1415 posts tagged with science.
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How to record sounds inside the body?

What professional medical equipment, techniques and possibilities exist to record sounds inside the body? [more inside]
posted by gmm on Apr 14, 2015 - 9 answers

How do I, a non-scientist, recognize quackery in science and tech?

Lately I've been running across a lot of highly theoretical science and technology information that I don't understand. I would like to be able to recognize quackery and fringe science, as well as when technologists (especially programmers) are reinventing the wheel and claiming to revolutionize things, so I don't get steered in the wrong direction. I'm looking for heuristics. [more inside]
posted by Beethoven's Sith on Apr 7, 2015 - 16 answers

Witty engineers with an interest in climate science?

Seeking learned suggestions/contributions for slightly messed up anti-climate-trolling mother/daughter project. [more inside]
posted by 8k on Mar 30, 2015 - 13 answers

Please help find: SF story involving the Fates, laser, difficult terrain

I told a friend about a SF story I'd read, but I can't find the title and author. the plot: a person working for a satellite company is mapping Greece, and comes up with the idea of following the most difficult route at any given point. [more inside]
posted by librosegretti on Mar 30, 2015 - 3 answers

Water physics

Earlier today I was warming up a test tube in chem lab by placing its bottom in a warm stream of water from a faucet and I noticed something peculiar; the stream of water seemed to capture the test tube and hold it in place. [more inside]
posted by aldurtregi on Mar 30, 2015 - 4 answers

Unexplored science topics?

What science topics remain to be explored, that an amateur scientist could do research/experiments and be the first person to look at it? [more inside]
posted by lemonade on Mar 30, 2015 - 7 answers

Using enrichment technology to fight climate change: how ridiculous?

If enriching uranium with a gas centrifuge costs 50 to 60 kW·h (180–220 MJ) of electricity per SWU, is it possible to adapt the formulas given there to calculate the energy needed to extract pure CO2 directly from the atmosphere? (assuming e.g. 0.04% concentration). Asking as a complete science n00b.
posted by ianso on Mar 26, 2015 - 10 answers

What was this story about a scientist contacting another one?

NewYorkerFilter: my friend is trying to identify a feature about a writer trying to contact her father's rival. [more inside]
posted by blazingunicorn on Mar 24, 2015 - 4 answers

Help me deal with the woo

Spouse has career in naturalist/nutrition based field. Tons of unscientifically supported woo. Spouse feels incredibly validated by field; feels ideas/ideals are all part of little guy's fight against big pharma/ big ag/ big whatever. Remuneration is based upon getting clients to sign up for coaching sessions where this unscientific information is pitched. No products are being sold, just diet/health/exercise/spiritual plans. In the past 2 years, income has gone up from 2,000 to 5,000/yr. I feel guilty being a part of a marriage where I feel like my partner's income is a result of fleecing at best or profound ignorance at worst, likely the latter. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 18, 2015 - 33 answers

Learning to handle how kick-butt reality is

Spending time with geologists recently makes me want to find ways to live in the universe as it actually is (to the best current knowledge). I know, in a shallow way, that my body is a thriving microbial ecosystem, that the planet is billions of years old, that I'm (partially) breathing products of photosynthesis, that the universe is unimaginably vast, and so on. I'd like to find experiences, practices, places, and reading and other media that can help me internalize and understand more deeply what we actually know to be true. [more inside]
posted by deathmarch to epistemic closure on Mar 6, 2015 - 21 answers

What next for a biochemistry / physiology PhD?

I'm a couple years off finishing a PhD that's been about half biochemistry and half electrophysiology at a top-ranked Australian university. The academic career path is definitely open to me - I've got a decent number of publications, heaps of teaching experience, blah blah blah - but I'm unsure that it's what I want to pursue. [more inside]
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot on Mar 1, 2015 - 3 answers

New Women SF/F Authors

Reading this thread made me realize that I am completely unaware of the current state of SF/F. Who are some female SF/F authors from the last 15 years that you would recommend? [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Feb 26, 2015 - 21 answers

Probability distributions and their practical applications

I am looking for a resource that lists probability distributions and their common real-world applications. For example, I'd expect to see: Lognormal - daily returns in the stock market. Poisson - failure rates for mechanical equipment, ... [more inside]
posted by wivy on Feb 19, 2015 - 6 answers

The meaning of life

I saw a quote recently, possibly here. It was something like, "the point of being alive is to produce energy to support the creation of more life." It wasn't about procreation but more about how our biological processes exist to create energy for other living things, as part of the ecosystem. Can't remember more of the phrase but I really liked the concept and would love to know more about the quote.
posted by zutalors! on Feb 17, 2015 - 6 answers

Help me search Mythbusters by topic

AskMe was the place to ask last time I needed help to find an index of topics for a documentary series, so I am seeing if such a thing also exists for Mythbusters. [more inside]
posted by Megami on Feb 17, 2015 - 2 answers

What to do after Tenure?

Recently Tenured Prof - Now what? Research limp, teaching meh, admin not thrilling. What did you do? Nonstandard (social-justice?) career/activity arcs for PUI Science faculty? Dealing with midlife-minicrisis? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 9, 2015 - 15 answers

Wedding readings for a scientist?

I'm a physicist, and I'm marrying a biologist. Can Mefi suggest any wedding readings suitable for us? We're looking for something along a sciency theme.
posted by alby on Feb 9, 2015 - 22 answers

Computer science machine language help! If-then-otherwise statements

We are working on simple machine language in computer science for data manipulation. All the other problems I have gotten through but this last one. Here is the problem: "Write a short program in machine language to perform requested activity. Assume the program is placed in memory starting at address 00- -If the value stored in memory location 44 is 00, then place the value 01 in memory location 46; otherwise, put the value FF in memory location 46." Lots of questions inside DX Working with very basic Op-code and Operand setups. [more inside]
posted by LittleNami on Feb 7, 2015 - 13 answers

How to assess ability to look things up for yourself in an interview

What question can I ask undergrad research assistant candidates to see whether they are good at looking things up on their own? [more inside]
posted by cogitron on Feb 6, 2015 - 14 answers

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

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