Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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April 10

Please help id this moth

I'm not having luck with insect id sites. jpg
posted by bleary at 9:58 AM - 5 answers

April 8

Elephants on a Bridge

Mini McGee says, "I learned you can ask physics really weird questions! Like, how thick would a cardboard bridge have to be if it was over a 40-foot gap and could support the weight of an elephant?" [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:34 PM - 27 answers

Why does a moderate amount of vaccination not majorly cut covid rates?

If the growth is exponential, isn't even a relatively small amount of vaccination going to cut the exponent? Naively I would think that if the R value is, say, 1.1, then vaccination of 30% of the population would drop it to 0.8, which would extinguish the outbreak (or at least decrease it massively). What's going on? [more inside]
posted by wnissen at 7:54 AM - 19 answers

Tea-Light and Tempered Glass - The Safe Distance Factor Question

So, I put together a tea-light tempered glass kettle warmer from 2 elements I had around, one being sterling, the stainless top being the top - they fit together like one unit. The stainless top has holes pre-drilled in circular design. Question - how close can I place the tea-light under the stainless top under the kettle without it cracking? I want the kettle to keep as hot as possible for as long as the tea-light stays lit. I need the distance to be precise and scientifically based, because this is how the production is rolling. Thank you :)
posted by watercarrier at 6:15 AM - 3 answers

April 6

Where do restriction enzymes come from?

When doing DNA recombination, how do people select what restriction enzymes to use? Is there like, a catalog of restriction enzymes I can look at and pick the right ones? [more inside]
posted by wesleyac at 10:51 PM - 3 answers

March 31

What’s inside the magnetic levitator?

What is inside this four kilo magnetic levitation device?
posted by varion at 10:49 AM - 5 answers

March 30

How flexible is an unconscious body

How flexible is an unconscious body under anaesthetic? [more inside]
posted by Quillcards at 2:46 AM - 8 answers

March 28

Was it a storm? Was it a swarm?

I’ve never really understood what kind of weather or insect event occurred on a highway between Tucson and Phoenix back in the 90s. Surely, someone here can enlighten me. [more inside]
posted by dreamphone at 6:06 PM - 3 answers

March 26

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same...

Has either (or both) of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines formula changed over time. That is, if I got the vaccine tomorrow would I be getting the exact same formula as the person who got it first (once available to the public -- I think it was a nurse in NY)? Or, does the formula change slightly to take into account current data or current variants of the virus?
posted by AugustWest at 10:53 AM - 8 answers

March 23

Long Range Weather and Climate Forecasting? Building for distant future

Is there a source that makes localized forecasts of weather and climate in the far (years to decades) future and presents them in a unified, data driven presentation? There are lots of broad models of global and regional changes presented in narrative form, but is there something that could, say, take an address and present a forecast or prediction of future climate? [more inside]
posted by GPF at 7:48 AM - 9 answers

March 22

How do geneticists try to thwart racists from misusing their research?

An article I read within the past couple years (sorry, can’t remember the source) mentioned a human genetics conference in the US. At this conference there was apparently not enough support for convening a panel to discuss the problem of racists who appropriate and disseminate twisted interpretations of legitimate research. So I have several questions: [more inside]
posted by theory at 6:19 PM - 8 answers

March 21

Parks with Magnolias (+ spring flowers) in/near Columbia, MD

I am, for various reasons, in Columbia, Maryland in a neighborhood where none of yards or parks have the kind of landscaping I'm used to enjoying in the spring and I feel out of touch. I want to see things blooming--magnolias, other blooming trees, daffodils, irises, etc. What parks can I drive to nearby that have a good concentration of this stuff? Neighborhoods with nice landscaping is OK too. I would prefer not to go to Baltimore for Reasons. DC is possible but I'd l like closer options.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:41 AM - 6 answers

March 15

The physics of maple sap reduction

We use a wood stove for heat. We tap a single maple tree for fun. Before boiling the sap down in the kitchen, we passively reduce it most of the way in a pot on the wood stove. I'm wondering whether it reduces more if we do it in big batches or sequential small ones, and with or without a heat-powered fan. [more inside]
posted by daisyace at 9:31 AM - 16 answers

March 13

Statistical conundrum

I have a set of anonymous survey data that was sent out via email and social media at two time points. Some of the people who filled it out at time point 1 probably did so again at time point 2, but because the survey was anonymous, I don't know the proportion of overlap. What is the best way to compare time point 1 and time point 2? [more inside]
posted by basalganglia at 4:56 AM - 4 answers

March 12

there must be a name for this.

occasionally, while going up or down stairs, I will forget how many steps there are. So I'll think I've hit the last stair, and move like I should be able to walk on a flat surface, and I'll stumble pretty badly when my foot doesn't connect with the ground where I expect. Ouch. A) I can't be the only person who does this, right? B) is there a more specific name for this phenomenon other than "spatial brain fart"?
posted by snerson at 12:08 PM - 14 answers

March 9

Looking for an excellent, wide-ranging medical blog/newsletter

I love reading The Prepared -- a great manufacturing and engineering-focused email newsletter with lots of fascinating links to articles, videos, and other content across an extremely broad range of topics. I'm hoping to find a similar newsletter (or blog / link aggregator) but with a broad medical/human health focus (or perhaps life science generally). Any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by cnidaria at 2:25 PM - 7 answers

March 5

Is the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine safe for those at risk of HIV?

Is the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine safe for those at risk of HIV exposure? Back in October 2020 there was an article published in The Lancet highlighting a possible risk of increased susceptibility to HIV from adenovirus-5 vaccines like the Chinese and Russian Covid vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is derived from adenovirus-26. Is there a reason to be concerned? [more inside]
posted by Nelson at 11:03 AM - 6 answers

Is Jung as full of it as Freud?

Are there any studies that actual try to test for universal archetypes out the collective unconscious? Especially any that work across cultural lines with cultures that have not been heavily impacted by the west? [more inside]
posted by Hactar at 8:11 AM - 11 answers

March 3

Safe to wear heated thermal garments while pregnant?

I'm going to be working at an outdoor job site for a few days. The employees will be given "thin electric heated thermals" to wear- basically battery operated long johns. I'm 17 weeks pregnant but my workplace doesn't know. Is this safe? Can I make it safer? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 1:37 PM - 9 answers

March 1

Finding margin of sampling error in a survey report

I am trying to find the margin of sampling error in a report about a survey. I can't find the relevant verbal phrases anywhere in the report. But is that what is represented by the percentage figures on Page 48 of the report? [more inside]
posted by NotLost at 6:54 AM - 4 answers

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