ars_belli: Abell 2744 (Abell 2744)
[personal profile] ars_belli
Long-time lurker, first-time poster here...
Every week (most) astrophysics papers (amongst other fields) go up as pre-prints in a site called arXiv, which enables the community to see who is doing what and which topics are hot now, etc. etc. There's no better way to check that one's understood a paper than to explain it to a non-specialist audience. So I thought I would take a small collection (not more than half-a-dozen) of the hundred-plus papers which appear in General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology and Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics and summarize them in a paragraph for a non-astrophysics audience. Is this the sort of thing in which [community profile] science would be interested?

Edit: Apologies for the earlier HTML fail...
nanila: (kusanagi: amused)
[personal profile] nanila
Zoology: Here be dragons

The abstract:
Emerging evidence indicates that dragons can no longer be dismissed as creatures of legend and fantasy, and that anthropogenic effects on the world's climate may inadvertently be paving the way for the resurgence of these beasts.

The calm was shaken briefly from 1586 to 1597 with The First Stir. Dragons behave no differently from other ectotherms in their brumation protocols, and they will periodically awaken from their slumber and check to see whether outside conditions justify ending the torpor. With their need to maintain extremely high temperatures in their buccal and nasal furnaces, it is crucially important for the fire-breathing species to ensure that the environmental conditions are energetically favourable before breaking their dormancy: there must be warmth and food. Fortunately, The First Stir coincided with the depths of the Little Ice Age and a bewildering lack of knights. Thus, the decision to return to slumber was made without hesitation.
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (science flower)
[personal profile] jjhunter
If anyone's in a playful mood, come drop by and add stanzas for your favorite scientists. (Alphabetical order optional.) Odd letters (1st, 3rd, etc.) are 5-7-5, even 7-7.

[personal profile] jjhunter: Haikai Fest: 'A Scientist Alphabet'
A's Avogadro
whose constant counts up one mole
he summed mass in gas

Speaking of scientists past and present, I'm doing a neat little side project at work where I find and evocatively write up a short quote about science or science culture (or 'relevant to science education') every two weeks or so on the little whiteboard by my desk.

I'd love to feature more quotes from scientists of color, past or present, and/or scientists who are women — any recommendations? So far I've done quotes from Rosalind Franklin, Marie Curie, Maria Mitchell, Siddhartha Mukherjee re: Rudlof Virchow, Stephan Jay Gould, Atul Gawande, and Mario Livio (see all at tumblr).

Photo of example quote behind the cut )

Admins, might I trouble you for a 'science history' or 'history of science' tag of some kind? Many thanks!

Comet ISON

Nov. 28th, 2013 12:24 pm
nanila: fulla starz (lolcat: science)
[personal profile] nanila
The comet ISON is on approach to the sun and has entered the field of view of the long-running SOHO (Solar Heliospheric Observatory) mission. There are some fantastic shots of it traversing towards the sun through a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) on the SOHO web site. The images were captured by the LASCO instrument on board the spacecraft. Stunning stuff - have a look!

This is LASCO's perspective on the sun and the comet. The sun is in the centre, blocked out so that the instrument can focus on what's going on around the edge of it. If you watch the latest movie on the web site, you'll see a big CME forming on the lower right side of the sun, and then ISON appears from the side and streaks toward the centre.

Images and movies from today's data on the SOHO NASA web site.

ETA 20:50 GMT: It looks like the comet may have broken up at perihelion (closest approach to the sun), as shown in this video by another sun-observing spacecraft, STEREO.
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (Default)
[personal profile] jjhunter
A neat bit of engineering in this press release from MIT today, One-two punch knocks out aggressive tumors.
To improve Doxil’s effectiveness, Hammond’s team wanted to combine it with another type of therapy known as RNA interference (RNAi), which uses very short strands of RNA to block the expression of specific genes inside a living cell.

The researchers used a technique called layer-by-layer assembly to coat the Doxil particles with one layer of siRNA mixed with a positively charged polymer that helps to stabilize the RNA. This layer contains up to 3,500 siRNA molecules, each targeted to block a gene that allows cancer cells to pump the drug molecules out of the cells.

One of the major challenges that researchers have faced in developing RNAi as a cancer treatment is getting the particles to survive in the bloodstream long enough to reach their intended targets. To overcome this, the MIT particles include an outer coating of hyaluronic acid. These molecules absorb water, allowing the nanoparticles to flow through blood vessels undisturbed, Hammond says.

“This stealth layer becomes a cushion of water surrounding the nanoparticle, which allows it to go through the bloodstream as if it were water,” Hammond says. “That makes it circulate much more effectively.”
n.b. for more info on RNA interference, see this NIH factsheet.
kaberett: A series of phrases commonly used in academic papers, accompanied by humourous "translations". (science!)
[personal profile] kaberett
Hi all -- at the end of September I went to a two-day workshop at the Royal Society on the Origin of the Moon, and took copious notes during each session. I've been posting them in my own DW (not cleaned up at all) and inviting questions; I've just reached the end of the first day. Thought some of you might be interested to know that this is info I am sticking online!
jjhunter: multiple watercolor butterflies flying (butterfly flock)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Forschungszentrum Jülich press release: New Theory of Synapse Formation in the Brain
Jülich, 10 October 2013 – The human brain keeps changing throughout a person’s lifetime. New connections are continually created while synapses that are no longer in use degenerate. To date, little is known about the mechanisms behind these processes. Jülich neuroinformatician Dr. Markus Butz has now been able to ascribe the formation of new neural networks in the visual cortex to a simple homeostatic rule that is also the basis of many other self-regulating processes in nature. With this explanation, he and his colleague Dr. Arjen van Ooyen from Amsterdam also provide a new theory on the plasticity of the brain – and a novel approach to understanding learning processes and treating brain injuries and diseases.

