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Why There Are Fewer Female Economists

Science2.0 - October 28, 2014 - 3:32pm

Economics is a dwindling field. Long called the 'dismal science' it is now considered just another philosophical school of thought; people in the money business who want quantification hire physicists rather than economists.

And the lack of female interest in the field shows it is no longer in vogue. A new analysis finds that women make up 57 percent of undergraduate classes at UK universities but only 27 percent of economics students. The women who like math are doing something else with it. 1.2 percent of females apply to study economics while 3.8 percent of boys do.  


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Why Swimming Pools Can't Raise Prices

Science2.0 - October 28, 2014 - 3:16pm

If it isn't taxes, it is OPEC but oil prices are likely to go up - people are still going to drive. It's necessary.

So is physical fitness but a new economics analysis finds that if prices to swim go up, people are inclined to drop it rather than pay more - but a gym membership stays. That's reason enough for economists behind a new paper to advocated a new government subsidy.

The work by Brunel University London's Health Economics Research Group consisted of interviews with 1,683 people, 83% of whom took part in physical activity in some form. It found that people facing 10% higher entry fees to swimming pools were 29% less active, once other variations such as their age and differences in income were taken into account. 


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Fish Stories? Some Fish Personality Types Are Most Likely To Get Caught

Science2.0 - October 28, 2014 - 3:09pm

Talk to long-time anglers with a favorite spot and they will often tell stories of one fish they could never get. In mythical overtones, they will speak of its ability to avoid capture, attributing an almost supernatural intelligence (for a fish). Such stories were once so common that 'fish story' became its own brand of tall tale.

A new study mapped individual heritable traits of fish to environmental conditions and concluded that some fish really are going to be harder to catch.

The work by the University of Eastern Finland and the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute
in the Paltamo Unit of the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute


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US Operating Rooms Could Donate 2 Million Pounds Of Unused Medical Supplies

Science2.0 - October 28, 2014 - 2:32pm

In the past, it was common practice to get rid of anything that was used - and unused - in operating rooms, but with rising health care costs due to government insurance and growing realization that many countries have few supplies at all, recovery of unused operating room materials has gotten new life.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported during the 2014 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons that recovery of unused medical supplies from operating rooms for donation to surgical centers in developing countries can potentially alleviate a significant global burden of surgical diseases. 


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Where Did All The Oil From The Deepwater Horizon Spill Go?

Science2.0 - October 28, 2014 - 2:31pm

Damage assessments from environmental hazards are always a challenge because of the competing constituencies pulling on science and the fuzzy nature of estimates. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration was editing science reports to reflect its goals, environmentalists were raising money claiming earth was ruined and using wild guesses for damage, and BP lobbyists were mitigating penalties behind the scenes by claiming it wasn't so bad.

What about possibly 2 million barrels of oil that are still down there? Are they a hazard? Where did they go?


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Gluten-Free Is Still A Fad For Most

Science2.0 - October 28, 2014 - 12:00pm
 
Credit: Yamanaka Tamaki/Flickr

By Meredith Knight, Genetic Literacy Project
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This Year's Economics Nobel Was Another Triumph For The Blackboard Over The Real World

Science2.0 - October 28, 2014 - 4:41am

Jean Tirole's theories, capturing reality as an afterthought? IMF, CC BY-NC-ND

By David Spencer, University of Leeds

It’s that time of year again – when academic economics, thanks to the Nobel Prize announcements, is thrust into the public gaze.

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Don't Believe In Global Warming? Women Won't Vote For You

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 11:20pm

In the United States, Democrats have long insisted that women should vote for Democrats, because abortion was the most important issue.

Abortion is not really an issue any more. It was allowed by states prior to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision and has been the law of the land for 40 years. In cases where someone tries to run on abortion, it fails. But marketing scholars say global warming has replaced abortion as the litmus test for why women should be Democrats - if women care about long-term consequences of their actions, that is.


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Culling The Population Is Not A Realistic Environmental Solution

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 10:30pm

In the 1960s and '70s, population bomb reality was said to be as settled as climate change is today. No less than Dr. John Holdren, current Obama administration Science Czar, co-authored a book called Ecoscience, which argued that forced sterilization and mass abortions might  be necessary, and even viable under the equal protection clause of the Constitution.


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More X-Class Flares Erupting From Giant Solar Sunspot

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 10:30pm

This morning, a large active region on the sun erupted with another X-class flare, its fourth since Oct. 24th. 

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.


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From The Mouths Of Baby Fireballs

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 9:16pm

The first images of a nova during its early fireball stage - when it ejects material and gases expand and cool - have been delivered from a nova that erupted last year in the constellation Delphinus.  

