Skip to main content

Welcome to Science Saturday, where the Overnight News Digest crew, consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors ScottyUrb, Bentliberal, wader, Oke, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir and jlms qkw, guest editors maggiejean and annetteboardman, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent, along with anyone else who reads and comments, informs and entertains you with this week's news about science, space, and the environment.

Between now and the end of the primary/caucus season, Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday will highlight the research stories from the public universities in each of the states having elections and caucuses during the week (or in the upcoming weeks if there is no primary or caucus that week).  Tonight's edition features the science, space, environment, and energy stories from universities in Arizona and Michigan, as will next week's.  After that, it's Super Tuesday!

This week's featured story comes from Crain's Detroit Business.

Pipeline to progress
University Research Corridor boasts growing number of tech startups
By Gabriella Burman

With a sharp eye on the success stories of Southeast Michigan startups, a group of universities has a goal to harness current research and create a new round of business success stories.

Those involved with the University Research Corridor are looking at history for an idea of the kind of companies and products that can be formed.
Two of the best known are Southfield-based Lumigen Inc. -- founded in 1987 by Paul Schaap, a chemistry professor at Wayne State University -- which was acquired by Brea, Calif.-based Beckman Coulter for $185 million in 2006; and Ann Arbor-based HandyLab Inc., founded by University of Michigan graduates and acquired by New Jersey-based Becton, Dickinson and Co. for $275 million in 2009.

These companies represent the diversification of Michigan's economy and heed the universities' mandate to seek a way for society to benefit from their work and inventions.

That idea is at the core of the University Research Corridor, established by university presidents in 2006 to accelerate business ideas at the state's three top research institutions: Wayne State, Michigan State University and UM. The URC connects the universities to outside businesses and leverages their assets, including equipment and laboratories, to bring businesses into the university system.

This is one of many articles in the Medical Magnet special supplement to Crain's Detroit Business.

More stories after the jump.

Recent Science Diaries and Stories

This week in science: The dumb and the shameless
by DarkSyde

Morning Open Thread
by eeff


University of Michigan: U-M architecture student builds a tent for the ultimate test: survival
Written by William Foreman
Published on Feb 15, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Andrew McCarthy didn't know how to sew five weeks ago. But that didn't stop the University of Michigan graduate student in architecture from stitching up his own tent for a thesis project.

Now, McCarthy is planning to put the tent to the ultimate test. He's going to sleep in it as he climbs Aconcagua–the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere.

His tent project won't just be about getting a good grade. It will be about survival. Violent winds could rip the shelter to shreds in the middle of the night if it's not made right. Climbers die on the mountain every year.

But McCarthy is confident about his creation: "I think it has a good shot. It's a strong tent."

The video shows the tent in a wind tunnel test.  It survived wind speeds of up to 80 miles per hour before beginning to fail and didn't collapse until the wind reached 122 mph.

University of Michigan: New Papyrus exhibit gives access to large U-M collection

University of Michigan Papyrus collection is the largest in the United States. Archivist Arthur Verhoogt explains how students and general public use the collection in their daily lives.
Also read the accompanying story, Paper trail.

University of Michigan: U-M human embryonic stem cell line placed on national registry

The University of Michigan's first human embryonic stem cell line will be placed on the U.S. National Institutes of Health's registry, making the cells available for federally-funded research. It is the first of the stem cell lines derived at the University of Michigan to be placed on the registry.

The line, known as UM4-6, is a genetically normal line, derived in October 2010 from a cluster of about 30 cells removed from a donated five-day-old embryo roughly the size of the period at the end of this sentence. That embryo was created for reproduction but was no longer needed for that purpose and was therefore about to be discarded.

Also see the story accompanying this video under Science Policy.

University of Michigan: Autoinjectors offer way to treat prolonged seizures

Drug delivery into muscle using an autoinjector, akin to the EpiPen used to treat serious allergic reactions, is faster and may be a more effective way to stop status epilepticus, a prolonged seizure lasting longer than five minutes, according to a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
Also see the story accompanying this video under Health and Biotechnology.

University of Michigan: Museum of Zoology moves 5 million specimens

Over the next eight months, about 5 million specimens from the U-M Museum of Zoology's "wet" collection -- animals preserved in alcohol inside various containers -- will be moved from the Ruthven Museums Building on central campus to a new off-campus storage facility. The new facility has been designed and built to safely store and protect the collection. The budget for the project, which includes building the new storage facility, moving the collection and other selected renovations, is $20 million.
When I was working on my Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, my office was in the Museum of Zoology.  The 5 million specimen number is no exaggeration!

Arizona State University: Davies on time travel: Can it really be done?

Paul Davies, author of the popular best-seller “How to Build a Time Machine,” discussed time travel when he presented the annual Sci-fi Meets Sci-Fact lecture on Jan. 31, at Arizona State University.

Time travel is a favorite science fiction theme, but can it really be done? “Well, maybe,” says Davies, the internationally acclaimed cosmologist, astrobiologist and theoretical physicist at Arizona State University, where he is a Regents’ Professor in the Department of Physics.


University of Michigan: Warped space lens provides zoomed-in image of faraway galaxy
Written by Nicole Casal Moore
Published on Feb 14, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—A natural zoom lens in space has enabled astronomers to build new high-resolution images of one of the brightest distant galaxies magnified through a phenomenon called “gravitational lensing.”

“I was always fascinated by beautiful images of space, but what makes an image like this so much more exciting is that you can actually see physics in action,” said Keren Sharon, a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan. Sharon is the first author of a paper on the findings published online in Astrophysical Journal.
The astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to image the lensed galaxy RCSGA 032727-132609, which appears as a nearly 90-degree arc of light, parts of which are magnified several hundred times by a foreground cluster of galaxies.

