Feb

11

BunsenBwog: Valentine’s and Valence Electrons

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A valentine from science

It’s that season when you can almost smell the love in the recycled-air hood—or maybe that’s acetone. In any case, BunsenBwog has you covered with a selection of new science happenings flimsily connected by the theme of Valentine’s day, lovingly collected by Zach Kagan.

  • Sometimes forbidden love is the most passionate, and no one knows that more than the humpback whales of the Indian Ocean. It turns out that the Indian Ocean is home to two very distinct “whale cultures,” one in the south and one in the north, complete with their own different whale songs. Scientists don’t know why these communities are so separate, but the whole set up is just begging for another re-imagining of “Westside Story.” Come on, Pixar, this is gold!
  • As Valentine’s Day approaches, communication is at the forefront of discussion. It is, after all, the most important part of a relationship. Unfortunately, it’s also the key to the relationship between certain diseased neural cells for inspiration, according to Columbia researchers. They’ve found that Alzheimer’s laden neurons share information by passing the debilitating disease down the line to connected cells like an intracranial daisy-chain.
  • For some of us Valentine’s Day is forever ruined since we realized we were born in early November and did the math. However, if Feb. 14th is your baby-makin’ day then you’re in luck! A new Columbia study has found that a new technique called chromosomal microarray (CMA) more reliably finds genetic abnormalities in fetus DNA that the current method of visually comparing chromosomes (karyotyping). Once CMA becomes more widely practiced it could be an instrumental new tool in prenatal health.
  • If you’ve been drinking lots of diet soda to fit in your fancy Valentine’s duds then you might want to skip this one. A study from the Columbia Medical School found that regular diet soda drinkers have a higher risk for vascular problems like strokes and heart attacks. So ease off the Diet Coke: hearts should be aflutter this season, not experiencing infarction.
Alluring Aorta Via Wikimedia Commons

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Guzzling diet soda before Valentine day to fit into cute outfit, drinking red wine with dark chocolate on a date, it all evens out at the end.

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