Science2.0

Harmful Male Genitalia Can Impact Reproduction In Other Species

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 6:51pm

Male Callosobruchus chinensis seed beetles have spines on their genitalia, which increase their fertilization success but injure a female’s reproductive tract—especially a female of a related species called Callosobruchus maculatus.

New research indicates that such harmful male genitalia can diminish the reproductive success of competing species and may play an important role in interspecies competition, with considerable demographic and evolutionary consequences.

“Harmful male genitalia and consequent fitness loss in heterospecific females may be one of the mechanisms by which closely related species pairs are often prevented from local coexistence,” said Dr. Daisuke Kyogok, lead author of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology study.


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Tunable Liquid Metal Antenna Controlled By Voltage

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 6:47pm

Liquid metal electronics like antennas are intriguing because the shape and length of the conducting paths that form an antenna determine its critical properties such as operating frequency and radiation pattern. Using a liquid metal, such as eutectic gallium and indium, allows for modification of antenna properties more dramatically than is possible with a fixed conductor. 

But a significant and unfortunate drawback slowing the advance of such devices is that they tend to require external pumps that can't be easily integrated into electronic systems, so North Carolina State University researchers set out to create a reconfigurable liquid metal antenna controlled by voltage only.


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Virtual Drivers Resembling The User May Increase Trust In Smart Cars

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 5:23pm
Objections to automated driving seem a little silly, since millions of lives are lost in car accidents and human error is estimated to cause more than 90% of them.

It may just be fear of the unknown, the same precautionary principle that makes people worry about having a Twitter login or be concerned about vaccines or GMOs.

Regardless of the reasons for concern, it is a giant error to assume that data and reason will win out, as science has learned painfully about energy, medicine, food and pollution. Trust may instead be established in less direct ways and a recent paper argues that a virtual driver programmed to resemble the human driver could increase the level of trust and acceptance in smart cars.
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Outsourcing Alternative Energy To The Developing World

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 4:16pm
Like with emissions-free, white-collar astronomy jobs, it seems strange that anyone would protest emissions-free alternative energy, but in the United States it faces an uphill battle. On one side environmental groups lobby for it, while on the other, different environmentalists wait to file lawsuits and if they aren't paid off quickly, it could take years to resolve in court. -->

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Men Are Not Biologically Useless After All

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 4:00pm
Does the world really need men?

It has been suggested that, in the age of cloning – and with enough sperm banks around to populate several future generations – the question is legitimate.

However, new research suggests that the reason that we need two sexes is because it improves the overall genetic quality of a species and reduces the risk of population extinction.

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Damaged Hearts Repaired With Pig Parts

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 2:01pm

By Marsha Lewis, Inside Science  – The statistics are shocking. Almost half of all Americans live with one or more risk factors for a heart attack.

Now, bioengineers at the Christman Lab at the University of California, San Diego have created a material that could repair and even reverse the damage done by a heart attack.

"A heart attack is a single event where the blood supply is blocked to that downstream tissue," said Karen Christman, a bioengineer at UCSD. When the tissue is deprived of the blood it needs, it becomes damaged.

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Stonyfield CEO Gary Hirshberg Can't Explain What's In His 'Natural Flavor' Yogurt

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 2:01pm

Gary Hirshberg is a bit selective when it comes to transparency and labeling food and ingredients…at least when it applies to his own products.

In a televised interview with Bloomberg earlier this month, Hirshberg–the chairman of Stonyfield Organic and funder of the anti-GMO, pro-labeling Just Label It organization–was asked by a reporter why the company doesn’t give more information about the ingredient on its yoghurt cups: ‘natural flavor.’

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51 Percent Of Consumers Think An Organic Label Is Just An Excuse To Charge More

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 1:30pm

Organic products would seem tailor-made for shoppers seeking foods and beverages that are healthier for them, their families and the planet, but a new analysis reveals that most Americans perceive the organic label as nothing more than an excuse to sell products at a premium. 

71 percent of consumers don't even think that organic products have a labeling standard. 51 percent believe that labeling something as organic is just an excuse to charge more. 72 percent do believe that the products are probably healthier.

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Not Just Baby Mozart - All Music Is Good For Kids

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 1:00pm
The benefits of music education are widely reported. Playing an instrument has been shown to have significant cognitive benefits.

Creative thinking, social and emotional intelligence, coordination, memorization and auditory processing are all thought to improve in school-age children who learn music.

This makes it hard to argue with the fact that learning music is a good thing. But, when it comes to the type of music to teach, things get less agreeable.

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Blue Buffalo Admits Its Pet Food Contains The Poultry Byproduct It Ridicules In Competitors

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 1:00pm
If you have been purchasing Blue Buffalo pet food based on its rather suspicious claims about being "byproduct free", well, that is the power of marketing, no different than organic- and gluten-free manufacturers have created a similar health halo for their customers.

