Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Birds, Bees and other Critters have Scruples, and for Good Reason

Birds, Bees and other Critters have Scruples, and for Good Reason

Humans are not the only species to show a strong work ethic and scruples. Researchers have found evidence of conscientiousness in insects, reptiles, birds, fish and other critters, such as working hard, paying attention to detail and striving to do the right thing.

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Boredom Is Good for You

Boredom Is Good for You

Boredom has, paradoxically, become quite interesting to academics lately. The International Interdisciplinary Boredom Conference gathered humanities scholars in Warsaw for the fifth time in April. In early May, its less scholarly forerunner, London’s Boring Conference, celebrated seven years of delighting in tedium. At this event, people flock to talks about toast, double yellow lines, sneezing, and vending-machine sounds, among other snooze-inducing topics.

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A 1-Hour Walk, 3 Times a Week, Has Benefits for Dementia

A 1-Hour Walk, 3 Times a Week, Has Benefits for Dementia

Regular, brisk walks improved thinking skills in older people with a common form of age-related memory loss.

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Trump used to be more articulate. What could explain the change?

Trump used to be more articulate. What could explain the change?

STAT asked experts to compare Trump's speech from decades ago to that in 2017. All noticed deterioration, which may signal changes in Trump's brain health.

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Why Flamingos Are More Stable on One Leg Than Two

Why Flamingos Are More Stable on One Leg Than Two

They’re so steady that you can balance a dead one on a single leg.

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Study finds mushrooms are the safest recreational drug

Study finds mushrooms are the safest recreational drug

People taking mushrooms in 2016 needed medical treatment less than for MDMA, LSD and cocaine, while one of the riskiest drugs was synthetic cannabis

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Astronauts may wear eight-legged 'spider' spacesuits to crawl across the moons of Mars

Astronauts may wear eight-legged 'spider' spacesuits to crawl across the moons of Mars

The devices, called "spider flyer-walker" suits, would have eight arms and allow astronauts to hop, crawl, or walk. When the first astronauts reach Mars in the 2030s, they'll never set foot on the planet's surface. Instead, NASA wants its plucky human crew to orbit the desert world for about a year, then return home. But that doesn't mean astronauts couldn't explore Phobos or Deimos — two tiny and intriguing moons of Mars.

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The everyday habits that reveal our personalities

The everyday habits that reveal our personalities

One reason that personality is such an important psychological concept is because of what it tells us about the kind of lives we’re likely to lead. For example, if you are very conscientious then you’re more likely to enjoy good physical health and more harmonious relationships; extroverts are happier; highly neurotic people experience more mental health problems; open-minded people command higher earnings; and, just as you’d expect, more ‘agreeable’ people are also usually popular and have lots of friends.

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Poisoned Generation

The Poisoned Generation

The story of a decades-long lead-poisoning lawsuit in New Orleans illustrates how the toxin destroys black families and communities alike. By Vann R. Newkirk II.

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Daryl Bem Proved ESP Is Real. Which Means Science Is Broken.

Daryl Bem Proved ESP Is Real. Which Means Science Is Broken.

The scientist couldn't have foreseen the crisis his research would touch off.

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Here be dragons: the million-year journey of the Komodo dragon

Here be dragons: the million-year journey of the Komodo dragon

Far from being the special result of insular evolution, Komodo dragons are the last survivors of a group of huge lizards that ranged over much of Australasia. By Hanneke Meijer.

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Italy makes vaccination mandatory for children | News | DW | 19.05.2017

Italy makes vaccination mandatory for children | News | DW | 19.05.2017

The Italian government has approved a law ordering parents to vaccinate children or face fines. The authorities have noted a rise in measles cases, which the cabinet blames on "the spread of anti-scientific theories."

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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Ditch the Stradivarius? New violins sound better: study

Ditch the Stradivarius? New violins sound better: study

Despite the lofty reputation of old violins by Italian masters such as Antonio Stradivari, blindfolded listeners in concert halls in New York and Paris say they preferred the sound of newer instruments.

