Tag Archives: Nature (journal)

today’s birthday: Charles Darwin (1809)


Charles Darwin (1809)

Darwin was an English naturalist who developed the modern theory of evolution. Along with naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, he proposed the principle of natural selection: the mechanism by which advantageous variations are passed on to later generations and less advantageous traits slowly disappear. Darwin’s intensely controversial theory of evolution aroused widespread argument and debate among scientists and religious leaders. How did Darwin view religion and God? More… Discuss

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quotation: Henry David Thoreau (above morality by points)


Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Discuss

Test Identifies Potential Binge Drinkers


Test Identifies Potential Binge Drinkers

Many teens see binge drinking as a harmless bit of fun, not realizing the jeopardy they put themselves in each time they get “wasted,” but scientists do, and so they have invested considerable resources in developing ways to identify those youths at risk of engaging in binge drinking. A newly developed test that evaluates 40 factors, including brain structure, personality, and life experience, was able to predict with 70 percent accuracy which 14-year-olds would go on to binge drink at 16. The test is not accurate enough to be applied on an individual basis, but it could, for example, help weed out the 200 most at-risk teens from a group of 1,000. More… Discuss

Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Could Make Crops Less Nutritious


Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Could Make Crops Less Nutritious

Nutrient levels in staple food crops may fall as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to rise. Researchers grew wheat, rice, soybeans, corn, sorghum, and field peas in fields subjected to carbon dioxide concentrations anticipated on Earth by the middle of this century. In four out of the six crops, zinc and iron levels were found to be reduced. The wheat and rice also had a reduced protein content. Sorghum and corn alone were able to resist the effects of the elevated carbon dioxide levels. More… Discuss

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NEWS: QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT STEM CELL STUDY FINDINGS


Questions Raised About Stem Cell Study Findings

A Japanese scientist who published groundbreaking research on stem cells earlier this year is now calling for the study to be withdrawn. Scientists have as yet been unable to replicate the study’s finding that bathing mature cells in a weak acid solution could quickly and cheaply convert them into stem cells, and questions have been raised about the accuracy and legitimacy of the data and images included in the study. The RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan is now conducting an inquiry into the paper. More… Discuss

 

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NEWS: HONEYBEE PATHOGENS KILLING BUMBLEBEES TOO


Honeybee Pathogens Killing Bumblebees Too

The plight of honeybees, which have been dying out en masse for reasons that have yet to be fully understood, has dominated bee news of late; however, bumblebeepopulations around the globe have also been in steep decline. For decades, experts have attributed this largely to habitat loss, but researchers have now identified two previously unknown threats to bumblebee survival—deformed wing virus and a fungal parasite called Nosema ceranae. These two pathogens had been known to affect honeybees, but they have now been observed in wild bumblebees as well. More… Discuss

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THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS


This Is Your Brain on Drugs

Using cocaine just once may change a person’s brain structure, making him or her more likely to seek out or crave the drug again. Within hours of being exposed to cocaine, the brain cells of mice displayed increased development of protrusions called dendritic spines, believed to be involved in memory formation. Those mice whose brains were most changed by the cocaine exposure seemed to develop the greatest preference for the drug, suggesting that this is part of the process of learning addictionMore… Discuss