Science2.0

In Psychopaths, The Line Between Fantasy And Reality Is Thin

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 1:00am

A new paper indicates that people with psychopathic traits have a preference for non-romantic sexual fantasies with anonymous and uncommitted partners.


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Historical Global Carbon Cycle Needs A Rethink

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 12:30am

A recent study of the global carbon cycle offers a new perspective of Earth's climate records through time.

One of the current methods for interpreting ancient changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans may need to be re-evaluated. A measurement of the abundance of carbon-12 and carbon-13 isotopes in both the organic matter and carbonate sediments found in a nearly 700-meter marine sediment core from the Great Bahama Bank.

The analyses showed a change to lower amounts of the rare isotope of carbon (carbon-13) in both the organic and inorganic materials as a result of several periods of sub-aerial exposure during the Pleistocene ice ages, which took place over the past two million years.


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Superfast Data Using Radio Waves Rather Than Optics

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 12:00am

Using twisted light to send data at almost unimaginable speeds is not new but researchers have developed a similar technique using radio waves - high speeds without the hassles that go with optical systems. 


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Betavoltaics: Water-Based Nuclear Battery Developed

Science2.0 - September 17, 2014 - 12:00am

We live in a battery world - just visit any airport and see people huddled around a wall outlet to witness our battery culture. Yet batteries haven't made any real improvements in decades and that holds back electric cars and solar energy and laptop computers.

An old technology may finally have come of age that can help us enter the world of 21st century portable electricity - betavoltaics, a battery technology that generates power from radiation, has bee created using a water-based solution, and it might be the longer-lasting and more efficient nuclear battery we need.


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Drought And Dry Lightning Have Made It A Long California Fire Season

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 11:10pm

Fires, mudslides and earthquakes are part of California life but residents might be wishing for a few more mudslides right about now. The temperature is nothing special but the worst drought in 20 years and dry lightning have meant an abundance of forest fires.


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Do Those Wearable Activity Monitors Work?

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 10:39pm

Wearable electronic activity monitors are a popular fad. They constantly monitor activities and bodily responses and the information is organized into computer programs and mobile apps. 

Given the large and quickly growing market for these devices, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston analyzed 13 of these activity monitors - names like Fitbit, Jawbone or Nike - to try and see if the devices and their companion apps work to motivate the wearer or if they are only used after the novelty phase who were interested in fitness anyway. 


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The Chicxulub Meteorite Killed The Dinosaurs But Made Forests Great

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 9:07pm

66 million years ago, a 10 km diameter meteorite hit the Yucatan peninsula with the force of 100 teratons of TNT. It left a crater more than 150 km across and the resulting mega tsunami, wildfires, global earthquakes and volcanism are believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs and made way for the rise of the mammals.


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Epigenetic Drugs?

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 8:46pm

We inherit certain traits that are predetermined but the field of epigenetics postulates that we might be able to change genes play by taking certain drugs or changing diets.  


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Artworks Are People Too?

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 8:24pm

Not all objects are equal in our minds. A Picasso sculpture is not the same way as a hammer, no matter how fancy the hammer. 

The reason? We see the Picasso more as a person than an object, according to a new paper from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. And in some cases, we make distinctions between artworks — say, an exact replica of a piece created by the artist, versus one created by a different artist.

Art, in other words, is an extension of the creator, write Professor Daniel M. Bartels of Chicago Booth, and Professor George E. Newman and Rosanna K. Smith, a doctoral student, both of Yale University School of Management.


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Social Motives And Social Networks Close The Science Gap

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 7:00pm

America leads the world in adult science literacy, science output and social media. That means broad social networks.

And it means, unless some field of science is your particular hot-button issue, the US is doing better in science acceptance than every other country, and spending time and money doing awareness is not really helping much.


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Emotion Recognition Software

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 6:29pm

Facial recognition software works pretty well. It measures various parameters, such as the distance between the person's eyes, the height from lip to top of their nose and various other metrics and then compares it with photos of people in a database.

Why not create emotion recognition software that can use its own custom parameters? 

Dev Drume Agrawal, Shiv Ram Dubey and Anand Singh Jalal of the GLA University, in Mathura suggest in the International Journal of Computational Vision and Robotics
has taken a three-phase approach to a software emotion detector.