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Ancestry.com takes DNA ownership rights from customers and their relatives

Ancestry.com takes DNA ownership rights from customers and their relatives

Don’t use the AncestryDNA testing service without actually reading the Ancestry.com

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Dementia-related brain changes observed before memory or thinking problems are noticeable

Dementia-related brain changes observed before memory or thinking problems are noticeable

Scientists discover a potential predictor for early dementia that could inform the development of drug and therapeutic interventions to treat or slow down the disease.

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Why Brain Scientists Are Still Obsessed With The Curious Case Of Phineas Gage

Why Brain Scientists Are Still Obsessed With The Curious Case Of Phineas Gage

In 1848, a railroad worker survived an accident that drove a 13-pound iron bar through his head. The injury changed his personality, and our understanding of the brain.

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Researchers identify main factors of home indoor air pollution: marijuana surprisingly plays a big role

Researchers identify main factors of home indoor air pollution: marijuana surprisingly plays a big role

Families that reported smoking cigarettes indoors had an average particle level almost double that of non-indoor-smoking families. These particles included nicotine and combustion byproducts, both linked to health issues. Surprisingly enough, marijuana smoking contributed to in-home air pollution about as much as tobacco smoking. Burning candles or incense, frying food in oil, and spraying cleaning products also led to an increase in the number of fine particles.

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Robots could wipe out another 6 million retail jobs

Robots could wipe out another 6 million retail jobs

Robots have already cost millions of factory jobs across the nation. Next up could be jobs at your local stores. Between 6 million to 7.5 million existing jobs are at risk of being replaced over the course of the next 10 years by some form of automation, according to a new study this week from by financial services firm Cornerstone Capital Group.

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Friday, 19 May 2017

Ford’s first all-electric vehicle will have ‘over 300 miles of range’, be affordable, and mass-produced, says CTO

Ford’s first all-electric vehicle will have ‘over 300 miles of range’, be affordable, and mass-produced, says CTO

The only all-electric cars that Ford currently sells are compliance cars built on existing gas-powered platforms. Earlier this year, the automaker announced that its first all-electric car built to be electric from the ground up will come out in 2020. Raj Nair, Ford’s Chief Technology Officer, now says that the vehicle will be mass-produced, hinting that it will not be a compliance car, and priced affordably.

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Parallel universe created by ‘car crash’

Parallel universe created by ‘car crash’

SCIENTISTS believe they may have discovered evidence of a parallel universe that crashed into our own in a galactic impact mirroring a car crash. Since 2004, when it was first spotted by NASA, scientists have been baffled by the discovery an unusually cold region of space which is 1.8 billion light years across and colder than its surroundings. It was thought the region might have been a trick of light or it was colder because it had 10,000 less galaxies than other areas of the same size.

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Dirty diesel: why ships are the worst offenders

Dirty diesel: why ships are the worst offenders

Weatherwatch Ships belch out most of their sulphurous toxins far from land, but they could still be responsible for 60,000 deaths each year

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Thursday, 18 May 2017

No such thing as 'fat but fit', major study finds

No such thing as 'fat but fit', major study finds

People who are obese run an increased risk of heart failure and stroke even if they appear healthy, without the obvious warning signs such as high blood pressure or diabetes, according to a major new study. The findings, presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal, may be the final death knell for the claim that it is possible to be obese but still metabolically healthy – or “fat but fit” – say scientists.

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The Moral Cost of Cats

The Moral Cost of Cats

A bird-loving scientist calls for an end to outdoor cats

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A new book ranks the top 100 solutions to climate change. The results are surprising

A new book ranks the top 100 solutions to climate change. The results are surprising

A chat with Paul Hawken about his ambitious new effort to “map, measure, and model” global warming solutions. By David Roberts.

