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Diamonds Are An Oil's Best Friend

March 31, 2014 - 2:26pm

A mixture of diamond nanoparticles and mineral oil easily outperforms other types of fluid created for heat-transfer applications, according to new research by Rice University.

Rice scientists mixed very low concentrations of diamond particles (about 6 nanometers in diameter) with mineral oil to test the nanofluid's thermal conductivity and how temperature would affect its viscosity. They found it to be much better than nanofluids that contain higher amounts of oxide, nitride or carbide ceramics, metals, semiconductors, carbon nanotubes and other composite materials.

The Rice results appeared this month in the American Chemical Society journal Applied Materials and Interfaces.


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Anesthetic Technique Important To Prevent Damage To Brain

March 31, 2014 - 2:26pm

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered that a commonly used anesthetic technique to reduce the blood pressure of patients undergoing surgery could increase the risk of starving the brain of oxygen.

Reducing blood pressure is important in a wide range of surgeries – such as sinus, shoulder, back and brain operations – and is especially useful for improving visibility for surgeons, by helping to remove excess blood from the site being operated on.

There are many different techniques used to lower patients' blood pressure for surgery – one of them is known as hypotensive anesthesia, which slows the arterial blood pressure by up to 40%.


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"Graunching" A Review Of The Literature

March 31, 2014 - 2:22pm
One of the first technical papers to reference ‘Graunching’ was ‘Railway Noise: Curve Squeal, Roughness Growth, Friction and Wear’ (Report: RRUK/ A, 2003, D.J. Thompson, A.D. Monk-Steel, C.J.C. Jones. P.D Allen, S.S. Hsu, and S.D. Iwnicki)

“Other related forms of curving noise include ‘graunching’ at switches and crossings (possibly due to flange rubbing), [and] ‘juddering’ thought to be caused by unstable dynamic behaviour of the vehicle…”

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A Fishy Attempt To Link Glyphosate And Celiac Disease

March 31, 2014 - 5:13am
Stephanie Seneff (a computer scientist at MIT),  and Anthony Samsel (a retired consultant), have recently been attempting to link the use of the herbicide glyphosate to a long list of modern maladies. Their latest such attempt to is Celiac disease.  

The overall argument for the glyphosate/Celiac link has already been quite thoroughly debunked by a Celiac expert, but there is one other good reason to dismiss the "link" which I would like to describe.   -->

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Vegetarian Advocates Say You Must Give Up Meat If You Care About Global Warming

March 30, 2014 - 9:51pm

Greenhouse gas emissions from food production may threaten the UN climate target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a paper from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. What is the data? No data needed.


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Earth's Dynamic Interior

March 30, 2014 - 7:47pm

"Obviously, we cannot go inside of the Earth to see what is happening there. However, the process of mantle convection should comply with fundamental physics laws, such as conservation of mass, momentum and energy. What we have done is to simulate the process of mantle convection by solving the equations which controls the process of mantle convection," says Li.


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Erasing A Genetic Mutation

March 30, 2014 - 7:47pm

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- Using a new gene-editing system based on bacterial proteins, MIT researchers have cured mice of a rare liver disorder caused by a single genetic mutation.

The findings, described in the March 30 issue of Nature Biotechnology, offer the first evidence that this gene-editing technique, known as CRISPR, can reverse disease symptoms in living animals. CRISPR, which offers an easy way to snip out mutated DNA and replace it with the correct sequence, holds potential for treating many genetic disorders, according to the research team.


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APS Puts Global Warming Skeptics In Expert Workshop

March 30, 2014 - 5:28pm
The American Physical Society is reviewing its Climate Change Statement.

The APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) formed a Subcommittee, consisting of Steven Koonin, Phillip Coyle, Scott Kemp, Tim Meyer, Robert Rosner and Susan Seestrom, to consider revisions to its 2007 statement and that group convened a workshop with 6 climate experts, including 3 who are skeptics, though really they are more "lukewarm-ists" than the 'denier' label attributed to everyone who isn't a Think Progress-style Doomsday prophet.
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School Boards: The Public Likes Them, Almost 50 Percent Of Principals Don't

March 30, 2014 - 3:31pm
About 66%f school heads think that school boards have value in rooting schools in the community, but about 45% still think they are unnecessary. 60% think that it is wrong that boards decide on HR matters.

A survey funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and conducted by the University of Zurich and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland surveyed 270 school heads in all of the cantons in French and German-speaking Switzerland. Their findings reveal that school boards remain extremely important. 86% of the respondents report that their school communities have such boards. Moreover, 80% of school boards retain decision-making powers.
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Extreme Superposition: Researchers Record Quantum Entanglement In 103 Dimensions

March 30, 2014 - 3:16pm

In a recent PNAS paper, scientists have described how they managed to achieve a quantum entanglement with a minimum of 103 dimensions with only two particles.

103 dimensions rather than 3? Is that a typo?

Elementary particles such as photons can produce superpositions - where they exist in many possible quantum states simultaneously. In addition, when two particles are entangled a connection is generated so measuring the state of one (whether they are in one place or another, or spinning one way or another, for example) affects the state of the other particle instantly, no matter how far away from each other they are.


