Science2.0

The Whip, The Lash And The Blood, Sweat And Semen Of Jazz

Science2.0 - November 19, 2014 - 2:00pm

Dr. Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) and Andrew (Miles Teller) in Whiplash

By Lauren Rosewarne, University of Melbourne

A decade of piano lessons with a woman who never allowed my lack of passion, prowess or practice ruin a good thing, exists as a mere red herring.

A good woman, a sane woman, but even ten years with her wasn’t enough to ameliorate the (mis)education I got from music classes in primary school.

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Peer Review Has Problems And We Need A Fix

Science2.0 - November 19, 2014 - 1:00pm

Where it begins. Nature

By Andy Tattersall, University of Sheffield

Dirty Harry once said, “Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one”. Now that the Internet has made it easier than ever to share an unsolicited opinion, traditional methods of academic review are beginning to show their age.

We can now leave a public comment on just about anything – including the news, politics, YouTube videos, this article and even the meal we just ate. These comments can sometimes help consumers make more informed choices. In return, companies gain feedback on their products.

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Cosmic Alignment Of Quasars Across Billions Of Light Years

Science2.0 - November 19, 2014 - 11:00am
There are cosmic alignments over the largest structures ever discovered in the Universe - the rotation axes of the central supermassive black holes in quasars billions of light years apart are parallel to each other. 

Quasars are galaxies with very active supermassive black holes at their centers. These black holes are surrounded by spinning discs of extremely hot material that is often spewed out in long jets along their axes of rotation. Quasars can shine more brightly than all the stars in the rest of their host galaxies put together.
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Interstellar Is A Dangerous Fantasy Of US Colonialism

Science2.0 - November 19, 2014 - 2:00am

A new America? Warner Bros. Pictures

By Peter Bloom, The Open University

"Interstellar" has been praised for its attempt to make the “hard science” of astrophysics both accessible and exciting to a popular audience.

Through cutting-edge special effects, it takes audiences on a journey through space and time. It does so by drawing on groundbreaking scientific theories involving relativity, wormholes, black holes and the power of gravity.

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Vaping – The 2014 Word Of The Year

Science2.0 - November 19, 2014 - 12:30am

You're twice as likely to chat about vaping than you were in 2013. Tibanna79

By Robbie Love, Lancaster University

Selfies were so 2013. But vaping’s in: Oxford Dictionaries have announced vape as its international Word of the Year 2014.

The runners up are bae, budtender, contactless, indyref, normcore and slacktivism.

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Health Risks Of Nicotine Cast Doubt On 'Safer' E-cigarettes

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 11:30pm

E-cigarettes should not be sold in Australia, as a therapy or a consumer product. gdvcom/Shutterstock

By Ross MacKenzie; Benjamin Hawkins, London School of Hygiene&Tropical Medicine, and Thomas Novotny, San Diego State University

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The 27 Club Is A Myth: 56 Is The Bum Note For Musicians

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 10:30pm

Jimi Hendrix is a member of the so-called 27 Club. A very exclusive club, as it turns out. EPA/Eduardo Miranda

By Dianna Kenny, University of Sydney

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. – Groucho Marx

Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club. I told him not to … – Kurt Cobain’s mother upon hearing of the death of her son

What do Otis Redding, Gram Parsons, Nick Drake, Jimmy McCulloch, James Ramey (aka Baby Huey), Bryan Osper, and Jon Guthrie have in common?

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Artificial Intelligence Software Using Images Boosts Web Searches

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 10:00pm

New artificial intelligence software uses photos to locate documents on the Internet with far greater accuracy than ever before, showing for the first time that a machine learning algorithm for image recognition and retrieval is accurate and efficient enough to improve large-scale document searches online.

The system uses pixel data in images and potentially video - rather than just text -- to locate documents. It learns to recognize the pixels associated with a search phrase by studying the results from text-based image search engines. The knowledge gleaned from those results can then be applied to other photos without tags or captions, making for more accurate document search results. 


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To Survive A Car Crash, Be Young, Male And Drive A BFC

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 9:30pm

Vehicle fatalities are the most common cause of accidental death around the world. In the US alone, there are 30,000 deaths in car crashes each year. 


