Science2.0

Dogs And Humans: A 35,000 Year Partnership

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 5:24pm
A new genomic analysis of an ancient Taimyr wolf bone reveals that dogs and humans may have been a match far longer than previously believed.

Earlier genome-based estimates have suggested that the ancestors of modern-day dogs diverged from wolves no more than 16,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age, but new 35,000 year-old radiocarbon dating shows the Taimyr wolf represents the most recent common ancestor of modern wolves and dogs.
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Why Do We Need One Vaccine For Measles And A Yearly One For The Flu?

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 4:54pm
Measles needs only a two-dose vaccine during childhood for lifelong immunity while the influenza virus mutates constantly and requires a yearly shot to get even a certain percentage of protection.

What explains that? Surface proteins that the measles virus uses to enter cells are ineffective if they suffer any mutation, meaning that any changes to the virus come at a major cost, according to a new paper.
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The 3 Biggest Obstacles To Higher Company Productivity

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 4:09pm
239 representatives from Finnish small and medium-sized businesses responded to new survey  by the Lappeenranta University of Technology about external and internal obstacles for productivity improvement experienced by companies. The results of the survey reveal that there have been three shifts in the key obstacles that have restrained the improvement of productivity since 1997:

(1) Obstacles to the improvement of productivity have shifted from internal to external obstacles. It is no longer competition from outside or navigating market forces, it is high wages and ancillary costs, like social security and taxes, legislation, and trade union activities by employees.
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The Math Of Social Structure: How Birds Avoid A Collision Course

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 2:45pm
Mathematical biologist Dr. Jamie Wood wanted to know how birds collectively negotiate man-made obstacles such as wind turbines which lie in their flight paths and that led to a research project with colleagues in the Departments of Biology and Mathematics at York and scientists at the Animal and Plant Health Agency which found that the social structure of groups of migratory birds may have a significant effect on their vulnerability to avoid collisions with obstacles, particularly wind turbines.

The researchers created a range of computer simulations to explore if social hierarchies are beneficial to navigation, and how collision risk is affected by environmental conditions and the birds’ desire to maintain an efficient direct flight path.
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Telomerase Cancer Cell Mutation Mystery Solved

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 2:23pm

More than 500,000 people in the United States die each year of cancer-related causes and a new study has identified the mechanism behind one of the most common mutations that help cancer cells replicate limitlessly.

Approximately 85 percent of cancer cells obtain their limitless replicative potential through the reactivation of a specific protein called telomerase (TERT). Recent cancer research has shown that highly recurrent mutations in the promoter of the TERT gene are the most common genetic mutations in many cancers, including adult glioblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma.


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WHO Reports: Obesity Crisis In Europe

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 2:15pm

A recent study from the World Health Organization (WHO) -->

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Better Testosterone Testing Could More Accurately Diagnose Deficiency

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 2:11pm

A study presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Dublin suggests that some men suffering from testosterone deficiency may be missed under current clinical guidelines, while others are misdiagnosed with testosterone deficiency. 


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Crazy Crater On The Lake Bed

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 2:08pm

Anna Reusch, a doctoral student at ETH Zurich's Geological Institute, was making a routine research vessel run on Lake Neuchâtel when she noticed an unusual shape on the control panel screen.

At a depth of over 100 mettrs, she found something no one had ever detected before: a crater measuring 10 meters deep and 160 meters in diameter. 

Reusch investigates the sediment in the lakes on the western Swiss Plateau for traces of past earthquakes, which involves taking high-resolution measurements of the floor of Lake Neuchâtel to find evidence of tectonically active zones that could trigger major earthquakes. The period Reusch is looking at is geologically speaking very recent: sometime in the past 12,000 years. 


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Re-Engineered Second Generation Antibiotic Versus Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 1:30pm
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drug-resistant bacteria sicken two million U.S. residents annually and cause about 23,000 deaths. Federal officials have called combating antibiotic resistance a national priority.

To aid in that effort, a second-generation antibiotic has shown early effectiveness against common bacterial infections that pose a serious health threat to children and adults. Researchers discovered it by changing the chemical structure of an old antibiotic named spectinomycin, a safe but weak drug first introduced in the 1960s.
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Nuclear Power Isn't Really Zero-emission, But Neither Is Anything Else

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 12:30pm

Nuclear power is sometimes described as being free of greenhouse gas emissions, and that’s true of the nuclear fission reactions themselves. But here is a list of all the stages of the nuclear power cycle at which greenhouse gases are emitted: uranium mining, uranium milling, conversion of uranium ore to uranium hexafluoride, uranium enrichment, fuel fabrication, reactor construction, reactor decommissioning, fuel reprocessing, nuclear waste disposal, mine site rehabilitation, and transport throughout all stages.

