Posts

September 28, 2014

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5:40 PM | Dinosaur family tree gives fresh insight into rapid rise of birds
The study shows that the familiar anatomical features of birds – such as feathers, wings and wishbones – all first evolved piecemeal in their dinosaur ancestors over tens of millions of years. However, once a fully functioning bird body shape was complete, an evolutionary explosion began, causing a rapid increase in the rate at which … Continue reading →
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5:40 PM | Human genome was shaped by an evolutionary arms race with itself
New findings by scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, suggest that an evolutionary arms race between rival elements within the genomes of primates drove the evolution of complex regulatory networks that orchestrate the activity of genes in every cell of our bodies. Subject:  Genetics
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5:38 PM | This Week In Chemistry (21st-28th September 2014)
Trialling a new potential feature on the site today, with the first ‘This Week In Chemistry’ post. You’ve probably spotted the various ‘This Week In Science’ posts that crop up elsewhere online – I thought it’d be nice to have one of those, but specifically for chemistry! Links to both articles and studies on the […]
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5:38 PM | A Young Galaxy in the Local Universe
Astronomers usually have to peer very far into the distance to see back in time, and view the Universe as it was when it was young. This new image of galaxy DDO 68, otherwise known as UGC 5340, was thought to offer an exception. This ragged collection of stars and gas clouds looks at first … Continue reading →
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5:36 PM | Scientists identify early sign of pancreatic cancer
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and other institutions have discovered a sign of the early development of pancreatic cancer – an upsurge in certain amino acids that occurs before the disease is diagnosed and symptoms appear. The research is being published online today by the journal Nature Medicine. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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5:35 PM | Fossil of ancient multicellular life sets evolutionary timeline back 60 million years
Geobiologists shed new light on multicellular fossils from a time 60 million years before a vast growth spurt of life known as the Cambrian Explosion occurred on Earth. The discovery published online Wednesday in the journal Nature contradicts several longstanding interpretations of multicellular fossils from at least 600 million years ago. “This opens up a … Continue reading →
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5:33 PM | New analysis of human genetic history reveals female dominance
Female populations have been larger than male populations throughout human history, according to new research. The research used a new technique to obtain higher quality paternal genetic information to analyze the demographic history of males and females in worldwide populations. The study compared the paternally-inherited Y chromosome (NRY) with maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of … Continue reading →
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5:26 PM | This Guy Uses Other People’s Trash to Make Amazing Mini-Houses for the Homeless
If you’re ever in Oakland, you might see a man named Gregory Kloehn dumpster-diving or digging through illegally dumped piles of trash. The only thing is, Gregory isn’t homeless. In fact, he uses the materials he collects from the dumpsters to build small creative houses for the homeless. Gregory is an artist who started making mini-houses with the intention of selling them. But one day, a homeless man came to his studio asking for a tarp. At the time, all Gregory had […]
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5:25 PM | Most metal-poor star hints at universe’s first supernovae
In a new study, researchers point out that the elemental abundance of the most iron-poor star can be explained by elements ejected from supernova explosions of the universe’s first stars. This reveals that massive stars, which are several tens of times more immense than the Sun, were present among the first stars. Iron-poor stars provide … Continue reading →
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5:21 PM | Termites evolved complex bioreactors 30 million years ago
Achieving complete breakdown of plant biomass for energy conversion in industrialized bioreactors remains a complex challenge, but new research shows that termite fungus farmers solved this problem more than 30 million years ago. The new insight reveals that the great success of termite farmers as plant decomposers is due to division of labor between a … Continue reading →
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5:15 PM | Now That’s a Wee Little Infographic
  53 million years old, and it may be the smallest mammal that has ever lived. Batodonoides vanhouteni was a shrew-like mammal that scientific illustrator Jen Christiansen has deftly described... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:00 PM | If Trees Could Talk What Tales They'd Tell
Permafrost thaw kills forests in Canada, while drought kills trees in India and Borneo. In the U.S., in Virginia, over-abundant deer eat trees before they reach maturity, while nitrogen pollution has changed soil chemistry in Panama.  Continents apart, trees have many similar ways to die. Many of the changes occurring in forests worldwide are attributable to human impacts on climate, atmospheric chemistry, land use and animal populations - no surprise, writing papers lamenting humanity is […]
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5:00 PM | GABA And Getting Control Over Tourette Syndrome
Tourette syndrome is a developmental disorder characterized by involuntary, repetitive, and stereotyped movements or utterances. New evidence explains how those with Tourette syndrome in childhood often manage to gain control over those tics. In individuals with the condition, a portion of the brain involved in planning and executing movements shows an unusual increase compared to the average brain in the production of a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter known as GABA. read more
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4:00 PM | 325,000 Year Old Stone Age Site In Armenia Leads To Human Technology Rethink
Artifacts from a 325,000-year-old site in Armenia finds that human technological innovation occurred intermittently throughout the Old World, rather than spreading from a single point of origin (usually hypothesized as Africa), as previously thought. read more
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4:00 PM | Spin-Based Computing: Single Material Is Both Semiconductor And Magnetic
Electricity and magnetism rule our digital world but they are really 19th century advancements still being optimized in the 21st. In our current scheme, semiconductors process electrical information while magnetic materials enable long-term data storage but research team has discovered a way to fuse these two distinct properties in a single material.read more
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3:15 PM | Interstellar Molecules Branch Out
Scientists have time detected a carbon-bearing molecule with a "branched" structure in interstellar space. The molecule, iso-propyl cyanide (i-C3H7CN), was discovered in the giant gas cloud Sagittarius B2, a region of ongoing star formation close to the center of our galaxy that is a hot-spot for molecule-hunting astronomers. read more
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3:10 PM | How to mend a broken heart
Instead of brooding over a failed relationship, psychologist advises a couple of aspirin and distancing oneself from the event. Consider it a win for the stiff upper lip. Talking about a failed relationship doesn’t soothe the pain of heartbreak and can make some people feel even worse, a US psychologist claims. Instead of brooding over broken relationships, Walter Mischel recommends a couple of aspirin to take the edge off the pain and urges people to distance themselves from […]
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3:03 PM | A conversation between Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking
A unique discussion between evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.
