Monday, October 22, 2007

You bet Shiraz

Perhaps we overhyped reseveratrol.

Not that it's going to stop me from a leisurely glass of wine with dinner or my philosophical ruminations, but the article makes a good point: the mouse model can only carry us so far before we really can't corroborate effects on to us.

Reveratrol has been hailed for all sorts of indications, from cancer to diabetes to just plain old being plain old. All that said, there's just not a whole lot of evidence to warrant the RESVERATROL labels wine makers are rushing to slap on their finest Pinot.

I've seen in even around my research campus. Mention resveratrol at a research luncheon and you'll be hard-pressed to find a biologist who hasn't at least toyed with the idea of tossing it into their model-of-choice. There's plenty of money out there from the industry and they seem almost giddy to give it away in the hopes of proving out the miracle molecule.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I thinked of science after I readed this piece.

People in the future will talk like morons.

Well, not quite. Despite all the valuable lessons the seminal film Idiocracy taught us, the new batch of articles in Nature looking at the evolution of language suggests a phasing out of irregular verbs that don't get used too often.

There's actually some powerful mathematics being leveled behind this research despite the deceptive fluffy feel to the findings, if you care to root around behind the curtain.

The term meme is about as old as I, but this feels like the kind of work that was just waiting to have a word so someone would have paid it attention. Er, payed attention?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Show me your best side.

New evidence explains Saturn moon's black and white nature.

Basically it's a freeze-thaw action:
The new observations add support to a two-part explanation for Iapetus' appearance. First, as Iapetus treks around Saturn, its leading edge scoops up a thin coating of dark material, which amplifies sunlight absorption.

Sounds like my truck's windshield in winter. That kind of ramscoop effect can really impact your visibility. Given all the icy bits flying around Saturn, it's probably a constant feature.

Iapetus was one of those throwaway Titans, but I always loved that name. So vowelly.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Indecision clouds my vision

Certain genes might lead to suicidal tendencies. Insert rock lyric here.

This is a nice story to point to because it illustrates the active scientific process. An early finding seems to be on stable ground, so the next step is to see if that finding can be supported or corroborated by expanded testing in multiple platforms. This is both the beauty and strength of the discipline.

For this study, Laje and colleagues analyzed DNA samples from 1,915 participants, looking for associations between reports of suicidal ideation at 768 sites in 68 genes.

Statistically, I like the methodology. It's remarkable to note this kind of study probably could not have taken place five years ago, at least in this capacity, the technology is so new.