Editor’s Selections: Solving Solar Secrets, Martian Water, Culture and Evolution, and the Chemistry of Pee

Editor's Selections 9 Comments
By Sarah Kendrew

Sarah Kendrew Sarah Kendrew selects interesting and notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the physical sciences, chemistry, engineering, computer science, geosciences and mathematics. She blogs about astronomy at One Small Step.

After a short break for holidays I’m happy to be back home, in pouring wet Germany, and back online. There’s lots of reading to catch up on, and here are some excellent posts from the past few weeks on ResearchBlogging.

Emma of We are All in the Gutter writes about new observations of the Sun with NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observer probe that may explain the extreme heating of the solar corona. Solving this long-standing problem in our global picture of the Sun would be an exciting result.

Another interesting bit of news from the Solar System was NASA’s report of hints of flowing water on Mars – often suggested, never confirmed. Blogger Arunn looks at the details of these new findings,  from the images, the paper and a number of media reports.

I really enjoyed Sean Roberts’ blog post on his prize-winning talk on the (obscure-sounding) topic “Cultural Evolution and the Impending Singularity”. Don’t let that put you off, it’s an interesting topic and a great talk. The blog gives some good background and a list of relevant references.

On her SciAm blog Crude Matters, Michelle Clement talks about the chemistry of pee, and how it’s used to improve our lives. In this 2nd of a 2-part post, she discusses urine-based diagnostic testing, and recent related research in diagnosing tuberculosis.

I’ll be back next week with more picks!

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