Science

journalism

2012

 

For more frequent updates, check the science journalism entries in my blog.

| books | research papers | science news | book reviews |

 

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Dec. 2012

(8/59)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 12, 46-47
    Nuclear power: The green god of energy (review of: Superfuel - thorium, the green energy source for the future, by Richard Martin)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 23 (04.12.), R981-R984
    The evolution of writing
    Decoding the world’s oldest as yet undeciphered writing system could help to improve our understanding of the origins of writing and how this crucial cultural progress spread, branched out, and in some cultures died out.
    [history of science]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22 No 24 (18.12.), R1023-R1025
    Surprises from the sea floor
    A series of new discoveries from the ocean floor highlights how incomplete our knowledge of this habitat still is.
    [marine biology]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

Nov. 2012

(4/51)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 11, 46-47
    Planetary luck? (review of: The Goldilocks planet: the 4 billion years story of the Earth's climate, by Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 21 (06.11.), R893-R895
    Felids fighting for survival
    Cat-like carnivores conquered the globe and became top predators on five continents. Today, however, most of the 37 surviving species are threatened, including the iconic species of large, roaring cats.
    [evolution]
    [blog entry and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 22 (20.11.), R933-R935
    How does an animal work?
    A newly established interdisciplinary research institute in Lyon, France, aims to bridge the cultural divides between evolution, development, and physiology, in order to study how animal functions come into being, starting from the genomes, and not limited to traditional model systems.
    [genome]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

Oct. 2012

(5/47)

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 19 (09.10.), R819-R821
    Alien invaders
    Thousands of species have invaded new territories in recent decades, often aided by global trade and man-made habitat change. While many remain harmless, some may cause serious damage. Therefore, we need improvements in surveillance and in our understanding of which factors make a successful invasion possible.
    [ecology]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22 No 20 (23.10.), R853-R856
    Atlantic circulation keeps turning
    Two major research projects that are running out in November have investigated the Atlantic circulation system that includes the Gulf Stream and come to the conclusion that there is no immediate risk of it shutting down, allaying fears that were raised seven years ago. Yet a better understanding of the interaction between ocean circulation and climate change is still needed, so two new research projects are going to continue this work and extend it to the implications for fisheries and urban environments.
    [climate change]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

Sep. 2012

(3/42)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 9, 49
    Nuclear science: Part of the bigger picture (review of: Nucleus: a trip to the heart of matter, by Ray Mackintosh et al.)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 17 (11.09.), R702-R705
    Rapid population rise bad for our health
    Research suggests that the rapid population growth of our species in the last 10,000 years has produced a kind of genetic variability for which traditional models of population genetics are inadequate. But do the new findings solve the missing heritability problem emerging from genome-wide association studies? And does the phenomenon put our species at risk?
    [evolution]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 18 (25.09.), R779-R781
    When reproductive biology becomes political
    Faced with deeply entrenched political divisions like the abortion debate, many people blindly follow their beliefs and loyalties and bend scientific facts to fit the political agenda. Todd Akin’s imagined sperm rejection by rape victims is just the latest example of make-believe surrounding the interface of sex and politics.
    [psychology]
    [summary and FREE access to PDF]

    ...

Aug. 2012

(5/39)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry World No 8, 33(online: 25.06.) Running rings around molecular wires
    [FREE access]
    [organic chemistry]

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 8, 51
    Nanotechnology: DNA origami (review of: Materials science of DNA, by Jung-Il Jin and James Grote, eds.)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 15 (07.08.), R581-R584
    The mysteries of the diatoms
    Understanding the physiology of these unique and spectacularly successful algal species could lead to substantial benefits in a wide range of areas from nanotechnology to climate change.
    [ecology]
    HTML file and access to PDF (restricted until 1 year after publication)

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22 No 16 (21.08.), R615-R618
    How ants find their way
    Insects use a wide range of tools for orientation, including visual memory, smell, and counting steps. The tricky question is how they combine and compute different kinds of inputs, and whether their methods can help us understand more complex brains or create artificial ones. Michael Gross investigates.
    [entomology]
    [HTML text and free access to PDF]

Jul. 2012

(6/34)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 7, 32-35
    Life on Mars?

