Posts

March 29, 2015

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3:51 AM | The war, the mouse, the protein and the lovers: the curious tale of the search for a common cold vaccine
  “Would you like 10 days free holiday and travel expenses paid?” The advertisements were enticing. They turned up regularly across England for decades. Posters. Newspaper ads. Leaflets. They offered time away in the countryside near Salisbury. Fresh air. Relaxation. Free meals. Not only that, you would be paid for your time. Sound lovely? Married couples were welcome.  Singles were invited, too.  There was even the prospect of romance, provided that those interested […]

March 28, 2015

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10:08 PM | Poor peer-review – a case study
Many scientists are not impressed with the peer-review processes scientific journals use. Like democracy, this peer-review is better than all the available alternatives but it certainly doesn’t guarantee published scientific papers are problem-free. Sure, peer-reviewed sources are better than others which … Continue reading →
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8:00 PM | A New Type of Dyson Sphere May Be Nearly Impossible to Detect
Over fifty years ago, physicist Freeman Dyson proposed an awesome, if slightly insane, idea: That an advanced alien civilization might construct a massive, energy-harvesting sphere around its star, and bunk up inside.Read more...
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6:24 PM | Developing world: The minority minority
Developing world: The minority minority: Women are under-represented in physical sciences and in science in the developing world. Meet three who beat both sets of odds.
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6:20 PM | Koch Brothers, Museums, & An Unpopular Opinion
There’s been a campaign lately to get museums to cut ties with the Koch Brothers, who’ve donated a lot of money to some major institutions (like the AMNH), because of their dealings with the fossil fuel industry. (x) Personally, I have mixed feelings about it. Undoubtedly, I have problems with the Koch brothers’ political and business dealings, but frankly, most museums continually struggle to stay afloat, and most are still struggling to recover after the recession. (x, x, […]
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5:46 PM | Too much attention can be a deficit
Sometimes being too focused on a task is not a good thing. During tasks that require our attention, we might become so engrossed in what we are doing that we fail to notice there is a better way to get the job done. For example, let’s say you are coming out of a New York City […]

Nicolas W. Schuck, Robert Gaschler, Dorit Wenke, Jakob Heinzle, Peter A. Frensch, John-Dylan Haynes & Carlo Reverberi (2015). Medial Prefrontal Cortex Predicts Internally Driven Strategy Shifts, Neuron, Other:

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5:00 PM | Ancient, Predatory "Lobster" is an Ancestor to All Modern Arthropods
More than 250 million years before the first dinosaur, the most fearsome killers on Earth may have been lobsters. Yawunik kootenayi, a common ancestor to spiders, shrimp and butterflies, was a predatory "lobster-like" creature that ruled the seas half a billion years ago.Read more...
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4:44 PM | #Brain article of interest: After learning new words, brain sees them as pictures
From Neuroscience News -- ScienceDailyRead the full article here-> http://ift.tt/1CN17rk
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3:06 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 27/03/2015
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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3:06 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 27/03/2015
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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8:21 AM | UV Safe Umbrellas
Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is an electromagnetic wave. It comes from the sun and travels to the surface of the Earth. While UVR is vital to human (it provides us with the essential vitamin, vitamin D), but it can also cause harm especially to the eye and skin such as burn, hyperpigmentation, photoaging skin, keratoconjunctivitis, stimulation of photodermatoses and cutaneous cancer.This is why we need different methods of protection from the harmful and potentially damaging sun rays. The types […]
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3:00 AM | How long would it take to fall through Earth?
How long would it take to fall through Earth? For years, physics students have been told the answer is 42 minutes. But a new calculation, published in the latest issue of The American Journal of Physics, gives a more accurate travel time of 38 minutes. Over at Science, Adrian Cho unpacks the new equation.Read more...
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12:30 AM | There May Be A Disease That Makes An Octopus Eat Its Own Arms
Here's a horror with which to start your weekend. Multiple octopuses have been spotted engaging in autophagy — otherwise known as self-eating. They will consume their own arms, and no one knows why.Read more...

March 27, 2015

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11:40 PM | All Hail Opportunity Rover, Future Martian Terror
Back in 2010, XKCD's Randall Munroe devoted a surprisingly moving webcomic to Spirit, NASA's ill-fated and ultimately abandoned Mars rover. Today's comic is about Spirit's twin, the apparently indomitable Opportunity, and its tone is markedly less sentimental.Read more...
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10:20 PM | These Birds Really Do Use "Spanish Fly" To Get Laid
Spanish fly isn't just a mythical drug. It's a real thing , and these male birds use it to get females to mate with them. Learn how spanish fly works, but only when males take it.Read more...
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9:58 PM | Fixing 'leaky' blood vessels to combat severe respiratory ailments and, perhaps, Ebola
When you get an infection, your immune system responds with an influx of inflammatory cells that target the underlying bacteria or viruses. These immune cells migrate from your blood into the infected tissue in order to release a cocktail of pro-inflammatory proteins and help eliminate the infectious threat. During this inflammatory response, the blood vessel barrier becomes “leaky.” This allows for an even more rapid influx of additional immune cells. Once the infection resolves, […]
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9:30 PM | Tropical Regions Are Getting Wetter Thanks To Bigger Thunderstorms 
Climate scientists are reporting that increasing rainfall in the world's warmest and wettest regions are being fueled by a recent surge in large, well-organized thunderstorms. Read more...
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7:20 PM | Watch Today's Historic Launch To The ISS, Live Right Now!
Today at 12:42 p.m. PDT/3:42 p.m. EDT, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is scheduled to begin his year-long journey to the International Space Station — a voyage which, if successful, will surpass the U.S. record for longest-duration human spaceflight by more than 100 days.Read more...
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5:07 PM | Quotable Genius: Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan, the best science communicator of his age, was also an avowed athiest who loved discussing religion. Continue reading →
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4:42 PM | Researchers find how body’s good fat talks to the brain
There are two types of fat we humans have — white and brown — unfortunately only one of them is “good fat” and it is unfortunately not the one we tend to produce. Well new research shows that brown fat tissue, the body’s “good fat,” communicates with the brain through sensory nerves, possibly sharing information that […]

