science

Happy Birthday to the amazing Marie Curie

Many of you may have noticed that today’s Google Doodle honors famed physicist and chemist Marie Curie, in celebration of her birthday. But this year also marks the centennial of her second Nobel Prize. (It bears mentioning that Curie was not only the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, she is also the only woman to win in two fields, and the only person ever to win in multiple sciences.)

via An insightful look at the life and work of Marie Curie.

Love a world where Dance Your PhD exists

Wonderful, marvellous – should i consider this for my upcoming PhD DESPITE Kermit the wonder wheelchair, or BECAUSE of Kermit?;)

For the last four years, scientists from around the world have been participating in Science’s Dance Your PhD contest. The rules of the competition are simple: convey your graduate work in the form of interpretive dance. Creativity will win you points, as will scientific merit; but only by combining the two do you stand to win a spot in the annals of Dance Your PhD history.

via Check out the winners of this year’s Dance Your PhD Competition!.

How sugar molecules secretly shaped human evolution

Sugar. How it has changed us. There is a speech i cherish from the seventh Doctor Who, storyline Remembrance of the Daleks, (the anniversary episode) which goes :
JOHN: Hmm? Your tea. Sugar?
DOCTOR: Ah. A decision. Would it make any difference?
JOHN: It would make your tea sweet.
DOCTOR: Yes, but beyond the confines of my tastebuds, would it make any difference?
JOHN: Not really.
DOCTOR: But
JOHN: Yeah?
DOCTOR: What if I could control people’s tastebuds? What if I decided that no one would take sugar? That’d make a difference to those who sell the sugar and those that cut the cane.
JOHN: My father, he was a cane cutter.
DOCTOR: Exactly. Now, if no one had used sugar, your father wouldn’t have been a cane cutter.
JOHN: If this sugar thing had never started, my great-grandfather wouldn’t have been kidnapped, chained up, and sold in Kingston in the first place. I’d be a African.
DOCTOR: See? Every great decision creates ripples, like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge, rebound off the banks in unforeseeable ways. The heavier the decision, the larger the waves, the more uncertain the consequences.
JOHN: Life’s like that. Best thing is just to get on with it.

See? Life’s like that, and as it turns out, more than we think.

Three million years ago, a gene mutation switched off a sugar-making enzyme in early hominids. Our ancestors actually became unable to breed with those who still had the enzyme, possibly causing the emergence of our evolutionary grandparent, Homo erectus.

via How sugar molecules secretly shaped human evolution.