Posts

February 17, 2015

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9:23 PM | Unlocking the mystery of the first billion years of the universe
More than 100 million years has been wiped off the age of the first stars but there is still the question of what happened in the first billion years of the universe. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology
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8:56 PM | What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is not only associated with positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions, but also with negative symptoms e.g. cognitive deficits and impairments of the emotional drive. Until now, the underlying mechanisms for these negative symptoms have not been well characterized. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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4:57 PM | Expert in a year
The Expert in a Year Challenge follows the progress of novice table tennis player Sam Priestley, as he attempts to go from beginner to expert in just one year and break into the top 250 players in England. For more information on the Expert in a Year challenge, go here.
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4:43 PM | Next-generation chemotherapy for prostate cancer could make it more effective
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer for men in the United States. Only one class of chemotherapy called taxanes is effective against the disease. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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3:24 AM | Complex environments push 'brain' evolution
Little animations trying to master a computer game are teaching neuroscience researchers how the brain evolves when faced with difficult tasks. Neuroscientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University have programmed animated critters that they call “animats.” The critters have a rudimentary neural system made of eight nodes: two sensors, two motors, and four internal computers that coordinate sensation, movement and memory. Subject:  […]
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2:59 AM | What happens when a self-driving car meets a road rage driver?
Driverless cars could soon be cruising Australian roads if South Australia gives the go-ahead to reforms to its road legislation. Subject:  Artificial Intelligence
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2:45 AM | Mystery Martian plume puzzles scientists
Plumes seen reaching high above the surface of Mars are causing a stir among scientists studying the atmosphere on the Red Planet. On two separate occasions in March and April 2012, amateur astronomers reported definite plume-like features developing on the planet. The plumes were seen rising to altitudes of over 250 km above the same region of Mars on both occasions. By comparison, similar features seen in the past have not exceeded 100 km. Subject:  […]
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2:33 AM | FDA buries evidence of fraud in medical trials
Why would the FDA let claims that have been undermined by fraud appear on drug labels? Subject:  Health & Medicine

February 16, 2015

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4:09 PM | Teens are increasingly sleep deprived
Sufficient sleep is critical for adolescent health, yet the number of hours slept per night has decreased among teenagers in the United States over the last 20 years. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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3:58 PM | Elders in first marriages have more frequent sex
While people in the early years of marriage have sex more frequently, and their sexual activity tapers off over time, a slight rebound occurs for those whose marriages endure longer than half a century, according to new research. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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3:31 AM | Seven myths about scientists debunked
As scientific researchers, we are often surprised by some of the assumptions made about us by those outside our profession. So we put together a list of common myths we and our colleagues have heard anecdotally regarding scientific researchers. Myth 1: Researchers are paid by their research institutes Subject:  Technology
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3:15 AM | ESA experimental spaceplane completes research flight
An experimental vehicle to develop an autonomous European reentry capability for future reusable space transportation has completed its mission. ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle flew a flawless reentry and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean just west of the Galapagos islands. Subject:  Technology
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3:10 AM | What makes starburst galaxies 'burst'?
Starburst galaxies transmute gas into new stars at a dizzying pace - up to 1,000 times faster than typical spiral galaxies like the Milky Way. To help understand why some galaxies "burst" while others do not, an international team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to dissect a cluster of star-forming clouds at the heart of NGC 253, one of the nearest starburst galaxies to the Milky Way. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology […]

