Posts

September 18, 2014

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1:25 AM | Healthy humans make nice homes for viruses
The same viruses that make us sick can take up residence in and on the human body without provoking a sneeze, cough or other troublesome symptom, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. On average, healthy individuals carry about five types of viruses on their bodies, the researchers report online in BioMed Central Biology. The study is the first comprehensive analysis to describe the diversity of viruses in healthy people. […]
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1:17 AM | Massive black hole found at center of ultra-compact galaxy
A team of researchers, including an astronomer from Michigan State University, has discovered a huge black hole at the center of an ultra-compact galaxy – the smallest galaxy known to contain one. The galaxy, known as M60-UCD1, was discovered last year by a team led by Jay Strader, MSU assistant professor of physics and astronomy. Strader was a member of the team that found the black hole. The findings are detailed in the recent edition of the journal Nature. Subject:  […]

September 17, 2014

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7:00 PM | Babies learn words differently as they age
Research has shown that most 18-month-olds learn an average of two to five new words a day; however, little is known about how children process information to learn new words as they move through the preschool years. In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher has found that toddlers learn words differently as they age, and a limit exists as to how many words they can learn each day. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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3:51 PM | What your metadata reveals about you
With a great deal of nervousness, Ton Siedsma agreed to an experiment. He would load an app on his smartphone that would send all its activity metadata for one week to Dimitri Tokmetzis who works on datajournalism projects and who would in turn forward it to the iMinds research team of Ghent University and Mike Moolenaar, owner of Risk and Security Experts. All three would analyze the metadata to see what they could learn about Siedsma. The amount they learned was shocking. […]
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3:36 PM | Yoga may help people with bipolar disorder
People with bipolar disorder who do yoga believe their yoga practice has significant mental health benefits, reports a survey study in the September Journal of Psychiatric Practice. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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3:28 PM | Ebola outbreak 'out of all proportion'
A mathematical model that replicates Ebola outbreaks can no longer be used to ascertain the eventual scale of the current epidemic, finds research conducted by the University of Warwick. Dr Thomas House, of the University's Warwick Mathematics Institute, developed a model that incorporated data from past outbreaks that successfully replicated their eventual scale. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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3:25 PM | Toward optical chips
A promising light source for optoelectronic chips can be tuned to different frequencies. Chips that use light, rather than electricity, to move data would consume much less power — and energy efficiency is a growing concern as chips’ transistor counts rise. Subject:  Technology
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2:54 PM | Schizophrenia found to be multiple, genetically distinct disorders
New research shows that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease but a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. The finding could be a first step toward improved diagnosis and treatment for the debilitating psychiatric illness. The research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is reported online Sept. 15 in The American Journal of Psychiatry. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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2:47 PM | Magnetism: The Quantum Around You
We all use magnetism to stick photos to the fridge, find the North with a compass, store data on a hard drive. Although magnetism has been known for centuries, now we understand that magnetic materials only exist thanks to quantum mechanics. Join UNSW Australia's Andrea Morello in this series which proves that quantum mechanics has more of an impact on your daily life than you think.
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2:32 PM | Do wearable lifestyle activity monitors really work?
Wearable electronic activity monitors hold great promise in helping people to reach their fitness and health goals. These increasingly sophisticated devices help the wearers improve their wellness by constantly monitoring their activities and bodily responses. This information is organized into companion computer programs and mobile apps. Subject:  Health & Medicine

