Saturday, May 30, 2009

News Flash: Monkeys That Bone Like Rabbits Now Glow Like Rabbits.

Pretty cute, except under UV light.

Congratulations to marmosets, the latest species to join mice, rabbits, cats and pigs in the glowing animal clan. These animals all have a protein (GFP, first found in bioluminescent jellyfish) attached to most every other protein in their body, which gives them an eerie neon-green glow under UV light. The green glow helps scientists visualize how complex biological systems work in live animals. Now scientists are one step closer to doing just that in higher primates. Pretty cool if you're interested in llearning about human diseases in nonhuman animals, but some people are worried. Every popular media article I've read on the monkeys features the ethical issue of experimenting with the genetics of our close ancestors. So, what do you think? Is altering inherited DNA in monkeys a step too far towards genetically engineering humans?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Science Humor: Getting Shit Done.

Some Ol' Nonsense

Scientists got to get paid too. The lab bench is hard knaamean and scientists gotta hustle to stack papa. word up. Listen up young scientists: The best way to get paid in science: imbue your findings with unwarranted, myth-fortified meaning and promote the shit out of them. Promotional website; believe dat! History channel documentary; true. Dr. Jorn Hurum be blowing up fo sho after this one; chrome dubs on the benzo; on the real. For everyon else, put your skully on and realize that the idea of a missing link is not only not science, due to it's inability to be disproven, but that gross anatomical similarities in a single animal shouldn't even come close to satisfying the conditions for a transitional species. Enjoy your ignorace bitches.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Face Off: still not real.

Remember that cool nineties movie where Nicholas Cage is a badass, and John Travolta's a sissy, but gets to play a badass the whole movie, due to a facial transplant in a (not so) clever exchange of protagonist and antagonist? Well, it turns out we actually have the technology and surgical skill to "Face/Off" people. The first face transplant in the US has been performed on an Ohio woman who got shot in the face with a shotgun. She can now breath again, and lots of people are saying she looks beautiful. I think the first transplant patient looks better, but paper bag comments aside, It's cool. This surgery, however, did not employ the super hip face removal technology in Face/Off, enabling a criminal to transplant a face in a matter of minutes, but instead took 22 hours and weeks of recovery. Previous face transplants have involved fierce dogs, bear attacks and tumors.

The guy who got the first hand transplant had it removed, because he felt like he had a dead guy's hand on his arm. I hope Connie's new face suits her.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Swine Flu Festival 2009 is Done (?)


Hey, remember when there was a deadly global pandemic/snoutbreak of H1N1 Swine AIDS and then everyone died, but then they actually didn't? No? That's okay, we don't either. It sure is hard to pay attention to or care about anything for longer than 30 seconds these days, what, with all the Twitters and 24 hour news cycles and such grinding your consciousness to a numb pulp. Anyways on to the next thing, right? Let's see, today's top headline on CNN is, I'm not even joking, "Obama Administration Jumps into Twitterverse". Damn it all, it's like we don't even have to try anymore with the Twitter jokes.

All jokes aside, there are still active cases of Swine Flu, and as with any virus, shit could still get real at any time. As of today, there only have been 642 documented cases and 2 deaths in the U.S. You can get a detailed breakdown of that info here, at the CDC's H1N1 Myspace page. The WHO reports that 23 countries across the world have reported 1893 cases. 942 of those cases were in Mexico, including 29 deaths. That sucks, Mexico! LAY OFF THE CARNITAS, MEXICAN BROS! That stuff sure is good, though...

Anyways, I guess PS Swine Flu coverage is basically done, since it's the most boring pandemic EVER. If anything H1N1-related develops though, check our Twitter first for the most up to date Swine-News. HA PSYCH WE DON'T DO THAT. But really, we will probably blog about it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mars: Hoaxes and a rare case of NASA not blowing it.

My grandma sent me an email with an attached powerpoint: "The Red Planet is about to be spectacular!" There is an email circulating claiming that "This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on 
Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be 
certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth 
in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 
60,000 years before it happens again. 

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when
Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and
will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in 
the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9
and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide."

This was all true in 2003 and I'm pissed I missed it. Thanks for the tease grandma.

Mars is, however, closer than ever in another way: The mars rovers are kicking ass. Opportunity, the second rover on mars, has gone 16 kilometers, about an order of magnitude further than it was ever expected to go. The plan is to send it another 16 kilometers to a big crater. Good job little guy! Thanks to some serendipitous winds that have cleared the rovers' solar panels, the rovers have done better than ever. Keep an eye on the rovers' progress. 

Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Flu Spawns Social Gesture With Dumbest Name Ever

Welcome to the New World Order

According to CNN, your #1 source for retarded H1N1 (pronounced 'hiney') Swine Flu news, nobody in the world is kissing or high-fiving or terrorist-fist-jabbing anymore because, duh, Swine Flu. America's favorite doctor/fake Surgeon General Sanjay Gupta recommends that if you really want to show physical affection to people during this infernal crisis, you should do an 'El-Bump' which is probably short for 'elbow bump' (?), and is also a Mexican hymn for those who have died of Swine Flu. CNN then immediately provides you with a link to Sanjay's Twitter, because we all know CNN has a huge boner for Twitter, and also wants to encourage the spread of misinformation about the 'snoutbreak' of Swine Flu. HMMM we are beginning to see a trend here: CNN + Twitter = Swine Flu!