Science2.0

No Uglies: Laser Biospeckles Can Detect Fruits "climacteric" Peak

Science2.0 - December 3, 2014 - 10:18pm

A few years ago, Europe had a policy making it illegal to sell fruit that was not cosmetically ideal. People overpaying for food deserve to have it aesthetically pleasing as well, was the reasoning, and having someone buy ugly fruit was a sign of inequality.

That policy was changed but for people who want to pay to have ideal fruit, there are still ways:  recently have demonstrated a laser biospeckle technique capable of detecting fruits' "climacteric peak" so it will always be harvested at just the right time. That means apples, bananas, pears and tomatoes could be available to well-heeled consumers during "peak edibleness."


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Androgen Deprivation Therapy For Prostate Cancer Linked To Decreased Survival In Older Men

Science2.0 - December 3, 2014 - 10:05pm

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), in which an injectable or implanted medication is used to disrupt the body's ability to make testosterone, is a common treatment for prostate cancer but should not be used in men whose cancer has not spread beyond the prostate, according to a new study.

The findings are important for men with longer life expectancies because the therapy exposes them to more adverse side effects, and it is associated with increased risk of death and deprives men of the opportunity for a cure by other methods. ADT is already known to have significant side effects such as heart disease, diabetes, increased weight gain and impotence; the new study suggests ADT may also lead to earlier death.  


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Cognitive Bias: Why Neurotic People Make This Real Estate Choice More

Science2.0 - December 3, 2014 - 8:00pm

A paper in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics finds that personality traits are strong indicators of real-estate decisions.

Are you neurotic? You probably have a cognitive bias toward home ownership instead of renting. You'll probably opt for home ownership over renting.  Do you consider yourself conscientious? It's more considerate to sign up for a fixed-rate mortgage.  


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Bat Disease: White-Nose Syndrome Infections Are Seasonal

Science2.0 - December 3, 2014 - 7:30pm

The fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome has spread to bat colonies throughout eastern North America over the past few years, causing bat populations to crash and leading to various claims about what to blame for it.

But there is no magic bullet, finds a new study, because it is related to seasonal dynamics of infection and transmission too.


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Meniscal Surgery: Common Knee Procedure May Lead To Arthritis And Cartilage Loss

Science2.0 - December 3, 2014 - 6:47pm

Popular meniscal tear surgery may increase the risk of osteoarthritis and cartilage loss, according to a presentation at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

The new study focused on the meniscus, a wedge-shaped piece of cartilage in the knee that acts as a shock absorber between the femur, or thighbone, and tibia, or shinbone. The two menisci in each knee also play an important role in joint stability. Meniscal tears are among the most common knee injuries, and surgery is often performed to alleviate pain.


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Why Is Antarctic Sea Ice Getting Thicker?

Science2.0 - December 3, 2014 - 5:30pm
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Macho Stereotypes Of Surgeons And Marines Penalize Men, Say Psychologists

Science2.0 - December 3, 2014 - 5:21pm

In a bygone era, the macho stereotype of the maverick doctor bucking convention, or the Marine running toward danger rather than away from it, inspired young men to want to be bold.

No longer. Modern youth have become so convinced that being bold is a negative that they perceive occupations like that as a 'macho' stereotype and are driven away because they do not feel competent.  Although numerous papers have noted the negative impact of gendered workplace stereotypes on women, far less attention has been paid to their effect on men.   


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In The 21st Century, What Counts As An Academic Publication?

Science2.0 - December 3, 2014 - 4:54pm

Sunlight is the best medicine. rishibando, CC BY-NC

By Christopher Sampson, University of Nottingham

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Carbon Dioxide Emissions Affect Warming 10 Years Later

Science2.0 - December 3, 2014 - 4:44pm

Ten years after carbon emissions happen, the warming effect is maximized. Methane is even quicker, and far more potent, though it also disappears much more rapidly.


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88 Percent Of Chest X-rays Are No Benefit To Children

Science2.0 - December 3, 2014 - 3:54pm

It's always a good idea to reduce cost and radiation and when it comes to kids and chest X-rays, that cost reduction should be happening a lot more.


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11. Hide It In The Bulk

Science2.0 - December 3, 2014 - 9:57am
I remember a funny shirt I once saw at a physics conference - it gave 10 tips on what to do when "everything else fails". Here is the list:
10. Subtract Infinity
9. Add heavy fermions
8. Set all fermion masses to zero
7. Invent another symmetry
6. Throw it on the lattice
5. Blame it on the Planck scale
4. Recall the success of the SM
3. Invoke the Anthropic Principle
2. Wave hands a lot, speak with a strong accent
1. Manipulate the data -->

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How To Get Minority Students Into STEM?

