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About DNA polymerase...

Tomasetti and Vogelstein recently published an analysis that suggests the variation in the number of stem cell divisions leads to cancer incidence rates that are higher for tissues with relatively greater numbers of divisions. They recently posted a follow-up which attempts to address some of the counterarguments to their results. Acting on the premise that their work is correct or at least "in the right direction", are there labs or drug companies working on gene therapies that attempt to improve DNA polymerase fidelity (even in model organisms), as a means to one day perhaps reduce cancer incidence in higher-risk tissues? While it is easy through mutagenesis to worsen fidelity rates and increase cancer rates (as has been demo'ed in mice, say) can this aspect be engineered to be improved — that is, what biochemical aspects of (human) DNA polymerase have evolved to control its fidelity rate such that it might be possible to improve upon it?
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jan 21, 2015 - 3 answers

Great Trivia Books for a Teenager

A young woman (14 years old) of my acquaintance absolutely loves those "fun fact of the day" trivia phone apps. Now I'm looking for some books I could recommend to her chock full of fun facts, and explanations of the background of those facts, that would be age- and knowledge-level-appropriate. Ideas? [more inside]
posted by decathecting on Jan 18, 2015 - 18 answers

How to organize a neural network outside of my brain to help me learn?

I am studying psychology and like to make associations and note similarities between different theories. For example, perhaps I see a relationship between Fromm’s concept of conformity and ideas of enculturation and socialization, from there maybe I can then link to constructs of social interaction in Vygotsy’s work on learning. I believe that I am looking for a non-linear organization system similar to a big mind map, semantic network, or a personal wiki. Any suggestions about how to structure something like this? [more inside]
posted by Che boludo! on Jan 15, 2015 - 19 answers

What would happen if you transplanted an animal's eyes into a human?

Would a human brain be able to make sense of the information? Would the person see anything at all. Or would the person see exactly like the donor animal (very unlikely I'm guessing).
posted by Gabriel ricci on Jan 13, 2015 - 15 answers

Netherlands Master's in education vs teaching experience in Asia, which?

I have a B.Sc in computer science and have one year of experience English using my CELTA qualification. Looking around, I see a lot of requests for people with North American B.Sc's to teach Math/Physics/CS in Asia. I'm trying to decide whether to go and start teaching, or whether it is better to get a state teaching qualification (2yr) in the Netherlands first... [more inside]
posted by jpziller on Jan 13, 2015 - 4 answers

Quotes about science and sci-fi

Please help me find good quotes about how and why sci-fi is inspired by science, or how science is inspired by sci-fi.
posted by Unsomnambulist on Jan 4, 2015 - 4 answers

Short Story No Woman Can Get Pregnant Without 9-Months of Illness

Years ago, I read a short story about two biologists (geneticists?) who are friends. After a global plague that makes all women infertile, one of the geneticists devices a treatment in which women can again reproduce, but they spend their entire nine months of pregnancy with blue, flaking, itchy skin and extreme sickness. The second geneticist realizes that the first has actually devised both the plague and the cure. He asks his friend why he did it. "Because I never wanted another child to be born unwanted," the first geneticist replies. I probably remember some of this imperfectly, but that was the gist of it. Does anyone happen to know the author/title? Thanks in advance!
posted by Chasuk on Dec 31, 2014 - 2 answers

White Space

Why are there so many white men in space? [more inside]
posted by Mike Mongo on Dec 9, 2014 - 28 answers

Of Pencils and Pixels

I want to read scholarly work about why doing things with "digital" tools (like word processors or MIDI music keyboards) is experienced differently from doing things with "analog" tools (like typewriters or pianos). [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Dec 9, 2014 - 6 answers

Christmas Present: Books for Mom edition

Every year I load up my Mom's Kindle library for Christmas. This year I'm finding a lot of stuff on the non-fiction end but very little fiction that is up her alley. Her fave books: Neal Stephenson's "The Baroque Cycle" and Gillian Bradshaw's "The Sand-Reckoner." Got a rec? Expanded explanation of her taste inside! [more inside]
posted by rednikki on Dec 5, 2014 - 13 answers

What has big data done for us lately?

