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Collinsium Ciliosum: New Species Of ‘Super-Armored’ Worm Discovered

Science2.0 - June 30, 2015 - 12:30pm
A new species of ‘super-armored’ worm, named Collinsium ciliosum, or Hairy Collins’ Monster after the palaeontologist Desmond Collins, who discovered and first illustrated a similar Canadian fossil in the 1980s, was a bizarre, spike-covered creature which ate by filtering nutrients out of seawater with its feather-like front legs, has been identified by palaeontologists.

The creature, which lived about half a billion years ago, was one of the first animals on Earth to develop armor to protect itself from predators and to use such a specialised mode of feeding. -->

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Artificial Blood For Mosquitoes

Science2.0 - June 30, 2015 - 12:00pm

Mosquitoes have been called the deadliest animal on the planet due to the diseases they spread.

Why feed them?

By using science, giving them an artificial buffet may lead to fewer of them, says Stephen Dobson, a University of Kentucky professor of medical and veterinary entomology. His work on developing artificial blood for mosquitoes has made him a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, in an initiative funded by the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation.

The artificial blood he developed will allow people in remote areas around the world to sustain colonies of mosquitoes, even in those areas with limited resources and difficult logistics.


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I Don't Use The Term 'Miracle' Very Often, But...

Science2.0 - June 30, 2015 - 11:53am
This isn't the Dr. Oz show or some nutrition site selling Vitamin D supplements or whatever the big Superfood/Miracle Vegetable craze is this week, 'miracle' is a bit of a dirty word in science. But when it fits, you have to use it.

And Hepatitis C may have gotten its miracle. 

It's not well known, Hepatitis C does not have the PR of diseases like AIDS, but 3 million people have it, many of them Baby Boomers. Some got it of their own volition, using skin poppers or needles for drugs, but hygiene was a different beast 50 years ago and it was also possible to get it just by going to the dentist.
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Asteroid Day Today, 30th June - Let's Find These Rocks And Deflect Them

Science2.0 - June 30, 2015 - 2:12am

Today, 30th June is asteroid day, to raise awareness of the searches astronomers do to detect and eventually deflect asteroids. This is your chance also to actually do something about them by signing the 100x petition (which has been signed by many famous astronomers and astronauts).

An asteroid impact is one of the few natural events we can actually prevent with our technology (unlike volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunami). With a few years or decades of warning, we can deflect them rather easily. But to find them in good time, first we need to detect them.

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Asteroid Day Today, 30th June, Chance To Sign The Petition Or Donate For The Sentinel Telescope

Science2.0 - June 30, 2015 - 2:12am

Since I've written about asteroid impacts here, thought I'd post about Asteroid day, which is today, 30th June. This is one of the few natural events we can actually prevent with our technology (unlike e.g. volcanoes, and earthquakes and tsunamis) and especially so if we detect them early, so have plenty of warning.

You can sign this petition, already signed by many astronauts and astronomers to spend more on asteroid detection so that we are ready if any are headed our way -and can deflect them in plenty of time.

We are talking here mainly about asteroids up to, say, the size of an asteroid that could destroy a major city, say London entirely right out to the ring road. Much more likely to spot one of those than the larger ones. 

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Oscillatory Chemical Reactions: What Your Clothes May Literally Say About You In The Future

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 11:27pm

Wearing a computer on your sleeve may be a lot cooler than a plastic watch with an Apple logo on it - researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have designed a responsive hybrid material fueled by an oscillatory chemical reactions.

They can even perform computations based on changes in the environment or movement, and respond to human vital signs. The material system is sufficiently small and flexible enough to be integrated into fabric or introduced as an inset into a shoe.


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Had Spinal Fusion? There Is Good News For Your Golf Handicap

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 10:04pm
If you suffer from chronic low back pain and need spinal fusion surgery, there is good news for your golf game. A new study shows an overwhelming majority of spinal fusion patients returned to play golf as well, if not better, than before surgery.

During spinal fusion surgery, two vertebrae are joined together using a bone graft taken from another part of the body. In traditional open surgery, a large incision is made to cut through muscles surrounding the spine. Minimally invasive surgery allows for a smaller incision with less muscle damage, resulting in less blood loss, shorter hospital stays and a quicker return to activities.
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What Book Thieves Tell Us About A Country's Reading Culture

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 9:46pm
The catalogue of the Johannesburg Public Library in South Africa contains a poignant entry – “Biko, Steve. Long 0verdue”.

The entry refers to I Write What I Like, a volume of collected writings by Steve Biko, the Black Consciousness leader tortured to death in police custody in 1977.

The library used to have six copies of the volume but they have all been borrowed and never returned.

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Ocean Mixing Model Reveals Insight On Climate

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 5:22pm

Scientists have developed a computer model that clarifies the complex processes driving ocean mixing in the vast eddies that swirl across hundreds of miles of open ocean.

