Science2.0

Oscillatory Chemical Reactions: What Your Clothes May Literally Say About You In The Future

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 11:27pm

Wearing a computer on your sleeve may be a lot cooler than a plastic watch with an Apple logo on it - researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have designed a responsive hybrid material fueled by an oscillatory chemical reactions.

They can even perform computations based on changes in the environment or movement, and respond to human vital signs. The material system is sufficiently small and flexible enough to be integrated into fabric or introduced as an inset into a shoe.


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Had Spinal Fusion? There Is Good News For Your Golf Handicap

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 10:04pm
If you suffer from chronic low back pain and need spinal fusion surgery, there is good news for your golf game. A new study shows an overwhelming majority of spinal fusion patients returned to play golf as well, if not better, than before surgery.

During spinal fusion surgery, two vertebrae are joined together using a bone graft taken from another part of the body. In traditional open surgery, a large incision is made to cut through muscles surrounding the spine. Minimally invasive surgery allows for a smaller incision with less muscle damage, resulting in less blood loss, shorter hospital stays and a quicker return to activities.
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What Book Thieves Tell Us About A Country's Reading Culture

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 9:46pm
The catalogue of the Johannesburg Public Library in South Africa contains a poignant entry – “Biko, Steve. Long 0verdue”.

The entry refers to I Write What I Like, a volume of collected writings by Steve Biko, the Black Consciousness leader tortured to death in police custody in 1977.

The library used to have six copies of the volume but they have all been borrowed and never returned.

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Ocean Mixing Model Reveals Insight On Climate

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 5:22pm

Scientists have developed a computer model that clarifies the complex processes driving ocean mixing in the vast eddies that swirl across hundreds of miles of open ocean.

The Lagrangian In-situ, Global, High-performance particle Tracking (LIGHT) model is a first-of-its-kind tool because of its ability to exploit the power available from today's supercomputers, the authors say.


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GlaxoSmithKline Gene Discovery In Poppies Paves Way For Better Painkillers

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 3:00pm
A long sought after gene that is a critical gateway step in the synthesis of the morphinan class of alkaloids, which include the painkiller drugs morphine and codeine, has been discovered.

 The gene, called STORR, is only found in poppy species that produce morphinans. The STORR gene evolved when two other genes encoding oxidase and reductase enzymes came together millions of years ago. The resulting gene fusion plays a key role in production of morphine. The researchers hope this will enable the breeding of bespoke poppy varieties, including those that produce the anti-cancer compound noscapine. Discovery of the STORR gene completes the set of genes needed for genetic engineering of morphine production in microbes such as yeast.
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Lexus Hoverboard Gets Off The Ground

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 2:30pm
By Michael Greshko, Inside Science - In the classic 1989 film Back to the Future 2, intrepid time traveler Marty McFly jumps ahead a few decades, to October 21, 2015.

Luxury car manufacturer Lexus appears to be ready for him. This week, they announced that they've built a "real, rideable" hoverboard. 

They've even released video of it, oozing fog and mysteriously floating over what looks like a concrete sidewalk. Check out the 38-second teaser for yourself:
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Lego Optics Lab: Large Lens Holder

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 2:18pm
For my Lego Optics Lab I have so far built a beam splitter, and a small lens holder. The beam splitter article got a link on io9 (my name is misspelled) and on Scientific American. -->

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Will More Incentives Mean A Return To High Scientific Standards?

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 2:00pm

Was America at its greatest scientifically when academics made far less money and were politically representative? Not if science output, Nobel prizes and adult science literacy are the measures, because America leads in all categories.

Yet with six figure incomes for faculty and less diversity has come greater distrust. Conservatives, for example, once had the highest trust in science, and now they are near the lowest, along with progressives. The public regularly thinks that anyone who cashes a paycheck is unethical, people don't trust medicine, food or energy science on the left and the right thinks climate scientists are shills.


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Is Marriage Good Or Bad For Your Weight? A Comparison By Countries

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 1:17pm

If you ask some people why they would never want to get divorced, they joke that they would not want to have to 'get back down to dating weight', but do married people really give up and get heavier?
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Plastics May Be Making Men Infertile - Or Not

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 1:00pm

Recent research has reignited concerns that exposure to chemicals from plastics might be to blame for low sperm counts in young men. I share the concerns about the high prevalence of low sperm counts (one in six young men), and my research is directed at trying to identify what causes it. But whether plastics are to blame isn’t a simple matter.

