Posts

October 19, 2014

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5:15 PM | Divide And Conquer: Novel Trick Helps Rare Pathogen Infect Healthy People
New research into a rare pathogen has shown how a unique evolutionary trait allows it to infect even the healthiest of hosts through a smart solution to the body's immune response against it. Scientists at the University of Birmingham have explained how a particular strain of a fungus, Cryptococcus gattii, responds to the human immune response and triggers a 'division of labour' in its invading cells, which can lead to life-threatening infections. read more
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5:15 PM | New Pill-only Regimens Cure Patients With Hardest-to-treat Hepatitis C Infection
(Vienna, October 17, 2014) Two new pill-only regimens that rapidly cure most patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C (HCV) infection could soon be widely prescribed across Europe. Two recently-published studies1,2 confirmed the efficacy and safety of combination therapy with two oral direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs), with around 90% of patients cured after just 12-weeks of treatment.read more
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5:08 PM | Using Space Suit Technology In Men’s Dress Clothes to Reduce Sweating
The Ministry of Supply (MoS) is an innovative clothing company that strives to incorporate modern technology into their designs to produce clothes that are both extremely comfortable and extremely functional. Here’s the “Our Purpose” section of their website: “We believe clothing should be an extension of your body, equipping you to realize your limitless potential. Using research-based design, we create purposeful products engineered to work for you in any […]
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5:05 PM | Have scientists finally detected dark matter?
Space scientists at the University of Leicester have detected a curious signal in the X-ray sky – one that provides a tantalising insight into the nature of mysterious Dark Matter. The Leicester team has found what appears to be a signature of 'axions', predicted 'Dark Matter' particle candidates – something that has been a puzzle to science for years. Subject:  Astronomy/Cosmology
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5:00 PM | Antibiotics Of The Future
Computer simulations show how bacteria are able to destroy antibiotics, focusing on the role of enzymes in the bacteria which split the structure of the antibiotic and stop it working, making the bacteria resistant.  The new findings show that it's possible to test how enzymes react to certain antibiotics and thus design new antibiotics with a much lower risk of resistance, and even to choose the best medicines for specific outbreaks. Using QM/MM - quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics […]
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4:32 PM | Seven commonly held myths about your brain
Credit: Image courtesy of University of BristolMyths about the brain are common among teachers worldwideand are hampering teaching, according to new research. While this research was directed at teachers, it effects everyone, because they taught us.  So it's a short leap to the conclusion that we were taught and hold these attitudes as well.  The one myth that we hear over and over again is that we only use 10% of our brain.  Wrong.  Every lobe and neuron has a […]
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4:30 PM | Digital Death And The Digital Afterlife: How To Have It And How To Avoid It
Image: the conversationBy David Glance, University of Western AustraliaIn 2012, the UK’s Sunday Times reported that actor Bruce Willis was going to sue Apple because he was not legally allowed to bequeath his iTunes collection of music to his children. The story turned out to be false (and shockingly bad journalism) but it did start a conversation about what we can, and can’t, do with our digital possessions. read more
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4:21 PM | Suggestion of jinn possession is on the rise in Muslim women
Belief in jinn as the cause of health issues is becoming alarmingly more common among Muslim women. Healthcare providers fear that they will seek out alternative healers instead of seeking medical attention. Conditions such as bad luck, marital infidelity, epilepsy and schizophrenia may be blamed on spirit possession. Muslim women’s centre reports rise in number… Source: Doubtful News
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4:19 PM | What is the mysterious Magic Leap?
It may have more than a half-billion dollars in the bank and the backing of tech titans like Google, as well as the investors with some of Silicon Valley's deepest pockets. You've probably never heard of Magic Leap, a startup so secretive they're not even telling the public who is on their team. But they're promising to change the world -- or at least how we experience it. Subject:  Computer Science
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4:06 PM | Are we really conscious?
Yes, I feel pretty sure that anyone reading this is indeed conscious. However, the NYT recently ran a short piece from Michael S. A. Graziano which apparently questioned it. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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3:53 PM | Cleft palate mutation identified
Scientists studying birth defects in humans and purebred dogs have identified an association between cleft lip and cleft palate – conditions that occur when the lip and mouth fail to form properly during pregnancy – and a mutation in the ADAMTS20 gene. Their findings were presented today at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego. Subject:  Genetics
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3:52 PM | Gene Duplications Associated With Autism, Schizophrenia Evolved In Last 250,000 Years
 A region of human chromosome 16, known as 16p11.2, is prone to genetic changes in which segments of DNA are deleted or duplicated and is considered to be one of the leading candidates for genetic causes of autism, schizophrenia, and other conditions. A new study finds that a genetic variation that evolved in the last 250,000 years, after the divergence of humans from ancient hominids, likely plays an important role in disease. read more
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3:36 PM | Delphine LaLaurie; The Socialite Slave-killer
Slavery is one of the most abhorrent human practices. In order to enslave another human being, you must be prepared to deny them their individuality. This basic attitude of ignoring the reality of another person’s experience lies at the heart of most criminal behaviour – theft, murder, fraud and worse all stem from regarding your […] The post Delphine LaLaurie; The Socialite Slave-killer appeared first on HeadStuff.
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3:26 PM | Not The Christian Thing To Do: Reminding People Of Religious Belief Reduces Hostility
Muslim terrorists and the Klu Klux Klan share one thing in common; they claim to be religious even though the ideas they promote (and in the case of the former, the actions they take) are not very nice. The fringes get all of the attention but most religious people are not clinically insane or promoting the deaths of others in order to secure their own place in Heaven, and if you remind them of their religious principles, their attitude toward negative events change, according to a paper […]