    [astrobiology]

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 7, 50
    Green chemistry: The biorefinery concept (review of: Advanced oil crop biorefineries, by Abbas Kazmi, ed.)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 13 (10.07.), R503-R505
    Turkey's biodiversity at the crossroads
    Turkey has a remarkable diversity of wildlife, due to its wide variety of habitats and unique position between three continents and three seas. Ill-considered development projects are threatening biodiversity, but a new wildlife corridor offers hope for further conservation progress.
    [environment]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 14 (24.07.), R547-550
    Life changes as polar regions thaw
    Spiders and shrubs grow bigger, while ice shields are shrinking. Climate change is already affecting biotopes in both polar regions, while scientists are trying to establish what is happening and why.
    [medicine]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

Jun. 2012

(8/28)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 6, 48-49
    Self-assembly: Molecular Lego (review of: Self-assembly and nanotechnology systems: Design, characterization and applications by Yoon S. Lee)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 11 (05.06.), R425-R428
    Will Rio+20 find a way to more sustainable development?
    Twenty years after the original Rio Earth summit, representatives of nations from around the globe are again congregating at Rio to assess what has been achieved and what needs to be done to guide the world on a course towards more sustainable development. Delegates are facing a bulky agenda, along with calls from organisations for additional issues that should be considered.
    [environment]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 12 (19.06.), R467-470
    Is it wise to join the crowd?
    Recent research has provided new insights into how crowds of people and herds of animals share information and make decisions. Does this knowledge help to keep people safe, and does it extend to online swarming behaviour?
    [medicine]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

May 2012

(2/20)

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 9 (08.05.), R287-R289
    Protected areas - protected species?
    Creating protected areas such as national parks and wildlife reserves sounds like an obviously good way of protecting habitats and thus species. However, conservationists have learned over time that context is important and that seemingly trivial details can save more wildlife than grand plans.
    [conservation]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 10 (22.05.), R381-R384
    Understanding amyloid and Alzheimer's disease
    After a century of explosive growth in the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease, there is now growing hope that the dementia can be better understood, recognised earlier, and ultimately cured even prevented.
    [medicine]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

    ...

Apr. 2012

(5/18)

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 7 (10.04.), R207-R211
    The search for life on Earth and other planets
    As the NASA rover Curiosity approaches Mars on its quest to look for signs of past or present life there and sophisticated instruments like the space telescopes Kepler and CoRoT keep discovering additional, more Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars, science faces the question of how to spot life on other planets. Even here on Earth biotopes remain to be discovered and explored.
    [astrobiology]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22 No 8 (24.04.), R251-253
    A roadmap for regenerative medicine
    UK research councils have drawn up a strategic plan for the development of regenerative medicine, covering all aspects from basic research through to commercialisation.
    [medicine]
    [full text and FREE access to PDF]

Mar. 2012

(3/13)

    ...

Feb. 2012

(5/10)

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 3 (07.02.), R73-76
    Barcoding biodiversity
    Analysis of short, species-specific sequences known as DNA barcodes has become a widespread practice in biodiversity and ecological research, and also finds practical applications from trade control to biomedicine. One of the challenges is to ensure that the molecular information is reliably linked to physical specimens in collections.
    [ecology]
    [FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22 No 4 (21.02.), R103-R106
    Looking for alternative energy sources
    With unrest in oil-exporting countries, backlashes against biofuels and photovoltaics, and a nuclear incident in Japan, the year 2011 has rattled confidence in future energy supplies. The search for alternatives is all the more urgent, but some of the solutions investigated hark back to fossil fuels that we can’t afford to burn.
    [energy]
    [FREE access to PDF]

Jan. 2012

(5/5)

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 1, 38-41
    The future is ... nano!
    Nanotechnology has already become a reality in some areas and promises great things in others. However, the road to the nano future still includes a number of obstacles.
    [nanoworld]

  • Gross M:
    Chemistry & Industry No 1, 47
    The road to scientific success? (review of: Free radicals - the secret anarchy of science, by Michael Brooks)
    [book review]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 1 (10.01.), R1-4
    We need to talk about nitrogen
    The global nitrogen cycle spins faster and faster, as mankind releases more reactive nitrogen into the environment than natural processes do. Can nature keep up, or is this another global disaster following in the footsteps of the carbon dioxide problem?
    [environment]
    [FREE access to PDF]

  • Gross M:
    Current Biology 22, No 2 (24.01.), R35-38
    Folding research recruits unconventional help
    A denatured protein chain can find its well-ordered three-dimensional structure, the native state, in under a second, using only the information contained in the sequence. For researchers, however, the prediction of structures from sequences is a hard problem, and they are now recruiting all the help they can get, including idle computers and game consoles, game players, and little hints from evolution.
    [environment]
    [FREE access to PDF]

 

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07.03.2013