Archive for: January, 2010

Helping Haiti: Doctors without Borders

Jan 13 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

I'm sure you've all heard by now about the huge earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday. As you all probably already know, the proceeds of this blog go to Doctors Without Borders, which is one of the groups trying to do some good down there. While you are certainly welcome to donate with your clicks (which will indirectly raise money to donate), Sci would encourage you to donate a little extra today. Sci has already added an extra $50 to this month's donation. I hope some of you are willing to match it! It isn't much, but every little bit helps!

3 responses so far

Announcing Open Lab, 2009!!!

Jan 13 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

It is TIME! And long past time. 🙂 After much deliberation, a fantastic panel of judges has decided on the 50 best science blogging posts of the year, to be published in this year's Open Laboratory! Competition was fierce, with an unprecedented 760 posts submitted by readers and bloggers for this year's anthology. But we managed to narrow it down to a group that look pretty fantastic!
And the finalists (in no particular order) are ...
*drumroll*

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13 responses so far

The music of the species

Jan 11 2010 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

It's all about the music.
ResearchBlogging.org Gill and Purves. "A biological rationale for musical scales" PLoS ONE, 2009
So you might think that music like this:
(HOT STUFF. Go to 0:35 for the real hotness. It's Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium)
or this:

(Also some killer hot stuff, 3:50 has the real chills. The Lauridsen version)
Don't have much in common with THIS hot stuff:

(That'll wake you up! No idea who this guy is, but he's hilarious, and the dancers wearing body suits under skimpy outfits are the best!)
Or even much in common with this:

(That never gets old. MWAH HA HA HA!!!)
But you would be wrong. They have a lot in common. Most songs in both eastern (including Indian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern music) and western music are based on a limited series of musical scales (there are lots of exceptions, but the most popular songs tend to be based on common musical scales). And the question for years has been: why? These scientists have put together a new theory, which Sci will allow you to judge on yourself.

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15 responses so far

Friday Weird Science: the "reality" of the G Spot and the mainstream media

Jan 08 2010 Published by under Friday Weird Science

Today's post is going up late due to some truly massive equipment fail in Sci's lab. Sci very much wishes that equipment would have enough respect to at least wait until her second cup of coffee to explode and throw carcinogens all over the lab.
Anyway, in her inbox the other day, Sci got this from a friend of the blog: "The G-spot 'doesn't appear to exist', say researchers".

Apparently it's generating a lot of controversy. So Sci, of course, had to get her hands on this paper. Which took a lot of doing. Thus, for the benefit of future generations, she provides the following citation:
ResearchBlogging.org Burri et al. "Genetic and Environmental Influences on self-reported G-Spots in
Women: A Twin Study" J Sex. Med, 2010 (it's still yet to come out, but will be soon, one hopes).
There, people, was that so hard? At least you now know where to look!
So Sci has some issues with this study. Let's get to it.

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22 responses so far

To Media Covering Science: An Open Letter

Jan 06 2010 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Dear Mass Media Covering Science (BBC, CNN, etc):
I need some help. I often get emailed or tweets from readers, saying "hey! look at this article! Isn't it cool/weird?! You should cover it!" I see the article. It is indeed very cool and weird. I'm all up ons. Except for one problem:
What, exactly, was the paper you were covering?

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28 responses so far

Sleep Deprivation Gives Me the Chills

Jan 04 2010 Published by under Physiology/Pharmacology

Sci is about to embark on what she suspects will be two or three months with very little sleep, due to various personal and professional matters, and of course, blogging matters. And while she was discussing this with some friends, one of them brought up something very interesting:
She said "does anyone else feel COLD when they don't get sleep?"
And it occurred to me that she was very right. When I haven't been sleeping enough, I get COLD. I wake up freezing and end up bundling up in various thick, fuzzy sweatshirts and grasping on to mugs of hot coffee (though the coffee, of course, has a dual purpose). And so we started wondering, is this normal or anecdotal?
Being an awesome scientist herself, my friend hit the Pubmed, and a few moments later, she handed me this:
*pauses for a moment to put on fuzzy slippers*
ResearchBlogging.org Vaara et al. "The effect of 60-h sleep deprivation on cardiovascular regulation and body temperature". European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2009.

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21 responses so far

Happy New Year's!

Jan 01 2010 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

It's New Year's, and Sci is going to take it easy with some more good food, and a few New Year's Resolutions.

(Sci might be quitting bananas, she doesn't need the extra potassium THAT badly...)
So her question is: what are your New Year's Resolutions? If you don't make them, why not? Sci likes New Year's resolutions. It's good to set a goal for yourself, though the date you set them on doesn't seem to matter very much. Sci's goals:
1) To do whatever possible to get her Christmas wish to go through. (I welcome all letters of recommendation on my behalf)
2) To finally run the marathon she's been intending to run since she was young. It's not a matter of the distance or psychological preparation, it's the sheer amount of TIME required to train, which...Sci is still trying to work on.
3) To get the Open Lab out on time. Or at least really, really close to on time.
4) To blog some WEIRD SCIENCE! And some normal COOL SCIENCE! And possibly, in the middle, some odd science.
Sci would love to hear your goals for the New Year! Anyone got anything really cool brewing in 2010?
Happy New Year's Everyone! And here's to another year of science blogging!

Sing with Sci now!!!
*sings*
Should neuroscience be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Old posts on memory forgot
and old and new science
CHORUS:
For old and new science, my dear,
for old and new SCI-ENCE!,
we'll take some bloggy goodness yet,
for old and new SCI-ENCE!
And surely you'll read something odd!
and something odd I'll write!
And no more science be forgot,
not old nor new science!
CHORUS
For old science and new as well
the funny and the fine;
We'll type our fingers all to hell,
with old and new science!
CHORUS
Give us a comment, trusty friend!
I'll give you one of mine!
And Sci will earn her PhD,
with all new HOT science!
CHORUS (be rousing now!!!)

9 responses so far

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