A nova occurs after a thin layer of hydrogen builds up on the surface of a white dwarf--a highly evolved star with the mass of the sun packed into the volume of the Earth. A normal star accompanies the white dwarf in a binary star system, providing that hydrogen as the two stars orbit each other.


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DRIVE-AB To Tackle Policy Problem Of Near Empty Pipeline Of New Antibiotics

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 7:30pm
We never miss pharmaceutical companies until they are gone.

Lawsuits, terrifically expensive drug development cycles and trials coupled with a short window for sales before a drug is declared out of patent and therefore generic has meant companies are abandoning markets that are not lucrative, like antibiotics. Critics who believed drug companies were evil and greedy have found that government is incapable of doing applied research - and that is leaving a huge void.
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For Better Learning, Make Some Mistakes

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 6:31pm

If you take an online practice test, which answer is most likely to stick with you, the ones you got correct or that one you got wrong?

A new paper finds that making mistakes while learning can benefit memory and lead to the correct answer, but only if the guesses are close.

"Making random guesses does not appear to benefit later memory for the right answer , but near-miss guesses act as stepping stones for retrieval of the correct information – and this benefit is seen in younger and older adults," says Andrée-Ann Cyr, a graduate student with Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute and the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. 


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Will The Ebola Epidemic Ever End?

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 6:31pm

Not everyone who contracts the Ebola virus dies, the survival rate is actually around 30%, which means some kind of immunity to the disease is possible.

Experimental treatments and vaccines against Ebola exist but there was little interest from governments in streamlining the bureaucracy before the recent outbreak, so they have not undergone phase 2 trials - the U.S. Congress did add $90 million to the $29 billion budget of the National Institutes of Health after Director Francis Collins said money was the thing that had prevented a vaccine in the past


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Better, Quicker-Thinking Umpires? There’s An App For That!

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 6:31pm
During last night's World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals, the batter dropped down a surprise bunt and sprinted to first base. The umpire called him safe and slow motion replay showed he had beaten the throw by mere inches. A good runner will make it from home to first in 5 or 6 seconds so seeing the foot hit the bag before the ball reached the glove was an amazing feat of ocularity.
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How The Air We Breathe Was Created By Earth's Tectonic Plates

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 6:31pm

By Simon Redfern, University of Cambridge

How is it that Earth developed an atmosphere that made the development of life possible? A study published in the journal Nature Geoscience links the origins of Earth’s nitrogen-rich atmosphere to the same tectonic forces that drive mountain-building and volcanism on our planet. It goes some way to explaining why, compared to our nearest neighbors, Venus and Mars, Earth’s air is richer in nitrogen.

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How Is Thermodiffusion Different In A Weightless Environment?

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 5:53pm
Thermodiffusion is when a temperature difference establishes a concentration difference in a mixture. Two recent studies build on recent experimental results from the IVIDIL (Influence Vibration on Diffusion in Liquids) research project performed on the International Space Station under microgravity to avoid motion in liquids.
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Red Baron: Air Ace, Nazi Killer, Emotional Patriot – Changing Faces Of A German War Hero

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 5:53pm

Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, with other members of his unit. Credit: Germany Army.

By Ingrid Sharp, University of Leeds

The idea of a war hero is still strong in the UK and in the other Allied countries.

War memorials are a central feature of the regular commemoration services, Churchill is regularly rolled out in biographical and fictional form, and there are soon to be a total of 888,246 ceramic poppies for 888,246 war heroes adorning the Tower of London.

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Marangoni Effect: Why Your Future GPS Could Be Chemistry

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 4:26pm
Researchers on an international team recently showed a way to quickly and reliably find the fastest way through a city maze. But rather than using a satellite navigation system, they used chemistry.

It needs a little work before UPS can use it, since the chemical processor was in alkaline liquid, bit it is intriguing proof of concept.
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Simple New Test For Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Science2.0 - October 27, 2014 - 3:31pm

A novel method to test for vitamin B12 deficiency is sensitive enough to work on anyone, including newborn babies and large swaths of the general population. It uses a single drop of blood collected from a finger prick which is then blotted and dried overnight on a card consisting of filter paper.

The dried blood spot card analysis is sensitive enough to measure the amount of methylmalonic acid (MMA), an indicator of a person's B12 level, according to study author Yvonne Lamers of the University of British Columbia. "This minimally invasive approach helps us measure deficiency in an easier and more convenient way, especially in large samples of people. Our method is the first to make dried blood spot analysis sensitive enough to test healthy people for B12 deficiency."


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