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Machines Can Learn To Respond To New Situations Like Human Beings Would

3 hours 35 min ago

How does the image-recognition technology in a self-driving car respond to a blurred shape suddenly appearing on the road? Researchers from KU Leuven, Belgium, have shown that machines can learn to respond to unfamiliar objects like human beings would.

Imagine heading home in your self-driving car. The rain is falling in torrents and visibility is poor. All of a sudden, a blurred shape appears on the road. What would you want the car to do? Should it hit the brakes, at the risk of causing the cars behind you to crash? Or should it just keep driving?


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Want To Eat Better? Sorry, We're Closed

3 hours 35 min ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Getting more nutritious meals on the tables of low-income Americans could depend on the hours the stores in their neighborhoods keep.

Stores likely to sell fresh produce aren't open as long in areas with more socioeconomic struggles, and that problem is more pronounced in neighborhoods where many African Americans live, new research from The Ohio State University has found.

In affluent neighborhoods, 24-7 access to a wide array of foods is far more common.

"Let's say you're stringing together a few jobs and you get off work at 10 and your market closes at 8. It's a big problem," said researcher Jill Clark, an assistant professor in Ohio State's John Glenn College of Public Affairs.


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New Gene Testing Technology Finds Cancer Risks 'hiding In Plain Sight'

3 hours 36 min ago

A research team led by an award-winning genomicist at Western University has developed a new method for identifying mutations and prioritizing variants in breast and ovarian cancer genes, which will not only reduce the number of possible variants for doctors to investigate, but also increase the number of patients that are properly diagnosed.

These potentially game-changing technologies, developed by Peter Rogan, PhD, students and his collaborators from Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, reveal gene variants that were missed by conventional genetic testing.


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Crop Advances Grow With Protection

10 hours 35 min ago

Most people are aware of open-source computer programs. These free programs, accessible by anyone, spread technology to distant corners of the world. Cutting-edge innovations, however, come at a price. As a result, many software companies license their work.

These same concerns exist within the seed-development arena. Some plant researchers support the free exchange of new varieties of seeds and plants. Doing so, they argue, benefits both plant breeders and farmers. Considering seeds "intellectual property" may seem harmful to this free exchange of information.


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Hear No Evil: Farmed Fish Found To Be Hard Of Hearing

10 hours 35 min ago

New research published today in the journal Scientific Reports has revealed for the first time that half of the world's farmed fish have hearing loss due to a deformity of the earbone.

Like humans, fish have ears which are essential for hearing and balance, so the findings are significant for the welfare of farmed fish as well as the survival of captive-bred fish released into the wild for conservation purposes.

The University of Melbourne-led study found that half of the world's most farmed marine fish, Atlantic salmon, have a deformity of the otolith or 'fish earbone', much like the inner ear of mammals. The deformity was found to be very uncommon in wild fish.


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Study Shows How Neurons Decline As Parkinson's Develops

10 hours 35 min ago

SAN ANTONIO (April 27, 2016) -- It's an unsettling thought: You could be walking around for 20 years developing Parkinson's disease and not even know it.

And once symptoms appear, it's too late for a cure.

What if a therapy that treats the root causes of Parkinson's, not just the symptoms, could be started earlier?


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The Number Of My Publications Has Four Digits

13 hours 29 min ago
While tediously compiling a list of scientific publications that chance to have my name in the authors list (I have to apply for a career advancement and apparently the committee will scrutinize the hundred-page-long lists of that kind that all candidates submit), I discovered today that I just passed the mark of 1000 published articles. This happened on February 18th 2016 with the appearance in print of a paper on dijet resonance searches by CMS. Yay! And 7 more have been added to the list since then. -->

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Fireflies Light The Way To Female HIV Transmission

April 27, 2016 - 6:31pm

  • Scientists identify hundreds of infected cells at different points of initial entry

  • New technology lights up location of first cells to be infected
  • Discovery will enable scientists to develop more effective vaccine
  • 'We see the chink in the armor of the virus' and can attack it early to stop it

    CHICAGO --- Finding the vulnerable points where HIV enters the female reproductive tract is like searching for needles in a haystack. But Northwestern Medicine scientists have solved that challenge by creating a glowing map of the very first cells to be infected with a HIV-like virus.


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    Brain's 'thesaurus' Mapped To Help Decode Inner Thoughts

    April 27, 2016 - 6:19pm

    What if a map of the brain could help us decode people's inner thoughts?

    Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have taken a step in that direction by building a "semantic atlas" that shows in vivid colors and multiple dimensions how the human brain organizes language. The atlas identifies brain areas that respond to words that have similar meanings.

    The findings, to be published April 28, 2016 in the journal Nature, are based on a brain imaging study that recorded neural activity while study volunteers listened to stories from the "Moth Radio Hour." They show that at least one-third of the brain's cerebral cortex, including areas dedicated to high-level cognition, is involved in language processing.


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    Got Good Fat?

