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Miscarriages Widely Misunderstood

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 9:52pm

A survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults has found misperceptions about miscarriage and its causes are widespread. Results of the survey show that feelings of guilt and shame are common after a miscarriage and that most people erroneously believe that miscarriages are rare.

Nearly one million miscarriages occur in the U.S. each year. Miscarriages end one in every four pregnancies and are by far the most common of all pregnancy complications. Yet 55 percent of respondents to the Einstein/Montefiore survey believed that miscarriages are "uncommon" (defined in the survey as less than six percent of all pregnancies).


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Simple Artificial Neural Circuit A Step Forward In Artificial Intelligence

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 9:29pm
Researchers  have demonstrated the functionality of a simple artificial neural circuit - a circuit of about 100 artificial synapses was proved to perform a simple version of a typical human task: image classification.

The brain has 1015 (one quadrillion) synaptic connections so this will need some time to come close, but it is a step.

For all its errors and potential for faultiness, the human brain remains a model of computational power and efficiency. That's because the brain can accomplish certain functions in a fraction of a second what computers would require far more time and energy to perform.
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Popular Media Influences Childbirth Methods

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 7:30pm

Women's magazines influence decisions to have a more 'natural' childbirth or not, with most stories in favor of epidural or potentially a Cesarean section.

Scholars writing in Women&Health decided to assess the effect of communicating the benefits of more natural birth. Kate Young, lead author from Monash University's School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said popular media was biased towards things like epidurals even in low risk births, though the authors say it leads to preventable maternal and infant morbidity.

"We wanted to look at how women's decisions might be influenced by communicating the alternative benefits of non-medicalized birth," Young said.


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In Hiring Simulation, Male Potential Is Preferred Over A Female Track Record

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 6:39pm

Male job applicants are perceived to have high levels of leadership potential and are rated as a better employment prospect than a female applicant with proven leadership track record, according to a presentation at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Liverpool which discussed how 98 participants (39 women) participated in an online hiring simulation.

Each participant was shown four potential applicants for a managerial role with roughly the same age. The applications differed by varying the applicant's gender and assessments of leadership potential and leadership achievement. Participants evaluated each applicant for how successful they thought each would be in their career and which had the most impressive CV.


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Are Small Amounts Of Moderate Exercise Better For Health?

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 6:17pm
A growing body of advice suggests doing small amounts of moderate exercise can make a significant difference to your health.
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Peatland Carbon Emissions May Not Be So Bad

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 5:55pm
A previously unknown dual mechanism slows peat decay and may help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from peatlands during times of drought, according to a new study. The naturally occurring mechanism was discovered in 5,000-year-old pocosin bogs in coastal North Carolina. Preliminary field experiments suggest it may occur in, or be exportable to, peatlands in other regions as well. 
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Non-Euclidean Geometries For Our Brain Grid Cells

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 5:43pm

It took human culture millennia to arrive at a mathematical formulation of non-Euclidean spaces - but that was not because of a limitation of our brains. 

Instead, it's likely that even the brains of rodents get there very naturally every day.


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A Call For Changes To Daycare Mandatory Nap Rules

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 4:56pm

A new study examined the relationship between mandatory nap times in daycare and children's night-time sleep duration concurrently and then 12 months later and found children who were exposed to more than 60 minutes mandatory sleep at childcare slept worse at night which continued when they started school.

A sample of 168 children, aged between 50-72 months of which 55 percent were male, was observed during the study. A year later the children were observed in their first year of school.


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Chicxulub Asteroid Impact And Deccan Eruptions In India Linked

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 3:30pm

In a new paper, researchers address the "uncomfortably close" occurrence of the Chicxulub impact in the Yucatán and the most voluminous phase of the Deccan Traps flood basalt eruptions in India.  Specifically, the researchers argue that the impact likely triggered most of the immense eruptions of lava in India -- that it was not a coincidence but was a cause-and-effect relationship.


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Expanded Hospice Improved Care But Raised Medicare Costs

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 3:30pm

A large study examined the impact of growth in Medicare's hospice benefit among nursing home residents between 2004 and 2009 and found improvement in indicators of care quality, such as less reliance on intensive care and feeding tubes, but that came with increased costs to Medicare of $6,761 per patient on average.

Early in the history of the Medicare hospice benefit, care was most likely to be provided by non-profit organizations, and that was how politicians sold the Medicare expansion to taxpayers - that hospice growth would save Medicare money by reducing expensive, aggressive end-of-life treatments such as hospital intensive care, because groups did it out of compassion. But once a lot of government money is involved, things change.


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Unexpected Role For Calcium In Tuberculosis

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 3:00pm

Many of us take a healthy immune system for granted. But for certain infants with rare, inherited mutations of certain genes, severe infection and death are stark consequences of their impaired immune responses.

