Posts

September 15, 2014

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11:56 PM | Neuroscientists identify key role of language gene
Mutation that arose long ago may be key to humans’ unique ability to produce and understand speech. Neuroscientists have found that a gene mutation that arose more than half a million years ago may be key to humans’ unique ability to produce and understand speech. Subject:  Genetics
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11:43 PM | Brain scans forecast early reading difficulties
UC San Francisco researchers have used brain scans to predict how young children learn to read, giving clinicians a possible tool to spot children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties before they experience reading challenges. Subject:  Brain & Behavior
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11:18 PM | WelO5: New Halogenation Enzyme Discovered
Molecules containing carbon-halogen bonds are produced naturally across all kingdoms of life and constitute a large family of natural products with a broad range of biological activities.  The presence of halogen substituents in many bioactive compounds has a profound influence on their molecular properties and a goal of chemical science has been to find the late-stage, site-specific incorporation of a halogen atom into a complex natural product by replacing an sp³ C-H bond (one of […]
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10:59 PM | Spinosaurus appears to have been toothy and semi-aquatic; but don’t call it a crocoduck
Previously-known Spinosaurus was a dinosaur that blew my mind. I couldn’t figure out the deal with the sail and the ultra-long snout. Turns out it had more surprises in store. Scientists report first semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus: Massive predator was more than 9 feet longer than largest T. rex — ScienceDaily. Scientists today unveiled what appears… Source: Doubtful News
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10:54 PM | One Hundred And Eighty Seven – On The Society For Science Based Healthcare
It’s been a while! But with this episode comes a new-look website – so check it out at tokenskeptic.org, with huge thanks to Faster Pussycat Productions! The Society for Science Based Healthcare believes that a strong basis in rigorous science is a necessary prerequisite for providing safe and effective healthcare. Decisions ...
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10:31 PM | NEW VIDEO!!! Behind the scenes of It’s Okay To Be...
NEW VIDEO!!! Behind the scenes of It’s Okay To Be Smart!! Hey everybody! Man, I have been so busy the last couple weeks working on some awesome new upcoming videos (seriously, just wait until you see next week’s vid) as well as a couple new projects, but I didn’t want to leave you empty-handed this week. So here’s a video full of bloopres. Wait, I mean bloopers. Definitely bloopers. I mess up a lot. ALSO, we’ve got another “Ask Joe” episode coming […]
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10:30 PM | Concussion: The 'Hidden Injury' In Sports
In 2010, McGill Redmen receiver Charles-Antoine Sinotte suffered a concussion during his last home game. "It was like nothing I had experienced before," recalls Sinotte. "I felt like I was out of my body." Although he received medical attention and missed the rest of the game, he admits he downplayed his symptoms in order to play in the next game – his last before leaving McGill. read more
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10:10 PM | This App Uses Your Phone To Help With Cancer and Alzheimer’s Research While You Sleep (Video)
A University of Vienna invention is turning our smartphones into a network of processing power. The Samsung Power Sleep App was developed by Samsung in Austria, as a collaboration with the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Vienna. Samsung Power Sleep lets you donate the processing power of your smartphone or tablet to assist researchers with the decryption of protein sequences. This decryption is an essential part of cancer and Alzheimer’s research (as well […]
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10:00 PM | Genetically Modified Wheat, Without The GMO Drama
Researchers have discovered "the most famous wheat gene," a reproductive traffic cop of sorts that can be used to transfer valuable genes from other plants to wheat, which clears the way for wheat varieties with disease- and pest-resistance traits of other grasses. Though it would be genetic modification, because of precise legal definitions that ban some genetic optimization but allow mutagenesis and other older forms of genetic modification, it would not have the same regulatory hurdles and […]
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10:00 PM | This Type Of Baldness By Age 45 Linked To More Aggressive Prostate Cancer
Men who had moderate baldness affecting both the front and the crown of their head by age 45 were at a 40% increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer than men with no baldness, according to a new, large cohort analysis from the prospective Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men. Aggressive prostate cancer usually indicates a faster growing tumor resulting in poorer prognosis relative to […]
