Happy Birthday, Web!

How the World Wide Web has changed science

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

IronChris

It's been 20 years this month since Timothy Berners-Lee proposed the Web as a means of organizing information generated at CERN. And if science enabled its creation, the Web has likewise changed science, providing new ways to observe and analyze information.

Also in today's links: self-doping caterpillars, old buzzwords and new buzzwords, and more.

  • Humans aren't the only ones to self-medicate. A new study finds that woolly bear caterpillars chew on leaves that contain alkaloids, which cure them of parasitic flies that feed on their innards. And the caterpillars infected with the parasites eat more of the leaves than their parasite-free brethren.
  • An organization is developing a method of "no-till" organic farming, which they say has the potential to sequester half of current CO2 emissions each year.
  • Of all the environmental buzzwords one hears constantly nowadays -- hybrids, green, clean (or not-so-clean) coal -- "acid rain" has largely fallen off the radar. Does that mean the problem's gone, or just the public awareness of it?
  • Speaking of buzzwords, I'm predicting the next big one will be "social jet lag": having your circadian rhythm be out of synch with your daily schedule. Researchers have found that this kind of discrepancy can have a more significant impact than just drowsiness. Researchers are trying to understand a link to a range of illnesses.