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Citizen Science Salon

Citizen Science at the California Academy of Sciences

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) | December 18, 2014 2:25 pm

Editors Note: This is a guest post by Alison Young, Citizen Science Engagement Coordinator and Rebecca Johnson, Citizen Science Research Coordinator at the California Academy of Sciences. It is part of a SciStarter series highlighting Citizen Science at Science Centers. The authors talk about how the Academy connects communities to their local biodiversity through citizen science with the help of iNaturalist, their technology partner. iNaturalist is also part of more than 800 citizen science  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment


Satellite View of Cuba at Night Reveals the Impact of Embargo and a Centrally Planned Communist Economy

By Tom Yulsman | December 18, 2014 11:53 am

Yesterday’s announcement was historic: restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. And that got me to thinking of how satellite imagery could contribute to public debate now swirling around the move.

For 53 years, the U.S. embargo of Cuba, intended to help bring an end to the Cuban regime, has helped to stifle development there. This year, for example, the nation’s economy grew at a paltry 1.4 percent, according to the government’s no-doubt inflated f …


Aspirin May Help Prevent Skin Cancer

By Ben Thomas | December 18, 2014 11:03 am


We all know the risks of with spending too much time in the sun. Ultraviolet rays can increase the risk of skin cancer, which is why we – or at least, the more cautious among us – put on sunscreen before we set off on an extended outing.

But it turns out there’s another preventative measure that can significantly reduce your risk of skin cancer, one you may already be taking. A new study reports that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include such common drugs …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts
MORE ABOUT: cancer

Seriously, Science?

BMJ Week: Do you know what your kids are watching? Study finds children's movies rife with MURDER!

By Seriously Science | December 18, 2014 6:00 am

It’s that time of year again: the British Medical Journal’s Christmas Edition is out, featuring some of the most hilarious research published since… well, since forever! All this week, we will be featuring the best of this and past years’ BMJ Christmas research articles to get you in the holiday spirit.

Today, the focus is on kids’ animated films. I never really realized how dark and violent some cartoons were until I watched them with my toddler. Apparently, these researchers had th …



The Arctic Continues to Bear the Brunt of Global Warming

By Tom Yulsman | December 17, 2014 9:09 pm

Acknowledgment: I want to thank my friend and colleague, environmental journalist Susan Moran for help with this story. She covered the NOAA press conference today at the AGU meeting and sent me her notes.

The Arctic continues to warm faster than any other region, according a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday.

Moreover, the extent of Arctic sea ice continues to shrink, and as a result more and more energy from the Sun is being absor …


Methane on Mars Could Signal Alien Life

By Carl Engelking | December 17, 2014 3:07 pm

Is there life on Mars?

That eternal question almost seems cliché in space exploration circles, but, nonetheless, we’re still waiting with bated breath for an answer. While it’s not time to exhale just yet, NASA’s Curiosity rover has sniffed out methane in Mars’ atmosphere. And that means that something, whether living or not, is actively creating the gas on Mars.
Martian Burps
NASA scientists believed they had closed the book regarding methane on the Red Planet after the rover …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: mars, space exploration

Citizen Science Salon

Preliminary Analysis of Project MERCURRI… a.k.a. #spacemicrobes

By Darlene Cavalier | December 17, 2014 1:51 pm

Project MERCCURI is a citizen science project to examine the diversity of microbes on Earth and on the International Space Station, led by the Eisen Lab and UC Davis, SciStarter, and the Science Cheerleaders, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Space Florida and Nanoracks.

There are three components:

1) Swabbing shoes and cell phones and built environments to examine how bacteria differ across different types of surfaces in a building.
2) The Microbial Playoffs In Space (tak …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Uncategorized
vaccine test

The Crux

Drugmakers Rush to Test New Ebola Vaccines

By Kari Lydersen | December 17, 2014 1:43 pm

While developing drugs to cure Ebola is crucial to end the current epidemic, a vaccine that prevents the infection altogether is the end-game for viral outbreaks – a way to protect healthcare workers on the front lines and to prevent future outbreaks.

It typically takes 10 or 20 years to develop and test a vaccine and get it to market. But in Ebola’s case, this time frame has been compressed into a matter of months, bringing pharmaceutical companies, scientists and regulators into  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Top Posts

Seriously, Science?

BMJ Week: Finally, we know why the magazines in your doctor's waiting room are so old.

By Seriously Science | December 17, 2014 6:00 am

It’s that time of year again: the British Medical Journal’s Christmas Edition is out, featuring some of the most hilarious research published since… well, since forever! All this week, we will be featuring the best of this and past years’ BMJ Christmas research articles to get you in the holiday spirit.

In today’s gem of a study, the researchers set out to determine why all of the magazines in doctor waiting rooms are old. You might guess that it’s just because someone dumped a bunch o …



Microbes on Pubic Hair Could Help Solve Sexual Crimes

By Carl Engelking | December 16, 2014 2:17 pm

Forensic specialists may have a new tool to catch perpetrators of sexual assault – and it is courtesy of the microbiome.

The microbiome, the community of bacteria and viruses that live on and inside the human body, has been a fruitful area of recent research. For instance, studies have linked our helpful army of microbes with our likelihood of obesity and our ability to metabolize certain sugars. The recent Human Microbiome Project categorized thousands of different strains of bact …


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