It's rare (and, thus, an often overlooked mode of transmission) but women can give each other HIV. In fact, it happened recently to a couple in Texas
. — Maggie
Your whole genome can now be scanned in a couple days for a few thousand dollars. Unfortunately, it's not yet accurate enough
to be a clinical tool in your doctor's office, writes Nancy Schute at NPR. — Maggie
Google Flu Trends — an attempt to estimate flu rates by analyzing searches for flu-related topics — is not terribly accurate. And a group of social scientists might have figured out why.
Turns out, the culprit could be Google's own algorithm, which seems to prioritize searches that might have nothing to do with someone having the flu, such as someone asking how to tell the difference between flu and a cold. — Maggie
Dictyostelium discoideum is an amoeba known for its ability to navigate mazes. HL60 is a cancerous human cell line, derived from a 36-year-old woman with leukemia, that is known for the speed with which its cells can move. On May 16, researchers from around the world will go head-to-head, racing improved versions of both cells, to see who can make a Dicty or HL60 that is both smart and fast.
Anyone can enter, but the deadline to sign up is tomorrow. So read the rules and get to training your cells and single-celled organisms today!
There were two celestial-bodies-on-a-collision-course-with-Earth movies that came out in 1998. Because I prided myself on being contrarian as a teenager, my favorite was Deep Impact
. Turns out, that was Neil deGrasse Tyson's favorite, as well. In fact, in an interview with Buzzfeed about science on film, it was the only movie he did not find scientific fault with. — Maggie
This was included as part of the official forecast last night for the Baltimore, Maryland/Washington DC area. Hope you all are surviving the apocalypse. (via Wired)
Buried in a story on alcohol and hangovers that comes to a lot of 'duh' conclusions (say, did you know that feeling crappy and swearing to never drink that much again is not a good predictor of actually
never drinking that much again?) is this odd little bit of correlation: Financial stress is linked to an increased likelihood of experiencing a hangover. — Maggie
A satellite imaging company is looking for volunteers
to help comb through satellite pictures for evidence of Flight MH370. — Maggie
At Mosaic — a new online publication funded by the Wellcome Trust that features long reads on science and medicine — Rose George has followed the story of Radha, a 16-year-old Nepali girl forced by custom into unsafe and unsanitary conditions every time she has her period.
Read the rest
This is a single particle of interplanetary dust, its image captured with the help of a scanning electron microscope by researchers at the University of Washington and Germany's Institut für Planetologie.
Now zoom out and think about all the dust particles like this that float around the inner solar system. That amount of interplanetary dust is a "1 zodi", a unit of measurement I never even thought to assume existed.
Thanks, Lauren Rugani!
Image used via CC
The ocean is big and deep. The most likely scenario, right now, is that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed into the water and no one has yet looked in just the right place to find evidence of that crash. (You can read more about losing planes in the age of GPS in a post Rob made earlier today.) But the case made me curious about other lost planes — cases where an aircraft just "vanished" and nobody ever found a crash site or debris.
Naturally, Wikipedia has a list for that ...
Read the rest
A reboot of Cosmos
, starring Neil deGrasse Tyson, premiered last night to some phenomenal reviews. Jennifer Ouellette, a science journalist who focuses on physics, praised the reboot in the LA Times
. I have plans to watch it tonight on the FOX online streaming page. — Maggie
is the most-studied plant in the world, with a 50 day life cycle from germination to death. In a video at the Indiana University Plants in Motion site
, you can watch a time-lapse video of A. thaliana
living out its life cycle while, in the background, changing colored lights show you which genes are turning on and off at which stages of growth. — Maggie
Popular Science has a nice graph
showing where the plastic you recycle in the United States goes for processing. — Maggie