    April 27, 2016 - 3:15pm

    Brown fat cells can burn fat to generate heat. University of Bonn researchers have discovered a new method to measure the activity of brown fat cells in humans and mice. The researchers showed that microRNA-92a can be used as an indirect measure for the activity of energy consuming brown fat cells. They showed that a small blood sample was sufficient. Results were published in Nature Communications, a well-known scientific journal.

    People who want to lose weight often encounter boundaries: No matter what diet they try, the pounds won't drop. Being overweight and obese can have severe health consequences, and has shown to increase a person's chance of developing type-2-diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.


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    Emotion Detector

    April 27, 2016 - 3:15pm

    A computer algorithm that can tell whether you are happy or sad, angry or expressing almost any other emotion would be a boon to the games industry. New research published in the International Journal of Computational Vision and Robotics describes such a system that is almost 99 percent accurate.

    Hyung-Il Choi of the School of Media, at Soongsil University, in Seoul, Korea, working with Nhan Thi Cao and An Hoa Ton-That of Vietnam National University, in Ho Chi Minh City, explain that capturing the emotions of players could be used in interactive games for various purposes, such as transferring the player's emotions to his or her avatar, or activating suitable actions to communicate with other players in various scenarios including educational applications.


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    The Geology Of Wine

    April 27, 2016 - 3:15pm

    Boulder, Colo., USA: Every day, all around the world, millions of people contemplate a very simple question with a very complex answer: which wine? In this month's issue of GSA Today, Gregory Retallack (University of Oregon) and Scott Burns (Portland State University) examine the link between the taste of wine and soil properties.


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    In Chemistry, 1 Minus 1 Doesn't Have To Equal 0

    April 27, 2016 - 2:20pm

    In the world of chemistry, one minus one almost always equals zero.


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    Younger Gay And Bisexual Men 6X More Likely To Attempt Suicide

    April 27, 2016 - 2:20pm

    Young gay and bisexual men under the age of 26 are six times more likely to attempt suicide or self-harm compared to men in that group aged over 45, and twice as likely to be depressed or anxious, according to a paper in the Journal of Public Health.


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    Contemporary Polymath: How The Renaissance Man Is Making A Comeback

    April 27, 2016 - 2:20pm
    As anyone who has visited the London Science Museum’s current exhibition will know, Leonardo da Vinci is famed as an artist, mathematician, inventor, writer … the list goes on.

    He was a figure who did not see disciplines as a checkerboard of independent black and white tiles, but a vibrant palette of color ready to be combined harmoniously and gracefully.

    Today, the polymath may seem like a relic of the past.
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    No Need To Fast Before A Cholesterol Test

    April 27, 2016 - 2:14pm

    New research from Denmark, Canada and the US involving more than 300,000 individuals suggests that patients do not need to check their cholesterol levels on an empty stomach. So far fasting has been required before cholesterol and triglyceride measurement in all countries except Denmark, where non-fasting blood sampling has been used since 2009.


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    We Share A Molecular Armor With Coral Reefs

    April 27, 2016 - 5:11am

    Coral reefs face many threats. Ocean acidification, algal takeover caused by overfishing and exploding populations of harmful microbes all jeopardize the health of the world's most productive and diverse marine ecosystems.

    The reefs are not defenseless, however. Like humans, they have a type of immune system that helps protect them. A new study published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B has found that one particular molecule found in reef ecosystems plays a similar immunological role in corals as it does in humans. From an evolutionary standpoint, this suggests the molecule's immune function dates back at least 550 million years.


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    Yoga May Have Health Benefits For People With Asthma

    April 27, 2016 - 5:11am

    A new Cochrane Review, published in the Cochrane Library today, suggests that yoga may have a beneficial effect on symptoms and quality of life in people with asthma, but effects on lung function and medication use are uncertain.

    Asthma is a common chronic disease affecting about 300 million people worldwide. The many typical symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.

    Yoga has gained global popularity as a form of exercise with general life-style benefits, and recent studies have investigated the potential of yoga to relieve asthma-related problems.


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    World's Tiniest Thermometer Made Of DNA

    April 27, 2016 - 5:08am

    Researchers have created a programmable DNA thermometer that 20,000 times smaller than a human hair, using a discovery made 60 years ago - that DNA molecules that encode our genetic information can unfold when heated.

    "In recent years, biochemists also discovered that biomolecules such as proteins or RNA (a molecule similar to DNA) are employed as nanothermometers in living organisms and report temperature variation by folding or unfolding," says senior author Prof. Alexis Vallée-Bélisle of the University of Montreal. "Inspired by those natural nanothermometers, which are typically 20,000x smaller than a human hair, we have created various DNA structures that can fold and unfold at specifically defined temperatures."


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    Professor Frenkel: Why Shouldn't We Drop Algebra From Our Education System?

    April 27, 2016 - 4:38am

    The erotic video Rites of Love and Math caught my eye on a Colbert interview.

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