Science Tidbits for July 5, 2012

One more reason why smoking can lead to ectopic pregnancies. Not only does nicotine paralyze the cilia in the Fallopian tubes, slowing the rate the egg moves from the ovary to the uterus, but cotinine, a breakdown product of nicotine, alters gene expression of BAD, which may make Fallopian tube cells resemble uterus cells.

How does nicotine get to the Fallopian tubes? When a person inhales smoke, nicotine enters the bloodstream and goes everywhere, not just the brain. The cillia in the Fallopian tubes aren’t the only ones affected. Airway cilia, which help to clear mucus (and anything stuck in it) from the lungs are also slowed down. This is one reason for the characteristic smoker’s cough.

Not much else grabbed my attention, so enjoy this excerpt (direct link to the PDF) of The Rocks Don’t Lie by David R. Montgomery from the NCSE website on the scientific evidence that demonstrates that creationist claims about the formation of the Grand Canyon are false.

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