Posts

December 14, 2014

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8:45 PM | The strange case of the Sony hack
The last few weeks we have seen reports of a massive hack into the Sony Pictures Entertainment system where the hackers seems to have seized an immense amount of confidential internal documents about everyone who was even remotely connected to the company. On November 24 the world found out that Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked and had disabled its entire corporate network, including locations that spanned Culver City, New York, and overseas. Subject:  […]
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8:09 PM | The Imitation Game: Part 2
In The Imitation Game: Part 1 we looked at the early work of Alan Turing about universal computing machines, the limits of what computers can do, and whether computers could ever successfully imitate human brains. In this post we look at Turing’s work doing codebreaking at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, and the […]
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7:18 PM | 9 Amazing Photos of Animal Migrations (Photo Gallery)
Every year, countless species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles embark upon epic journeys that often span thousands of miles. For some creatures, migration is about avoiding the harsh conditions of winter. For others, it’s about finding food or returning to an ancestral mating ground. The longest known migration in the animal world is that of the arctic tern. A recent study revealed that the 4-ounce birds make a zig-zagging migration from Greenland all the way down to […]
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6:23 PM | AGU 2014
Once more unto the breach! Fall AGU this year will be (as last year) …the largest Earth Science conference on the planet, and is where you will get previews of new science results, get a sense of what other experts think about current topics, and indulge in the more social side of being a scientist. […]
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6:23 PM | Ten Years of RealClimate: Where now?
The landscape for science blogging, the public discourse on climate and our own roles in the scientific community have all changed radically over the last 10 years. Blogging is no longer something that stands apart from professional communications, the mainstream media or new online start-ups. The diversity of voices online has also increased widely: scientists […]
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6:12 PM | The Imitation Game: Part 1
Today we had a wonderful event at the Filmhouse cinema in Edinburgh talking about The Maths of the Imitation Game. This is the film which tells the story of mathematician Alan Turing and his work codebreaking at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. I’m going to admit up front: I liked the film. I’ve […]
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4:35 PM | Science Isn’t About Answers
[Note: This is an article I wrote about a year ago for a Wellcome Trust competition and forgot all about it. It was written to a strict 800-word limit, which anyone who knows me will be unsurprised to learn I found incredibly hard to do. I just rediscovered it and figured it was worth posting […]
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1:30 PM | Were You Born Anti-Social?
You may not have been born a criminal, but experiences influence how genetic variants affect the brain and therefore behavior, according to a new paper. The study used a survey of 1,337 students aged 17 or 18 in Västmanland, a Swedish county, who anonymously completed questionnaires reporting on delinquency, family conflict, experiences of sexual abuse, and the quality of their relationship with their parents. They also provided a sample of saliva from which the researchers […]
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1:05 PM | This Week in Chemistry: Controlling Weight Gain, & Smartphone Gas Detectors
Here’s the weekly summary of chemistry research and news, this week featuring stories on the development of a compound which could help prevent weight gain in overweight adults, and confirmation of a new form of ice. As always, links to further articles and original research papers are provided below, as well as links to further stories […]
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1:00 PM | My Brain Made Me Do It, But Does That Matter?
Your brain is still you. Andrew Mason, CC BYBy Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Duke UniversityImagine that Brian promises to drive you to the airport but never shows up, and you miss your flight. When you confront Brian, he tells you that he remembered his promise but decided to watch a movie instead. Would you be angry? You betcha! read more
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6:31 AM | Advertising Science and Neuromarketing
Advertisements are always around us. On the radio, brochures in mailbox, advertisements are everywhere. People are exposed to advertisements every day. They always attempt to attract consumers in new ways. The well-known effects of advertisements range from creating awareness to certain subjects to influencing decision involving money. Advertisements not only create a shift in consumers’ […]
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5:30 AM | Professor: let’s fight corruption in Africa effectively
Foreign aid in Africa often lands in the wrong pockets. This leads many to call for a stop to aid Africa’s poor. A Professor of law suggests new, more
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4:20 AM | Engineer Summary, December 11th, 2014
Today was our last official FSL session of 2014! We began the session by creating paper circuitry: using copper tape, a battery, and some LEDs. Everyone worked on their own circuits, but the large majority of us all decided to create Christmas cards. They proved to be a little more difficult than we had originally […]
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1:13 AM | New Study Traces a 40 Million-Year Battle Between Primates and Pathogens
The human body has developed numerous defense mechanisms for fighting against infection. Sneezing, inflammation and even a runny nose are all attempts by your body to rid itself of harmful pathogens. One lesser known defense mechanism is “nutritional immunity”: your body’s ability to protect its iron stores from invading bacteria. Iron plays an essential role in delivering oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. About 70% […]
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12:31 AM | Chats
Error correction for chatting Bernhard Haeupler is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at CMU. He previously spent a year as a postdoc at Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley, and a year visiting Bob Tarjan at Princeton. He is currently hard at work on the Program Committee of STOC 2015. Today we wish to talk about […]
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12:15 AM | Weekly Science Picks
It’s Sunday! It’s a perfect day for your holiday, relaxation and joy. The good thing about every Sunday is nothing will force you to get up that early in the morning as you do during the working week. Well, that’s […]test The post Weekly Science Picks appeared first on Australian Science.

