May 20, 2013
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Tiny creatures with hip names
Gnathia marleyi, a tiny crustacean named this summer after reggae legend Bob Marley
More new species to name means scientists are reaching out to pop culture
If you discovered a new species, what would you call it? Naming your first few animals would be easy, right? But Quentin Wheeler found that it gets a lot harder when you need to name 65 slime-mold beetles in a row.
"We ran out of all the obvious names in a hurry, so we got a good deal more creative," says Mr. Wheeler, a professor at Arizona State University. "I named one species after Darth Vader."
With nearly 2 million species discovered on Earth each with a unique Latin moniker scientists have had plenty of chances to sneak pop culture into scholarly annals.
Take Gnathia marleyi, a tiny crustacean named this summer after reggae legend Bob Marley. The ground beetle Agra schwarzeneggeri boasts bulging front legs, which reminded scientists of a certain action film star. There's even Spongiforma squarepantsii, a recently discovered mushroom named after the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.
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The list of famous eponyms includes Michael Jackson, Kate Winslet, Stephen Colbert, Bill Gates, Beyonce, all four members of the Ramones, and many more. The rules for naming a species are pretty lax. Once scientists have confirmed a new specimen, they may publish a paper identifying the critter however they like. Only one person can stonewall a name, says Wheeler. If the editor of a scientific journal disagrees with a title, he or she may refuse to print the paper.
"In fact, the SpongeBob fungus was initially rejected by the editor of that journal because he thought it was too frivolous," says Wheeler. "The authors persevered and ... finally got him to agree to publish it."
Celebrity species began with Carl Linnaeus, who invented modern taxonomy in the 1750s. According to legend, the Swedish botanist named dayflowers Commelinaceae after the Commelyn family. He chose the name because of its two upward-facing petals and one small, pale petal below a fitting match since, at the time, two of the Commelyn brothers found great success in science, while the third amounted to little.
"Celebrity names are a wonderful way to have a little fun and draw attention to the biodiversity crisis," Wheeler says. "Our best estimate is that there are 10 million species awaiting discovery and naming. There's a good chance that millions of species will go extinct this century before they were ever discovered."
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