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9:56 PM | Earthquake hits Norway and Sweden
An earthquake measured to 4.7 magnitude (according to Google Alerts) hit Norway and Sweden at little over 3 PM local time. Some places has it recorded as low as 4.2, while others apparently have it recorded as high as 4.9. The epicenter of the earthquake according Google Alerts was near Älvdalen in Sweden but caused tremors… Source: Doubtful News
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9:30 PM | The Costs Of Defensive Medicine Quantified
The use of unnecessary medical tests and procedures driven by a fear of malpractice lawsuits, commonly known as 'defensive medicine', has been estimated to cost up to $46 billion annually in the U.S.  It used to be that we didn't want medical decisions being made by insurance companies, and instead they became dictated by lawyers.  For a recent paper, the authors estimated the cost of defensive medicine on three services – tests, procedures or hospitalizations – by […]
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9:30 PM | Archea Domain: New Producer Of Vitamin B12 Discovered
Vitamin B12 is an essential molecule required by most life on this planet but it is only produced by a relatively small group of microorganisms due to its large size and complexity. For us, vitamin B12 plays a key role in maintaining the brain and nervous systems, as well as DNA synthesis in cells throughout the body. read more
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9:20 PM | This Fungus Cannon Shoots Off Spores Faster Than Bullets from A Shotgun (Video)
Back in June, I wrote a post about the fastest animals in the world, including the hydromantes salamander, the mantis shrimp, the cheetah and the peregrine falcon. But life on this planet is not limited to the animal kingdom. If we’re talking about the fastest organisms in the world, then the Pilobolus crystallinus, a fungus typically found growing on herbivore poo, is definitely a contender. The fungus creates spores which it eventually shoots off at speeds up to […]
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9:19 PM | The biological expedition of memories
For several years, the origin of inexplicable fears such as arachnophobia or acrophobia has remained an enigma. How, why, and by what means such fears develop was a prevalently unanswered question, until a study involving mice opened a complex, intricate gateway into the world of epigenetics and provided some insight into this phenomenon. In fact, recent research and experimentation affirm the possibility that personal fears, experiences, and memories can be successively passed down […]
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9:06 PM | New glaucoma cause discovered
Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a novel cause of glaucoma in an animal model, and related to their findings, are now developing an eye drop aimed at curing the disease. They believe their findings will be important to human glaucoma. A cure for glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the U.S., has been elusive because the basis of the disease is poorly understood. Subject:  Health & Medicine
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9:02 PM | 'Squid skin' metamaterials project yields vivid color display
The quest to create artificial "squid skin" -- camouflaging metamaterials that can "see" colors and automatically blend into the background -- is one step closer to reality, thanks to a breakthrough color-display technology unveiled this week by Rice University's Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP). Subject:  Animal Research
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9:00 PM | No truth for science, just the quest
In Karl Popper’s seminal book, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, the Austrian philosopher of science makes the case for deductive logic in the scientific enterprise. It is a challenging read, but I want to leave you with his last three paragraphs, which are more accessible and a beauty to read. Translation by the author with assistance … Continue reading →
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8:50 PM | Are baldness and prostate cancer linked?
A new, large cohort analysis from the prospective Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, indicates that men who had moderate baldness affecting both the front and the crown of their head at age 45 were at a 40% increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer (usually indicates a faster growing tumor resulting in poorer prognosis relative to non-aggressive prostate cancer) later in life, compared to men with no baldness. Subject:  […]
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8:01 PM | Humanized FoxP2 and the timing of habits
Last week, Elizabeth Pennisi asked me to comment on the recent paper from Schreiweis et al. entitled “Humanized FoxP2 accelerates learning by enhancing transitions from declarative to procedural performance”. Since I don’t know how much, if anything, of my answers […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...

