The Missing Link Roundup: Animals Get Scienced

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kira-and-meThis is a picture of my dog, Kira, and myself (my foot at least!); we were hiking around Deception Pass and stopped to take in the scenery. Kira is one of the best parts of my life, a shadow companion glued to my side at all times. Dogs have been a constant in my life and I’ve wondered for a long time, can they understand us? While some dogs are smarter than others, we can teach even the most scatter brained dog commands that they understand and follow. This video jumps into the science behind dog-human communication and is a must-watch for any dog lover. — It’s Okay to be Smart (YouTube)

Evolutionary science is one of the most fascinating things we study as humans, because it tells the story of how we came to be over millions of years. Researchers in China think they’ve found a missing gap in the evolutionary tree with a recent discovery of a land and water based reptile. — Mother Nature Network

Scientists at Wake Forest have found evidence that bats will jam the sonar of other bats when they are competing with each other for resources. They think that this might be happening with other animals as well, so this discovery could be just the tip of the iceberg! — LiveScience

Cats are jerks, so have you ever wondered about how they became “domesticated”? A new study from geneticists at the Washington University of Medicine in St Louis looks at the genes of ancient cats for answers. — NBC News

The Missing Link Roundup

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NASA Kepler PosterNASA released a few retro travel-agency inspired posters for planets in different solar systems that may be inhabitable. I love all of these, very cool! — The Register

With CERN starting another round of LHC tests this year, there is doubt being cast on the previous discovery of the “God Particle” and what it actually does. — IB Times

Nora Noffke, a geobiologist at Old Dominion University in Virginia published a paper in the journal Astrobiology which compares the morphological similarities of rocks on Mars and rocks on Earth. Life on Mars? If anyone is qualified to make these observations, it’s her, and it’s awesome. — Astrobiology

The Missing Link Roundup

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einstein-hero

 

Princeton University Press has recently published more than 5000 original Einstein documents, in both their original language and English. This collection includes all of his scientific papers as well as many personal correspondences. – Princeton University

Out of Brookhaven, a fascinating article on particle beam cancer therapy that covers recent developments and challenges in the field. Will the US get a state-of-the-art Carbon Therapy facility? Follow the money. – Brookhaven National Lab

CERN announces that it has successfully filled the LHC with liquid helium, an important milestone in the road to bringing it online in early 2015. Hit the link for the official announcement and a great summer-blockbuster style announcement video. – CERN

Finally, Professor Sabine Hossenfelder of the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics discusses a paper by Burrage, Copeland and Hinds that suggests looking for Dark Energy on the atomic level  by observing the gravitational attractions of atoms. – BackReaction

NASA Space Sounds

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While space is technically a vacuum, sound still exists in space. For some time now, NASA has used specially designed Plasma Wave antennas on its space probes to record electromagnetic vibrations within human hearing range (20-20,000 Hz). These electromagnetic waves come from interaction between the ionisphere, planetary magnetosphere, and the solar winds. Pretty cool, huh?

Recently NASA took a sample from a dozen different recordings of celestial objects (Saturn’s rings, Neptune, Earth, Uranus, Jupiter, etc) and compiled it into the above video. The result is something like a sci-fi soundtrack crossed with 1980’s whale sounds. It’s intriguing, strange, even a little eery, but mostly just very awesome. Give it a listen!

The Missing Link Roundup: Christmas Edition

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Soviet Space Holiday CardIn case you need some cool, soviet-era space themed Christmas cards you can email to your framily. — cthreepo

Big data is not only figuring out how to grow better Christmas trees, they are also doing science in the meantime! — Phys.org

To deliver presents to all fifty bajillion kids on the planet, Santa’s sleigh will need to move about 650 miles per second, which is 3,000 times the speed of sound or 0.35 per cent the speed of light. Good luck with that, Santa. — Daily Mail

Have you ever wondered wtf tinsel is made from and how it has changed over the years? This article tells you everything you need or don’t need to know about sparkly tinsel! — Chemical & Engineering News

The Missing Link Roundup

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Sun glinting off Titan's north polar seas, picture taken by Cassini spacecraft.

