A portion of science, at all intersections.


Boston, Massachusetts, USA
December 31
Neuroscience Ph.D. ************************** Passionate about science education and outreach; enjoys a great discussion about the intersection of science and everyday life *************************** Currently a biomedical researcher at a Harvard University hospital - Areas of expertise: endocrinology, appetite and metabolism, neuroscience, biochemistry, molecular biology *************************** Areas of interest: science and art, science and society, science policy, books/films/music, reading great magazines, travel, learning new things and sparking new ideas, gardening/nature *** All Content Copyright Aliquot - do not reproduce without express permission ***

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MAY 16, 2011 1:32PM

Decode the headlines: 5 science updates to understand news

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Five Science Updates to help you understand current news headlines


  1. RADIATION Between the anniversary of Chernobyl (only xxx years until we can return!), the radiation scare after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and the radiation emitted from new airport body scanners, there is a lot of information and disinformation floating around the web and blogosphere.  As a skeptical scientist, here are my personal picks for the most reliable, fact-based, trustworthy sources.

The Radiation Scare, science reading list:

-         From Slate, learn about what level of radiation is safe

-         ABCs of Nuclear Science from Berkeley National Lab

-         Radioactivity of coal ash vs. nuclear waste (from SciAm)

-         Japan-specific news (from Science Daily)

-         Airport body scanners and radiation (from NPR)


  1. Citizen Science is a new buzz-word, a catch-all term to cover any great science projects undertaken by citizen volunteers around the globe.  And it’s a fantastic new movement, made increasingly possible due to the internet and mobile technologies like cell phone apps.

-         Coverage by Boing Boing writer David Pescovitz

-         Science for Citizens

-         Citizen science from NSF

-         The Wild Lab (mobile technology for citizen scientists)


  1. Bedbugs and Lyme Disease are the two creepy-crawly scares in the news right now.  Best to get your information from a reputable source, but my favorite tips are to check between your two mattresses when you get to a hotel (you should be able to spot any bedbugs hiding there), and if you get bit by a tick, its OK to ask your doctor for a prophylactic shot of antibiotics to ward off a potential lyme disease threat.


-         Ticks, beyond Lyme disease (from Wired)

-         Institute of Medicine Lyme Disease information

-         Ticks and Lyme Disease

-         Bed Bugs (from Science News)

-         Bed Bugs and Pesticides (from EPA)


  1. Tornadoes

-         Natural disasters, from National Geographic

-         The complicated science of tornadoes and climate

-         The Science of Tornadoes (from SciAm)


  1. Meditation Science.  While it may still sit slightly in the fringe, meditation is one of the so-called complementary/alternative aspects of medicine which is now being appreciated through evidence-based studies.

-         How meditation changes the brain

-         Meditation and cognition

-         Meditation and the brain (Science Friday)

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