March 7, 2005

Links for March 7, 2005

Fast Track to Longevity (The Scientist, registration)
Mouse study shows molecular connections between caloric restriction and lifespan extension.

Is the Capacity for Spirituality Determined by Brain Chemistry? (Washington Post)
Geneticist Dean H. Hamer's book 'The God Gene' is being disputed by scientists and embraced by some religious leaders.

Committee Wants Tighter Controls on Gene Therapy (Science Now, registration)
Third leukemia case in French trial renews.

'Saviour Sibling' Embryo Battle (Scotsman, registration)
A couple who tried to create a "designer baby" to help cure their sick son should never have been allowed to do so, the House of Lords was told yesterday.

Time Bandits (New Yorker)
What were Einstein and Gödel talking about?

Can Sci-Fi Fans Face the Future? (TO Star)
From mailing bras to starting malicious Internet rumours, devoted viewers try all sorts of things to protect what they love.

Sim Outbreak (WorldChanging)
How do you handle the outbreak of a highly infectious disease? Use powerful simulations, that's how.

The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened to Journalism (Tech Central Stupid)
Bloggers are the best thing that has ever happened to journalism.

Study: Monkeys Do Read Minds (Discovery)
Monkeys can deduce what other monkeys and humans think, want and see based on visual cues, according to a new paper in this week's Current Biology.

Hans Bethe, Father of Nuclear Astrophysics, Dies at 98 (NY Times)

Eye Contact Triggers Threat Response in Autistic Children (SciAm)
Children suffering from autism pay very little attention to faces, even those of people close to them. Indeed, this characteristic can become apparent as early as the age of one, and is often used as a developmental sign of the disease. The results of a new study provide additional insight into why autistic children avoid eye contact: they perceive faces as an uncomfortable threat, even if they are familiar.

Human Factors in Commercial Suborbital Flight: What Do I Breathe, and Why? (The Space Review)
Developers of suborbital spacecraft must strike a balance between engineering constraints and the need to give passengers the correct atmospheric pressure and mix of gases. In the latest installment of his ongoing series, Dr. John Jurist examines these atmospheric requirements.

Plants vs. Insects: An Amazon Epic for the Ages (Nat'l Geographic)
Insects are enemy number one to plants the world over: They munch leaves, suck sap, bore stems, and devour roots. To fight back, plants have evolved an army's worth of defenses that confuse, repel, deter, and sicken their attackers.


Mark Plus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark Plus said...

Apparently "Bethe grew up in a Christian household, but one in which religion did not play an important role." I haven't come across anything yet about Bethe's religious beliefs, but it wouldn't surprise me if he, too, was skeptical of supernatural claims. Someone who figured out how stars get their energy would probably not be too impressed by "evidence" for a cognitively superior "intelligent designer."

And, of course, that would leave open the possibility of christian urban legends about Bethe's deathbed conversion.