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Okay With Disgusting Images? You Vote This Way 95 Percent Of The Time

October 29, 2014 - 9:46pm

Maggot infestations, rotting carcasses, unidentifiable gunk in the kitchen sink – how much your brain responds to disgusting images could predict whether you are liberal or conservative.

If you don't want to read any further because this is based on functional magnetic resonance imaging and claims that political leaning is a biological trait, here is the short version and you can just rant in the comments: if you are not grossed out, you are a liberal. The authors feel so confident in the result they say they can predict your politics based on a single image with 95 percent to 98 percent accuracy,   


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PRC1 Caught: Cancer-Related Cell Enzyme In Action

October 29, 2014 - 9:29pm

A research team has produced a detailed working image of an enzyme in the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) related to the BRCA1 breast-cancer protein. PRC1 regulates cell development and is associated with many types of cancer because enzymes like PRC1 turn on or turn off the activity of genes in a cell by manipulating individual chromosome units called nucleosomes. 


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Greenpeace Says Its GMOs Are Better Than Science's GMOs, Still Hates Golden Rice

October 29, 2014 - 8:11pm


Greenpeace is set to launch a series of attacks against crop biotechnology this week. It has scheduled a news conference for Friday titled “Ecological Agriculture, A Climate Resilient Model of Agriculture: The Way Forward,” which purportedly makes  its case against vitamin-enhanced Golden Rice.

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Mercury Program: Want To Own The Camera Used By Schirra And Cooper In Space? It's Up For Auction

October 29, 2014 - 7:54pm
The camera and lens that Wally Schirra and Gordo Cooper carried into space during their Mercury Program flights is going up for auction in a few weeks. 

Wally Schirra, a known camera enthusiast, said the Hasselblad camera they used was held in highest regard by photographers for its superior engineering, craftsmanship, and top-of-the-line quality. He reportedly purchased the Hasselblad 500c camera at a Houston photo supply shop in 1962, and brought it back to NASA for mission use preparation.
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The Organic Smog And Ozone Created By Cleaning Your House

October 29, 2014 - 6:49pm

An organic compound called limonene provides the pleasant smell of cleaning products and air fresheners but some byproducts of these sweet-smelling compounds could be adding to the air while they remove germs and odors.

By cleaning your house, you could be adding smog and ozone to it. 


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Supersonic Laser-Propelled Aircraft Get A Step Closer

October 29, 2014 - 6:34pm

Aircraft propelled by beams of light rather than fuel? Laser-propulsion just got a step closer thanks to a new method for improving the thrust systems developed by physicists Yuri Rezunkov of the Institute of Optoelectronic Instrument Engineering and Alexander Schmidt of the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute in Saint Petersburg. 

Currently, the maximum speed of a spacecraft is limited by the amount of solid or liquid fuel that it can carry. Achieving higher speeds means that more fuel must be burned—fuel that, inconveniently, has to be carried by the craft and hefted into space. These burdensome loads can be reduced, however, if a laser—one located at a remote location, and not actually on the spacecraft—were used to provide additional propulsive force.


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Homo Floresiensis: Hobbit Species Continues To Provoke Questions About Human Evolution

October 29, 2014 - 5:53pm


By Sarah King, Genetic Literacy Project

Since the discovery in 2004 of Homo floresiensis, an ancient hominid nicknamed “Flo” and also “hobbit”, after the diminutive villagers from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, due to her small size relative to modern humans, much debate has been raised over the origins of the species.

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Talking While Female: 6 Things About The Perception Of Women's Voices

October 29, 2014 - 5:36pm
You may not have realized it, but women's voices are a big topic. For women, at least. 

I suppose it may be true. If someone asks me to describe the characters in television comedy "The Big Bang Theory", my natural response would be 'the guy that matches the stereotype of how people think physicists are, the actual physicist, the engineer, the psychologist, the girl who looked a lot better with longer hair and the girl with the squeaky voice.'

See? 16% of my responses were related to female voice. She did better than the Indian guy, I forgot him completely, but whatever her science degree is was completely left out, the voice sticks out.
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One Giant Leap For Preservation: Protecting Moon Landing Sites

October 29, 2014 - 5:00pm

With private space missions just around the corner, we need to think about keeping important lunar sites safe. Cultsofhteshadow/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

By Beth O'Leary, New Mexico State University

Who will preserve the first lunar landing site at Tranquility Base for future generations?

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This Mid-Term Election Can Have Evolutionary Consequences

October 29, 2014 - 4:58pm
How can the international community know it is election time in the United States? A whole raft of claims about science and why you should vote one way or the other will be produced. Some people have even claimed politics is hard-wired, which would mean that American Republicans and Democrats are distinct species, having branched off from the rest of the world in 1860.

