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Throughout the 20th century, medical research and public health science was primarily done by corporations...

Scotland Has The Only Anti-GMO Stance Worth Respecting

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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes. Probably no one ever said the WWW or Science... Read More »

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When I was a kid, no one outside Texas played Texas Hold 'Em. We played Stud, we played Draw, we played Liar's, but not Hold 'Em.

Like Esther Williams movies and organic food, some things just make their way into pop culture and there is no rational reason why. Texas Hold 'Em is now the most popular card game in the country, every month or so our neighborhood gets together at one of our homes and puts in 20 bucks each and we go at it.

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One thing certain about nature - it sure isn't efficient. Just take a look at the human male reproductive system and you get the idea that if it was designed, it was designed by fish, and on a dare. It is a problem waiting to happen, but evolution is about the survival of the fitter, not the fittest - and then we add in some random walks and mutations. 
The 21st century promises to bring a kind of science warfare only dreamed about in science fiction. Already it's become clear that it is possible to paralyze a large chunk of America and get policymakers in perpetual crisis mode, even with something as well-known as ebola.(1)

That kind of threat is getting mainstream attention now, but it has long been researched by government agencies that are in the business of predicting threats. And scientists working for them have recently created a hybrid bacteria - a cyborg mix of computer chip and genetically modified organism - that can not only detect infectious diseases but automatically mobilize to defeat them. This ain't your daddy's Deathlok.(2)
Dr. Steve McKnight is President of the American Society For Biochemistry And Molecular Biology and chairman of the biochemistry department at the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He has probably also made a few enemies among young researchers in the society he manages. 


Tokat Castle. Credit: Flickr

It's not a surprise that as we get ready for Halloween season, stories will start to appear that relate to the macabre. And nothing is more macabre to modern minds than the tale of Vlad Dracul, who was on the front lines battling the Muslims in Eastern Europe and reputedly impaled 20,000 bodies as a warning to them.

It seemed to have worked, at least in that famous instance. You can imagine a sane Ottoman general seeing that spectacle and thinking 'Do we want to own a country where people have not set a guy like that on fire? The personnel headaches would be tremendous.'
Mackie's at Taypack Ltd. has been around since 2009 but the joint venture between the Taylors, Perthshire potato farmers, and Mackie's of Scotland,  has finally figured out a way to differentiate themselves from Frito-Lay: they are making potato chips flavored like whisky and haggis.

Everyone knows what Scotch is. Haggis is sheep stomach stuffed with meat and barley. Scotland's National Poet, Robert Burns, sang its praises in his works.


Credit: tjmwatson, Flickr