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Posts

April 15, 2014

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11:00 PM | In Deaf People, The Language They Learned As Kids Affected Brain Structure
People who are deaf and those with hearing differ in brain anatomy, no surprise in that. But studies of individuals who are deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) from birth aren't telling the whole science story. 95 percent of the deaf population in America is born to hearing parents and use English or another spoken language as their first language, usually through lip-reading. Since both language and audition are housed in nearby locations in the brain, understanding which differences […]
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11:00 PM | CHRONO: The Missing Piece In The Mammalian Circadian Clock Puzzle
All organisms, from mammals to fungi, have daily cycles controlled by a tightly regulated internal clock called the circadian clock. The circadian clock is influenced by exposure to light and dictates the wake-sleep cycle. At the cellular level, the clock is controlled by a complex network of genes and proteins that switch each other on and off based on cues from their environment and most genes involved in the regulation of the circadian clock have been characterized, but a key component was […]
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10:24 PM | Casual Marijuana Use Linked To Brain Abnormalities
Young adults who used marijuana recreationally show significant abnormalities in two key brain regions that are important in emotion and motivation, according to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience. The authors document how casual use of marijuana is related to major brain changes and showed the degree of brain abnormalities in these regions is directly related to the number of joints a person smoked per week. The more joints a person smoked, the more abnormal the shape, volume and density […]
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10:17 PM | Samuel Hopkins Adams, Articles on the Nostrum Evil and Quackery
As part of related research into consumer protection, I recently scanned in a copy of Samuel Hopkins Adams’ seminal articles on the patent medicine industry. These articles, which appeared in Collier’s magazine starting in 1905, helped build the record for the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act, and for amendments to that law in 1912.…
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10:11 PM | New Research Shows Asian Soot Cloud Affecting Pacific Storms
A group of researchers from Texas A & M University have a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this week that is getting a lot of attention. Cloud droplets and rain drops need something to form on, and without dust and other aerosols in the atmosphere we would see a lot less of both. Sometimes though, the addition of particulates can cause tiny cloud droplets …
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9:57 PM | The Human Food Relationship: It's Complicated
Home can sometimes literally be in the kitchen. A Puerto Rican community - in Connecticut of all places - creates cuisine authentic it has caught the attention of scientists. Like immigrants throughout history who ventured forth with their favorite plants in tow, the Puerto Ricans of Hartford maintain cuisine as an important component of their identity. But this strong relationship to food has had a profound impact on human health by reshaping environmental biodiversity, influencing the diets […]
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9:26 PM | Bill Nye’s Own Take on the Nye-Ham Creationism Debate
Bill Nye’s Own Take on the Nye-Ham Creationism Debate: Read Bill’s full account here. Perhaps there was no winner, as this was not a scored debate. Nevertheless by all, or a strong majority of, accounts, I bested him. The fundamental idea that I hope all of us embrace is, simply put, performance counts as much or more than the specifics of the arguments in a situation like this. I admit that, for me at least, it took tremendous concentration. I was and am respectful of Ken […]
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9:24 PM | Rock Paper Scissors - How Biological Mutation Wins
Without knowing it, organisms search for the next “winning” strategy in evolution. Mutation plays a key role in the evolution of new, and sometimes successful, traits. It's a lot like rock-paper-scissors - roshambo.(1)read more
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9:20 PM | Boulders, graffiti and an industrial past
Growing a little tired of the crowds at Brimham and Almscliffe, it was time to try somewhere new. “This small crag is about as remote as you could wish for” [1]. Perfect. After a laborious drive across the moors, we arrived at the parking spot for Crag Willas. You follow a track up to the Old Gang Smelt Mill: if you visit, take a bit of time to explore the ruins (Photo 1) that worked for about 200 years [2] before grinding to a halt.   Photo 1. Old Gang Smelt Mill on the […]
