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Hydrogen's Potential In Alternative Energy Is Fading

April 2, 2014 - 7:00pm
Countries are looking for fossil fuel alternatives that can get somewhere near the density of gasoline but with less impact on the global ecosystem. Among the most promising contenders for mainstream alternative energy production, especially on alternative science media sites like Science 2.0, is hydrogen – but that increasingly appears to be an unlikely candidate.

Low energy conversion efficiency weakens the case for hydrogen as a commercial fuel. Hydrogen requires one-too-many conversions to be as efficient as electricity (water to hydrogen to electricity), as opposed to a simple fuel to electricity conversion.
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Criticism Of Violent Video Games Has Decreased As Gamers Have Taken Positions Of Leadership

April 2, 2014 - 3:58pm

20 years ago there was widespread concern about the impact of video game violence. "Mortal Kombat" created a gore filter so parents could turn that off, "Postal" had, unsurprisingly, someone committing mass killings emulating the rash of government union workers shooting people, which gave birth to the 'going postal' idiom. "Night Trap" was banned due to its use of full-motion video related to the murders.


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From Norway To America, Why Are Young Men Committing Mass Killings?

April 2, 2014 - 3:42pm

Recent mass killings in Norway, America and in numerous countries have happened at locations as different as schools, movie theaters, and marathons. Though the actual number of mass killings has not changed in 30 years, they get a lot more attention now.

One trait they all share in common is psychiatric medication but unsurprisingly the biggest focus in a roundtable discussion among film studies scholars, psychiatrists and psychologists in a publication named Violence and Gender
is that they were all young males. The participants speculate about the possible reasons for high incidence of these crimes and the motives of the young male perpetrators.


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Oligomeric Procyanidins In Chocolate Could Help Prevent Diabetes

April 2, 2014 - 3:12pm

There is a great deal of interest how cocoa flavanols (a type of antioxidant ) like monomers and procyanidins might prevent obesity and type-2 diabetes, though little is actually known how they might work. 

A new study compared the impacts of long-term dietary exposure to cocoa flavanol monomers, oligomers and polymers on the effects of high-fat feeding. Mice were fed a high-fat diet supplemented with either a cocoa flavanol extract or a flavanol fraction enriched with monomeric, oligomeric, or polymeric procyanidins for 12 weeks. 


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Peanut Genome Initiative Sequence Success

April 2, 2014 - 2:57pm

The International Peanut Genome Initiative, a multinational group crop geneticists who have been working in tandem for the last several years, have successfully sequenced the genome of 
Arachis hypogaea
 - the peanut. 

Arachis hypogaea and also called groundnut and, of course, peanut, is important both commercially and nutritionally. While the oil- and protein-rich legume is seen as a cash crop in the developed world, it remains a valuable sustenance crop in developing nations. The new peanut genome sequence is available to researchers and plant breeders across the globe to aid in the breeding of more productive and more resilient peanut varieties. 


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Tempest Stela: World's Oldest Weather Report Could Change Ancient Timeline

April 2, 2014 - 2:42pm

The inscription on a 3,500-year-old stone may be one of the world's oldest weather reports - and it could cause us to revise our chronology of the ancient Middle East.


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Snap Circuits Science: Infrared Detector

April 2, 2014 - 12:03pm
Occasionally I’ll come across a web page that shows you how to make an infrared (IR) filter for your iPhone (in my case the iPod Touch) out of an old floppy disk. I had an old floppy disk so I decided to see if it would actually work. The process is actually fairly simple: take apart a floppy disk, cut out enough of the disk (the Mylar and iron oxide recording medium) to cover camera lens, tape the piece of floppy disk over the lens, point your camera, and shoot your picture. -->

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Cognition Therapeutics Receives Patent For Alzheimer's Disease Drug

April 2, 2014 - 11:00am
Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease and the most common form of dementia. Symptoms include irritability, confusion, mood swings, language difficulties and memory loss. Cognitive dysfunction becomes more pronounced as the disease progresses, leading to the loss of bodily functions and eventually death.
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California GMO Food-Labeling Bill Clears Committee

April 2, 2014 - 10:00am
California State Sen. Noreen Evans wants any food that contains a genetically modified ingredient to have a special label declaring it - unless the product is alcohol.
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Why Is The UK Seeking More Dementia Diagnoses?

April 2, 2014 - 9:31am

The British government is putting pressure on commissioners, and in turn general practitioners, to make more diagnoses of dementia and that is leading to concern in a BMJ editorial.


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New Checkerboard Optimization Scheme Could Reduce Wake Effects In Wind Turbines

April 2, 2014 - 8:00am
As long as mandates and subsidies continue, wind turbines will continue to be part of the alternative energy mix. 

