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Siblings Make Boys Prosocial

October 16, 2014 - 2:36pm

In modern culture, boys are often slighted; girls get billions devoted to their welfare while boys are the default excuse for whatever is wrong. Almost every television show that has a tough woman has her disclaiming, 'I grew up in a house full of boys', which is insulting to both girls and boys.

And that public relations has worked. Boys in surveys increasingly feel like peer relationships are less valuable. But new surveys show that may be not so; while sisters claim to benefit from having boys as siblings, boys also seem to benefit from being siblings. That means even if boys are positive socially, someone else gets the credit.


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Why We Should Make Time For Remembering The Future

October 16, 2014 - 1:30pm
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Would Immunity From Malpractice Reduce 'Defensive Medicine' Costs?

October 16, 2014 - 1:00pm

In America, the cost of health care is not high just because the medicine is the best in the world, it is also because of lawsuits.

Due to judgments in court cases that have earned tens of millions of dollars for lawyers - one aggressive lawyer demonized hospitals for not doing enough caesarian-sections and earned enough money to become a Senator and then a Vice-Presidential contender in 2004 - hospitals and offices have instituted a 'defense medicine' policy; even if there is no doubt, there is a protocol in place that says a number of tests must be run so that all of the boxes can be checked in case something goes wrong and attorneys swoop in. Coupled with malpractice costs, the costs of unnecessary testing can be quite high.


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New Horizons Pluto Mission Gets Potential Kuiper Belt Targets

October 16, 2014 - 1:00pm
The Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered three Kuiper Belt objects that the New Horizons spacecraft could potentially visit after doing a fly-by of Pluto in July 2015.

The Kuiper Belt is a vast rim of primordial debris encircling our solar system. KBOs belong to a unique class of solar system objects that has never been visited by spacecraft and which contain clues to the origin of our solar system.

The Kuiper Belt objects are each about 10 times larger than typical comets, 1 to 2 percent of the size of Pluto. Unlike asteroids, Kuiper Belt objects have not been heated by the sun and are thought to represent a pristine, well preserved deep-freeze sample of what the outer solar system was like following its birth 4.6 billion years ago. 
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Insects Also Prize Good Leadership

October 16, 2014 - 12:30pm

Not every human can be a great leader but not everyone is made to follow either. This has been shown to apply to elsewhere in the animal kingdom as well: insect larvae follow a leader to forage for food, both leaders and followers benefit, growing much faster than if they are in a group of only leaders or only followers, according to a new study.

The research looked at larvae of the iconic Australian steel-blue sawfly Perga affinis often known as 'spitfires'. Sawfly larvae can grow to 7 centimeters long and forage nocturnally in Australian Eucalyptus trees, forming large groups that can strip all of the leaves from a tree in a few days.


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Warm Oceans Had Less Oxygen, Show Microfossils

October 16, 2014 - 12:30pm

By pairing chemical analyses with micropaleontology, the study of tiny fossilized organisms, researchers believe they can decipher how global marine life was affected by a rapid warming event more than 55 million years ago.  

The work revolves around the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a well-studied analogue for modern climate warming. Documenting the expansion of OMZs during the PETM is difficult because of the lack of a sensitive, widely applicable indicator of dissolved oxygen.  


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Psoriasis And Hypertension Correlated

October 16, 2014 - 12:00pm

Patients with severe psoriasis are more likely to have uncontrolled hypertension, according to a cross-sectional study using information collected from a medical records database, which the authors say provides further evidence of a strong link between psoriasis and hypertension. 


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No Light Dark Matter In ATLAS Search

October 16, 2014 - 10:22am
Yesterday the ATLAS collaboration published the results of a new search for dark matter particles produced in association with heavy quarks by proton-proton collisions at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. Not seeing a signal, ATLAS produced very tight upper limits on the cross section for interactions of the tentative dark matter particle with nucleons, which is the common quantity on which dark matter search results are reported. The cross section is in fact directly proportional to the rate at which one would expact to see the hypothetical particle scatter off ordinary matter, which is what one directly looks for in many of today's dark matte search experiments.
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Pope Sets Off A 'Gay Earthquake'? No, The Church Has Hardly Moved

October 16, 2014 - 3:01am

The extraordinary synod of bishops on family is meeting for two weeks at the Vatican. Credit: EPA/L'Osservatore Romano

By Timothy Jones, La Trobe University

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How Are Nurses Becoming Infected With Ebola?

October 16, 2014 - 12:01am

Lab scientists working with Ebola use respirators, while surgical masks are deemed adequate for nurses at the front line. Credit: EPA/Anne-Marie Sanderson/DOH 

By C Raina MacIntyre

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To Tweet Or Not To Tweet: Academic Freedom And Social Media

October 15, 2014 - 11:30pm

Should academics be disciplined by their universities for things said over Twitter? Credit: Opensource.com/ Flickr, CC BY-SA

By Janna Thompson, La Trobe University

Academic freedom has been put in the spotlight with two universities recently coming down hard on academics for comments on social media.