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9:00 PM | Pollution Ghettos? Study Finds Minority Neighborhoods Have Worse Air Than White Ones
A study by has determined that, on average nationally, minorities are exposed to 38 percent higher levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) outdoor air pollution compared to white people.Nitrogen dioxide comes from sources like vehicle exhaust and power plants. Breathing NO2 is linked to asthma symptoms and heart disease. The Environmental Protection Agency has listed it as one of the seven key air pollutants it monitors. The researchers studied NO2 levels in urban areas across the country and compared […]
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8:36 PM | This is one shell of a weird lobster
We like freaky lobsters here at DN. See our collection of stories. Here is another. Rare two-toned lobster intensifies coloration | GrindTV.com Harley Quinn, a star attraction at the Scarborough Sea Life Center in Britain, added to its legacy recently when it shed its shell and emerged with newer, more vibrant colors, leaving the crustacean… Source: Doubtful News
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8:30 PM | After The Blood Moon: Do Some Post-Apocalypse Science
Since the Blood Moon - whatever that is, it sounds Biblical - was last night, and it spells the beginning of our doom, according to a guy trying to sell some books, it's time to start prepping for the days of ultimate holy war. That means no more Southern blots and particle colliders, it's back to basics.In preparation, this weekend the kids and I decided to see what kind of life we could make for ourselves while the Four Horsemen duke it out with the Holy Ghost in what would arguably be the […]
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7:43 PM | MiR-25 Shuts Down The Overworked Heart
Cardiovascular disease often causes the heart to work harder than usual, a condition that triggers the chronic buildup of cardiac pressure and the onset of heart failure. A new study now shows that microRNA-25 is a new molecular switch that is activated in the overworked heart to drive the onset of heart failure. Heart failure is the progressive decline in heart’s contractile function, and is commonly caused by a number of cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, atherosclerosis, […]
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7:41 PM | Plant-Derived Nanotubes Provide Personalized DNA Delivery
Tiny tubes deliver functioning genes to cells with broken copies. Originally published:  Apr 15 2014 - 3:30pm By:  Cynthia McKelvey, ISNS Contributor Science category:  Biology News section:  Inside Science News Service Tags:  nanotubes
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7:34 PM | Dust (the zodiacal light) pointing at dust (the Milky Way...
Dust (the zodiacal light) pointing at dust (the Milky Way band) One is the remnants of our solar system’s birth, and the other holds the seeds for solar systems dead and yet to come. Some more dusty goodness to go along with this week’s dusty episode of IOTBS on YouTube. Photo by the superbly talented Cory Schmitz (Flickr, used with permission)
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7:34 PM | For all the cows: The complicated tale of Cliven Bundy
This story of Cliven Bundy and his neighbors against the U.S. Government officials is a hard one to follow. Read through this piece that presents the situation chronologically. Everything you need to know about the long fight between Cliven Bundy and the federal government. In the comments, note that one person mentions that the anti-government… Source: Doubtful News
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7:32 PM | Kids React to WALKMANS (Portable Cassette Players)
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: tech, video
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7:05 PM | Herding Cells With Electrcity Could Lead To Smart Bandages
Researchers have used an electrical current to orchestrate the flow of a group of cells, an achievement that could establish the basis for more controlled forms of tissue engineering and for potential applications such as "smart bandages" that use electrical stimulation to help heal wounds.In the experiments, the researchers used single layers of epithelial cells, the type of cells that bind together to form robust sheathes in skin, kidneys, cornea and other organs. They found that by applying […]
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6:53 PM | Puppet Plagiarism - Copycats Are Just Not Cute
Kids know it is wrong to steal stuff - they also seem to know it's wrong to steal an idea. They just discover it a little later.University of Washington psychologist Kristina Olson and colleagues discovered that preschoolers often don't view a copycat negatively but by the age of 5 or 6, they do. It holds true even across cultures that typically view intellectual property rights in different ways, like in Germany where they violate international trademarks and hold a Science 2.0 conference […]
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6:44 PM | Is Weather Affecting Lyme Disease Cases?
