Daily Car Use: Mimicking a Bad Habit

It's no secret that our imitative nature is both a blessing and a curse. Our lives would be overwhelming if along with reinventing the wheel we had to recreate tables and chairs along with all the tools and techniques presently at our finger tips. Our ability to mimic also plays a role in the acquisition of a mother tongue and in learning languages of... Continue Reading →

Toxic Bloom Despite Josh Bloom’s Rosy Views

Since the early 1980s, the media has played a roller coaster game with the coverage of environmental issues. The public's appetite for such coverage seems to unfortunately ride the waves of economic growth and recessions.  Meanwhile groups at each end of the spectrum play political games and distort realities that are difficult to pin down. As a result, the environmental movement has... Continue Reading →

Beneficial Viruses

Due to the insights gained from a decade's worth of viral research, it's not surprising that in the autumn of 2013, Penn State University offered a newly developed course in viral ecology. For a century, the word virus had been exclusively associated with certain human, animal, plant or computer diseases. Virus, which is rooted in the... Continue Reading →

Tone Can Spoil A Good Science News Article

A Montreal Gazette article about toxins in food by Joe Schwarcz, McGill 's Director of the Office for Science and Society, reminds me of a line in the movie Hitch, Sixty percent of all human communication is nonverbal body language; thirty percent is your tone, so that means ninety percent of what you're saying isn't coming out of your mouth.... Continue Reading →

Superhero and Supervillain Molecules

We are sometimes too much in awe of our own creations. When we see problems emanating from either technology or chemical compounds, we often think that our creations are neutral. It supposedly all depends on "how we use them". But that only applies in certain cases. The rationalization oversimplifies the reality, and it's too reminiscent... Continue Reading →

Boron Plays No Boring Role in Quorum Sensing

Princeton University’s Bonnie Bassler has continued to reveal that nature is stranger than science initially supposes. She discovered that before bacteria conjugate, produce spores, form biofilms, cause disease or bioluminesce, they first take a “census of their population”. This is done by “quorum sensing” which involves the release and detection of signaling molecules. Surpassing the... Continue Reading →

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