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Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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When I was a kid, I was totally enamored of dinosaurs. I seem to have lost my affinity for them in the years since. I quit paying attention to developments in paleontology. Apparently there's been a lot that I missed, like that the dominant theory now is that modern birds are descended from a dinosaur species (I think?). And I hear velociraptors had feathers. So I need not just updates, but a good primer for adults because I've forgotten everything I used to know about them.
Can anyone recommend some good modern books or documentaries on dinosaurs to rekindle the flame of dino-love? posted by Sleeper at 12:27 PM - 10 answers
I am looking at buying a used motorcycle. I would like to create a simple ratio for the bikes based on three criteria: mileage, price, and age. [more inside]posted by multiphrenic at 12:11 PM - 4 answers
What are the limits to bedbugs? Why isn't every hotel room infested given how tough they are claimed to be? Is there any evidence on the chances of taking bed bugs home from a hotel with you? Will the bedbug infestation rates go ever upwards? Why or why not? Interested in aggregated, rather than anecdotal evidence here. [more inside]posted by mister_kaupungister at 4:03 PM - 5 answers
Today I heard some birds
I don't ever recall hearing before. Can you tell me what they are? I'm specifically puzzled by the fainter "bloop-bloop" calls you can hear at like 12 and 18 seconds.
These birds were the size of eagles and looked kind of like giant ravens, from what I could see. I live in central Massachusetts. (Please excuse the breathing--I was halfway up a steep hill on my bike when I stopped to record this!) posted by Camofrog at 1:51 PM - 14 answers
Dear MetaFilter, I am new to this forum and this is my first post, hi!
I am in a bit of a pickle about a work project, and hope that I may be able to get some help by some fellow sciencey people. The science forums are rarely read and badly out of date, or I would have posted at one of those.
I have a deadline for a miRNA PCR experiment, and I have already run the cDNA and PCR for the miRNA. All I have to do is run the miRNA on a gel.
We don't have acrylamide! And neither does our neighboring lab. We only have Agarose with which to make gels, which is only for large fragments, not small miRNA fragments of 20-40 bp.
As the percentage of agarose in the gel goes higher, the smaller the size of the base pairs are that can be measured. Could I increase this percentage enough to work for miRNA?
Out of respect for the community that doesn't like line returns, I have entered the specifics of this post in the Extended Explanation box, because to me, this post reads like a jumble of nonsense without some kind of organization. [more inside]posted by Arachnophile at 2:40 PM - 10 answers
My wife and I have been reading and enjoying Ariely's books, but we're a little skeptical. Many of his study results seem a bit too spectacular. Some studies produce dramatic surprises. All of which, of course, makes for great entertainment. Can you tell me whether, in general, others have duplicated his study results? What kind of reputation does he have among behavioral researchers? posted by markcmyers at 3:04 PM - 4 answers
Any recommendations for a software program for managing photos, notes, etc., of plants I am learning about. Just recently developed an interest in Botany and don't really know where to begin. I have tons of photos, journal notes and websites bookmarked and am looking for a way to keep things together and organized so i can access all the info easier. Also looking for a reliable resource for identifying and learning more about the plants I find. Any other advice for a beginner would be appreciated as well... posted by slowtree at 3:22 PM - 2 answers
I've noticed that most of what I read about science and technology is universally optimistic about the pace
of knowledge (if not necessary its use
). From tech journalists to science fiction writers everyone seems to believe that the possibilities of technology are boundless and the pace of scientific discovery is, if anything, accelerating and always will be.
My question is: Is anyone credibly arguing the opposite? [more inside]posted by 2bucksplus at 12:11 PM - 12 answers
I had some AA energizer max alkaline batteries in my keyboard and one leaked. When I went to remove it some one the powder got between the keys on my keyboard. How caustic is the potassium hydroxide solution in this stuff? Is it concentrated or pretty diluted? Is it safe when its dry? I cant easily clean between my keys. posted by john123357 at 3:45 PM - 7 answers
I have a list of paired numbers that span multiple orders of magnitude, and I need to find a method to a) compare within each pair in a way that does not disproportionately bias the comparison at the high or low end of the list, and b) define which pairs are dissimilar enough to be excluded from further analysis. The dataset itself follows a rough sigmoid curve, with a few pairs in the 1000s, more in the 100s, a lot in the upper 10's, some in the low 10's, and a few in the single digits. I have tried a few different comparison methods so far, including percent difference and relative percent difference of both the raw and log-transformed data. [more inside]posted by nekton at 9:32 AM - 5 answers
I'm about to begin a new project that looks at the outcomes of specific events, and would like to query the hivemind to see what kinds of approaches I can take to it. I'm always impressed with the wide variety of approaches to statistical problems I see on here. [more inside]posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 7:41 AM - 9 answers
Since we're in a period of increasing solar activity, I'm hoping for some hot aurora action in the NY Tristate area. But while there are countless aurora forecast/advisory services, I can't find one for this area. [more inside]posted by Quisp Lover at 1:06 PM - 7 answers
Where would be a good location in Eastern Massachusetts to see and photograph both the sunset and (full) moonrise on Sunday, June 23rd? [more inside]posted by bondcliff at 12:25 PM - 6 answers
. The flowers give off a mild, sweet smell and are kinda sticky at the white, hollow ends. The shells on the left open into halves, and those halves are divided in half, so I doubt they are nutshells (unless those nuts come pre-cut into quarters). This all came from a tree with wide green leaves, here in the southeast USA. That's all I remember about it. Any ideas what tree this might be? Any help would be appreciated! posted by ditto75 at 2:44 PM - 9 answers
I have read this
I have two questions:
1. Are there any cultures or traditions that forbid
donating one's body to a medical school after death?
2. Where, besides the lovely tribute posted in the link, can I find first-hand accounts of med school students' experiences with donated bodies and cadavers? posted by BostonTerrier at 10:57 AM - 8 answers
Historically, in tropical areas, did cyclones/hurricanes wipe villages/huts/people off the face of the earth ? [more inside]posted by k5.user at 8:12 AM - 4 answers
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