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CZ:Did You Know?
From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Did you know?
Of naked mole rats
Anthony.Sebastian 02:35, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Ten books lost to time
"Great written works from authors such as Shakespeare and Jane Austen that you'll never have a chance to read"
By Megan Gambino, Smithsonian.com, September 20, 2011
1. Homer’s Margites
2. Lost Books of the Bible
3. William Shakespeare’s Cardenio
4. Inventio Fortunata
5. Jane Austen’s Sanditon
6. Herman Melville’s The Isle of the Cross
7. Thomas Hardy’s The Poor Man and the Lady
8. First draft of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
9. Ernest Hemingway’s World War I novel
10. Sylvia Plath’s Double Exposure
If you want to learn what's known about those books, click the link above.
How to pick the best puppy of the litter
Names of Dogs in Ancient Greece, by Adrienne Mayor (Wonders & Marvels Contributor)
Which is the finest puppy in a litter? Like moderns, the ancients looked for an adventurous and friendly nature, but one test for selecting the pick of the litter seems rather heartless today. Let the mother choose for you, advises Nemesianus, a Roman expert on hunting dogs. Take away her puppies, surround them with an oil-soaked string and set it on fire. The mother will jump over the ring of flames and rescue each puppy, one by one, in order of their merit.
Effects of volunteering
“(Medical Xpress) -- Many people these days feel a sense of “time famine”—never having enough minutes and hours to do everything. We all know that our objective amount of time can’t be increased (there are only 24 hours in a day), but a new study suggests that volunteering our limited time—giving it away— may actually increase our sense of unhurried leisure.”
Phytoplankton grow under Arctic sea ice
Massive Phytoplankton Blooms Under Arctic Sea Ice
Kevin R.Arigo et al. Science Published Online June 7 2012
- Phytoplankton blooms over Arctic Ocean continental shelves are thought to be restricted to waters free of sea ice.
- Here, we document a massive phytoplankton bloom beneath fully consolidated pack ice far from the ice edge in the Chukchi Sea, where light transmission has increased in recent decades because of thinning ice cover and proliferation of melt ponds.
- The bloom was characterized by high diatom biomass and rates of growth and primary production.
- Evidence suggests that under-ice phytoplankton blooms may be more widespread over nutrient-rich Arctic continental shelves and that satellite-based estimates of annual primary production in these waters may be underestimated by up to 10-fold.
Whales have cultural intelligence
14:57, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
See: [http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/09/whale-billboard-pop-culture-of-the-planets-largest-species.html Whale "Billboard" --'Pop Culture' of the Planet's Largest Species]
See: Whale Culture, by Karen Lurie ScienCentral News 13th January 2004
Dynamic Horizontal Cultural Transmission of Humpback Whale Song at the Ocean Basin Scale. Ellen C. Garland et al. 2011.
Cultural transmission, the social learning of information or behaviors from conspecifics [1–5], is believed to occur in a number of groups of animals, including primates [1, 6–9], cetaceans [4, 10, 11], and birds [3, 12, 13]. Cultural traits can be passed vertically (from parents to offspring), obliquely (from the previous generation via a nonparent model to younger individuals), or horizontally (between unrelated individuals from similar age classes or within generations) . Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have a highly stereotyped, repetitive, and progressively evolving vocal sexual display or ‘‘song’’ [14–17] that functions in sexual selection (through mate attraction and/or male social sorting) [18–20]. All males within a population conform to the current version of the display (song type), and similarities may exist among the songs of populations.
For smokers, eating broccoli helps keep their lungs clean
19:30, 22 April 2011 (UTC For smokers, eating broccoli helps keep their lungs clean. The normal cleaning system whereby lung macrophages remove debri and microbes is defective in patients with chronic onstructive lung disease (COPD)and in smokers. Sulphorane, a chemical in broccoli, can enhance the chemical pathway in the lungs that activates macrophages, Nrf2, a pathway damaged by smoking and COPD.
Shyam Biswal at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues, exposed defective macrophages from the lungs of 43 people with COPD to two bacterial strains that are common causes of COPD-associated infections. In the presence of sulphoraphane, the NRF2 pathway was boosted and the macrophages' ability to engulf bacteria was restored.
- ↑ Christopher J. Harvey, Rajesh K. Thimmulappa, Sanjay Sethi, Xiaoni Kong, Lonny Yarmus, Robert H. Brown, David Feller-Kopman, Robert Wise, Shyam Biswal. Targeting Nrf2 Signaling Improves Bacterial Clearance by Alveolar Macrophages in Patients with COPD and in a Mouse Model. Sci Transl Med 3:78ra32.
- From Editor's Summary: With every breath we take, the outside air assaults the lungs. Along with life-sustaining oxygen come dust, dirt, and microbes. A well-functioning lung cleanses itself with broom-like cilia that sweep out debris and with a robust innate immune defense system driven by macrophages that subdue infectious invaders. But constant exposure to cigarette smoke or pollution can interfere with this self-cleaning system and cause the lung ailment COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). This common disease is characterized by two conditions that cause shortness of breath, wheezing, chronic cough, and tightness in the chest: emphysema—which is associated with progressive destruction of lung tissue—and bronchitis—an inflammation of the airway passages (bronchi). Understanding the mechanistic details of how irritants in the air disable the lung’s defenses can help uncover possible drug targets. Now, Harvey and colleagues have fingered a cigarette smoke–triggered change in a signaling pathway that regulates defense against oxidative stress, which may impair lung macrophage function. In both COPD patients and a mouse model of COPD, a phytochemical found in broccoli can activate this pathway and improve the ability of lung macrophages to sequester and inactivate the bacteria that often causes exacerbations of COPD. …Although the mechanism is unclear, lung macrophages from patients with COPD are defective in taking up (phagocytosing) bacteria for eventual destruction.
