Posts

September 16, 2014

+
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 […]
+
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
+
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 […]
+
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
+
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
+
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 […]
+
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 […]
+
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.
+
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

+
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
+
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
+
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 […]
+
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
+
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
+
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:  […]
+
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 […]
+
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
+
5:30 PM | Cellular protein may be key to longevity
Researchers have found that levels of a regulatory protein called ATF4, and the corresponding levels of the molecules whose expression it controls, are elevated in the livers of mice exposed to multiple interventions known increase longevity. Elevation of ATF4, at least in the liver, seems to be a shared feature of diets, drugs, genes, and developmental alterations that extend maximum lifespan. Subject:  Biology & Aging
+
5:20 PM | MIT Robotic Cheetah
MIT researchers have developed an algorithm for bounding that they've successfully implemented in a robotic cheetah. Learn more here.

September 14, 2014

+
7:26 PM | Why artificial intelligence is the future of religion
Robotics and Christianity have a longer history than you'd expect, and they're only growing more entangled. There are places you never expect to be in life. For me, this was certainly one of them: in a conference room in suburban Charlotte on the campus of Southern Evangelical Seminary, with an enormous old Bible on a side table, shelves of Great Books lining the walls, and, on the conference table itself, a 23-inch-tall robot doing yoga. Meet the Digitally Advanced Viritual […]
+
4:42 PM | Lady baboons with guy pals live longer
Studies have linked social interaction to improved health and survival in humans, and new research confirms that the same is true for baboons. A long-term study of more than 200 wild female baboons from the plains of southern Kenya finds that the most sociable females –- measured by how often they engaged in social grooming relative to their peers -- live two to three years longer than their socially isolated counterparts. Socializing with males gave females an even bigger […]
+
4:24 PM | Is there such a thing as 'urban evolution'?
Most people think of city landscapes as simpler, diminished versions of the wild forests and free-flowing streams found in remote places. A series of studies in the journal Biogeochemistry says the opposite is true. Urban landscapes are more complex than they seem, and from coast to coast these ecosystems can work in surprisingly similar ways, regardless of local conditions. And they have the potential to change quickly – for better or worse – depending on how people […]
+
4:14 PM | The intuitional problem
Mark O’Brien gives a good statement of the computationalist case here; clear, brief, and commendably mild and dispassionate. My impression is that enthusiasm for computationalism – approximately, the belief that human thought is essentially computational in nature – is not what it was. It’s not that computationalists lost the argument, it’s more that the robots failed to come through. Subject:  Brain & Behavior

September 13, 2014

+
9:45 PM | Fluid mechanics suggests alternative to quantum orthodoxy
New math explains dynamics of fluid systems that mimic many peculiarities of quantum mechanics. The central mystery of quantum mechanics is that small chunks of matter sometimes seem to behave like particles, sometimes like waves. For most of the past century, the prevailing explanation of this conundrum has been what’s called the “Copenhagen interpretation” — which holds that, in some sense, a single particle really is a wave, smeared out across the universe, […]
+
9:35 PM | We need to pass legislation on artificial intelligence early and often
Not that long ago, Google announced something unheard of in the auto industry—at least in the part of the auto industry that makes moving cars: a car without a steering wheel or gas and brake pedals. Subject:  Artificial Intelligence
+
5:44 PM | Introducing Apple Watch
Apple Watch is the most personal product Apple has ever made, because it’s the first one designed to be worn. Narrated by Jony Ive, Senior Vice President, Design at Apple.
+
5:37 PM | Parched U.S. west using up underground water
A new study finds more than 75 percent of the water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground resources. The extent of groundwater loss may pose a greater threat to the water supply of the western United States than previously thought. Subject:  Earth Science
+
5:27 PM | NASA research gives guideline for future alien life search
Astronomers searching the atmospheres of alien worlds for gases that might be produced by life can't rely on the detection of just one type, such as oxygen, ozone, or methane, because in some cases these gases can be produced non-biologically, according to extensive simulations by researchers in the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology

September 12, 2014

+
8:36 PM | Magnetism intensified by defects
Magnetic materials are fundamental to many technologies, from data storage to next-generation spintronic devices. However, as integrated circuits become increasingly miniaturized and the sizes of magnetic components approach nanoscale dimensions, magnetic properties can disappear. Subject:  Technology
+
5:45 PM | Facing death-9: The fear of dying alone
In the previous post in this series, I discussed the fear of death that arises from thinking that one will not be remembered by posterity and that this implies that one’s life did not matter. This can drive people to acquire great wealth and fame hoping that this will ensure that their names will live on. Subject:  Biology & Aging
1234567
194 Results