Science2.0

Hard Of Thinking: If You're Bad At Logic, Logically You Would Never Know

Science2.0 - November 16, 2014 - 5:30pm

You might never know that you're hard of thinking. Robin Zebrowski/Flickr, CC BY-NC

By Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Bristol and Richard Pancost, University of Bristol

It is an unfortunate paradox: if you’re bad at something, you probably also lack the skills to assess your own performance. And if you don’t know much about a topic, you’re unlikely to be aware of the scope of your own ignorance.

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Was The 1896 Heatwave Deleted From The Record?

Science2.0 - November 16, 2014 - 4:30pm

Nationals MP George Christensen told Parliament that the hot temperatures of 1896 have been "wiped from the official record". It's a bit more complicated than that. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

By Neville Nicholls, Monash University

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Secondhand Marijuana Smoke As Bad As Tobacco Smoke For Blood Vessels

Science2.0 - November 16, 2014 - 4:03pm

Breathing secondhand marijuana smoke could damage your heart and blood vessels as much as secondhand cigarette smoke, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014.


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Evergreening And How Drug Companies Keep Prices High

Science2.0 - November 16, 2014 - 3:16pm

Pfizer's evergreening tactics have made it the target of protests. Michael Fleshman/Flickr, CC BY-SA

By Hazel Moir, Australian National University and Deborah Gleeson, La Trobe University

Efforts by pharmaceutical companies to extend their patents cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year. In some cases they also mean people are subjected to unnecessary clinical trials.

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2014 - Global Warming Is Back On Track?

Science2.0 - November 16, 2014 - 2:30pm

From 2000-2013 the global ocean surface temperature did not rise in spite of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. This Global Warming Hiatus generated a lot of public and scientific interest and no small amount of skepticism about the accuracy of the numerical models created by climate scientists. But data is another matter entirely and as of April 2014 ocean warming has picked up speed again, according to a new analysis of ocean temperature datasets.  


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Gravitational Waves Could Unlock Secrets Of The Black Hole Universe

Science2.0 - November 16, 2014 - 2:00pm

When two
giant LIGO detectors
are switched on in the US next year, they will help scientists pick up the faint ripples of black hole collisions millions of years ago, known as gravitational waves. 

Black holes cannot be seen, but scientists hope the revamped detectors, which act like giant microphones, will find remnants of black hole collisions - and theoretical physicists hope experimentalists will give validation for their numerical model.


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A New Search For The A Boson With CMS

Science2.0 - November 16, 2014 - 9:54am
I am quite happy to report today that the CMS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider has just published a new search which fills a gap in studies of extended Higgs boson sectors. It is a search for the decay of the A boson into Zh pairs, where the Z in turn decays to an electron-positron or a muon-antimuon pair, and the h is assumed to be the 125 GeV Higgs and is sought for in its decay to b-quark pairs. 

If you are short of time, this is the bottomline: no A boson is found in Run 1 CMS data, and limits are set in the parameter space of the relevant theories. But if you have a bit more time to spend here, let's start with the beginning - What's the A boson, you might wonder for a start.  -->

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So What's Wrong With Modern Drug Theory?

Science2.0 - November 15, 2014 - 11:51pm
While the use of IC50’s is a huge problem in the biological sciences, Academia, Industry and Regulatory bodies have good reason to avoid the established field of enzyme kinetics. As I said in the last post, the problem with IC50 values is that they strip away or obscure finer details of molecular interactions producing an artificial wall on the amount of information we can obtain from biological systems.  However, the perception is that modern enzyme kinetic drug studies do not provide a significant improvement in our understanding relative to the increase in resources that are required to do the studies.
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Home Dialysis May Be Better Than In-Center Hemodialysis For Kidney Failure Patients

Science2.0 - November 15, 2014 - 6:00pm

Home dialysis therapies may help prolong the lives of patients with kidney failure compared with hemodialysis treatments administered in medical centers, according to an upcoming study at ASN Kidney Week 2014 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.

Home dialysis therapies are more convenient and less expensive than in-center treatment, but it's unclear whether all home therapies - which include peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis - can prolong patients' survival. Researchers led by Austin Stack, MD, MBBCh, FASN (Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, in Ireland) analyzed national data to compare dialysis survival among 585,911 patients who started dialysis in the United States between 2005 and 2010. 


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Air Pollution Linked To Higher Rates Of Chronic Kidney Disease

Science2.0 - November 15, 2014 - 5:13pm

Air pollution may play a role in the development of kidney disease, according to a study upcoming at ASN Kidney Week 2014 November 11-16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

There are wide variances in the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) across the United States, only part of which is explained by differences in individuals' risk factors. To see if air quality may also play a role, Jennifer Bragg-Gresham, PhD (University of Michigan) and her colleagues looked at 2010 Medicare information on 1.1 million persons as well as air-quality data for all US counties provide by the Environmental Protection Agency.


