Science

5:03pm

Tue November 20, 2012
Science

Xenoceratops Is New 'Alien Horned Face' Dinosaur

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 6:14 pm

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Michael Ryan, Coordinator of Research and Curator and Head of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, about a new dinosaur species discovery — the Xenoceratops.

2:40pm

Tue November 20, 2012
The Salt

Coconut Conservationist Seeks Pacific Islands For Fun And Palm Preservation

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 8:59 am

The diversity of coconut trees like these planted along the beach in the northern Philippines is in danger, but a French scientist has a plan.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

French adventurer-scientist Roland Bourdeix has a grand, almost surreal, vision for how to preserve a thousand or more genetic varieties of coconut trees. Imagine, as he does, turning dozens or hundreds of remote Pacific islands into coconut sanctuaries. Each island would contain just a few varieties of these trees. No others would be allowed, because the whole point of this exercise is to prevent uncontrolled mixing of genes from different varieties.

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12:40pm

Tue November 20, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Reality Of Reality May Not Be Reality

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 8:31 am

The Matrix: Which pill do you choose?
Warner Bros./Photofest

Every night for months before the presidential election, Nate Silver would fire up his computer and run simulated results for his FiveThirtyEight blog on The New York Times. He ran hundreds of these simulations, tweaking variables like "white male poodle owner" turnout. Then along came Election Day. We all went out to vote (you did vote right?) and reality became the final word, trumping whatever Nate Silver's simulated universe might, or might not, have said.

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3:28am

Tue November 20, 2012
Space

Big News From Mars? Rover Scientists Mum For Now

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:11 pm

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity dug up five scoops of sand from a patch nicknamed "Rocknest." A suite of instruments called SAM analyzed Martian soil samples, but the findings have not yet been released.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists working on NASA's six-wheeled rover on Mars have a problem. But it's a good problem.

They have some exciting new results from one of the rover's instruments. On the one hand, they'd like to tell everybody what they found, but on the other, they have to wait because they want to make sure their results are not just some fluke or error in their instrument.

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3:19pm

Mon November 19, 2012
The Salt

Could Nate Silver Predict How Good Your Pumpkin Pie Will Be?

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 1:55 pm

All out of nutmeg? The same algorithms that predicts your friends on Facebook can also figure out ingredient substitutions for your pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving.
Courtesy of Lada Adamic.

We've been hearing a lot recently about how algorithms can predict just about anything. They find long-lost friends on Facebook and guess which books we'll buy next on Amazon. Algorithms hit the big time this month, when New York Times blogger Nate Silver used mathematical models and statistics to correctly forecast the outcome of every state in the presidential election.

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12:01pm

Mon November 19, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Why Not Say It Simply? How About Very Simply?

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 12:27 pm

xkcd: "Another thing that is a bad problem is if you're flying toward space and the parts start to fall off your space car in the wrong order. If that happens, it means you won't go to space today, or maybe ever."
xkcd

There are people (and I hear from them constantly) who think if a subject is sophisticated, like science, the language that describes it should be sophisticated, too.

If smart people say torque, ribosome, limbic, stochastic and kinase, then the rest of us should knuckle down, concentrate and figure out what those words mean. That's how we'll know when we've learned something: when we've mastered the technical words.

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10:48am

Mon November 19, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Let's Look Beyond Random Trials When Assessing New Drug Treatments

In this post I report, in outline, a recent publication in PLOS ONE by Margaret Eppstein, Jeffrey Horbar, Jeff Buzas and myself, Stuart Kauffman. All four of us are at the University of Vermont, with Horbar also director of the Vermont Oxford Network of over 900 hospitals. I will refer to the four co-authors as "The Vermont Group." The full paper is entitled "Searching the Clinical Fitness Landscape".

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5:28am

Sat November 17, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

The Big Apple's Mayor Makes A Very Scary Video

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 10:15 am

YouTube

5:00pm

Fri November 16, 2012
Shots - Health News

This Is How Diabetes Swept The Nation

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 6:22 am

The march of diabetes across the nation.
Stephanie d'Otreppe NPR

When it comes to diabetes, just about everyone has heard there's an epidemic upon us.

In 2010, about 18.8 million people of all ages in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 7 million had diabetes but hadn't been diagnosed.

How much have things changed?

Back in 1995, about 4.5 percent of adults in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes. By 2010, the prevalence had zoomed to 8.2 percent.

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4:57pm

Fri November 16, 2012
The Salt

EPA Says Its Ethanol Rules Aren't Driving Up Food Prices

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 3:47 pm

A sign on the pump advertises the ethanol content of the gasoline as a motorist reaches for the gas pump in his truck at a filling station in Bellmead, Texas.
LM Otero AP

The ethanol industry is happy with the Environmental Protection Agency today. If you're worried about the price of meat, though, you may not be so pleased.

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