February 15, 2015

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6:48 PM | 2 billion of today’s jobs could disappear by 2030
Researchers at the University of Oxford wrote a paper that came to this startling conclusion: artificial intelligence (AI) and robots can replace half of the jobs known to us today. It’s not to say that there will be a net loss of 2 billion jobs, but they don’t know what the future industries and related jobs will be. For instance, who in the ’90s would have known that a social media company like Facebook would be the $200 billion juggernaut that it is today? […]
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6:08 PM | In the quantum world, the future affects the past
An experiment shows that hindsight and foresight together more accurately ‘predict’ a quantum system’s state than foresight alone. We’re so used to murder mysteries that we don’t even notice how mystery authors play with time. Typically the murder occurs well before the midpoint of the book, but there is an information blackout at that point and the reader learns what happened then only on the last page. Subject:  Technology […]
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4:20 PM | Babies can identify complex social situations and react accordingly
Scientists suggest 13-month-olds use their understanding about others’ perspectives and social evaluation skills to make sense of social interactions. In the social world, people constantly gather information through visual cues that are used to evaluate others and interact. A new study from researchers at the University of Missouri determined that babies can make sense of complex social situations, and that they expect people to behave appropriately. Subject:  […]
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3:56 PM | Social networking and your online afterlife
On Feb. 12, Facebook rolled out a new feature called Legacy Contact, which gives people a platform for remembering and celebrating the lives of loved ones when they die. The basis for this product came from the doctoral work of Jed Brubaker, a Ph.D. candidate in informatics at UC Irvine. Indeed, the Menlo Park, Calif., social media giant even retained Brubaker as an academic consultant in the creation, testing and release of Legacy Contact. Subject:  Technology […]
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3:35 PM | The Stoppard Problem
It was exciting to hear that Tom Stoppard’s new play was going to be called The Hard Problem, although until it opened recently details were scarce. In the event the reviews have not been very good. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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3:19 PM | Social networking helps you shed the pounds
If you want to lose pounds using an online weight management program, don't be a wallflower. A new Northwestern University study shows that online dieters with high social embeddedness -- who logged in regularly, recorded their weigh-ins and 'friended' other members -- lost more than 8 percent of their body weight in six months. The less users interacted in the community, the less weight they lost, the study found. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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3:15 PM | Stem cells restore 'chemobrain'
Human neural stem cell treatments are showing promise for reversing learning and memory deficits after chemotherapy, according to UC Irvine researchers. In preclinical studies using rodents, they found that stem cells transplanted one week after the completion of a series of chemotherapy sessions restored a range of cognitive functions, as measured one month later using a comprehensive platform of behavioral testing. In contrast, rats not treated with stem cells showed significant […]
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3:11 PM | In-flight entertainment gets virtual
On your next international flight, you may want to forget the screen on the back seat and lose your tablet device. In an in-flight entertainment first, Australian carrier Qantas will soon be making Samsung's virtual reality headsets, called Gear VR, available to premium passengers on some long-distance flights. A three-month trial run begins in mid-March, when Qantas is expected to make the headsets available to first-class passengers on some of the airline's A380 flights between […]
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2:56 AM | New formula predicts innovation
By the time she was six years old, Nadya Bliss had already figured out her professional calling. She knew that one day she would be a mathematician. "I'm a geek at heart," confesses Bliss, now the assistant vice president for research strategy in Arizona State University's Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. "But I've never wanted to be the kind of mathematician who just sits in the corner and does things on her own." Subject:  Technology
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2:52 AM | Ground-breaking lung cancer breath test in clinical trial
University of Leicester and Leicester’s Hospitals to evaluate revolutionary device which detects lung cancer in early stages. A clinical trial led by University of Leicester respiratory experts into a potentially ground-breaking ‘breath test’ to detect lung cancer is set to get underway at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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2:48 AM | The future of electronics -- now in 2-D
The future of electronics could lie in a material from its past, as researchers from The Ohio State University work to turn germanium--the material of 1940s transistors--into a potential replacement for silicon. At the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, assistant professor of chemistry Joshua Goldberger reported progress in developing a form of germanium called germanane. Subject:  Computer Science

February 14, 2015

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7:25 PM | Robo-Journalist Wins The Pulitzer
Okay, so that hasn’t happened yet, but the folks over at Narrative Science, a company that has created software that performs “automated narrative generation,” confidently predicts that its computer program will win the coveted prize by 2016. Let’s back up … Continue reading →
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5:14 PM | Artificial proteins could bring the next biological revolution – starting with MRI
Scientists and engineers have looked to nature for their inspiration for centuries. The field of biomimetics uses ideas from nature to solve complex human challenges. Subject:  Biology & Aging
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4:49 PM | Key to blocking influenza virus may lie in a cell’s own machinery
Viruses are masters of outsourcing, entrusting their fundamental function – reproduction – to the host cells they infect. But it turns out this highly economical approach also creates vulnerability. Researchers at Rockefeller University and their collaborators have found an unexpected way the immune system exploits the flu virus’ dependence on its host’s machinery to create new viruses capable of spreading infection. This discovery suggests a new approach to […]
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4:35 PM | Is it cruel to kick a robot dog?
Spot is a four-legged robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. Spot has a sensor head that helps it navigate and negotiate rough terrain. Spot weighs about 160 lbs.
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4:22 PM | Winter weather depriving city dwellers of vitamin D
UB researcher identifies supplements, fish and irradiated mushrooms as rich sources. Residents of snowy, northern U.S. cities are at risk of vitamin D deficiency and worse, may not even know it. During Buffalo’s winter months, nearly 50 percent of people have insufficient amounts of vitamin D and 25 percent may be considered deficient, says nutrition researcher Peter Horvath of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions. Subject:  […]
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4:09 PM | A New Way to View Titan: 'Despeckle' It
During 10 years of discovery, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has pulled back the smoggy veil that obscures the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Cassini's radar instrument has mapped almost half of the giant moon's surface; revealed vast, desert-like expanses of sand dunes; and plumbed the depths of expansive hydrocarbon seas. What could make that scientific bounty even more amazing? Well, what if the radar images could look even better? Subject:  […]
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