a little literature roundup

September 4, 2007 at 2:34 pm | | literature, news, science and the public

Because I’ve found several cool tidbits in the world of scientific literature, I’d summarize them here in a little roundup:

Baby Einstein makes you dumb:

I read this piece in Nature News: Disney is all flustered about a study (here’s the Journal of Pediatrics paper) coming out of University of Washington that casts doubt on the educational effectiveness of making infants watch some expensive garbage. The study found that babies who watched Baby Einstein videos were less verbally endowed than those who didn’t. This is probably correlation—not necessarily causation—but hilarious nonetheless.

How to unboil an egg:

Daniel Liu at Harvard has devised a way of unboiling eggs. Well, not exactly. But his lab did just come out with a JACS paper about modifying the surfaces of proteins so that they are far less likely to aggregate.


The modified GFP proteins in the figure above do aggregate and turn off when boiled. But when subsequently cooled, they return to their native state. The unmodified protein (left epi tubes) remain boiled.

Molecular thermometers:

In another JACS paper, some Canadian researchers (eh?) used the blinking rates of GFP molecules to measure temperature in a tiny reaction chamber. It’s been known for a while that the blinking rates of individual GFP fluorophores are temperature and pH dependent, so I’m not exactly sure what makes this a breakthrough. Nevertheless, I like the calibration and the attempt to make something practical out of a some complicated scientific data.

No Comments yet »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

thanks for the comment

Powered by WordPress, Theme Based on "Pool" by Borja Fernandez
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS.