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128 posts · 141,348 views

A science blog from award-winning science writer David Bradley covering everything from astronomy to zoology by way of bio, chemistry, nano and physics

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  • May 7, 2012
  • 11:57 AM
  • 291 views

Exergy, existentialism and the environment

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Exergy is perhaps an unfamiliar concept. Energy we can fairly easily get to grips with, it’s a measure of the ability of a system to do work. Work is what causes a system to change its energy state…hmm…first law of thermodynamics. But, what is exergy and where does it fit into the energy equation? By [...]Exergy, existentialism and the environment is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Enrico Sciubba. (2012) An exergy-based Ecological Indicator as a measure of our resource use footprint. International Journal of Exergy, 10(3), 239-266. info:/

  • December 2, 2011
  • 03:15 AM
  • 623 views

Testing times for Scotch whisky

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Is your Scotch strong enough? A new lab-on-chip device has been developed by researchers in Scotland which could be used for quality control and regulatory testing of whisky and other spirits to ensure that you get full, 40%, strength liquor. The same chip can also demonstrate the providence of the drink to ensure that if [...]Testing times for Scotch whisky is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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  • December 1, 2011
  • 11:30 AM
  • 598 views

Serially successful doctors fail

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Success-chasing may not only lead doctors to make flawed decisions in diagnosing and treating patients, but it can also distort the thinking of other high-stakes decision makers, such as military and political strategists, stock market investors, and venture capitalists. An fMRI study of physicians suggests that physicians seen to pay most attention to failures as well [...]Serially successful doctors fail is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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  • November 30, 2011
  • 11:30 AM
  • 646 views

Pills, thrills and polymorphs

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Almost any skilled organic chemist could create novel variations on the solid form, polymorphs, of small molecules currently used as pharmaceuticals. This represents a problem for manufacturers of generic drugs because big pharma attempts to extend the patent lifespan of its well-known products by adding such polymorphs to the patent. Prasad Vure of Indian generics [...]Pills, thrills and polymorphs is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Prasad Vure. (2011) Polymorph patents; how strong they are really?. Int. J. Intellectual Property Management, 4(4), 297-306. info:/

  • August 23, 2011
  • 01:14 PM
  • 1,055 views

Dissonant teaching changes environmental minds

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

There are many educational and ethical issues regarding the environment and environmentalism that are generally not addressed, especially when it comes to teaching non-science students. Independent environmental services professional and college professor Chyrisse P. Tabone, who is based in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida has spent several years attempting to find a way to remedy this situation. [...]Dissonant teaching changes environmental minds is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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  • August 12, 2011
  • 09:55 AM
  • 1,260 views

Billions upon billions

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Back in the day, we Brits had big billions. A billion was a million millions. Obviously, the “bi” doubling up the “illion” from million. What else would it be? Well…of course…the Americans wanted to talk bigger still and so made their billion a mere 1000 million. Back then, it was hard to be a millionaire [...]Billions upon billions is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Anon. (1992) Billion bites the dust. Nature, 358(6381), 2-2. DOI: 10.1038/358002b0  

  • August 8, 2011
  • 11:44 AM
  • 1,004 views

Moving pictures for motoring molecules

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Researchers in Japan have used high-speed atomic force microscopy (AFM) to shoot an action movie of the biological molecular motor ATPase. ATPase, an enzyme embedded in cell membranes, produces the cellular fuel molecule ATP. the enzyme has two rotating components, but until now only X-ray crystallography and similar “still” imaging techniques had been used to [...]Moving pictures for motoring molecules is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Takayuki Uchihashi, Ryota Iino, Toshio Ando, & Hiroyuki Noji. (2011) High-Speed Atomic Force Microscopy Reveals Rotary Catalysis of Rotorless F1-ATPase. Science, 755-758. info:/

  • August 4, 2011
  • 11:45 AM
  • 1,160 views

Can YouTube save us from climate change?

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

New media has rapidly become the mechanism by which information is spread quickly in many walks of life from alerting the public to local traffic incidents, terrorist attacks, earthquakes and celebrity deaths. The likes of Twitter and Facebook have become the first responders to almost every event the world over as well as creating the [...]Can YouTube save us from climate change? is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Tina Askanius, & Julie Uldam. (2011) Online social media for radical politics: climate change activism on YouTube. Int. J. Electronic Governance, 4(1/2), 69-84. info:/

  • July 21, 2011
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1,302 views

It’s not what you know…

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

It’s not what you know, but who you know. It is something of a cliché, but in a world where the social context of knowledge is becoming increasingly important. Think Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Mendeley etc. The data, the information, seems only relevant if we have some kind of peer review, the “+1″, “like”, or “thumbs-up” [...]It’s not what you know… is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Eoin Whelan. (2011) It’s who you know not what you know: a social network analysis approach to talent management. European J. International Management, 5(5), 484-500. info:/

  • July 13, 2011
  • 04:51 AM
  • 1,239 views

More pretty, ugly people

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

On Monday I posted a Youtube clip revealing a weird perception phenomenon in which even the prettiest girl seems to appear, fleetingly, as if she were an ogre or a troll. Take a look at the ugly pretty girl phenomenon here. I’m never satisfied to simply echo what others have said, so contacted co-discoverer of [...]More pretty, ugly people is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Caputo, G. (2010) Strange-face-in-the-mirror illusion. Perception, 39(7), 1007-1008. DOI: 10.1068/p6466  

