Science2.0

Collectivism Ruins Creativity

Science2.0 - January 28, 2015 - 12:01am

Every business wants to capitalize on imagination and innovation - but a corporate structure may be the wrong way to promote it. And if you really want to kill creativity, have social authoritarians in government controlling your culture.

Collectivism is bad for the imagination. It's hard to think about art when you have to think about the good of the state, according to a paper in the Journal of Business Research, which compared nearly 300 individuals from Taiwan, a collectivist society, and Canada, slightly more individualistic.

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Juvenile Hormone Antagonists: Natural Plant Compounds Work Against Pests

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 11:37pm
Scientists may be on the way to genetically modifying plants to naturally protect against pests in new ways. That is good news for people in developing nations and fans of the environment. Older insecticides present environmental and health risks and insects develop resistance to them, complicating pest-control strategies. 

Along with that, millions of deaths result from diseases transmitted by insects each year, not to mention economic losses totaling billions of dollars annually.
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Cancer Screening Clarity: Talk About Reduction In Deaths, Not Increase In Survival

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 11:00pm

By Katy Bell, University of Sydney; Alexandra Barratt, University of Sydney, and Andrew Hayen, UNSW Australia

Cancer screening is beneficial when it’s able to prevent people dying from cancer. And it should clearly be adopted where there’s evidence showing this. But using cancer survival rates to promote screening, as is often done, is misleading.

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Easter Island Mystery: What Really Happened To Rapa Nui Society?

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 10:02pm
In 1722, when Europeans arrived on Easter Island, nearly 2,300 miles off the west coast of Chile, the native Polynesian culture known as Rapa Nui were already in a demographic tailspin from which they would not recover.

Pick a fad belief of the moment, and someone has correlated it to Easter Island. Environmental damage? Easter Island. Climate change? Easter Island. Add in political partisanship and lifestyle diseases and you can also find a correlation-causation arrow being abused. 

Will there ever be an answer? Hard to say, but a new paper attempts at least some clarification.

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Outsourcing: 3 Ways To Stop Medical Research Brain Drain

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 9:47pm
Throughout the 20th century, medical research and public health science was primarily done by corporations - the United States, with 5 percent of the population, generated more than 50 percent of the money and a whole lot more of the science.

No more. Medical research has declined in the United States. It's a win for multiculturalism and a win for globalization but a loss for the U.S.  Yet we have no one else to blame. We are not being out-competed by China when it comes to science, we are losing medical research because we have been taught to hate drug companies and that new drugs should be cheap. That has had substantial impact on our policy.
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Soup From A Can Does Not Create Risk From BPA

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 9:24pm
Coating the mouth with foods stored in containers that used bisphenol A (BPA), like soup, does not lead to high levels of BPA in blood.

BPA is used to make some plastics and to seal canned food containers against bacterial contamination. Food which picks up trace amounts of BPA from packaging is the major source of human exposure, according to environmental critics, and the health concerns about BPA center on potential to mimic certain hormones at really high exposures.
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Why Climate Scientists Shouldn't Testify Before Congress

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 7:25pm

Climate scientists will be either ineffectual or counter-productive if they testify before Congress. EPA

By Mathis Hampel, University of East Anglia

Western liberal democracies believe that in difficult political decisions science serves as a referee and arbiter of truth.

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Adult Stem Cells Used To Grow New Hair

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 7:16pm
Researchers have used human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to generate new hair, the first step toward the development of a cell-based treatment for people with hair loss. 

In the United States alone, more than 40 million men and 21 million women are affected by hair loss. The research team developed a protocol that induced human pluripotent stem cells to become dermal papilla cells. They are a unique population of cells that regulate hair-follicle formation and growth cycle. 

Human dermal papilla cells on their own are not suitable for hair transplants because they cannot be obtained in necessary amounts and rapidly lose their ability to induce hair-follicle formation in culture. 
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Ghrelin Hormone Supplement Increases Sex Drive

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 4:41pm
New studies have found that a supplement of ghrelin - the "appetite hormone" - increased the sexual activity of mice.

Ghrelin is a gastrointestinal hormone that is released from the stomach, and is involved in the stimulation of our appetite by activating the brain's reward system. Since the brain's reward system also motivates us to seek a partner and to have sex, a group of researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy decided to investigate whether ghrelin may also affect sexual behaviors. 

The answer is: yes, at least in mice.
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Heroin Users 6X As Likely To Die Prematurely

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 4:23pm
In the largest study of opioids users done to-date, scholars analyzed records of 198,247 people in England who had been involved in drug treatment or the criminal justice system between 2005 and 2009. 

