parallel universes. The team proposes that parallel universes really exist, and that they interact. That...

The 100 most highly cited papers of all time: Tools, not ideas

A rather obscure paper by biochemistOliver Lowry is the most highly citedscientific paper of all time(Image: beckerarchives) Nature has published a comprehensive list of the top 100 most highly cited papers of all time and the list is...Show More Summary

When Dr. Henry Ruffner gave his “bah, humbug” to German superstitions

Since it’s Halloween Eve, I figured I would fall back on an article that I read in the past year, which was written by a Shenandoah Valley author. I’ve mentioned Henry Ruffner in this blog before, mostly because of the famous “Ruffner Pamphlet” and how it pertained to slavery in antebellum Virginia. Yet, as with all […]

Hayabusa 2 nearly ready for launch: Photos from Tanegashima, and new artist's renderings

On October 27, JAXA provided media with an opportunity to view the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft at the Tanegashima space center, where it's making final preparations for launch. Koumei Shibata was there, and took several photos. And artist Go Miyazaki has shared several terrific new renderings of the spacecraft in flight.

Disney Research develops hybrid fluid transmission enabling light and swift robotic arms

Engineers routinely face tradeoffs as they design robotic limbs – weight vs. speed, ease of control vs. fluidity. A new hybrid fluid transmission developed at Disney Research Pittsburgh promises to eliminate some of those tradeoffs, making possible robot arms that are light enough to move swiftly and gracefully, yet with precise control. read more

Size matters: Baby's size at birth may predict risk for disease later in life

A new research report published in the November 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal suggests that being overweight might be better in the long term than being underweight. Before you reach for that box of Twinkies, however, it's important to note that this discovery only applies to the weight of newborn babies in relation to risk of future disease. read more

Patents for humanity: Special edition of Technology and Innovation

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 30, 2014) – The current special issue of Technology and Innovation, is devoted to patents that benefit people around the world who live with limited resources, in challenging environments, and are in need of better access to basic needs and improved standards of living, health and infrastructure. read more

The Uproar Over the New Samaritans Radar Twitter App

Ed: We invited Mark Brown (@markoneinfour) to share the perspective from the Twitterverse on a new Twitter app released yesterday by the UK charity, the Samaritans, meant to help people who express suicidal words on Twitter. We also asked the Samaritans for their response to the concerns expressed within this article, but they did not […]

Graphics: New Oceana Study Finds Shrimp Misrepresented in the U.S.

(Photo: Oceana) Today, Oceana released a new study that found shrimp, America’s favorite seafood, to be misrepresented in the United States. In the only known study of its kind in the U.S., DNA testing confirmed that 30 percent of 143 tested shrimp products—found in 111 restaurants and grocery stores—were misrepresented. read more

A Brief History of Halloween

Yesterday I wrote about how the money spent on adult Halloween revelry now rivals, or even exceeds, that spent on kids. This may seem like a surprising shift, but it turns out it’s the focus on children that’s new. Halloween as the kid holiday we know it in the U.S. today was really invented in the […]

“This brings me to another thing: the danger of kissing on the mouth”

This semester I am at the College of William and Mary completing a practicum in archives and special collections primarily focused on digitization, the whole point of which is to make items such as manuscripts accessible to users online. As is the nature of special collections the material is one of a kind and that […]

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