Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

I will make it no secret. I’ve been asking my wife for years if we could get a glow-in-the-dark ant farm. Now that our daughter is 3, the moment is imminent when I will probably enjoy our new pets more than she will.

So when I saw news today that Milton Levine had died, “the co-creator of ant farms,”  I felt sad. (more…)


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Scientists at Mexico’s Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico have developed a solar powered air conditioner that is appropriate for their country’s hot and humid climate.

Wilifredo Rivera, who is the head of the University’s Center for Energy Investigation, told Mexican news source Milenio.com that while other countries like Germany and Japan have developed solar air conditioning systems based on their countries needs, he and his colleagues have now designed a machine specifically intended for the climate of Mexico—and as a bonus, it’s easy to maintain. It has only a few moving parts and Rivera says that “the only thing that’s necessary is to keep the set of panels clean to best capture solar radiation.”

Continue reading on Greenopolis (link)

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The Aequorea Victoria species of jellyfish has already helped provide one major scientific breakthrough. Will it lead to another?

A Wisconsin based biotechnology company claims that one of their clinical studies has shown that a protein extracted from a unique species of bioluminescent jellyfish helps improve the memories of Alzheimers patients.

Using a randomized controlled trial, Quincy Bioscience reports interim results indicating that participants who took an experimental drug with the jellyfish protein tested 14% higher on cognitive tests than those who received a placebo.

Continue reading on Greenopolis (link)

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There have been a number of times when I have wondered which states are the most biodiverse in the nation. I was surprised to discover that this information is not easily found, so I set out to make my own map and resource that would help people to easily obtain this information. And, yes, I am a proud nerd.

Before I provide more commentary about my map and a precise list of the most biodiverse states, I first should explain that “biodiversity” is a term that has no 100% agreed upon scientific definition.

Click here to continue reading on Ecopolitology and view the map.

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How a New Documentary Depicts Great White Sharks as More than Just Killers

When Sean Aronson began telling people that he was filming a short documentary about great white sharks, he received two typical responses.

“There were always those people who were excited– the shark fanatics. They live and breathe sharks. But there were also a lot of people who sighed and asked, ‘what can be said that hasn’t already been said?’ It’s kind of like celebrity news. You have people who can’t get enough of Brad and Angelina and then you have people that are just completely turned off from it. White sharks have gained that kind of notoriety.”

Now that his film has been released, Aronson thinks he has added something valuable and new to “what has been said” about great whites.

Continue reading on The Huffington Post

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On the day after Thanksgiving, NPR decided to strangely dump a fantastic piece of evergreen content on the internet. Why they would choose to do this on a day when more people weren’t paying attention I don’t know. It’s an animated video that humorously illustrates an experiment that was designed to find out if ants have internal pedometers– basically, if when they go back and forth to the nest they are counting their steps.

I particularly love the voices of the ants. It seems to me like a good representation of what they would actually sound like if they spoke.


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