Garretson JT, Teubner BJ, Grove KL, Vazdarjanova A, Ryu V & Bartness TJ (2015). Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ Controls Ingestive Behavior, Agouti-Related Protein, and Neuropeptide Y mRNA in the Arcuate Hypothalamus., The Journal of neuroscience, 35 (11) 4571-81. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25788674

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4:30 PM | The Truth Behind The Million Dollar Space Pen Hoax
There's a famous legend that America spent millions on the development of a "Space Pen" that writes upside down, while the Russians used a pencil. Here's the truth behind the legend. Read more...
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4:20 PM | Ganymede's Bizarre Bulge Baffles Scientists
There's a strange bulge on the Solar System's largest moon, one that measures 375 miles wide and nearly two miles tall. Scientists aren't entirely sure why it's there or what caused it, but it may have something to do with the Jovian moon's subsurface ocean.Read more...
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4:17 PM | Research on medical abortion/miscarriage may change international routines
Two scientific studies are expected to form the basis of new international recommendations for the treatment of medical abortions and miscarriages. One of the studies shows that it is possible to replace the clinical follow-up examinations recommended today with medical abortions that include a home pregnancy test. The other study shows that midwives can safely and […]

Oppegaard, K., Qvigstad, E., Fiala, C., Heikinheimo, O., Benson, L. & Gemzell-Danielsson, K. (2015). Clinical follow-up compared with self-assessment of outcome after medical abortion: a multicentre, non-inferiority, randomised, controlled trial, The Lancet, 385 (9969) 698-704. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61054-0

Dr Marie Klingberg-Allvin, PhD, Amanda Cleeve, MSc, Susan Atuhairwe, MSc, Nazarius Mbona Tumwesigye, PhD, Prof Elisabeth Faxelid, PhD, Josaphat Byamugisha, PhD & Prof Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson, PhD (2015). Comparison of treatment of incomplete abortion with misoprostol by physicians and midwives at district level in Uganda: a randomised controlled equivalence trial, The Lancet, DOI: http://dx..org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61935-8

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3:40 PM | ​The Enduring Myth Of Star Jelly
People have always written about star jelly, a gooey substance that appears after meteor showers or sightings of comets. When people are wandering through the woods, or across their lawns, and see some unidentified goo, they generally think, "Ew. Don't step on that. Someone probably just puked it up." When they see it after the news of a major meteor shower they think, "It fell from the stars!"Read more...
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3:39 PM | Music played by professionals activates genes for learning and memory
Music performance is known to induce structural and functional changes to the human brain and enhance cognition. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying music performance have been so far unexplored. A Finnish research group has now investigated the effect of music performance (in a 2 hr concert) on the gene expression profiles of professional musicians from […]

Kanduri, C., Kuusi, T., Ahvenainen, M., Philips, A., Lähdesmäki, H. & Järvelä, I. (2015). The effect of music performance on the transcriptome of professional musicians, Scientific Reports, 5 9506. DOI: 10.1038/srep09506

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3:00 PM | The discovery of a new potent analgesic: yogurt
Last Friday I was, as is always the case listening to an enthusiastic talk given by one of the PhD students from my department. […] Read more The post The discovery of a new potent analgesic: yogurt appeared first on Mapping Ignorance. Related posts:A mediator for horizontal gene transfer between eukaryotes and prokaryotes Inside a cell, no one can hear you turn into an infective zygote New hope against tuberculosis: spectinamides
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2:20 PM | This Biohacker Used Eyedrops To Give Himself Temporary Night Vision
A team of biohackers from California successfully induced a temporary sense of night vision by injecting a simple chemical cocktail directly onto the eye. Incredibly, it allowed them to see over 160 feet in the dark for a brief period of time.Read more...
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2:18 PM | “Talking Dogs and Galileian Blogs: Social Media for Communicating Science”
That’s the title of the talk I gave yesterday at Vanderbilt, and here are the slides: Talking Dogs and Galileian Blogs: Social Media for Communicating Science from Chad Orzel The central idea is the same as in past versions of the talk– stealing Robert Krulwich’s joke contrasting the publication styles of Newton and Galileo to…
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1:30 PM | ​How To Fight Fire With Nuclear Bombs
In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States attempted to improve the image of nuclear bombs by using them for public works. This went about as poorly as you'd suspect.Read more...
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12:51 PM | Love a duck? Promiscuous birds make genetic mistakes | Amy Coats
Promiscuity could put species in danger of potentially damaging genetic changes, according to new research from UCLSome believe that flowers, chocolate or a freshly cooked bacon sandwich are the way to woo members of the opposite sex. But many members of the animal kingdom have different ideas on how to guarantee intercourse. The Mormon cricket goes to the trouble of growing, maintaining, and eventually giving away, a juicy sperm packet about a fifth of his body weight. The female will compete […]
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