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BPA, BPS, BPD(uh)

January 13, 2015 - 8:57pm
Fear, Inc. is having a very big day on the New York Stock Exchange. It is up 45 percent on heavy volume. How could it not be? After all, the plastic component BPS (bis-(4-hydroxyphenyl) sulfone) — supposedly a safe replacement for bisphenol A (BPA) — isn’t looking so great after all. 
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Drug Culture: Those “Poppers” Might Not Be What You Think

January 13, 2015 - 7:25pm
It is well-known that “huffing” - inhaling organic solvents or propellants to achieve a “high” - is extremely dangerous, but less well known is that newer replacement products primarily used by homosexual men, called “poppers”, actually contain harmful solvents and propellants and pose the same health risks as huffing. 

The original poppers, based on alkyl nitrites and related to the medication amyl nitrite, got the name from their glass vials that “popped”, and they have been popular among gay men due to mild psychoactive effects and relaxing of smooth muscle, used to enhance sexual experience. 
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Get Kids To Eat More School Lunch By Putting Recess Before Lunch

January 13, 2015 - 6:31pm
Some kids and school districts have objected to the Obama administration's efforts to change lunches to be fare they prefer. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act changes have led to worries by advocates for the poor that kids whose best meal of the day was a school lunch are now being penalized, while food waste activists see increasing piles of food in garbage cans as a worrying trend. People who prefer freedom don't like that centralized government is now controlling what local school districts feed kids.
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Essentialism In Kids: Bilingualism Changes Beliefs

January 13, 2015 - 6:17pm
Most young children are essentialists, they believe that human and animal characteristics are innate, so traits like native language and clothing preference are intrinsic rather than acquired. It is a natural law that other kids should speak the same language - until other kids don't.

A new study postulates that bilingual kids learn earlier that it's what one learns, rather than what one is born with, that makes up a person's psychological attributes. The study suggests that bilingualism in the preschool years can alter children's beliefs about the world around them. Contrary to their unilingual peers, many kids who have been exposed to a second language after age three believe that an individual's traits arise from experience. 
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50 Percent Of Fatal Crashes With Young Victims Involved Pot Or Alcohol - Study

January 13, 2015 - 5:49pm
US states as different as California, West Virginia and Hawaii share one thing in common - half of automobile fatalities involving young drivers, ages 16 to 25 years, involved pot or alcohol. And those results were from years before the cultural push to make marijuana legal.
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Hate BPA? Scared Of BPS? Chitosan May Be Your Food Packaging Of The Future

January 13, 2015 - 4:59pm

Bisphenol A, known as BPA, is in the middle of an environmental culture war and a hurriedly-rushed replacement, Bisphenol S (BPS), is just as big a concern.

We need plastic, food items are covered in plastic to make them last longer and protect them from microbes, but we know that plastic bottles and films take between 100 and 400 years to degrade, so the quest for alternative materials to plastics has been ongoing. That means we should not rush to embrace things just because they are 'not BPA', which still has no evidence of harm (unless hyperactive zebrafish count).


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Better Growth, Less Soil Modification: Salt Tolerance Gene In Soybean Found

January 13, 2015 - 4:48pm

A new research project has identified a specific gene in soybean that has great potential for soybean crop improvement because it can be bred to better tolerate soil salinity - that means less changes to soil and the ecosystem while still getting more food.

The researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia and the Institute of Crop Sciences in the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing pinpointed a candidate salt tolerance gene after examining the genetic sequence of several hundred soybean varieties. 


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Vitamin-Enirched GMOs Are Not Just Healthier, They Can Be Profitable

January 13, 2015 - 4:27pm
How can a product which can be made for free be profitable? It happens all of the time. Words are free, for example, yet the Wall Street Journal sells good ones to its customers. Science 2.0 was built on open source tools but lots of consulting companies do the work for people less skilled in programming.
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Fact Or Myth? Too Much Inhaled Oxygen Can Cause Cancer

January 13, 2015 - 3:54pm
We've all seen athletes on the sidelines of a football game with a mask over their mouths inhaling oxygen. It may seem odd that anyone stands around for 60 seconds, moves for 10 and then has to go sit on a bunch with an oxygen tank but oxygen is life, and the belief is greater oxygen in the blood will mean greater athletic performance.

It may also mean more lung cancer, is it said. Why? People at higher elevations get less respiratory cancer than people at lower ones, for other cancers it is no different. Is that just epidemiology scrambling for curves to match again or is there something to it? Will boosting metabolism that way also boost the rates of cancer?
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VR Game Detects Mild Cognitive Impairment

January 13, 2015 - 2:30pm

A recent study showed that a virtual reality cognitive training game could be a screening tool for patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) among a sample of older adults. Mild cognitive impairment  is a condition that often predates Alzheimer's disease and is characterized by memory loss and inability to execute complex activities such as financial planning. 