University of Arizona: Echoes From an Exploding Star
Astronomers watch a delayed broadcast of a powerful stellar eruption.
By University Communications
February 15, 2012

Astronomers are watching the astronomical equivalent of streaming live video of a spectacular outburst from the unstable, behemoth double-star system Eta Carinae, which initially was seen on Earth nearly 170 years ago.

Dubbed the “Great Eruption,” the outburst lasted from 1837 to 1858 and caught the attention of sky-watchers at the time, including the British astronomer Sir John Herschel. He did not have the benefit of the imaging cameras and spectrographs that modern astronomers use to learn about stars, so we only have a historical record of the star’s visual brightness.

But luckily for today’s astronomers, some of the light from the eruption took an indirect path to Earth and is just arriving now.

NPR: New Telescope To Make 10-Year Time Lapse Of Sky
by Joe Palca
February 15, 2012

Every 10 years, about two dozen of this country's top astronomers and astrophysicists get together under the auspices of the National Research Council and make a wish list. The list has on it the new telescopes these astronomers would most like to see built. At the last gathering, they said, in essence, "We most want the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope."

Here's why. A synoptic survey is a comprehensive map of every square inch of the night sky. The Large Synoptic Survey — LSST — will do that multiple times.

"We want to scan the entire sky over and over again for 10 years," says Sidney Wolff, president of the LSST Corp., who is in charge of building the new telescope. "And we will get over 800 images of every patch of the sky."
The telescope will ultimately be built on a mountain in Chile. But two of the telescope's main mirrors are being built at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson.

In an odd but delightful juxtaposition, the lab is located under the university's football stadium.


Arizona State University: Professor shares opinion on where life began
February 17, 2012

Although conventional wisdom has it that hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor offered an ideal chemical environment for the earliest life, Paul Knauth, a geologist in ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, thinks life may not have begun in the sea. "The early ocean was a deathtrap of hot salty water," he says. "I like the idea of a non-marine origin."


NPR: Deconstructing Dengue: How Old Is That Mosquito?
By Joe Palca

Michael Riehle at the University of Arizona is trying to solve a curious puzzle about dengue: why there have been dozens of cases in nearby Texas and none, or virtually none, in Arizona. Riehle thinks the answer has to do with Arizona's geography.

"It's right on the edge of the range where these dengue mosquitoes are found," he says. "It's a fairly harsh environment, and we think that they might not be surviving long enough to efficiently transfer the disease to other people."

So to test his hypothesis, Riehle wants to be able to compare the life spans of mosquitoes in Arizona with those in Texas.

Northern Arizona University: Study of feeding behaviors points to challenges for native fish
February 2, 2012

A study detailing the feeding behaviors of four species of fish found in the Colorado River and its tributaries uncovered a few surprises and opened new insights to the challenges faced by native fish species in the Southwest.

Some of the biggest challenges are relatively recent ones. In a diverse region known for its markers of geologic time, a combination of dam building and the introduction of nonnative species have dramatically reduced the survival chances of native fish, said Northern Arizona University researcher Alice Gibb.
That native fish in the Southwest are on the decline is not in dispute, but the research provides more evidence as to why.

“We altered the habitat native fish evolved for and put in fish that are better-adapted to the new conditions,” Gibb said, calling the changes a “one-two punch” for native fish.


University of Michigan: U-M Life Sciences Institute lab identifies potential antibiotic alternative to treat infection without resistance
Written by Laura Williams
Published on Feb 17, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Researchers at the University of Michigan have found a potential alternative to conventional antibiotics that could fight infection with a reduced risk of antibiotic resistance.

By using high-throughput screening of a library of small molecules from the Center for Chemical Genomics at the U-M Life Sciences Institute, the team identified a class of compounds that significantly reduced the spread and severity of group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria in mice. Their work suggests that the compounds might have therapeutic value in the treatment of strep and similar infections in humans.

"The widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance among human pathogens is a major public health problem," said David Ginsburg, a faculty member at LSI, a professor of internal medicine, human genetics, and pediatrics at the U-M Medical School and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

University of Michigan: Public interest in pandemic flu vaccine faded over time
Written by Wendy Wendland-Bowyer
Published on Feb 16, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—When a new strain of influenza began to sicken even healthy younger adults three years ago, public interest in getting the newly developed H1N1 vaccine started strong but declined over time even as more people were getting sick, a new study shows.

Researchers at RAND Corp. and the University of Michigan found that the more the public learned about this new type of influenza and the longer they had to wait for the vaccine, the less interested they were in getting it.

"Our results provide further evidence of how important it is to develop technology to speed vaccine production," said the study's co-author, Brian Zikmund-Fisher, an assistant professor in the U-M School of Public Health. "Many more people would have been interested in vaccination had the vaccine been available even three months earlier."

University of Michigan: Autoinjectors offer way to treat prolonged seizures
NIH study finds method safe and effective for paramedics
February 15, 2012

Drug delivery into muscle using an autoinjector, akin to the EpiPen used to treat serious allergic reactions, is faster and may be a more effective way to stop status epilepticus, a prolonged seizure lasting longer than five minutes, according to a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

The University of Michigan Health System was the clinical coordinating center for the multi-center study.

“The implications for paramedic practice are pretty significant,” said lead study author Robert Silbergleit, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine at the U-M Medical School. “This is clearly an evolution in the treatment of seizures by paramedics. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s a newer, better way of doing things that I think will be adopted widespread across the country."

Two other universities covered in tonight's OND participated in this study.  Wayne State University's press release is Wayne State research reveals improved method for paramedics to stop prolonged seizures and the University of Arizona's is Better, Safer Treatment for Seizure Victims Discovered.