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Musicians Have Better Long-term Memory

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 9:04pm

Imagine we gave you three letters, say G, C and D. Then we gave you a name to associate to some combination of those three letters. How many could you recall on command?

Guitarists in cover bands do that all of the time. They can play thousands of songs from memory, and it's not uncommon in most musicians. There have been numerous studies regarding music and memory and a peek inside the brains of professional musicians adds to that.


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Maybe Volcanoes Have Been Slowing Global Warming

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 8:45pm

Volcanoes have long been known to have an impact on climate - the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption is famous for its impact on climate worldwide, making 1816 the 'Year Without a Summer'.

Maybe they are the reason global warming has not taken off the way climate researchers estimated it would. Sulfur dioxide gas that eruptions expel might be cooling the atmosphere more than previously thought, contributing to the recent slowdown in global warming, according to a new study.


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ADHD Surge Is More Marketing Than Medicine

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 7:16pm

You can't catch attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but you wouldn't know that by the way diagnoses are spreading - up 10X in some countries. 


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'Mexican Waves' In The Brain Revealed

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 6:28pm

Neurons - cells in the brain that communicate chemical and electrical information - belong to one of two groups, inhibitory or excitatory. Much is known about excitatory neurons but not so much for inhibitory ones.


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Acculturative Stress Causes Depression, Suicide In Latino Youth

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 6:27pm

An epidemiology analysis finds that acculturative stress, which is a term created to highlight that immigrants straddling two different cultures have greater stress than natives, is the reason Latino youth in Indiana have higher suicide and depression rates than white counterparts.

Young people are forced to be one thing in their homes and then also part of the larger outside culture and the conflict
between Latino teens and their parents regarding what they do and how they should act at, for example, school versus home, adds to the pressure of teenage years.


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Coffee Creamer, Crackers Linked To Worse Memory

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 5:19pm

A new study finds that people of 1914 may have had worse memory than people of 1814. The reason is partially hydrogenated oil - trans fats - that became a cheaper, healthier replacement for the saturated fats in butter. Crystallized cottonseed oil - Crisco - came onto the marketplace in 1911 and it revolutionized pie crusts but now the government says they should be banned and they now have a new reason why.


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Ancient Chinese Secret: Turmeric Spices Up Your Memory

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 5:06pm

A single gram of turmeric at breakfast could help improve the memory of people who are in the very early stages of diabetes and potentially at greater risk of cognitive impairment.


Turmeric is widely used in Asian cooking. Its characteristic yellow color is due to curcumin, which accounts for 3 to 6 per cent of turmeric and has been found in some studies to reduce the risk of dementia. The finding has particular significance given that the world's aging population and higher risk of dementia.

Monash University Professor Wahlqvist recently led a study in Taiwan that tested the working memory of men and women aged 60 or older who had recently been diagnosed with untreated pre-diabetes.


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Microvascular Dysfunction Common In Cocaine Users

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 4:58pm

Cocaine users complaining of chest pain may have microvascular dysfunction, improper blood flow through the smallest blood vessels that may not be detected in regular testing, putting these patients at risk for heart complications or death, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014.


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Some Poor People Have Better Health

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 4:57pm

It is a weekly event in epidemiology - some medical or health outcome is linked to socioeconomic inequality, as if more spending makes people healthy.


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Family Planning: Involving Men Empowers Women

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 4:17pm

In America, and to a much less extent in Europe, there can be a lot of angst when an aerospace engineer wears the wrong shirt on television. Women have a great deal of power in western nations, so much so that they can overwhelm science breakthroughs with cultural Gerrymandering.


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PIWI Pathway Isn't Perfect But It's What Keeps Transposons From Destroying Your Genes

Science2.0 - November 18, 2014 - 2:00pm

We like to think of evolution as a fine-tuning process, one that whittles away genetic imperfections and redundancies and converges on a more efficient system because of 'survival of the fittest'.

But natural selection is just one mechanism of evolution and what is fittest at one point may not have been fittest at another, yet could still be inherited. Our bodies are full of parts that we inherited and either don't work anymore or are rather buggy and other parts have simply found a way to make work.


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