Daily Archives: June 28, 2008

Calling All Evolution Loving Rational People

Our local paper, the Star Tribune is re-printing a New York Times story on the Philidelphia “Year of Evolution” …. Which is just fine. But the story has a comment section and it would sure be nice to have a few more pro-evolution comments on it. Please consider contributing to it, here.Hope you get a chance to do it and that the Strib does not make it too difficult.

Science News


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Scientists have determined that human cells are able to shift important gene products into their own mitochondria, considered the power plants of cells. The finding could eventually lead to therapies for dozens of diseases.The gene products, known as tRNAs, assemble amino acids for the production of proteins within mitochondria. If the mitochondrial tRNA genes are defective or missing, and proteins are not manufactured, the mitochondria are unable to generate adequate energy.Defective tRNAs are believed to be the cause of about 60 percent of conditions traced to malfunctions in the mitochondria. The range of related conditions includes diabetes, hearing loss and a number of neurological disorders, depending on which kinds of cells are affected….

New study identifies occupations with highest suicide mortality

Suicide mortality in England and Wales is highest in skilled trades and elementary occupations, which include agricultural workers, construction workers, and plant and machine operators, a new study has found.A higher proportion of deaths due to suicide was also recorded among health professionals compared to the population as a whole.Published in the July 2008 issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, the study used mortality data collected by the Office for National Statistics to examine suicide by occupation between 2001 and 2005. Howard Meltzer, Professor of Mental Health and Disability in the Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, was one of the authors of the study.Among men, skilled trades and elementary occupations have the highest suicide mortality, with construction trades, agricultural trades, elementary construction and elementary process plant occupations contributing most to this result. This is consistent with previous Social Class studies of suicide, which show suicide risk to be higher in manual workers. Among women, those with any occupation have lower suicide mortality than those who do not have an occupation, suggesting a protective effect of employment.

Continue reading Science News

Morning Sickness is an Adaptation, not a … Sickness

There is new information from an older idea (from about 2000) by Paul Sherman and colleagues. The idea underlying this research is simple: Symptoms of illnesses may be adaptive. Indeed, this may be true to the extent that we should not call certain things illnesses. Like “morning sickness.”ResearchBlogging.orgBroadly speaking, there are two different kinds of reasons that a woman may experience nausea in association with pregnancy. 1) This pregnancy thing is a complicated mess with all kinds of hormonal (and other) things going on, so you puke; or 2) a woman who is pregnant feels nauseous for good evolutionary reasons. Continue reading Morning Sickness is an Adaptation, not a … Sickness

NASA on your iPhone Touch

For your iPod Touch:The Phoenix Mars Mission thingie. Gives you two RSS feeds (one for news one for blog) and the weather report on mars. A widget displays the elapsed mission time on mars. I’d like to see this application give us more. Like real time images and possibly the ability to control the Phoenix craft (during time they are otherwise not using it, of course). Here.NASA Photograph of the Day. This is potentially cool. When I went to look at it the first time, it was the lamest photograph I’ve ever seen from NASA. (The street somewhere around the Smithsonian with people waking around and stuff.) But this could be fun. Here.