University of Michigan: Zebrafish may hold key to repairing serious eye conditions
U-M researchers take an important step in understanding retina regeneration, suggesting new possibilities for developing treatments in humans
February 14, 2012

University of Michigan Health System research into the mechanisms by which zebrafish are able to regenerate damaged retinas after injury suggests new strategies for one day being able to do the same in humans – potentially allowing doctors to slow or reverse conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Building on previous studies, Daniel Goldman, Ph.D., a professor at U-M’s Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute and in the Department of Biological Chemistry, along with postdoctoral fellows Jin Wan and Rajesh Ramachandran, discovered that heparin-binding epidermal-like growth factor (HB-EGF) plays a critical role during retina regeneration. Their findings were published today in Developmental Cell.

Arizona State University: Following a trail of blood: New diagnostic tool comes of age
February 14, 2012

Blood tests have been a mainstay of diagnostic medicine since the late 19th century, offering a wealth of information concerning health and disease. Nevertheless, blood derived from the human umbilical cord has yet to be fully mined for its vital health information, according to Rolf Halden, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute.

In a new study appearing in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, Halden’s team performs detailed analyses of umbilical cord blood (UCB), identifying a total of 1,210 proteins using mass spectroscopy. The findings represent a 6-fold increase in the number UCB proteins thus far described – a significant advance: “Mapping of the full spectrum of proteins detectable in cord blood is the first, crititcal step in the discovery of biomarkers to improve human health,” Halden says.

The proteins identified are associated with 138 different metabolic and disease pathways and provide invaluable information for the identification of biomarkers – early warning indices of disease, toxic exposure or disruptions in cellular processes. In addition to presenting intriguing candidates for new biomarkers in UCB, the study also identified 38 proteins corresponding to existing FDA-approved biomarkers for adult blood.

Arizona State University: Sensing self and non-self: new research into immune tolerance
February 13, 2012

At the most basic level, the immune system must distinguish self from non-self, that is, it must discriminate between the molecular signatures of invading pathogens (non-self antigens) and cellular constituents that usually pose no risk to health (self-antigens).

The system is far from foolproof. Cancer cells can undergo unchecked proliferation, producing self-antigens that are tolerated by the immune system, rather than being targeted for destruction. At the opposite extreme, a range of so-called autoimmune disorders can result when healthy cells in the body are misidentified as hazards. The immune system has developed a further line of protection against such autoimmune responses in order to limit the pathology that can result. Essentially, the immune system is programmed to ‘turn itself off’ after prolonged recognition of an antigen.

In a new study appearing in the current issue of the journal Science, Joseph Blattman, a researcher at ASU’s Biodesign Institute, examines how CD8 T cells – critical weapons in the body’s defensive arsenal – are regulated when they transition from this tolerant state to an activated state and back.


Michigan State University: Thinking outside sustainability’s box with art and science
Published: Feb. 17, 2012

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Science is about facts, but the science of sustainability also involves questions underpinned by values.

With this in mind, a Michigan State University environmental sociologist will ask scientists to consider how art can provoke people to consider their perceptions of sustainability at this year's annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Feb. 16-20 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Good decisions about the complex issues of sustainability have to be grounded in science, but science alone isn’t sufficient to make decisions that also involve our values and ethical concerns,” said Thomas Dietz, MSU assistant vice president for environmental research. “We have to think about things that aren’t usually part of our everyday routines, and challenging routine thinking has been one of the roles of art in our society.”

University of Arizona: UA Tests Consumer Water Filters for Contaminant Removal
By Steve Delgado, College of Engineering
February 15, 2012

A UA study of pour-through and refrigerator water filtration devices and the chemicals they removed is scheduled for publication in the March issue of Good Housekeeping.

The Good Housekeeping Research Institute, or GHRI, has partnered with the University of Arizona to perform extensive testing on everyday filters found in water pitchers and refrigerators to see if the consumer products are able to remove chemicals considered an emerging concern for public safety.

The investigation found that refrigerator filters worked the best, and some pitcher-style filters worked to some degree to remove contaminants. This is the first such removal analyses performed on these products, according to the magazine.

Arizona State University: Scientific advances promise better ways to engineer water-safety systems
ASU researchers are seeking better ways to remove health-threatening contaminants from water sources and to develop technologies to help the country's smaller and more remote communities maintain water-safety standards.February 13, 2012

Some of most recent advances in technology, chemistry, physics and materials science will be applied to new methods for ensuring water safety being developed by Arizona State University engineers.

In a project supported by a $500,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Paul Westerhoff will lead exploration of ways to improve the effectiveness of water treatment systems in the nation’s small communities. He will also head a project supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to optimize the use of new technology for reducing a prevalent contaminant in groundwater.

Westerhoff is the associate dean for research in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and a professor in the university’s School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment.


Arizona State University: New insights: how soil production processes respond to erosion
February 7, 2012

In many ways, soil is fundamental to life. Flora and fauna depend on its presence for their survival as much as they depend on water and air. In order to sustain its soil content, an ecosystem needs to maintain a balance between rates of soil erosion and soil production. Factors such as tectonic plate movement or climate change can tip this balance, and learning how such changes affect soil cover is crucial to our understanding of how the Earth’s surface works.

In a series of studies appearing in the journals Nature Geoscience, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, and Earth and Planetary Science Letters, researchers at Arizona State University are providing new insights into how soil production processes respond to erosion in mountainous regions.

The studies utilized an ideal natural laboratory in the San Gabriel Mountains, a region in southern California, where previous work quantified a large range of erosion rates.


University of Michigan: Psychiatric diagnoses: Why no one is satisfied
Written by Diane Swanbrow
Published on Feb 15, 2012

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders cover graphicANN ARBOR, Mich.—As the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is revised for the first time since 1994, controversy about psychiatric diagnosis is reaching a fever pitch.

Suggested changes to the definitions of autism spectrum disorders and depression, among others, are eliciting great concerns. However, there are larger concerns about the DSM as a whole.

“Almost no one likes the DSM, but no one knows what to do about it,” said University of Michigan psychiatrist Randolph Nesse.

The current round of revisions is the fifth since the DSM was originally published by the American Psychiatric Association in 1952.

