Posts

April 20, 2015

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6:34 PM | Jurassic World - Official Global Trailer
Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the long-awaited next installment of his groundbreaking Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World. Colin Trevorrow directs the epic action-adventure based on the novel “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton. Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley join the team as producers. Jurassic World will be released in 3D by Universal Pictures on June 12, 2015.
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6:16 PM | The mystery of breast cancer
For most of the common cancers, a major cause has been identified: smoking causes 90% of lung cancer worldwide, hepatitis viruses cause most liver cancer, H pylori bacteria causes stomach cancer, Human papillomavirus causes almost all cases of cervical cancer, colon cancer is Subject:  Health & Medicine
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5:44 PM | Household pets can transmit infections to people
Household pets can transmit infection to people, especially those with weak immune systems, young children, pregnant women and seniors, according to an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). Health care providers and pet owners should be aware of this risk to prevent illness in vulnerable people. Subject:  Animal Research
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5:38 PM | A better grasp of primate grip
Scientists are coming to grips with the superior grasping ability of humans and other primates throughout history. In a new study, a research team led by Yale University found that even the oldest known human ancestors may have had precision grip capabilities comparable to modern humans. This includes Australopithecus afarensis, which appears in the fossil record a million years before the first evidence of stone tools. Subject:  Anthropology
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4:03 PM | A thumbnail-mounted wireless trackpad
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab are developing a new, wearable device that turns the user's thumbnail into a miniature, wireless track pad. NailO was inspired by the colorful stickers that people apply to their nails as a form of self-expression and style. The researchers envision the device could be extremely personable and therefore feel more like an extension of your body.
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3:55 PM | Advances in molecular electronics
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the Univ. of Konstanz are working on storing and processing information on the level of single molecules to create the smallest possible components that will combine autonomously to form a circuit. As recently reported in Advanced Science, the researchers can switch on the current flow through a single molecule for the first time with the help of light. Subject:  Technology
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3:51 PM | How to conduct a personalized pancreas cancer clinical trial
After performing thousands of unsuccessful experiments in his attempt to perfect the light bulb, Thomas Edison famously remarked: "I have not failed, not once. I've discovered ten thousand ways that don't work." Australian leaders of an ongoing pancreatic cancer clinical trial known as the Individualised Molecular Pancreatic Cancer Therapy or 'IMPaCT' trial, could say exactly the same thing as Edison. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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3:44 PM | Toward new graphene electronic devices
Since the discovery of graphene about a decade ago, scientists have been studying ways to engineer electronic band gaps in the material to produce semiconductors which can create new electronic devices. A team of researchers from Yale-NUS College, the Center for Advanced 2D Materials and Department of Physics at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of Texas at Austin, USA (UT Austin) have established a theoretical framework to understand the elastic and […]
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3:25 PM | Let the people decide new place names on Mercury and Pluto
Do you think a place on Pluto should be named after the sinister tentacle-faced monster Cthulhu from the novels of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft? Or a crater on Mercury after iconic opera singer Dame Nellie Melba? Mercury and Pluto are at the opposite ends of the solar system, but this year, as a result of two extraordinary space missions, some of their newly observed topographical features will receive names. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology
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2:27 PM | Is there such a thing as 'pure' autism?
The search for genes that contribute to the risk for autism has made tremendous strides over the past 3 years. As this field has advanced, investigators have wondered whether the diversity of clinical features across patients with autism reflects heterogeneous sources of genetic risk. If so, it was reasoned, then selecting a group of patients with very similar clinical features might result in a "purer", i.e., more genetically homogenous, group of patients, making it easier to find […]

April 18, 2015

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9:25 PM | How a Toronto professor’s research revolutionized artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence research using neural networks has taken off, with a $400-million boost from Google, in part thanks to Canadian Geoffrey Hinton. Three summers ago, at the age of 64, Geoffrey Hinton left his home in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood to become an intern at Google. He received a propeller beanie stitched with the word “Noogler” and attended orientation sessions populated mostly by millennials, who seemed to regard him, in his words, as a […]
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2:51 PM | How to disregard extremely remote possibilities
In 1% Skepticism, I suggest that it's reasonable to have about a 1% credence that some radically skeptical scenario holds (e.g., this is a dream or we're in a short-term sim), sometimes making decisions that we wouldn't otherwise make based upon those small possibilities (e.g., Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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2:03 PM | Telling the time of day by color
Research by scientists at The University of Manchester has revealed that the colour of light has a major impact on how the brain clock measures time of day and on how the animals' physiology and behavior adjust accordingly. The study, for the first time, provides a neuronal mechanism for how our internal clock can measure changes in light colour that accompany dawn and dusk. Subject:  Brain & Behavior