I'm curious to learn what major scientific (or other) advances have been made using data mining of extremely large datasets (a.k.a. "big data")? [more inside]
posted by stinker on Dec 4, 2014 - 23 answers

Homemade skin care without the woo?

I'm interested in getting into making some skin care products (lotions, lip balms, maybe soaps) at home but I'm frustrated with the lack of scientific basis/cited sources for many of the recipes that I find online. Is there an Alton Brown/Harold McGee/Shirley Corriher of DIY skin care products? [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion on Dec 1, 2014 - 10 answers

PhD programs in Cognitive Science, late bloomer.

Thinking about applying to PhD programs in cognitive science after 4 years of tech job experience with no research experience. What do you say? [more inside]
posted by the_dude on Nov 30, 2014 - 13 answers

Engineering histories for scientists/engineers

I'm looking for media (books mostly) related to technical histories of engineering projects. [more inside]
posted by Captain Chesapeake on Nov 28, 2014 - 15 answers

Book recommendations on how the brain impacts the body

I'm interested in learning more about the science of mind-body connections, especially in the mind-impacts-body direction. For example, I'm curious about how mental exertion can lead to physical fatigue, or how an emotion can trigger physical symptoms in the body (such as indigestion from stress). I'm looking for an interesting and accessible book on this topic, if one exists. [more inside]
posted by ootandaboot on Nov 24, 2014 - 7 answers

Recommendation for Middle-School Science Fair Gauss Meter?

My middle-schooler is working on a science project involving the strength of magnets under different conditions. We are talking about using a Gauss meter to measure the strength of a magnet, but we are not sure what type of Gauss meter would be right for the project. Any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by Slap Factory on Nov 23, 2014 - 5 answers

Best history of science podcasts?

I'm looking for a really great history of science or weird science podcast(s)! [more inside]
posted by WidgetAlley on Nov 19, 2014 - 3 answers

Lego Mindstorms or something better for my nieces/nephews?

I have six nieces and nephews ranging in age from 4 to 9 spread over two households, and I am thinking of getting each household a set of Lego Mindstorms for Christmas. The cost of the sets means I would not get them any other presents, so the kids would need to share. [more inside]
posted by StephenF on Nov 11, 2014 - 19 answers

What are the best textbooks on climate science?

I'm looking for climate science textbooks that take a mathematical approach: that go in-depth with the maths of modelling etc. I'd appreciate if they also had a focus on the science of anthropogenic climate change / global warming. Can you recommend any? [more inside]
posted by Quilford on Nov 9, 2014 - 3 answers

Blue's Clueless

In light of this post, are there any programs or initiatives to offer an open, online, mainstream K-12 curriculum available to all students and school districts? [more inside]
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Nov 7, 2014 - 4 answers

Do shoe trees work?

Is there any real evidence that shoe trees do what they are supposed to do? [more inside]
posted by ianK on Nov 2, 2014 - 11 answers

Which data structures changed the world?

In my last question, I asked for algorithms that changed the world. Now I'd like to know, what are the data structures that changed the world? [more inside]
posted by pwnguin on Nov 1, 2014 - 16 answers

Books on molecular biology: technical and historical

My +1 is outfitting the molecular biology and biochemistry side of a physics lab. He would like to get books (electronic and/or paper) to fulfill two needs: 1. protocols and reference - for in lab use 2. history or textbook of molecular biology - to help familiarize physics people with the field. Looking for suggestions for solid books that are readable and have good figures. [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Nov 1, 2014 - 8 answers

A book that answers kids' questions

Please give me recommendations for books that explain how the world works to pre-schoolers. [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom on Nov 1, 2014 - 9 answers

The science of happy long term relationships

What's current research say about what factors go into making a happy long-term relationship? In particular, I recently heard of some studies suggesting that couples who spend oodles of time together and are basically each other's best friends may be less likely to be happy than couples with separate hobbies, friends, etc. However, I can't seem to actually *find* any of those studies...anyone know of these?
posted by sirion on Oct 30, 2014 - 5 answers

How can I become an entrepreneur in high tech science?

