Ronald Mark Wooten

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The science and magic of jam-making

The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today. <i>Lewis Carroll</i><p>Jam-making conjures up images of domestic idylls, an escape to the mountains to live on your wits, and jam. The seemingly simple mixture of fruit and sugar held together by a web of pectin strands can be both beautiful …

How the Shutdown Is Devastating Biomedical Scientists and Killing Their Research

The federal shutdown's effects on science and medicine are many. There’s halted food safety inspections, kids with cancer who won’t be able to join …

Elephant Killed for TV Show

Changing Planet<p>I’ve been on a rant for a few days against an NRA show that thinks killing an elephant for fun is good TV. The host of the show, an NRA lobbyist, is on a big game hunt for elephants in Botswana, Africa. The guide leads the host, Tony Makris, to a spot near where a bull elephant is …

Researchers Find A Gene For Obesity

Just what we always wanted: a empirical reason why we binge-eat that isn't our fault.<p>Researchers at the University of Copenhagen set out on what seemed like a simple task: to find out if overeating is linked to any genetic difference. Four years and 1,200 pigs later (yeah, we'll get to that), they …

The world's fastest running robot is off the leash

A relative of Boston Dynamics' Cheetah robot, which last year managed to outpace the world's fastest man Usain Bolt on a treadmill, is now able to run outdoors untethered. Named the WildCat, the outdoor runner is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and is being …

Science behind making the best possible cup of coffee

Our pick of the week’s articles, including caffeine experiments, how Apple disrupted the smartphone market and the untold benefits of universal surveillance.<p>There are no significant facts about human beings<br>Charles Foster | Practical Ethics | 2 October 2013<br>Chance conversation with a biographer …

How Having Three Parents Leads To Disease-Free Kids

A newly approved procedure lets scientists gather DNA from three people, then use it for in vitro fertilization.<p>This summer, government health officials in the United Kingdom made headlines by announcing that they will let scientists create babies with DNA from three different people. The procedure …

The Most Complete Guide To Beer Ever [Infographic]

It's... it's beautiful.<p>The artists at Pop Chart Lab, who've created gorgeous visualizations of everything from classic Nintendo games to bicycles, are tackling beer. A lot of beer.<p>Pop Chart has already released two beer posters, but since you can never, ever have a problem because of too much beer, …

Lake of doom: deadly waterway calcifies any animal that dares to dive in

Sometimes, truth is indeed more terrifying than fiction. In what could easily make for prime horror film fodder, a renowned photographer has captured stunning images of wildlife calcified by the caustic waters of a deadly Tanzanian lake.<p>Nick Brandt, well-known for his photography of East Africa's …

How Studying Mummies Could Cure Modern Diseases

By comparing diseases from then and now, researchers can learn how they spread. Maybe they can learn how to stop them, too.<p>Earlier this year, scientists published a study of whole-body CT scans of 137 mummies: ancient Egyptians and Peruvians, ancestral Puebloans of southwest America, and Unangan …

The 6 Best Science Lessons From Breaking Bad

Goodbye, BB. Thanks for the education. (Don't worry—there are no final-season spoilers here!)<p>The tale of Walter White, high-school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin, ended on Sunday, leaving us with only memories, an almost preposterously high body count, and <i>science</i>. _Breaking Bad _wasn't …

How technology is creating a revolution on TV

Tablets and catch-up have changed our viewing habits to such an extent it’s creating a sea-change in the quality of programmes that we now watch.<p>The days of waiting impatiently for an episode of our favourite TV shows is over. We expect to be able to enjoy them at our leisure – either bingeing on …

October 2013's Hottest Gadgets