I want to write a science fiction story where somebody spends a few weeks or so living off a food that was intended for people colonising another planet, with odd effects. I'm not that scientifically knowledgeable and I want this to be grounded in facts. More details below. [more inside]
posted by KateViolet
on Jul 7, 2013 -
Why do we not launch rockets out of tubes? If the most expensive bits of launching a rocket are the first few feet off the ground, why don't we put the rockets into a tube to make launching more efficient? [more inside]
posted by Freen
on Jun 27, 2013 -
I do quite a lot of building small music devices using DIY kits and recycled cases and parts. What are the best sites for for weird, bulk supplies? What are the other sites like American Science and Surplus (http://www.sciplus.com)? [more inside]
posted by archivist
on Jun 22, 2013 -
Getting married in a few months, which means I want to start any facial/beauty regimens now. I don't usually do this stuff, so am entranced by the field of options. However, I know that this field contains the biggest BS factor of any out there. Please give me your best ideas of things that are scientifically proven to work, or that there is at least some data about why it works or would or wouldn't work. Please also tell me which of the things I'm considering looking at are drecht or dangerous crazytown. Help me not waste my money or wind up maimed. [more inside]
posted by corb
on Jun 17, 2013 -
I've mostly done generic office work but I would like to expand my job search to include more specific things. What fields (with jobs available) would be a good fit? [more inside]
posted by needs more cowbell
on Jun 12, 2013 -
Can you answer a few questions related to hormonal birth control? Science questions, I mean! [more inside]
posted by Phalene
on Jun 8, 2013 -
My google-fu fails me - all I can find are references that talk about research on endogenous and exogenous food, but none of them explain what on earth the terms mean. [more inside]
posted by scrute
on Jun 7, 2013 -
Please suggest some funny stuff to write on (fake) hazardous waste labels to decorate the office of the hazmat safety guy who's coming back from sabbatical. The labels look similar to this
. [more inside]
posted by Quietgal
on Jun 4, 2013 -
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
on Jun 3, 2013 -
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
on May 30, 2013 -
My company will pay for my graduate management degree, so it seems wise to take them up on the offer. Can you give me advice from your MBA or MBA-like program experience? [more inside]
posted by BeeDo
on May 29, 2013 -
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
on May 28, 2013 -
So I have been working in an entirely different field for the last years and was never entirely sure about what I wanted to do with my life. I am certain at this point that I want to work in a field which involves, you know, nervous systems. Unsurprisingly, I am thinking of academia. [more inside]
posted by epibatidine
on May 26, 2013 -
Can you please suggest a blog or resource that will tell me what under-the-radar science fiction movies I should go see? [more inside]
posted by rebent
on May 21, 2013 -
Never in my life has this happened before, but I keep finding myself in tears of grief over the looming death of Scottish writer Iain M Banks
, who is far and away my favourite writer and has terminal cancer. I'm looking for ways of helping to resolve this emotion, by using it as energy to fuel a meaningful response. [more inside]
posted by Mistress
on May 20, 2013 -
So I've spent the past year and a half burning through my severance package as slowly as I could, accomplishing some things, learning some stuff and generally getting my soul back. Now I'm feeling the urge to find a job and do science again, but I'm serious about the do science part. Help me rebuild my resume to get something I can live with. [more inside]
posted by Kid Charlemagne
on May 20, 2013 -
I was convinced to start a blog under my real name, for the purposes of being visible on the internet in a positive light while applying for jobs. Unfortunately, now it's up, I hate it and never want to write anything there. Since my partner is sick of me wailing about it, I thought I'd ask you guys for tips on low-effort
ways to post on a blog with a general theme of 'interesting science news'. [more inside]
posted by daisyk
on May 11, 2013 -
Surely when people try to be more "green", some efforts are significant and some are mere rounding error. What are some examples I could use, with an emphasis on the quantifiable and counterintuitive? [more inside]
posted by quarantine
on Apr 30, 2013 -
I want to relearn algebra, chemistry, basic mechanics, and basic physics this summer. For free? [more inside]
posted by Grandysaur
on Apr 25, 2013 -
I'm looking for movies and TV shows that have futuristic depictions of education. Can you help me find them? [more inside]
posted by madred
on Apr 11, 2013 -
A friend of mine is designing a clinical trial to determine the comparative effectiveness of different methods of pain control during IUD insertion. The problem is, there isn’t a lot of existing literature on what women are actually being offered out in the real world, and what does exist is pretty low quality.