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3:00 PM | RM 8027: World's Smallest Reference Material
If good things come in small packages, then nanoparticles are going to make engineers very happy. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently issued Reference Material (RM) 8027, the smallest known reference material ever created for validating measurements of these man-made, ultra-fine particles between 1 and 100 nanometers (billionths of a meter) in size.read more
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2:44 PM | Putting the squeeze on quantum information
CIFAR researchers have shown that information stored in quantum bits can be exponentially compressed without losing information. The achievement is an important proof of principle, and could be useful for efficient quantum communications and information storage. Compression is vital for modern digital communication. It helps movies to stream quickly over the Internet, music to fit into digital players, and millions of telephone calls to bounce off of satellites and through fibre optic […]
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2:19 PM | Science Film Festivals Across the Pond Abundant in October
If you are in Paris, Bristol or Vienna over the next month, you might consider adding a science film festival to your agenda! First, Pariscience International Film Festival will be held from 2nd  to... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:07 PM | Eyes on the Rise: Sea Level Rise Rally
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Dr. Robert Gutsche, Jr., Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University and a part of the team at Eyes on the Rise, a crowd-hydrology citizen …The post Eyes on the Rise: Sea Level Rise Rally appeared first on CitizenSci.
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1:00 PM | Why Ice Sheets Will Keep Melting For Centuries To Come
It may already be too late to stop Antarctic ice sliding into the ocean. Credit: EPABy Eelco Rohling, University of SouthamptonIce sheets respond slowly to changes in climate, because they are so massive that they themselves dominate the climate conditions over and around them. But once they start flowing faster towards the shore and melting into the ocean the process takes centuries to reverse. Ice sheets are nature’s freight trains: tough to start moving, even harder to stop. read
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7:59 AM | Personalized electroceuticals
We have a new preprint online. In this study, we explore with computer models why protocols for the use of medical devices that treat migraines should be personalized. Our numerical simulations suggest that in migraine pathological activity nucleates in hot spots and traverses the convoluted cortical surface like being in a labyrinth. As a result, accessible target structures for neuromodulation are like fingerprints, they are individual features of each migraine sufferer. Within the scientific […]
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5:19 AM | Journalism Post Sept 25
Today we got the opportunity to have two excellent speakers teach us how to 3d model. After a brief presentation on how prototypes are used we moved right into a tutorial on how to use Autodesk 123 a free modeling software. Groups were formed and the design challenge addressed — getting a boat to float. […]
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4:30 AM | Researchers are trying to solve a Danish castle mystery
Who built the lengendary Hammershus castle? Archaeologist are trying to find the answer.
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3:48 AM | Blondie’s Back!
It's Saturday night and Blondie's back! We'll have to start a Blondie watch.
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3:00 AM | The information war – The NZ Listener takes up arms
First – have a look at this satirical programme from Germany. It has English captions but is worth watching a few times for the subtleties. I have commented before about the information war going on around the Ukrainian conflict. It … Continue reading →
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3:00 AM | Microsoft Closes SVC
Some additional thoughts Microsoft Research source Omer Reingold is a brilliant researcher, and now all can see that he is also a very classy and thoughtful person. As you all know by now, he and many others have suddenly lost their jobs with the closing of Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus (SVC) Research Lab. The lab […]
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1:29 AM | Report from Graph Drawing
I'm currently in the process of returning* from Würzburg, Germany, where I attended the 22nd International Symposium on Graph Drawing (GD 2014) and was one of the invited speakers at the associated EuroGIGA/CCC Ph.D. school on graph drawing.The format for the Ph.D. school was three one-hour lectures in the morning and three hours of working on exercises in the afternoon, for two days. My contribution was a high-level overview of graph drawing methods that involve curves (an updated version […]
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