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Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Dark Humor, Existentialism, Mathematics, Politics Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Mark Twain, also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics A follow-up to Tuesday’sContinue reading “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics…”

Ingenuity…

Topics: Mars, NASA, Space Exploration, Spaceflight NASA is targeting no earlier than Sunday, April 11, for Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s first attempt at powered, controlled flight on another planet. To mark a month of Ingenuity flights, the agency will host several events to bring people along for the ride. A livestream confirming Ingenuity’s first flight isContinue reading “Ingenuity…”

VOC…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, DNA, Research Variant Reported cases in US Number of Jurisdictions Reporting B.1.1.7 16,275 52 B.1.351 386 36 P.1 356 25 Source: CDC Download Accessible Data [XLS – 738 B] CDC is closely monitoring these variants of concern (VOC). These variants have mutations in the virus genome that alter the characteristics and cause theContinue reading “VOC…”

Weather Prediction…

Topics: History, Meteorology, Research In August 1861 the London-based newspaper The Times published the world’s first “daily weather forecast.” The term itself was created by the enterprising meteorologist Robert FitzRoy, who wanted to distance his work from astrological “prognostications.” That story has led to a widespread assumption that weather forecasting is an entirely modern phenomenon and thatContinue reading “Weather Prediction…”

Asteroids, Dinosaurs, and Rain Forests…

Topics: Asteroids, Biology, Evolution, Existentialism, Research Note: Working on two reviews, and my research proposal. It’s a very busy writing semester. Dinosaur and fossil aficionados are intimately familiar with the meteorite strike that drove Tyrannosaurus rex and all nonavian dinosaurs to extinction around 66 million years ago. But it is often overlooked that the impact also wipedContinue reading “Asteroids, Dinosaurs, and Rain Forests…”

Women’s History Month, and CRISPR…

Topics: Biology, Chemistry, DNA, Nobel Prize, Research, Women in Science This year’s (2020) Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to two scientists who transformed an obscure bacterial immune mechanism, commonly called CRISPR, into a tool that can simply and cheaply edit the genomes of everything from wheat to mosquitoes to humans.  The award went jointlyContinue reading “Women’s History Month, and CRISPR…”

Mask Mandates and Starships…

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Climate Change, COVID-19, Democracy, Existentialism, Human Rights Thank you, Reginald! You’re all signed up for “(1st Dose) COVID – 19 Vaccine Clinic.” Vaccine Appointment 03/11/2021 (Thu.) 1:45pm – 2:00pm EST Location: NC A&T Alumni Foundation Building (200 N. Benbow Rd.) My Comment: Older graduate student, 58 years. Thank you for registeringContinue reading “Mask Mandates and Starships…”

Snaps From Perseverance…

Topics: Mars, NASA, Space Exploration, Spaceflight Data from the powerful science tool includes sounds of its laser zapping a rock in order to test what it’s made of.   The first readings from the SuperCam instrument aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover have arrived on Earth. SuperCam was developed jointly by the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)Continue reading “Snaps From Perseverance…”

Our Flexible Molecule…

Topics: Biology, DNA, Physics, Polymer Science, Research DNA molecules are not fixed objects – they are constantly getting broken up and glued back together to adopt new shapes. Davide Michieletto explains how this process can be harnessed to create a new generation of “topologically active” materials. Call me naïve, but until a few years ago I hadContinue reading “Our Flexible Molecule…”

Haplotypes and Neanderthals…

Topics: Biology, COVID-19, Genetics, Research Abstract A recent genetic association study1 identified a gene cluster on chromosome 3 as a risk locus for respiratory failure after infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A separate study (COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative)2 comprising 3,199 hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and control individuals showed that this clusterContinue reading “Haplotypes and Neanderthals…”

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