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Updated: 32 min 26 sec ago

Science 2.0: Google Web Mining Can Help Neuroscientists Analyze Big Data

7 hours 32 min ago

Facebook, Google and just about everyone except Science 2.0 use global distributed computers to mine your web history and learn everything about you to generate revenue. Big data is being led by marketing, like many things are, but early adopters who make money at things create tools that everyone can then use, and that will be a big help for Science 2.0

New technologies for monitoring brain activity are generating unprecedented quantities of information. If it can ever be interpreted, that data may hold new insights into how the brain works. To help make sense of cranial Big Data, neuroscientists can now use Thunder, a library of tools developed at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus.


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6 New Genetic Risk Factors For Parkinson's Disease Found

8 hours 13 min ago

Using data from over 18,000 patients, scientists have identified more than two dozen genetic risk factors involved in Parkinson's disease, including six that had not been previously reported. 

Affecting millions of people worldwide, Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder that causes movement problems, including trembling of the hands, arms, or legs, stiffness of limbs and trunk, slowed movements and problems with posture. Over time, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. Although nine genes have been shown to cause rare forms of Parkinson's disease, scientists continue to search for genetic risk factors to provide a complete genetic picture of the disorder.


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Epigenetics Implicated In Mouse Cancer

9 hours 32 min ago

If you go by stories of epigenetics and the microbiome, we are on the verge of curing all disease. There hasn't been this much hype since human embryonic stem cells and the human genome project were going to cure all ailments in 2000.

But behind the hype there is some science, it is just figuring out what is epigenetics, what is genetics and then what is instead epidemiological matching of correlation and causation that is the struggle.


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How To Distinguish Psoriasis From Eczema

11 hours 2 min ago
In some patients, the chronic inflammatory skin diseases psoriasis and eczema are so similar that dermatologists have had to examine tissue samples but a team of researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now analyzed the molecular processes that occur in both diseases and discovered crucial differences.

This has enabled them to develop a diagnostic procedure which in practice enables psoriasis and eczema to be reliably differentiated from one another on the basis of only two genes. 
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Moral Identity, Empathy And Justice: Why Some People Donate More To Charity

11 hours 31 min ago
In America, where categorization becomes easy because there are two main political parties, it is well-known that right-wing people donate more to charity. This makes sense; people who believe in smaller government should be willing to help their fellow man rather than relying on government to tax and redistribute wealth. Yet right-wing people also espouse individual initiative, so why donate more to charity when recipients have not earned it? 

A new paper in the Journal of Consumer Research explains this seeming inconsistency and suggests that moral identity decreases donations when recipients are deemed to be responsible for their plight.
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Pavlov Would Be Proud: Teach The Brain To Feel Less Pain

11 hours 38 min ago
People can be conditioned to feel less pain when they hear a neutral sound, new research from the University of Luxembourg has found. This lends weight to the idea that we can learn to use mind-over-matter to beat pain. 

Scientists have known for many years that on-going pain in one part of the body is reduced when a new pain is inflicted to another part of the body. This pain blocking is a physiological reaction by the nervous system to help the body deal with a potentially more relevant novel threat.
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Shopping Psychology: Do You Prefer Sales Or Every Day Low Prices?

13 hours 2 min ago
Marketing is something of a game; retailers want you to spend the most money, but not none at all, and cash flow is important, so sometimes they have sales, even at a loss to get you in the door in the belief that you will spend more money. But is that the optimal strategy for a retailer?

A new paper in the Journal of Consumer Research says consumers instead choose retailers they believe offer the lowest prices the majority of the time.  

To simulate 100 weekly purchases from a retail store, participants were asked to purchase products from one of two competing retailers 100 different times. Participants were given a monetary incentive to minimize their total spending and were instructed to base their selections strictly on price.
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Acheulean Artefacts: Stone Age Find In Northern Cape Of South Africa

13 hours 32 min ago

Excavations at an archaeological site at Kathu in the Northern Cape province of South Africa,
one of the richest early prehistoric archaeological sites in South Africa, have produced tens of thousands of Earlier Stone Age artifacts, including hand axes and other tools.

It is situated between the Kuruman Hills to the east and the Langberge mountains to the west and estimated to be between 700,000 and one million years old.


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Western Drought: Underground Water Loss Greater Threat To Water Supply Than Previously Realized

14 hours 2 min ago

A new study has found that more than 75 percent of the water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground resources., which means the extent of groundwater loss may pose a greater threat to the water supply of the western United States than previously thought.

This study is the first to quantify the amount that groundwater contributes to the water needs of western states. According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the federal water management agency, the basin has been suffering from prolonged, severe drought since 2000 and has experienced the driest 14-year period in the last hundred years.


