Scientists don't get bored with a question just because the press does. Last December, research claiming to have found evidence of "arsenic-based life" on Earth touched off a firestorm of controversy, as many scientists weighed in, via blogs and magazines, on why they thought the research, and its conclusions, were flawed.
Last week, the debate moved into traditional science media, as the journal Science, which published the arsenic life paper, published eight critiques of it, as well as a response to the critiques by the authors of the original paper. One of the critiques was written by Rosie Redfield, a microbiologist who was also one of the first scientists to post a critique of arsenic life in blog form.
These critiques don't completely end the debate. The original researchers recently released their ostensibly arsenic-based bacteria to other scientists, who will now try to replicate the results. But the critiques have changed the discussion in some subtle, and important, ways. For instance, New Scientist and The Washington Post pointed out that, in responding to the critiques, the original researchers have changed their conclusions from having found "proof" to having produced a "viable interpretation." In other words, they haven't backed down, but they have copped to being less certain.
Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being […]
The Action Lab took a maglev gyroscope and placed it inside a sealed chamber to see what happens to a levitating gyroscope in a vacuum. A lot of people took issue with the experiment’s setup and explanation, but it’s interesting nonetheless. He responded to those concerns: Hi everyone! I see a lot of comments that […]
Shocking footage, taken from a nearby aircraft, shows a jetliner spraying its appalling chemical payload into our skies. Traffic 12 o'clock pic.twitter.com/g5QjlQ5v8z— Airplane Pictures ✈ (@iLove_Aviation) June 19, 2017
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]