- Synthetic life is neat. It will help us understand how biology works, and also offers an alternative version of biotechnology that has a much lower chance of, for example, crossbreeding with bugs in the wild. Neat stuff if we can get it to work.
- A webcomic called cowbirds in love realized something I'd never thought about: Mad scientists aren't really scientists, are they?
- A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that weight loss and relapse rates on any of several diets were identical, regardless of what the particular diet targetted. In other words, it comes down to the First Law diet: eat fewer calories than you use, and you lose weight.
- Doctors are not scientists, and often don't really understand the process. That's why it's awesome that the stim bill includes $1 billion to investigate comparative effectiveness of different treatments for the same conditions, in a bid to increase both efficiency and effectiveness of medical treatments.
- Speaking of efficiency and effectiveness of medical treatments, Merck has launched an open-source pharmaceutical initiative. Awesome.
- Penn State and Virginia Commonwealth U researchers have found a new trick for producing hydrogen gas that sounds very, very interesting. This could potentially be a world-changer. From what I gather, it sounds a whole lot like seems-free-but-isn't-technically-I-guess energy, which makes me skeptical, but goddam does it sound interesting.
- To go along with that potential alternative energy neatness, solar panels have reached $1 a Watt.
- Amazon agreed to pull text-to-speech from the Kindle 2 on a per-book basis. I want to find a way to easily check whether a given book has pulled those rights, so I can choose to not buy from such an idiot.
- Apparently Netflix's new "watch now" player sucks, and they kinda sorta trick you into using it. Watch out for a tricksy beta opt-in.
As always, leave your comments on these or anything else below.