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Lepton-Flavor-Violating Higgs Decays Fit In With LHCb Anomalies

January 13, 2015 - 2:02pm
The CMS Collaboration at the LHC collider has recently measured a non-negligible rate for the fraction of Higgs boson decays into muon-tau pairs, as I reported in this article last summer. The observation is not statistically significant enough to cause an earthquake in the world of high-energy physics, and sceptics like myself just raised a gram of eyebrows at the announcement - oh yeah, just another 2-sigma effect. However, the matter becomes more interesting if there is a theoretical model which allows for the observed effect, AND if the model is not entirely crazy. -->

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DNA Trax: Spray-On DNA Barcode Tracks Harmful Chemicals

January 13, 2015 - 2:00pm
By Marsha Lewis, Inside Science

(Inside Science TV) – Everything from food, to air to water runs the risk of becoming contaminated. Now, chemists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have developed a technology that can detect and track dangerous particles in food and in the air.

“The DNA in the material can be used to identify those particles," said George Farquar, a chemist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

With the technology, called DNA Trax, researchers create tiny sugar-based particles and label them with a unique DNA signature. The particles can be sprayed onto food or released into the air to track the source of contaminants.
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Too Little Is Known About Probiotics To Say They Work

January 13, 2015 - 2:00pm

We don't actually know whether probiotics have a measurable impact on digestive health - and if it is positive. brownpau/Flickr, CC BY-SA

By Paul Bertrand, RMIT University; Andrew Ball, RMIT University, and Kate Polglaze, RMIT University

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Donate Data! How Your Digital Footprint Can Be Used For Public Good

January 13, 2015 - 12:30am

Donate data like blood and we can look for answers in the patterns we find. nomadFra/Shutterstock

By Anya Skatova,University of Nottingham and James Goulding, University of Nottingham

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Not The Loch Ness Monster, But A Jurassic Sea Reptile Has Been Found In Scotland

January 13, 2015 - 12:00am

Dearcmhara shawcrossi, Scottish dino-fish. Todd Marshall

By Stephen Brusatte, University of Edinburgh

Today my colleagues and I had the great privilege to announce a remarkable new discovery: a dolphin-like reptile that prowled the Middle Jurassic waters 170 million years ago.

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Statins Reduce Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease In Women

January 12, 2015 - 11:43pm

A large international analysis of 174,000 patients has shown conclusively that statin treatment reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in women.


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Post-Treatment Cancer Survivors Battle Sexual Dysfunction, Anxiety Decades Later

January 12, 2015 - 11:30pm

Many cancer survivors face physical and mental challenges, such as sexual dysfunction or anxiety about getting cancer again or financial hardships, even decades after the treatment is ended.  

Finding ways to help will become increasingly important because more cancer patients are living many years after treatment. The number of U.S. survivors is expected to top 19 million by 2024. While most survivors do well after treatment, some experience continuing problems that can significantly impair their quality of life well beyond the 5-year survival milestone. The problems and challenges can vary by the type of cancer patients had and the treatments they received. 


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Genius – White, Middle Class, Heterosexual Men Overrepresented?

January 12, 2015 - 11:16pm

Why do discussions of creative genius so often happen about white male writers such as Jonathan Franzen? AAP Image/Harper Collins

By Natalie Kon-yu, Victoria University

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Western US Higher Temperatures At Higher Elevations Blamed On Biased Sensors

January 12, 2015 - 10:49pm

Recent results of a study finds that that sensor changes have significantly biased temperature observations from the Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) station network.
More than 700 SNOTEL sites monitor temperature and snowpack across the mountainous western U.S. SNOTEL provides critical data for water supply forecasts. Researchers often use SNOTEL data to study mountain climate trends and impacts to mountain hydrology and ecology. 

University of Montana and Montana Climate Office researcher Jared Oyler and colleagues applied statistical techniques to account for biases introduced when equipment was switched at SNOTEL sites in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s.


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Meltwater On Greenland's Ice Sheet - Small Rivers Make A Big Difference

January 12, 2015 - 10:42pm

The massive ice sheet that covers about 80 percent of Greenland is the largest single chunk of melting snow and ice in the world
and for that reason it is considered the biggest potential contributor to rising sea levels due to glacial meltwater in a warming world.

What gets the most media, and therefore a lot of research, attention is the ice sheet's aquamarine lakes -- bodies of meltwater that tend to abruptly drain -- and monster chunks of ice that slide into the ocean to become icebergs.


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