Posts

September 18, 2014

+
2:24 PM | The Struggle For Babies To Survive After Being Born At 22 Weeks
While abortion is a common feature of the developed world, there remains some controversy about when it should be allowed. Only the United States and Canada still allow late-term abortion on demand because in the modern world a baby in the third trimester is already clear alive and will remain so with some care. In the third trimester the survival rate in America is 96%, only slightly below full-term children.read more
+
1:29 PM | The real problem with “open data”
Recently there has been a growing push for “Open Data”, that is, for the principle that the raw data from scientific studies should be made freely available online. It’s easy to see the appeal: having the raw data freely accessible means that anybody can check the validity of a paper, and creates a potential for … Continue reading »
+
1:25 PM | Emotion Is Not the Enemy of Reason
This is a post about emotion, so — fair warning — I’m going to begin with an emotional …
+
1:00 PM | Sound Vibrations To Reduce Pesticides And Boost Harvests?
Can sound vibrations replace pesticides? Researchers are adapting different eco-friendly methods to try and boost harvests and open up a new chapter in sustainable farming.Scientists in Northern Italy are experimenting with what they call eco-friendly sound and odor devices to fight off insects from their cultivated fields., though environmental activists don't accept the science of pesticides that have passed registration for 40 years and genetic modification almost as long so believing they […]
+
12:51 PM | Snap Circuits Science: Resistors In Series
A tone generator is a useful piece of test equipment used, for example, to test the frequency range of audio equipment such as your stereo or the external speakers for your iPod. A tone generator can also be used to tune a musical instrument such as a guitar. You can make a simple tone generator using a 555 Timer IC, a capacitor, potentiometer, speaker, and a power source (circuit pictured above). Here’s the schematic: read more
+
12:36 PM | Underestimating dolphin’s brains
I have been reading in the social media an essay by Captain Paul Watson, and as I know nothing about his scientific credentials, I have been fact checking. Watson was associated over the years with a number of conservation groups, especially Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. From other sites I find that his description of the […]
+
12:12 PM | Artificial Sweeteners and Diabetes
A new study published in Nature is getting a lot of press, and it seems making a lot of people worried. The Nature News article discussing the study has the headline: Sugar substitutes linked to obesity. I think this headline is misleading. Here’s a breakdown of what the study does and does not tell us. [...]
+
12:00 PM | Ocean Acidification May Encourage Sharks To Swim Longer Durations
Fredrik Jutfelt and a catshark. Photo courtesy of Leon GreenBy Charles Q. Choi, Inside ScienceIt's a myth that all sharks will drown if they stop moving. However, scientists discovered that as the oceans grow more acidic this century, sharks may swim for longer times than before. These new findings suggest that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels causing this ocean acidification could significantly disrupt the lives of these predators, which are already in sharp decline globally. rea
+
9:33 AM | Is Sex Addiction really an addiction?
  Pornography triggers brain activity in people with compulsive sexual behaviour – known commonly as sex addiction – similar to that triggered by drugs in the brains of drug addicts, according to a University of Cambridge study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Although precise estimates are unknown, previous studies have suggested that as many […]
+
9:32 AM | Why is poverty associated with mental health problems for some people, but not others?
By guest blogger Peter Kinderman“I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Believe me, rich is better” (Mae West).  Critiques of the rather discredited "disease-model" of mental illness are commonplace, but we also need to articulate the alternative. New research by Sophie Wickham and colleagues helps do that, by providing support for the idea that we learn, as a consequence of our experiences in life, a framework of appraising, understanding and responding to new […]
Editor's Pick
+
8:58 AM | Watching and waiting for more retractions
Brain Genetics Paper Retracted A study that identified genes linked to communication between different areas of the brain has been retracted by its authors because of statistical flaws. By Anna Azvolinsky | September 4, 2014 Excerpt: “This retraction raises the...Read more
+
7:04 AM | Theory Of Externalities, And Why We’ve Come To Hate Tech Companies
Google buses yuppifying San Francisco. Facebook creepily profiling us. iCloud giving up our pubes to hacker paparazzi. We poured our faith and money into these companies, and now we feel like jilted lovers. Apple once made “the computer for the rest of us.” OK, we always knew Google wanted world domination, but we thought it would be benevolent. read more
+
5:48 AM | Witness The Singularity AI Nanotech Co-Evolutionary Merger
How is this for some exciting news, straight from the same source as “I Let My Computer Use My Brain” three years ago, but much advanced in the ways artificial intelligence (AI) has integrated itself further so that most anybody can now work with it, or better, play with it and do cutting edge research nevertheless:  read more
+
2:12 AM | RNA-mediated ecological adaptations of teeth
Counting fish teeth reveals DNA changes behind rapid evolution By Robert Sanders, Media Relations | September 17, 2014 Excerpt: “This is one of the first cases where we find that the rules found for traits lost apply as well to...Read more
+
1:28 AM | High-Dose Opioid Use Continues To Climb In Canada
Between 2006 and 2011, high-dose opioid prescribing in Canada increased by 23 percent despite clinical guidelines recommending that most patients should avoid high-doses of these drugs, according to new research.  Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) found that rates of high-dose opioid dispensing across Canada increased from 781 units per 1,000 people in 2006 to 961 units per 1,000 people in 2011. read more

