Atheists who love Science!

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Atheists who love Science!

A group for science enthusiasts of all types -- professionals, amateurs, students, anybody who loves science.

Members: 1583
Latest Activity: 8 hours ago

Whether you're a professional, a student, an amateur, an enthusiast, whatever! Lots of atheists love science. Might as well have a group for it!

Feel free to nerd out, link articles, talk about your favorite field of research, whatever!

The icon is from www.wearscience.com.


9/28/2008
I've been super busy with school this semester -- no time for Atheist Nexus, sadly!!
If anyone who's around here a lot wants me to toss them moderation privileges to run this group or anything, just send me (Sara) a message! Thanks!

11/14/2009
Removed ability to send mass messages to everyone in the group. At 1000+ members, that seems like asking for spam.

Offer still open if anyone active in the group wants moderation privileges, but it appears everything has been going smoothly with all kinds of great discussions without moderation. Fantastic! :)

Discussion Forum

Roundup Ready Corn IS Toxic

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 22 hours ago. 7 Replies

Crowded rooms make you dumb

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Pat Jul 5. 4 Replies

American Lysenkoism

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 6. 1 Reply

Big Bang, its limits, and being OK with "I don't know"

Started by Gregory Phillip Dearth. Last reply by Idaho Spud May 25. 62 Replies

Decline of Evidence-Based Medicine

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Luara May 16. 6 Replies

Canadian war on science

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck May 14. 2 Replies

Nuke close call in 1961

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 11. 3 Replies

Green Tea Boosts Brainpower

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 11. 3 Replies

Link Discovered Between Prostate Cancer and Vitamin D Deficiency

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 11. 1 Reply

Japan stepping up to space-based solar power

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Idaho Spud May 4. 6 Replies

Common Gene Variation Linked to Colon Cancer

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky May 2. 5 Replies

Amazing Chameleon Vine

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 25. 0 Replies

Cholesterol Linked to Alzheimer's

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 23. 2 Replies

Nanoparticle Wound Glue

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 20. 0 Replies

1,500 year old frozen moss grows

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Idaho Spud Mar 22. 2 Replies

Fast, Cheap and Ethical Stem Cells

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky Mar 15. 4 Replies

Academic papers generated by computer programs widespread

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Mar 15. 6 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by A Former Member on November 6, 2010 at 5:17pm

From Primitive Parts, A Highly Evolved Human Brain


From one perspective, the human brain is a masterpiece. From another, it's 3 pounds of inefficient jelly. Both views are accurate, and that's because our remarkable brain has been assembled from some very primitive parts.


Read the rest, or listen to the story, on NPR.

Comment by A Former Member on November 6, 2010 at 4:35pm

Glia: The new frontier in brain science


The current issue of the journal Science (November 5) marks a turning point in research on the brain. This event is fascinating not only for the wealth of new information about how the brain functions and how it fails in mental and neurological illness, but equally as a rare display of a field of science changing course. Such transitions are the lore of scientific history, but rarely do we have the opportunity to witness such pivotal moments in real time.


The journal Science is a premier international journal covering all areas of science, and this issue contains a special section on glia. Glia, in contrast to neurons, are brain cells that do not generate electrical impulses, and there are a lot of them—85 percent of the cells in the brain. Yet, these cells have been largely neglected for 100 years. I call this new frontier of neuroscience "The Other Brain," because we are only now beginning to explore it. The new findings are expanding our concept of information processing in the brain. They are leading rapidly to new treatments for diseases ranging from spinal cord injury to brain cancer to chronic pain, and Alzheimer's disease. And they are overturning a century of conventional thinking about how the brain operates at the most fundamental level.


