Science2.0

Children Learn To Lie At Age Two – Here’s How To Get Them To Tell The Truth

Science2.0 - December 15, 2014 - 1:30pm

You definitely didn't have one? Honestly? Shutterstock

By Lara Warmelink, Lancaster University

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The Confluence Of Pop Music And Science

Science2.0 - December 15, 2014 - 1:00pm
How much science is in pop music? Can pop culture enhance science communication?

A sociology duo recently explored the occurrence of science in the lyrics of Taiwanese pop music. Their results revealed that expressions from the field of astronomy and space research are notably prominent in the lyrics. Most texts address emotional states, while the latest scientific topics are only rarely mentioned.

“In many countries, and that includes Austria in particular, there is a distinct gap between the sciences and the population, which must be bridged. Popular culture and the entertainment media, amongst others, could play a valuable part as intermediaries,” says co-author Joachim Allgaier.
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Inulin-propionate Ester Ingredient Will Make You Feel Fuller

Science2.0 - December 14, 2014 - 10:13pm
Some people eat when they are hungry and stop when they are not. Others eat until they are full. For that second group, science may soon have a way to help keep them slimmer.

Inulin-propionate ester (IPE) contains propionate, which stimulates the gut to release hormones that act on the brain to reduce hunger. Propionate is produced naturally when dietary fiber is fermented by microbes in the gut and in its first tests in humans, researchers found that the ingredient is effective at preventing weight gain in overweight volunteers.
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Were You Born Anti-Social?

Science2.0 - December 14, 2014 - 1:30pm
You may not have been born a criminal, but experiences influence how genetic variants affect the brain and therefore behavior, according to a new paper. 

The study used a survey of 1,337 students aged 17 or 18 in Västmanland, a Swedish county, who anonymously completed questionnaires reporting on delinquency, family conflict, experiences of sexual abuse, and the quality of their relationship with their parents. They also provided a sample of saliva from which the researchers extracted DNA to examine it. The Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene is a key enzyme in the catabolism of brain neurotransmitters, monoamines, especially serotonin. Catabolism is the breaking down of complex materials and the releasing of energy within an organism. 
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My Brain Made Me Do It, But Does That Matter?

Science2.0 - December 14, 2014 - 1:00pm

Your brain is still you. Andrew Mason, CC BY

By Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Duke University

Imagine that Brian promises to drive you to the airport but never shows up, and you miss your flight. When you confront Brian, he tells you that he remembered his promise but decided to watch a movie instead. Would you be angry? You betcha!

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Origin Of Eukaryotic Cells Gets A New Hypothesis

Science2.0 - December 13, 2014 - 6:30pm

All complex life, including plants, animals and fungi, consists if of eukaryotic cells, cells with a nucleus, transport mechanisms and often organelles like mitochondria that perform the functions an organism needs to stay alive and healthy. Humans have 220 different kinds of eukaryotic cells which control everything from thinking and locomotion to reproduction and immune defense.

Because of that commonality, the evolution of the eukaryotic cell is considered one of the most critical events in the history of life on Earth. Without it, earth populated entirely by prokaryotes, single-celled organisms such as bacteria and archaea, with no chance at all of filming "Guardians of the Galaxy" or celebrating Christmas.


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Weather Bombs, Polar Vortex: Global Warming's Influence On Extreme Weather

Science2.0 - December 13, 2014 - 5:31pm

A new analysis to be presented next week at the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting in San Francisco says that extreme climate and weather events such as record high temperatures, intense downpours and severe storm surges are more common in many parts of the world.

It's hard to be sure. High quality weather records only go back about 30 years and even suspect quality records only go back 100, so there is inference between modern record-keeping and the data trapped in tree rings and ice cores from ancient times.


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Oversharing Algorithm: Facebook "Deep Learning" Could Prevent You From Drunk Posting

Science2.0 - December 13, 2014 - 5:30pm

"You think you're in pain now, but this is not going to look good on Facebook tomorrow." Stefano Bolognini/National Museum of Denmark

By Arosha K Bandara, The Open University

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The Plot Of The Week: Higgs Decays To WW In ATLAS

Science2.0 - December 13, 2014 - 3:02pm
The latest paper by the ATLAS Collaboration is a very detailed report of the search for Higgs boson decays to W boson pairs in Run 1 data. The H->WW* process contributes significantly to the total bounty of Higgs boson candidates that the two CERN experiments have been able to collect in the 2011 7-TeV and 2012 8-TeV proton-proton collisions, but the presence of neutrinos in the final state prevents the clean reconstruction of an invariant mass peak, hence the WW* final state has remained a bit "in the shadows" with respect to the cherished ZZ* and gamma-gamma final states. -->

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Liberal And Conservative Genetic Woo: How Behavioral Genetics Reporting Can Mislead The Public

Science2.0 - December 13, 2014 - 2:30pm
A study of 1,500 Americans found that media reports about behavioral genetics create unfounded beliefs about what genes can and cannot do, which defeats the purpose of scientific reporting, according to a new analysis.

