22 October 2010

Science online, electrifying history edition


A hagfish. Photo by kinskarije.
  • But there's no mention of the mouse who helped him. Dr. Skyskull unwinds the history of Benjamin Franklin's famous kite experiment, drawing on original reports in Proceedings of the Royal Society. (Skulls in the Stars)
  • $%@!!?#! Saying an expletive aloud actually helps you tolerate pain. (Neurotic Physiology)
  • I'm guessing that animated tattoos will be first. Stretchable sheets of micro-electronic components will have all sorts of science-fictiony medical applications. (All that matters)
  • It's an even longer way to amphioxus than we thought. MicroRNA analysis suggests that hagfish, long thought to be the most deeply-diverged relatives of vertebrates, aren't. (Wired Science)
  • On the wrong track. Dave Munger suggests that the same cognitive bias revealed by the "trolly car" dilemma may underlie people's willingness to believe pseudoscientific explanations for autism. (SEED Magazine)
  • Like calcium carbonate shells, scansion breaks down at low pH. The perils of ocean acidification, explained in (mostly) rhyming couplets. (Deep Sea News)
  • The king of the Red Queen is dead. Leigh Van Valen, originator of the Red Queen hypothesis, died last weekend. (dechronization)
  • There's so many, we really ought to have some sort of systematic way to classify them. John S. Wilkins tackles species concepts. (Evolving Thoughts)
Video this week is the supplementary information for a recent study of sloth locomotion [$a] (via Wired Science)—the research found that, although they do it upside-down, sloths move a lot like other mammals.

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