In the past, glia were understood to support neurons; to feed them and clean up after them, and to respond to brain injury. But these functions were regarded as peripheral to the exciting functions that neurons perform in processing information and storing memories. Consequently, research on glia did not fare well in the fierce competition for the limited grant funding for brain research. Neuroscientists were not trained in glial science, and the standard texts cover glia superficially, if at all. Editors at major journals were not well versed in these odd and very complicated brain cells. As a consequence, glial research was rarely published in high-impact scientific journals. These forces dragged on glial researchers for decades. Now all of this is changing.


Read the rest on Scientific American.

Comment by A Former Member on November 6, 2010 at 3:58pm

Humans' Big Brains Tied To Chimps' Immunity?


It's a provocative — even astonishing — hypothesis: Could the same set of genes that explains why chimpanzees are protected from some diseases also explain why humans have big brains?


That's what researchers at Stanford University are suggesting.


The genes in question control a type of white blood cell known as natural killer cells, or NK cells.


"They can make a big difference as to whether you get sick, or you don't get sick," says Peter Parham, a professor of cell biology at Stanford. Parham has been studying the genes that control NK cells. And it's not a simple picture — there are a lot of genes involved.


Read the rest of this short article on NPR.

Comment by A Former Member on October 28, 2010 at 2:22pm
though they are all being read.

Maybe that's a good indication that it is a worthwhile book. : )
Comment by Mrina on October 28, 2010 at 2:07pm
Thanks DG, it looks super fun :D My local library even has copies of it, though they are all being read.
Comment by A Former Member on October 28, 2010 at 1:44pm
I have not read this. I'm just passing it along. - DG

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

Science magazine reporter Kean views the periodic table as one of the great achievements of humankind, "an anthropological marvel," full of stories about our connection with the physical world. Funny, even chilling tales are associated with each element, and Kean relates many. The title refers to gallium (Ga, 31), which melts at 84ËšF, prompting a practical joke among "chemical cognoscenti": shape gallium into spoons, "serve them with tea, and watch as your guests recoil when their Earl Grey ˜eats™ their utensils." Along with Dmitri Mendeleyev, the father of the periodic table, Kean is in his element as he presents a parade of entertaining anecdotes about scientists (mad and otherwise) while covering such topics as thallium (Tl, 81) poisoning, the invention of the silicon (Si, 14) transistor, and how the ruthenium (Ru, 44) fountain pen point made million for the Parker company. With a constant flow of fun facts bubbling to the surface, Kean writes with wit, flair, and authority in a debut that will delight even general readers.
Comment by Jake Farr-Wharton on September 21, 2010 at 7:17pm
I've just writeen this: http://imaginaryfriendsshow.com/?p=144 "Science Verifies Ancient Religious Claim!" about the new studies on the 'biblical exodus'.

Science, comedy... got to loves its!
Comment by A Former Member on September 13, 2010 at 6:03pm
This was posted on another site, so I'm crossposting here.

These chickens are male on one side of their bodies, and female on the other. They're called gynandromporphs.


Here is one science blog explaining the phenomenon, and here is a follow up post. Below is a short video.

Here is an excerpt from the articles (discussing the bird pictured above):

The animal on the right is no ordinary chicken. Its right half looks like a hen but its left half (with a larger wattle, bigger breast, whiter colour and leg spur) is that of a cockerel. The bird is a ‘gynandromorph‘, a rare sexual chimera. Thanks to three of these oddities, Debiao Zhao and Derek McBride from the University of Edinburgh have discovered a truly amazing secret about these most familiar of birds – every single cell in a chicken’s body is either male or female. Each one has its own sexual identity. It seems that becoming male or female is a very different process for birds than it is for mammals.


Here is another photo I found:



And somewhat related, here is an entry on Parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction in which female insects and animals reproduce without male fertilization, producing another female offspring.

Interesting stuff.
Comment by A Former Member on September 13, 2010 at 1:57pm
Thanks Mrina. I've passed that along.
Comment by Mrina on September 13, 2010 at 1:48pm
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7312/full/467133a.html

We are going backwards in America and it is painful to see. Soon it'll be like the Dark Ages...
 

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