Monday, May 23, 2005

Science Links

Other material is piling up around here like a snowdrift because of the E3 columns, so I'm going to post a few other things today to beat back the surge.

There is a fantastic article on MSNBC about a particle accelerator being used to reveal previously hidden sections of a 174-page manuscript written by Archimedes.

I start smiling just thinking about that.

Here's the link:

Here's an excerpt from the second story, which is about a possible link between our evolutionary divergence from chimps and an increased susceptibility to cancer.

WASHINGTON - The evolutionary path that separated humans from chimps 5 million years ago may have made human sperm survive better but paradoxically may have made humans prone to cancer.

A comparison of chimpanzee genes to human genes shows a concentration of genes unique to people in areas associated with sperm production and cancer, and suggests the changes that make humans unique also make us uniquely prone to cancer.

Apparently, this is the price we pay for getting to use computers instead of just sitting in the trees flinging our crap at each other.

Here's the link:

I mentioned a book titled The Devil's Teeth a few weeks ago and linked to an article over at Sports Illustrated Online. It's one of the best magazine articles I've ever read, and when I saw that the book had been released early and was staring me in the face on Friday at a local bookstore, I bought it immediately.

And now I know what kind of difference an excellent editor can make. It's not that the book isn't interesting, but it just doesn't have the same kind of intensity or the discipline of the magazine excerpt. So whoever edited that magazine article was an absolute genius, because they gave the piece a precision that the book itself doesn't have. It's still a good read, and I recommend it, but it's not as good as I expected.

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