Mobile phones have quietly become a global government ID device

Mobile phones have quietly become a global government ID device

Human Activity May Be Supporting Growth of Harmful Algae in Lakes

Intensified land-use, sewage discharge, and climate change have likely favored disproportionate development of harmful algae in freshwaters. A new study found that blooms of one type of harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, have increased disproportionately over the past two centuries relative to other species, with the greatest increases since 1945.
Cyanobacteria pose a serious threat to drinking water sources worldwide because they can release toxins into the surrounding environment.

The more friends you drink with, the more you drink

A new study shows that alcohol consumption of individuals appears to increase with the number of friends in their drinking group.

Why Are Girls More Likely to Die in Pediatric Intensive Care Units?

In a study of 2,609 patients from a pediatric intensive care unit in a children's hospital in Spain, investigators found that more boys than girls were admitted (57.5% vs. 42.5%) but death rates were higher in girls (4.9% vs. 3.3%).

Girls died from a broader range of causes while boys died most often from respiratory and polytraumatic injuries, which could reflect an increased likelihood to engage in risky activities or behave more carelessly, the authors conclude.

The O.J. Simpson Effect and forensic science reform

Forensic science expert John Collins has published a commentary at Science 2.0 in which he cites the 1995 murder trial of O.J. Simpson as "kick-starting" legal and political activism against forensic science in the United States.

In Keeping the Gate - A Science & Justice Blog, Collins, president and founder of the Forensic Foundations Group, said that the activism has distorted perceptions about science in the courtroom.

Did climate change help spark the Syrian war?

A new study says a record drought that ravaged Syria in 2006-2010 was likely stoked by ongoing manmade climate change, and that the drought may have helped propel the 2011 Syrian uprising. Researchers say the drought, the worst ever recorded in the region, destroyed agriculture in the breadbasket region of northern Syria, driving dispossessed farmers to cities, where poverty, government mismanagement and other factors created unrest that exploded in spring 2011. The conflict has since evolved into a complex multinational war that has killed at least 200,000 people and displaced millions.

Direct link between insulin resistance and behavioral disorders

People with diabetes are more prone to anxiety and depression than those with other chronic diseases that require similar levels of management. The reasons for this aren't well understood, but Joslin Diabetes Center researchers have discovered one potential explanation.

Genetically modifying mice to make their brains resistant to insulin, the Joslin scientists first found that the animals exhibited behaviors that suggest anxiety and depression, and then pinpointed a mechanism that lowers levels of the key neurotransmitter dopamine in areas of the brain associated with those conditions.

40 percent underweight: Maternal health in India even worse than thought

More than 40 percent of women in India are underweight when they begin pregnancy, according to a new study. On average, these women gain only 15 pounds throughout pregnancy - just half of the recommended amount.

Synthetic biology for all

Deep in the heart of synthetic biology are the proteins that make it tick.

Protein engineering is the crucial pulse of the booming, relatively new scientific discipline. Scientists grow, harvest, and reprogram proteins to become new drug therapeutics, environmentally friendly fuels, and vaccines. Producing proteins quickly and in large quantities has been and remains a major challenge in the field.

New VAIL assessment tool can predict successful teachers

A new video assessment tool that can inform teacher selection and hiring has implications for education reform.

This is the key finding of a new study led by a researcher from Clemson University in collaboration with researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Virginia. The study was published in The Elementary School Journal.

The researchers say there is a growing focus as part of education reform and accountability efforts to improve mechanisms for selecting individuals into teacher preparation and eventually into the field who will be successful.