If you have an IUD, and if you were offered pain control measures during insertion, what were they? How effective those measures were isn't really relevant here, because that's what the trial is designed to figure out; I’m just trying to help her get a sense of what the current state of practice is so that the design of the study can be as robust and relevant as possible. For Science!
posted by KathrynT
on Apr 10, 2013 -
What are some good resources to help explain the Big Bang, evolution and, the meaning of life to my delightful 5 year-old nephew? Fairly equal emphasis for each, but I am stumped most by "but why are all the things and people here, mayurasana?" than the rest. [more inside]
posted by mayurasana
on Apr 5, 2013 -
I'm trying to brush up on my geology, a science that pretty much passed me by, which is frustrating when people I work with casually start talking about Cambrian this, and Triassic that. Where can I find a large poster / chart detailing all the geological epochs and periods? The chart produced by the Geological Society of America
is a good start, but it would be more useful if it was, say, annotated with important events ("Angiosperms evolved here! Gondwana separated here!"), and it it had maps of the positions of continents on it at various times. Has anyone seen anything like this? My searches for geology posters have mostly turned up pictures of mountains, or "Geology Rocks!" logos...
posted by Jimbob
on Apr 4, 2013 -
We have a Cuckoo "pressure rice cooker"
(model HD1054F) that my husband and I got for our wedding. It makes great rice! Now, I want to explore its actual "pressure cooking" side. But it doesn't seem to cook at as high a pressure as a standard pressure cooker. How do I determine the pressure (in psi) that it uses? [more inside]
posted by Pandora Kouti
on Apr 1, 2013 -
Looking for videos to create a youtube playlist to entertain a group of science-minded teenagers for about 30 min that are largely visual. Sound is fine but the bulk shouldn't be someone talking to the class like an instructor - visualizations are best - ideally they should look really, really cool. Class is engineering focused, but chemistry, robotics, wobbly bridges, comp-sci, biology, are all welcome. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk
on Mar 24, 2013 -
I'm a baby Australian scientist trying to earn experience and cash prior to embarking on a PhD, but landing a relevant job is turning out to be a bit of an ordeal. [more inside]
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot
on Mar 19, 2013 -
I am a scientifically-minded person who is trying to sort out my religious beliefs. I think it would be helpful to read some debates between deism, atheism, pantheism (Spinozism), and/or a scientifically-grounded theism. Can anyone recommend me books or essays that discuss these topics in ways that are engaging, well-thought-out, and thorough? [more inside]
posted by capricorn
on Mar 19, 2013 -
How do other languages (non-English) express the scientific term 'race?' vs the colloquial?
In taxonomic terms, the word "race" is 90% used as a misnomer in US discourse. This is rooted in "Social Darwinism," or contemporary racist applications of seminal evolution concepts. This colors verbiage across the sciences, especially the social sciences. To wit, the term 'racism' is in fact based on a dehumanizing paradigm.
So, um, how does this shake out elsewhere? [more inside]
posted by es_de_bah
on Mar 11, 2013 -
I am looking for people's experiences of demonstrating the basics of how a clinical trial works to the lay person. My audience will be pretty broad - from school children to adults - so I will need to keep it pretty sort and simple. I need something I can use when visiting schools to big events - I have heard of people using cake and chocolate to demonstrate randomisation/placebo etc - has anyone on here done that and have any pointers? TIA!
posted by ozgirlabroad
on Mar 11, 2013 -
I've looked high and low for a political cartoon that shows a boy asking his father "What is science?" The father replies "I don't know, son, we are Republicans." Can anybody steer me to a link to that cartoon? Thanks.
posted by wsg
on Mar 7, 2013 -
What is this thing my cat brought to my porch? http://i.imgur.com/cejZcGe.jpg
It appears to be something between an animal fetus and organ. When I turned it over it looked the same on the other side. There were no visible eyes/mouth/features. It was larger than a quarter and there was no blood present. A possum visits regularly, and the area has many moles, birds, and raccoons.
posted by Locative
on Mar 1, 2013 -
I was researching sequential eating and would like some advice, here are my thoughts and questions: It seems that it takes (on average) 2-4 hours for foods or beverages to leave the stomach.
I was wanting to eat/drink something specific every two hours.
I have 8 hours to sleep every night, and I like to eat right before sleep as well.
