American Golem [The Primate Diaries]

In the recent incarnation of Battlestar Galactica, the cylons were a human creation who turned on their creator. Such a motif is a classic literary form and can be found in Shelley's Frankenstein, Goethe's The Sorcerer's Apprentice and in the 16th century Jewish folktale of the golem. In the latter, the golem is animated by a Rabbi when the word emeth (truth) is carved into the clay figure's forehead. The golem was initially a protector of the Jewish population, but, as a testament to human hubris, the golem broke free and began to wreak havoc. In an attempt to contain the golem the Rabbi erased the word that gave power to the creature, leaving only meth (death). The golem instantly crumbled into pieces but, because it had grown so large, the Rabbi was crushed under the debris of his own creation.

As the Scrolls of Pythia state, "All this has happened before. All this will happen again." This has never been more true than in the case of Afghanistan.

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select American Golem [The Primate Diaries]

Liked "Malaria - Encyclopedia of Earth" http://ff.im/cqGkk

EvoMRI: Liked "Malaria - Encyclopedia of Earth" http://ff.im/cqGkk

See original: Twitter Liked "Malaria - Encyclopedia of Earth" http://ff.im/cqGkk

Liked "The Tao of Tweeting" http://ff.im/cpFLX

EvoMRI: Liked "The Tao of Tweeting" http://ff.im/cpFLX

See original: Twitter Liked "The Tao of Tweeting" http://ff.im/cpFLX

About That Slate Antibiotic Resistance Article... [Mike the Mad Biologist]

Yesterday, four people emailed me, asking about Brian Palmer's Slate article about antibiotic resistance. Since I'll probably get more such emails (and thank you for sending them), I'll offer my thoughts below:

1) Palmer's basic point about antibiotic development not being the answer is right. All a new drug does is kick the can down the road, since resistance will evolve to the new drug. Having said that, we currently do need new drugs, so we shouldn't stop developing them.

2) Palmer is not correct about plasmid curing as being a solution to antibiotic resistance. If we come up with a compound that causes bacteria to lose plasmids (plasmid 'curing')--mini-chromosomes that often contain antibiotic resistance genes--bacteria will evolve resistance to that compound. In addition, plasmids are important for the survival of ordinary commensal bacteria (and, in developed countries, most infections are due to opportunistic commensals, not obligate pathogens).

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select About That Slate Antibiotic Resistance Article... [Mike the Mad Biologist]

Thank You, Jenny McCarthy! [The Primate Diaries]


From the brilliant minds at ThankYouJennyMcCarthy.com. WTF, indeed. I got my vaccine, have you?

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select Thank You, Jenny McCarthy! [The Primate Diaries]

Feature article: Concepts in Magnetic Resonance


R.M. Gregory, A.D. Bain, "The effects of finite rectangular pulses in NMR: Phase and intensity distortions for a spin-1/2," Concepts in Magnetic Resonance Part A 34A (2009) 305-314. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cmr.a.20147

Abstract

Pulses in NMR spectrometers have a finite length, but the usual hard-pulse assumption ignores it, and treats the pulse as a rotation of the frame of reference about the direction of the radiofrequency (RF) magnetic field. However, at frequency offsets comparable to the size of the RF field, there are substantial distortions, mainly in the phase of the signal. This effect is well known and can be easily calculated to show that, despite the complex geometry, the phase distortion is almost linear with the offset. This means that it can be corrected by a first-order phase correction or by small corrections to pulse-sequence timing. In this article, we give an analysis of these effects. The deviations from a linear phase correction are analyzed for a general rectangular pulse and illustrated with experimental spectra. The split-operator approximation for the evolution of this system provides a mathematical foundation and a useful method for this analysis. Furthermore, the relationship between the exact behavior of a signal is compared to the Fourier transform of a rectangular pulse. For typical offsets, the match between these approaches is not good, but it improves as the offset increases. Overall, the detailed analysis of the finite pulse effects gives exact results of the response of a spin system, but also some mathematical and physical insights.

See original: Canadian NMR News Feature article: Concepts in Magnetic Resonance

Added mention of polymath project. re: http://ff.im/beKZB

EvoMRI: Added mention of polymath project. re: http://ff.im/beKZB

See original: Twitter Added mention of polymath project. re: http://ff.im/beKZB

Cameron, do you have a reference for the second grant? I am only aware of... re: http://ff.im/beKZB

EvoMRI: Cameron, do you have a reference for the second grant? I am only aware of... re: http://ff.im/beKZB

See original: Twitter Cameron, do you have a reference for the second grant? I am only aware of... re: http://ff.im/beKZB

Perentie tries to swallow echidna. Echidna too spiky, Perentie gets horribly injured. Dies. [Tetrapod Zoology]

In case it isn't obvious, I've decided to do a little series on 'over-eager swallowing'. And here's the latest instalment. Here's an unfortunate Perentie Varanus giganteus that died after trying to swallow a Short-beaked echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus...

Kirschner-et-al-perentie-vs-echidna-Dec-2009.jpg

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See original: ScienceBlogs Select Perentie tries to swallow echidna. Echidna too spiky, Perentie gets horribly injured. Dies. [Tetrapod Zoology]

Sixth Annual ARL Leadership Symposium