New Scientist: Muscle lab: Bulk up with the science of bodybuilding.
“He found that the production of new muscle proteins was greatest when the men were lifting the relatively light weights — at 30 per cent of their maximum — until they were fatigued, and couldn’t lift any more.” Wow, that’s going to shake up an industry.
ESO: How Much Mass Makes a Black Hole?
“A magnetar (eso0831) is a type of neutron star with an incredibly strong magnetic field — a million billion times stronger than that of the Earth, which is formed when certain stars undergo supernova explosions. The Westerlund 1 cluster hosts one of the few magnetars known in the Milky Way. Thanks to its home in the cluster, the astronomers were able to make the remarkable deduction that this magnetar must have formed from a star at least 40 times as massive as the Sun.” And for those as curious as I, the Wikipedia entry for magnetar.
George Washington University Medical Center: Researchers Identify Breast Cancer Culprits.
“Because inflammation may drive MTA1, and since inflammation is believed to drive certain forms of cancer, Kumar’s work suggests one possible reason for why worsening cancer progression has been correlated with other inflammation-inducers.”
Salon: Gulf surface looks cleaner, but woes lurk below.
It doesn’t just miraculously disappear. Ask those in Alaska who lived in the fallout from Exxon Valdez.
CNet: NASA Athlete rover dancing its way to the stars.
Gizmag: Spray-on film turns windows into solar panels.
“Obviously some light has to be absorbed in order to generate power but the windows would just have a slight tinting (though a transmission of only 8-10% is common place for windows in the ‘sun belt’ areas of the world). Conversely the structural material of the building can also be coated with a higher degree of absorption. This could be side panels of the building itself, or even in the form of ‘clip-together’ solar roof tiles.” It’s about time someone came up with an idea like this.
New Scientist: Autism explosion half explained, half still a mystery.
“Researchers have long claimed that changes to the way the condition is diagnosed are the main cause. But now a series of a studies have shown that diagnostic changes alone cannot account for the increase. They suggest that other causes, perhaps environmental factors, are also contributing to the rise in cases.”
TechWorld: DARPA invests in giant space nets to catch trash.
Eurekalert: Acetaminophen use in adolescents linked to doubled risk of asthma.
“There was a significant association between acetaminophen use and risk of asthma and eczema. For medium users the risk of asthma 43 percent higher than non-users; high users had 2.51 times the risk of non-users. Similarly, the risk of rhinoconjunctivitis (allergic nasal congestion) was 38 percent higher for medium users and 2.39 times as great for high users compared to non-users. For eczema, the relative risks were 31 percent and 99 percent respectively.” And yet it’s been the ‘preferred’ analgesic for kids among physicians, because of the risk of Reye’s Syndrome with aspirin. Geez.
Too cloudy to make out any Perseids.
Have to check in the wee hours.
BBC News: ‘Give out statins with junk food’
Un. Flipping. Believable.
MedPage Today: Medical Tourists at Risk for New ‘Superbug’.
Wake up, people. This one’s bad. Those planning to follow Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” should take special note.
Later: New Scientist has an even better take. Some are calling this superbug ‘the end of the antibiotics’ ... which will introduce a new ‘dark age’ in medicine.
Discovery News: Chunk of Original Earth Found.
Current Biology: Spontaneous brain rhythms predict sleep stability in the face of noise.
NPR: Scientists Try To Determine Oil’s Impact On Sea Life.
“We could count dead bodies — and that certainly is useful — but it doesn’t tell us what’s going to happen to the reproductive fitness of this organism [snip] Whether it’s a clam, a tuna or a dolphin — is the exposure to this oil at that level going to affect whether or not that animal can reproduce? Or will it affect whether or not its offspring can reproduce? That’s something we really don’t know.” Thank goodness *someone’s* looking.
ProPublica: Scientists Allege Federal Gov’t Tried to Muffle Plume Findings.
“We expected that NOAA would be pleased because we found something very, very interesting [snip] NOAA instead responded by trying to discredit us. It was just a shock to us ... [NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco] basically called us inept idiots.” You can change Presidents, but you cannot change bureaucratic intertia.
CNN: H1N1 pandemic is over, health director says.
“She attributed the end of the pandemic to several factors: that the virus did not mutate to a more lethal form, the H1N1 flu vaccine proved to be a good match and widespread resistance to the antiviral drug Tamiflu did not develop.”
LA Times: Tony Judt, a leading historian of postwar Europe and an outspoken essayist, dies.
“Immobile once he went to bed at night, Judt trained himself to enter into prolonged reveries, relying on a mnemonic device from the Renaissance to organize his thoughts — a ‘Swiss chalet’ that he filled room by room with his thoughts.” Palaces of the mind. Cicero. Rest in peace.
NeuroScienceMarketing: Keep it Simple for Boomers & Seniors.
“Using fMRI scans to examine younger and older adult brains during memory tasks, the researchers found that both young and old brains were able to activate their brains effectively for building memories, the older brains were far worse at suppressing irrelevant information.”
Yahoo News: China milk powder blamed for ‘baby breasts’.
“Parents and doctors in central China fear that hormones in milk powder they fed their infant daughters have led the babies to prematurely develop breasts, state media reported Monday. Medical tests indicated the levels of hormones in three girls, ranging in age from 15 months to four years and who were fed the same baby formula, exceeded those of the average adult woman ...” Looks like these products are not repackaged or outsourced by any American companies, thank goodness.
Eurekalert: Brain responds same to acute and chronic sleep loss.
“Instead of going to bed when they are tired, like they should, people watch TV and want to have an active social life. People count on catching up on their sleep on the weekends, but it may not be enough.” Building up a sleep deficit will, simply, make you ill.
Washington Times: NASA aims for more space station repairs Wed.
It took a little digging to find this: “The system isn’t for the astronauts’ comfort, but rather keeps electronic equipment from overheating.” Well, that’s better. I thought they were circling the globe in a sauna.
New Scientist: Rethinking Einstein: The end of space-time.
“What if the symmetry that is apparent today is not fundamental to nature, but something that emerged as the universe cooled from the big bang fireball, just as it emerges in graphene when it is cooled?”
WSJ: Girls Are Reaching Puberty Earlier Than Before.
“By 8-years-old, more than 1-in-10 girls have already begun developing breasts, which marks the technical start of puberty for girls, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. [snip] Research conducted in past decades put the average age at between 10 and 11 years.” That would correlate with what I remember ... sixth grade was when the training bras began to appear. But is the cause external, or simply the increase in obesity? That’s the question.
CNet: Hawking: It’s outer space or die for humans.
To me, the logical thing for interstellar travel is to hollow out an asteroid (lots of ablative material to absorb impacts), put living quarters in their, and power the damned thing wherever you want to go.