* Searching for Dummies (New York Times). An op-ed that argues the web has made us dumber, or at least lazier and less experienced at finding and processing information.
* Adam Carolla's genius -- spoiled (Los Angeles Times). The first half of the article is about Adam Corolla's astute observations on social class and culture. I've listened on and off to his radio shows for years, enjoying them, and I definitely agree.
* Not so Silent: Mutation alters protein but not its components (Science News). DNA mutations that don't change the amino acid sequence can change a proteins function! This violates a commonly accepted assumption in biology and will require some serious rethinking of the field. The abstract of the source article, A "silent" polymorphism in the MDR1 gene changes substrate specificity (Science), is available online.
* Restricting calories keeps immune system young (Science News). A study reporting one possible reason calorie restriction makes mammals live longer. The abstract of the source article, Delay of T cell senescence by caloric restriction in aged long-lived nonhuman primates (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), is available online.
* Sniffle-Busting Personalities: Positive mood guards against getting colds (Science News). Freely available online. This may seem like a novel result until you realize that it's been well known for a long period of time that stress impedes many bodily functions, including immune response. That may be a mediating factor. Still, I like the idea that if I think I'm happy and healthy, I will be. It's very empowering.
Finance (well, and psychology and economics):
* Investment no-no's not just for novices (American Public Media's Marketplace via NPR). Contains the usual warnings to beware of fees on mutual funds. Only posted because it cites a study I may want to refer to later on how people tend to neglect or ignore mutual fund fees.
* The Persistence of Memory (WNYC's On The Media via NPR). If you've been paying attention, you'll notice I feel the need to document memories. From this interview, you'll see Gordon Bell has the same compulsion. These interviews explore this and the ways in which technology can help.
Posted by mark at Tuesday, January 23, 2007