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Cachexia Is The Real Cause Of Death In One Third Of Patients With Cancer - Study

14 hours 28 min ago
It isn't the tumor that kills up to a third of cancer patients, according to a new study, it's the indirect effects triggered by a process that is heavily studied not to fight cancer, but to fight obesity: the conversion of white fat tissue into brown fat tissue.

Cachexia, also called wasting syndrome, is the name for extreme thinness and weakness due to atrophy. In their paper, researchers argue that if it is possible to reduce the transformation of fat tissue, the symptoms of cachexia will improve, although they do not completely disappear. The authors demonstrate this by blocking mediators of inflammation, a process linked to cachexia, specifically, to the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6.
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Rotational Wavepackets And Liquid-Like Motion Of Atoms Within An Ultra-Cold Cluster

15 hours 10 min ago
A new study has unlocked the potential to create new materials using nanosized ‘building blocks’, by using a laser technique to examine in rich detail the structure and internal atomic motion of a small cluster containing an acetylene molecule and a single helium atom,  C2H2−He complex .

The technique excited single clusters and generated rotational wavepackets, which are composed of multiple waves illustrating the individual motion of atoms. The team were able to track these wavepackets in real time up to one nanosecond over many rotations.
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Europe Is Putting Its Cancer Research At Risk

15 hours 21 min ago

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) has expressed concern that the proposed EU General Data Protection Regulation could make cancer research impossible and add a significant burden to both doctors and cancer patients.

The proposed wording of the regulation stipulates 'explicit and specific patient consent', meaning that researchers would have to approach patients every single time research is planned in order to consult their data or use tissue samples stored for research purposes. 


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Probiotics To Fight Obesity?

July 27, 2014 - 12:50am

A probiotic that prevents obesity could be on the horizon, at least if an animal model translates to humans. Bacteria that produce a therapeutic compound in the gut inhibit weight gain, insulin resistance and other adverse effects of a high-fat diet in mice, Vanderbilt University investigators say.

A lot would have to happen before this could move to human studies - regulatory hurdles and raising millions of dollars in venture capital, but the findings in the Journal of Clinical Investigation have the researchers excited because they suggest that it may be possible to manipulate the bacterial residents of the gut — the gut microbiota — to treat obesity and other chronic diseases.


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Older California Cultures Used Fire For Ecological Manipulation

July 26, 2014 - 9:15pm

Before the European colonial era, the people who lived on the land now called California used fire to control growth and make sure they had food, fuel, tools, and objects for ritual. 


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If You Care About The Organic Revolution, Disavow Mike Adams

July 26, 2014 - 4:08pm


Revolutions are messy business, they require participation by a type of personality that is not very savory; militant, bombastic, a little crazy. 
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Collecting Just The Right Data

July 26, 2014 - 3:35pm

Much artificial-intelligence research addresses the problem of making predictions based on large data sets. An obvious example is the recommendation engines at retail sites like Amazon and Netflix.

But some types of data are harder to collect than online click histories —information about geological formations thousands of feet underground, for instance. And in other applications — such as trying to predict the path of a storm — there may just not be enough time to crunch all the available data.


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Look At The Biosaline Patterns Formed By E. Coli In Salt

July 26, 2014 - 3:31pm

Researchers have detected a previously unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water and left to dry, bacteria manipulate the sodium chloride crystallisation to create biomineralogical biosaline 3D morphologically complex formations, where they hibernate.

Afterwards, by rehydrating the material, bacteria are revived. The discovery was made by chance with a home microscope but made the cover of Astrobiology because it may be a way to find signs of life on other planets.


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A Useful Approximation For The Tail Of A Gaussian

July 26, 2014 - 12:03pm
This is just a short post to report about a useful paper I found by preparing for a talk I will be giving next week at the 3rd International Conference on New Frontiers in Physics, in the pleasant setting of the Orthodox Academy of Crete, near Kolympari.

My talk will be titled "Extraordinary Claims: the 0.000029% Solution", making reference to the 5-sigma "discovery threshold" that has become a well-known standard for reporting the observation of new effects or particles in high-energy physics and astrophysics.
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Neonicotinoids Found In Nine Midwest Rivers -- USGS Study

July 26, 2014 - 3:25am

Insecticides that behave like nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, became popular in the late 1990s as replacements for more toxic products. They have been effective but like all products there is concern about ongoing environmental effects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified all neonicotinoids as safe for humans.


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Scalp Tickets If You Want A Better Return

July 25, 2014 - 10:45pm

Concert promoters and sports teams have long insisted that scalping - private ticket sales outside a venue - hurts their revenue and forces fans to pay exorbitant prices for tickets.

Not so, according to a new analysis which concludes that resale markets can add value to tickets sold by concert venues and Ticketmaster. Suppose you are interested in a Bruno Mars and Pharrell Williams concert that is three months away. You're not 100 percent sure you'll be able to make it because you  have to travel, so you don't buy tickets at all.


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