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Category: Science

Books 0

Liftoff: How Elon Musk Built SpaceX

At 1310 East Grand Avenue in El Segundo, just south of Los Angeles, sits a large white building. In 2002, it housed only about a dozen people. There wasn’t even a receptionist. Deep in this building was a small group of cubicles, staffed by about a dozen men. This tiny group had an audacious goal: sending the first humans to […]

Politics 0

We Need Science Funding More Than Road Repairs

As the Biden administration pushes for a $2 trillion infrastructure bill, I dug into some numbers on federal research funding today. Most basic scientific research is funded by the federal government, including the critical advances in mRNA technologies that laid the groundwork for COVID vaccines. But this funding has fallen by more than 1/3 since the 1970’s, measured as a […]

Science 0

The Lost Planet of Vulcan

For nearly two hundred years, Newton’s laws of motion worked pretty well. Then, a French scientist named Urbain Le Verrier came along and messed it all up. He calculated Mercury’s orbit using Newton’s laws and waited until it orbited the sun again in 1848, awaiting confirmation of his calculations. Mercury didn’t behave as expected. Its orbit was off by a […]

Books 0

Amazing Drugs Are Going from the University to the Graveyard, While Patients Pay the Price

Was the cure for cancer invented in a university, only to be shelved for a lack of funding? University labs are creating incredible drugs on a regular basis. Unfortunately, most will never get to the patients that need them so desperately. This is the conclusion of an intriguing book I just read, Preserving the Promise: Improving the Culture of Biotech […]

COVID 0

The Miracle Particles Behind COVID Vaccines

The particles that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines rely on are 1/1000th the width of a human hair. They’re called lipid nanoparticles, and they’re revolutionizing medicine as we speak. The Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines work by sending mRNA to your cells. The mRNA tells the cells how to make proteins that block the virus. But you can’t send the […]

Science 0

Did You Know Dragonflies Can Do Backflips?

I came across this interesting new study today showing dragonflies can do backflips, even unconscious! They found that conscious dragonflies, when dropped from the upside-down position, somersaulted backwards to regain the rightside-up position. Dragonflies that were unconscious also completed the somersault, but more slowly. Check out the video below! I happened to be watching a wonderful David Attenborough documentary on […]

Books 0

What I Learned From James Watson, Co-Discoverer of the Structure of DNA

We wish to suggest a structure for the salt deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest. So begins the famous Nature paper by James Watson and Francis Crick, who discovered the structure of DNA in 1953. Their discovery revolutionized biology and won them both the Nobel Prize. I just finished reading Watson’s […]

Health 0

Could a New Class of Antibiotics Put an End to the Most Deadly Infections?

When I worked in medical software, multidrug resistant bacteria were always a concern. But new research has created a class of antibiotics that may make even the most drug-resistant infections history: [They] focused on a metabolic pathway that is essential for most bacteria but absent in humans, making it an ideal target for antibiotic development. This pathway, called methyl-D-erythritol phosphate […]

Health 0

What Is the Ideal Amount of Exercise?

Above: Me sucking wind after a tough workout. We often hear what the minimum amount of exercise we need is, but what amount of exercise is actually optimal? At what point have we reaped all the benefits exercise has to offer, and possibly even gone over the edge into damaging overtraining? With the largest snowstorm in years lashing my apartment […]

Health 0

New Research Identifies the Key Causes of Aging

Dr. Jeremy Walston, Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of the study I just read an interesting new study identifying the biggest causes of aging. The authors gathered a panel of leading experts on health and aging and asked them what the biggest risk factors are for failing health as the years go by. Here’s what they […]