Posts

October 08, 2014

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3:15 PM | Ovarian Cancer DNA Detected in Vaginal Fluid
Preliminary finding may bring doctors one step closer to test that could catch the disease in early stages. Researchers have found it's possible to detect ovarian cancer gene mutations in vaginal fluid samples -- a finding they hope is a step toward an effective screening test for the disease. In a pilot study, researchers were able to detect tumor DNA in tampons from several women with advanced ovarian cancer. It's a "proof of principle" that genetic evidence of the cancer can be […]
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1:12 AM | A universal Ebola drug target
University of Utah biochemists have reported a new drug discovery tool against the Ebola virus. According to a study published in this week's online edition of Protein Science, they have produced a molecule, known as a peptide mimic, that displays a functionally critical region of the virus that is universally conserved in all known species of Ebola. This new tool can be used as a drug target in the discovery of anti-Ebola agents that are effective against all known strains and […]
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1:10 AM | Working memory hinders learning in schizophrenia
A new study pinpoints working memory as a source of learning difficulties in people with schizophrenia. Working memory is known to be affected in the millions of people – about 1 percent of the population – who have schizophrenia, but it has been unclear whether that has a specific role in making learning more difficult, said study lead author and Brown University postdoctoral researcher Anne Collins. Subject:  Brain & Behavior

October 07, 2014

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8:04 PM | Mercedes-Benz to test its robocar at abandoned naval base
Mercedes-Benz already has approval from the government of California to test self-driving cars on public roads under certain conditions. But the automaker has been looking for a place to test its robocars where it can get around those “certain conditions” and have its robocars encounter things that might occur during normal driving but are difficult to replicate given the strictures of the state authorization. Late last week, the company reported that it has found just […]
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7:53 PM | How AI system Viv could conquer the world
When Apple announced the iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011,the headlines were not about its speedy A5 chip or improved camera. Instead they focused on an unusual new feature: an intelligent assistant, dubbed Siri. At first Siri, endowed with a female voice, seemed almost human in the way she understood what you said to her and responded, an advance in artificial intelligence that seemed to place us on a fast track to the Singularity. Subject:  Artificial Intelligence […]
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5:31 PM | A common journey to unbelief
I was interested in this story about Bart Campolo, the son of Tony Campolo. The father is described as an “influential evangelical leader and author who is famous for having been a spiritual adviser to former President Bill Clinton” but the son now says that he is an agnostic humanist. I suspect that Bart’s deconversion story is mirrored in many people who were once believers, even devout ones, but then lost the faith. Subject:  Atheism & […]
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5:27 PM | Even motivated dieters need close access to healthy food
You're obese, at risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and so motivated to improve your diet that you've enrolled in an intensive behavioral program. But if you need to travel more than a short distance to a store that offers a good selection of healthy food, your success may be limited. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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5:14 PM | Can artificial intelligence do us in?
Engineers are likely decades away from creating an artificial intelligence that can match human intelligence, much less surpass it. But experts say we should start preparing now to keep A.I. in check. From IEEE Spectrum, Eliza Strickland explains the risk. Subject:  Artificial Intelligence
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3:23 PM | Throwing a loop to silence gene expression
Cells attach so-called ‘epigenetic’ signals to their genome to select which part of their genetic information is used. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have now systematically investigated the interplay between components of an epigenetic network and developed a mathematical model that describes how it operates. The results can be used to predict how cellular gene expression programs respond to drug treatment or […]
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3:09 PM | Testosterone promotes prostate cancer in rats
A researcher who found that testosterone raised the risk of prostate tumors and exacerbated the effects of carcinogenic chemical exposure in rats is urging caution in prescribing testosterone therapy to men who have not been diagnosed with hypogonadism, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's journal Endocrinology. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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3:00 PM | More about the first child born after uterus transplantation
In a ground-breaking research project at the University of Gothenburg, seven Swedish women have had embryos reintroduced after receiving wombs from living donors. Now the first transplanted woman has delivered a baby – a healthy and normally developed boy. The world-unique birth was acknowledged in The Lancet on 5 October. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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12:20 AM | Swedish woman world's first to give birth after womb transplant
A Swedish woman has become the world's first to give birth after having a womb transplant, opening up the possibility for thousands of infertile women to have babies, the doctor in charge of the research project said on Saturday. The unnamed Swede in her mid-30s delivered a healthy baby boy by caesarean section in early September, around two years after receiving a uterus donated by an unrelated, 61-year-old. Subject:  Health & Medicine