American adults lead the world in science literacy so results may be even more profound in other countries, where political interests control more of scientific policy.
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Dog Brains Process Human Speech The Way Humans Do

Science2.0 - December 13, 2014 - 2:00pm

All the better for hearing you with. Boris Roessler/EPA

By Victoria Ratcliffe, University of Sussex and David Reby, University of Sussex

Sometimes it may seem like your dog doesn’t want to listen.

But in our study, however, we’ve found that he may understand more than he lets on.

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GTPBP3 Mutations Cause Mitochondrial Translation Defect - And Diseases

Science2.0 - December 13, 2014 - 1:30pm
Diseases of dysfunctional mitochondria, also known as mitochondrial diseases, have a prevalence of  up to 1 in 2,000 people and predominantly affect children, though adult-onset disorders are also recognized. An international collaboration has discovered that mutations in the GTPBP3 gene cause defects in protein synthesis in mitochondria and are associated with a devastating disease.

Mitochondria are compartments present in every cell of the body except red blood cells and are responsible for generating almost all of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and to grow. In mitochondria, energy is produced by a large number of proteins, which are manufactured according to a blueprint, the cell’s DNA. 
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Weather Bomb: Scary New Names For Common Winter Storms Are The New Norms

Science2.0 - December 13, 2014 - 2:53am

Braving the eye of the bomb. Danny Lawson/PA

By Edward Hanna, University of Sheffield

A dramatically-named “weather bomb” exploded across the UK in the past week, bringing winds gusting up to 144 mph on outlying islands.

But despite the cool name these “bombs” are more common than you might think.

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1990s Protectionism: Why Foreign PhDs Leave The USA

Science2.0 - December 12, 2014 - 10:45pm

In all of the money and outreach trying to convince more Americans to become scientists, what is most often left out is we train lots of scientists that we then force to return home, where they become competitors to America.

The origin of the student visa versus work visa problem we now face was a cultural mythology that was created, stating that companies would somehow pay foreign STEM graduates less, in defiance of state laws, federal laws, and ethics, unless they were forced to hire U.S. citizens. Because of that, union lobbyists got the American work visa process tightened up, in the belief that it would force American companies to hire people born in the US. Instead, businesses followed the work force back to Asia.


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Measuring The Cosmos - Now With Data

Science2.0 - December 12, 2014 - 9:22pm

Researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Barcelona have used data from astronomical surveys to measure a standard distance that is central to our understanding of the expansion of the universe, a much more accurate method than calculations related to general relativity. 

The new study is the first to measure it using observed data. A standard ruler is an object which consistently has the same physical size so that a comparison of its actual size to its size in the sky will provide a measurement of its distance to earth.  Previously the size of this standard ruler has only been predicted from hypothetical models that rely on general relativity to explain gravity at large scales. 


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Why Women Don't Run For Political Office

Science2.0 - December 12, 2014 - 4:40pm

A new study by political science scholars has found one reason why women are less likely to run for political office - they will volunteer to lead but don't like competing to do so. 

Prior claims have been that more women lack the confidence to seek and hold office so University of Pittsburgh associate Professors of Political Science Kristin Kanthak and Jonathan Woon enlisted 350 undergraduate college students to participate in laboratory experiments which Kanthak said appeared to show women are more "election averse" than men.


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Armchair Socialists More Physically Active Than Armchair Centrists - BMJ Christmas Science

Science2.0 - December 12, 2014 - 4:09pm

It is often said that the middle of the road is the worst place to drive, yet centrists pride themselves on always arguing the opposite of whatever the conversation is. They believe we should split the difference on all issues, though the actual functioning of the United Nations should have put a stake into the heart of that political vampire by now. 

It turns out centrists are endangering their health in other ways, according to BMJ's annual Christmas issue, because by 'sitting on the fence' they are likely to be fatter than commies - especially Trotzkyites, who are always springing from political fad to political fad - and neo-Nazis too.


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10,000 Year Old Agricultural Wisdom Could Lead To Future Food Security

Science2.0 - December 12, 2014 - 2:00pm

Why did the earliest farmers in the Fertile Crescent, an arc of land in western Asia from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf, domesticate some cereal crops 10,000 years ago and not others?


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Culling Kangaroos Could Help The Environment

Science2.0 - December 12, 2014 - 3:04am

How many kangaroos is too many? David Jenkins/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

By Brett Howland, Australian National University; David Lindenmayer, Australian National University, and Iain Gordon, James Hutton Institute

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A Misplaced Concern About An Arctic Apple

Science2.0 - December 11, 2014 - 9:58pm
As a consumer and as an agricultural scientist, I’m looking forward to the introduction of the Arctic® apple. It is possibly nearing approval by regulators in the US and Canada which could mean that supplies might finally be available in a few more years.

These apples could give consumers the possibility of buying apples that maintain their flavor, appearance and vitamin content after cutting, and which can also be used to make beautiful dried apple slices without the need for sulfites (something that can be a problem for some people).
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