amigoro writes: "The search for life elsewhere in our solar system and beyond should include efforts to detect "weird" life with an alternative biochemistry to that of life on Earth, a new report from the US National Research Council finds. The authors found that the fundamental requirements for life as we generally know it — a liquid water biosolvent, carbon-based metabolism, molecular system capable of evolution, and the ability to exchange energy with the environment — are not the only ways to support phenomena recognized as life."
Raver32 writes: "When Jon D. Miller looks out across America, which he can almost do from his 18th-floor office at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, he sees a landscape of haves and have-nots — in terms not of money, but of knowledge.
Dr. Miller, 63, a political scientist who directs the Center for Biomedical Communications at the medical school, studies how much Americans know about science and what they think about it. His findings are not encouraging.
Dr. Miller's data reveal some yawning gaps in basic knowledge. American adults in general do not understand what molecules are (other than that they are really small). Fewer than a third can identify DNA as a key to heredity. Only about 10 percent know what radiation is. One adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth, an idea science had abandoned by the 17th century."
NovaX writes: CNN is running a story praising colleges who end merit scholarships in favor for more need-based aid. This move is being commended by educators, including one quoted from the College Board, who call the move an act of leadership and are pressing other schools to end rewarding merit for good. What message does it send the youth when universities actively discourage scholastic achievement?