Science2.0

Government Says We Should Retire Later - That Means More Aging Inequalities

Science2.0 - February 25, 2015 - 3:47pm

Faced with an increased senior population and a dwindling working age one, government accountants have spread the word that elderly people need to be encouraged to work longer.

And they are being encouraged, by changes in pension policies that force them to do so. As a result, a social safety net that was designed to reduce retirement inequality nearly a century ago is once again increasing it - some groups are more likely to be disadvantaged by a rise in the state retirement age than others, because some people are more able to work as senior citizens than others. 

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'Conquer And Enslave' - Your Genome Has Its Own Fifty Shades Of Grey Behavior

Science2.0 - February 25, 2015 - 3:33pm

If genes were lights on a string of DNA, the genome would appear as an endless flicker, as thousands of genes come on and off at any given time. Tim Hughes, a Professor at the University of Toronto's Donnelly Centre, is set on figuring out the rules behind this tightly orchestrated light-show, because when it fails, disease can occur.

Genes are switched on or off by proteins called transcription factors. These proteins bind to precise sites on the DNA that serve as guideposts, telling transcription factors that their target genes are nearby.

In their latest paper, published in Nature Biotechnology, Hughes and his team did the first systematic study of the largest group of human transcription factors, called C2H2-ZF.


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Evolving A Bigger Brain With Human DNA

Science2.0 - February 25, 2015 - 3:30pm

The size of the human brain expanded dramatically during the course of evolution, imparting us with unique capabilities to use abstract language and do complex math. But how did the human brain get larger than that of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, if almost all of our genes are the same?


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Will Brain Images And Thoughts Be Protected Under The 4th And 5th Amendments?

Science2.0 - February 25, 2015 - 3:07pm

Credit: Jon Olav Eikenes, CC-BY-SA

By: Carrie Peyton Dahlberg, Inside Science

(Inside Science) - Brain imaging can already pull bits of information from the minds of willing volunteers in laboratories. What happens when police or lawyers want to use it to pry a key fact from the mind of an unwilling person?

Will your brain be protected under the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment from unreasonable search and seizure?  

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Not Just Vitamin D - The Radiation In Sunshine May Be Healthy

Science2.0 - February 25, 2015 - 1:30pm

Sunlight may have benefits not yet discovered. Joseph D'Mello CC BY-NC

Summer sunshine makes most of us feel better, but there may be more to the benefits than just feeling good.

A growing body of evidence suggests sunlight itself – with adequate protection, of course – may actually be good for health.

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Mandarin Speakers Read Emotions In Voices, English Speakers In Faces

Science2.0 - February 25, 2015 - 12:00am
Mandarin-speaking Chinese more likely to read emotions in the voices of others, while English-speaking North Americans rely more on facial expressions, according to a new paper. That may be why Americans think Chinese language is exaggerated while the Chinese believe Americans are too physically expressive.

Yet it isn't just a style issue, it can be seen in brain activity.
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Stockholm, The World's Most Sun-Deprived Capital, Has A Lab With Solar 24 Hours A Day

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 11:43pm
Stockholm is considered the world's most sunlight-deprived capital - in November of 2014 the Swedes living there had just a few hours of the stuff and in winter months, it will get dark at 3 PM anyway, so if the sun is hidden by clouds, it can be a real downer. 

Yet not everywhere in Sweden is so bleak. Because there are so few solar laboratories in the world, KTH Royal Institute of Technology reasoned that Stockholm was the perfect place to build one and in there, the future is bright 24 hours a day.
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FCC Internet Regulation Plan Ignores History Of Past Failures

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 10:52pm

Will the FCC repeat past mistakes of regulating telecommunications as utilities? Shutterstock

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Tom Wheeler claims that his plan to regulate Internet Service Providers (ISPs) under Title II of the 1934 Telecommunications Act is “rooted in long-standing regulatory principles.”

That’s not necessarily a good thing.

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Facial Expression More Important To Conveying Emotion In Music Than In Speech

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 9:39pm


Regular concert-goers are used to seeing singers use expressive and even very dramatic facial expressions - that's because it works.

Music and speech are alike in that they use both facial and acoustic cues to engage listeners in an emotional experience and so  a team of researchers at McGill University wondered what roles these different cues played in conveying emotions.
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Just Three Natural Gas Grants In Texas Generated $128 Million Last Year

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 9:27pm
If wind and solar companies want to continue to get government money, they should take a page out of the natural gas playbook - a new economic analysis found that just three state grants to support natural gas programs totaling $52.9 million generated $128 million in economic impact and 927 full-time jobs in 2014. 

