Saturday, December 27, 2008
I saw the movie Religulous today and I was actually pretty impressed. The information content on first glance in this movie was accurate and supportable by evidence. Maher's interview style was a little sloppy and several obscure people were interviewed but the overall message of the film was not negatively affected by these things. I did notice the use of the so called "Lord privy seals" which try to evoke emotions in the viewer, but whatever I don't like them but they weren't overly used in my opinion. Maher's agnosticism and unchallenging nature may help to further expose the public to the ideas of questioning their religions, but considering that it doesn't give answers to questions such as science would, I am sure if this movie were to change peoples beliefs they would probably quickly fall into the pseudoscience realm as plagues much of Europe, or perhaps I am being to pessimistic.
This movie actually had the same feel to it as Prof. Dawkins documentary "Root of all Evil" with a trip to the gaza strip and the interview with an evangelical (although he was a black televangilist type).
Overall I give the movie two thumbs up and would reccomend it to most of the people that I know.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
here's the list
- D. Lisch
About horizontal gene transfer in the Rotifers and how this may explain their Asexual behavior.
- From the Cover: Repeated horizontal transfer of a DNA transposon in mammals and other tetrapods.
- J. K. Pace II, C. Gilbert, M. S. Clark, and C. Feschotte (2008)
PNAS 105, 17023-17028
Nature 456, 841 (18 December 2008) | doi:10.1038/456841a; Published online 17 December 2008
Genetics: Many but rare
Article about schizophrenia; genetic causes and mutations that lead to schizophrenia in childhood onset and young adult onset schizophrenia. Really interesting read.
Nature 456, 840 (18 December 2008) | doi:10.1038/456840d; Published online 17 December 2008
Zoology: Queen Bee
About epigenetic factors that contribute to the genetically identical bees differentiating into queen bees or workers from feeding on "royal jelly", by way of using RNAi to interfere with specific proteins during development.
Nature 456, 840 (18 December 2008) | doi:10.1038/456840c; Published online 17 December 2008
Neuroscience: Glia on fireAbout specific types of Glial cells that fire neurotrans. signals, Glial cells were long thought to not have a direct role in neuro signals, so this is something new and exciting.
Nature 456, 840 (18 December 2008) | doi:10.1038/456840b; Published online 17 December 2008
Biophysics: Mob rule
And I am not even done reading past the highlights. Check the papers out and I would like to encourage everyone to listen to the Nature podcast and read Nature every Wednesday for free if you attend University or are a faculty member.