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It's Flagella Against The Cantilever For The Fate Of Bacteria

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 6:07pm

A team of researchers has developed a new model to study the motion patterns of bacteria in real time and to determine how these motions relate to communication within a bacterial colony.

The researchers chemically attached colonies of Escherichia coli bacteria to a microcantilever – a microscopic beam anchored at one end, similar to a diving board – thus coupling its motion to that of the bacteria. As the cantilever itself isn't doesn't generate any vibrations, or 'noise,' this allowed the researchers to monitor the colony's reactions to various stimuli in real time.


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Wild Mushrooms: You May Eat Something Even Science Doesn't Know About

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 3:41pm

For lovers of wild foods, autumn means things like mushrooms and fungi of dizzying variety.

Intrepid treasure hunters scour the woods in search of delectable wild mushrooms and their not-quite-meat, not-quite-vegetable qualities.

A bonus: If you find some, you may be eating something not even known to science.

The Fungi Kingdom is enormously diverse and completely under-documented. Species are tough to know, and that is without counting the billions that have gone extinct without us ever knowing about them, but of the 10 million species likely out there, only about 100,000 have been described.


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Wearable Computing And Privacy Invasions You Might Want To Think About Now

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 2:26pm

You lookin’ at me?Gareth Fuller/PA

By Tom Foulsham, University of Essex

Are you being recorded? Thanks to the ubiquity of CCTV and camera phones, the answer is more than ever before likely to be “Yes”. Add to this the growth of wearable technology such as Google Glass and people are increasingly exposed to devices that can monitor and record them, whether they realize it or not.

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Genetically Modified Kamikaze Mosquitoes Take Out Diseases

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 12:30pm

By Marsha Lewis, Inside Science

(Inside Science TV) – One of the deadliest forces on earth is the humble mosquito. Mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, chikungunya, yellow fever and West Nile virus infect more than 350 million people and kill another 1 million people every year.

Now, scientists in Florida hope to wipe out some of these deadly diseases by genetically modifying their winged carriers.

“Mosquitoes are probably the most dangerous animal in the world. More people are killed by them [than] by anything else," said Michael Doyle, an entomologist at the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District in Key West, Florida.

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Pseudouridine: RNA Modifications In Some Unexpected Places

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 12:00pm

That DNA makes RNA which makes protein is a simplified explanation molecular biologists use to explain for how genetic information is deciphered and translated in living organisms.

The process is more complicated than the schema first articulated nearly 60 years ago by Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the DNA's double-helix structure. Now it is known that there are multiple types of RNA, three of which—messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), and ribosomal RNA (rRNA)—are essential for proper protein production. Moreover, RNAs that are synthesized during the process known as transcription often undergo subsequent changes, which are referred to as "post-transcriptional modifications."


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ATLAS Higgs Challenge Results

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 9:58am
After four months of frenzy by over 1500 teams, the very successful Higgs Challenge launched by the ATLAS collaboration ended yesterday, and the "private leaderboard" with the final standings has been revealed. You can see the top 20 scorers below.


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Rapidly Evolving Lizards Show How Some Creatures Can Adapt To Beat Climate Change

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 4:30am

Can the brown anole lizard outrun climate change? Credit: Ianaré Sévi, CC BY

By Amanda Bates, University of Southampton

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Radical Rethink: Sugars Are The Only Cause Of Tooth Decay

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 4:00am

If we get sugars down to 3% of total energy intake, it may put dentists out of business, according to a paper in BMC Public Health which analyzed the effect of sugars on tooth decay and found that sugars are the only cause of tooth decay in children and adults.

Free sugars are defined by the World Health Organisation Nutrition Guidance Advisory Group as "Free sugars include monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates." 


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Being Too Analytical Could Push Ethics Out The Door

Science2.0 - September 16, 2014 - 2:57am

Calculating the pros and cons is a time-honored method for making analytical decisions but focusing too much on numberscalculations, especially those involving money, can lead to negative consequences, including social and moral transgressions, says a new paper.

Based on several experiments, researchers concluded that people in a "calculative mindset" as a result of number-crunching are more likely to analyze non-numerical problems mathematically and not take into account social, moral or interpersonal factors.




Chen-Bo Zhong. Credit: Rotman School


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