Monday, August 28, 2006

Linky Linky, Click Click.

Almost There!

Scientists have found a way to trick cancer cells into committing suicide. The novel technique potentially offers an effective method of providing personalized anti-cancer therapy.

Synthetic Molecule Causes Cancer Cells to Self-Destruct (Via


Drunk Fetuses? Greeeeaaaaat.

Most studies of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) have been linked to heavy and/or binge drinking, especially in minority and poor populations. Popular thought contends that drinking in Western Europe is more moderate than it is in the U.S. New findings indicate that drinking levels among some women in Italy are similar to those of high-risk drinkers in the new world, reflected in coexisting levels of FAS and FASD.


Honestly, I get tired of parents. Not only is the planet already over populated, but parents are honestly getting stupider. There is a wealth of information out there and, yet, countless parents the world over disregard this information because they apparently possess the common sense of a tub of Cool Whip.

It has gotten bad enough where, beyond all common sense on my own part, the mere fact that someone is a parent sends their default status in my book to "shit list." They actually start off interactions with me already in the hole.

What is it with parents not accepting the immense responsibility that comes with children. I've seen it time and time again in psychological practice (not my own, thank God) and just watching parents in the grocery store. Anecdotal? Perhaps. But I feel safe in saying that at any given moment one in ten parents could actually be classified as doing a good job. The rest range from "almost there" to "Wicked Stepmother."

When you have kids, your life is over for a decade. I'm not some curmudgeon who thinks kids equals the end of fun. That's not the case. Having kids is obviously a great experience that many people treasure. The problem is that millions of parents have kids than try to do the same things they always did. This is impossible. It is the end of life as you knew it. If you aren't willing to accept that, don't have kids.

First-of-its-kind Italian school study finds high levels of prenatal alcohol exposure (Via


In Related News.

Women who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) early in their pregnancies may be more likely to give birth to babies with congenital defects, particularly cardiac septal defects.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and congenital anomalies (Via


Wandering Poles Sounds Like a Dirty Movie

Imagine a shift in the Earth so profound that it could force our entire planet to spin on its side after a few million years, tilting it so far that Alaska would sit at the equator. Princeton scientists have now provided the first compelling evidence that this kind of major shift may have happened in our world's distant past.

Planet Earth may have 'tilted' to keep its balance, say scientists (Via Princeton University News)


Everyone Else is Saying "Duh," But I Think it's Actually Really Cool

Fuel ethanol could be cheaply and quickly converted into the purer, cleaner alcohol that goes into alcoholic drinks, cough medicines, mouth washes and other products requiring food-grade alcohol, say Iowa State University researchers.

Iowa State researchers explore turning fuel ethanol into beverage alcohol (Via Iowa State University News)


Not as Cool as That Frog That Freezes Itself.

Cooling water temperature during the fall prompts the crucian carp to store vast amounts of glycogen in its brain and at the same time reduce the amount of energy its brain needs. These physiological changes keep the brain functioning from February to April, when there is no oxygen in its ponds. The carp, a goldfish cousin, avoids predators this way.

Remarkable physiology allows crucian carp to survive months without oxygen (Via


I'm Sure Hostess is Really Hoping This Works.

Treatment of obese and diabetic mice with compounds that act as chemical chaperones called PBA and TUDCA restored healthy glucose levels and normal insulin action — and reduced the presence of fatty liver disease — according to a study published in the August 25 issue of Science. The work was conducted by a team of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

Chemical compounds restore normal glucose levels and insulin action in obese mice (Via Harvard School of Public Health)


It Would be Great if People Were Like This.

Researchers at the Bar-Ilan University and the Israel Institute of Technology have used quantum mechanical calculations to identify the first class of chemical compounds that get thicker when stretched and thinner when compressed (molecular auxetics).

Get thicker when stretched, thinner when compressed: simulations identify auxetic molecules (Via


It's What Job Would do if He Were a Scientist.

The best science experiments are conducted carefully and often slowly, some taking years of painstaking work to yield results.

The World's Longest-Running Experiments (Via


Wow. I, uh... I Wonder If That's Happening to Humans. Where's My Tape Measure?!

The icecap may not be the only thing shrinking in the Arctic. The genitals of polar bears in east Greenland are apparently dwindling in size due to industrial pollutants.

Study: Polar Bear Genitals are Shrinking (Via


This Has Video, So It's Cool.

Scientists have discovered the fastest bite in the world, one so explosive it can be used to send the Latin American ant that performs it flying through the air to escape predators.

Ant Power: The World's Fastest Bite (Via

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