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New Solutions To Recycle Fracking Water

August 28, 2014 - 6:30pm

Rice University scientists have produced a detailed analysis of water produced by hydraulic fracturing of three gas reservoirs and suggest environmentally friendly remedies - advanced recycling rather than disposal of "produced" water pumped back out of wells - could calm fears of accidental spillage and save millions of gallons of fresh water a year.


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The Saddam Tapes: Hussein Was A Mass-Murdering Despot, But A Sincere One

August 28, 2014 - 6:00pm

Politicians often say one thing in public and other things in private. That is no surprise, people in all jobs do the same thing.

Saddam Hussein, the genocidal former dictator of Iraq, has left a legacy most despots do not; he recorded so many of his private conversations that political scientists can analyze what he said in private and compare those to his public statements. Their conclusion; he believed what he said.


Very bad man, but he believed in his badness. 
Credit: Mid-East Wire


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Better At Computer Games? You Probably Have A Better Vocabulary

August 28, 2014 - 6:00pm

It is not a "All your base are belong to us" world in video games any more.

Today, if you want to make a mark in the world of computer games you had better have a good English vocabulary, according to a study by the University of Gothenburg and Karlstad University, Sweden. And games do.

The study confirms what many parents and teachers already suspected: young people who play a lot of interactive English computer games gain an advantage in terms of their English vocabulary compared with those who do not play or only play a little.


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Ontario Is A Worldwide Inflammatory Bowel Disease Hub

August 28, 2014 - 6:00pm

Why do so many people in Ontario have inflammatory bowel disease? One in every 200 Ontarians has been diagnosed with IBD, an increase by 64 percent between 1999 and 2008, according to a study by researchers at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

That puts Ontario in the 90th percentile for IBD prevalence in the world.

The study in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases is the first and largest Canadian study of IBD – including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis ─ to demonstrate trends in incidence over time, and the first to review the rate of IBD in different age groups.


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Ignore The IQ Test: Your Level Of Intelligence Is Not Fixed For Life

August 28, 2014 - 5:00pm

By Bryan Roche, National University of Ireland Maynooth

We’re getting more stupid. That’s one point made in a recent article in the New Scientist, reporting on a gradual decline in IQs in developed countries such as the UK, Australia and the Netherlands. Such research feeds into a long-held fascination with testing human intelligence. Yet such debates are too focused on IQ as a life-long trait that can’t be changed. Other research is beginning to show the opposite.

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Schrödinger's Picture: Researchers Take An Image Without Ever Detecting Light

August 28, 2014 - 4:48pm

Here is something counter-intuitive: researchers have developed a new quantum imaging technique in which the image has been obtained without ever detecting the light that was used to illuminate the imaged object, while the light revealing the image never touches the imaged object. 

As everyone knows, outside the world of quantum mechanics, to obtain an image of an object one has to illuminate it with a light beam and use a camera to sense the light that is either scattered or transmitted through that object. The type of light used to shine onto the object depends on the properties that one would like to image. Unfortunately, in many practical situations the ideal type of light for the illumination of the object is one for which cameras do not exist. 


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How Does It Feel To Be Old In Different Societies?

August 28, 2014 - 4:25pm

People aged 70 and over who identify themselves as 'old' feel worse about their own health in societies where they perceive they have lower value than younger age groups.

New research from psychologists at the University of Kent, titled 'Being old and ill' across different countries: social status, age identification and older people's subjective health, used data from the European Social Survey. Respondents, who were all aged 70 and over, were asked to self-rate their health.


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New Synthesized Fungus-Derived Antibiotic

August 28, 2014 - 4:13pm

Researchers at Rice University have synthesized a recently discovered natural fungus-derived  antibiotic, viridicatumtoxin B, which may shelp bolster the fight against bacteria that evolve resistance to treatments in hospitals and clinics around the world.  

The work reported this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) focused on a tetracycline discovered in 2008 by scientists who isolated small amounts from penicillium fungi. The yield wasn't nearly enough for extensive testing, but it provided a basis for the discoverers to analyze its structure through magnetic resonance imaging. 


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Iron Age: Workers At Slaves' Hill Were Not Slaves

August 28, 2014 - 4:04pm

In 1934, American archaeologist Nelson Glueck named one of the largest known copper production sites of the Levant, located deep in Israel's Arava Valley, "Slaves' Hill."

This hilltop station seemed to bear all the marks of an Iron Age slave camp – fiery furnaces, harsh desert conditions, and a massive barrier preventing escape, but new evidence uncovered by Tel Aviv University archaeologists overturns that narrative and says the people there were instead highly regarded craftsmen rather than slaves.