01:39, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
|Once, [neutrinos] were thought to have no mass and to travel at the speed of light; today we know that they do have a little mass, though so trifling that no one has yet measured it.|
|All we know is that if you had some subatomic scales, it would take at least 100,000 neutrinos to balance a single electron.|
| Even so, their vast numbers make it possible that, in total, they outweigh all the visible matter of the universe.
18:30, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
|In many ways music appears to be hardwired in us. Anthropologists have yet to discover a single human culture without its own form of music.|
|Children don't need any formal training to learn how to sing and dance.|
|And music existed long before modern civilization . In 2008 archaeologists in Germany discovered the remains of a 35,000•year•old flute.|
|Music, in other words, is universal, easily learned, and ancient.|
|That's what you would expect of an instinct that evolved in our distant ancestors.|
- ↑ Zimmer C. (2010) Column: The Brain. Discover, December. Pages 28-29.
22:10, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
- Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have linked resveratrol, a chemical compound [a polyphenol] found in red wine, to improved health of patients with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), also known as “pre-diabetes.” read more, page 3.
01:33, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
- Carl Linnaeus's passion for nature was clear from the start. His school chums nicknamed him the "little botanist" because, according to biographer Wilfrid Blunt, he was "always playing truant in the summer months and going off into the countryside to look for plants." The little botanist soon became interested in a career in medicine—a natural path, since doctors at that time were well versed in the pharmaceutical uses of plants. In 1735, at age 28, he obtained a medical degree. Six years later, after practicing in Stockholm, he accepted a position as professor of medicine and botany at the University of Uppsala. —Kathy B. Maher.
Fingerprint analysis not flawless
01:13, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
- "FINGERPRINTS were once the cornerstone of forensic identification. Now a report into a miscarriage of justice has renewed pressure on print examiners to improve their methods, while two new studies reveal the extent of their fallibility. The results could change the fingerprint profession worldwide."
- From issue 2844 of New Scientist magazine, page 8.
- Miscarriage of justice points to fingerprint flaws. 28 December 2011 by Linda Geddes
Ten scientists who mattered in 2011
—Anthony.Sebastian 15:23, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Ten people who mattered this year in science. Nature. 21-Dec-2011
Dario Autiero: Relativity challenger
Sara Seager: Planet seeker
Lisa Jackson: Pollution cop
Essam Sharaf: Science revolutionary
Diederik Stapel: Fallen star
Rosie Redfield: Critical enquirer
Danica May Comacho: Child of the times
Mike Lamont: The Higgs mechanic
Tatsuhiko Kodama: Fukushima's gadfly
John Rogers: Tech exec
- Read their stories.
Physics World's 2011 Books of the Year. With hundreds of popular-physics books published every year, finding the best is far from easy. Below, James Dacey, Matin Durrani and Margaret Harris reveal Physics World's choices for the 10 best books reviewed in the magazine in 2011
10. Rising Force: the Magic of Magnetic Levitation
- by James Livingston
9. The Hidden Reality
- by Brian Greene
8. Lab Coats in Hollywood: Science, Scientists and Cinema
- by David Kirby
7. Modernist Cuisine
- by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet
6. Measure of the Earth: the Enlightenment Expedition that Reshaped the World
- by Larrie D Ferreiro
5. Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, a Tale of Love and Fallout
- by Lauren Redniss
4. Engineering Animals
- by Mark Denny and Alan McFadzean
3. Hindsight and Popular Astronomy
- by Alan B Whiting
2. The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality
- by Richard Panek
1. Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science
- by Lawrence Krauss
Zen meditation increases access to unconscious information
Consciousness and Cognition Available online 28 April 2012 In Press, Corrected Proof
Zen meditation and access to information in the unconscious ☆ · Madelijn Stricka, , , · Tirza H.J. van Noordena, · Rients R. Ritskesc, · Jan R. de Ruiterb, , , · Ap Dijksterhuisa · a Social Psychology Program, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Montessorilaan 3, PO Box 9104, 6500 HE, Nijmegen, The Netherlands · b Department of Anthropology, Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, United Kingdom · c 6581 CL, Malden, The Netherlands · Received 15 August 2011. Available online 28 April 2012. · http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2012.02.010, How to Cite or Link Using DOI · Permissions & Reprints
Abstract In two experiments and two different research paradigms, we tested the hypothesis that Zen meditation increases access to accessible but unconscious information. Zen practitioners who meditated in the lab performed better on the Remote Associate Test (RAT; Mednick, 1962) than Zen practitioners who did not meditate. In a new, second task, it was observed that Zen practitioners who meditated used subliminally primed words more than Zen practitioners who did not meditate. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed. hh Highlights ► We examined whether Zen meditation increases access to unconscious information. ► Advanced Zen practitioners meditated in the lab or not. ► Meditation increased performance on the Remote Associate Test. ► Meditation increased the use of subliminally primed words