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Silicon Is So 20th Century: Let's Compute With Slime

March 30, 2014 - 3:00pm

Silicon has been very good to us. It has given us Angry Birds and virtual protests we can participate in from the comfort of our home, but it may be time to enter the Age of the Biological Computer.

Writing in the journal Materials Today,researchers reveal details of logic units built using living slime molds, which might act as the building blocks for computing devices and sensors.


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Liberty Is Why The Public Won't Swallow Soda Tax And Size Restrictions

March 30, 2014 - 2:53pm

Soda taxes and beverage portion size restrictions mandated by government are the poster children for social authoritarian efforts to control behavior but a recent survey in Preventive Medicine finds that the public is not willing to believe that a 15 ounce soda is okay but banning a 17 ounce soda will cure obesity.


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Four In 10 Infants Lack Strong Parental Attachments

March 30, 2014 - 3:37am

PRINCETON, N.J.—In a study of 14,000 U.S. children, 40 percent lack strong emotional bonds — what psychologists call "secure attachment" — with their parents that are crucial to success later in life, according to a new report. The researchers found that these children are more likely to face educational and behavioral problems.


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US Clean-air Efforts Stay On Target

March 30, 2014 - 3:37am

HOUSTON – (March 27, 2014) – National efforts in the last decade to clear the air of dangerous particulate matter have been so successful that most urban areas have already attained the next benchmark, according to new research by Rice University.

Atmospheric researchers at Rice studied the state implementation plans (SIPs) from 23 regions mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce particulate matter (PM) smaller than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) to less than 15 micrograms per cubic meter by 2009.

The Rice analysis appears this week in the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association.


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Genetic Variation Linked To Heart Disease Risk Through RNA Machinery

March 30, 2014 - 3:37am

Researchers have pinpointed a new mechanism of how natural variation in our DNA alters an individual's risk for developing heart disease by interfering with the ability of a developmental gene to interact with a specialized type of RNA. This work expands on previous work identifying the "hidden" causes of complex disease risk, with the goal of unlocking new pathways and potential drug targets for cardiovascular disease.

This latest study led by Thomas Quertermous, MD at Stanford University and Georg Sczakiel, PhD at the University of Lübeck (Germany) was a joint effort between human geneticists and molecular biologists. Postdoctoral scholar, Clint Miller, PhD was the lead author of the study published online in PLOS Genetics on Mar 27.


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Autoimmune Drug May Help Prevent Kidney Disease Caused By Diabetes

March 30, 2014 - 3:37am

Washington, DC (March 27, 2014) — A drug currently used to treat autoimmune disease may also help prevent the kidney-damaging effects of diabetes, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The findings suggest that clinical trials should be designed to test the drug in diabetic patients.

Kidney disease is one of the most serious complications of diabetes. Diabetics who develop kidney disease, or diabetic nephropathy, due to high blood glucose levels may eventually require dialysis or a kidney transplant.


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Marriage Linked To Lower Heart Risks In Study Of 3.5+ Million Adults

March 29, 2014 - 9:14pm

WASHINGTON (March 28, 2014) — People who are married have lower rates of several cardiovascular diseases compared with those who are single, divorced or widowed, according to research to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session. The relationship between marriage and lower odds of vascular diseases is especially pronounced before age 50.

"These findings certainly shouldn't drive people to get married, but it's important to know that decisions regarding who one is with, why, and why not may have important implications for vascular health," said Carlos L. Alviar M.D., cardiology fellow, New York University Langone Medical Center, and the lead investigator of the study.


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Ban Second-Hand Smoking And Premature Births, Birth Defects Will Be Reduced

March 29, 2014 - 8:35pm

Only about 1/6th of the world bans smoking and a new paper in The Lancet seeks to increase that, and implied causality is the way to do it.

Implied causality is fine, of course. No one knew smoking was bad until there was implied causality and then real causality, but in the culture war that seeks to control choice, population statistics are being used to sillier and sillier effect and it begins to border on pseudoscience, like third-hand smoke, and then sociology, like that banning smoking will cut premature births by 10 percent.


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2010 Chile Earthquakes: Water In Plate Boundary Zone Was Key Factor

March 29, 2014 - 8:20pm

The largest earthquakes occur where oceanic plates move beneath continents. Obviously, water trapped in the boundary between both plates has a dominant influence on the earthquake rupture process.

Writing in
Nature Geoscience (28.03.2014), a group of scientists from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences and from Liverpool University analyzed the Chile earthquake of February, 27th, 2010 and found that the water pressure in the pores of the rocks making up the plate boundary zone was key. 


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How To Get Millions Off Blood Pressure Medication - Change The Guidelines

March 29, 2014 - 7:15pm

What is high blood pressure? When do you need medication?

The answer was never clear. What is clear is that a lot of people are on medication that may not need it. In February, the Eighth Joint National Committee relaxed the blood pressure goal in adults 60 years and older to 150/90 from 140/90. The result will be that up to 5.8 million U.S. adults will no longer be told they need hypertension medication. That's good for the federal government, which is going to be increasingly concerned about costs as Obamacare is adopted, and it is good for the parts of culture that believe guidelines are created by pharmaceutical companies who control recommendations. It may actually be fine for patients also.


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