While biologists laugh at the idea that voting preferences are biological, sociologists, psychologists and political scientists continue to match surveys to science and claim it might be true. What if only tall people voted Democrat and they only married other Democrats? Would that not shape evolution? Democrats would be tall and imposing and psychologists would say they will get their way more often.
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In The UK NHS, Interest In Being A General Practicioner Has Dwindled

October 29, 2014 - 4:34pm

The United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS) is very popular with people who have no serious issues, because it is free - if they have to wait a few weeks, it is no big deal. For doctors, it isn't so great. The cost to attend medical school is not high, around $15,000 per year, but in their first year they will only earn about $30,000 annually. A specialist is almost 50% higher and that is part of the reason why the UK is losing General Practioners, at the bottom of the wage scale, faster than they can replace them.


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Not All Science Is Created Equal: The Story Of Genetically Engineered Crops

October 29, 2014 - 4:16pm


By Robert Wager, Genetic Literacy Project

There is tremendous controversy about genetically modified (GM) crops and derived food. Even the definition of what is a GM crop can differ depending upon with whom you talk. From a strictly scientific perspective all food has been manipulated at the genetic level by human activity; therefore all foods are genetically modified.

A more scientifically precise term for what goes by the popular term GMOs is genetically engineered (GE). This definition involves the use of recombinant DNA technology in the crop breeding process.

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Despite Ebola Concern, Global Infection Outbreaks Have Been Declining For Decades

October 29, 2014 - 3:36pm

Ebola is causing a lot of concern, a few instances in the United States were enough to lead to calls to overthrow the FDA vaccine approval process and the White House declared that the United States Department of Health and Human Services was unqualified to manage a handful of cases in America so they put a lawyer in charge as an Ebola czar. The National Institutes of Health said they could not fix the problem with the $330 billion they have gotten since 2001 but they are just exploiting an outbreak for personal gain also. In reality, the impact of disease outbreaks has been declining on a per capita basis for decades.


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Who Trusts Government The Most? Black Republicans

October 29, 2014 - 3:09pm

The far left in America loves government. Advocacy groups are always calling for new laws, new regulations, new bans and more layers of bureaucracy to put a stop to whatever they dislike. The right is increasingly suspicious of it, regarding every policy as a road to George Orwell's "1984".

That was not always the case. In the 1950s and '60s, it was the left who was on the right and the right was on the left. Government meant law and order and the right was opposed to anarchy and protests promoted by the left.


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Too Much Milk Linked To Higher Osteoporotic Fractures

October 29, 2014 - 2:56pm

A diet rich in milk products is promoted as strengthening bones and reducing the likelihood of osteoporotic fractures, but dairy lobby marketing aside, actual research related to the benefits of milk for the prevention of fractures or influence on mortality rates has found evidence for and against.
  

A new study finds that high milk intake in women and men is not accompanied by a lower risk of fracture and instead may be associated with a higher rate of death. 


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Culture Matters In Medicine Acceptance And Public Health

October 29, 2014 - 2:56pm

It's great to insist that people should just accept science and medicine but it isn't really practical. The nature of coastal California is that they don't trust vaccines the way religious people in the American south do, Asians are going to believe in acupucture, and the French will think they can be allergic to Bt genetically modified plants but not Bt organic pesticide spray.

Historically, culture has been considered an impediment to health rather than a central determining feature of it. However, a new paper in


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Confucius Doesn't Live Here Anymore

October 29, 2014 - 2:55pm

Confucius stands guard at Beijing's Renmin University. George (Sam) Crane, Author provided

By Sam (George T.) Crane, Williams College

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Mandatory Ebola Quarantine Is About Politics, Not Public Health

October 29, 2014 - 4:26am

The risk to the Australian community from doctors and nurses returning from Ebola-affected countries is minimal. Credit: EPA/ARIE KIEVIT

By Grant Hill-Cawthorne, University of Sydney and Adam Kamradt-Scott, University of Sydney

Governments have a duty to protect their citizens but the plan to impose mandatory detention on health-care workers being suggested by some Australian states is excessive and unwarranted.

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People Without Symptoms Aren't Going To Give You Ebola - Here Is Why

October 28, 2014 - 10:31pm

Flying by Shutterstock

By Stephen Goldstein, University of Pennsylvania

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Politics Is Quacked: How To Win Friends And Influence Ducklings

October 28, 2014 - 9:40pm

Courtesy of Guiomar Liste

By: Nala Rogers, Inside Science

(Inside Science) -- When ducklings head out to bathe in a pool, they usually follow the same individual, new research has found. But do they visit the pool that’s best for everyone, or just the one their chief prefers? This puzzle has made it hard for farmers to know how to provide for all their ducks equally, and for biologists to know what social animals really want.  

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