That means going beyond hype and potential and focusing on physical design, such as spacing and orienting individual turbines to maximize their efficiency and minimize any "wake effects," where the swooping blades of one reduces the energy in the wind available for the following turbine. 
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Environmental Groups Claim NASA Is Reneging On The Santa Susana Field Lab Cleanup Agreement

April 2, 2014 - 6:35am
Five environmental groups are alleging that NASA could be about to break the commitments it made in a 2010 agreement to clean up all the detectable contamination at its former Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL) rocket testing site in the Simi Hills of California.

They claim that NASA may be laying the groundwork for a breach by falsely claiming that commenters on its draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) on the cleanup were evenly divided on whether NASA should live up to its obligations in the cleanup agreements. When pressed by environmental groups to provide actual data to backup such a claim, they say NASA refused, and one of the groups, Consumer Watchdog, submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, obtaining all submitted comments.
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What Does It Mean For Something To Be Metaphysically Necessary?

April 2, 2014 - 6:13am
I mentioned before, this semester I’m teaching a graduate level seminar on David Hume, and having lots of fun with it. During a recent discussion of sections 4 and 5 of the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (“Sceptical doubts concerning the operations of the understanding” and “Sceptic al solutions of these doubts”) the concept of metaphysical necessity came up.
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Schools Don't Stop Bullying And Boys Are Bullies As Much As Girls - Review

April 2, 2014 - 6:01am

In what they are calling the most thorough analysis to date of studies on school bullying, the psychologists who authored a review on the topic in Annual Review of Psychology say that K-12 schools' efforts to curtail bullying are often disappointing and that, unlike public perception, bullying tactics like verbal aggression and exclusion are used by boys as often as girls

The authors say that the most comprehensive programs are effective but they require substantial commitment and school resources to be successful. An assembly once per year does nothing at all. Instead, other studies have found that school programs are teaching bullies how to avoid being caught.      


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Like Us: Selective Attention Is Discovered In Pigeons

April 2, 2014 - 5:04am

Pine cone or pine nut? Friend or foe? Distinguishing between the two requires that we pay special attention to the telltale characteristics of each. Psychologists call it selective attention. We hone in on visual information that is new or important and dismissing what is not.

As it turns out, us humans aren't the only ones up to the task. Pigeons share our ability to place everyday things in categories and focus on what is relevant.


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Constant Breast Cancer Checks Lead To More Benign Biopsies

April 2, 2014 - 2:43am

The Sun newspaper in the UK has a "check 'em Tuesday" campaign - a weekly call for women to examine their breasts. Readers are even asked to send in photos to prove compliance and can even sign up for a text message reminder.


It sounds like concern for readers and it is, except it doesn't help and may even hurt, according to Glasgow general practitioner Margaret McCartney in BMJ.

McCartney argues that teaching women to examine their breasts regularly "has been shown not to reduce deaths from breast cancer and actually increases the chances of a benign biopsy result." She says it is "unfair to tell women that regular self examination will save their lives when it may simply incur anxiety and have the potential to harm."


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Natural Variation In North Atlantic Ocean Caused Extreme Winters In US And Europe

April 2, 2014 - 2:03am

The extreme cold weather observed across Europe and the east coast of the US in recent winters is due to to natural, long-term variations in sea surface temperatures, according to a new study published in Environmental Research Letters.

The researchers from University of California Irvine show that the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) phenomenon — a natural pattern of variation in North Atlantic sea surface temperatures that switches between a positive and negative phase every 60-70 years — can affect an atmospheric circulation pattern, known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), that influences the temperature and precipitation over the Northern Hemisphere in winter.

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Unvaccinated Infants Fuel Epidemics

April 2, 2014 - 1:50am

In unvaccinated hotbeds like California and New York, rich elites rely on 'herd immunity' to protect their children - poor families will get the vaccines and protect the rich ones. That's why in those states, easily preventable diseases have come roaring back, with dangerous consequences.

Developing nations should be a reminder to anti-science progressives about the risks they are inflicting on kids who can't get vaccines, and their own children as well. Nearly 4 million children under 5 die from vaccine-preventable diseases worldwide each year.


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Not So Dirty: Methane Fuels Life In Pristine Chalk Rivers

April 2, 2014 - 12:49am

Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have found that naturally high concentrations of the greenhouse gas methane contributes to energy production in chalk rivers, in a new study published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Chalk rivers, found from Dorset to Cambridgeshire, sustain a diverse range of protected animals and plants, and are renowned globally for fly fishing, an industry worth more than £4M on the Rivers Test and Itchen (Hampshire) alone.

"It's a surprise to find methane is such a big source of energy in these gin-clear waters, famed for their luxuriant plant growth," said co-author Professor Mark Trimmer, Head of the Aquatic Ecology Group at Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.


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Male Extinction Prevented By Promiscuous Females

April 2, 2014 - 12:49am

LIVERPOOL, UK – 2 April 2014: Female fruit flies with a large number of sexual partners are playing an invaluable role in preventing the extinction of males, research at the University of Liverpool has shown.

Scientists have found that flies in the northern parts of the United States are more inclined to have multiple partners in order to reduce the occurrence of an X chromosome which causes the production of only female offspring.


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