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Best Places On Mars For Droplets, & Shallow Flows Of Liquid Water - Where Microbial Life May Flourish

2 hours 34 min ago

This is an exciting field which developed over just the last six years or so. There are many academic papers - but I haven't been able to find a good overview of the field in non technical language. So, let's have a go at that. I'll draw heavily on Nilton Renno's technical overview from last year, together with more recent results.

Let's start with the Flow Like Features associated with the dark dune spots in the southern polar region. These are less well known than some of the other candidates but rather interesting, as the best explanation involves melt water at 0°C, warm for liquid water on Mars, also (at its source) pure fresh water, unusually for Mars.

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Best Places For Droplets, Films And Shallow Flows Of Liquid Water On Mars - Where Microbial Life May Flourish

2 hours 35 min ago

This is an exciting field which developed over just the last six years or so. There are many academic papers - but I haven't been able to find a good overview of the field in non technical language. So, let's have a go at that. I'll draw heavily on Nilton Renno's technical overview from last year, together with more recent results.

Let's start with the Flow Like Features associated with the dark dune spots in the southern polar region. These are lesswell known than some of the other candidates but rather interesting, as the best explanation involves melt water at 0°C, warm for liquid water on Mars, also (at its source) pure water, unusually for Mars.

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Why Osteopaths Want To Be Called Doctor: Marginal Members Emphasize Group Identity

2 hours 55 min ago

In the United States northeast, there is a joke that there is an easy way to spot someone who went to Harvard or Yale; it will be the person asking which college you attended. You can substitute Mensa or lots of other groups that have status for members but a new psychology paper says what most knew; entrenched members of groups are more relaxed about their status than marginal ones.


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Ghost Fishing: How To Prevent Lost Traps

2 hours 55 min ago

Thousands of fishing traps are lost each year in U.S. waters. These derelict traps continue "ghost fishing" and catch fish, crabs, and other species such as turtles, which results in losses to habitat, fisheries, and the watermen who depend on the resources - losses that are largely preventable, according to a new NOAA paper in the Marine Pollution Bulletin

The paper looks at the results of seven NOAA-funded studies in different fisheries across the U.S., and compares the severity of the problem, and common management challenges across the regions. It also reports certain findings from the studies for the first time in peer-reviewed literature, such as estimates of derelict trap numbers and how long they remain in the environment. 


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Ring Of Fire Tectonic Plate Is Cooling - And Shrinking

3 hours 24 min ago

The tectonic plate that dominates the Pacific "Ring of Fire" is not as rigid as most assume, and it's getting less fiery. according to researchers at Rice University and the University of Nevada. 


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Tomato-Rich Diet Linked To Lower Prostate Cancer Risk

3 hours 24 min ago

Epidemiologists have correlated eating over 10 portions per week of tomatoes with an 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer, new research suggests.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide and diagnosed rates are higher in developed countries, which some claim means is due to a Westernized diet and lifestyle.

To assess if following dietary and lifestyle recommendations reduces risk of prostate cancer, scholars at the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford looked at the diets and lifestyle of 1,806 men aged between 50 and 69 with prostate cancer and compared with 12,005 cancer-free men.


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NMR Technique Could Spot Organic Food Fraud

4 hours 6 min ago

A growing number of consumers are willing to pay a premium for fruits, vegetables and other foods labeled "organic", but whether they're getting what the label claims is another matter. 

For over a decade it has been known that since there is no surprise spot testing of farms, and very little on imported food at all, organic labels may be meaningless. A few years ago, 25 percent of the organic food bought from Whole Foods stores was found to be conventional.


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Modern Traditional Chinese Medicine: Triptolide Plus Nanotech Could Improve Cancer Treatment

4 hours 34 min ago

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second leading cause of cancer-associated death worldwide, due to the difficulty in treating this cancer using conventional chemotherapeutic drugs such as doxorubicin, epirubicin, cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil or etoposide.


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What Lit Up The Early Universe, Numerous Faint Galaxies Or Quasars?

4 hours 50 min ago

New simulations hope to uncover the origin of the ultraviolet light that bathes the cosmos, helping scientists understand how galaxies were built. 

"Which produces more light? A country's biggest cities or its many tiny towns?" asks Dr. Andrew Pontzen, University College London cosmologist and lead author of the study. "Cities are brighter, but towns are far more numerous. Understanding the balance would tell you something about the organisation of the country. We're posing a similar question about the universe: does ultraviolet light come from numerous but faint galaxies, or from a smaller number of quasars?" 