But competitor Purina didn't like marketing claims that its pet food was inferior. On May 6, 2014, Purina filed a lawsuit against Blue Buffalo for false advertising after testing revealed the presence of poultry by-product meal in Blue Buffalo's top selling pet foods. 
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Exposure To Secondhand Cannabis Smoke Causes Intoxication

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 12:30pm

While secondhand exposure to cigarette smoking is linked with numerous health maladies, cannabis smoke is currently under a halo of no harm. Yet second-hand marijuana can cause an effect that cigarettes cannot - problems with memory and coordination, and in some cases testing positive for the drug in a urinalysis. At least in a very small study.

Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world. The authors say the new research is the most comprehensive study of secondhand cannabis smoke and its effects since the 1980s, when researchers found the drug's active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and other cannabis byproducts could turn up in nonsmokers' bodies after an hour or more spent in extreme conditions with heavy smokers in an enclosed space. 


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Environmentally Friendly Electricity Production, Nuclear And Hydroelectric

Science2.0 - May 19, 2015 - 4:54am

Currently, burning fossil fuels is the main source of energy here and around the world.  Those fuels emitting greenhouse gasses are considered by most associated scientific organizations in the world as contributing to a potential global catastrophe in the making.  With this, we are critically dependent on electricity for almost every necessity we have in our standard of living. 

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Machine Learning And Big Data Is Changing Sports

Science2.0 - May 18, 2015 - 10:52pm
The drive to improve performance means elite sport is inundated with data from wearable technologies such as GPS, computer vision and match statistics.

So professional clubs are constantly on the lookout for tools that can help turn these data into usable and meaningful information.

One such tool gaining popularity is machine learning. Put simply, machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence, whereby computers are able to learn without being explicitly programmed by a human operator.

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Amtrak Tragedy And Newton's First Law

Science2.0 - May 18, 2015 - 9:59pm

By Sara Rennekamp, Inside Science -- Last week's deadly derailment that sent an Amtrak Northeast Regional train careening off its tracks has many people asking how such a tragedy could happen.

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Argument: Offset California's Water Crisis With A Levy On Inefficient Farms

Science2.0 - May 18, 2015 - 8:50pm
It's not a secret that organic farms trade modern science for inefficiency in production and higher profit margins - but that does not count the 'intangibles' that go into organic farming, argue Terry Anderson and Henry Miller, and those higher margins should be accounted for in a revenue-neutral way.
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Climate Change Won't Be The Big Factor In Future Predicted Diversity Loss

Science2.0 - May 18, 2015 - 7:01pm
A new simulation modeled the effects of land use changes on the species diversity in rivers and streams and estimates that the loss of biodiversity will caused by changes in land use practices far more than by climate change.

Despite that, climate change gets all of the attention and changing land use practices, such as clear-cutting of forests for agricultural use, are frequently neglected in the development of conservation concepts.
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How Assassins Bury Their Feelings After A Successful ‘Hit’

Science2.0 - May 18, 2015 - 5:42pm
A  psychological analysis of novice assassins has delved into how hitmen bury their feelings after a successful attack.

Hired killers don't deal with people, they are businessmen and they are doing a job, no different than a soldier in the military.

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Natural Gas Seeps - “Eternal Flames” Of Ancient Times Interest Modern Geologists

Science2.0 - May 18, 2015 - 5:09pm
New natural gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has been the biggest reason American CO2 emissions have dropped but it is not without controversy. Environmentalists have taken to videos showing 'flaming tapwater' and seek to blame natural gas for it.

Thousands of years ago those same phenomena were similar religious belief - gas and oil seeps have been part of cultural practices for thousands of years. From the Oracle at Delphi to the Chimera fires, people from Indonesia and Iran to Italy and Azerbaijan have studied and been mystified by “eternal flames”.
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Is Flow Theory A Science Basis For Positive Psychology?

Science2.0 - May 18, 2015 - 5:00pm
What makes us happy? Philosophers, psychologists and scientists have long pondered that question.

Psychologists believe they may have a solution that satisfies everyone in flow theory, a model that better preserves the approach to individual distinctiveness by considering the mental experience as a process that might foster the evolution or the involution of an individual through his daily experiences.
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Eat Meat? You Believe In Social Inequality, Say Psychologists

Science2.0 - May 18, 2015 - 4:49pm
Meat eaters who justify their eating habits feel less guilty and are more tolerant of social inequality, say a group of authors led by psychologist Dr. Jared Piazza of Lancaster University.

Omnivores also rationalize, say the team. They have labeled the most common justifications for not adapting a vegetarian lifestyle as "the 4Ns - that meat consumption is Natural, Normal Necessary and Nice.

Natural - “Humans are natural carnivores”
Necessary - “Meat provides essential nutrients”
Normal  - “I was raised eating meat”
Nice - “It’s delicious”
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