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The Science Nerdist: Open Your Brain Holes, Nerdlings!

Coming soon to SkyMall catalogue, The Sarcasm Detector!
Scientists at Hebrew University in Jerusalem have developed the SASI, Semi-supervised Algorithm for Sarcasm Identification, a machine algorithm that recognizes sarcasm (finally). Using the notoriously snarky reviews from products, the researchers/Chosen People (we have way more experience with sarcasm than you gentiles, sorry it’s true) generated a system of tagging sarcastic sentences to create this milestone in scientific advancements. I can’t wait to buy one and bring it to my next Thanksgiving dinner along with that Passive Aggression Barometer I got from Brookstone. Now please excuse me, I have cancer research to do.
[via Popular Science]

Artificial life breakthrough! (No, no, not that murderbot from Doctor Who)
Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute have developed the first cell to be controlled by an entirely synthetic genome. Potential benefits for such technology include synthesizing organisms that could absorb greenhouse gasses or produce bio-fuels.
Short video explaining it in further depth:
I’ll let you know ahead of time, no – the scientist behind this doesn’t have a sinister German accent…imagine my disappointment.
[via BBC News]

Real life Science Nerdist Moment

I pass this door each day on the walk to my laboratory.

I don’t think there’s a better way to keep someone out of a room than a sign that says, “Open this door and you’ll probably get AIDS”. (Free advice for you tweens looking to keep your siblings from rooting through your stuff)

Woooorms iiiin spaaaace!
A space shuttle carrying 4000 British “wormonauts” (their word, not mine) launched from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral and is headed to the Japanese Experiment Module on the International Space Station. Scientists use these microscopic worms (C. elegans) as research models for studying the long-term effects of space travel on human musculature. Yes, this story is six months old and from the children’s section of the BBC news site, but come on – you just learned the word “wormonauts”.

PS – you’re welcome for the best Halloween costume idea ever.
[via CBBC]

Nice Tats
Why do Polish people get tattoos? (Calm down, I’m not going to make any of those jokes) Apparently this question was keeping Polish scientists up at night because the researchers at the University of Wroclaw in Poland surveyed over 200 men and women, half of them riddled with tattoos/pierced genitals and the other half unsullied (pussies). The research participants were also measured for “body symmetry” (how symmetrical your right and left sides are) to determine whether their tattoos were an attempt to mask the horrific burden of having one earlobe 3/8th of a centimeter bigger than the other. Surprisingly, men with tattoos had greater body symmetry than women with tattoos, which supports the “Evolutionary Handicap” theory that only those with awesome DNA can do something as risky as getting a sweet Marmaduke tattoo, while those with weak DNA just pee their pants and run away.
[via Science Direct]

Feel free to email me with crazy/weird/terrifying/just plain awesome science news!

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  1. Amanda says:

    i love all your entries! you are soo awesome! i can’t wait to read more from you!

  2. kfizz says:

    So does it point gawaker media for your daily dose of sarcasm. Man that sight’s tone just rubs me the wrong way. Oh and the band at the start of the podcast is Anamanaguchi. Here is a link to their myspace.

  3. Honer says:

    The podcast opening electronic music is great! Who is it and how can I buy it. Yes, I said buy. It’s that good! Thanks!

  4. mcmillan_c says:

    Brilliant start. This is gonna be awesome!

  5. pattipdx says:

    Awesome! My new favourite blog! Keep the snark and science coming! Love the wormonauts, and yes I’m working on the costume.

  6. Caroline says:

    SO pumped for more Science Nerdist!!!!

  7. Joe says:

    This… was good.

    Can’t wait for more!!

  8. Ray says:

    This was awesome. I have a feeling we’re gonna like you. =-D

  9. Daniel says:

    Huzzah! A fellow snarky Jewish man of science!

  10. Maura says:

    Will it be possible to install the sarcasm detector as some kind of Twitter filter? It’s desperately needed by a LOT of tweeters.

  11. Ben says:

    Wow, AIDS and a pager number. How 80’s.

  12. Mike says:

    Oh, a sarcasm detector, that’s a real useful invention.

    Sorry, I had to say it. 8)

  13. Scott says:

    LOL! I read the last article as “unsullied pussies.”

    Loving the new column! Keep it up!

  14. Jessie says:

    Is that really a pager number?! Isn’t there a better way of getting a hold of someone in case of an emergency? A pager, really?

  15. anonymouse says:

    You are truly A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!

  16. Patti says:

    Loved this!! Looking forward to more input from you! “Sweet” and “Marmaduke tattoo”?? Do they really belong in the same sentence? πŸ˜›

  17. Lindsey says:

    Hilarious- witty- and intelligent! Can’t wait to see more from the Science Nerdist!