September 16, 2014

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8:03 PM | Meteorite that doomed dinosaurs remade forests
The meteorite impact that spelled doom for the dinosaurs 66 million years ago decimated the evergreens among the flowering plants to a much greater extent than their deciduous peers, according to a study led by UA researchers. The results are published in the journal PLOS Biology. Subject:  Earth Science
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7:49 PM | Computerized emotion detector
Face recognition software measures various parameters in a mug shot, such as the distance between the person's eyes, the height from lip to top of their nose and various other metrics and then compares it with photos of people in the database that have been tagged with a given name. Now, research published in the International Journal of Computational Vision and Robotics looks to take that one step further in recognizing the emotion portrayed by a face. Subject:  […]
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7:32 PM | Why image recognition is the next big thing
As social networks, apps, and websites strive to make the most of the vast amounts of data users share with them, and deliver smarter, better services to the people who use them, there’s one approach that many of them have in common. It draws on methods of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and in just a few years we could see its sophisticated methods improving our search results, or making our social networks smarter. The next big thing in Silicon Valley? Image […]
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5:14 PM | Now you can work in your sleep
When people practice simple word classification tasks before nodding off—knowing that a "cat" is an animal or that "flipu" isn't found in the dictionary, for example—their brains will unconsciously continue to make those classifications even in sleep. The findings, reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on September 11, show that some parts of the brain behave similarly whether we are asleep or awake and pave the way for further studies on the processing […]
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5:07 PM | Study offers clues to how breast implants may cause lymphoma
Researchers at the University of Cambridge, together with colleagues specialising in plastic surgery or histopathology in Austria, Australia, Liverpool and Swansea, have identified clues to explain how breast implants may, on very rare occasions, contribute to the development of lymphoma. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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4:59 PM | Smarter mice with a “humanized” gene?
In­tro­duc­ing a “hu­man­ized” ver­sion of a lan­guage-linked gene in­to mice ac­cel­er­ates their learn­ing, ac­cord­ing to a stu­dy. The gene, called Foxp2, is of a type known as tran­scrip­tion fac­tor—a gene that con­trols the ac­ti­vity of oth­er genes. It has al­so been linked to the de­vel­op­ment of hu­man speech and lan­guage. The gene is found in […]
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4:53 PM | What can evolutionary biology learn from creationists?
You might expect a professional evolutionary biologist like myself to claim that my discipline has nothing to learn from creationists. And I certainly do find all flavors of evolution-denialism sadly misguided. But I also find it reasonable to assume that any serious and dedicated critic should uncover something interesting about the object of their obsession. Subject:  Atheism & Religion
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4:41 PM | If hippopotamuses can't swim, how can some be living on islands?
There is no published account where hippopotamuses are demonstrably shown swimming or floating at the surface of any body of water. But if they can't swim, how did they reach and colonize islands? Experts say that widely accepted models for the methods, patterns, and timing of the colonization and dispersal to several islands (e.g., Cyprus, Crete, and Madagascar) may need to be reconsidered. Subject:  Animal Research
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4:33 PM | Artificial intelligence is doomed if we don't control our data
Machine learning is what's taking place with our personal data while we're passive players in the process. Personalization algorithms designed to know our intentions before we do form the backbone of the Internet Economy. And while these algorithmic systems may not fit all the criteria of genuine Artificial Intelligence (AI), their artifice is firmly in place in terms of their bias. Advertising-based AI frames our lives within purchase funnels, where our desires are only relevant in […]
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4:18 PM | Early Earth less hellish than previously thought
Conditions on Earth for the first 500 million years after it formed may have been surprisingly similar to the present day, complete with oceans, continents and active crustal plates. This alternate view of Earth's first geologic eon, called the Hadean, has gained substantial new support from the first detailed comparison of zircon crystals that formed more than 4 billion years ago with those formed contemporaneously in Iceland, which has been proposed as a possible geological analog […]
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2:15 PM | The sex-starved marriage
In this heart-felt talk, renowned relationships expert Michele Weiner-Davis discusses ways to improve the relationships in our lives, current or future.
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2:15 PM | The sex-starved marriage
In this heart-felt talk, renowned relationships expert Michele Weiner-Davis discusses ways to improve the relationships in our lives, current or future.

September 15, 2014

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11:56 PM | Neuroscientists identify key role of language gene
Mutation that arose long ago may be key to humans’ unique ability to produce and understand speech. Neuroscientists have found that a gene mutation that arose more than half a million years ago may be key to humans’ unique ability to produce and understand speech. Subject:  Genetics
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11:43 PM | Brain scans forecast early reading difficulties
UC San Francisco researchers have used brain scans to predict how young children learn to read, giving clinicians a possible tool to spot children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties before they experience reading challenges. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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9:19 PM | The biological expedition of memories
For several years, the origin of inexplicable fears such as arachnophobia or acrophobia has remained an enigma. How, why, and by what means such fears develop was a prevalently unanswered question, until a study involving mice opened a complex, intricate gateway into the world of epigenetics and provided some insight into this phenomenon. In fact, recent research and experimentation affirm the possibility that personal fears, experiences, and memories can be successively passed down […]
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9:06 PM | New glaucoma cause discovered
Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a novel cause of glaucoma in an animal model, and related to their findings, are now developing an eye drop aimed at curing the disease. They believe their findings will be important to human glaucoma. A cure for glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the U.S., has been elusive because the basis of the disease is poorly understood. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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9:02 PM | 'Squid skin' metamaterials project yields vivid color display
The quest to create artificial "squid skin" -- camouflaging metamaterials that can "see" colors and automatically blend into the background -- is one step closer to reality, thanks to a breakthrough color-display technology unveiled this week by Rice University's Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP). Subject:  Animal Research
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8:50 PM | Are baldness and prostate cancer linked?
A new, large cohort analysis from the prospective Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, indicates that men who had moderate baldness affecting both the front and the crown of their head at age 45 were at a 40% increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer (usually indicates a faster growing tumor resulting in poorer prognosis relative to non-aggressive prostate cancer) later in life, compared to men with no baldness. Subject:  […]
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6:28 PM | The science behind swimming
From whales to larvae, study finds common principles at work in swimming. At nearly 100 feet long and weighing as much as 170 tons, the blue whale is the largest creature on the planet, and by far the heaviest living thing ever seen on Earth. So there's no way it could have anything in common with the tiniest fish larvae, which measure millimeters in length and tip the scales at a fraction of a gram, right? Not so fast, says L. Mahadevan, the Lola England de Valpine Professor of […]
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5:41 PM | Martian meteorite yields more evidence of the possibility of life on Mars
A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists. The finding of a ‘cell-like’ structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Their findings are published in the latest edition of the journal Astrobiology. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology
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