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"We don't like strangers in these parts." Credit: 20th Century Fox

Lovesick Cyborg

‘Logan’ Is a Western Wandering the Sci-Fi Frontier

By Jeremy Hsu | March 24, 2017 12:13 pm

The X-Men films have consistently shown their mutant superheroes as powerful but misunderstood outcasts living in the shadows. One of the loneliest and angriest of them all has been Wolverine: the seemingly ageless mutant played by Hugh Jackman whose superhuman healing powers and retractable metal claws enable him to literally tear through squads of gun-toting enemies. But the third and last film of the standalone Wolverine trilogy, titled “Logan” in a nod to the mutant’s other nickname,  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: technology, top posts

D-brief

How to Turn a Spinach Leaf into Beating Heart Tissue

By Amy Klinkhammer | March 24, 2017 11:32 am

That spinach on your plate deserves more credit. Not only is it packed with folic acid and other health benefits, it could also help scientists regenerate human tissue.
It’s Alive!
One of the biggest obstacles in the field of organ regeneration is scaling up production from tiny samples in a petri dish to full-fledged organs. One of the limiting factors is constructing a working vascular system to transport blood and nutrients throughout the developing tissues. Current bioengineering met …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine
MORE ABOUT: biotechnology

Citizen Science Salon

Citizen science comes to public television this April

By Catherine Hoffman | March 24, 2017 9:26 am

This April, The Crowd & The Cloud brings you a 4-part public television series exploring citizen science, crowdsourcing, and mobile technology. You’ll find the SciStarter Project Finder on The Crowd & The Cloud website to help viewers of the show become do-ers of science!  Below we’ve highlighted each episode and related projects to jump start your viewing!

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

 …

Seriously, Science?

Flashback Friday: How to tell if someone is really in pain or just faking it.

By Seriously Science | March 24, 2017 6:00 am

When it comes to reading people, scientific studies have revealed helpful strategies for situations ranging from playing poker and identifying gonorrhea-infected people by smell alone.  But this study might just prove even more useful. Here, researchers show that it is possible to distinguish between people who are faking pain and those who are actually experiencing it. And although people can be trained to improve their ability to tell the two apart, they have nothing on computer vision  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: feelings shmeelings

D-brief

New Lenses Could Give You Super Color Vision

By Nathaniel Scharping | March 23, 2017 1:44 pm

Thanks to the architecture in our eyes, we see but a small subset of the hues that make up the visible spectrum.

We only have three kinds of cones, or color-sensitive cells, to make sense of what could be millions or even hundreds of millions of colors. We still do a pretty good job of it — normal human eyes can pick out about a million different colors, far more than we have ever come up with names for. Still, we could conceivably do better.

More cones would detect more combinat …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Technology
MORE ABOUT: gadgets, physics

D-brief

Random Chance: A Primary Driver of Cancer Mutations?

By Carl Engelking | March 23, 2017 1:22 pm

Whether we like to or not, we’re all gamblers.

Every waking moment, countless stem cells inside our bodies are dividing in order to replace worn out biological machinery. But every time these perfectly healthy cells divide, roughly three mistakes occur in the genetic code—no one’s perfect. These mutations, though unpredictable, are typically benign, but sometimes this molecular game of Roulette takes an unlucky turn.

“Most of the time these mutations don’t do any harm; they …

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

The Extremo Files

The Slow Life Movement: A Microbial Perspective of the Subsurface Biosphere

By Jeffrey Marlow | March 23, 2017 11:59 am

On the seafloor, “marine snow” is constantly falling. Bits of dead plankton, decaying fecal material, biological remnants from shore – it all finds its way to the bottom of the ocean, delivering needed sources of organic molecules and energy to the microbial communities lying in wait.

Over time, this snow – along with sediment mineral grains – accumulates, burying previous layers. In Denmark’s Aarhus Bay, for example, digging ten meters down beneath the seafloor is like going  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: environment, living world, top posts

D-brief

Convincing Cells to Die Could Make Us Stronger

By Nathaniel Scharping | March 23, 2017 11:00 am

The majority of our cells die noble deaths; they cease to be once they’re damaged beyond repair. However, some ragged cells refuse to turn out the lights, and that’s where the trouble begins.

These stubborn, damaged cells can accumulate in the body over time, and they can accelerate the aging process and cause the onset of disease. But there might be a way to put these lingerers out of their misery. Peter de Keizer, a researcher of aging at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Net …

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

Citizen Science Salon

Endangered Bumble Bee Gets Help From Citizen Scientists

By Eva Lewandowski | March 22, 2017 4:40 pm

The United States Endangered Species Act is often considered to be the most powerful piece of environmental legislation not just in the US, but in the world. As a result, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) formally lists a species as either threatened or endangered, it can be a game-changer for the species in question, protecting and even recovering a plant or animal that would otherwise be headed towards extinction. Such an action usually garners a fair amount of notice among conse …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment

D-brief

Wastewater and Beer Make a Fine Pairing

By Nathaniel Scharping | March 22, 2017 2:35 pm

In the water cycle, what comes out of us eventually goes back in. Along the way, we can make it something better.

That’s the idea behind a new beer from San Diego’s Stone Brewery made from the city’s recycled wastewater. Their aptly named Full Circle Pale Ale uses water from Pure Water San Diego, a water treatment company that aims to supply one-third of the city’s water within the next two decades. They’ve partnered with the brewery to give the much-maligned concept of “toilet to tap”  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts
MORE ABOUT: sustainability, water
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