The big story of the week – and for not always the right reasons
- Ed Yong provides a clear and measured write-up: bacteria that use (mostly) arsenic, rather than phosphorus in DNA & proteins. And not everyone is convinced about that.
- The Columbia Journalism review looks at the storm of hype and speculation that blew up in the wake of NASA’s poorly-worded press conference announcement.
- The bacteria may be throughly terrestrial, but we can still view their home, Mono Lake, from space. Oh yes, and it’s only still there thanks to those pesky environmentalists.
- Despite repair delays, fact only 3300 of 110,000 quake-affected houses in Canterbury severely damaged is *good* news.
- Interesting: discussions of Californian building codes in light of this year’s earthquakes in Chile & NZ.
- [But isn’t this just asperity theory?] : How Earthquakes Can Be Predicted: Researchers Reveal New Means
- Reports on the new lava flows at Ethiopia’s Erta’Ale in the last weeks of November:
- What can geysers tell us about volcanoes on Earth and distant moons? (interview with Susan Kieffer)
Also, check out Sue’s blog: http://www.geologyinmotion.com.
- Rethinking Martian volcanism: Olympus Mons just ‘a small parasitic cone’ on Tharsis Rise?
- 2010 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar –
- High altitude ice age fossil bonanza in Colorado (video) )
- Comprehensive roundup of sci papers describing our world in 2060 (4 C warmer)
(via @mims, @edyong209)
- Climate Change is real, it’s too late to stop it, get used to it. Hope this is wrong, fear it’s not )
- Andrew Light: What Can Emerge From Cancun [Very little, apparently…]
- NY places 6 mo moratorium on fracking. : "Hydraulic Fracturing in the Spotlight"
(via @AGUSciPolicy, @nytimesscience)
- [Solar panels beget solar panels. Very sci-fi] Sahara desert project aims to power 1/2 the world by 2050
- [Fascinating, bit is it feasible?] “Ground-breaking” study gets underway into waste heat storage.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/groundbreaking-study-waste-heat-storage (via @rivrchik)
- The growing global demand for natural resources threatens to undermine Europe’s economy, a report warns.
- the Accretionary Wedge #29 is up, with some good entries: -wedge-29.html
(via @perrykid, @sfoxx)
- Some great photos of onset of Neoproterozic glaciation in VA’s Konnarock Formation by @callanbentley
- Tundra, Permafrost, Fires, and Methane -permafrost-fires-and-methane #esci-sem
- Nice story by Charlie Petit of Science News Cratons pose geological puzzle
(via @aboutgeology, @theAGU)
- [Estimated cooking time: 2 billion years!] : How to make a Grand Canyon in seven easy steps
- Well-articulated Gender and blogging (and everything else): Where the women are and why it matters.
- [Some interesting thoughts] : What has changed in science and what must change.
- Gender Ratios in PhD programs – Check out this illuminating Comic by Jorge Cham: