Science2.0

Round 2: Ovulatory Cycles And Shifting Preferences

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 6:00pm

By Rob Brooks, UNSW Australia.

Settle in for a long read. Over the coming weeks you will be bombarded by shorter, snappier pieces about a controversy inflaming the front where evolutionary and social psychology meet. I’ve touched on this controversy already, and promised you more. Here’s that more, in 2,300 words of detail … rather too long for a column, I know.

Still with me? Thanks.

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You Can't Have Science 2.0 Without Statistics - Or Big Data Either

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 4:30pm
Statistics - learning from data and of measuring, controlling and communicating uncertainty - has become important to science and it is vital to the future of science, Science 2.0.

Over the last 200 years, and certainly with the advent of large-scale computing in the last 30 years, statistics has been an essential part of the social, natural, biomedical and physical sciences, along with engineering; and business analytics.

Statistics helps quantify the reliability, reproducibility and general uncertainty associated with discoveries, because one can easily be fooled by complicated biases and patterns arising by chance.

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Bring Back No Child Left Behind? Common Core Standards, Lack Of Voice, Driving Teachers Out

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 4:00pm

After the last wave of 'American children don't perform well on international standardized tests' articles in news media, the Obama administration gutted No Child Left Behind, the program approved with overwhelming bipartisan over a decade earlier, and replaced it with Common Core standards. American teachers, who didn't like the feeling that they were having to 'teach to the test' in order for students to do as well on standardized tests as kids from countries who primarily teach to the test, have now been handed an entirely new and even more restrictive set of demands to teach to the test.


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Islamic State's 'Medieval' Ideology Owes A Lot To Revolutionary France

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 4:00pm

A protest against the killing of journalists by the Islamic State. Credit: Mast Irham/EPA

By Kevin McDonald, Middlesex University

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Conservatives Are Happier Than Liberals - Even Living In A Liberal Democracy

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 3:30pm

America is a liberal democracy. 

Given the modern colloquial connotation of 'liberal' and its undertones of social authoritarianism, calling the United States a liberal democracy will make conservatives bristle, but it's true, and it is part of the reason they then say America is the greatest country in the world, or at least was until January of 2009. Ironically, conservatives, even those living in a liberal democracy, are happier than liberals pretty much...anywhere. 

An analysis of 16 Western European countries found that liberals are less happy overall, while conservatives tend to be more cheery, say psychologists. 


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Obama Administration Expediting Biosimilars To Save Money Could Be Putting People At Risk

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 3:30pm

Generic drugs and biosimilar drugs are conceptually equivalent, though a biosimilar drug is not a generic drug.

Generics drugs are equivalent copycats - exact copies of molecules that were developed at great cost by companies that are now outside the patent window. Biosimilars are instead copies of molecules of a protein nature involving biological processes and materials, like cell culture or the extraction of products using living organisms, which is why there is no product that is exactly the same as the other. Basically, that is why the name 'biosimilar' exists, because unlike generics they are not 'bioequivalent' to the drugs that have survived rigorous testing and approval. 


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Xenon Gas Reduces Brain Damage After Head Injury

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 3:00pm

Treatment with xenon gas reduces the extent of brain damage after a head injury reduces the extent of brain damage, according to a new study.

Head injury is the leading cause of death and disability in people under 45 in developed countries - due primarily to falls and road accidents. The primary injury caused by the initial mechanical force is followed by a secondary injury which develops in the hours and days afterwards. This secondary injury is largely responsible for patients' mental and physical disabilities, but there are currently no drug treatments that can be given after the accident to stop it from occurring.


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Bacteria That Can Eat Radioactive Waste Discovered

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 2:31pm

Tiny single-cell organisms living underground could help with the problem of nuclear waste disposal, according to a paper in the ISME (Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology) Journal.
  This is good news for Americans, since the Obama administration has lost the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository application even more often than the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has lost the emails showing they targeted political opponents.

Bacteria with waste-eating properties have been discovered before, but in relatively pristine soils. This is the first time finding microbes that can survive in the very harsh conditions expected in radioactive waste disposal sites.


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Playing Before School Starts Reduces Hyperactivity In Kids

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 2:31pm

Reducing hyperactivity in kids may be as simple as getting them out to play.

