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3-D Pen

I was admonished for not telling fnord12 about the 3-D printing technology when i first heard about it. So, now i'm making sure i post about the 3-D pen.

By min | February 22, 2013, 11:17 AM | Science | Comments (2)| Link

Spare Penis

It's good to have one just in case you or your mate decide to chew it off...

A string of three "tear-off" penises is how Janet Leonard of the University of California, Santa Cruz describes the sea slug's genitalia. The banana slugs she studies, of the genus Ariolimax, also part with genitals but in a different way. "On rare occasions, an Ariolimax acting as a female -- these are hermaphrodites -- will chew off its partner's penis, a process caused apophallation," she says. "On even rarer occasions an Ariolimax will chew off its own penis." Yet these events are rare, so the report of sea slugs' routine genital disposal with back-ups is unique, as far as she knows, and "quite exciting," Leonard says.


Note, the chewing off of a partner's penis is so common, they have a name for it.

Apparently, each penis has 3 uses. The used bit falls off and the slug extends some of the unused bit like a "mechanical pencil". After that, it has to regrow the entire structure. Bet some husbands with knife-wielding wives wish they had that ability.

There's a photo in the article that supposedly shows two slugs both with their penises extended to mate with each other, but cereally, i can't tell what exactly are supposed to be the extended bits. They're not obvious like duck wangs.

By min | February 18, 2013, 3:13 PM | Science | Comments (1)| Link

Whoa whoa whoa! Speak for yourself there!

As i've mentioned before, i'm on a lag when it comes to reading Discover magazines, so at this point i'm reacting to a letter published in the October 2012 issue which was reacting to an even older issue that was suggesting that scientists may one day figure out immortality.

And the letter writer says:

People reading these articles must question the wisdom of extending life beyond its natural evolutionary lifecycle. Boredom and questioning the purpose of life are facts most seniors live with. Unless mankind can give meaning and purpose to life extension, we will end up with a huge social liability whose main endeavor is sitting around watching reruns of I Love Lucy.

Now i'm assuming whatever form of longevity we're offered includes the ability to retain our ability to reason, see, move our arms, etc.. And with that assumption, i promise that i'll have plenty that i can do without resorting to couch surfing (my comic project alone will probably take a life time). So don't you listen to this naysayer, scientists! Just because this guy doesn't have any hobbies doesn't mean the rest of us wouldn't appreciate some bonus rounds.

By fnord12 | February 8, 2013, 3:53 PM | Science | Comments (0)| Link

Pfizer Doctoring Their Drug Trial Reports

In a shocking reveal, researchers discovered there was a distinct difference between what the company has presented for publication in peer-reviewed journals and what has been recorded on internal documents. Link

The results, the researchers say, suggest that the published trials were biased and misleading, even though they read as if standard protocols were followed. That lack of transparency could mean that clinicians prescribe drugs based on incomplete or incorrect information.

"We could see all of the biases right in front of us all at once," says Dickersin, who was an expert witness in the suit, which was brought by a health insurer against Pfizer. Pfizer lost the case in 2010, and a judge ruled it should pay $142 million in damages for violating federal racketeering laws in promoting Neurontin for treating migraines and bipolar disorder.


In three of the 10 trials, the numbers of study participants in the published results didn't match those in the internal documents. In one case, data from 40 percent of the participants were not included in the published trial. Dickersin and her colleagues also tried to directly compare several other aspects of the studies. But they found so many differences in definitions and in the analyses and protocols that the comparisons turned out to be difficult, she says.

By min | February 7, 2013, 3:01 PM | Liberal Outrage & Science | Comments (1)| Link

Kitchen of the future

Matthew Yglesias has a clip of Walter Cronkite in 1961 talking about the kitchens of 2001, and cheekily calls it "chilling". He uses it to repeat his opinion that there have actually been major advances in kitchen technology, and certainly food choices, that generally go unacknowledged. But i think Yglesias deliberately ignores some of the cooler ideas in the video to make his point, like the plastic dishes that are molded automatically before the meal is served and then get recycled when it's done. That seems to anticipate 3D printers. And sure, we do have microwaveable frozen dinners, but the ability to push a button and have the meal run across a little assembly line for me seems kind of cool.

By fnord12 | February 7, 2013, 1:39 PM | Science | Comments (0)| Link

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