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Astrobiology Roundup II

Astrobiology Roundup II

Life in all it's glory... (Credit: C. Scharf) It's been a busy season for research that comes in under the astrobiology umbrella, here's a smattering of some of the more interesting recent discoveries and studies.   The youngest solar system....so far.

December 13, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf
What Is Operant Conditioning? (and How Does It Explain Driving Dogs?)

What Is Operant Conditioning? (and How Does It Explain Driving Dogs?)

While second nature to many of us, driving a car is actually a fairly complex process. At its most stripped down version, first you sit in the driver's seat, then you start the engine, then you shift into gear, and then you must simultaneously steer while keeping your foot on the gas pedal.

December 13, 2012 — Jason G. Goldman
Endangered eastern hellbenders bred in captivity for first time

Endangered eastern hellbenders bred in captivity for first time

Hellbender Credit: Christian Sperka Together with its cousins, the Japanese and Chinese Giant Salamanders, the hellbender is one of the largest amphibians in the world, and part of the only group of animals that can breathe mostly through folds of excess skin between their front and back legs.

December 13, 2012 — Becky Crew
Hip Hop Evolution Files: What's so special about tight vaginas?

Hip Hop Evolution Files: What's so special about tight vaginas?

Keri Hilson with Lil Wayne Lil Wayne's monologue really says it all: mami i dig your persona right, you look baby mama type, i know that got you kinda hyped, my ice is albino white, i hope your vagina tight i go underwater and i hope your piranha bite hahaha Why does vagina muscle tone matter?

December 13, 2012 — DNLee
Are Western Chimpanzees a New Species of Pan?

Are Western Chimpanzees a New Species of Pan?

What if I told you there were populations of chimpanzees that made spears to hunt, lived in caves, and loved playing in water? These are behaviors usually associated with ancient humans, not chimpanzees.

December 13, 2012 — Cadell Last
New U.S. Commission Would Try to Improve Weather Forecasting

New U.S. Commission Would Try to Improve Weather Forecasting

UCAR president Thomas Bogdan leads the movement to form a U.S. Weather Commission. Photo by Carlye Calvin Despite the ever-present caveat that predicting the weather is a difficult and inexact science, it seems that forecasts have been getting better and better.

December 13, 2012 — Mark Fischetti
The Cataclysm: "That Whole Mountain Range Had Just Exploded"

The Cataclysm: "That Whole Mountain Range Had Just Exploded"

A few seconds after the beginning of the directed blast, life within roughly ten kilometers (6.2 miles) of Mount St. Helens within the blast zone was about to be extinguished.  Oblique aerial view of the laterally blasted material deposited in the North Fork Toutle River valley approximately seven miles away from Mount St.

December 13, 2012 — Dana Hunter
The Next GPS of Data?

The Next GPS of Data?

Innovation Opportunities with Vehicles By: Melissa C. Lott and Ian Kalin, Presidential Innovation Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy When weather and GPS data were first made publically available by the U.S.

December 13, 2012 — Melissa C. Lott
#SciAmBlogs Wednesday - Dog Play, Jellyfish Sting, Scientific Aesthetics, Personalized Medicine, Zooniverse, Cities at Night, and more.

#SciAmBlogs Wednesday - Dog Play, Jellyfish Sting, Scientific Aesthetics, Personalized Medicine, Zooniverse, Cities at Night, and more.

There is a new Video of the Week for your pleasure. - Julie Hecht - How Do You Play with Your Dog?  - Chris Leamon - Advancing the Promise of Personalized Medicine: Companion Diagnostics  - Christie Wilcox - Don’t Pee On It: Zinc Emerges As New Jellyfish Sting Treatment  - Christina Agapakis - Scientific Aesthetics  - Hannah Waters - The Best Way to Procrastinate in the Zooniverse  - David Wogan - Cities at night – learning about cities from a different perspective  - Carin Bondar - ASAP Science: Fun, Informative and Extremely Successful  - Alex Wild - The Case of the Lopsided Spider  - DNLee - Wordless Wednesday: Rats En Route — Update (don’t celebrate yet)  - Scicurious - Book Review: This is Improbable =======================Conversations on our articles and blog posts often continue on our Facebook page - "Like" it and join in the discussion.

STAFFDecember 12, 2012 — Bora Zivkovic

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