Science2.0 - December 2, 2014 - 11:28pm

If you ask a female doctor why she didn't go into physics, she is not going to tell you it's because there are more men in physics and that is intimidating. Instead, she will say it's because she wanted to help people or she liked medicine.

Yet a number of sociological claims insist she doesn't really know why she chose not to go into physics, and it may instead be because of subtle self-bias or stereotype threat. 


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When It Comes To Neonics, Activists Understand PR Better Than Chemical Companies Do

Science2.0 - December 2, 2014 - 10:58pm
Imagine a scenario where a group of people get together to frame the debate about science and even set out to conspiratorially place papers in highly-respected journals, selecting the ideal names to have on the paper and which publications would be most likely to publish it.

It must be those evil corporate chemical shills again, right?

Not this time, it was the International Workshop On Neonicotinoids in 2010 and it explains a lot about how the anti-science contingent has managed to maintain so much mindshare in media: they know how to work the system and created a 4-year plan to do just that.
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How's That Generic Drug Thing Working Out?

Science2.0 - December 2, 2014 - 9:05pm
Just for yucks, let’s go back a few years and see how well people did in forecasting drug prices in the future.

Within the past decade, we began to hear the term “patent cliff”—the consequence of most blockbuster drugs losing patent protection during a short period of time. Perennial critics of the pharmaceutical industry were experiencing paroxysms of joy as the holy grail of health care savings—generic drug companies—became able to sell cheap copies of formerly multi-billion dollar products. 
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Is The Wolf Debate About People Who Live Near Them Versus Urban Activists? Or About Caring?

Science2.0 - December 2, 2014 - 8:53pm

If you have talked to ranchers or people who live near wolves about being able to shoot them without landing in prison with a mandatory Federal jail sentence, the response is clear: Wolves have to be controlled. If you talk to urban activists or people who hike on state game lands a few weekends a year, wolves are cute and anyone who shoots one should go to jail.

Yet that is not the real issue, according to the authors of a new paper that used surveys as their evidence. They believe the reason for the rancor is fear of wolves or the urge to care for canis lupis. It's simply social identity theory at work. People who live near wolves have never heard of that but they already know where the article in PLOS ONE is going.


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Psychologists Link IQ To Criminal History Of Fathers

Science2.0 - December 2, 2014 - 3:53pm

The sons of fathers with criminal records tend to have less intelligence than sons of fathers with no criminal history, according to data from over 1 million Swedish men compiled as part of the Swedish mandatory conscription program.

 Population analyses have found that children of parents who engage in "antisocial" behaviors, such as rule-breaking, aggressive, or violent behavior, are at greater risk for various negative outcomes, including criminality, psychiatric disorders, substance use, and low academic achievement. Other papers have found that individuals who engage in antisocial behaviors tend to have poorer cognitive abilities than those without antisocial tendencies. 


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The Mind-Bending Mathematics Needed To Figure Out The Universe

Science2.0 - December 2, 2014 - 3:36pm

Artistic rendering of the Square Kilometre Array at night. SKA Organisation

By Yves Wiaux, Heriot Watt University and Jason McEwen, University College London

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Today's Teens Are Not As Bad As We're Led To Believe

Science2.0 - December 2, 2014 - 2:30pm

What do you presume about me? auremar/Shutterstock

By James Williams, University of Sussex

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Selfishness Pays In Real Life: Evolution Favors The Collapse Of Cooperation

Science2.0 - December 2, 2014 - 2:00pm
In the classical game theory match-up known as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, two prisoners kept isolated from each other are offered a deal: they can confess to a crime and if their accomplice remains silent the charges will be dropped in exchange for testimony against the other. If they both confess, they can both get early parole. If both remain silent, they get convicted of a lesser charge.
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Crime And British Muslims: Fact Versus Fiction

Science2.0 - December 2, 2014 - 1:30pm

Muslim communities are not be as victimized by violent crime nor are they as dissatisfied with the police as most sociology papers claim.

An examination of statistics in the Crime Survey of England and Wales between 2006 and 2010, generated by nearly 5,000 Muslims, reveals few differences between Muslims and non-Muslims in relation to a range of violent personal crime including assaults, wounding and threats - the types of crime that scholarly literature, media reports and anecdotal evidence all suggest have disproportionately affected Muslim communities. 

Instead, statistical analysis reveals few statistically significant differences between Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Sikh respondents in respect of many personal crime types included within the Crime Survey.


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