  • July 11, 2011
  • 06:38 AM
  • 1,094 views

Ugly, pretty girls

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

This is just plain odd. An accidental discovery. But, why does it happen? The phenomenon is known as “flashed face distortion effect” and is described in a research paper thus: “We describe a novel face distortion effect resulting from the fast-paced presentation of eye-aligned faces. When cycling through the faces on a computer screen, each [...]Ugly, pretty girls is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Tangen, J. M., Murphy, S.,, & Thompson, M. B. (2011) Flashed face distortion effect: Grotesque faces from relative spaces. Perception. info:/10.1068/p6968

  • July 8, 2011
  • 12:18 PM
  • 1,461 views

Blame the environment for your bad habits

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Live fast, die young. You’re a long time gone. Sleep when you’re dead. The hedonists mantras. Lifestyle choices whether in terms of food consumption, alcohol and drugs or sexual activity are down to the individual. Nannying by governments, who have their own mantras: Smoking Kills, Know your limits, Get your five-a-day, Use protection, etc, all [...]Blame the environment for your bad habits is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Claudio Ricciardi. (2011) Induced harmful lifestyles and healthy choices. Int. J. Environ. Health, 5(3), 262-273. info:/

  • July 1, 2011
  • 03:10 AM
  • 1,176 views

Scanning for juvenile delinquency

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Scanning for juvenile delinquency – Impulsiveness in youth is not a criminal offence, although if it reaches into the realm of delinquency it can quickly become so. Researchers in the US are using functional magnetic resonance imaging to see whether the brains of young offenders differ in some behavioural way from those of non-criminals. Seemingly, [...]Scanning for juvenile delinquency is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Shannon, B., Raichle, M., Snyder, A., Fair, D., Mills, K., Zhang, D., Bache, K., Calhoun, V., Nigg, J., Nagel, B.... (2011) Premotor functional connectivity predicts impulsivity in juvenile offenders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1108241108  

  • June 16, 2011
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1,085 views

Sharing on the global scale

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

There are obvious differences in quality of life in terms of food availability, access to fresh water, disease prevalence and medicine across many parts of the world. Until recently, the notion of the Third World had a far greater poignancy than the politically correct term “developing world”. While labelling the poorer nations as somehow separate [...]Sharing on the global scale is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Prem S. Bindraban, & Rudy Rabbinge. (2011) European food and agricultural strategy for 21st century. Int. J. Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, 9(1/2), 80-101. info:/

  • June 3, 2011
  • 06:59 AM
  • 1,128 views

Seven steps to cure healthcare privacy problems

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

If we have learned anything from the recent hackings – Sony, Google Mail, PBS – in which vast amounts of data for millions of users have been compromised, it is that precious data is rarely entirely secure and certainly barely private. It is time to tighten up. Nowhere is this more important than in healthcare [...]Seven steps to cure healthcare privacy problems is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Yair Babad, & Avishai Lubitch. (2011) Ethical and legal issues of privacy and patient rights in the application of information healthcare delivery systems. Int. J. Healthcare Technology and Management, 12(3/4), 230-249. info:/

  • May 24, 2011
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1,190 views

Size isn’t everything, or is it? Nano or non-nano

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Is the “nano” label just marketing buzz and PR puff? You might think so given the huge number of products and press releases that exist where this little prefix, from the Greek meaning dwarf, is used instead of a more everyday description. Particles become far more interesting to consumers and grant-awarding peers when they become [...]Size isn’t everything, or is it? Nano or non-nano is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Simon P. Forster, Sandro Olveira, & Stefan Seeger. (2011) Nanotechnology in the market: promises and realities. Int. J. Nanotechnol., 8(6/7), 592-613. info:/

  • May 13, 2011
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,111 views

Why is teaching environmental science so controversial?

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Environmental science is about as politically charged a discipline you might find, stem cells GMOs, vaccines, and nuclear energy notwithstanding. In some circles, particularly certain sectors of academia and the media, environmental discussions are synonymous with controversial debates. So, asks environmental scientist, Chyrisse Tabone of Argosy University in Pittsburgh, USA, how can educators teach students [...]Why is teaching environmental science so controversial? is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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Chyrisse P. Tabone. (2011) Environmental education under assault: can instructors teach environmental science without fear?. Interdisciplinary Environmental Review, 12(2), 146-153. info:/

  • May 5, 2011
  • 12:00 PM
  • 1,380 views

Just how bad is pollution?

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Just how bad is pollution? A little head scratching could yield an answer. Ad hoc and non-systematic collection of air and water samples provide some useful information and underpin a wide range of environmental pollution studies. However, scientists have been scratching their heads for years hoping to come up with a better way of monitoring [...]Just how bad is pollution? is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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  • April 28, 2011
  • 12:10 PM
  • 1,345 views

10 definitions of junk science

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

“Understanding how the term junk science is used will enhance debates surrounding the science of sustainability. For by better understanding what science is, we will be better positioned to use it optimally and accurately as we seek to plot a sustainable path forward.” That’s the conclusion of US social scientist Michael Carolan of Colorado State [...]10 definitions of junk science is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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  • March 17, 2011
  • 03:00 PM
  • 1,050 views

Aspartame toxicity. Not.

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Aspartame is an artificial, non-saccharide, sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages usually so that they can be labelled as “lite” or “diet” products. In the European Union, it is coded as E951. Aspartame is a methyl ester of aspartic acid and phenylalanine, two natural components of proteins found in a [...]Aspartame toxicity. Not. is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
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