Ricinus communis cultivarAnne from Alberta (aka annkelliott@Flickr) shares another of her great images with BPotD (original | BPotD Flickr Group Pool). Thank you, Anne
As a child, I thought castor oil was an extract from animals (beavers, specifically). I suppose I can blame that on childhood logic after learning the French name for beaver. It was only much later when I learned that it was a plant derivative from the species in today''s photograph, Ricinus........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 12/9/2007 10:23:18 PM)
Hiring Practices Influenced by BeautyA new study published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences finds that the attractiveness of interviewees can significantly bias outcome in hiring practices, showing a clear distinction between the attractive and average looking interviewees in terms of high and low status job packages offered.
"When someone is viewed as attractive, they are often assumed to have many positive social traits and greater intelligence," say Carl Senior........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 12/6/2007 3:33:23 PM)
Optimism isn't always healthyPeople are generally optimistic, believing theyll do better in the future than theyve done in the past. This time around, Ill actually use that gym membership. Im sticking to the diet this time. Now is the time to start saving for a down payment on a house. However, a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that this optimism bias can lead us to make immediate choices that go against our long-term goals.
Ying Zhang, Ayelet........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 12/4/2007 9:58:04 PM)
Eryngium creticumEryngium creticum, or Crete eryngo, is native to southeast Europe, western Asia and Egypt. This photograph is from mid-August in the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden.........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 12/3/2007 8:03:33 PM)
Seed banks: the ultimate seed saversIn case of a global catastrophe, what happens to our plants? What would happen if a plant species was wiped out due to global warming, epidemics, species extinction, or a weather disaster? What if genetically modified seeds contaminate the last strain of an important heirloom crop? Some smart scientists figured out a long time ago that seed banks might save us from ourselves. Like fallout shelters for plant DNA, seed banks are doomsday vaults........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 12/3/2007 8:03:21 PM)
TechnovikingTechnoviking does not dance to the music.The music dances to Technoviking.........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 12/3/2007 7:43:41 PM)
Chinese imports need to improveOver recent months, a long list of consumer goods from China - everything from seafood to toothpaste to toys - have been the objects of recalls.
And while some quality-control improvements are being made, a team of MSU scientists just back from China say they still have a long way to go.
"There are problems with a lack of trained staff to do the certifications, lack of training for producers and distributors and inadequate government........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/27/2007 10:28:51 PM)
First observation of 'persistent flow' in a gasUsing laser light to stir an ultracold gas of atoms, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Joint Quantum Institute (NIST/University of Maryland) have demonstrated the first persistent current in an ultracold atomic gas a frictionless flow of particles. This relatively long-lived flow, a hallmark of a special property known as superfluidity, might help bring to the surface some deep physics insights, and........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/27/2007 10:22:17 PM)
Snow is a harsh editor, bringing out the most dramatic details and burying the rest. This black gum sapling grows less than ten feet from a trail, but I’d never focused on it before: an antelope in mid-leap, looking back over its shoulder
From almost nothing in the depths of the hollow, the snow grew thicker on leaves and branches as I climbed the side of the ridge. A hundred yards beyond the “antelope,” I surprised a doe........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/19/2007 7:49:30 PM)
Deppea splendensvan swearingen@Flickr is the contributor of today''s photograph from Huntington Botanical Gardens in California (original | BPotD Flickr Group Pool). Thank you
Golden fuchsia seems to be the common name for this plant (though it''s not a fuchsia). On the related topic of its scientific name, a team of Hungarian taxonomists have suggested it be renamed Csapodya splendens, but the GRIN Taxonomy Database has retained Deppea splendens (so far)........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/19/2007 7:49:01 PM)
Conforming to the NormSolomon Asch''s classic ) had found that when people were faced with making a judgement on an ambiguous test, they used other people''s judgements as a reference point.This makes perfect sense. If I''m not sure about something, I''ll check with someone else. But this is only when I''m not sure. The situation is quite different when I have unambiguous information, such as when I can clearly see the answer myself. Other people''s judgement should........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/19/2007 7:35:42 PM)
genomes of 12 fly speciesIn work that reveals important clues in the evolution of genes, an international consortium of MIT researchers and his colleagues has analyzed the genomes of twelve species of the fruit fly Drosophila in one of the first large-scale comparisons of multiple animal genomes.