Now, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have identified an important role for calcium signaling in immune responses to chronic infection resulting from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium causing tuberculosis. 


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Explosive Volcanoes Fueled By Water

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 2:24pm

A new analysis of water and other elements contained in olivine-rich basalt samples gathered from cinder cone volcanoes that surround Lassen Peak in Northern California, at the southern edge of the Cascade chain, shows water is key for how magma forms deep underground and produces explosive volcanoes in the Cascade Range.


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Is Loki The Missing Link In The Evolution Of Complex Cells?

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 2:19pm

A new study and a new microbe provides a new understanding of how, billions of years ago, the complex cell types that comprise plants, fungi, but also animals and humans, evolved from simple microbes, according to a new paper.

Cells are the basic building blocks of all life on our planet. Yet, whereas the cells of bacteria and other microbes are small and simple, all visible life, including us humans, is generally made up of large and complex cell types.

The origin of these complex cell types has long been a mystery to the scientific community, but now researchers writing in Nature detail discovery of a new group of microorganisms that represents a missing link in the evolutionary transition from simple to complex cells.


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Sex Lives And Disabilities

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 1:30pm

Millie Dollar sashays onto the stage in a green, feathered dress to conclude the evening’s entertainment with a sultry burlesque routine. The capacity audience at the ornate Epstein Theatre in Liverpool is enraptured by her sensual beauty.

Burlesque, she says in an interview, gives her a way of communicating through costume, routine and dance – which she does with panache. What the audience can’t see though is the hearing condition that means she must work hard to follow the beat during her glamorous routine.

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Why Gamblers Fail To Beat The Odds

Science2.0 - May 11, 2015 - 1:00pm

Brian Owens, Inside Science - Habitual gamblers are more likely to believe they see patterns in random sequences of events, and to act on that belief, than the general population, according to new research.

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DINKs Share Housework Equally – And Then A Baby Arrives

Science2.0 - May 10, 2015 - 4:00pm

As a tenured professor and mother of four young sons, I am constantly asked, “How do you do it?” What people mean is: “How can you have a full-time job and still manage child care and housework?”

I usually respond, “High-quality husband and high-quality child care, in that order.” From the outset, my husband, a full-time, clinical pharmacist, has been a committed partner in caring for our house and raising our children.

But I’ve learned that, with our equal division of housework and child care, he’s an outlier. There may be some like him, but our research group at The Ohio State University recently discovered that such husbands in dual-earner households are, indeed, rare.

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MESSENGER Revealed Mercury's Magnetic Field Secrets As A Last Science Gift

Science2.0 - May 10, 2015 - 3:29pm

New data from the spacecraft that orbited Mercury for four years before crashing into the planet a week ago reveals Mercury's magnetic field is almost four billion years old. The discovery helps scientists piece together the history of Mercury, the closest planet to the sun and one about which we knew very little before MESSENGER. 

NASA's MESSENGER probe left Earth in 2004, reached Mercury in 2008 and has orbited the planet since 2011, sending data back .  Researchers used data obtained by MESSENGER in the fall of 2014 and 2015 when the probe flew incredibly close to the planet's surface - at altitudes as low as 15 kilometers, and a new study detailing the planet's ancient magnetic field was published in Science Express.


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Generic Transplant Drugs Are Fine, But Patients Still Worry

Science2.0 - May 10, 2015 - 1:30pm

Generic drugs are the same as a name brand. The only difference is that a generic company does not research or clinical trials and since the product is outside patent, they only have the cost of manufacturing, so costs are lower and the product is cheaper.

Yet we are increasingly in a precautionary principle world, in everything from vaccines to food, so it is little surprise that patients prefer name brand drugs more. Though large pharmaceutical companies are being attacked in a culture war, they are still considered more trustworthy than a generic, which most people equate with lower quality materials.


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Why Virtual Reality Tends To Make Users Feel Sick

Science2.0 - May 10, 2015 - 1:00pm
Virtual reality (VR) equipment has tended to be cumbersome and expensive, all heavy headsets and awkward gloves.

Until recently it’s been beyond the reach of the home consumer, but with the appearance of Oculus Rift (since bought by Facebook), Microsoft’s HoloLens, and even DIY options such as Google Cardboard, it seems VR is coming to a living room near you soon.

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'Fuzzy Thinking' In Women With Bipolar Disorder And Depression Is Real, Says Study

Science2.0 - May 10, 2015 - 2:23am

People with depression or bipolar disorder often feel their thinking ability has gotten "fuzzy", or less sharp than before their symptoms began, and a new study published in BRAIN finds that the effect is real - and rooted in brain activity differences that show up on advanced brain scans. 


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