University of Arizona psychiatrist Charles Raison has a column about the revisions to the DSM on CNN: Should grief be treated like depression?
An editorial published Wednesday in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet takes the American Psychiatric Association to task for changes proposed in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which is the guiding document of psychiatry in the United States.

Until now, bereavement has always been excluded in the diagnosis of major depression. Not anymore. The current draft of the fifth version, known as DSM-V, will allow major depression to be diagnosed two weeks after the death of a loved one.

Major depression is a serious illness that profoundly impairs function, disrupts relationships and is a significant cause for early death. So it would follow that anyone who is upset most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks after the death of a loved one is sick and needs treatment.

Yet the editors of The Lancet write: "Medicalizing grief, so that treatment is legitimized routinely with antidepressants, is not only dangerously simplistic, but also flawed. ... Building a life without the loved person who died cannot be expected to be quick, easy or straightforward. Life cannot, nor should not, continue as normal. ... Grief is not an illness; it is more usefully thought of as a part of being human and a normal response to death of a loved one. Putting a time frame on grief is inappropriate -- DSM-V ... please take note."

University of Michigan: Low hormone response may contribute to women avoiding intimacy
"Our findings demonstrate that, for some people, viewing emotionally intimate stimuli can increase estradiol levels, but this was not the case for women who are more detached from close relationships."
Written by Jared Wadley
Published on Feb 13, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—University of Michigan researchers have found that women who avoid close relationships and intimacy have smaller hormone responses to emotionally intimate stimuli.

The effects of avoidance were not observed in men or among women exposed to neutral or positive situations, said Robin Edelstein, U-M assistant professor of psychology and the study’s lead author.

Edelstein and colleagues assessed changes in estradiol, a steroid hormone associated with attachment and care giving. Estradiol plays important roles in parent-infant bonding, as well as romantic relationships involving adults.


University of Michigan: How social media help save an endangered language
Written by Diane Swanbrow
Published on Feb 17, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—There was a time when everyone living in Michigan grew up speaking the native language of the area's indigenous people. Now less than 10 people born in the state are fluent, yet more than 2,700 people "like" the language on Facebook.

Howard Kimewon, who teaches in the University of Michigan's Ojibwe Language program, part of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Program in American Culture, was born in Ontario and grew up speaking the language there. His colleague Margaret Noori learned the language later in life in Minnesota, where she grew up. And now she is combining her background in linguistics and marketing with a facility for social media and technology to leverage interest in the language she has come to love.

"I want to use every available platform to its utmost," said Noori, director of the U-M Comprehensive Studies Program and a lecturer in the Ojibwe language and literature.

annetteboardman is taking a well-deserved night off.


Arizona State University: New nano-material combinations produce leap in infrared technology
February 13, 2012

Arizona State University researchers are finding ways to improve infrared photodetector technology that is critical to national defense and security systems, as well as used increasingly in medical diagnostics, commercial applications and consumer products.

A significant advance is reported in a recent article in the journal Applied Physics Letters. It details discovery of how infrared photodetection can be done more effectively by using certain materials arranged in specific patterns in atomic-scale structures.

It’s being accomplished by using multiple ultrathin layers of the materials that are only several nanometers thick. Crystals are formed in each layer. These layered structures are then combined to form what are termed “superlattices.”


Wired: Researchers Fight Toxic Waste With Google PageRank
By Caleb Garling
February 16, 2012

Researchers at Washington State University and the University of Arizona have shown that Google’s famous PageRank algorithm applies to more than just webpages. It also works with water molecules.

According to a paper published in the Journal of Computational Chemistry, the same math used to determine the relevance of webpages on Google’s search engine can also be used to determine crucial information about a water molecule’s position in a solution containing other ionized molecules — particularly toxic chemicals. For chemists, the finding is more than just a curiosity. It’s a crucial step in determining the best ways to remove nuclear waste and other toxic chemicals from the world’s water supply.

“Now, you can control the chemistry and force certain reactions to occur,” WSU associate professor Aurora Clark, the paper’s primary author, tells Wired. She gives the example of a waste cleanup team knowing how to force a radioactive chemical like uranium to stick to a mineral substrate — a common cleanup technique. “This gives you the map of where toxic chemicals want to go in the water.”


University of Michigan: Gas mileage of new vehicles at all-time high
Written by Bernie DeGroat
Published on Feb 13, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States last month was at its highest mark ever, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Average fuel economy of cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs purchased in January was 23.0 miles per gallon, which ties the all-time monthly record set in March 2011. It is also up 4 percent (0.8 mpg) from December—the highest monthly increase since UMTRI researchers began tracking fuel economy in late 2007.

According to Michael Sivak, research professor and head of UMTRI's Human Factors Group, average fuel economy of all new vehicles bought last month was up 0.5 mpg from a year ago and is now 2.5 mpg higher than four years ago in January 2008.

Michigan State University: MSU research looks to improve logistics of biofuel raw materials
Published: Feb. 17, 2012

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — If the increased use of biomass to produce alternative fuels is to become a reality, more attention needs to be paid to logistics – how, for example, biomass raw materials are shipped from farm to refinery, as well as the development of better ways of preparing the products for shipping.

This is a subject being tackled by Michigan State University’s Bruce Dale, a professor of chemical engineering and materials science, and is the topic of a symposium at this year’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Feb. 16-20 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Dale is suggesting a new model for getting the plant material to the biofuel production facility, or the biorefinery. The new model uses something called regional biomass processing depots – strategically located facilities that will process the biofuel feedstocks before they are shipped to a refinery.

“The question has become how are we going to get together thousands of tons of plant material to convert to fuels,” he said. “That’s a logistical issue which is increasingly being recognized as a key barrier.”

Science, Space, Environment, and Energy Policy

Crain's Detroit Business: Dividing the funding pie
Biomed researchers face keen competition
By Jay Greene
February 12, 2012

Biomedical research in Southeast Michigan is alive and well, although expected to grow more slowly and become more competitive over the next few years as funding from the National Institutes of Health flattens.