The researchers' approach may also help unlock the secrets of other genomes, including our own.
The work appears in the Nov. 8 issue of Nature and in more than 40........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/18/2007 8:50:54 PM)
New Theory Of Brain FlexibilityCarnegie Mellon University neuroscientist Marcel Just and Stanford postdoctoral fellow Sashank Varma have put forward a new computational theory of brain function that provides answers to one of the central questions of modern science: How does the human brain organize itself to give rise to complex cognitive tasks such as reading, problem solving and spatial reasoning? Just and Varmas theory, called 4CAPS, is described in the fall issue of the........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/15/2007 10:08:50 PM)
How Water "Lubricates" ProteinsScientists are one more step closer to understanding how proteins move when they perform functions essential for supporting life.
For the first time, researchers have directly observed how water lubricates the movements of protein molecules to enable different functions to happen.
In a paper reported in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ohio State University scientists report using ultra-fast........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/14/2007 9:16:43 PM)
Changing environment organizes genetic structureWhat is the fundamental creative force behind life on Earth" It's a question that has vexed mankind for millennia, and thanks to theory and almost a year's worth of number-crunching on a supercomputer, Rice University physicist and bioengineer Michael Deem thinks he has the answer: A changing environment may organize the structure of genetic information itself.
Deem's research is available online and slated to appear next month in Physical........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/13/2007 9:34:38 PM)
Chimps dig up clues to human past?One of the keys enabling the earliest human ancestors to trade a forest home for more open country may have been the ability to gather underground foods. Now a team of researchers reports for the first time that in Tanzania our closest living relatives, chimpanzees, are using sticks and pieces of bark to dig for edible roots, tubers and bulbs.
Published the week of Nov. 12 in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/12/2007 10:26:05 PM)
Researchers discovers first moisture-sensing genesScientists in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine have discovered the first two genes involved in moisture sensing (hygrosensation). The discovery also reveals a "two-sensor" hygrosensing system in fruit flies that may allow the flies to detect subtle changes in humidity -- an ability that is critical for the flies' survival. The results appear in the Nov. 8 issue of Nature.
Subtle variations in humidity........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/7/2007 9:16:07 PM)
World's Happiest Man: Joy Can Be LearnedAre your conditions for happiness primarily external? Biochemist turned Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard has a message for you. The Dalai Lama''s right-hand man explains that the mind is malleable and happiness can be learned and measured:He finishes with this quote:"Mind training matters. That this is not just a luxury, this is not a supplementary vitamin for the soul. This is something that is going to determine the quality of every instant of........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/6/2007 9:49:00 PM)
Evolution in the NanoworldThe automatic molecular assembly and selection steps exhibited by the molecules, which start as random mixtures, demonstrates a fundamental step in the evolution of life. The organization is activated by instructions which are built-in to the molecules. During assembly, molecules exhibit active selection: those in incorrect positions move to make room for others which fit properly. The molecular-level observation of such self-selection gives,........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/1/2007 8:15:28 PM)
The Most Curious Canned Goods Found OnlineA Wired article:In celebration of strange sustenance chowed ''round the world, we''ve put together a list of freaky foodstuffs for the audacious, fearless gluttons for gourmet punishment.Of course, what we may find weird or curious can be ansolutely normal to people who grew up with these kind of foods.........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/1/2007 6:53:45 PM)
Field Guides To Evel Knievel's InjuriesEvel Knievel was perhaps the most famous daredevil in the world. His death on November 30, 2007, was preceded by years of constant battle against the persistent pain of broken bones and severe trauma after jumping and crashing motorcycles.In his 16 years of performing Evel Knievel broke about 37 bones in his body. He spent more than half the years 1966 to 1973 in hospitals. By the time he quit performing in 1981, he had undergone 14 major........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 12/9/2007 10:23:14 PM)
Ethnic discrimination not only based on prejudiceOur belief in power hierarchies is important in how we view and treat people. This is shown in a dissertation by Alexandra Snellman from Uppsala University that examines how racist and sexist prejudice creates social hierarchies and ethnic discrimination in various situations.
