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The Evolution Of Trichromatic Color Vision In Humans

General - 12 min 52 sec ago

The evolution of trichromatic color vision in humans occurred by first switching from the ability to detect UV light to blue light between 80 and 30 million years ago and then by adding green-sensitivity(between 45-30 million years ago to the preexisting red-sensitivity in the vertebrate ancestor, according to Shozo Yokoyama et al. in PLOS Genetics.


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The Origin Of Theta Auroras Revealed

General - 57 min 33 sec ago

Auroras are the most visible manifestation of the sun's effect on Earth, but many aspects of these spectacular displays are still poorly understood.

One particular type of very high-latitude aurora is known as a theta aurora -- seen from above it looks like the Greek letter theta, an oval with a line crossing through the center -- which sometimes occurs closer to the poles than normal aurora. While the genesis of the auroral oval emissions is reasonably well understood, the origin of the theta aurora has been undetermined.


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The Origin Of Theta Auroras Revealed

Science2.0 - 57 min 33 sec ago

Auroras are the most visible manifestation of the sun's effect on Earth, but many aspects of these spectacular displays are still poorly understood.

One particular type of very high-latitude aurora is known as a theta aurora -- seen from above it looks like the Greek letter theta, an oval with a line crossing through the center -- which sometimes occurs closer to the poles than normal aurora. While the genesis of the auroral oval emissions is reasonably well understood, the origin of the theta aurora has been undetermined.


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A Line In The Sea: NOAA Picks 'Tipping Points' For Sea Level Related Flooding

Science2.0 - 1 hour 5 min ago

Predictions about specific effects of climate change were once common - but they turned out to be spectacularly wrong so there are fewer these days. In 2006, former Vice-President Al Gore said by 2016 it would be too late to do anything, while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said African farmers would be suffering 50% yield drops by 2020 and the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. 

Today, the IPCC is more scientific and cautions against attributing specific weather events to global warming. They recognize that the public loses confidence in science itself when scientists engage in advocacy. But without reliable metrics, it is hard to know how pressing the issue is so someone has to put in some numbers. 


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Categories: Science2.0

A Line In The Sea: NOAA Picks 'Tipping Points' For Sea Level Related Flooding

General - 1 hour 5 min ago

Predictions about specific effects of climate change were once common - but they turned out to be spectacularly wrong so there are fewer these days. In 2006, former Vice-President Al Gore said by 2016 it would be too late to do anything, while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said African farmers would be suffering 50% yield drops by 2020 and the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. 

Today, the IPCC is more scientific and cautions against attributing specific weather events to global warming. They recognize that the public loses confidence in science itself when scientists engage in advocacy. But without reliable metrics, it is hard to know how pressing the issue is so someone has to put in some numbers. 


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Categories: News

Blame City Life, Not Fast Food, For The Surge In Diabetes

Science2.0 - 2 hours 14 min ago

City folk may not think much of rural living - but they are healthier.

A new study finds that diabetes, once rather uncommon, is now affecting 387 million people worldwide - and 77 percent of it is in developed nations.

The reason is stress, write the authors of a paper in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology&Metabolism. City life - noise, crime and traffic all lead to higher stress and the body producing more of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can counteract insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar, and slow the body's production of it and that makes people more susceptible to diabetes. 


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Categories: Science2.0

Blame City Life, Not Fast Food, For The Surge In Diabetes

General - 2 hours 14 min ago

City folk may not think much of rural living - but they are healthier.

A new study finds that diabetes, once rather uncommon, is now affecting 387 million people worldwide - and 77 percent of it is in developed nations.

The reason is stress, write the authors of a paper in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology&Metabolism. City life - noise, crime and traffic all lead to higher stress and the body producing more of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can counteract insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar, and slow the body's production of it and that makes people more susceptible to diabetes. 


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Categories: News

Finally, We May Get Instant-On Computers

Science2.0 - 2 hours 30 min ago

Computers don't really boot up any faster than they have in decades and that is due to limitations in electric currents (and ignoring the bloated software rolled out after every new chip), which are also a significant power drain.

The solution may be on the horizon. A team has created a room-temperature magnetoelectric memory device, equivalent to one computer bit, that could lead to next-generation nonvolatile memory: magnetic switchability, in two steps, with nothing but an electric field. When data can be encoded without current - for example, by an electric field applied across an insulator - it requires much less energy and that means low-power, instant-on computing is a reality.


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Categories: Science2.0

Finally, We May Get Instant-On Computers

General - 2 hours 30 min ago

Computers don't really boot up any faster than they have in decades and that is due to limitations in electric currents (and ignoring the bloated software rolled out after every new chip), which are also a significant power drain.

The solution may be on the horizon. A team has created a room-temperature magnetoelectric memory device, equivalent to one computer bit, that could lead to next-generation nonvolatile memory: magnetic switchability, in two steps, with nothing but an electric field. When data can be encoded without current - for example, by an electric field applied across an insulator - it requires much less energy and that means low-power, instant-on computing is a reality.


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Categories: News

You Can Self-identify With Any Ancestry You Want, But Genetically...

Science2.0 - 4 hours 36 min ago

There is a running joke in America that there are three times as many people in the U.S. claiming to be Irish as there are actual people in Ireland. 