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Australian oil well leaked into ocean for months – but spill kept secret

Australian oil well leaked into ocean for months – but spill kept secret

An offshore oil and gas well in Australia leaked oil continuously into the ocean for two months in 2016, releasing an estimated 10,500 litres. But the spill was never made public by the regulator and details about the well, its whereabouts and operator remain secret. In its annual offshore performance report released this week, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority included a mention of a 10,500-litre spill in April 2016. It provided limited details about, noting that it had been identified during a routine inspection.

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How Coffee, Chocolate and Tea Overturned a 1,500-Year-Old Medical Mindset

How Coffee, Chocolate and Tea Overturned a 1,500-Year-Old Medical Mindset

The humoral system dominated medicine since the Ancient Greeks—but it was no match for these New World beverages

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A Creationist Sues the Grand Canyon for Religious Discrimination

A Creationist Sues the Grand Canyon for Religious Discrimination

The national park wouldn’t let him collect rocks for research. 

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Scientists are on the verge of being able to create 'limitless supplies' of blood

Scientists are on the verge of being able to create 'limitless supplies' of blood

Scientists believe they are “tantalisingly close” to being able to make a “limitless supply” of blood to treat people with blood disorders and immune condition and help give transfusions. For nearly 20 years, researchers have been trying to find a way to turn stem cells – which can create any kind of cell – into blood artificially.

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Virginia Moves to Regulate Power Plant Emissions, Defying Trump

Virginia Moves to Regulate Power Plant Emissions, Defying Trump

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday announced an ambitious plan to cut carbon pollution from the state's power plants, taking a stand against the Trump administration's continued efforts to dismantle carbon-cutting regulations. McAuliffe issued an executive order directing state environmental regulators to begin creating a market-based carbon-trading program. The mandatory cap-and-trade program would become the third in the country, after California's statewide carbon compliance market and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative...

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Vultures smear their faces in red mud which they use as makeup

Vultures smear their faces in red mud which they use as makeup

The endangered Egyptian vultures have taken to mud baths and painting their faces at their stronghold in the Canaries. But why do they care about cosmetics? By Sandhya Sekar.

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New Zealand Quake Scientists make surprising find Underground

New Zealand Quake Scientists make surprising find Underground

Researchers say the discovery could provide a significant new energy source

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The Trump news you missed: he asked Comey to jail journalists

The Trump news you missed: he asked Comey to jail journalists

Given how much the media has hampered his administration, Trump’s goal seems to be to snuff it out any way possible. By Trevor Timm.

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When Wolves Return to the Wild, Everything Changes

When Wolves Return to the Wild, Everything Changes

Top predators like wolves have a powerful effect on their ecosystems, and if they are taken away, a strange phenomenon can happen

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Boring Company - Why Tunnels? (FAQ)

The Boring Company - Why Tunnels? (FAQ)

To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D, which means either flying cars or tunnels. Unlike flying cars, tunnels are weatherproof, out of sight and won't fall on your head. A large network of road tunnels many levels deep would fix congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew (just keep adding levels). The key to making this work is increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more – this is the goal of The Boring Company.

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UH Researchers Report New, More Efficient Catalyst for Water Splitting

UH Researchers Report New, More Efficient Catalyst for Water Splitting

University of Houston physicists have discovered a catalyst that can split water into hydrogen and oxygen, composed of easily available, low-cost materials and operating far more efficiently than previous catalysts. That would solve one of the primary hurdles remaining in using water to produce hydrogen, one of the most promising sources of clean energy.

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Researchers Are Using Stem Cell Tech to End Neurological Disorders

Researchers Are Using Stem Cell Tech to End Neurological Disorders

Researchers have constructed a laboratory model for a unique neurological disorder by transforming patients' own cells using stem cell technology.

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American Trees Are Moving West, and No One Knows Why

American Trees Are Moving West, and No One Knows Why

Climate change only explains at least 20 percent of the movement.

