//


February
2010

Incredible infographic: the evidence for health supplements

To paraphrase: not much, and what there is is often conflicting. So says a fantastic new infographic from my favourite data visualisation prOn website, Information Is Beautiful.  Even better, the graphic is actually interactive,  which means you can have a look at individual conditions, from sex to cancer and plenty in between, and split it down by type of supplement as well. And, for those who’re interested, it would appear that there’s nothing you can […]

I'm a Research Blogging Awards finalist!

Bizarre, I know.  O_o In the category ‘best blog – chemistry, physics or astronomy‘.  And I’m a newbie… No one’s confessed to nominating me, though. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea they existed, let alone that I had been nominated, until fellow Sciblogger David Winter popped up on chat this morning to say congratulations. David’s also a nominee, in the category ‘best lay-level blog‘.  Nicely done, David! So, to my mysterious fan(s), thanks […]

Would you like something scanned with an electron microscope?

Of course you would!  Who wouldn’t? And have it you can.  As I came into the work this morning, blearily clearing emails as I attempted to mainline some caffeine, I came upon an email most arresting. From an American company, ASPEX, it said that the company in question had a bit of an offer going at the moment: anyone who sent them a sample could have it photographed, for free, using a scanning electron microscope* […]

Geopolitics and science activity: 30 years' worth

I just boggled.  Quite a lot. I’ve just started skimming through an extremely interesting paper entitled 30 Years in Science: Secular Movements in Knowledge Creation. It takes global publication data from the Web of Science (Thomson Reuters) database over the last 30 years, and then plots the change in papers published against geopolitical events that have happened.  Why published papers, you ask?  Well, it’s a proxy for scientific activity… I’ve embedded the document below for […]

BioScience in NZ: some statsy goodness Pt II

Part II: How far along they are, how they’re battling and how we’re benefiting Having set out the basics of the bioscience industry – who’s doing what, in essence – I though it would be interesting to see how the organisations involved are doing. So, first up, let’s have a look at how far into the development stages of each type of tech the bioscience industry as a whole has got. Interestingly, whereas DNA coding […]

BioScience in NZ: some statsy goodness Pt I

Part I: The basics Today, StatisticsNZ released a, well, release on bioscience in NZ.  Who’s doing it, where, what it’s costing them and what they’re making of of it.  And, of course, what they’re actually doing. To explain, then: the bioscience survey replaces its predecessor, the biotech survey.  Apparently, it was to enable the survey to track a wider, and therefore more representative, section of technologies.  It then goes on say: The information gathered is […]

Science articles some of NYT's most emailed

Apparently, the New York Times has a list of its most emailed articles, and researchers looking at the list have found something surprising (and wonderful) – that science-related articles are amongst the most emailed. I know!  One would have thought articles about politics, gossip, sex and diets would win outright but it would appear that NYT’s readers are somewhat more…sophisticated than this.  Quite a bit, in fact. Haivng controlled for factors such as placement, time […]

Drink up! Beer benefits bones…

I can hear the whoops of joy emanating around the world.  Joined, of course, by mine. For years, we’ve known that a glass or two of the vino has its benefits.  However, I’ve never heard of anything particularly beneficial coming as a result of drinking beer (apart from general joi de vivre, of course). But now, praise be, this time has come to an end.  Researchers have discovered* that beer is good for bone mineral […]

Living with robots – don’t panic

Yes, that was indeed an H2G2* reference.  I sneak ‘em in whenever I can… Asimo, by Honda This is just a short post to point you all in the direction of a marvellous little video put together by the makers of Asimo.  And various cars and bikes over the years. In it, Honda** talks to a number of very interesting poeple, some of whom work in its robotics division, about the past of robotics, how […]

Hydrogels or, how to replace petroleum-based plastics

Well, wonders will never cease.  Not only is water already one of the strangest,and most interesting fluids/substances around, but clever scientists from the University of Tokyo just added another layer of WTFness. In essence, they have developed a sort of non-fluid, yet still transparent and flexible, water.  A hydrogel.  That’s flexible.  And transparent.  (That was worth repeating).  I’ve seen a reference on the web to ‘elastic water’ but thought that was pushing it a bit […]