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Science My Beauty - or Debunk it!

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 - 40 answers

What kinds of jobs should I look for other than admin/office stuff?

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 - 17 answers

Just a gram or two of sugar makes the estrogens go down...

Can you answer a few questions related to hormonal birth control? Science questions, I mean! [more inside]
posted by Phalene on Jun 8, 2013 - 9 answers

Please help me speak academic - what is exogenous food?

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 - 15 answers

Hazardous waste: it's a gas!

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 - 23 answers

Remind me again, why are dinosaurs awesome?

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 - 10 answers

A Gel of a Problem: running miRNA without acrylamide

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. The problem: 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. The question: 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 - 10 answers

MBA and MBA-like programs: Looking for your experiences

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 - 5 answers

Past performance is no guarantee of future results

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 - 12 answers

Are you a neuroscientist? Happy in academia? Want to do science...

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 - 18 answers

Is there a blog that will tell me what sci-fi movies to see in theater?

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 - 6 answers

I keep crying over Ian M Banks dying of cancer.

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 - 21 answers

Will Cure Dengue Fever for Food!

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 - 4 answers

Tips on starting up a science-themed blog

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 - 7 answers

What are some surprising measures of the impact of "green" efforts?

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 - 26 answers

Safety eyewear for a plush rodent

Where can I find safety goggles or glasses for a Beanie Baby mouse? This is for Science. [more inside]
posted by beandip on Apr 29, 2013 - 16 answers

How can I relearn high school subjects?

I want to relearn algebra, chemistry, basic mechanics, and basic physics this summer. For free? [more inside]
posted by Grandysaur on Apr 25, 2013 - 12 answers

Hey Alton Brown! Any chance you're a Mefite? I got a question for ya.

In my beef stock/soy sauce marinade, where did all this nasty congealed fat come from? [more inside]
posted by Che boludo! on Apr 23, 2013 - 10 answers

What will education look like in the future?

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 - 16 answers

What were you offered for pain during your IUD insertion?

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 - 117 answers

Explain life, the universe, and everything to a 5 year-old.

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 - 10 answers

Where can I find a detailed poster explaining geological periods?

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 - 8 answers

Under Pressure! (Exactly how much pressure?)

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 - 6 answers

Silent Science Videos To Entertain Teens?

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 - 6 answers

Grinding along the Research Assistant career path

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 - 13 answers

Recommended reading on religion and natural laws?

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 - 16 answers

A race by any other slur

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 - 9 answers

Attn science teachers! How to demonstrate how clinical trials work?

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 - 9 answers

Where is this political cartoon?!

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 - 2 answers

What is this animal organ/fetus/embryo my cat brought in?

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 - 18 answers

Sequential Eating, Metabolism, and Digestion

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 - 4 answers

Can you collect meteorite dust in your backyard? How?

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 - 4 answers

Science Demonstrations for 5-12 Year Olds

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 - 22 answers

Getting outside DC wiring onto a constantly rotating surface

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 - 8 answers

Do astronauts play just games in space or do they actually work?

What is the best book to introduce pre-teens to how science works in space? [more inside]
posted by Mike Mongo on Feb 17, 2013 - 10 answers

Need a good Science experiment for a Kindergarten class....

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 - 17 answers

New job selling laboratory equipment, but have no lab/science experience

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 - 11 answers

Summer research grants / scholarships for science undergraduates?

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 - 4 answers

Science is beautiful

Looking for beautiful books of microbiology for my 5 year old. [more inside]
posted by beccaj on Feb 1, 2013 - 8 answers

Tips for staying motivated in Grad School

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 - 8 answers

Cooking with alcohol--how much alcohol is absorbed?

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 - 24 answers

Fallacies and Errors in Inferential Statistics

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 - 5 answers

What does a mathematician do all day?

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 - 23 answers

Best practices for scientific Python prototyping/debugging?

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 - 11 answers

How should a partial PhD be presented on resume when looking for a job?

I’m looking for opinions on how to best represent coursework and research taken toward a PhD on my resume. [more inside]
posted by Lord Force Crater on Jan 7, 2013 - 8 answers

vintage science and engineering book series... by cover.

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 - 6 answers

How does a "layperson" grab the attention of research scientists?

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 - 36 answers

Can a federal scientists become a lawyer?

Are there ways for a federal research scientist to attend law school and remain a government employee after graduating? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 2, 2013 - 9 answers

Help me stay sane while I try to plan lessons!

Teacher Filter: Increasing the efficiency of creating lesson plans [more inside]
posted by Peregrin5 on Jan 1, 2013 - 11 answers

Extracting/Disposing of Methyl Mercury (methylmercury) from Canned Tuna

How can I extract/rid of methylmercury out of canned Tuna? I bought a ton, and just realized I should have went with canned salmon. There HAS to be an easy way to at least cut down on the Hg content... right? [more inside]
posted by JamesBlakeAV on Dec 22, 2012 - 26 answers

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