Biomedical research organizations include universities, teaching hospitals, biotech startup companies, physician offices, private labs and contract research groups. They range in size from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, with its dozens of scientists and physicians who generate $490.5 million annually in funding, to Bingham Farms-based Quest Research Institute, with its 15 physicians and some $1.5 million in research dollars in 2011.

"More than 80 percent of our funding is federally supported dollars. We anticipate it to be increasingly difficult to maintain that robust amount," said Thomas Shanley, M.D., director of the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research at the University of Michigan.

University of Michigan: U-M human embryonic stem cell line placed on national registry
Line is first from U-M accepted to the U.S. National Institutes of Health registry, now available for federally-funded research
Written by Mary Masson, Phone: (734) 764-2220, E-mail:
Published on Feb 14, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The University of Michigan’s first human embryonic stem cell line will be placed on the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s registry, making the cells available for federally-funded research. It is the first of the stem cell lines derived at the University of Michigan to be placed on the registry.

he line, known as UM4-6, is a genetically normal line, derived in October 2010 from a cluster of about 30 cells removed from a donated five-day-old embryo roughly the size of the period at the end of this sentence. That embryo was created for reproduction but was no longer needed for that purpose and was therefore about to be discarded.

“This is significant, because acceptance of these cells on the registry demonstrates our attention to details of proper oversight, consenting, and following of NIH guidelines established in 2009,” says Gary Smith, Ph.D., who derived the line and also is co-director of the U-M Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies, part of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute.

“It now makes the line available to researchers who can apply for federal funding to use it in their work; this is an important step."

University of Michigan: Payment to healthcare providers should be based on the value of their service, U-M doctors argue
Paying physicians and hospitals the same amount regardless of clinical benefits is a flawed model contributing to soaring healthcare costs, say U-M physicians in JAMA commentary
February 15, 2012

Should your doctor’s bill be based on how much you actually benefited from his or her care?

It’s the type of radical reform that would help control the cost crisis in health care, two University of Michigan Health System doctors argue in the Feb. 15 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

U-M Division of General Medicine Chief Laurence F. McMahon Jr., M.D., M.P.H and U-M assistant professor of Internal Medicine Vineet Chopra, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.H.M. propose a new model based on simple Economics 101: The more valuable the treatment is to patients, the more physicians and hospitals would get paid.

They argue that payment for tests and procedures should directly be linked to clinical value.

Rather than focusing on co-pays and deductibles that affect patients, payment reform would shift to the providers, they say.

Michigan State University: Ethanol mandate not the best option
Published: Feb. 13, 2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Many people are willing to pay a premium for ethanol, but not enough to justify the government mandate for the corn-based fuel, a Michigan State University economist argues.

Soren Anderson studied the demand for ethanol, or E85, in the United States. He found that when ethanol prices rose 10 cents per gallon, demand for ethanol fell only 12 percent to 16 percent on average.

“I was a bit surprised,” said Anderson, assistant professor of economics. “I was looking for this sharp decline in ethanol sales the moment the price got higher than the price of gas.”

His research, scheduled to appear in the March issue of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, is one of the first economics studies to examine how consumers value ethanol.

The PDF of the study itself is here.

Science Education

University of Arizona: UA Part of Nationwide STEM Movement
By La Monica Everett-Haynes, University Communications
February 17, 2012

UA faculty members have joined a nationwide movement to train and retain 100,000 science, technology, engineering and math teachers over the next 10 years.

In his State of the Union address last month, U.S. President Barack Obama called for an increased effort to prepare 100,000 science, technology, engineering and math teachers.

The University of Arizona has joined more than 100 partner organizations and businesses across the nation to work on this exact effort.
"We simply do not have enough math and science teachers," said William McCallum, who heads the UA's mathematics department and is interim co-director of the UA center.

University of Michigan: U-M honors six faculty Thurnau professors
Written by Jillian Bogater, Editor, The University Record
Republished Feb 16, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Six faculty members at the University of Michigan have been honored for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education as this year's recipients of Arthur F. Thurnau professorships.

Those honored include one professor who helped develop the undergraduate program in biomedical engineering, another who initiated an overhaul of the physics honors program, and one who co-developed the undergraduate program in sustainable engineering. Others selected are a music professor who takes his students to perform in venues across the globe, one who has been praised for his use of technology in the classroom, and another considered a pioneer in creating courses in partnership with community organizations to bring art to those who might not otherwise experience it.

The appointments, approved today by the U-M Board of Regents, are titles the six will retain throughout their careers at the university.

This year's recipients are Joseph Bull, Michael Haithcock, Sadashi Inuzuka, Bradford Orr, Brian Porter-Szucs and Steven Skerlos.

University of Michigan: Two U-M early-career scientists win 2012 Sloan research fellowships
Written by Jim Erickson
Published on Feb 16, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Two University of Michigan professors are among 126 researchers from across the United States and Canada selected as 2012 Alfred P. Sloan research fellows.

According to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowships are awarded annually to "early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders."

This year's U-M winners are Mi Hee Lim and Sarah Veatch. Lim is an assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and a research assistant professor at the Life Sciences Institute. Veatch is an assistant professor of biophysics and an assistant professor of physics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Michigan State University: Chemistry professor receives research fellowship
Published: Feb. 16, 2012

Tom Hamann, assistant professor of chemistry, has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship. The two-year fellowships are awarded yearly by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to 118 early-career scientists in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

Hamann's research interests are in inorganic materials and electrochemistry of energy conversion and storage — specifically revolving around the theme of developing and characterizing nano-structured materials, coupled with detailed investigations of interfacial electron-transfer processes for solar energy conversion applications.

