(Inside Science) -- The spider's iconic leggy shape can abruptly yank our attention, even when we’re focused on something else, according to a new study. Other shapes such as houseflies and hypodermic needles don’t draw our attention in the same way. This suggests that spiders may be hard-wired into our visual systems, helping us avoid a threat that our ancestors faced for millions of years.-->
A recent model says it provides the first characterization of the progenitor for a hydrogen-deficient supernova. Their simulation predicts that a bright hot star, which is the binary companion to an exploding object, remains after the explosion so they secured observation time with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to search for such a remaining star.
Unless you are trapped at a Larry Summers protest at Harvard in 2006, you know that male and female brains are not equal in all ways.
Another study affirms that, finding a difference when it comes to the biological response to a high-fat diet. Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute scientist Deborah Clegg, PhD, and colleagues found that the brains of male laboratory mice exposed to the same high-fat diet as their female counterparts developed brain inflammation and heart disease that were not seen in the females.
(Inside Science) – Each day small sea creatures known as plankton rise from deep underwater to the ocean's surface during the night and then return to the depths in daytime. Zoologists describe this “diel” movement, named after the Latin word for day, as Earth’s biggest migration.-->
By Rob MacKenzie, University of Birmingham
To exaggerate is human, and scientists are human.
Exaggeration and the complementary art of simplification are the basic rhetorical tools of human intercourse.
So yes, scientists do exaggerate. So do politicians, perhaps even when, as the UK’s former environment secretary Owen Paterson did, they claim that climate change forecasts are “widely exaggerated”.
Reading glasses have served us for centuries. Why fix a good thing? Because science and technology can.
Presbyopia, blurriness in near vision experienced by many people over the age of 40, could one day be relegated to olden days if a thin ring inserted into the eye gains popularity.
A new study has found that people who play action video games such as the "Call of Duty" or "Assassin's Creed" seem to learn a new sensorimotor skill faster than non-gamers do. Sorry, Bungie, "Destiny" was not out when they did the study and auto-rifles would mess up the results anyway.
A new sensorimotor skill, such as learning to ride a bike or typing, often requires a new pattern of coordination between vision and motor movement. With such skills, an individual generally moves from novice performance, characterized by a low degree of coordination, to expert performance, marked by a high degree of coordination. As a result of successful sensorimotor learning, one comes to perform these tasks efficiently and perhaps even without consciously thinking about them.
By Saskia Vermeylen, Lancaster University
Whether you’re into mining, energy or tourism, there are lots of reasons to explore space.
Some “pioneers” even believe humanity’s survival depends on colonizing celestial bodies such as the moon and Mars, both becoming central hubs for our further journey into the cosmos. Lunar land peddlers have started doing deals already – a one-acre plot can be yours for just £16.75.
By Graham Oppy, Monash University
Disputes about the existence of God — like most disputes about religion, politics, and sex — almost always generate heat but not light.
The question of the existence of God seems intractable. As with other philosophical questions, there is no method to follow in seeking to answer it. Moreover, there is no prospect of reaching an agreed answer to it.-->
For the sake of clarity, let us consider the two widely known, nonsensical scenarios: The first is one that many scientists charge ‘idealist’ philosophers with, although no thinker beyond the dorm room bong level holds this view: All is just a dream and there is no physical world. The second nonsensical scenario is that a physical world “really exists independently out there” and it happens to be the case that consciousness arises in it although it could have conceivably been otherwise, a physical universe just being without consciousness.-->
By Uli Beisel, Bayreuth University
Despite it being nearly six months after the Ebola outbreak was confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), we are still hearing stories of severe shortage of gloves in health facilities in West Africa. Many nurses have been asked to reuse them or merely rub their hands with chlorine after consultations.-->
(Inside Science) — Until last year, website designers had a choice of just 22 Internet domains to use as suffixes at the end of URLs, excluding country-specific ones. The familiar “dot-com” and “dot-org” hail from the Reagan era, and the trickle of new domains since has usually been met with much discussion and occasionally debate or even discontent.-->
By Sally Sheard, University of Liverpool
On October 19 an inspector sent north from London to Sunderland reported a long-awaited arrival: the first British case of cholera.
It was 1831 and as part of a second pandemic cholera had again progressed from its Bengal heartland through Europe, before reaching the Baltic ports. It was only a matter of time.
We assume that we can see the world around us in sharp detail but our eyes only process a fraction of our surroundings precisely.
In a series of experiments, psychologists at Bielefeld University investigated how the brain fools us into believing that we see in sharp detail. They find that our nervous system uses past visual experiences to predict how blurred objects would look in sharp detail.
Its central finding is that our nervous system uses past visual experiences to predict how blurred objects would look in sharp detail.
By Erik Bichard, University of Salford
The consistent message from those who would seek to exploit shale gas is that it has three distinct advantages over existing forms of fossil fuel energy: it is cheap, it has a lower influence on global warming, and it reduces the reliance in foreign imports.-->
Computer chips with superconducting circuits would be 50 to 100 times as energy-efficient as today's chips due to a lack of electrical resistance.
That means less heat, less deformation and less energy cost.
Superconducting chips also promise greater processing power. Superconducting circuits that use so-called Josephson junctions have been clocked at 770 gigahertz, or 500 times the speed of the chip in the iPhone 6.
By Christine Janis, Brown University
Extinct giant kangaroos may have been built more for walking, rather than hopping like today’s kangaroos, especially when moving slowly.-->
DNA analysis has become increasingly cost-effective since the human genome was first fully sequenced in the year 2001.
Sequencing a complete genome, however, still costs around $1,000 each so sequencing the genetic code of 100s of individuals would be expensive. For non-human studies, researchers very quickly hit the limit of financial feasibility.