Monthly Archives: December 2008

Holiday Break

Though science never stops, once in awhile we scientists need a break. We’ll be taking a brief hiatus over the holiday, but we’ll be back in the new year to keep you up to date on all the science news! Have a great holiday!

Photo by Grant MacDonald

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Man’s best friend

Dogs may be a man’s best friend, but they still want fair treatment! Read about this, the revenge of the nerds, how your brain controls your weight and more in
this week’s BioBites!

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Wanted: Used coffee grounds


In bad news, OPEC cut oil production today, in the hopes of getting a little more out of our wallets at the pump (and our houses, as the temperatures dip here in Boston). In a related story, scientists at the University of Nevada have come up with a way to make biofuels from used coffee grounds. The production is fairly energy efficient and affordable, coming in at about $1 per gallon.

Will this solve all our energy problems? No. Even a huge supply of used coffee grounds would only produce a small amount of the energy we use in the US, but it could give us a way to use a waste product to make something useful. And yes, the exhaust really does smell like coffee!

Want to learn more? Check out this NY Times article.

Photo provided by Refracted Moments(tm).

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Genetics and AIDS


The disease still evokes the horror of death and an epidemic. Though we have yet to find a cure, treatments have made great strides in the last 30 years. With the sequencing of the human genome we’re learning more and more about how the HIV virus interacts with humans’ cells.

I want more candy!
You’re lying, right?
My brain hurts!

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Don’t worry, be happy!

Happiness is contagious. Read about that and more in
this week’s BioBites!

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Harold Edgerton


Photo by nebarnix

You may never have heard of him, but you’ve probably seen many pictures taken by the photographic methods he developed. Doc Edgerton invented high-speed photography. Thanks to him, we can see what a bullet looks like going thru a apple, what a water droplet looks like as it hits the floor, and exactly how weird baseball pitchers look as they throw the ball.

To learn more about his life check out his biography in pdf form.


Milk photo by Latente 囧 Mr. Graffiti
Pitching photo by artolog

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Return of the body snatchers!


When it comes to virtual reality, how real is too real? Scientists have shown that using a pair of goggles and a camera, they can make people feel like a mannequin across the room is ACTUALLY their body. The effect is so real that when the mannequin is stabbed with a knife, the people react like it is actually them. Want to know more, or see a video of the experiments taking place? Read on!

I want more candy!
The organic stuff, please!
My brain hurts!

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