RB Editor’s Selections: The Science of Chocolate, Twittering Education and Spotting Alien Asteroid Mines

Sarah Kendrew Sarah Kendrew selects interesting and notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the physical sciences, chemistry, engineering, computer science, geosciences and mathematics. She blogs about astronomy at One Small Step.

[Cross-posted from ResearchBlogging News]

This week’s selections are coming to you from Oxford, where I’m currently attending (co-hosting even) the .Astronomy conference on networked astronomy and the web.

If, like me, you reserve a special place in your heart, mind and stomach for chocolate, you will enjoy this post on the science behind the wonderful stuff, by Paige Brown. It’s a nice and well-referenced overview of what chocolate does to the body.

On Thoughts of a Neo-Academic, Richard N. Landers discusses a study examining the potential of twitter for improving the engagement and grades of students. The results are an interesting read for those involved in education.

The search for extraterrestrial civilizations tends to focus on detecting radio signatures from communication technologies, as produced by us here on Earth. But what other kinds of evidence could provide the smoking gun for the existence of advanced civilizations? Greg Fish discusses a recent paper that looks at the possibility of detecting clever space aliens from signs of mining activities on asteroids. It’s a pretty far out idea but a neat thought experiment.

Thanks for the great posts and I’ll be back next week with more picks.