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) administered the three grants: the Clean Transportation Triangle (CTT), the Alternative Fueling Facilities Program (AFFP) and the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Program (TNGVP).

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Going Vegetarian Is Not A Magic Bullet To Stop Climate Change

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 6:00pm

Can he be the global warming culprit? Link

Could our meat-loving Western diets push climate change over the edge?

That was the message of a recent report from UK think tank Chatham House that, even if the world moves away from fossil fuels, growth in meat and dairy consumption could still take global warming beyond the safe threshold of 2C.

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Social Networks May Save College Radio

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 5:03pm
The demise of radio has been predicted for 70 years, but it is still going strong - it is just more consolidated than it was in the past. Even college radio which, thanks to taxpayers, isn't under the same financial pressure as the corporate kind, has declined in popularity, because young people have been listening to the radio much less.

Yet since 2008, social networks have been changing that. Like much of college radio, it wasn't planned but they made it a feature as it happened. 
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Bubonic Plague Linked To Climate Change In Asia

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 4:16pm

Credit: L. Sabetelli / Wellcome, CC BY

The Black Death struck Europe in 1347, killing 30-50% of the European population in six violent years.

It wasn’t a one-off epidemic: it signaled the start of the second plague pandemic in Europe that lasted for hundreds of years and only slowly disappeared from the continent after the Great Plague of London in 1665-1666.

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Only 10 Percent Of Students Stand Up To Cyber-Bullies - But They Will Give Them A Bad Online Review

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 3:10pm
In an experiment, 221 college students in an online chat room watched a fellow student get "bullied" right before their eyes but only 10 percent did something about it, either by helping the victim or confronting the bully.

Even in the safe online world, modern young people are less inclined than ever to get involved. Using the online equivalent of taking a picture of a victim rather than helping, 70 percent of participants who noticed the bullying gave the bully or the chat room a bad review. For the experiment, the undergraduate students were led to believe they would be testing an online chat support feature that was part of a server used for online research surveys and studies.
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DIY Titration Lab Ware

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 2:25pm
You often see demonstrations of titration using an expensive glass burette, but you can build titration lab ware using a disposable serological pipette, a solder sucker bulb, and a ring stand or support stand. For this build I’m using the tripod stand from the Thames and Kosmos Chem C3000 chemistry set.

Titration is the process of determining the unknown concentration of a solution by adding a known amount of a solution with a known concentration.

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Radio Chip For The Internet Of Things: New Transmitter Reduces Off-State Leakage 100X

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 2:00pm
The Internet of Things is Web 2.0 of 2004 or Big Data of 2013 - a great buzzword that marketing groups are trying to exploit by rebranding what already exists. But the promise, the idea that everything in the human environment, from kitchen appliances to industrial equipment, could be equipped with sensors and processors that can exchange data, helping with maintenance and the coordination of tasks, is real.

Yet there is a huge barrier, in a world that would like to reduce greenhouse gases without actually embracing energy that produces no greenhouse gases, like nuclear science - the energy drain of the off-state power, the leakage power, of all those transmitters that are just idling much of the time.
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Is A 'Sobriety Pill' In Our Future?

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 1:30pm
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Breast Cancer Spread May Be Tied To Cells That Regulate Blood Flow

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 4:50am

Tumors require blood to emerge and spread. That is why scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center believe that targeting blood vessel cells known as pericytes may offer a potential new therapeutic approach when combined with vascular growth factors responsible for cell death.

A study lead by Valerie LeBleu, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Cancer Biology at MD Anderson, looked at how cellular signaling by vascular growth factors called angiopoietin-2 (ANG2), when combined with depletion of pericytes, may decrease breast cancer tumor growth that spreads to the lungs. Targeting pericytes and ANG2 signaling may also offer new potential therapy options for treatment of some breast cancers.


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Berry Hepatitis A Scare Leads To Calls For Imported Food Accountability

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 4:04am

Do you care where the food you buy comes from? amy, CC BY-NC

The public reaction to the Hepatitis A scare linked to contaminated frozen berries imported from China continues.

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Government Created The Drug Discovery Problem - Now People Want Government To Fix It

Science2.0 - February 24, 2015 - 3:55am

The discovery, development and approval of new drug treatments has been stymied. Bureaucracy, coupled with a short patent window and attorneys waiting to pounce, has led to increased interest in vaccines, which require a separate litigation process than just filing a lawsuit and collecting a settlement, or obscure diseases guaranteed to have high payouts - the home run strategy. 

And the when the public is not reading about how an FDA-approved drug hurt someone, or reading how drug companies are paying off doctors to get prescriptions, they want every new drug to be generic the moment it is developed. Small wonder small molecules are disappearing.

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