The Lagrangian In-situ, Global, High-performance particle Tracking (LIGHT) model is a first-of-its-kind tool because of its ability to exploit the power available from today's supercomputers, the authors say.


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GlaxoSmithKline Gene Discovery In Poppies Paves Way For Better Painkillers

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 3:00pm
A long sought after gene that is a critical gateway step in the synthesis of the morphinan class of alkaloids, which include the painkiller drugs morphine and codeine, has been discovered.

 The gene, called STORR, is only found in poppy species that produce morphinans. The STORR gene evolved when two other genes encoding oxidase and reductase enzymes came together millions of years ago. The resulting gene fusion plays a key role in production of morphine. The researchers hope this will enable the breeding of bespoke poppy varieties, including those that produce the anti-cancer compound noscapine. Discovery of the STORR gene completes the set of genes needed for genetic engineering of morphine production in microbes such as yeast.
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Lexus Hoverboard Gets Off The Ground

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 2:30pm
By Michael Greshko, Inside Science - In the classic 1989 film Back to the Future 2, intrepid time traveler Marty McFly jumps ahead a few decades, to October 21, 2015.

Luxury car manufacturer Lexus appears to be ready for him. This week, they announced that they've built a "real, rideable" hoverboard. 

They've even released video of it, oozing fog and mysteriously floating over what looks like a concrete sidewalk. Check out the 38-second teaser for yourself:
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Lego Optics Lab: Large Lens Holder

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 2:18pm
For my Lego Optics Lab I have so far built a beam splitter, and a small lens holder. The beam splitter article got a link on io9 (my name is misspelled) and on Scientific American. -->

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Will More Incentives Mean A Return To High Scientific Standards?

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 2:00pm

Was America at its greatest scientifically when academics made far less money and were politically representative? Not if science output, Nobel prizes and adult science literacy are the measures, because America leads in all categories.

Yet with six figure incomes for faculty and less diversity has come greater distrust. Conservatives, for example, once had the highest trust in science, and now they are near the lowest, along with progressives. The public regularly thinks that anyone who cashes a paycheck is unethical, people don't trust medicine, food or energy science on the left and the right thinks climate scientists are shills.


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Is Marriage Good Or Bad For Your Weight? A Comparison By Countries

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 1:17pm

If you ask some people why they would never want to get divorced, they joke that they would not want to have to 'get back down to dating weight', but do married people really give up and get heavier?
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Plastics May Be Making Men Infertile - Or Not

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 1:00pm

Recent research has reignited concerns that exposure to chemicals from plastics might be to blame for low sperm counts in young men. I share the concerns about the high prevalence of low sperm counts (one in six young men), and my research is directed at trying to identify what causes it. But whether plastics are to blame isn’t a simple matter.

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Access To Electricity - And Artificial Light - Is Linked To Reduced Sleep

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 12:57pm

We can blame smartphone alerts, constant connectivity and a deluge of media for sleep deprivation but that is talking about the symptoms rather than the disease. The root cause is instead the thing that has led to cultural and social improvements for over 100 years - artificial light.


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Tillamook Bay Floodplain Restoration Plan Would Reduce Flood Risk And Restores Salmon Habitat

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 12:36pm

Salmon are severely impacted by the loss of floodplain habitats near Oregon's Tillamook Bay, where nearly 90 percent of estuaries' tidal wetlands have been lost to development -- threatening the survival of coho salmon and the safety of the local community. Now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA Fisheries, and others have come together to reduce flood risk, increase resiliency of the ecosystem, and restore salmon habitat in Tillamook Bay under the auspices of The Southern Flow Corridor project, as the proposed collaborative effort is known. It will reconnect over 500 acres of floodplain habitat to two of the Bay's most productive salmon-bearing streams -- the Wilson and Trask Rivers.


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The Missing Memristor Has NOT Been Found Published By Nature Group

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 7:17am

A simple and provocative title – The Missing Memristor has Not been Found! This harsh admission of reality without sugar coating is the very title, and not of some opinion piece, but of a scientific paper published by the very same Nature Publishing Group that is criticized right away in that very paper:

 

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Why Flu Seasons Seem To Be Getting Worse

Science2.0 - June 28, 2015 - 5:15pm
Although we know influenza viruses circulate in temperate, populated parts of Australia every winter, predicting the precise timing and relative intensity of flu seasons is a fraught undertaking.

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In Memory Of David Cline

Science2.0 - June 28, 2015 - 3:59pm
I was saddened today to hear of the death of David Cline. I do not have much to say here - I am not good with obituaries - but I do remember meeting him at a conference in Albuquerque in 2008, where we chatted on several topics, among them the history of the CDF experiment, a topic on which I had just started to write a book. 

Perhaps the best I can do here as a way to remember Cline, whose contributions to particle physics can and will certainly be better described by many others, is to report a quote from a chapter of the book, which describes a funny episode on the very early days of CDF. I think he did have a sense of humor, so he might not dislike it if I do.

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