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EU Grants Submitted And Won: Some Statistics

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 11:16am
The European Union has released some data on the latest call for applications for ITN grants. These are "training networks" where academic and non-academic institutions pool up to provide innovative training to doctoral students, in the meanting producing excellent research outputs.

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Egtved Girl: The Life Story Of A Bronze Age Female

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 11:00am
A detailed analysis of the remains of a high-status Danish Bronze Age female, known as the Egtved Girl, has revealed information about her movements, what she ate, and where her clothes came from.

The Egtved Girl, a 16–18 year old female, was discovered in the Danish village of Egtved in an oak coffin, calculated to have been buried around 3,400 years ago.
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Non-Joulian Magnetostriction May Energize The World

Science2.0 - May 21, 2015 - 2:55am
 A new class of magnets that swell in volume when placed in a magnetic field also generate negligible amounts of wasteful heat during energy harvesting.

This "Non-Joulian Magnetostriction" could change the way we think about a certain type of magnetism that has been in place since 1841, when physicist James Prescott Joule discovered that iron-based magnetic materials changed their shape but not their volume when placed in a magnetic field. This phenomenon is referred to as "Joule Magnetostriction," and since its discovery 175 years ago, all magnets have been characterized on this basis.
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Cold Weather Kills 20 Times As Many People As Hot Weather

Science2.0 - May 20, 2015 - 11:00pm

In 2003, while French youth protested American imperialism, 14,000 mostly elderly people were allowed to die in a heat wave. Heat waves kill a lot more people, it is believed, except they don't. Instead, an analysis of  74 million deaths in 384 locations across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, and the USA found that cold weather kills about 20 times as many people as hot weather.


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Cradle Of Manufacturing? World's Oldest Stone Tools Discovered In Kenya

Science2.0 - May 20, 2015 - 6:06pm
Scientists have found stone tools dating back 3.3 million years, long before the advent of modern humans, and by far the oldest such artifacts yet discovered.

The tools, whose makers may or may not have been some sort of human ancestor, push the known date of such tools back by 700,000 years and may challenge the notion that our own most direct ancestors were the first to create new technology.

The discovery is the first evidence that an even earlier group of proto-humans may have had the thinking abilities needed to figure out how to make sharp-edged tools. The stone tools mark "a new beginning to the known archaeological record," say the authors of a new paper about the discovery. 
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Tropospheric Hot Spot Predicted In Global Warming Models Detected

Science2.0 - May 20, 2015 - 5:58pm

Researchers have confirmed strong warming in the upper troposphere, known colloquially as the tropospheric hotspot, long expected as part of the global warming hypothesis. 

Though the tropospheric hotspot appears in many global climate models, the inability to detect it has been used to suggest climate change is not occurring as a result of increasing carbon dioxide emissions. 


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Not All Genetic Scientists Are Against GMO Labeling

Science2.0 - May 20, 2015 - 5:27pm
Some Americans may regard the half of U.S. science that works in academia as overtly partisan due to a lack of political diversity, but it doesn't affect science issues. Though the anti-vaccine, anti-GMO and anti-energy movements are overwhelmingly populated by the left, scientists readily attack those positions because evidence matters most to American scientists.

Not so much in Europe. American academia may have a political litmus test for getting a faculty job but that doesn't bleed over into science research. In much of Europe you are more likely to need to check off all of the correct cultural boxes to get a job in the first place. And you had better not deviate from the plan.
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Sense Of Self: Whether You Place It In The Brain Or Heart Says A Lot About You

Science2.0 - May 20, 2015 - 4:00pm
If you think of your 'sense of self', do you locate it in your heart or your brain? 

It can tell people a lot about your decision-making process. Obviously, advertising is one area.  Messages targeted at people with independent self-construals (your head tells you buying this car is the right decision because it has good value) will work better for those people than messages targeted at people with interdependent self-construals (Your heart tells you buying this car is the right decision because it has the highest safety ratings for families.) 
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People Who Don't Subscribe To Moral Relativism Support Harsher Criminal Punishments

Science2.0 - May 20, 2015 - 3:43pm

Our belief in evil influences our feelings about capital punishment, according to Donald Saucier, associate professor of psychology at Kansas State University and Russell Webster at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

They drew their conclusion after about 200 participants were given a summary of a case in which a murderer confessed to his crime. They then asked each participant about his or her support for different types of sentences, such as jail time with community service, jail time with the opportunity for parole, jail time without the possibility for parole and other options.


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Comet Wild 2 Dust And The Birth Of The Solar System

Science2.0 - May 20, 2015 - 3:29pm

Our solar system started as a disk of microscopic dust, gas, and ice around the young Sun and the amazing diversity of planets, moons, asteroids, and comets came from this primitive dust. 

NASA's Stardust mission has returned to Earth with samples of comet Wild 2, a comet that originated outside the orbit of Neptune and was subsequently kicked closer to Earth's orbit in 1974 when Jupiter's gravity altered Wild 2's orbit. 


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