Six science selections

  • Astrologer Richard Nolle says the March 19 Supermoon will cause major earthquakes or other disasters. Scientists are not expecting any major disasters from the supermoon. | Space.com – On March 19, the moon will swing around Earth more closely than it has in the past 18 years, lighting up the night sky from just 221,567 miles (356,577 kilometers) away. On top of that, it will be full. And one *astrologer* believes it could inflict massive damage on the planet. But, who gives a sh*t what an astrologer thinks. Astronomers point out that this is only 7% closer than the average distance and will have very little impact other than the moon looking ever so slightly bigger in the night sky.
  • Science Spot – Physical Science News – I archived my Spotlight column (2002-2010) on ScienceSpot.co.uk – acid astronomy atoms carbon catalyst chemistry climate change earth sciences electricity electrons energy engineering environment fuels galaxy geography and environment geology global warming materials meteor molecules nuclear oil organic oxygen particles physical physics planets rocks solar space spin stars sun telescope time universe waste water x-ray…
  • Did scientists discover bacteria in meteorites? : Pharyngula – The people at that "journal" have emailed me on several occasions (once or twice asking me to write for them, once or twice asking me to write about them and sending me some huge, overpriced book of silliness that is now a great doorstop and another time telling me I was rude [because I was skeptical of their claims]). I have never had the heart to tell them what I actually  think of them, having assessed the evidence of their activities. Thankfully, PZ Myers does it so eloquently.
  • Baby dies after infection at maternity unit – A baby has died and another child is in an isolation unit at Glasgow's Princess Royal Maternity (PRM) hospital after contracting a bloodstream infection – Serratia marcescens.
  • Serratia marcescens – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – Serratia marcescens led to a recent newborn death in the UK. But, what is it? Due to its ubiquitous presence in the environment, and its preference for damp conditions, S. marcescens is commonly found growing in bathrooms (especially on tile grout, shower corners, toilet water line, and basin), where it manifests as a pink discoloration and slimy film feeding off phosphorus-containing materials or fatty substances such as soap and shampoo residue. It is a species of Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium in the family Enterobacteriaceae. A human pathogen, S. marcescens is involved in nosocomial infections, particularly catheter-associated bacteremia, urinary tract infections and wound infections.
  • Topic of the day – topical painkillers – Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have a bad side effect profile (stomach and heart problems). Now turns out they cause more harm than we thought. Evidence has emerged to demonstrate that topical NSAIDs are effective for many conditions that might otherwise require oral therapies so could be the way forward and avoid those side-effects. However, there is little evidence to suggest that topical NSAIDs are effective for some types of pain, like back pain, headache, or neuropathic pain.

My latest selection of six science stories, picked up by David Bradley Science Writer @sciencebase.

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