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Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing: Why Pregnant Women Should Love Blood Tests

August 28, 2014 - 3:13pm

It has been almost 400 years since the publication of Exercitatio anatomica de motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus ("On The Motion Of The Heart And Blood In Animals") by the British physician William Harvey, which accurately described the circulation of the blood around the body, and we are still discovering the secrets of the circulatory system and its contents. 

This is especially relevant when leveraging the circulatory system’s contents for clinical applications, such as prenatal testing.

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Nasal Septum Cells: From Nose To Knee, Engineered Cartilage Regenerates Joints

August 28, 2014 - 2:16pm

Human articular cartilage defects can be treated with nasal septum cells because they are able to adapt to the environment of the knee joint and can thus repair articular cartilage defects. 

The nasal cartilage cells' ability to self-renew and adapt to the joint environment is associated with the expression of so-called HOX genes. The scientific journal Science Translational Medicine has published the research results together with the report of the first treated patients.


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It’s About Time: Young Galaxies Were Dense, Intense Star-Makers

August 28, 2014 - 12:30pm


There are some massive galaxies out there, and we now know a little about their early life.Credit: Lauro Roger McAllister/Flickr, CC BY

By Edward Taylor, University of Melbourne

A piece of the galaxy formation puzzle may have fallen into place, thanks to a team of European and American astronomers peering into the depths of our early universe.

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Wild Nights Of The Canaanites Revealed By Massive Wine Cellar Discovery

August 28, 2014 - 10:00am


A key part of civilization? Credit: E Photos, CC BY-SA

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Dense Galactic Core Shows Early Construction Of Giant Galaxy

August 28, 2014 - 5:18am

Astronomers have caught a glimpse of the earliest stages of massive galaxy construction - a dense galactic core blazing with the light of millions of newborn stars that are forming at a ferocious rate.

A fully developed elliptical galaxy is a gas-deficient gathering of ancient stars theorized to develop from the inside out, with a compact core marking its beginnings. Because the galactic core is so far away, the light of the forming galaxy that is observable from Earth was actually created 11 billion years ago, just 3 billion years after the Big Bang.


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Global 'Roadmap' Shows Where To Put Roads Without Costing The Earth

August 28, 2014 - 4:12am


Deforestation along roads in Rondonia, Brazil. Source: Google Earth

By Bill Laurance, James Cook University

“The best thing you could do for the Amazon is to blow up all the roads.” These might sound like the words of an eco-terrorist, but it’s actually a direct quote from Professor Eneas Salati, a forest climatologist and one of Brazil’s most respected scientists.

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Xenon Gas Can Erase Traumatic Memories

August 27, 2014 - 8:28pm

Xenon gas is commonly used for diagnostic inhalation because of its anesthetic properties but more recently it has been used by the Russians to cheat in the Olympics, and the cycling community has followed suit, because of its EPO - Erythropoietin - hormone producton ability.

It may also be a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other memory-related disorders, according to a new paper in PLOS One.


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Bronze Age Wine Cellar Found In Israel

August 27, 2014 - 8:17pm

A Middle Bronze Age Canaanite palace at the Tel Kabri excavation in Israel has revealed an ancient wine cellar.


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Brain Networks Hyper-Connected In Depressed Young Adults

August 27, 2014 - 8:01pm

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has led University of Illinois at Chicago scholars to conclude that young adults who previously experienced the mental illness have hyper-connected emotional and cognitive networks in the brain.

The college students were ages 18 to 23 while they were in a resting state. 30 un-medicated young adults who claimed to have experienced depression and 23 healthy controls were used in the study, which has published in PLOS ONE.

"We wanted to see if the individuals who have had depression during their adolescence were different from their healthy peers," said Rachel Jacobs, assistant professor in psychiatry and lead author of the study.


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Wealthy, Liberal, Elites: Vaccine Refusal Linked To Expression Of Privilege

August 27, 2014 - 7:37pm

Not all students returning to school this month will be up to date on their vaccinations and a new paper in Gender&Society by Jennifer Reich,a professor of Sociology from the University of Colorado Denver, correlates it to the class privilege of their mothers.


It's no secret that anti-vaccination hotbeds correlate to income and other lifestyle choices. Put a pin in a Whole Foods store in California and you can find a hotbed of anti-vaccine sentiment in the parking lot and surrounding neighborhood. In America, red states have overwhelming vaccine acceptance while blue states are where the problems are occurring.

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

August 27, 2014 - 4:21pm

Where should we go, on Mars, to look for droplets and streaks of present day liquid water? You may have heard of the "warm seasonal flows", and the recent "swimming pools of bacteria". 

However,  there are several other promising ideas for habitats such as the "Flow like features", the advancing sand dunes bioreactor, and possibilities for life using the humidity of the night time air on Mars. It's an exciting field with many new discoveries and ideas every year, and it is hard to keep up with the developments.

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