Okay, So It’s Not Flying Cars …

But still. Google’s self-driving car has been demoed a number of times over the past few years — “Good Morning America” even took it for a spin in 2010. But the pedal’s about to  be really put to the metal in Nevada.Nevada’s Legislative Commission has approved regulations that would allow self-driving vehicles on the state’s roadways. Sweet, huh? Near as I can tell from the story, it's a bit of bracing open-mindedness on the part of Nevada state legislators. They're willing, basically, to serve … [Read more...]

St. Valentine and Darwin: A Tale of Two Carls

Carl Buell, Carl Zimmer. Do you know the names? Buell is the renowned natural history illustrator, Zimmer is the well-known science writer.Buell's name just popped up all over the world in relation to Darwin Day, Zimmer's makes a splash this week on the cover of Time Magazine.I hope Darwin enthusiast Colin Purrington will forgive me for quoting pretty much an entire page on his website, but he explains the Buell-Darwin connection so well I just couldn't do it better:  … [Read more...]

About that Cure …

Just wanted to follow up on my post of a few days ago. I still feel a little bit bad about the headline, "Hurrah! Cure for Alzheimer's Discovered!"I intended it to be funny, sort of a reflection of common practice in science reporting. This does it better:  … [Read more...]

Hurrah! Cure for Alzheimer’s Discovered!

Yes, I'm doing that "sensationalist headline" thing the popular news media is so famous for.But ... I hope this is true. It would be damned cool if it was. At the same time, I've learned — not as a scientist, because I'm not one, but as a reader of news and onetime newspaper editor — that what you read in headlines is often misleading. And you can't even trust the stories that follow.But here it is: Breaking News from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine … [Read more...]

Neil deGrasse Tyson! Over Here!

Neil deGrasse Tyson asks for help on Facebook:I hardly ever ask questions on this wall, but I feel compelled: Tuesday I'll be at the White House. If you had one sentence for the President, what would it be?My response was:Mr. President, let’s amp up U.S. science education by devoting ourselves as a nation to an Apollo-type program in medicine: Launch “ABCD by 2023” to discover even more effective treatments – or cures! – for Alzheimer’s, Birth defects, Cancer, and Diabetes.Such a visiona … [Read more...]

Guts and Bugs

Probably more than you wanted to know about intestinal bacteria and toilet flushing, but here are two Jan. 2 articles that coincidentally both spotlight the pathogen Clostridium difficile. Your Appendix Could Save Your Life Flushing Can Spread Diarrhea DiseaseThat second one ... Man! Makes me want to use public toilets even less.   … [Read more...]


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