News From Around The Blogosphere 10.27.08

October 28, 2008

Attack of the cancer-killing tomatoes

“… food scientists are trying to modify crop plants to give us a bigger dose of helpful chemicals in those items that we do eat.”

Muppet heir Brian Henson creates a new digital-animation technology to get preschoolers to think like scientists.


Vote NO on California Proposition 8 –

Note: The following video has been “altered” to remove all reference to same-sex marriage and replace them with interracial marriage to expose the truth about California Proposition 8. To see the original, unaltered propaganda video, click here.

And of course vote YES on Michigan Proposition 2, that will allows embryonic stem cell research using embryos that would be discarded from fertility clinics. Here is the truth about embryonic stem cells:


Here’s another classic example of creationist quote-mining, where they distort a scientist’s quote by taking it out of context specifically to suggest that the scientist said the opposite of what the scientist really said.

How good are these Christian Samaritans? – This should come as a surprise but a new study suggests people who perform altruistic acts in the name of religion do so less out of empathy than a fear of reprisal from a higher power. We’ll put that in the Duh! category.

A.I. therapist for astronauts? – As part of the ongoing research project known as the Virtual Space Station, scientists are developing an artificial intelligence program to simulate a therapy session for psychologically strained astronauts. Astronauts tell the computer their problems, and the computer uses problem-solving treatment to discover the root of the astronaut’s problems. Then, the computer verbally (hopefully in a sexy voice) offers a series of exercises and plans to deal with these problems.

Acupuncture Used For Animal Ailments – “Needles are often equated with pain and discomfort; however, for a horse named Gypsy the tiny sharp objects brought about much needed relief as Dr. Mark Crisman, a professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, administered acupuncture therapy.” – I can’t believe this found its way into Science Daily. I can’t put this in the science news section until this is sorted out. Nowhere in the article does it indicate that acupuncture has been proven to not work, so I don’t trust a word of this until I hear more.

This day in history


Robotic Ants Building Homes On Mars? – You gotta love a headline like that! – “Recent discoveries of water and Earth-like soil on Mars have set imaginations running wild that human beings may one day colonise the Red Planet. However, the first inhabitants might not be human in form at all, but rather swarms of tiny robots.

“Small robots that are able to work together could explore the planet. We now know there is water and dust so all they would need is some sort of glue to start building structures, such as homes for human scientists,” says Marc Szymanski, a robotics researcher at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany.”

Origins Of 3-Billion-Year-Old Rock Solved – “A new technique using X-rays has enabled scientists to play ‘detective’ and solve the debate about the origins of a three billion year old rock fragment.”