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Access To Electricity - And Artificial Light - Is Linked To Reduced Sleep

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 12:57pm

We can blame smartphone alerts, constant connectivity and a deluge of media for sleep deprivation but that is talking about the symptoms rather than the disease. The root cause is instead the thing that has led to cultural and social improvements for over 100 years - artificial light.


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Tillamook Bay Floodplain Restoration Plan Would Reduce Flood Risk And Restores Salmon Habitat

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 12:36pm

Salmon are severely impacted by the loss of floodplain habitats near Oregon's Tillamook Bay, where nearly 90 percent of estuaries' tidal wetlands have been lost to development -- threatening the survival of coho salmon and the safety of the local community. Now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA Fisheries, and others have come together to reduce flood risk, increase resiliency of the ecosystem, and restore salmon habitat in Tillamook Bay under the auspices of The Southern Flow Corridor project, as the proposed collaborative effort is known. It will reconnect over 500 acres of floodplain habitat to two of the Bay's most productive salmon-bearing streams -- the Wilson and Trask Rivers.


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The Missing Memristor Has NOT Been Found Published By Nature Group

Science2.0 - June 29, 2015 - 7:17am

A simple and provocative title – The Missing Memristor has Not been Found! This harsh admission of reality without sugar coating is the very title, and not of some opinion piece, but of a scientific paper published by the very same Nature Publishing Group that is criticized right away in that very paper:

 

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Why Flu Seasons Seem To Be Getting Worse

Science2.0 - June 28, 2015 - 5:15pm
Although we know influenza viruses circulate in temperate, populated parts of Australia every winter, predicting the precise timing and relative intensity of flu seasons is a fraught undertaking.

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In Memory Of David Cline

Science2.0 - June 28, 2015 - 3:59pm
I was saddened today to hear of the death of David Cline. I do not have much to say here - I am not good with obituaries - but I do remember meeting him at a conference in Albuquerque in 2008, where we chatted on several topics, among them the history of the CDF experiment, a topic on which I had just started to write a book. 

Perhaps the best I can do here as a way to remember Cline, whose contributions to particle physics can and will certainly be better described by many others, is to report a quote from a chapter of the book, which describes a funny episode on the very early days of CDF. I think he did have a sense of humor, so he might not dislike it if I do.

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Evidence-Based Predictors Of Biphasic Allergic Reactions In Children

Science2.0 - June 28, 2015 - 3:30pm

Children are more likely to have a repeat, delayed anaphylactic reaction from the same allergic cause, depending on the severity of the initial reaction. 

Anaphylaxis is a severe, allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and can result in death. Some children are at risk of delayed ('biphasic') anaphylactic reactions. Delayed reactions occur when the initial symptoms of allergic reaction go away but then return hours or days later without exposure to the initial substance that caused the reaction.


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Isradipine Blood Pressure Medication May Stop Drug And Alcohol Addiction

Science2.0 - June 28, 2015 - 1:00pm

Researchers have successfully stopped cocaine and alcohol addiction in experiments using a drug already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat high blood pressure. If the treatment is proven effective in humans, it would be the first of its kind -- one that could help prevent relapses by erasing the unconscious memories that underlie addiction.

Scientists once believed that drug addiction was simply a physical craving: Drug addicts who became sober and then later relapsed merely lacked willpower. But that view has gradually shifted since the 1970s.


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Rapid Ebola Diagnostic Test Could Be Game Changer

Science2.0 - June 28, 2015 - 12:44pm

A new test can accurately predict within minutes if an individual has Ebola  and is the first to show that a point-of-care EVD test is faster than and as sensitive as a conventional laboratory-based molecular method used for clinical testing during the recent outbreak in Sierra Leone.

This new rapid diagnostic test could cut back on the lengthy process usually required to confirm if a patient has Ebola, help identify case contacts, and ultimately curb the spread.


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What Gets Credit For Smoking Declines? Big Pharma And Taxes, Says UCSF Paper

Science2.0 - June 28, 2015 - 10:57am

Are some people unable or unwilling to quit?  A popular sociological belief has been that by making smoking uncool or difficult, it will become unpopular and people will quit, and only those unable to quit would remain. If so, products like e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco make sense as alternatives.


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Homeopsychopaths

Science2.0 - June 28, 2015 - 4:41am
When it comes to educating the public about all matters chemical, there is no one better than Dr. Joe Schwarcz, a wildly popular professor at McGill University in Montreal. "Dr. Joe," as his students call him, is one sharp dude. He has written about 20 books, given countless lectures, been on TV and radio hundreds of times, and even hosts his own weekly radio show.
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