September 17, 2014

+
10:30 PM | Vancomycin Modified To Vanquish Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Scientists have devised a new antibiotic based on vancomycin that is effective against vancomycin-resistant strains of  methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other disease-causing bacteria. The new vancomycin analog appears to have not one but two distinct mechanisms of anti-microbial action, against which bacteria probably cannot evolve resistance quickly.read more
+
10:01 PM | New Land, Fewer Harvests? The Possible Future Of Global Agriculture
Over half of the Earth's accessible agricultural land is already under cultivation because ecological factors such as climate, soil quality, water supply and topography determined the suitability of land for agriculture when people had to just find the best spots. There are various knobs turning for the future of food. Science has made it possible for food to be grown with less environmental strain in more and more areas but climate change may impact global agriculture. read more
+
10:01 PM | People With Blood Type AB More At Risk Of Cognitive Decline And Dementia
Don't bank on it. Credit: SabinurceBy Kristine Alexander, University of Vermont read more
+
9:56 PM | Why are ethical standards higher in science than in business and media?
Facebook manipulates user content in the name of science? Scandalous! It manipulates user content in the name of profit? No worries! Want to run a Milgram study these days? Get bashed by your local ethics committee! Want to show it on TV? No worries. Why do projects which seek knowledge have higher ethical standards than […]

Kramer AD, Guillory JE & Hancock JT (2014). Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (24) 8788-90. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24889601

Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioral Study of obedience, The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67 (4) 371-378. Other:

Citation
+
9:30 PM | In The 21st Century, Bioethics Literacy Matters
From government control of health care to new reproductive technologies in this century, we'll need to be able identify key issues, articulate their values and concerns, deliberate openly and find ways forward. The Hastings Center and the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues have teamed up to publish a series of essays to highlight the best practices in teaching bioethics and to identify gaps in our knowledge of how best to inspire and increase moral understanding, […]
+
9:01 PM | Nemo Finding Home - The Epic Journey Of Clownfish
New research has found clownfish larvae can swim up to 400 kilometers in search of a home, which makes them better able to cope with environmental change. Clownfish spend their entire adult lives under the protection of their host anemone but as babies they must wander the open ocean. As part of the international study, a team of researchers to southern Oman, where they collected samples of the only two known populations of the Omani clownfish, Amphiprion omanensis. Clownfish spend their […]
+
9:01 PM | Artificial Sweeteners Linked To Glucose Intolerance
Artificial sweeteners are promoted as aids to weight loss and diabetes prevention but a new study finds they could actually hasten the development of glucose intolerance and metabolic disease, and in a surprising way: by changing the composition and function of the gut microbiota, the substantial population of bacteria residing in our intestines. The work was based on experiments in mice and humans by Dr. Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Department of Immunology, […]
+
8:42 PM | Why Will Power Fails
How to strengthen your self-control.(First published August 12, 2013)Reason in man obscured, or not obeyed,Immediately inordinate desires,And upstart passions, catch the governmentFrom reason; and to servitude reduceMan, till then free.—John Milton, Paradise LostWhat is will power? Is it the same as delayed gratification? Why is will power “far from bulletproof,” as researchers put it in a recent article for Neuron? Why is willpower “less successful during […]
+
8:30 PM | RepRap: Open Source Lab Equipment Makes Science Cheaper - And Faster
Research lab and hospital equipment are two areas where competition drives costs up - if Lab A has a need for a new piece of equipment, Lab B has to get it and that same goes for hospitals. Companies have no reason to undercut each other because the actual market is not that big.  Help may be on the way for a commonly used piece of equipment: the syringe pump. A team led by an engineer at Michigan Technological University has published an open-source library of designs that will let […]
+
7:51 PM | NEW #Painting : The #Brain and Recoil Sounds
Hey you!How do you react when you hear an unpleasant sound? For example:Nails on a chalkboardChild crying at a high pitchMetal against glassBrakes screechingWe usually recoil, maybe even cover our ears. The sounds are so sensitive to us that we physically try to protect ourselves. Well, allow me to introduce my latest brain painting "Cacophony. " The word cacophony means "a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds." Thanks to a good friend for the name suggestion!The new painting has also been […]
+
7:30 PM | Without Western Diet, Asian-Americans Lower Insulin Resistance
Asian-Americans are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than Caucasian-Americans, and prone to develop the disease at lower body weights. Can Asian heritage and ancestral reliance on a high-fiber, low-fat Asian mean extra risks for those of Asian heritage?read more
+
7:01 PM | M60-UCD1: Tiny Galaxy, Supermassive Black Hole
An ultracompact dwarf galaxy known as M60-UCD1 harbors a supermassive black hole – the smallest galaxy known to contain such a massive light-sucking object.  The astronomers used the Gemini North 8-meter optical-and-infrared telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea and photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope to discover that M60-UCD1 has a black hole with a mass equal to 21 million suns. Their finding suggests plenty of other ultracompact dwarf galaxies likely also contain supermassive […]
+
6:30 PM | Creating 480 Varieties Of Wheat Is Deserving Of The World Food Prize
There is never enough of this golden beauty. Credit: bradhigham, CC BYBy Angela White, University of Sheffield read more
+
6:18 PM | Blame Evolution For Chimpanzee Lethal Aggression, Not Humans
Is chimpanzee intergroup aggression like primitive warfare, an adaptive strategy that gives the perpetrators an edge, or is it the consequence of human activities, such as provisioning - artificial feeding - by researchers or habitat destruction? A new study of the pattern of intergroup aggression in chimpanzees and pygmy chimpanzees (bonobos), their close relatives, finds that human impact isn't the culprit.    The research project compiled data collected over five decades from 18 […]
+
6:00 PM | US Health System Doesn't Think About End Of Life - Yet
The United States is one of few wealthy nations without national or socialized health care and, as a result, the Hippocratic Oath has always been paramount. Even when it hasn't been efficient, doctors have tried to save and extend lives. As a result, the US health care system is not culturally prepared to deal with patients nearing the end of life and their families. A 21-member Institute of Medicine read more
123456789
1,040 Results