- Oscar voters overwhelmingly white, male
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Academy that picks the Oscars is overwhelmingly white, male and older than 50. Do the awards reflect the tastes of middle-aged white men? Is that perhaps why "The King's Speech" beat the "The Social Network"?
- Real-life science closes in on Star Trek: TNG with new device to hack into blind people's visual cortex to let them 'see'
Cool if it it works as described. But I'm not sure whether the fact that this was reported by the Daily Mail makes this less plausible. They even spelled Geordi (as in LaForge) wrong.
- Attacks paid for by big business are 'driving science into a dark era'
I think "worrying" is putting it mildly.
"Those of us who grew up in the sixties, when we put men on the Moon, now have to watch as every Republican candidate for this year's presidential election denies the science behind climate change and evolution. That is a staggering state of affairs and it is very worrying," said Professor Naomi Oreskes, of the University of California, San Diego."
- The Extremest Extremophiles: Microbial oasis underneath Earth's driest desert could be great news for life on Mars
Hope for life on Mars?
"But what makes this finding particularly striking is how far underground the microbes are, leaving without any oxygen or sunlight. Those sorts of conditions are very much like what microbes would have to deal with on Mars today. The Atacama has long served as an experimental - and sometimes cinematic - stand-in for the red planet, and the researchers discovered these microbes while testing out SOLID, or Signs of Life Detector, which they hope to see used on future Mars missions."
- The Biology Files: So special: Visionary scientist or quack visionary?
+Emily Willingham asks what sets apart visionary scientists from quacks?
Most science fictional "fringe" scientists would qualify as quacks. I'm looking at you Walter Bishop.
"...it's important to watch out for anyone who makes unusual claims to insights that others don't have, to knowledge that only they've been able to access, to a pattern that only they've visualized because of their special powers and ways of seeing. These people are not relying on shining light on their evidence or exposing their ideas to the critical and often clarifying insights of others. They're relying on their alleged power as seers--as someone special--to sell you something."
- Raising the Dead: New Species of Life Resurrected from Ancient Andean Tomb: Scientific American
Life is extremely tough. (from +Scientific American)
"Using a special method that he devised to humidify the desiccated cells, repair their damaged membranes, and jump-start their arrested metabolisms, he coaxed a community of yeasts, which had lain dormant in the entombed vessels since A.D. 680, back to life."
- Bacterial Ice-9? : Dean's Corner
A component of the bacterial cell wall can influence the ordering of other cell wall components in the same way that Vonnegut's Ice-9 could order other water molecules.
- Where data meet diction: Science and sci-fi's dialogue – GeekOut - CNN.com Blogs
Although I hope the show isn't making this claim: "Wells also accurately predicted nuclear weapons and genetic engineering."
If they are referring to the "Island of Doctor Moreau", the mad doctor used vivisection to create monsters, not anything that could be considered "genetic engineering".
- £200,000 test-tube burger marks milestone in future meat-eating
Burgers from lab-grown meat may soon be ready for consumption. But will they be tasty?
"The slivers of muscle grow between pieces of Velcro and flex and contract as they develop. To make more protein in the cells – and so improve the texture of the tissue – the scientists shock them with an electric current."
- Food: A taste of things to come? : Nature News
More on hamburger-from-the-lab.
- Squid can fly to save energy : Nature News & Comment
But can they fly in outer space?
- Under the Microscope #10 (YouTube video)
Microscopic view of skin looks like an alien world.
- Ants remember their enemy's scent
Try not to antagonize any ants.
- The creators of Doctor Who were a scandal
Surprising that DoctorWho got off the ground, let alone endured for nearly a half century.
- Future Zoos to Have Woolly Mammoths and Tiger Robots : Discovery News
Wouldn't a zoo with tiger robots be similar to the Jungle Boat ride at Disneyland?
- Why Does Marvel Oppose Mutant Rights? | MetaFilter
Are X-Men mutants more like monsters or humans?
- Disease-Fighting Secrets of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
- Robot dinosaurs are the future of paleontology
Could robots provide new insights into extinct life forms?
- Nebula Awards Interview: Aliette de Bodard
SFWA talks to +Aliette de Bodard about her story Shipbirth, which features an Aztec-style physician dealing with issues of honor and shame.
- 'Bacteria battery' boosted by space microbes found in river Wear
I'm not sure if bacteria from the stratosphere necessarily count as "space microbes", but simply being able to use bacterial slime to generate electricity is pretty cool.
- Printing Muscle - Technology Review
A company is printing human skin that can be used for drug discovery. Would that count as animal testing?
- Luigi Anzivino: Science of Magic - Boing Boing
- Entomology and Pop Culture: The Wrath of Khan! : The Bug Chicks
"We paid tribute to one of the most famous scenes from Star Trek’s The Wrath of Khan. Disclaimer: No earwigs (or Bug Chicks) were injured during the filming of this segment."Those alien earwigs always make me cringe.
- What does science fiction tell us about the future of reproductive rights?
Of course the "technology of the future" in SF often is simply commentary on the present.
- Research Nimravus | Ratha and the Named Series
The big cats in [Clare Bell's] Named series novels (Ratha) were based on real prehistoric animals. I think you'll enjoy this background. Look at the next page, about Dinaelurus, and then the third one about why the Named cats are very cheetah-like.
- Will we ever... grow organs?
There is artificial skin and even an artificial windpipe, but the kidney, liver, and heart are going to be much harder to replace - yet.
- Sirtuin protein linked to longevity in mammals : Nature News & Comment
"Male mice overproducing the protein sirtuin 6 have an extended lifespan"
It doesn't seem fair that only the male genetically-engineered mice live longer with this treatment!
- In the genes, but which ones? Studies that linked specific genes to intelligence were largely wrong, experts say
If you were hoping for intelligence-boosting gene therapy, you may have a long time to wait.
Biology in Science Fiction
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