University of Michigan: U-M laser innovator elected to NAE
Published on Feb 13, 2012
Written by Nicole Casal Moore

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The developer of an ‘Art to Part’ 3-D metal printing process that lets manufacturers make parts straight from drawings has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Jyoti Mazumder, the Robert H. Lurie Professor of Mechanical Engineering and a professor in materials science and engineering, is one of 66 new members and 10 foreign associates, the NAE announced Friday.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering—among the highest professional distinctions an engineer can achieve—honors pioneering new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing innovative approaches to engineering education.

“I am humbled by this recognition from my peers,” said Mazumder, who is also director of the Center for Laser-Aided Intelligent Manufacturing.

Arizona State University: Study looks at learning methods that can help students improve in math, science
February 14, 2012

Informed by top performing countries around the world, the Common Core standards in math and the soon-to-be-released next generation science standards raise the bar with national learning expectations for K-12 students. With an emphasis on depth over breadth, the standards are causing math and science educators to rethink current practices by which many students learn only enough to get by on the next test or state assessment.

To help educators turn these skim-the-surface students into deep conceptual learners, Arizona State University’s Technology Based Learning and Research (TBLR) center released a white paper titled, “Deep Conceptual Learning in Science and Mathematics.”

In the paper, co-authors Peter Rillero and Helen Padgett describe “deep conceptual learning methods” and how these methods can help students meet more rigorous standards in math and science. Rillero is an associate professor of science education at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU. Padgett is the TBLR director of Professional Development and Research at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU.

Science Writing and Reporting

Wayne State University: Wayne State University professor publishes new book on clinical nutrition
February 15, 2012

DETROIT - Vishwanath Sardesai, Ph.D., professor of surgery in Wayne State University's School of Medicine, has published the third edition of his book "Introduction to Clinical Nutrition."

Published by CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, the 32-chapter book covers the role of nutrition in epigenetics and telomere length - the DNA fragments protecting the ends of chromosomes from deterioration - as well as personalized nutrition and personalized medicine. The book, Sardesai said, is designed to serve as a textbook and reference source in clinical nutrition for medical students, students in osteopathic medicine and dentistry, and practitioners in the fields of medicine, dentistry nutrition, dietetics, nursing, pharmacy and public health.

"The ultimate focus of this edition is to generate interest and enthusiasm in clinical nutrition among students and practitioners in an age that recognizes the growing need for prevention," Sardesai said. "Nutrition is a vitally important component for both individual health and, therefore, community well-being."

Science is Cool

University of Michigan: Budding retrospective
Matthaei Botanical Gardens celebrates 50th anniversary; exhibit opens Feb. 25
By Joseph Mooney
February, 2012

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens is featuring an exhibit in the conservatory and throughout the main building in honor of its 50th anniversary. The exhibit, “Celebrating 50 Years on Dixboro Road,” opens Feb. 25 and runs through April 8. Admission is free.

With photographs and interpretation the display offers views of the construction of the Botanical Gardens’ buildings in the early 1960s; highlights a selection of the special historical plants from those days that still grown in the conservatory; and reveals how the Botanical Gardens has benefited and engaged faculty, students, members, visitors, and volunteers throughout the years for research, teaching, learning, and enjoyment.

University of Michigan: Going green
Art & Environment Gallery opens Feb. 16 at School of Natural Resources and Environment, features art of Leslie Sobel
By Kevin Merrill
February, 2012

To draw more attention to the influence of art in shaping our understanding of science and nature, the School of Natural Resources and Environment is opening an art gallery inside the Dana Building, the greenest building on the campus of the University of Michigan. The inaugural event is 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16.

The Art & Environment Gallery will feature work from local and national artists whose work speaks to how people interact and understand the environment. The inaugural exhibition, “Watershed Moment,” features the work of Ann Arbor artist Leslie Sobel and five pieces exploring landscapes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (see images right and lower right).

“I have been fascinated with aerial views of landscape for many years. Chaperoning a high school service trip to New Orleans, post-Hurricane Katrina, made the power and the significance of the Mississippi River painfully, viscerally, real,” Sobel said. “These pieces were inspired by that trip and by my recent discovery of a series of beautiful survey maps of the Mississippi River done by Harold Fisk in the 1940s.”

The exhibits will rotate about every eight weeks and be presented in five glass showcases in the Dana Building’s First floor Commons.

University of Michigan: Melodies of science & art
NY ensemble performance inspired by Galileo; March 7 at Hatcher Library
By Mary Morris
February, 2012

Music, narration, and a stunning video create an entertaining window into one of the most exciting periods in the history of western civilization. Galileo’s Daughters, an ensemble based in New York City, is inspired by the lives and works of Galileo Galilei, his daughter, Maria Celeste, and the musicians and scientists of their time.

Their story is told in a multimedia program, with four performers combining storytelling, songs, instruments, and striking visual images. The program, “Perpetual Motion: Revolutions in 17th-Century Science & Music,” is narrated by Dava Sobel, author of the book Galileo’s Daughter. The performance is 7 p.m. March 7 at the Hatcher Library.

Originally posted to Overnight News Digest on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 08:59 PM PST.

Also republished by SciTech.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar: Non-science research and public events (26+ / 0-)

    University of Michigan: U.S. Rep. Dingell: "What's gone so wrong with Congress?"
    Written by Nicole Rhoads
    Published on Feb 15, 2012

    DATE: 4-5 p.m. Feb. 22, 2012

    EVENT: U.S. Rep. John Dingell will discuss the current state of Congress during the free public event at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

    The Michigan Democrat, who represents Monroe County and parts of Wayne and Washtenaw counties, is the longest serving member of the House of Representatives in history. He is a senior member on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over issues pertaining to commerce, energy, environment, health care, consumer product safety and telecommunications.

    Michigan State University: Michigan Political Leadership Program set to graduate Class of 2011
    Published: Feb. 13, 2012

    The 24 men and women of the Michigan Political Leadership Program Class of 2011 will graduate later this month.