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Japan's sex problem could cause the population to fall by 40 million by 2065

Japan's sex problem could cause the population to fall by 40 million by 2065

Japan's fertility problem hit a new low last year: 2016 was the first year since 1899 that fewer than one million babies were born in the country. New data suggests the trend isn't poised to let up anytime soon. Japan's National Institute of Population and Social Security Research predicts that the country's current population of 127 million will decline by nearly 40 million by 2065. Demographic experts point to younger generations' waning interest (and ability) to start families, along with low immigration rates, as the primary causes of the decline.

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Indian teenager 3D prints "world's lightest satellite" to launch on NASA rocket

Indian teenager 3D prints "world's lightest satellite" to launch on NASA rocket

Indian teenager Rifath Sharook has designed the “world’s lightest satellite” using a 3D printed carbon fiber reinforced polymer. The satellite, which weighs just 64 grams, is expected to launch on a sounding rocket from NASA’s Wallops Island facility, Virginia in June. Sharook has named the 4 cm device the ‘Kalam Sat’ in reference to former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

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Bouncing electrons off a time mirror

Bouncing electrons off a time mirror

A quantum time mirror puts wave packets back together. By Chris Lee.

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Secrets Of The Sea

Secrets Of The Sea

A Tang Shipwreck & Early Trade In Asia. By Kristin Nord.

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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

What causes that feeling of being watched

What causes that feeling of being watched

You feel somebody is looking at you, but you don’t know why. The explanation lies in some intriguing neuroscience and the study of a strange form of brain injury. By Tom Stafford.

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The Way We Discipline Low-Income Kids Only Makes Their Problems Worse

The Way We Discipline Low-Income Kids Only Makes Their Problems Worse

At the beginning of this school year, Ahmed Mohamed, a freshman at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, brought a makeshift clock to school to impress his teachers—and ended up in handcuffs. His teachers, it seemed, thought it could be a bomb, and Mohamed was interrogated without his parents present for hours. While the incident sparked outrage over Islamophobia and racial profiling (partially due to Irving’s earlier public embarrassments), it also revealed that Mohamed was far from an outlier...

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A self-repairing surface that stays clean and dry

A self-repairing surface that stays clean and dry

THE repulsive powers of lotus leaves are the stuff of legend. Water sprayed onto them forms instantly into silvery beads (see picture) and rolls right off again—carrying any dirt on the leaf’s surface with it. The physics behind this impressive and beautiful phenomenon is well understood. Lotus leaves repel water because they are covered with minuscule waxy nodules that stop water molecules bonding with a leaf’s surface tissues, meaning those molecules bond with each other instead. That arrangement has been replicated in several man-made materials.

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Migratory birds bumped off schedule as climate change shifts spring

Migratory birds bumped off schedule as climate change shifts spring

New research shows climate change is altering the delicate seasonal clock that North American migratory songbirds rely on to successfully mate and raise healthy offspring, setting in motion a domino effect that could threaten the survival of many familiar backyard bird species.

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The odds of a drug having a significant safety issue after winning FDA approval are nearly 1 in 3, study finds

The odds of a drug having a significant safety issue after winning FDA approval are nearly 1 in 3, study finds

Almost one-third of new drugs approved by U.S. regulators over a decade ended up years later with warnings about unexpected — sometimes life-threatening — side effects or complications, according to a new analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Researchers looked at potential problems that cropped up during the routine monitoring that's done once a medicine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is on the market. The results, published Tuesday, covered all 222 prescription drugs approved by the FDA from 2001 through 2010.

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Diesel vehicles produce 50 percent more nitrogen oxide than originally thought

Diesel vehicles produce 50 percent more nitrogen oxide than originally thought

A study, published in Nature, has shown that laboratory tests of nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel vehicles significantly underestimate the real-world emissions by as much as 50 percent. The research, led by the International Council on Clean Transportation and Environmental Health Analytics, LLC., in collaboration with scientists at the University of York's Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI); University of Colorado; and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, examined 11 major vehicle markets representing more than 80% of new diesel vehicle sales in 2015.'

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