First green tea may have anti-cancer properties. Now it turns out, according to a pre-pub in the ASH journal Blood, that polyphenols in green tea can interfere with cancer treatments.

Researchers in California wanted to determine whether multiple myeloma patients taking Velcade (bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor) and self-medicating with green tea to add to the anti-cancer fight would yield increased antitumor efficacy in MM and glioblastoma (of Ted Kennedy fame), or if it was just placebo.
I don't drink coffee, and to some degree this has impeded my astronomy career. Coffee is the one social connection even the most isolated theorist engages in. Heck, our wall of 3x3 monitors showing the newest data from our satellites is intentionally built into the coffee room. It is there to spark discussion among the coffee clique.

Don't drink coffee? Fake it with tea. You need a pretense to see your fellow scientists, else you'll be out of the loop.
I feel like I found this article with near-perfect timing, considering that I am starting a unit on genetics in my Biology classes.  To recap: sadly, after scientists seemed to have successfully created a hybrid clone of an extinct goat (they had preserved cells from the last surviving animal who died 9 years ago), the only kid that survived to birth died shortly thereafter.

I think that one of the valuable lessons here is found in the numbers:

439 embryos were created. 
57 were implanted into surrogate mothers. 
1 survived to term. 
Google Earth has the answer to this question, apparently.  Developers are starting to include ocean floor data in the maps accessible via the program.  It's about time, really- but first I have to vent a bit... 


Feb 03 2009 | 1 comment(s)

What is it, this life that we are presented with? Human history has brought us from bands roaming, hunting, each day guided by mere survival, through villages and great empires of mortar and steel. It has brought us to this electronic specialized abstraction of living, gathering food from supermarkets, mass produced, convenient transfers of life energy; connecting with other human life through wires and radio waves; a massively complex organism striving, for what? Survival, for growing numbers of people, is matter of fact. Chasing after material objects, that fleeting fame and what?

A mystery is solved for me today: the "flies" on my rice paper plant flowers are the wild native bees that make honey! The ancients of the Americas hunted for the honey of the stingless, domestic-fly-size bees, Trigonae and Meliponoae, for example, to sweeten their cocoa drinks long before the arrival of Columbus.

Now instead of just picturing the ocean while sitting in my cubicle, I can actually see it!

You've all likely heard about Google 5.0. One of my favorite parts is Google Ocean - check out these blurbs on You Tube. Apparently only 5 percent of the ocean floor has been mapped in any detail, and less than 1 percent of the oceans is designated marine protected areas, according to the LA Times story.
Steve over as Quintessence of Dust has prepared an excellent edition of Mendel's Garden. Read about how to know when you're being overcharged for personalized genetic testing, how to tell whether your child will have red hair, how two white parents can have a black child, and what makes a pink iguana, and much more.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, "The Big Bopper" Richardson, and pilot Roger Peterson.  Taking into account that Buddy Holly's recording success only lasted 18 months and Ritchie Valens' only recorded for 8 months, the impact of the artists killed in the crash on American music was definitely non-linear (see I made it sciency).  Imagine what would have happened if they had the chance to mature into decrepitude like Elvis.
Charles Darwin wrote in 1835 about the Galapagos Islands:

"September 15th — This archipelago consists of ten principal islands, of which five exceed the others in size. They are situated under the Equator, and between five and six hundred miles westward of the coast of America. They are all formed of volcanic rocks; a few fragments of granite curiously glazed and altered by the heat can hardly be considered as an exception.