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Science Discovers the Unexpected and the Obvious

Young’s Law jokes, “All great discoveries are made by mistake.”  Here are some recent examples. Arch-istan:  Think the world’s natural features are all well known?  “Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society have stumbled upon a geological colossus in a remote corner of Afghanistan: a natural stone arch spanning more than 200 feet across its base,” […]

We Are Filled with Viruses

Viruses have a bad connotation.  We immediately think of the ones that cause disease: “I’ve got a virus,” you say when feeling under the weather.  Actually, you have trillions of them all the time, even in the best of health.  A single gram of stool sample can have 10 billion of them!  What does that […]

Sensing the World Requires Intelligent Design

How do our bodies make sense of the external world?  Through our senses, of course; at least they are the entry points of data into the mind.  Behind those senses are remarkable mechanisms that we use but do not actively operate.  The design in their automatic operations is slowly being revealed with better observing techniques. […]

Tipping Point for Embryonic Stem Cells?

At any time, courts could rule on whether funding of embryonic stem cell research can continue or must be halted.  Whichever way a decision is rendered, whether by Judge Lamberth on the legality of the NIH guidelines, or by the Court of Appeals for DC, the issue will probably wind up before the Supreme Court.  […]

Chernobyl Mutation Experiment Fails to Support Darwinism

Bird brains are getting smaller in the region around Chernobyl.  Organisms in the vicinity of the radiation from the nuclear disaster 25 years ago have not improved, but suffered under the onslaught of mutations.  There is no evidence of any population increasing in fitness in any way; on the contrary, animals are struggling to survive.  […]

Hikers Stay Healthy, Happy, Sharp-minded

A study at the University of Toronto reinforces the growing body of evidence that being active outdoors is good for you.  PhysOrg printed an interview with Guy Faulkner, in the Physical Education faculty at U of Toronto, who shared that exercise not only provides physical benefits; it beats depression and appears to slow the onset […]

Earthquakes Don’t Kill: Corrupt Leaders Do

“A new assessment of global earthquake fatalities over the past three decades indicates that 83 percent of all deaths caused by the collapse of buildings during earthquakes occurred in countries considered to be unusually corrupt.”  That’s the opening statement of an entry in Science Daily.     Of course, no one can predict where a […]

The Brain as the Computer Robots Need

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially once you realize how incredibly powerful it is.  In some ways it’s like a computer that needs maintenance; in other ways, it is too powerful to describe in machine language.  Here are a few mind matters to mind because it matters: Reboot to clear the ringing:  […]

Embryonic Stem Cell Advocates Push Against Evidence and Ethics

An old preacher said, “It’s never right to do wrong to get a chance to do right.”  That sums up in simple terms the ethical problems of using embryonic stem cells to cure human diseases, apparent in this quote from PhysOrg: The potent but hotly debated cells can transform into nearly any cell in the […]

Are You Too Clean?

You shower, you put on clean clothes, you wash your hands with antibacterial soap, you keep the house spic and span, you work in a clean office – and you set yourself up for disease and depression.  That’s what some scientists are proposing with the “hygiene hypothesis.”  By depriving yourself of access to your bacterial […]

Thank God or Science?

Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving today, a long-standing tradition going back to the earliest European settlers in North America, the Pilgrims.  Up until recently, the tradition included giving thanks to God.  Now, the trend is to thank one another.  The NASA Director put out a thanksgiving message Wednesday basically thanking all the NASA employees for their […]

Stem Cells of the Adult Kind Steal the Headlines

Stories about stem cell research need to be divided into two sections: those about adult stem cells (AS), which have no ethical ramifications, and stories about embryonic stem cells (ES), which raise many issues about the sanctity of human life.  As usual, most of the actual clinical progress is being made with adult stem cells […]

Cells Can Be Transformed

An astonishing feat has been performed in a Canadian lab: scientists turned human skin cells into blood cells.  Bypassing the need for stem cells, the technique provides hope for a supply of blood from a person’s own skin. Live Science calls it a “modern miracle.”  The technique avoids “the ethical concerns concerning embryonic stem cells […]

Automatic Turnstiles Found in the Cell

One of the things students learn about in high school biology classes is active transport: the ability to control flow through a semi-permeable membrane.  Contrary to osmosis, in which the flow goes naturally from high concentration to low concentration, cell membranes employ active mechanisms to push or pull the molecules through their membranes according to […]

Hairy Bacteria Walk and Talk

Little hair-like projections on some bacteria, nearly invisible with light microscopes, are not just for decoration.  They do amazing things – as a pair of recent discoveries brought to light.  They help bacteria walk and talk. But can they dance?  Bacteria swim, but they also land on surfaces – and when they do, they put […]
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