Schreiweis, C., Bornschein, U., Burguiere, E., Kerimoglu, C., Schreiter, S., Dannemann, M., Goyal, S., Rea, E., French, C., Puliyadi, R. & Groszer, M. (2014). Humanized Foxp2 accelerates learning by enhancing transitions from declarative to procedural performance, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1414542111

Citation
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8:01 PM | Montenegro’s science minister accused of plagiarism
From my post on Retraction Watch: Sanja Vlahovic, science minister of Montenegro, copied two-thirds of a 2010 paper on tourism from previously published work by other academics, according to the national daily newspaper Vijesti. The newspaper compared her paper, “Destinations’ Competitiveness in Modern Tourism,” presented at the Tourism & Hospitality Management 2010 conference in Opatija, Croatia, to three previously published papers and found much of the content to […]
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8:01 PM | Unelected Officials: We Don't Need Civic Education, Bureaucrats Do
In the modern era, a great deal of policy decisions are made by people who do not report to the public. If the EPA agrees to settle a lawsuit with canoers by calling water a pollutant, they can just do it, and stick local government with a $500 million liability. read more
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8:01 PM | Are Bloggers Journalists? New Zealand's High Court Says Yes
If bloggers are journalists, should they all benefit from the same legal protections? Credit: Jonathan Ah Kit/FlickrBy Jane JohnstonA New Zealand High Court judgment handed down on Friday will have far-reaching implications for journalists and bloggers, as courts around the world consider the rapidly changing definitions of journalism. read more
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7:18 PM | What Net Neutrality Is And Why You Should Care
The battle over Net neutrality has actually been going on for quite a while, but thanks the battle for the net campaign it’s finally getting some attention. This is what Wikipedia says about NetNeutrality: Net neutrality is the principle that Internet…The post What Net Neutrality Is And Why You Should Care appeared first on Just Science.
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7:17 PM | Why Does Chewing Aluminum Foil Hurt?
Why does chewing foil hurt? Specifically, why does chewing, or biting down on aluminum foil hurt? Surprisingly, the pain caused by chewing or biting down on aluminum foil is caused by an electric shock. It’s weird, I know, but it does make perfect sense….The post Why Does Chewing Aluminum Foil Hurt? appeared first on Just Science.
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7:17 PM | How Long Do Koalas Sleep A Day?
How long do koalas sleep a day? It might surprise you to learn that they sleep for up to an astounding 22 hours a day. That surely is an astronomical amount of time to spend sleeping, so why do they do it? Well, it is a result of their diet. What a life….The post How Long Do Koalas Sleep A Day? appeared first on Just Science.
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7:12 PM | Technology Education for Students Is Essential in Creating a Future STEM Workforce, and It Starts With Educating Teachers | Felix W. Ortiz III
This truly is a growing concern and rightly so: Technology Education for Students Is Essential in Creating a Future STEM Workforce, and It Starts With Educating Teachers | Felix W. Ortiz III.The post Technology Education for Students Is Essential in Creating a Future STEM Workforce, and It Starts With Educating Teachers | Felix W. Ortiz III appeared first on Just Science.
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7:10 PM | With Tech Taking Over in Schools, Worries Rise – NYTimes.com
With Tech Taking Over in Schools, Worries Rise – NYTimes.com.The post With Tech Taking Over in Schools, Worries Rise – NYTimes.com appeared first on Just Science.
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7:05 PM | Are we getting close to a multiple sclerosis cure?
More than 2.3 million people worldwide have multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that interrupts the circuitry between the brain and the body. It usually strikes young adults. At the moment, the disease can be managed but not cured. Current treatments…The post Are we getting close to a multiple sclerosis cure? appeared first on Just Science.
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7:04 PM | Diabetes and multiple sclerosis can be reversed say scientists
British scientists revealed yesterday that they believe they have discovered how to “switch off” autoimmune diseases. There are hopes the breakthrough could be a cure for conditions like Type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. With these and other autoimmune…The post Diabetes and multiple sclerosis can be reversed say scientists appeared first on Just Science.
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