Also in today's links: the plight of the humpback chub, the privilege of the cloned pup, and more.
- Scientists have found that newborns can detect when a drum sequence is missing its downbeat -- and that scalp electrodes show they have a response that in adults is linked to "a violation of one's expectations."
- If you've ever read The Omnivore's Dilemma, you're probably already well aware and terrified of high-fructose corn syrup. Here's more bad news for soda fiends: some foods containing the sweetener may contain trace amounts of mercury.
- In an interesting look at how the Interior Department functions, documents show that officials ignored scientific findings on the impact of regulating water flow through the Grand Canyon as part of a plan to deliver energy more efficiently to the region.
- Scientists are predicting another wrinkle to the problems caused by global warming. A study suggests that drier weather will cause people to store water, which would be ideal habitat for mosquitoes that spread dengue fever and other diseases.
- Remember the cloned dogs? Here's the puppy a couple got for $155,000. Yes, it's a really, really cute little Lab, and I like that the owner clarified that he's donated more to the SPCA than they spent on the pup, but still ...
The dog family just spent $150,000 on cloning research and Pop Sci wants to mock them? That is a pretty hefty private donation. So what if they were only donating to see if cloning could be done on demand from a frozen cell sample taken near birth? So what if much of the exspence was spent repeating science that has already been done (but by no means perfected)? That is far less stringent that the demands put on many government research and science grants.
If you want to hate them, don't hate them for helping science through commercial investment; hate them for having so much money they can throw so much of it away!