Here’s a few sciencey links to restore your faith in humanity. I need it myself.
So, what would help restore said faith? Is medicine your bag? Well, genetic scientists have made a major breakthrough in cancer research involving having sequenced skin and lung cancer, identifying the specific mutations in DNA duplication that result in those forms of cancer in the presence of specific mutagens (e.g. tobacco smoke or ultraviolet radiation in those that are susceptible). Since a “cure for cancer”, generically, isn’t going to happen, considering all the mutagens we have a habit of pumping into the atmosphere and all, this at least is an excellent step toward being able to identify and fix individual instances. And that’s not the only blight on humanity that modern medicine is making inroads against, where a potential vaccine against AIDS is showing some promise in a number of trials.
If beauty is your thing, the universe is filled with it. For instance, over at Bad Astronomy, an amateur astronomer made an animation of Mars using a small personal scope. Or, you can check out some planetary systems forming in the Orion nebula over at NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Or perhaps evolutionary biology? Such as the discovery of a rudimentary syntax in Campbell’s monkeys — in other words, a language. This could indicate that one of the criteria people use to indicate humanity is somehow unique and “designed”, is in actuality common in the animal kingdom.
And the scientific blogosphere’s personal William Tockman wrote a book-length post on how he’d go about writing a book about countering the “unscientific nation”. I have to include it because there’s something just so delicious about that level of meta.
I hope this eliminates some of the blog burn-out I’ve been feeling lately, and I hope it has a similar effect on you, my dear readers.