Did you miss me? Let me make it up to you…here, have some science.
- Sometimes a lion just needs good cuddle. (With another lion, that is.)
- How many viruses are there out there that infect mammals? If you extrapolate from the number (55) that have been found in the Indian flying fox (a kind of bat), you get 320,000. But it’s only a back-of-the-envelope calculation, and is likely to be way low.
- While where on the subject of numbers of things, a healthy human has about 3,000 chemicals in his or her pee. This according to a study that cataloged what’s called the human urine metabolome.
- The CDC recently released a study looking for any risk of learning or behavioral problems associated with the number of vaccines kids get early in life (which, if you follow their recommended schedule, is a lot). The results: “We did not find any adverse associations between antigens received through vaccines in the first two years of life and neuropsychological outcomes in later childhood.”
- Would you want to have your newborn’s genome sequenced at birth? What would that mean medically and ethically? A study in Boston aims to find out. (Disclosure: The hospital where I work, Boston Children’s, is one of the lead institutions in the study.)
- It’s not really science, but is science-related: Lego has broken down a brick wall (see what I did there?) and released a female scientist minifig:
- Slate is running a series of stories about the reasons why life expectancy has increased so much in the last 150 years, starting with how people died in the past. I admit to not having read the entire first story yet, but it looks like a really comprehensive overview.
- Oh, and they’ve also launched a game where you can see what kinds of things you would have died of at different times going back to the 1600s. I apparently died in 1769 of “teeth and worms.” I don’t even know what that means.
- Convergent evolution — where two or more species evolve the same solution to a particular need or problem — is awesomesauce. And it looks like it’s happened in dolphins and bats, who have evolved several very similar genes for echolocation.
- We should rethink the old adage, “The solution to pollution is dilution.” Because a whole lot of prescription drugs are ending up in Lake Michigan off of Milwaukee, and they’re not getting diluted.
- Tuberculosis is getting harder and harder to treat, thanks to antibiotic resistance But now we have better idea of why, thanks to a new study of the mutations the TB bug has developed to help it avoid treatment.
- If you transfer gut bacteria from a lean person to a lean mouse, the mouse stays lean. But if you give the mouse gut bacteria from an obese person, it gets fat. But don’t jump to the conclusion that fecal transplants from lean people are the solution to treating obesity.
- The Romans? Yeah, they did nanotechnology. (Many thanks to reader David K. for sending this in!)
- For you, on Friday: It’s like “Who’s on First,” but for the periodic table.