I am a recent college graduate who's been interested in combining interests in science and engineering with business. I would love to get into something entrepreneurial, but am not sure how. [more inside]
posted by cestlavie on Oct 23, 2014 - 6 answers

Recommendations for books on the history of science?

My question is two-fold, really. First, please recommend to me all of your favorite titles on the history of science, math, technology, and medicine. Secondly, how do you go about searching for good books in these topics? My favorite booksellers don't have a "history of science" search tag, unfortunately. Some of my past favorites and extended explanation below the fold. [more inside]
posted by backwards compatible on Oct 19, 2014 - 30 answers

Help me understand the societal implications of fusion power

Putting aside the question of whether or not we will actually have fusion power soon, does anyone have any science fiction or essays to help me understand the implications of fusion power? [more inside]
posted by jragon on Oct 16, 2014 - 29 answers

Puzzle me this

I'm organising a competition in which groups of people have to work together to solve a series of puzzles. I'm looking for puzzles along the lines of that hoary old favourite about the Farmer trying to cross the river with a Fox, a Chicken and Bag of Grain or the one involving the Two Guards, one of whom only tells lies and the other who only tells the truth. [more inside]
posted by Brian Lux on Oct 12, 2014 - 16 answers

What does a QC/QA person do?

What does a QC/QA position entail? I'm thinking more of science or manufacturing, and not financial/tax. [more inside]
posted by Zelos on Oct 5, 2014 - 6 answers

How can I make something glow in the infrared -- no flame or AC power?

For a science demonstration at my son's school, I have modified a webcam so it can detect infrared light. I would like to be able to heat up an object (I don't mind what) so that it can be seen on the infrared camera. So far, I have found that I can see a match (even after it has gone out), an IR remote control, and a gas flame. But these are all a bit tricky in the school environment. Ideally, I would have a battery powered device that would heat up a piece of metal enough that it will glow (in the IR) without anyone being able to burn themselves or set light to anything. I don't mind making the device, modifying something, or just buying something.
posted by beniamino on Oct 3, 2014 - 21 answers

SciFi Stories about Civilizations which have survived the "Big Bounce"

Looking for stories/novelllas/novels about civilizations which have survived the "Big Bounce" and persisted into the next universe. Is there any such thing?
posted by brownrd on Sep 29, 2014 - 22 answers

E=mc^$

I need help thinking of cool ways to spend $30k or more for high school physics equipment! If you're a physics teacher, or had a great physics teacher in high school (or college), tell me what equipment makes for inspiring and effective physics education. [more inside]
posted by Salvor Hardin on Sep 27, 2014 - 9 answers

Apps for young readers

What are your favorite iPad apps for 4 - 7 year olds? [more inside]
posted by woodvine on Sep 26, 2014 - 8 answers

How-the-world-works kind of book for a 5-year-old?

I am looking for a good, simple, kindergarten-level science/general knowledge/encyclopedia for my 5-year-old son. [more inside]
posted by zardoz on Sep 25, 2014 - 3 answers

Should I attend this scientific conference?

I'm considering attending the Geological Society of America conference this October in Vancouver, BC. I'm an undergrad geology student, and a student member of GSA. I'm not making a presentation, receiving an award, or bringing a poster. Do people ever attend conferences like this for fun? Or would I end up feeling like it was a waste of time and money, attending a conference that really wasn't intended for people like me? [more inside]
posted by Secretariat on Sep 23, 2014 - 30 answers

How to commission a scientific illustration?

My co-authors and I recently got a paper accepted to a major scientific journal. If we can provide a striking illustration, I think we have a decent chance to make the cover. That would be really cool and might be worth paying an external illustrator for. I never commissioned any artwork before, so I have questions about how to proceed. [more inside]
posted by Herr Zebrurka on Sep 20, 2014 - 7 answers

BSC in Computer Science in 2 years? Sketch or legit?

I am about to graduate in a liberal arts degree. I toyed with a lot of career options and I think one of my options is going to go back to school for computer science. I found a 2 year program but I don't know if it is legitimate or if it's a joke. [more inside]
posted by cyml on Sep 17, 2014 - 11 answers

Where can I buy waterproof mirrored acrylic?