    The new graduates have completed 10 months of weekend leadership training to gain new skills in practical politics, in leadership on a local and statewide level and in analyzing policies affecting citizens around the state.

    They will join more than 500 alumni who hold office in the Michigan House of Representatives and in local city councils, county commissions, school boards and township boards throughout the state. An estimated one quarter of MPLP's graduates has held elected or appointed office or holds that office now.

    University of Michigan: U-M Women of Color Task Force: 30 years of leadership, legacy, change
    Written by Jared Wadley
    Published on Feb 16, 2012

    DATE: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., March 2, 2012

    EVENT: The University of Michigan Women of Color Task Force will celebrate 30 years of leadership, legacy and change at its annual conference—the largest professional development event held at U-M.

    Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African Art, will deliver the keynote address, "The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion in American Higher Education."

    The conference will include 35 workshop sessions, a networking luncheon and a vendor marketplace featuring local businesses. The workshops will offer insight in topics such as professional and leadership development, work-life balance and personal development, and financial education. More than 600 women and men attend the conference.

    Cole is the immediate past president of Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C., and was the first African American woman to serve as president of Spelman College in Atlanta.

    Michigan State University: Study: Military death sentence more likely for minorities
    Published: Feb. 17, 2012 E-mail Editor ShareThis

    EAST LANSING, Mich. — Skin color plays a role in deciding whether to execute military criminals, according to a new study by a Michigan State University law professor who found minorities in the military are twice as likely as whites to be sentenced to death.

    Catherine Grosso, associate professor at the MSU College of Law, and the late David Baldus, the Joseph B. Tye Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, studied military prosecutions in all potentially death-eligible murders from 1984 to 2005.

    The researchers identified 105 death-eligible murder cases and found unprecedented racial discrimination in the administration of the death penalty in the United States military. Death-eligible offenses under military law include premeditated and felony murders, which are the focus of Grosso’s study.

    Findings are published in this month’s peer-reviewed portion of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.

    The PDF of the study is here.

    Michigan State University: No kids in public school? You still benefit
    Published: Feb. 17, 2012

    EAST LANSING, Mich. — Quality public schools benefit everyone – including those without school-aged children – and therefore everyone should play a role in maintaining them, according to a study by two Michigan State University scholars.

    Senior citizens and others who don’t have children in school often argue they should be exempt from paying school taxes because they don’t benefit from the schools. But that’s not true, argues Zachary Neal, sociologist and lead researcher on the study, which appears in the Journal of Urban Affairs.

    “Those without kids in school are getting just as much benefit from public schools as those with kids and accordingly should be just as responsible for maintaining the schools,” Neal said. “It’s unfair for those without kids to benefit from public schools but not play a role in taking care of the schools.”

    Wall Street Journal: Shopping Secrets of the Pros
    Finding the Best Service Requires Revealing a Lot; Don't Say 'Just Browsing'
    February 15, 2012

    How many times have you walked into a store, ready to buy—only to find no one there to help, or even take your money? Or could you see the sales associates but they couldn't seem to see you? Maybe they sized you up as a browser, not a buyer. Or did you find yourself working with a clueless associate, who wanted to be helpful but wasn't, or worse, a pushy associate who would have sold you everything in the store.

    No wonder many shoppers actually try to avoid salespeople. A majority of shoppers in a small 2009 study said they won't go to stores to avoid bad customer service, according to researcher Sherry Lotz, associate professor of retailing and consumer sciences at the University of Arizona's John & Doris Norton School. A common concern was that salespeople "push" merchandise to earn commissions or achieve sales targets. The customers in the study "did not trust that the store personnel were acting in their best interest," Dr. Lotz says.

    Science Saturday is open for business fun!

    "The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead." ~ Paul Krugman.

    by Neon Vincent on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 08:59:14 PM PST

  •  Seen a Good Movie Lately? (12+ / 0-)

    I posted this diary a few minutes ago - Saturday Night at the Movies: What's the Best Movie You Have Ever Seen?  Join in if you can as I'd like to hear from you.

    Here's an excerpt and something for you to think about as you ponder your choices:

    The Greatest Films

    The Greatest Films can't be measured scientifically because greatness is extremely subjective.  The artistic greatness of films (and other works of art) can never be rated or quantified, although critics, reviewers, and fans still make ten best lists, hundred best lists, all-time greatest lists, favorites lists, awards lists, and generate results of polls...

    This selection of 100 Greatest Films in the last century of film-making covers - by conscious choice - a wide range of genres, decades, stars and directors.  They are film selections that have undoubtedly left an indelible mark upon our lives and reflect the defining moments of the last 100 years - films that give us pieces of time we can never forget... These are films that give us pieces of time that we can never forget.  They have the power to entertain, enchant, inform, and move us emotionally - and change our perceptions of things.

  •  Science Saturday? (11+ / 0-)

    This comment was brought to you by the Heartland Institute.

  •  So being volunteered... (12+ / 0-)

    to help one of the kids I know with her science project, I'm trying to find a cheap, but effective geiger counter. Let me step back for a moment.

    This girl is crazy about the ocean and being that I live on the left coast and she is worried about radioactive debris from Fukushima debris washing up on shore. Debris has already landed in Midway and Hawaii and there have been reports of it in Canada and Washington.

    So, she wants to do an experiment collecting winter beach garbage and seeing what percentage is radioactive. Her hypothesis is that none of it will be radioactive just yet because of the currents, but will be next winter. (She wants to do a follow-up study next year.)

    My intuition is to stay off the beaches (in the winter especially) and not go looking for radioactive junk, but that puts me in the spot of having to come up with an alternative project. Ugh. Anyway, the cheapest decent geiger counter that I've found is $269, which is a little too pricy. Thoughts? Is she nuts, or am I just being too much of a non-risk taking adult.

  •  Thank you! (9+ / 0-)

    Very interesting articles as always!

    Best wishes to all here!

    So hubby cheered U of M on with ulterior motives...sigh.