April 17, 2015

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5:35 PM | The hidden complexity inside your skeleton
Your bones are savvy. They are light yet strong and they repair themselves when they break. What’s more – although you can’t tell – your bones continually renew themselves, replacing old bone for new. Subject:  Biology & Aging
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4:17 PM | Quantum physics – hot and cold at the same time
Researchers from Heidelberg and Vienna investigate statistical description of quantum systems. Subject:  Technology
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4:11 PM | Toward a better performing battery
The race is on around the world as scientists strive to develop a new generation of batteries that can perform beyond the limits of the current lithium-ion based battery. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have taken a significant step toward the development of a battery that could outperform the lithium-ion technology used in electric cars such as the Chevy Volt. Subject:  Technology
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3:37 PM | Why do we remember learning about dramatic events so vividly?
It isn’t surprising that many Bostonians have vivid memories of the 2013 Marathon bombing, or that many New Yorkers have very clear memories about where they were and what they were doing on 9/11. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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3:13 PM | Sleep helps brains absorb new information
Researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London have found that successful long-term learning happens after classroom teaching, after the learners have slept on the new material. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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3:05 PM | How to clear space debris
An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal, published in Acta Astronautica, combines a super-wide field-of-view telescope, developed by RIKEN’s EUSO team, which will be used to detect objects, and a recently developed high-efficiency laser system, the CAN laser that was presented in Nature Photonics in 2013, that will be used to track space debris and remove it from […]
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2:45 PM | Evolution puts checks on virgin births
It seems unnatural that a species could survive without having sex. Yet over the ages, evolution has endowed females of certain species of amphibians, reptiles and fish with the ability to clone themselves, and perpetuate offspring without males. Subject:  Evolution
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2:41 PM | Cognitive problems are common after cardiac arrest
Half of all patients who survive a cardiac arrest experience problems with cognitive functions such as memory and attention. This has been shown by a major international study led from Lund University. Surprisingly, however, a control group comprising heart attack patients had largely the same level of problems. This suggests that it is not only the cardiac arrest and the consequent lack of oxygen to the brain that is the cause of the patients’ difficulties. Subject:  […]

April 16, 2015

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11:22 PM | Brain implants may shock damaged memories back into shape
With funding from the Defense Department, scientists have begun work on devices that would use electric pulses to realign a memory process gone awry. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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11:11 PM | Search for ET yields nothing so far
After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced extraterrestrial life, a team of scientists using observations from NASA's WISE orbiting observatory has found no evidence of advanced civilizations in them. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology
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11:04 PM | Scientists transform skin cells into brain cells
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have transformed skin cells from patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), into brain cells affected by the progressive, fatal disease and deposited those human-made cells into the first public ALS cell library, enabling scientists to better study the disease. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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10:56 PM | E-cigarettes make smokers less likely to quit
The rapid increase in use of e-cigarettes has led to heated debates between opponents who question the safety of these devices and proponents who claim the battery-operated products are a useful cessation tool. A study, published online on April 16 in the American Journal of Public Health, suggests proponents are in error. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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10:50 PM | New insights into how cancers spread
Tumor cells become lethal when they spread. Blocking this process can be a powerful way to stop cancer. Historically, scientists thought that tumor cells migrated by brute force, actively pushing through whatever tissue was in their way, but recent evidence has shown that tumor cells may be more methodical. And in a new study, Cornell University researchers report that tumor cells take advantage of already-cleared paths to migrate unimpeded. Subject:  Health […]
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10:44 PM | Researchers reveal protein that boosts immunity to viruses and cancer
Scientists have discovered a protein that plays a central role in promoting immunity to viruses and cancer, opening the door to new therapies. Experiments in mice and human cells have shown that the protein promotes the proliferation of cytotoxic T cells, which kill cancer cells and cells infected with viruses. The discovery was unexpected because the new protein had no known function and doesn’t resemble any other protein. Subject:  Health & Medicine […]
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10:33 PM | Exploring the ADHD-autism link
Jean Gehricke’s research is revealing similarities between the two disorders and suggesting new treatment approaches. For the better part of the last decade, a growing body of research has been revealing more and more similarities between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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10:31 PM | How do we hear time within sound?
How does our auditory system represent time within a sound? A new study published in PLOS Computational Biology investigates how temporal acoustic patterns can be represented by neural activity within auditory cortex, a major hub within the brain for the perception of sound. Dr. Daniel Bendor, from University College London, describes a novel way that neurons in auditory cortex can encode temporal information, based on how their excitatory and inhibitory inputs get mixed together. […]
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8:30 PM | For men, online generosity is a subconscious competition for mates
If you are looking to raise money online for your favorite cause, listen up. A real-world analysis of human behavior reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 16 shows that men treat online giving as a competitive enterprise. Men will donate four times more money to an attractive female fundraiser in response to the contribution of another male. Researchers say that they suspect this tendency is a subconscious part of human psychology that exists because it is (or […]
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