July 17, 2012
Exercise is healthy? What a novel concept.

The fact that “does moving/exercising more affect weight” was the inspiration for an entire study speaks volumes about the level of activity children-and all of us-are getting. I’m glad the study was done, but sad that the study had to be done.

NYTimes: Sports Promote Healthy Weight in Teenagers
http://nyti.ms/O7QGTe

July 7, 2012
Our Political Black Hole

I adore Gail Collins. 

July 2, 2012
Brainbow mice

Brainbow mouse hippocampusFrom Cell.com

Individual neurons in a mouse brain fluoresce different colors based on a cool genetic trick with genes that encode different fluorescent proteins. It’s kind of like putting in all the primary colors into each neuron, randomly turning some on and some off, and with all those different possible combinations, you get all the different possible colors.

July 1, 2012
Well, I'm glad that's cleared up.

June 28, 2012
A little light, historical reading to sit down with today.

June 22, 2012
Go Ritz!

We interrupt the science speak for this running-related announcement: Dathan Ritzenhein (@djritzenheim) met the 10k A standard of 27:45 and was 3rd place in the Trials to earn a spot to London! Go Ritz!

7:46pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZCWCOvNxHMyB
Filed under: running 
June 22, 2012
Is the fountain of youth flowing with methyl groups?

This blog post from the Promega Corporation describes a paper recently published in PNAS by Heyn and colleagues who studied “epigenetic drift” as a way to explain differences between old and young people. It would have been interesting if old-young pairs would have been related, but their findings are interesting regardless. Even though they trigger my pet peeve button by calling it a “methylome,” these researchers showed that the genomes of older adults are significantly less methylated compared to the genomes of newborns. 

Obviously, this will affect how genes are expressed and could have important implications in understanding the aging process. Of course, sorting that all out is a Herculean task. But, by knowing that the methylation status of the overall genome changes with age, scientists can probe the changes on an individual gene to determine if epigenetics plays a role in regulating its expression over the course of aging.

June 22, 2012

This video is strangely and beautifully captivating. It looks like someone’s playing around with food coloring on a globe, but it’s a visualization of actual ocean currents based on data from an NOAA model.

The NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory actually has all kinds of cool ways to display ocean properties and events, including the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. This is all done to advance the GFDL mission: “Scientists at GFDL develop and use mathematical models and computer simulations to improve our understanding and prediction of the behavior of the atmosphere, the oceans, and climate. GFDL scientists focus on model-building relevant for society, such as hurricane research, prediction, and seasonal forecasting, and understanding global and regional climate change.”

June 5, 2012
Webcast: Venus crossing the sun

7:22pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZCWCOvMrAVtG
  
Filed under: video cool science media 
May 31, 2012

Alan Alda and Stephen Colbert on the World Science Festival in NYC.

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