Kids are full of energy so having them trapped in a classroom all day from a young age isn't easy. For some, it is bordering on impossible and many of those have been saddled with the  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) label. Rather than putting kids on expensive - and in the case of Ritalin, dangerous - medications, the solution may be as simple as some play time before school starts.


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Buckyballs And Diamondoids: An Unlikely Teamup To Make Chip Components Molecule-Sized

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 1:54pm

By pairing two unconventional forms of carbon – one shaped like a soccer ball, the other a tiny diamond – scientists have created a molecule that acts as a rectifier - it conducts electricity in only one direction, which means it could be possible to cheaply shrink computer chip components down to the size of molecules.


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Clinical Trials Of SYN-004 In For C. Difficile Infections Upcoming

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 1:00pm
Positive results from its final preclinical toxicology study of SYN-004 have led Synthetic Biologics to get ready for clinical trials of the anti-infective, second-generation product candidate for Clostridium difficile (C. difficile).

Synthetic Biologics is in the final stages of preparing its SYN-004 IND application for submission to the FDA, with the expectation of initiating Phase Ia and Ib clinical trials in the fourth quarter of 2014, and a Phase II efficacy study in the first half of 2015.
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Multicultural Dora The Explorer Grows Up, But She Won't Make All Kids Bilingual

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 1:00pm


Dora grows up. Credit: Lisa West Photography, CC BY-NC-ND

By Bruce Fuller, University of California, Berkeley

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Curious Space Particles May Kick-Start Formation Of Planets And Stars

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 12:30pm

The Orion Nebula. Image credit: NASA http://bit.ly/1rTTyeC

By: Marcus Woo, Inside Science

(Inside Science) -- Interstellar space can be a dusty place, filled with tiny flecks no bigger than a bacterial cell.

But now astronomers have detected particles as big as pebbles, possibly a previously unknown type of dust that may kick-start the production of planets. The presence of these big particles may also suggest that star formation is more efficient than previously thought.

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Health Check: 5 Foods To Always Avoid At The Supermarket

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 11:30am

Ideally lollipops, cookies, sugar-sweetened drinks, potato chips and processed meats will never appear in your shopping cart. Credit: Matt/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

By Clare Collins, University of Newcastle

Want to stack the nutrition odds in your favor? The key is good food so here are five things to never let into your shopping trolley: candies, cookies, sugar-sweetened drinks, potato chips and processed meats.

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Use Ocean Waves To Power Homes

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 10:30am
By Karin Heineman, Inside Science 

(Inside Science TV) – From powering homes, to cars to phones, people across the world use vast amounts of energy. And that consumption is only growing.

As energy needs increase, scientists are constantly on the hunt for new ways to meet the demand. A group of mechanical engineers may have found a new source: the ocean.

“Wave energy has the potential in the U.S. to power 50 million homes," said Marcus Lehmann, a mechanical engineer at the University of California, Berkeley.

So, Lehmann and his team at UC Berkeley have created a device that can capture the power of ocean waves.

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Why Global Contributions To Wikipedia Are So Unequal

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 10:30am

Critical mass of editors could help solve the puzzle.Credit: bastique, CC BY-SA

By Mark Graham, University of Oxford

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More People Can Donate Tissue Than Organs – So Why Do We Know So Little About It?

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 7:30am

Eyes – windows on the soul?Credit: Ángelo González, CC BY-SA

By Tracy Long-Sutehall, University of Southampton

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Microbial Factories Could Produce Locally Brewed Painkillers

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 4:01am

Soon to be grown for ornamental use only.Credit: Mark Nesbitt and Samuel Delwen, CC BY

By Luc Henry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne

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Health Insurance Expansion Led By Young People - But There Is No Increase In Health Care Or Affordability

Science2.0 - September 9, 2014 - 1:30am

Nearly 1 in 3 young adults ages 19 to 25 years lacked health insurance in 2009 - in most cases, they didn't want to incur the cost but one of the goals of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was to get all young people or their parents paying for coverage so that the people who could not get it could afford to be subsidized.

Thus, an early provision of Obamacare mandated that young people had to pay for health insurance - or insurance companies had to let them stay on their parents' policies until age 26. For a recent paper, Meera Kotagal, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues examined coverage, access to care and health care use among 19- to 25-year-olds compared with 26- to 34-year-olds after the Obamacare mandate. 


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