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October 09, 2008

Testicles could be harvested for stem cells

Testicles could provide 'ethical' stem cells - sex - 09 October 2008 - New Scientist

Men may wince at the thought, but biopsies from human testicles have yielded stem cells that can be turned into virtually any cell in the body.

The hope is that tissue created from stem cells derived from a patient's testicles would not be rejected when implanted elsewhere in the body. What's more, such cells would avoid the ethical concerns surrounding embryonic stem cells (ESCs), which have the same therapeutic potential.

Collective behavior evolved half a billion years ago

Fossils of dancing shrimp show earliest group behaviour - life - 09 October 2008 - New Scientist

Ancient shrimp held hands to survive in the wild.

The conga was the world's first dance, it seems. A newly discovered caravan of crustaceans from half a billion years ago shows that group behaviour evolved not long after animals themselves.
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Continue reading "Collective behavior evolved half a billion years ago" »

Intelligent men have healthier sperm

Do intelligent men have better sperm? - Short Sharp Science - New Scientist

Men are often said to think not with their brains, but with another body part between their legs. We might be castigated for this, but according to new research, it might not be such a bad thing: apparently a man's sperm quality turns out to be a decent indicator of his brain power.

Men who scored high on a battery of intelligence tests boasted high counts of healthy sperm, while low scorers tended to have fewer and more sickly little guys.

This suggests that intelligence might tip off a man's overall health to women looking for a mate with healthy genes, explained University of New Mexico evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller at a recent Harvard University talk.

October 07, 2008

In Defense of Taiwanese Soda-Pop Contraceptive Douche Research

In a follow up to this post (THE IGNOBEL AWARDS...

Scientists develop efficient, flexible solar cells

Scientists develop solar cells with a twist | Science | Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. researchers have found a way to make efficient silicon-based solar cells that are flexible enough to be rolled around a pencil and transparent enough to be used to tint windows on buildings or cars.

The finding, reported on Sunday in the journal Nature Materials, offers a new way to process conventional silicon by slicing the brittle wafers into ultrathin bits and carefully transferring them onto a flexible surface.

October 03, 2008

Don't Bogart that joint, my friend...

paris_hilton_pot.jpg... pass it over to me.... RawStory | Cannabis less harmful than drinking, smoking: report
LONDON (AFP) - Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, according to a report by a research charity Thursday, which called for a "serious rethink" of drug policy.
The Beckley Foundation, a charity which numbers senior experts and other academics among its advisors, said banning cannabis has no impact on supply and turns users into criminals. "Although cannabis can have a negative impact on health, including mental health, in terms of relative harms it is considerably less harmful than alcohol or tobacco," says the report by the Foundation's Global Cannabis Commission. The government is pressing for cannabis to be re-classified in law as a Class B drug compared with its current, less serious, Class C classification. Authorities are concerned notably by the growing prevalence of the potent "skunk" form of the drug. Around 80 percent of cannabis seizures are of this strain, said to be linked to mental health problems, official figures show. The Beckley Foundation, a charitable trust, claimed only two deaths worldwide have been attributed to cannabis, while alcohol and tobacco use together kill an estimated 150,000 people in Britain alone. "Many of the harms associated with cannabis use are the result of prohibition itself, particularly the social harms arising from arrest and imprisonment," it said. "It is only through a regulated market that we can better protect young people from the ever more potent forms of dope," it added. The decision to reclassify cannabis upwards into the more punitive Class B category -- which includes amphetamines -- is a U-turn for the Labour government. Cannabis was downgraded from Class B when Tony Blair was prime minister, but Gordon Brown announced a review of its status soon after taking over in June last year. An earlier review of the cannabis classification, at the time of the last 2005 general election, resulted in it remaining Class C.

Continue reading "Don't Bogart that joint, my friend..." »

October 01, 2008

AIDS origin traced roughly to 1908, chimp butchering

Study traces AIDS virus origin to 100 years ago

The AIDS virus has been circulating among people for about 100 years, decades longer than scientists had thought, a new study suggests. Genetic analysis pushes the estimated origin of HIV back to between 1884 and 1924, with a more focused estimate at 1908.

Continue reading "AIDS origin traced roughly to 1908, chimp butchering" »

September 30, 2008

First privately developed launch vehicle reaches orbit from Earth

WarrenEllis.com | Finally Falcon
SpaceX finally got their Falcon 1 vehicle to orbit. And they had a camera mounted on the vehicle, capturing the whole thing in a wonderful video:
Falcon 1 - Flight 4 - September 28, 2008