Not Exactly Rocket Science

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New science + good writing = Not Exactly Rocket Science. Articles on new discoveries written so that anyone can understand them.

Ed Yong
232 posts

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  • January 4, 2008
  • 07:17 PM
  • 1,858 views

Evolutionary arms race turns ants into babysitters for Alcon blue butterflies

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

In the meadows of Europe, colonies of industrious team-workers are being manipulated by a master slacker. The layabout in question is the Alcon blue butterfly (Maculinea alcon) a large and beautiful summer visitor and its victims are two species of red ants, Myrmica rubra and Myrmica ruginodis.
The Alcon blue is a ‘brood parasite’ - the



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D Nash, T D Als, R Maile, G R Jones, & J J Boomsma. (2008) A Mosaic of Chemical Coevolution in a Large Blue Butterfly. Science, 319(5859), 88-90. DOI: 10.1126/science.1149180  

  • December 18, 2007
  • 09:04 AM
  • 1,739 views

Prehistoric meat-eating fungus snared microscopic worms

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

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A Schmidt, H Dorfelt, & V Perrichot. (2007) Carnivorous Fungi from Cretaceous Amber. Science, 318(5857), 1743-1743. DOI: 10.1126/science.1149947  

  • December 12, 2007
  • 10:04 PM
  • 1,854 views

Time doesn’t actually slow down in a crisis

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

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Chess Stetson, Matthew Fiesta, David Eagleman, & David Burr. (2007) Does Time Really Slow Down during a Frightening Event?. PLoS ONE, 2(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001295  

  • December 10, 2007
  • 10:04 PM
  • 1,902 views

Mud time capsules show evolutionary arms race between host and parasite

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

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Ellen Decaestecker, Sabrina Gaba, Joost Raeymaekers, Robby Stoks, Liesbeth Van Kerckhoven, Dieter Ebert, & Luc De Meester. (2007) Host–parasite ‘Red Queen’ dynamics archived in pond sediment. Nature, 450(7171), 870-873. DOI: 10.1038/nature06291  

  • December 8, 2007
  • 04:04 AM
  • 2,024 views

Sickle cell mice cured by stem cells reprogrammed from their own tails

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

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J Hanna, M Wernig, S Markoulaki, C-W Sun, A Meissner, J Cassady, C Beard, T Brambrink, L-C Wu, T Townes.... (2007) Treatment of Sickle Cell Anemia Mouse Model with iPS Cells Generated from Autologous Skin. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1152092  

  • December 6, 2007
  • 10:04 PM
  • 1,806 views

Subliminal flag shifts political views and voting choices

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

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R Hassin, M J Ferguson, D Shidlovski, & T Gross. (2007) Subliminal exposure to national flags affects political thought and behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0704679104  

  • December 5, 2007
  • 10:04 PM
  • 1,980 views

Songbirds need so-called “human language gene” to learn new tunes

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

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  • November 28, 2007
  • 06:05 PM
  • 3,031 views

Solving the San Francisco plankton mystery

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

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James Cloern, Alan Jassby, Janet Thompson, Kathryn Hieb , & . (2007) A cold phase of the East Pacific triggers new phytoplankton blooms in San Francisco Bay. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(47), 18561-18565.

  • November 24, 2007
  • 12:04 AM
  • 1,783 views

Human skin cells reprogrammed into stem cells

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

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Junying Yu, Maxim Vodyanik, Kim Smuga-Otto, Jessica Antosiewicz-Bourget, Jennifer Frane, Shulan Tian, Gudrun Jonsdottir, Victor Ruotti, Jeff Nie, & James Thomson. (2007) Induced pluripotent stem cell lines derived from human somatic cells. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1151526  

  • November 23, 2007
  • 12:38 PM
  • 1,891 views

Envious capuchin monkeys react badly to raw deals

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

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Megan van Wolkenten, Sarah Brosnan, & Frans de Waal. (2007) Inequity responses of monkeys modified by effort. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(47), 18854-18859. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0707182104v1?maxtoshow

  • November 23, 2007
  • 12:38 PM
  • 1,816 views

Cooperating bacteria are vulnerable to slackers

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

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K Sandoz, S Mitzimberg, & M Schuster. (2007) Social cheating in Pseudomonas aeruginosa quorum sensing. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(40), 15876-15881. www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0705653104v1

  • November 23, 2007
  • 12:38 PM
  • 2,209 views

Brain of the beholder – the neuroscience of beauty in sculpture

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

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Cinzia Di Dio, Emiliano Macaluso, & Giacomo Rizzolatti . (2007) The Golden Beauty: brain response to Classical and Renaissance sculptures. PLoS one, 2(11). YOUR REPORT (URL live from November 21): http://www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0001201

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