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Britain’s Forgotten World War I Civilian Internment Camps

Science2.0 - November 15, 2014 - 2:30pm

Knockaloe Camp. Stefan Manz

By Stefan Manz, Aston University

The German-Jewish painter and writer Paul Cohen-Portheim had spent a peaceful summer in 1914 visiting friends in Devon and enjoying the beautiful south-west coast.

But his idyllic holiday came to an abrupt end after Britain’s entry into war on August 4. Despite there being no suggestion of any sympathy towards his homeland’s military ambitions, Cohen-Portheim was classified as an “enemy alien” and prevented from leaving the country.

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Software Can Detect Even Small Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks

Science2.0 - November 15, 2014 - 2:00pm
Major leaks from oil and gas pipelines can lead to home evacuations and even explosions. The line of lawyers waiting to sue for millions of dollars even if nothing happens can be seen from space.

And though most pipeline leaks are small, America leads the world in safe pipeline construction and oversight, it's better for everyone if leaks are stopped as quickly as possible. A report in Industrial&Engineering Chemistry Research outlines development of a new software-based method that finds leaks even when they're small, which could help prevent serious incidents and save money for customers and industry.
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Wearable Tech For Dogs

Science2.0 - November 14, 2014 - 11:00pm

Wearable tech isn't just for humans any more. whistle.com

By Clara Mancini, The Open University

With the likes of Google Glass, Fitbit, and Emotiv wearables are now a familiar concept. Perhaps less known is that animals have been fitted with wearable technology for decades.

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Wash Your Cutting Board: The Science Of How Campylobacter Exploits Chicken Juice

Science2.0 - November 14, 2014 - 10:20pm

Campylobacter's persistence in the kitchen is boosted by organic matter from chicken carcasses - "chicken juice" - and that means better cleaning of surfaces used for food preparation is an easy way to keep illness from happening.

Campylobacter aren't particularly hardy bacteria, so one area of research has been to understand exactly how they manage to survive outside of their usual habitat, the intestinal tract of poultry. They are sensitive to oxygen, but during biofilm formation the bacteria protect themselves with a layer of slime. This also makes them more resistant to antimicrobials and disinfection treatments. 


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Introduction To Pulse Width Modulation Using Scratch On The Kano Computer

Science2.0 - November 14, 2014 - 9:01pm
In my previous article about the Kano Computer, I demonstrated how to use MIT’s Scratch graphical programming language on the Kano to flash an LED (the “Hello World!” program of hardware hacking). In this article, I’ll again demonstrate how to flash an LED, but using a special variable in Scratch called “MotorA”. Scratch automatically handles all of the programming for MotorA to produce a “pulse width modulation” (PWM) signal on Pin 11 of the Raspberry Pi. For a primer on pulse width modulation, see this article. -->

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Sex, Genes, The Y Chromosome And The Future Of Men

Science2.0 - November 14, 2014 - 8:00pm

The human Y chromosome has retained only 3% of its ancestral genes. So why is it a shadow of its former self? Rafael Anderson Gonzales Mendoza/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

By Jenny Graves, La Trobe University

The Y chromosome, that little chain of genes that determines the sex of humans, is not as tough as you might think. In fact, if we look at the Y chromosome over the course of our evolution we’ve seen it shrink at an alarming rate.

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Scientist At Work: The Day After Philae Landed

Science2.0 - November 14, 2014 - 7:17pm

Hang on? Oh, there you are… ESA, Author provided

By Monica Grady, The Open University

Phew, what a day it was yesterday. Ended up having a quiet drink at the hotel. Last drink of the day – a nice cup of tea!

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CrossFit: Pointless Pain Or Elite Fitness?

Science2.0 - November 14, 2014 - 7:00pm

CrossFitters can be found flipping tires or hitting them with a sledgehammer, climbing ropes, and tossing medicine balls. Shutterstock

By Sarah Hentges, University of Maine at Augusta

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Inside India's Sterilization Camps

Science2.0 - November 14, 2014 - 5:31pm

India's sterilization program focuses on women. EPA/STR

By Sabu S Padmadas, University of Southampton

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'Facebook Murder' - Should Crimes Using Social Networks Get Their Own Category?

Science2.0 - November 14, 2014 - 4:11pm

Is there such a thing as a Facebook murder? Is it different than any other murder? Legally, it can be. From a common sense point of view, there is no 'hate crime' status that should make a murder worse if a white person kills a latino person or a Catholic instead of a white person or a Protestant, but legally such crimes can be considered more heinous and get a special label of hate crime.

But social media is ubiquitous and criminal justice academics are always on the prowl for new categories to create and write about so a 'Facebook Murder', representing crimes that may somehow involve social networking sites and thus be a distinct category for sentencing, has been postulated. 

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