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Why Listeria Is So Hard To Fight

4 hours 56 min ago


Credit: CDC

Listeria is a dreaded bacterium that can be found in foods. The bacterium is notoriously difficult to fight because it has an almost uncanny ability to adapt to changes in its surrounding. In the United States, it is more prevalent in products like raw milk, foods that have not been washed, like organic produce, and improperly handled meat.


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Ross Garnaut: China To Reach 'Peak Coal' For Electricity By 2015

10 hours 25 min ago


As early as 2015 China’s use of thermal coal for electricity could peak. Bret Arnett/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

By James Whitmore, The Conversation

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Changes To Bugs In The Gut Could Prevent Food Allergies

August 27, 2014 - 2:30am


Allergic reactions to food have dramatically increased over the past 10 to 20 years. Dan Peled/AAP, CC BY

By Alexandra Miller, The Conversation and Reema Rattan, The Conversation

Changing the bacteria in the gut could treat and prevent life-threatening allergies, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal today.

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Married Couples Who Smoke Pot Have Fewer Domestic Violence Incidents

August 26, 2014 - 11:30pm

A look at 634 couples found that the more often they smoked marijuana, the less likely they were to engage in domestic violence.  

The scholars attempted to clarify inconsistent findings about domestic violence among pot-smoking couples that primarily has been based on cross-sectional data (i.e., data from one point in time). Looking at couples over the first nine years of marriage, the study found:

  • More frequent marijuana use by husbands and wives (two-to-three times per month or more often) predicted less frequent intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration by husbands.

  • Husbands' marijuana use also predicted less frequent IPV perpetration by wives.


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Holographic Noise Speculation: Maybe You Are A 2-D Hologram

August 26, 2014 - 11:06pm

The Holometer, an experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, has started collecting data but researchers are not going to wait to start their media blitz; they are throwing out  mind-bending speculation, like that perhaps we live in a hologram.

Much like characters on a television show would not know that their seemingly 3-D world exists only on a 2-D screen, we could be clueless that our 3-D space is just an illusion. The information about everything in our universe could actually be encoded in tiny packets in two dimensions.


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Ionic Liquids: Busting Through Biofilm Shatters Defenses Of Serious Skin Infections

August 26, 2014 - 10:17pm

Biofilms are the first line of defense for harmful bacteria and make the treatment of skin infections especially difficult because microorganisms protected in a biofilm have antibiotic resistance and recalcitrance to treatment.

Biofilm-protected bacteria account for some 80 percent of total bacterial infections in humans and are 50 to 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics than simpler bacterial infections.

 Biofilms often persist in the periphery of an actual wound, beneath an intact, healthy skin layer and the difficulty of their treatment is largely due to the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, being a natural barrier for drug delivery.


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Composition Of Earth's Mantle Revised

August 26, 2014 - 9:30pm

The makeup of the Earth's lower mantle, which makes up the largest part of the Earth by volume, is significantly different than previously thought.


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Sorting Cells With Sound

August 26, 2014 - 9:01pm

Researchers have devised a new way to separate cells by exposing them to sound waves as they flow through a tiny channel.

Separating cells with sound offers a gentler alternative to existing cell-sorting technologies, which require tagging the cells with chemicals or exposing them to stronger mechanical forces that may damage them.
Their device, about the size of a dime, could be used to detect the extremely rare tumor cells that circulate in cancer patients' blood, helping doctors predict whether a tumor is going to spread.


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Resilience Management: What The Bubonic Plague Can Teach Us About Ebola

August 26, 2014 - 8:38pm

In the 14th century, Venice was in many ways still a world power in its own right. The days when it could topple kingdoms using commerce were behind it, but it was still an important trade destination. In that period, trade meant ports and ports meant the Bubonic Plague in 1347.

When it hit, some tried prayer, some tried hunting vampires, but then officials quickly began to utilize what we would now call resilience management: rather than trying to target a poorly understood risk, state authorities focused on managing physical movement, social interactions, and data collection for the city as a system.


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Disillusioned Churchgoers Undergo A Moral Identity Crisis

August 26, 2014 - 6:31pm

Dsillusioned churchgoers may find it increasingly difficult to remain associated with their church, yet many also find it difficult to leave.  They have not only a moral identity crisis but deep identity crises as their most important relationships and beliefs are put at risk. 

The authors of a paper in the Journal of Consumer Research conducted interviews with people who identify as former churchgoers and asked them to reflect on their experiences in leaving the church and the challenges of constructing a new identity as they rejected church authority and its doctrines.


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