Discrimination and hierarchies are created not only as a result of our prejudices but are affected by other factors as well. Alexandra Snellman has studied how the........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 12/4/2007 10:21:50 PM)
Using a product before buying it changes what you wantConsumers often decide to buy an item before having a chance to try it out. In this scenario, they tend to prefer products with more features. However, a study from the recent issue of the Journal of Consumer Research expands our understanding of the differences between direct experience and indirect experience. Rebecca W. Hamilton (University of Maryland) and Debora Viana Thompson (Georgetown University) reveal that once consumers actually try........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 12/4/2007 10:06:08 PM)
Rivers and TidesI just finished watching Rivers and Tides, a film about Andy Goldsworthy, one of my favorite artists. Goldsworthy creates ephemeral art sculptures from materials found in nature. The film is amazing. Here is a clip.More images are available from the Andy Goldsworthy Digital Catalog, the Met, Met and WebShots.Time interviewed Goldsworthy earlier this Met.........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 12/3/2007 8:03:40 PM)
The Future of GeneticsForget about the recent hype around the first personalized genetic companies. These girls tell you the future of genetics:........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 12/3/2007 8:03:30 PM)
Aging Improves Parent, Child RelationshipsThe majority of relationships between parents and their adult children improve as parents transition to old age, a Purdue University researcher has found.
Karen Fingerman, an associate professor of developmental and family studies in the College of Consumer and Family Sciences, examined relationships adults 70 and older have with at least one of their adult offspring. The parents in the study also suffered either vision or hearing loss or........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 12/2/2007 9:10:11 PM)
How Materials Enter CellsScientists has captured a key step in the metabolic process that allows materials, such as nutrients and drug therapys, to move in and out of cells.
A research team led by Jue Chen, an associate professor of biological sciences, obtained a snapshot of the tiny protein gate complex that opens and closes pathways through the protective cellular membrane. The gates, operated by small protein machines that push them open and closed, bring........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 12/2/2007 9:04:47 PM)
Internet users give up privacy in exchange for trustWith public concern over online fraud, new research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, has revealed that internet users will reveal more personal information online if they believe they can trust the organisation that requests the information. Even people who have previously demonstrated a high level of caution regarding online privacy will accept losses to their privacy if they trust the recipient of their personal........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/24/2007 8:29:15 AM)
Update on the bag experimentScience takes patience. I made sure to check on the progress of the decline of the two plastic bags when we were last at Roundrock, but I hoped for something more dramatic to report
If you recall my first post on this subject, you know that I have set two common plastic grocery bags in an exposed area in the forest so that I can check on their decay from natural forces. One of them (in the lower right of the photo above) is a regular grocery........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/19/2007 7:49:26 PM)
Still RisingThis is a new weekend with plenty of posts from the field of personalized genetics. After my review about companies focusing on individualized medicine, I got several positive comments, so I’m going to write other reviews soon. Until then, here are some interesting news, announcements
Personalized Medicine: Against the Odds (Epidemix): Shocking statistics to promote personalized medicine
deCODE Offers Personal Genomic Sequencing........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/19/2007 7:49:17 PM)
Criterion's Berlin Alexanderplatz"Is it a dream that two of cinema''s holiest of grails, Berlin Alexanderplatz and Killer of Sheep, arrive on Region 1 DVD on the same day? If so, don''t wake me up," bids Ed Gonzalez at Slant, wrapping his comments on Criterion''s handsome package for the project one could say Rainer Werner Fassbinder lived to see through. Further up that same page is Keith Uhlich''s original review, dating back to April, when Berlin Alexanderplatz was screened........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/19/2007 7:02:40 PM)
Study sees potential for acceleration in U.S. emissionsU.S. greenhouse gas emissions could grow more quickly in the next 50 years than in the prior half-century, even with technological advances and current energy-saving efforts, as per a new study by MIT's Richard Eckaus, the Ford International Professor of Economics, emeritus, and his co-author, Ian Sue Wing (Ph.D. 2001).