December 13, 2014

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11:53 PM | Links and knots in the graphs of four-dimensional polytopes
The surface of a three-dimensional polyhedron is a two-dimensional space that's topologically equivalent to the sphere. By the Jordan curve theorem, every cycle of edges and vertices in this space cuts the surface into two topological disks. But the surface of a four-dimensional polytope is a three-dimensional space that's topologically equivalent to the hypersphere, or to three-dimensional Euclidean space completed by adding one point at infinity. So, just as in conventional Euclidean space, […]
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11:10 PM | Did the Royal Society get it wrong about fluoridation?
Did the Royal Society of NZ and the Office of the NZ Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor make a big mistake in their report Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of the Scientific Evidence)? Did they misrepresent a scientific paper which … Continue reading →
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10:29 PM | Bill Gates Reveals The Most “Mind-Blowing” Fact He Learned This Year
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates currently ranks first on Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people. But since giving up his day-to-day role at the computer giant in 2008, Gates has focused on using the influence and wealth he accumulated during his time at Microsoft to affect positive change around the world. In the year 2000, Gates and his wife established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an organization that supports education, health and community […]
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10:17 PM | HELPING CELEBRATE MORE THAN 50 YEARS OF IUCN’S CONTRIBUTION TO WILDLIFE CONSERVATION WITH A FREE MAGAZINE.
HELPING CELEBRATE MORE THAN 50 YEARS OF IUCN’S CONTRIBUTION TO WILDLIFE CONSERVATION WITH A FREE MAGAZINETo help celebrate more than 50 years of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) work protecting our global natural heritage, Terre Sauvage has published a special edition of their renowned wildlife magazine.CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY ON W.A.S.This edition is dedicated entirely to highlighting a selection of conservation impacts and […]
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9:37 PM | humanoidhistory: December 13, 1972 — In the closing moments of...
humanoidhistory: December 13, 1972 — In the closing moments of the final moonwalk of the Apollo 17 mission, astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt have some words about a good will rock they’re bringing back to Earth: Eugene Cernan: Houston, before we close out our [moonwalk], we understand that there are young people in Houston today who have been effectively touring our country, young people from countries all over the world, respectively, touring our country. They had the […]
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9:30 PM | designcloud: Images from the Geologic Atlas of the Moon (via...
designcloud: Images from the Geologic Atlas of the Moon (via butdoesitfloat) Imagine a reality where the moon actually looks like this and you don’t have to take peyote to make it so.
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7:31 PM | You Can Change Attitudes on Hot-button Issues: Here's How
www.umbc.eduThe "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" Effect?When those denied equality have names and faces,hearts and minds are changed. While this study deals with politically charged issues such as gay marriage and abortion rights, it explains a simple about changing the attitudes of others - a human characteristic important for writers to grasp: personal contact with with people directly effected by an issue or a problem changes long and deeply held attitudes. Case in point? the 1967 […]
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7:14 PM | Interstellar mystery solved by supercomputer simulations
An interstellar mystery of why stars form has been solved thanks to the most realistic supercomputer simulations of galaxies yet made. Theoretical astrophysicists found that stellar activity — like supernova explosions or even just starlight — plays a big part in the formation of other stars and the growth of galaxies. Theoretical astrophysicist Philip Hopkins … Continue reading →
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7:10 PM | New revelations on dark matter and relic neutrinos
Satellite have been studying relic radiation (the most ancient light in the Universe). This light has been measured precisely across the entire sky for the first time, in both intensity and polarization, thereby producing the oldest image of the Universe. This primordial light lets us “see” some of the most elusive particles in the Universe: … Continue reading →
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7:05 PM | Genes tell story of birdsong and human speech
A massive international effort to sequence and compare the entire genomes of 48 species of birds, representing every major order of the bird family tree, reveals that vocal learning evolved twice or maybe three times among songbirds, parrots and hummingbirds. Even more striking, the set of genes employed in each of those song innovations is … Continue reading →
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7:01 PM | ‘Big Bang’ of bird evolution mapped
The first findings of the Avian Phylogenomics Consortium are being reported nearly simultaneously in 29 papers — eight papers in a Dec. 12 special issue of Science and 21 more in Genome Biology, GigaScience and other journals. The analyses suggest some remarkable new ideas about bird evolution, including insights into vocal learning and the brain, … Continue reading →
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6:57 PM | Evolutionary reversal previously unseen in animal kingdom
The saga of the Osedax “bone-eating” worms began 12 years ago, with the first discovery of these deep-sea creatures that feast on the bones of dead animals. The Osedax story grew even stranger when researchers found that the large female worms contained harems of tiny dwarf males. Examining bone worms collected at 700 meters (2,296 … Continue reading →
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6:52 PM | Natural selection is furthering mutations that are making skin paler
Skin colour varies according to the latitude and, therefore, according to the intensity of incident ultraviolet light: individuals living at low latitudes have darker skin, whereas those living at high latitudes have pale pigmentation. One researcher has studied why this depigmentation has taken place, and has concluded that evolution is furthering mutations that are lightening … Continue reading →
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6:30 PM | Origin Of Eukaryotic Cells Gets A New Hypothesis
All complex life, including plants, animals and fungi, consists if of eukaryotic cells, cells with a nucleus, transport mechanisms and often organelles like mitochondria that perform the functions an organism needs to stay alive and healthy. Humans have 220 different kinds of eukaryotic cells which control everything from thinking and locomotion to reproduction and immune defense. Because of that commonality, the evolution of the eukaryotic cell is considered one of the most critical events in […]
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