Though it's nice to claim to be Irish because of a last name, America is a melting pot. And it is so melted that the genetic ancestry of racial and ethnic groups varies significantly even across different geographic regions in the United States. A paper in the American Journal of Human Genetics, researchers analyzed the genomes of more than 160,000 African-Americans, Latin-Americans and European-Americans, providing insights into the subtle differences in genetic ancestry across the United States. 


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You Can Self-identify With Any Ancestry You Want, But Genetically...

General - 4 hours 36 min ago

There is a running joke in America that there are three times as many people in the U.S. claiming to be Irish as there are actual people in Ireland. 

Though it's nice to claim to be Irish because of a last name, America is a melting pot. And it is so melted that the genetic ancestry of racial and ethnic groups varies significantly even across different geographic regions in the United States. A paper in the American Journal of Human Genetics, researchers analyzed the genomes of more than 160,000 African-Americans, Latin-Americans and European-Americans, providing insights into the subtle differences in genetic ancestry across the United States. 


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Categories: News

How Will Climate Change Impact Agriculture?

Science2.0 - 4 hours 53 min ago

Climate change impacts could mean uncertain transformations of global agriculture systems by 2050, according to a new paper from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. 


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Categories: Science2.0

How Will Climate Change Impact Agriculture?

General - 4 hours 53 min ago

Climate change impacts could mean uncertain transformations of global agriculture systems by 2050, according to a new paper from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. 


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Categories: News

5 Common Misconceptions About Seasonal Flu

Science2.0 - 5 hours 54 min ago

If you're sick, stay home. Shutterstock

By Derek Gatherer, Lancaster University

It’s that time of the year again. You probably think I mean Christmas, but as a virologist the sight of glitter, fairy lights and moulting pine trees immediately makes me think of the flu season. And if there’s one thing that can ruin your family’s Christmas, it’s the arrival of that particular unwanted guest.

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Categories: Science2.0

5 Common Misconceptions About Seasonal Flu

General - 5 hours 54 min ago

If you're sick, stay home. Shutterstock

By Derek Gatherer, Lancaster University

It’s that time of the year again. You probably think I mean Christmas, but as a virologist the sight of glitter, fairy lights and moulting pine trees immediately makes me think of the flu season. And if there’s one thing that can ruin your family’s Christmas, it’s the arrival of that particular unwanted guest.

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Categories: News

Foldscope: A Microscope You Can Carry In Your Pocket

Science2.0 - 5 hours 57 min ago
I finally received a Foldscope beta test kit. “Foldscope is an origami-based print-and-fold optical microscope that can be assembled from a flat sheet of paper,” according to the website. The Foldscope “can provide over 2,000X magnification with sub-micron resolution (800nm), weighs less than two nickels (8.8 g), is small enough to fit in a pocket (70 × 20 × 2 mm3), requires no external power, and can survive being dropped from a 3-story building or stepped on by a person.”

The kit came with instructions, perforated cardboard for the microscope assembly parts, lenses, magnetic strips to attach the microscope to a cell phone, and a light module.

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Categories: Science2.0

Foldscope: A Microscope You Can Carry In Your Pocket

General - 5 hours 57 min ago
I finally received a Foldscope beta test kit. “Foldscope is an origami-based print-and-fold optical microscope that can be assembled from a flat sheet of paper,” according to the website. The Foldscope “can provide over 2,000X magnification with sub-micron resolution (800nm), weighs less than two nickels (8.8 g), is small enough to fit in a pocket (70 × 20 × 2 mm3), requires no external power, and can survive being dropped from a 3-story building or stepped on by a person.”

The kit came with instructions, perforated cardboard for the microscope assembly parts, lenses, magnetic strips to attach the microscope to a cell phone, and a light module.

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When Embryonic Stem Cells Don't Know What To Make Of Themselves

Science2.0 - 6 hours 7 min ago

A new paper has found that inhibiting or blocking stem cells ability to make a specific decision, leads to better cell growth and could lead to defined ways to differentiate stem cells.

Th authors say their research is the first comprehensive analysis of a pathway important for stem and cancer cell decisions known as Erk. As a result, they hope the work could contain clues to cancer treatment as well as helping to establish a platform to make stem cell treatments for gut related disorders like the pancreas or the liver. 



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Categories: Science2.0

When Embryonic Stem Cells Don't Know What To Make Of Themselves

General - 6 hours 7 min ago

A new paper has found that inhibiting or blocking stem cells ability to make a specific decision, leads to better cell growth and could lead to defined ways to differentiate stem cells.

Th authors say their research is the first comprehensive analysis of a pathway important for stem and cancer cell decisions known as Erk. As a result, they hope the work could contain clues to cancer treatment as well as helping to establish a platform to make stem cell treatments for gut related disorders like the pancreas or the liver. 



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Categories: News

HIP 116454b Shows That Despite Malfunction, Kepler Can Still Find Planets

Science2.0 - 7 hours 47 min ago

Despite a malfunction that ended its primary mission in May 2013, the Kepler spacecraft is still alive and working and its data has found a new "super-Earth".

NASA's Kepler spacecraft detected planets by looking for transits, when a star dims slightly as a planet crosses in front of it. The smaller the planet, the weaker the dimming, so brightness measurements must be precise and that requires maintaining a steady pointing. Kepler can't really do that any more, its primary functionality came to an end when the second of four reaction wheels used to stabilize the spacecraft failed. Without at least three functioning reaction wheels, Kepler couldn't be pointed accurately.


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Categories: Science2.0