Sun glinting off Titan’s north polar seas, picture taken by Cassini spacecraft.

Cassini has been flying all over the solar system, and back in August it took this awesome picture of the sun glinting off Titan’s north polar seas. How awesome is science? — NASA

ESA thinks that it has found a way to detect dark matter using x-ray technology. If they are wrong, I am really curious about why they found x-ray emissions spiking in different galaxies. — Discovery News

Researchers from the University of Denmark think that CERN could be all wrong about the importance of the Higgs-boson particle. — IB Times

The Missing Link Roundup

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Saturn and Cassini as seen by the Cassini orbiter

Saturn and Cassini as seen by the Cassini orbiter

The Cassini-Huygens mission is not just taking amazing pictures, but doing important science stuff too. This picture was taken 1.1 million miles away from Saturn and it’s still so enormous it doesn’t fit in the frame. — NASA

Hey everybody, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss has something to say! — RawStory

Do you know about the Many Worlds theory? Have you heard of the newer theory called Many Interaction Worlds? There are a few college professors out there that have a new take on a controversial idea. — Griffith University

The Missing Link Roundup

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Comet Siding Spring, picture taken from the Hubble telescope

Comet Siding Spring, picture taken from the Hubble telescope

The Curiosity Rover on Mars got a few pictures of the Comet Siding Spring flyby of Mars that happened in October 2014. — Universe Today

Speaking of the Comet Siding Spring; the flyby of Mars caused a huge meteor shower and dumped a few thousand kilograms of comet dust on the red planet. Pretty cool huh? — NBC News

Space probes have been recording electromagnetic waves in Space for decades. They pulsate on the same frequency as what we hear as sound waves, so NASA took it upon themselves to translate it all to sound we can hear. It’s exactly what you would expect to hear; a combination between shrill horror movie thematic and the best sci-fi music you can imagine. This seven minute video is worth your time and then some! — The Daily Epic

The Missing Link Roundup: Thanksgiving Edition

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wild turkey

Wild turkey

Mindy’s Note: I really, really hate turkeys. I don’t condone the eating of most meat, but turkeys? DO IT. Eat two of them! In fact, if you could go out and kill your turkey yourself, I’d be even happier. When I was living in California we had a really nasty problem in my neighborhood with the wild turkey population that led to my burning hatred of turkeys. All day and all night they would sit outside of my window making noise. That is, when they weren’t roosting on top of my car. Seriously, have you ever woken up at 5AM to chase a flock of 45lb wild turkeys off your car? It’s not right!!! Anyway, enjoy your Thanksgiving feast and have an extra cold turkey sandwich for me.

Thanksgiving leftovers under the microscope: cool or gross? — Digital World Biology

A molecular discussion about Tryptophan and why you get so tired after stuffing your face on Thanksgiving — Biology Blog

Newsflash: nearly everything you eat is a GMO, including turkeys! Find out the science behind how we made turkeys so big and tasty — Biology About

The Missing Link Roundup

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Time-lapse of the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER) rocket launch, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in 2013

Time-lapse of the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER) rocket launch, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in 2013

NASA launched CIBER in 2010 and 2012, so far it has already completely changed how we view galaxies. Instead of forming an absolute boundary of stars, CIBER is teaching us that as many as half of all stars may lie outside of galaxies, and maybe galaxies are more like an interconnected sea of stars. — NASA

We don’t really know what dark matter is, but current theory says it makes up 27% of the universe. So what DO we know? That dark energy seems to be increasing through an exchange with dark matter, but we have no idea why. — ScienceDaily

On October 19, 2014 Comet Siding Spring flew really closely by Mars, and scientists have since been analyzing all the data points. The article also includes a short video of the Comet.– NBCNews