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 09:22:33 PM PST

  •  NV, you always make me stay up reading way past (10+ / 0-)

    my bedtime! (meh, beauty sleep be damed) Thanks for the effort put into this.

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 09:25:15 PM PST

  •  Austerity for Mars (7+ / 0-)

    LAT: NASA budget cuts could be felt on Mars

    President Obama's proposed budget for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for fiscal year 2013 would eliminate $300 million from the agency's planetary sciences division, a 20% cut from the $1.5 billion it received for 2012. Though the budget plan, released this week, would preserve funding for high-profile projects like the James Webb Space Telescope and manned space missions, scientists were alarmed by the size of the hit to relatively inexpensive programs that explore the solar system with high-tech robots.

    Scott Hubbard, a member of the NASA Advisory Council Science Committee and the agency's former "Mars czar," has been assessing the effect the cuts would have on the agency's programs. Now a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University, he spoke with The Times about what the future holds for exploration of the Red Planet...

    How will this affect the Mars rovers and other missions there?

    One thing that is very worrisome: If you look at the details, in a line called "Mars extended operations," that budget is significantly lower than it should be. It raises questions about whether or not OMB intends for NASA to keep operating missions that are there and working successfully, like the Opportunity rover and Mars Odyssey [a satellite looking for evidence of water and volcanic activity] and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter [which is studying the history of water on the planet] and so forth.

    This cut to Mars seems to threaten the existing missions and their operations as well as the future beyond what's called MAVEN [a mission to study the upper Martian atmosphere that's set to launch in late 2013].

  •  Starts with a Bang (7+ / 0-)

    Ethan Siegel's Physics blog has an extensive write up on η Carinae.

    Eta Carinae's 21-Year Outburst: A Cosmic Instant Replay!

    If you'd like another article related to Echoes From an Exploding Star

  •  PopSci by way of IO9 14yo builds fusion reactor (8+ / 0-)

    Meet the youngest person on Earth to achieve nuclear fusion

    Taylor Wilson built his first bomb when he was 10 years old. Four years later, he became the thirty-second person on Earth to ever build a working nuclear fusion reactor.

    "I would say someone like [Taylor] comes along maybe once in a generation," says Kristina Johnson, who, when she met Taylor, was serving as the Under Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. "He's not just smart; he's cool and articulate. I think he may be the most amazing kid I've ever met."

    And after reading this incredible profile on Taylor, penned by Popular Science's Tom Clynes, we're inclined to agree — though calling Taylor "smart" may just be the understatement of the century.

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 09:44:38 PM PST

  •  Another great science OND ... (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you Neon Vincent for all the good reading material.  

  •  Use of ammonia again... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magnifico, Neon Vincent, hazey

    remember all the ammonia plants and infrastructure that used to be mapped out here by Stranded Wind?
    ...anyway, the ammonia use processing  the biofuel feedstocks is pretty interesting.

    I hope one source coulda/woulda be wood from construction /destruction projects, filtered out of the waste stream like is done by waste mgt companies in many areas now. Tons and tons...Extra debris nails, drywall, bits of tile should be no real problem, and probably a first step would be to run everything thru a shredder anyway, with a magnet interesting problem, the purity of the feedstocks would probably be nice, but costs of that purity probably escalate exponentially wrong for it.
     I'd guess.

    we still haven't got our 20 year contract biomass to energy program running at our local landfill.
         San Jose is apparently further ahead, while the articles quote this process/facility as 'common in Europe'....well so is a cold winter, 20% renewables, and better cheaper universal healthcare...they say.

    From those who live like leeches on the people's lives, We must take back our land again, America!...Langston Hughes

    by KenBee on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 10:01:48 PM PST

  •  Oh, where do we start with today's AZ news? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Vincent, hazey

    Paul Babeu: You may have heard.

    Senator McCain, you're up next:

    U.S. Sen. John McCain is one Arizona Republican who is not excited about Wednesday's GOP presidential debate in Mesa... "They've turned from a candidate's ability to describe their position on the issues to mud-wrestling," McCain said. "Unfortunately, it has driven up the unfavorables of the candidates. So I think we've had enough debates, and every day that it goes on, the more advantage it gives to President Obama." AZ Republic
    Gee, too bad. Up next we have an AZ GOP candidate who wants to kick Santorum in the unnamables.
    Martha McSally, a Republican candidate running for former Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' vacant House seat, on Friday caused a minor national sensation by saying she wanted to kick GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum in a sensitive body part. In a Fox News Channel interview, McSally, a retired U.S. Air Force combat pilot, took umbrage with some comments Santorum made against women in combat roles. "When I heard this, I really just wanted to go kick him in the jimmy," she said. AZ Republic
    I say go for it. And the hits keep on comin'. Senator Steve Smith, he of the "donate to build a border fence" fame, just introduced a bill that would make the recall of other legislators, like his scumbucket pal Russell Pearce, nearly impossible. Scared a little Stevie?
    It's a Republican attempt to prevent a repeat of Pearce's November recall from Legislative District 18, where a special election was held, one wherein all voters regardless of party affiliation cast ballots. New Times
    Problem is, it's unconstitutional. Busy busy day.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 11:21:21 PM PST

  •  Regarding science education and STEM... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Vincent, hazey

    I was 10 at the start of the International Geophysical Year IGY in 1958. It impressed me. I was amazed by Sputnik. Manned space flights took my imagination with them. Kennedy inspired me to think big. People on the moon solidified my desire to be a good physics teacher.

    I wasn't alone in that journey. There were tens of thousands of us who watched and saw what excitement could be found in science and math. We had the inspiration and the tools needed to pass along what we could as teachers to the next generation.

    Now, we are leaving the field. The wave of our numbers entering the teaching of STEM 40 yrs ago is matched today by the exit of our numbers upon retirement.

    Well...I'd rather live in Utopia

    by jim in IA on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 05:13:45 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site