CDC officials track how weather changes may increase the number of Lyme disease cases in the U.S. Originally published:  Apr 15 2014 - 2:30pm By:  Karin Heineman, ISTV Executive Producer Science category:  Animals Biology News section:  Inside Science TV […]
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6:40 PM | Breaking Bad Mitochondria
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a mechanism that explains why people with the hepatitis C virus get liver disease and why the virus is able to persist in the body for so long. The hard-to-kill pathogen, which infects an estimated 200 million people worldwide, attacks the liver cells' energy centers – the mitochondria – dismantling the cell's innate ability to fight infection. It does this by altering cells mitochondrial […]
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6:25 PM | Dust is pretty amazing stuff. Check out more dusty science in...
Dust is pretty amazing stuff. Check out more dusty science in this week’s It’s Okay To Be Smart: (Apologies for not including dusts of the pixie, angel, and bowl varieties in the video)
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6:00 PM | Picture of the Week: Practice Eye
In 1800s London, if you needed an optical device—eyeglasses, periscopic spectacles, a microscope—W. & S. Jones was the place to go. Founded by two enterprising brothers, the company specialized in various scientific instruments, like the model eye above. It could be used to demonstrate—at a very basic level—how the eye refracts light.   [photo collegeeye align-left max-width=250]The instrument is an early version of a “practice eye,” a […]
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5:43 PM | Regenerated Esophagus Successfully Transplanted Into Rat
A research team led by Paolo Macchiarini, MD, PhD at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has successfully transplanted a regenerated esophagus into a rat using a bioreactor developed by Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology (HART), a spin-off of Harvard Bioscience. Macchiarini has previously done several successful regenerated trachea transplants in human patients using a HART bioreactor.read more
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5:16 PM | generalelectric: If Earth’s water were drained into a single...
generalelectric: If Earth’s water were drained into a single drop, it would measure about 950 miles in diameter. Roughly three percent is fresh water, and just one-third of that is easily accessible. Meeting the growing need for water is a critical challenge. Many countries rely on desalination to produce fresh water, but current techniques are typically energy-intensive, using enough energy globally to power nearly seven million homes. That’s why today GE is launching an open […]
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5:15 PM | "Evolution happens like a movie, with frames moving by both quickly and gradually, and we often can’t..."
“Evolution happens like a movie, with frames moving by both quickly and gradually, and we often can’t see the change while it’s occurring. Every time we find a fossil, it’s a snapshot back in time, often with thousands of frames missing in between, and we’re forced to reconstruct the whole film. Life is what happens in between the snapshots.” - Joe Hanson explores why there was no first human (via we-are-star-stuff)
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5:12 PM | How To Use Video Effectively to Communicate Science: 10 Tips
A video tip I created is being featured on the Union of Concerned Scientists website this week. They have a great series called “Science Network Tip of the Week”, which features useful suggestions for communicating science effectively. They also provide … Continue reading →
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5:01 PM | How The Odds of You Even Existing Are Basically Zero (Infographic)
A ridiculous number of factors had to come together for you to be born. This infographic quantifies the probability of all of these factors happening. Think about it the next time you’re feeling insignificant or telling yourself that something is “impossible”! Click the image to see the full size version.
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4:37 PM | Eating rice boosts diet quality, reduces body weight and improves markers for health
New research, partially funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the USA Rice Federation, shows that consumers can improve their diets simply by enjoying white or brown rice as part of their daily meals. In a study published online in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Nutrition Sciences, lead author Theresa Nicklas, DrPH, of Baylor College
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4:14 PM | What Would the Lunar Eclipse Have Looked Like from the Moon?
We who live in North or South America (and had clear skies,) experienced a total eclipse of the Moon Tuesday morning, April 15.  But what would the eclipse have looked like to someone on the Moon?First, since the Moon always keeps one side toward the Earth and one side away from the Earth, we have to pick a side. For this purpose, the interesting side of the Moon is the one that was facing the Earth and the Sun. It was sunny and bright on that side of the Moon before the eclipse began. […]
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