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Two separate carbon-dating tests have confirmed the oldest known complete Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225. It had been mistakenly cataloged a century ago as dating from the 17th century.

The find isn't the oldest Torah text in the world, Hebrew codexes known as the Leningrad and the Aleppo bibles, date hundreds of years earlier but this is the oldest Torah scroll of the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, according to Mauro Perani, a professor of Hebrew in the University of Bologna's cultural heritage department.
There were a whole bunch of protests against Monsanto last weekend - going after a company in name while really going after the science is smart politics, because it allows science media to rationalize that hard-core anti-science progressives are not anti-science at all, they just dislike corporations.

And Monsanto is not easy to like.  But politics, as with likability, is subjective.  And when politics and science mix - as they often do in the modern period where government wants to control basic research - things can get messy for political reporters who are used to equivalent sides that are engaged in spin.
The makers of the uChek app, which analyzes photos of urine samples to give users quick health information, recently got a letter from the FDA asking it to show it had approval from the FDA or document why it doesn't need it.

The FDA lets the entire NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) get $128 million per year without giggling but this iPhone app is apparently a concern. How would they feel jurisdiction over an iPhone? The chemical strips which determine the levels of elements in urine become, when used by uChek, part of an "automated strip reader" and therefore a medical testing system that requires its approval.  Even though the strips are meant to be read by eyes.
If you are tired of Democrats getting all of the media attention for spouting anti-science nonsense about food, energy and medicine, there is good news; someone on the right-wing can make weird anecdotal proclamations about health as well.

Talk show host Bill O'Reilly recently announced that giving up wheat made his cholesterol drop and "and I feel stronger, more manly."

Well, that's nice. When I was 19 years old I fasted for 4 days every two weeks, nothing but water. It also gave me a lot of energy. Despite the existence of 'hunger pangs' your stomach is a muscle that adapts rather quickly. After 24 hours without food you no longer get them, even though you are more 'hungry' than ever, and the energy increase is tremendous.
The family which originally sold the Dead Sea Scrolls to collectors and institutions about 70 years ago says they kept some fragments in a Swiss safe deposit box all these years - and those have been up for sale.  The manuscripts are the earliest copies of the Hebrew Bible ever found and the oldest written evidence of the roots of Judaism and Christianity in the Holy Land.
Last weekend,  May 18th, 2013 an aurora appeared over Marquette, Michigan in the northern USA, after coronal mass ejections from the sun made contact with Earth’s magnetic fields, funneling energy and particles into near-Earth space.

The outer solar atmosphere, the corona, is structured by strong magnetic fields and where those fields are closed, often above sunspot groups, the confined solar atmosphere can suddenly and violently release bubbles of gas and magnetic fields. We call those coronal mass ejections and they erupt from the sun with billions of tons of solar material that can impact satellites. 
Lost in the media crush of celebrity worshipers extolling or criticizing actress Angelina Jolie for her op-ed on opting to have a double mastectomy was the science factoid that trumps everything else:

99% of women do not have the BRCA1 mutation. 

The BRCA1 mutation is a very bad thing, it represents a gigantic increase in the chances of getting breast or ovarian cancer.
If spending is the metric, Canadian research is in trouble.

Of course, if spending is the metric, American Democrats hate science a lot more than American Republicans do, but you'd have a hard time getting science media to acknowledge that. Still, spending is at least one metric.
Elements Make Headlines

If you ever enjoyed Tom Lehrer's take on the elements, or even if not, check out this way of using the names of the elements in a novel way:
While the new DSM-5 has attracted plenty of criticism - and the National Institute of Mental Health has given up on it, saying "patients with mental disorders deserve better" - not everyone is critical.
Students of sociology professor Dr. Leszek Sibilski at University of Maryland made a video asking for action on climate change.  They regard climate change as a social problem - most in science would regard it as a physics one but certainly taking action is a political, and therefore social, issue.
The people who brought a certain cultural demographic (*cough*) sand-free peanut butter have now come out with a new product that is going to appeal to the anti-science crackpots that shop in places like Whole Foods and/or have a giant majority in California - non-GMO rock salt.
No one wants to send a poor country gravel but look for appropriate rich country outrage now that a road crew has bulldozed a Mayan pyramid to make some.

Belizean police say they are investigating the construction company that has destroyed most of one of the largest Mayan pyramids in that country - to make gravel to dump on village roads. They are only investigating now?  It seems odd that the company will face a real penalty, since archaeologists and a local TV station watched them demolish the 60-foot-tall main temple at Nohmul ("great mound") - which means it was no secret in advance - one of the tallest structures in northern Belize, along the Mexican border in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Space Oddity by Chris Hadfield - David Bowie Approves

Nearly 5,000,000 views so far.
Chris Hadfield left orbit in style yesterday after five months aboard the International Space Station. Hours before his planned return to Earth aboard a Soyuz capsule, he cast himself as Bowie’s Major Tom in a remake of the singer’s 1969 classic, “Space Oddity”.
The Independent

vidi audienti dilexi
I looked, I listened, I loved it !

see also -
The Supreme Court came down overwhelmingly on the side of Monsanto today, ruling unanimously that an Indiana farmer violated Monsanto's patent on genetically modified soybeans when he culled some from a grain elevator and used them to replant his own crop in future years.
While psychology as science is a little overcome by surveys and correlating behavior to images to take seriously, there is one area where it shines - applied marketing.

We know psychology as marketing engineering is successful - it is a giant industry, we even have advertising here on Science 2.0. And it's being used in restaurants right now to get you to spend more money.
Visual effects master Ray Harryhausen, whose stop-motion wizardry - he made his models by hand and painstakingly shot them frame by frame to create some of the best-known animated sequences in cinema - became famous in movies from "One Million Years B.C." to "Sinbad", died Tuesday at age 92. 

Less well known, but famous among World War II buffs, was the "Why We Fight" series he made with Frank Capra for new recruits in the US Army, which also included work by Walt Disney. It was powerful stuff.  Capra, directed by G.C. Marshall, quite literally wanted new soldier to know why they were going to a foreign land and why it was right to do so.
Earlier today, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing his administration to take historic steps to make government-held data more accessible to the public and to entrepreneurs and others as fuel for innovation and economic growth.  The White House drafted and released the official Open Data Policy of the United States on GitHub! The Presidential Memorandum calls for the creation of Project Open Data, with the goal of making government data "available, discoverable, and usable – in a word, open".

  • The Executive Order declares that information is a valuable resource and strategic asset for the nation.
  • A Federal judge in Rhode Island didn't like that the Supreme Court struck down an $18 million penalty for a Texas natural gas firm so he is trying to get creative in his new penalty. The company, Southern Union Co., stored liquid mercury from old gas regulators they had removed from customers' homes inside a building in Pawtucket in unsafe conditions and without a permit.  

    Teenage vandals broke into the building and dumped mercury there and at a nearby apartment complex, which had to be evacuated. Residents later were found to have unacceptably high levels of mercury in their blood and showed other symptoms of mercury exposure, such as hair loss and rashes. 90 of them later settled a lawsuit over the spill for undisclosed terms. All recovered.
    Vaccines are good.

    Infectious diseases are no longer the leading cause of death like they were a century ago. Sure, they are also big business now, as marketing for HPV and Shingles can attest, but that doesn't mean just anything can or should be a vaccine.

    Except in Canada. 

    Health Canada has licensed 10 products with a homeopathic preparation called “influenzinum” for "preventing the flu and its related symptoms" and even homeopathic preparations to prevent polio, measles and pertussis - despite the fact that they are so diluted they have no active ingredient at all, they are just placebos.