October 06, 2014

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9:18 PM | Finding a needle in a haystack
New technique allows scientists to identify populations of rare stem cells in bone marrow. Deep within the bone marrow resides a type of cells known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These immature cells can differentiate into cells that produce bone, cartilage, fat, or muscle — a trait that scientists have tried to exploit for tissue repair. Subject:  Biology & Aging
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7:32 PM | Why not Stoicism?
Stoicism has been in the back of my mind since I was very young, initially for the obviously parochial reason that it was the prevalent philosophy among the ancient Romans, i.e., part of my broadly construed cultural heritage. (Then again it is for the same reason that Buddhism is very popular in India, Confucianism in China, and Shinto in Japan.) Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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7:21 PM | Researchers redefine hypothesis on holes in the brain
Over the years, researchers have described how some of the body's cells have giant channels -- a kind of holes that completely uncritically allow both small and large molecules to penetrate into and out of the cell. The hypothesis is that these normally closed gatekeeper proteins in the cell membrane allow unrestricted access in the event of diseases such as myocardial infarction, stroke or Alzheimer's. If the hypothesis was correct, the obvious choice would be to look for novel drugs […]
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7:19 PM | New web privacy system could revolutionize the safety of surfing
Researchers from UCL, Stanford Engineering, Google, Chalmers and Mozilla Research have built a new system that protects Internet users' privacy whilst increasing the flexibility for web developers to build web applications that combine data from different web sites, dramatically improving the safety of surfing the web. Subject:  Technology
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7:09 PM | GIANT study reveals giant number of genes linked to height
The largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) to date, involving more than 300 institutions and more than 250,000 subjects, roughly doubles the number of known gene regions influencing height to more than 400. The study, from the international Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium, provides a better glimpse at the biology of height and offers a model for investigating traits and diseases caused by many common gene changes acting together. Findings were […]
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6:20 PM | A quick look at electron-boson coupling
Imagine being able to tune the properties of a solid material just by flashing pulses of light on it, for example turning an insulator into a superconductor. That is just one potential payoff down-the-road from the physical phenomenon of electrons and atoms interacting with ultrashort pulses of light. The technology of ultrafast spectroscopy is a key to understanding this phenomenon and now a new wrinkle to that technology has been introduced by Berkeley Lab researchers. […]
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5:29 PM | How rabies 'hijacks' neurons to attack the brain
Rabies causes acute inflammation of the brain, producing psychosis and violent aggression. The virus, which paralyzes the body's internal organs, is always deadly for those unable to obtain vaccines in time. Some 55,000 people die from rabies every year. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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5:20 PM | Review: ‘Autómata’
There isn’t anything technically groundbreaking about Autómata, but what it does with familiar concepts will move you all the same. It’s a film that says little in favor of humanity, yet its conclusion is a heartfelt sob. Subject:  Robotics
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4:39 PM | Same-sex marriages and heterosexual marriages show similar longevity
Among couples with marriage-like commitments, same-sex couples have a similar break-up rate as heterosexual couples, according to a recent study. The study also found that same-sex couples with a marriage-like commitment have stable unions regardless of government recognition. The findings come from a nationally representative survey of 3,009 couples (471 same-sex) who were followed between 2009 and 2013. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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4:03 PM | Tumors might grow faster at night
They emerge at night, while we sleep unaware, growing and spreading out as quickly as they can. And they are deadly. In a surprise finding that was recently published in Nature Communications, Weizmann Institute of Science researchers showed that nighttime is the right time for cancer to grow and spread in the body. Their findings suggest that administering certain treatments in time with the body's day-night cycle could boost their efficiency. Subject:  Health […]
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9:39 AM | New Radio Programme: JACKED IN Goes On Air!
Starting from mid October, JACKED IN will go on air as part of Valentina Bergonzi‘s science radio programme “Laika – A spasso per la scienza”. Laika is all about how science is intertwined with society – which ties in nicely with… Continue Reading →The post New Radio Programme: JACKED IN Goes On Air! appeared first on JACKED IN.
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4:34 AM | The ironclad logic of conspiracy theories and how to break it
As the United Nations warns of the dire consequences of global warming, the commitment of the current Australian government to the reality of climate change remains unclear, with a history of disturbingly uninformed commentary on the issue and a climate policy with a decidedly Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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4:24 AM | Researchers discover pain receptor on T-cells
Scientists at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that T-cells – a type of white blood cell that learns to recognize and attack microbial pathogens – are activated by a pain receptor. The study, reported online Oct. 5 in Nature Immunology, shows that the receptor helps regulate intestinal inflammation in mice and that its activity can be manipulated, offering a potential new target for treating certain autoimmune disorders, such as […]
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4:19 AM | Breakthrough allows researchers to watch molecules 'wiggle'
A new crystallographic technique developed at the University of Leeds is set to transform scientists' ability to observe how molecules work. A research paper, published in the journal Nature Methods on October 5, describes a new way of doing time-resolved crystallography, a method that researchers use to observe changes within the structure of molecules. Subject:  Technology
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4:15 AM | Interstellar Movie - Official Trailer 3
The latest trailer from Christopher Nolan's INTERSTELLAR. In theaters & IMAX November 7th. Learn more here.

October 04, 2014

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10:04 PM | FX L3.0
Leo, a Hi-Tech ‘pet’ robot, wanders alone in Paris following the mysterious disappearance of nearly all living species. He spends his days trying to entertain himself but to no avail. Then one day he meets a new living being... FILM_FX L3.0 (2014) from ISART DIGITAL on Vimeo.
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9:28 PM | The greatest brain myth there ever was?
Brain myths make people vulnerable to woolly ideas and useless products, get in the way of real understanding and are passed down to children as fact. Luc Besson’s latest sci-fi romp, Lucy, is based on the premise that the average person only uses 10% of their brain. This brain-myth has been fodder for books and movies for decades and is a tantalizing plot-device. Alarmingly, however, it seems to be widely accepted as fact. Of those asked, 48% of teachers in the UK, 65% of […]
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9:21 PM | Thousands of mountains discovered on the ocean floor
Mysteries of the deep come alive as satellite data bring new clues into focus; results offer foundation for new version of Google's ocean maps. Scientists have created a new map of the world's seafloor, offering a more vivid picture of the structures that make up the deepest, least-explored parts of the ocean. The feat was accomplished by accessing two untapped streams of satellite data. Subject:  Earth Science
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