What's more, technology itself may be more the stuff that dreams are made on than the most available tool for reducing CO2........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/18/2007 8:49:35 PM)
Housing Woes, Credit Crunch 'May Be Spreading'The value of U.S. commercial real estate owned by big pension funds fell 2.5 percent in the third quarter of 2007, as per an index produced by the MIT Center for Real Estate.
The drop in the MIT quarterly transaction-based index (TBI) may not only spell the end of a five-year rally that saw commercial property prices effectively double, but it may also signal that weakness in the housing market is spilling over into commercial real estate.
........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/18/2007 8:47:46 PM)
Speed plays crucial role in breaking protein's H-bondsScientists at MIT studying the architecture of proteins have finally explained why computer models of proteins' behavior under mechanical duress differ dramatically from experimental observations. This work could have vast implications in bioengineering and medical research by advancing our understanding of the relationship between structure and function in these basic building blocks of life.
In a paper published as the cover article of the........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/14/2007 8:41:29 PM)
Health professionals responding to ethnic diversityGuidelines and training for doctors have tried to address the problems they face when dealing with patients who come from cultures and ethnic groups different to their own. However, new research published in PLoS Medicine suggests that a number of British doctors and other health professionals still have profound difficulties when caring for such patients. More still needs to be done to improve their confidence.
Professor Joe Kai, a family........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/12/2007 10:28:01 PM)
Pursuing parenthood: Discourses of persistenceeople harbor a number of cherished goals that may prove elusive even with the aid of market offerings, such as pursuit of an ideal of beauty or fame. Despite repeated setbacks, some individuals persist in their efforts, often making extraordinary investments of time, emotion, and money. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research furthers our understanding of such persistent goal striving in cases where the chances of success are low and........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/12/2007 9:23:31 PM)
Social change relies more on the easily influencedAn important new study appearing in the recent issue of the Journal of Consumer Research finds that it is rarely the case that highly influential individuals are responsible for bringing about shifts in public opinion.
Instead, using many computer simulations of public opinion change, Duncan J. Watts (Columbia University) and Peter Sheridan Dodds (University of Vermont), find that it is the presence of large numbers of easily influenced........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/12/2007 9:19:41 PM)
Paris Hilton's Victoria Beckham HaircutParis and Nicky Hilton come in peace! The sisters attended the launch of the new Christmas collection for handbag designer Samantha Thavasa at Club XROSS in Tokyo on Monday.I love the short hair on Paris, and the way her hair is parted, it''s like a fresh new spin on "The Posh." It works. :)sourceFor more daily new posts visit source........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/6/2007 10:11:10 PM)
Ambulance Rides in Different Parts of the WorldAs I passed my exam of emergency medicine yesterday, I had a post today on my Hungarian medical blog in which I featured videos taken in ambulances in different parts of the world. I thought I should share these with you as well
Tel Aviv, Israel
Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam
Through red lights........Go to the My-media-blog (Added on 11/1/2007 7:42:45 PM)
Boronia hippopalaThank you to Nuytsia@Tas on Flickr for another wonderful photograph (original | BPotD Flickr Group Pool). Much appreciated
The Australian genus Boronia has recently been the subject of taxonomic scrutiny. Marco Duretto of the Tasmanian published a paper in 2003, “Notes on Boronia (Rutaceae) in eastern and northern Australia” (Muelleria 17:19-135), that described several new species, including Boronia hippopala or velvet boronia.........Go to the Science-blog (Added on 11/1/2007 7:42:39 PM)