Associated PLOS Computational Biology article is freely available online: Markus Butz + Arjen van Ooyen's A Simple Rule for Dendritic Spine and Axonal Bouton Formation Can Account for Cortical Reorganization after Focal Retinal Lesions.

Admins, can we have a 'Neuro' tag of some kind? (Neuroscience / Neurobiology / etc.)
nanila: fulla starz (lolcat: science)
[personal profile] nanila
If you want to show a bit of love for a spacecraft currently in lonely orbit around a planet 900 million miles away, you can do so by waving at Saturn on Friday or Saturday, 19 or 20 July, depending on your time zone. Cassini will be taking a photograph that includes the Earth.

If you're in Britain you will be wanting to wave at around 10:30 PM on Friday. If you're on the west coast of the USA, you will be wanting wave at around 2:30 PM on Friday. If you're in (most parts of) Australia, you'll want to wave at 7:30 AM on Saturday.

The NASA page about the photo Cassini is going to take
The "Wave at Saturn" Facebook event page
Where to look in the sky for Saturn (US-centric)
"Wave at Saturn" banners in different languages

salad_barbarian: Richard (Richard)
[personal profile] salad_barbarian
jjhunter: Drawing of human J.J. in red and brown inks with steampunk goggle glasses (red J.J. inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Thought experiment I'm hosting over at my journal, [personal profile] jjhunter: Come All Ye Castles, Ancient and Neglected
So: castles. Let's do a version of [the 'Earth Without People'] thought experiment with a castle, say a château (-fort or otherwise) like the Château d'Ussé in France. If you take humans out of the picture for a hundred years, what happens to that building and the land immediately surrounding it? If we were to take snapshots of particular elements at 10, 20, 50, 100 years, what would that progression look like?
I'm particularly interested in what might happening chemically / structurally to the building itself and its contents if no one's doing preventative maintenance, and how the proportions of various animal and plant populations might shift over time if there's no selective breeding / weeding /etc. going on.

A/N: admins, can we have a tag of some kind for 'thought experiment'?
jjhunter: Closeup of the face from postcard of da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa' with alterations made by Duchamp, i.e. moustache and goatee. (LHOOQ)
[personal profile] jjhunter
At my journal I'm soliciting recommendations for good historical and/or scientific images (or sources for finding them!) for illustrating in-depth discussion of cancer. See the post for details.

ETA: admins, can there be a tag or tags for posts to this community to the effect of 'visual meta', 'scientific illustration', 'visual communication', or 'visualizing science'? Thanks!
shistavanenjedi: (Default)
[personal profile] shistavanenjedi
I don't have the experience for this, so I won't be applying, but I thought it might be useful to someone who has if they are a member of this group and is interested in the conservation of canids. It is a advertisement, so it looks like they might be having difficulty filling the post. There are only around 500 of these wolves left in the world and they are highly endangered due to their subsitabily to diseases such as rabies, canine distemper and parvo virus and interbreeding with domestic dogs.  So if the only thing I can do to help these wolves is to point someone in the right direction for the job, then so be it.

Thanks for reading.
jjhunter: Flaming Klein Bottle with image of the face of Dean Winchester (SPN) in b&w to the left (catch divider)
[personal profile] jjhunter
NPR has a decent overview here; I've posted my own more technical overview at my journal, News to Watch: MERS; and as always, you can get reliable up-to-date info on disease outbreaks @ the WHO site, e.g. GAR: Coronavirus infections.
swordznsorcery: (xenon)
[personal profile] swordznsorcery
Saw this piece today, and thought it was worth sharing. It's an engaging little article about the awesomeness of the mantis shrimp.

The sea has all the best things.
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter
One of the threads at my Snow Day Soiree today begins A is for Antigen...

Come bring what you're currently trying to figure out, and strike up a conversation thread or two!
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)
[personal profile] zvi
Arisia is a four day science fiction con starting Friday. I have a four day registration, a king room to share, and a round trip ticket from Washington Union Station to Boston South Station. (My room mate had a last minute work situation come up.)

Please email me by midnight Tuesday at if you are interested in all or part of the above.
jjhunter: Serene person of color with shaved head against abstract background half blue half brown (scientific sage)
[personal profile] jjhunter
[personal profile] sparkymonster is looking for not-textbook-but-more-technical-and-sciency-than-the-usual-popular-science-book book recommendations for her brother here, who requested:
"a book about one of these: planetary geology, life on other planets, astronomy, earth geology. I'd like a book that focuses on the science itself, not the sociology of science, not the cultural history of history. Something like Stephen Hawkins' A Brief History of Time, but not that specifically since I've already read it and probably not another book him."


science: DNA molecule (Default)
Scientists on DW

October 2016

1617181920 2122


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 24th, 2016 03:48 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios