Science is Cool
I write science fiction. So, I read a lot of a science articles. Daily I read New Scientist and Scientific American’s top news stories. I usually also visit the Gene Expression blog, John Hawks anthropology blog and also the Neurophilosopher’s Blog. Some weeks I come across all sorts of cool science news. Some geeky fun for you:
- The military is developing “Brain Ports” to enable soldiers to see with their tongues: Microelectrodes implanted in the tongue send a visual or auditory signal directly to the brain.
- God Particle Found? Experimental particle physicist John Conway may have found the Higgs boson, the itty bitty bit that forms the mass of all things.
- Check the skies tomorrow afternoon for a blood red Moon total lunar eclipse.
- Neolithic Europeans were lactose intolerant. I always knew I was a throwback to an earlier time.
- DNA Flash Drive. John Hawks has a great take on how to make use of storing messages in your own DNA.
- Ever wondered what the brainmap of a duck-billed platypus looked like? Now you can find out at Brainmaps.org.(Source: The Neurophilosopher’s Blog)
- Yeah, but whose genes will be in my breakfast cereal? They’ve added “immunity-boosting proteins normally found in blood, saliva, and breast milk” to rice. I just want to know who the source was for that DNA.
5 thoughts on “Science is Cool”
The “brain ports” sound interesting. I read about this a few days ago – there’s a vid here. But your link goes to a Slate story about why old men shouldn’t impregnate younger women!
Actually, you have to scroll down to see the article. Slate doesn’t have an anchor link for each story, so all I can do is link to the page. I know, it’s annoying. Thanks for the link! The video of the device in use was very informative.
Aha! Silly me! Thanks Lisa.
Re: genes in rice — oh, yay, something else I have to worry about in my food.
They’ve already shown that altered genes have migrated out of corn into native species of corns/related grasses, so it’s only a matter of time until the new genes migrate out of rice, too.
I have mixed feelings about the brain ports idea. It’d be cool to upload, say, Gaelic vocabulary and grammar, but it’s still a bit squicky.
I think I’m most excited about the DNA Flash drive possibility and what that means for our relationships to artificial intelligence.
I just read this morning that what’s been added to rice is “lysozyme, an enzyme that kills some bacteria by breaking down their cell walls. . ” and “… lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein that helps us absorb the metal while starving bacteria of it.” (Source: New Scientist Short Sharp Science Blog)
Both are found in breast milk, and the human version is of course of much more use to humans than the cow version, so unless they get donors the enzymes are synthetic. Hmmm.