I'm looking for sheet mirrored plexiglass, acrylic, polycarbonate ... [more inside]
posted by pallen123 on Sep 16, 2014 - 3 answers

Lesser-known women in technology

Who are some important women in technology that are lesser-known in the world? Especially women of color, LGBTQ women, and non-American women? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Sep 15, 2014 - 44 answers

Safe to bring California bay laurel/pepperwood to Arizona?

Can I bring California bay laurel branches to Arizona without potentially causing an ecological problem? [more inside]
posted by pony707 on Sep 13, 2014 - 4 answers

Help me find an old Victorian illustration of a person doing science

I use (this) for my current victorian calling card. My job description these days is more in the realm of data science (less domain specific although I still work at a museum of paleontology), but I'd still like to retain the same idea for my new card. So can you suggest any old illustrations (1800s or earlier) of people working with counting machines or such? Prefer black and white ones. Thanks
posted by special-k on Sep 12, 2014 - 5 answers

What are some of the best scientific graphing programs for Mac?

I'm working on some graphics for an upcoming presentation, and need a way to display some scientific data(scatter plots and bar graphs mostly). What is the next step beyond excel? [more inside]
posted by aleatorictelevision on Sep 12, 2014 - 16 answers

I'm done asking this but.... Hope me with jobs?

The situation that prompted one of my first questions on AskMe is unfortunately still relevant. Logistics have improved, my depression is....eh. I'm 25 now and have been out of undergrad for over a year. This is my resume . Ignore the crappy formatting, but... [more inside]
posted by marsbar77 on Aug 30, 2014 - 11 answers

Eyeing a career change from Engineering: Am I being reckless?

I recently graduated and I've been working as a Jr. Engineer for a few months now. I realize now that this is not a career/field I want to be in and have been strongly thinking about going back to school to get a Computer Science degree. The problem is that I have 35k in loans from my previous degree and I need to make a decision soon. Am I being reckless for wanting to do a career change so soon? [more inside]
posted by This Is Reality on Aug 29, 2014 - 16 answers

What is your favorite definition of science?

I've heard some great quotations from famous scientists that succinctly embody the nuances and beauty of the practice of science. I'm teaching high school science for the first time (starting tomorrow! eek!) and I'm looking for some good examples to share with my students. What are your favorite quotations on the subject? How do you personally define the practice of science? Thanks!
posted by garuda on Aug 24, 2014 - 12 answers

Please help me ID this old sci-fi story

Here are a few facts about this old SF story whose author I can no longer recall. 1. It was written by a giant of mid-century SF whose name I can no longer recall. Not Sheckley, not Asimov. I thought it might be Damon Knight, but I can't find it in his work. 2. It's a story about a man who travels to the future as part of a gigantic relief effort to assist future men who are burying themselves in the earth. [more inside]
posted by Mr. Justice on Aug 23, 2014 - 4 answers

How to make a smoking area smell less horrible?

On a lanai in southwest florida, there is some heavy daily smoking going on. Even with three walls made of screens that open to outside, the smell remains. Looking to find ways to mitigate the stale and persistent smoke smell. The amount of smoking is not going to decrease, looking for a product that will help with the smell from the actual smoking and the ashtrays full of butts (which are emptied fairly often.) [more inside]
posted by slowtree on Aug 21, 2014 - 10 answers

1970s science fiction short story about a young mother going crazy?

There's this science fiction story I can recall reading in at least one anthology, if not multiples. It is told from the perspective of a young mother who is going crazy dealing with her kid(s). The writing is very stark and bleak, but it's a fun story nonetheless. I am fairly certain the author was a woman. I believe it's from the late 60s or early to mid 1970s. [more inside]
posted by Slinga on Aug 21, 2014 - 9 answers

What is this bug? Should I be afraid (very very afraid?)

I hate bugs, and I have one that is in my space. Can the generous and awesome amateur (or professional) entomologists of MetaFilter help me identify it, and perhaps give me a general sense of how dangerous it might or might not be? [more inside]
posted by SMPA on Aug 20, 2014 - 15 answers

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