Posts Tagged ‘sciencemagazinefirsthalf2013’

Impact of Shale Gas Development on Regional Water Quality

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Impact of Shale #Gas Development on Regional Water Quality: Disposal of #fracking wastewater will be a future issue

Cell – Trnp1 Regulates Expansion and Folding of the Mammalian Cerebral Cortex by Control of Radial Glial Fate

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Trnp1 Regulates Expansion and Folding of the Mammalian Cerebral #Cortex: less in mice gives more human-like folds

And a Glossary of Their Quarry

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Glossary of Their Quarry. #exoplanet types: circumbinary, pulsar, core & rogue. Hot Jupiters, waterworlds, #exomoons

And a Glossary of Their Quarry.

Quoting from the podcast summary…


So far, scientists have uncovered over 800 exoplanets roaming the cosmos—but as Sara Seager said earlier, we’re still searching for that Earth-like, Goldilocks planet.

Most of the planets we’ve discovered up until this point are what’s called Hot

Jupiters, which are gas giants about the size of Jupiter in our solar system with a pretty

big range on either side, so the smallest Hot Jupiters would be about 50 Earth masses.

The nastiest place to live would probably be pulsar planets.

And I

think another really unpleasant place to be would be a core planet. So core planets, they

sort of resemble something like Mercury, the size of Mercury, maybe even smaller.

I think just like in the solar system, actually, some of the best places for potentially

finding life outside of our solar system might be moons. So we call them exomoons or

moons orbiting exoplanets.

But we have seen and are seeing more and more of are theses
circumbinary planets,

which means a planet with two suns. So, Tatooine is sort of the iconic example.

Yes, waterworlds. So those are pretty diverse, and they are usually super-Earth-size so

they’ll be like 10 times the mass of Earth.

And then there are some planets that just go rogue.


Orexin Receptor Antagonists Differ from Standard Sleep Drugs by Promoting Sleep at Doses That Do Not Disrupt Cognition

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Interesting discussion of a new sleep medication related to orexin, which is a protein that when removed is associated with narcolepsy.

Genome Res. 2001 Apr;11(4):531-9.
Identification and functional analysis of mutations in the hypocretin (orexin) genes of narcoleptic canines.
Hungs M, Fan J, Lin L, Lin X, Maki RA, Mignot E.

#Orexin Receptor Antagonists Differ from Standard #Sleep Drugs… Interesting discussion of a new insomnia medication

The Protein-Folding Problem, 50 Years On

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Interesting discussion by Ken Dill reviewing the field of protein folding over the past 50 years. Dr Dill links it to a number of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and type II diabetes, which are transmitted by aberrantly folding proteins. There is also a bit of discussion about folding landscapes in the funnel.

The #Protein-Folding Problem, 50 Years On: Broad review, ranging from funnels to misfolded proteins & Alzheimer’s

How to Build a Smarter Rock

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Interesting discussion about the creation of smart rocks and smart pebbles, which allow the tracking of current. These contain a data logger embedded in either aluminum or plastic. The tricky bit is how one finds them after they have been dropped off. Some ways might be radio transmitters, metal detectors and so forth but all of these have downsides.

How to Build a Smarter #Rock? Put a data #logger into aluminum or plastic; then track via radio or metal detector

Half a Million DVDs in Your DNA | Science/AAAS | News

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Half a Million DVDs in Your #DNA: Nice writeup of Goldman et al paper, highlighting 3X density incr. to >2 PB / g DNA

Very interesting discussion outside of science about the potential of storing large quantities of archival data on DNA. The statistic is that you can store a little more than 2 petabytes in a gram of DNA. This is actually cost effective relative to magnetic tape if one wants to do storage for >500 years. However one imagines that as the price of DNA sequencing and synthesis goes down this will become more favorable, perhaps being reasonable for archival storage in the ~50 year regimen. One of the issues with DNA storage, of course, is the lack of random access and the inability to rewrite over already stored media. But for long-term archival storage DNA is considerably more stable than the magnetic storage on tape or disk.

Battle for the Barrel

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Battle for the Barrel: Going from E10 to E25 gas (%ethanol) is a battle between #biofuel hopefuls & big #oil

Should You Mix Those Two Drugs? Ask Dr. Google | Science/AAAS | News

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Should You Mix Those Two Drugs? Ask Dr. #Google. Nice use of co-associated #search queries by @Rbaltman et al.

A Call to Cyber Arms

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

A Call to Cyber Arms: Highlights the effectiveness of #stuxnet & the potential of future cyberweapons #security

Interesting discussion of various bits of computer security in relation to the United States and China. There is mention that by far the most successful weapon developed thus far is the Stuxnet virus, which has not been publicly claimed by the United States or Israel but is suggested to have originated with them. There is also mention of a Snowden-like character from China who gave an interview to a US publication in relation to the extent of Chinese hacking.