They found that opioid users were six times more likely to die prematurely than people in the general population. Almost one in ten of these deaths were due to suicide, more than four times the rate in the general population. The data recorded 3,974 deaths and their causes during this period. The study is the first to record age trends in opioid users' mortality and with age, the gap gets even wider. In the oldest 45-64 age-group, homicide was 27 times more common than in the general population. 
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Multiculturalism Is Not Dead

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 4:03pm
Multiculturalism was once a good thing - people learned about the world outside their own neighborhoods - but it has become bad. Instead of being a positive, multiculturalism is often invoked by people with an agenda; people who want to promote division among their constituents note that the majority will homogenize their beliefs while people against immigration complain about pockets of foreign nationals with unknown motivations inside their cities.
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Carhacking: Computerized Vehicles Are More Vulnerable Than Ever

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 2:30pm

Who's really driving your car? Saad Faruque, CC BY-SA

By Andrew Smith, The Open University and Blaine Price, The Open University

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Outreach Needed? Boys Lag Behind Girls In Academic Achievement

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 2:00pm
A lot of cultural angst and even more money is tied up in the notion that girls are somehow being left behind and more awareness of the issue, along with programs against sexism, have become common, even at the graduate levels of universities. But the origin of that belief in the last two decades has been a mystery. There are some differences, areas where girls achieved less than boys, and vice-versa. No Child Left Behind was a successful reform of education that led to girls achieving parity with boys in the only area they lagged, mathematics, and a new analysis finds that the concern may have been misplaced all along, individual variance aside.
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Want To Know How Long You'll Live? Ask Your Friends

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 1:30pm
Your closest friends are advocates and see the best in you, but they are also observers of the personality traits that could send you to an early grave, according to a new paper.

The authors say that that your personality at an early age (20s) can predict how long you will live past 75 years - and that close friends are usually better than you at recognizing these traits. 

Male participants seen by their friends as more open and conscientious ended up living longer. Female participants whose friends rated them as high on emotional stability and agreeableness also enjoyed longer lifespans, the study in Psychological Science found.

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2004 BL86 - 'Near Miss' Asteroid Even Has Its Own Moon

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 7:21am
The first radar images of asteroid 2004 BL86, which made its closest approach today at 8:19 a.m. PST - a distance of only 745,000 miles (3.1 times the distance from Earth to the moon) - reveal that it even has its own small moon.

The closeness did not take anyone by surprise. Asteroid 2004 BL86 was discovered on Jan. 30, 2004, by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey in White Sands, New Mexico and its trajectory is well understood. Monday's flyby was the closest approach the asteroid will make to Earth for at least the next 200 year and is the closest a known asteroid this size will come to Earth until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past us in 2027.
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Wiggles: Inconsistencies Undermine Model Reliability For Projecting Decade-To-Decade Warming

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 3:45am
A new study finds that most climate models may have wiggles that undermine accuracy - but they are likely underestimating the degree of decade-to-decade variability occurring in mean surface temperatures as Earth's atmosphere warms.

The models also provide inconsistent explanations of why this variability occurs in the first place and such discrepancies undermine the models' reliability for projecting the short-term pace as well as the extent of future warming, the study's authors warn.

As such, we shouldn't over-interpret recent temperature trends, no matter what blizzard his New York City and leads to exploitation of climate science to generate media pageviews.
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If Abortion Is A Choice Then Sex Selection Abortion Should Remain Legal

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 12:50am

Opposing this law change is not anti-feminist. shutterstock

By Pam Lowe, Aston University

A campaign is underway in the United Kingdom to make it illegal to abort a child based on its gender.

Proponents say they are worried about women being coerced into terminating female fetuses and that action needs to be taken to stop discrimination against baby girls.

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Genetics Underpinning Antimalarial Drug Resistance Revealed

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 12:01am

The largest genome-wide association study to date of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum unveils a complex genetic architecture that enables the parasite to develop resistance to our most effective antimalarial drug, artemisinin. The results could help to improve early detection of emerging artemisinin resistance.

The global research collaboration analysed 1612 samples from 15 locations in Southeast Asia and Africa finding 20 mutations in the kelch13 gene, a known artemisinin resistance marker, that appear to work in concert with a set of background mutations in four other genes to support artemisinin resistance.


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How Stable Are Arsenic Compounds Found In Edible Algae?

Science2.0 - January 27, 2015 - 12:01am

Researchers at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid have studied the stability of diverse arsenic species found in edible marine algae and have established the best conditions for their storage and preservation.

By developing a specific analytical method, members from the research group of Materials Technology and Environment (TEMATMA) of the School of Civil Engineering of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have studied the stability of diverse chemical species of arsenic found in the edible alga Hijiki (Hizikia fusiformis) both in the dry sample and in its water extracts.


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