This leaves me with 16 hours in a wakened state. Or, 9 segments of eating/drinking. (I drink water right when I wake up)
On the basis of sequential eating, what are some useful tips/advice I could keep in consideration while putting together snacks of 1-3 things?
It's looking like 4 meals a day, 5 drinks a day, alternating every two hours. OR, what I would rather prefer, is eating 9 meals a day (fruit in the morning with my water), and drinking 6oz of water every hour on the dot. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
posted by JamesBlakeAV
on Feb 27, 2013 -
I've been told recently that collecting micrometeorites is as easy, basically, as placing a clean surface outside and picking through the debris you collect because thousands of tons of space dust and debris fall to Earth every day. That can't be all there is to it, can it? How do you know whether you're looking at Earth dust or space dust? [more inside]
posted by Sleeper
on Feb 27, 2013 -
Do you have any ideas or resources on creating exciting and interesting science demonstrations for kids 5-12 years old? [more inside]
posted by Jakey
on Feb 19, 2013 -
For a research project, I have several pieces of equipment mounted on top of a large metal rotating circular surface. At the moment, all equipment is battery powered. I would like to come up with an inexpensive way of getting DC power and signal wires to a computer off the surface to analyze data in real time. Besides that constraint, going down thru the center isn't really an option since the rotating shaft is solid metal. [more inside]
posted by gzimmer
on Feb 18, 2013 -
Tomorrow is our day as Mystery Scientist in my son's kindergarten class. My husband is going, he planned the experiment, bought the stuff and just informed me that it doesn't work.....Arrrrgh!!! [more inside]
posted by pearlybob
on Feb 11, 2013 -
I recently accepted a sales position within a company that sells laboratory equipment. (i.e. centrifuges, GC's, HPLC's, Thermal Cyclers, etc) I have no previous lab or science experience, so learning about a myriad of highly technical products/methods is a quite challenging. My main challenge comes from the fact that I need to engage in conversations with scientists, chemists, biologists on a daily basis. With no previous lab experience, I've been having a hard time talking to them on technical level. [more inside]
posted by AMWKE1984
on Feb 8, 2013 -
What are some non-institution-specific scholarships or grants for someone who wants to do primate research this summer? [more inside]
posted by lemoncakeisalie
on Feb 6, 2013 -
Two years into a Ph.D. program in the biological science (in the US) and I am in a lab doing research. The lab I'm in takes a hand-off approach to our research, so much of the motivation to do projects must come from me. Unfortunately I'm the kind of person who needs deadlines and strong guidance, and without these two things I've begun to drift a little. Any tips for keeping my eyes on the prize and staying immersed in my field? [more inside]
posted by Archibald Edmund Binns
on Feb 1, 2013 -
Can anyone point me to reliable sources that can tell me how much alcohol actually gets absorbed in your system when you eat food cooked with it? [more inside]
posted by dysh
on Feb 1, 2013 -
I have recently been introduced to the concept of pseudoreplication
as a mistake that people often make when using inferential statistics to evaluate treatment outcomes. My field (evolutionary and conservation biology) makes heavy use of inferential statistics, including techniques that are vulnerable to pseudoreplication, yet nowhere in my formal education have I been taught about how poor experimental design and lack of statistical rigor can lead to fallacies like this. My personal statistical proficiency is poor, but I am working to remedy that. To that end, could folks help me by identifying and ideally explaining whatever other potential pitfalls you can think of, and explaining how they can be avoided through careful experimental design and data-analysis?
posted by Scientist
on Jan 26, 2013 -
I'm wondering, after breakfast, and a shower, and a commute, and coffee - what is next? [more inside]
posted by Lownotes
on Jan 24, 2013 -
I'm using Python in my research now to build some models and analyze some data. I've done this with Matlab and R in the past and became fairly used to running individual lines or blocks of code at a time and doing a lot of interactive printing and plotting from the console. This behavior seems to be a bit more difficult in Python and I'm trying to find the best way to be productive. [more inside]
posted by PercussivePaul
on Jan 15, 2013 -
Years ago I saw a flickr set (I think) of the covers of a vintage series of books on science and engineering. Each cover (under the dust jacket) was a single color and featured a simple embossed diagram of the book's topic (e.g rockets, electricity & magnetism), with no text. They were gorgeous. Please help me find the series title!
posted by you're a kitty!
on Jan 6, 2013 -
How does my friend get his prostate cancer research into the hands of the relevant researchers? [more inside]
posted by unlaced
on Jan 3, 2013 -