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3:19 PM | Analyzing Government Communications
Any piece of government writing can be analyzed using the binary dimensions of purpose and audience. PURPOSE In government writing, having a clear purpose means being able to write high-quality content (content that works) without losing sight of the overall strategic … Continue reading → The post Analyzing Government Communications appeared first on Plain Language Science.
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3:15 PM | Not All Fat Is Equal: Amping Up Adenosine May Melt 'Love Handles'
Obesity was once only for the wealthy, then it was only for Americans and the science engine that made food cheap for all, but now globalization has made it possible for the rich and poor worldwide to be fat - which brings greater risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke and diabetes. No one wants to eat less delicious food, but they would take a pill to shed fad and a team ed by Professor Alexander Pfeifer from the University Hospital Bonn believe they have come one step closer to that. […]
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2:55 PM | ACA Lessons Learned: Cost Of Enrollment High Due To Website Issues
Though lots of people used the expensive government health insurance portal healthcare.gov to get information on the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, far fewer could successfully use it to sign up. As the stories of its flaws mounted, larger percentages instead talked to call centers or a navigator without using the website at all. That's a win for the government, which needed to show some success after expending a great deal of political capital and taxpayer money, but not […]
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2:30 PM | Apoptosis Evolution: Cellular Self-destruction Has Been Around Almost As Long As Cells Have
It seems counter-intuitive that in order to survive best as a species, not everything can live forever, but some cells in our bodies are fated to die, and a Mission Impossible-style auto-destruct program insures they do. This elaborate cell death program, known as apoptosis, got a little more insight with a study on the evolution of caspase-8, a key cell death initiator molecule that was first identified in humans. By performing the most extensive evolutionary analysis of the Casp8 protein […]
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2:01 PM | Humans May Have A Spidey Sense For Blind Spots
Credit: Tobyotter via flickrBy: Nala Rogers, Inside Science(Inside Science) -- The spider's iconic leggy shape can abruptly yank our attention, even when we’re focused on something else, according to a new study. Other shapes such as houseflies and hypodermic needles don’t draw our attention in the same way. This suggests that spiders may be hard-wired into our visual systems, helping us avoid a threat that our ancestors faced for millions of years. read more
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1:00 PM | Discovering A Viking Hoard: A Day In The Life Of A Metal Detectorist
Credit: mikecogh, CC BY-SABy Suzie Thomas, University of Helsinki read more
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12:09 PM | Ebola- Face The Fear
Ebola, the emerging threat from Africa, is without doubt a lethal killer. This serious threat has a grossly high mortality rate; the fatality rate for Ebola’s haemorrhagic fever (now known […]
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11:18 AM | This Week in Chemistry: Improving Autism Symptoms, & Making Batteries Safer
It’s been another bumper week in the world of chemistry research, with a range of stories to choose from for this week’s graphic. Highlights include the discovery that a compound found in broccoli could help improve behaviour in autism, and a new detection method for metal contamination in water using DNA. As always, links to studies […]
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11:08 AM | Welcome To Night Vale Live: The Librarian (Olympia Theatre, 16th October)
It’s an odd crowd, in the Olympia Theatre tonight. A lot younger than the usual theatre crowd – in fact, the majority seem to be teenagers, dotted with geeky-looking types, the alternative crowd, and the occasional bemused parent. In other words, it’s a perfect cross-section of the fans that have lifted Welcome To Night Vale […] The post Welcome To Night Vale Live: The Librarian (Olympia Theatre, 16th October) appeared first on HeadStuff.
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7:46 AM | Doing Elitism Wrong
So, Katie Mack pointed me to this webcomic, which shows two characters stargazing. “I’m surprised more people don’t love science. It’s so fascinating.” “By science, do you mean spending countless hours collecting data and studying dense research articles? Or do you just think space is pretty?” OK. Let’s unpack the wrongness of this. (It’s been […]
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4:23 AM | Scientists create crystals that absorb and store oxygen
New substance binds extremely concentrated quantities of oxygen, could have many uses as the oxygen can be released again when needed.
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12:42 AM | When science deniers turn to science
Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of … Continue reading →
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12:15 AM | Weekly Science Picks
New Sunday, new editor’s choices! In comparison with the previous one, which brought us heaps of Nobel awards, this one seems as quite peaceful and usual. But, is it? Throughout today’s selection, we will hear more about the future of […]test The post Weekly Science Picks appeared first on Australian Science.

October 18, 2014

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11:42 PM | Did You Know… Reheating Your Pasta Makes It Significantly Less Fattening
This might sound crazy, but letting your pasta cool down and then reheating can actually make it significantly less fattening. The findings were uncovered by Michael Mosley on the latest episode of BBC 2’s health program Trust Me, I’m A Doctor. The reason that high-carb foods like pasta are so fattening in the first place is because carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed as simple sugars. So when you eat them, your glucose levels spike, prompting […]
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10:59 PM | The Virtual Interview: Edward Snowden
The New Yorker Festival presents Edward Snowden in conversation with Jane Mayer.
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10:47 PM | iPhones for eye health
Smartphone technology is a widely available resource which may also be a portable and effective tool for imaging the inside of the eye, according to results of a study released today at AAO 2014, the 118th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Researchers from the Ross Eye Institute at the University at Buffalo-SUNY are successfully using an iPhone® application as an inexpensive, portable and effective tool for imaging the inside of the eye, including in […]
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