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Diversity 3.0: Medical Education Is Not Black And White Any More

October 15, 2014 - 11:00pm

Diversity in medical education used to be simple - more black people, more women - but it is not just a numbers game anymore. 

Instead of focus just on recruiting under-represented students, modern education needs to be about creating an optimal learning environment, where people with different ideas, cultures, opinions, and experiences feel comfortable amongst each other and part of a larger dialogue to come together to solve tomorrow's health care problems, says
Mark A. Attiah, a medical student pursuing both a Master's in translational research and bioethics
at the University of Pennsylvania.


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Gonzalo: First Major Atlantic Hurricane In 3 Years

October 15, 2014 - 10:11pm

Though the continental United States hasn't had a major hurricane in almost 10 years, the rest of the world hasn't been so lucky. Japan just had a typhoon, India a cyclone, and, with Gonzalo, Bermuda is about to have its first major Atlantic hurricane in three years.

Hurricane Gonzalo has made the jump to major hurricane status and on
October
15th was a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided imagery of the storm. According to the National Hurricane Center, Gonzalo is the first category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic basin since Ophelia in 2011.


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Women Living In Poverty Blame Lovers And Children

October 15, 2014 - 9:30pm

Having children young and a dysfunctional romantic relationship are the two most frequently cited reasons when low-income mothers are asked about why they find themselves in poverty, say sociology scholars Kristin Mickelson of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University, and Emily Hazlett of Kent State University in Sex Roles.

They believe that how a woman answers the question of "why me?" when thinking about her own impoverished state influences her mental health and that such answers can also provide clues to whether the woman believes she will ever rise out of poverty. 

They concluded this after analysis of a set of close-ended questions that were put to a community sample of 66 low-income mothers. 


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Global Warming In 17 Million B.C.

October 15, 2014 - 9:00pm

The Miocene climatic optimum, was a period from about 15 to 17 million years ago and it had wild swings in temperature, the amount of continental ice on the planet and CO2 levels.

Historically, CO2 had inconsistent relationships to temperature. When levels were 10X higher than they are now, the temperature was 2 degrees higher. What has been lacking is a solid relationship between them outside the last few decades and a new paper in Paleoceanography finds that during the
Miocene climatic optimum  has found that these changes in temperature and ice volume were matched by equally dramatic shifts in atmospheric CO2. 


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Weather History Time Machine Tackles The Real Drought - Of The 1930s

October 15, 2014 - 8:01pm

During the 1930s, North America endured what came to be called the Dust Bowl, a prolonged era of dryness - the worst drought in America of the last 1,000 years - that withered crops and dramatically altered where the population settled.

80 years ago, in 1934, is when things really got crazy; giant dust storms and drought covered more than 75 percent of the country and affected 27 states severely.


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Believe In Science? You're Easier To Fool Than You Think

October 15, 2014 - 7:32pm

Do you believe in science?

Most people do. Some even say they 'accept' science, since that sounds less faith-oriented than 'believe', but ask most science-accepting atheists and fundamentalist Imams about adaptive radiation in evolution and there answers will be about the same in accuracy.

Nutritionists and their followers also claim to have a lot of faith in science - but they really have a kind of confirmation bias which makes them more likely to trust information that appears scientific yet really doesn't tell them much, according to a new paper in Public Understanding of Science.


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Natural Gas Boom Has Caused American CO2 To Plummet - But Not The World's

October 15, 2014 - 7:07pm

Natural gas finally fulfilled its environmental promise this century. Long touted by environmentalists for being much cleaner than coal, hydraulic fracturing - fracking - made it economically viable as well.

The resulting boom also offset the lingering economic malaise in America for states, like Pennsylvania, that embraced it. Poor people could still afford energy but CO2 emissions went back to early 1990s levels, while coal, which had skyrocketed in use when nuclear energy was banned in America, was suddenly back at 1980s levels.


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Altered Forest Tree Composition Not Due To Global Warming

October 15, 2014 - 7:00pm

We can blame man for the altered composition of Eastern forests, but not climate change, according to a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Forests in the Eastern United States remain in a state of "disequilibrium" stemming from the clear-cutting and large-scale burning that occurred in the late 1800s, contends Marc Abrams, a professor of forest ecology and physiology. And since about 1930, the Smokey Bear era, aggressive forest-fire suppression has had a far greater influence on shifts in dominant tree species than minor fluctuations in temperature.


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Important Meal: Breakfast Increases Regulation Of Food Intake And Cravings

October 15, 2014 - 6:30pm

Many teens skips breakfast and many teens are obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) don't think that is a coincidence, they believe skipping breakfast increases the likelihood of overeating and eventual weight gain. Statistics show that the number of adolescents struggling with obesity, which elevates the risk for chronic health problems, has quadrupled in the past three decades.

A study has found that eating breakfast, particularly meals rich in protein, increases young adults' levels of a brain chemical associated with feelings of reward, which may reduce food cravings and overeating later in the day. Understanding the brain chemical and its role in food cravings could lead to improvements in obesity prevention and treatment.


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