Lit Round-up

Take Your Generosity and Shove It, Buddy

Sep 3rd, 2010 | By | Category: Lit Round-up

Who would you vote off the island: the selfish ass or the generous spirit? The selfish ass, right? Rational. WSU scientist Craig Parks along with Asako Stone set out to figure out exactly how much loutish behavior a group will tolerate before throwing the selfish out. What they discovered is far more interesting: …we also […]

Farts (Maybe) Detected on Mars. LIFE! (Maybe)

Jan 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Lit Round-up

New research reveals there is hope for Mars yet. The first definitive detection of methane in the atmosphere of Mars indicates the planet is still alive, in either a biologic or geologic sense, according to a team of NASA and university scientists. “Methane is quickly destroyed in the Martian atmosphere in a variety of ways, […]

Mark Roth, Spontaneous Combustion and Hibernation

Dec 3rd, 2008 | By | Category: Lit Round-up

In this month’s Esquire meet Mark Roth—certified genius, a fellow Seattleite and one of the more innovative scientists on the planet. Back when I was a fresh and new graduate student, I took a course co-chaired by him and fellow Hutch professor Dan Gottschling—on the chromosome—that propelled me forward to my thesis project. At the […]

Cure HIV with a Bone Marrow Transplant?

Nov 14th, 2008 | By | Category: Lit Round-up

His donor marrow was mutant for CCR5. Now six hundred days after receiving the CCR5-lacking bone marrow, his doctors cannot detect HIV virus in his blood–even though the patient is no longer on drug treatment for HIV.

I’d stick with drug therapy, if given the choice.

Good From Bad: Steel in the Towers to Steel in Fusion Reactors

Sep 11th, 2008 | By | Category: Lit Round-up

Via the BBC: Scientists say an understanding of how the Twin Towers collapsed will help them develop the materials needed to build fusion reactors. New research shows how steel will fail at high temperatures because of the magnetic properties of the metal… The key advance is the understanding that, at high temperatures, tiny irregularities in […]

Wait, Why Are There Gay Men?

Jun 25th, 2008 | By | Category: Lead Article, Lit Round-up

If being a gay man is an inborn, inherent trait with some genetic basis–as the massive, overwhelming, credible, sound, tenable, probable, corroborating, confirming, affirmative collection of scientific evidence states–why are there gay men at all? It’s a trait that strongly discourages procreative sex. Less sex with women means less babies and therefore less spreading of […]

Cyborg Monkeys and How the Brain Controls the Body

May 29th, 2008 | By | Category: Lit Round-up

Thanks to our continuing success in Iraq, you might have noticed distinctly fewer limbs in today’s America. Hence this recent work published in the journal Nature is quite encouraging: Here we describe a system that permits embodied prosthetic control; we show how monkeys (Macaca mulatta) use their motor cortical activity to control a mechanized arm […]

Science Round-up: Feeding and Bullying Edition

Feb 22nd, 2008 | By | Category: Lit Round-up

Eat more drumsticks: Broiler (meat) chickens have been subjected to intense genetic selection. In the past 50 years, broiler growth rates have increased by over 300% (from 25 g per day to 100 g per day). There is growing societal concern that many broiler chickens have impaired locomotion or are even unable to walk. Here […]