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Will We Soon Have A 2-D Liquid?

May 24, 2015 - 3:16pm

Computer simulations have predicted a new phase of matter: atomically thin two-dimensional liquid.


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'Natural' Sounds Improve May Improve Office Mood And Productivity

May 24, 2015 - 1:58pm

Playing natural sounds such as flowing water in offices could boosts worker moods and improve cognitive abilities in addition to providing speech privacy, according to a new study.

An increasing number of modern open-plan offices employ sound masking systems that raise the background sound of a room so that speech is rendered unintelligible beyond a certain distance and distractions are less annoying. Sound masking systems are custom designed for each office space by consultants and are typically installed as speaker arrays discretely tucked away in the ceiling. For the past 40 years, the standard masking signal employed is random, steady-state electronic noise -- also known as "white noise."


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Enrollment For Phase 3 Trial Evaluating Azeliragon In Treatment Of Patients With Mild Alzheimer's Disease

May 24, 2015 - 1:44pm

Enrollment of the first patients into STEADFAST (Single Trial Evaluating Alzheimer's Disease Following Addition to Symptomatic Therapy), vTv's Phase 3 placebo controlled trial of azeliragon, an oral antagonist of the Receptor for Advanced Glycation Endproducts (RAGE) for treatment of mild Alzheimer's disease has begun. Phase 3 begins following a Phase 2 trial that demonstrated positive results in slowing cognitive decline with 5 mg/day of azeliragon in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease.


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Phase 2b Clinical Trial Evaluating Tenapanor In IBS-C Patients - Results

May 24, 2015 - 1:30pm

Phase 2b clinical trial results that demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in IBS-C symptoms for tenapanor-treated patients compared to patients receiving placebo.

As previously reported, at the 50 mg dose of tenapanor, the study met its primary efficacy endpoint of an increase in the complete spontaneous bowel movement (CSBM) responder rate. Most secondary endpoints, including abdominal pain and other abdominal and IBS-C symptoms, demonstrated clinically meaningful improvements.

Tenapanor was well-tolerated, and the safety results were consistent with those observed in previous tenapanor trials.


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Early Christian Apocalypse: St. Paul Gave Us Heaven And Hell Many Times Over

May 24, 2015 - 1:00pm
Early Christian writers were fond of putting words into other people’s mouths.

When the apostle Paul (the theologian formerly known as Saul of Tarsus) wrote to the church in Corinth about a particularly significant religious experience, he informed them that his journey to the “third heaven” or “Paradise” resulted in his hearing “things that are not able to be told, that no mortal is permitted to speak”.

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UK Becoming Overweight And Obese At Younger Ages

May 24, 2015 - 1:42am

Children born since the 1980s are two to three times more likely than older generations to be overweight or obese by the age of 10, according to new research published in PLOS Medicine. The study, conducted by researchers from CLOSER, a consortium of UK longitudinal studies, characterized population shifts in body mass index (BMI) using data from more than 56,000 people born in Britain from 1946 to 2001.


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Antibiotic Resistance: Phages Can Transfer It In Chicken Meat

May 23, 2015 - 4:30pm

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise and they pose a global threat to public health. Common antibiotics are often ineffective in treating infectious diseases because pathogens acquire resistance genes. These antimicrobial resistance genes are obtained in different ways.

There are different explanations for how resistances are transferred and a now study found phages -
viruses that exclusively infect bacteria
- in chicken meat that are able to transfer antimicrobial resistance to bacteria.  Phages do not directly pose a risk to humans because they can only infect bacteria. No other cells or organisms can be infected.


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Mummy Madness In The Anatomical Record - All Open Access

May 23, 2015 - 3:17pm
If you like mummies (and who doesn't like mummies?) you are in luck: The Anatomical Record has a special issue with 26 articles devoted to them, all open access. You may not leave the house this weekend.
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Seen And Clean: What People In Surveys Say They Want In Nutrition Labels

May 23, 2015 - 3:00pm
A new survey finds that 87 percent of Americans look at the Nutrition Facts panel on packaged foods and beverages and 56 percent actively seek out nutritional information and guidelines.

67 percent favor groceries with fewer and simpler ingredients, while roughly the same percentage take nutritional content statements, ingredient-free statements, and statements about health benefits into consideration when buying packaged foods and beverages.

As is well known, food consumers who are buying for those reasons are vocal on social media, focus groups, consumer surveys, and even petitions. They say they want more transparency from the food and beverage industry and shunning artificial ingredients.
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The Case Of The Missing Booze: Brits Drink 12 Million More Bottles Per Week Than Previous Estimates

May 23, 2015 - 2:32pm
Many of us have a tipple on special occasions but including these drinks in official data has been found to increase England’s alcohol consumption by 12 million bottles of wine per week.

According to a new study published in BMC Medicine, alcohol consumption figures account for only 60% of alcohol sold in England, due to a discrepancy between self-reported consumption data and retail figures.

The new research has discovered where the missing alcohol can be found.

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First Drug To Treat Radiation Sickness Approved

May 23, 2015 - 2:32pm
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Neupogen,  the first approved drug to treat the deleterious effects of radiation exposure following a nuclear incident. 
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Researchers Recovered A Dinosaur Foot From A Bird

May 23, 2015 - 2:32pm
A unique adaptation in the foot of birds is the presence of a thumb-like opposable toe, which allows them to grasp and perch.

In their dinosaur ancestors, this toe was small and non- opposable, and did not even touch the ground, resembling the dewclaws of dogs and cats.

The embryonic development of birds provides a parallel of this evolutionary history: The toe starts out like their dinosaur ancestors, but then its base (the metatarsal) becomes twisted, making it opposable. Brazilian researcher Joâo Botelho, working at the lab of Alexander Vargas at the University of Chile, decided to study the underlying mechanisms. Botelho observed that the twisting occurred shortly after the embryonic musculature of this toe was in place.
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Include Men In Osteoporosis Screening Guidelines

May 23, 2015 - 6:50am

Most people associate osteoporosis with women. But the truth is, one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone as a result of this condition. That's more men than will have prostate cancer, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.


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Risk Management Turned Upside Down

May 22, 2015 - 11:53pm

A true story. To protect the innocent – and the writer – I’ll use no names.

The president of a large, multi-national engineering and construction firm decided to attract more contracts by reducing customers’ risks. A sound decision, yes? 

It was what he did (which was to offer fixed-price contracts instead of cost-plus contracts) and how he did it (by developing his people and by continuous process improvement) that got him fired - even though the move was showing every sign of success.

So why was he dismissed? The answer lies in that ol’ stereotype of the corporation as an externality-generating machine.

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The Culturally Subjective Nature Of Good Acoustics

May 22, 2015 - 11:01pm
Acoustics would seem to be primarily science - make sure sound waves are not piling up on each other in strange places and that everyone can hear what they are supposed to hear -  but a new study says it is not so objective and the response of audiences and performers to acoustic characteristics is a function of their worldview, according to archaeo-acoustician Steven J. Waller at the 169th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Pittsburgh.

"It's a parallel to 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder': perfect performance spaces are really in the ear of the listener. Today we value qualities like clarity--how it makes a modern orchestra sound," Waller continued, "whereas prior to sound wave theory, echoes were considered mysterious and divine."
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Numenta And IBM To Build Biologically Inspired Intelligent Machines.

May 22, 2015 - 8:44pm

When we catch balls, Jeff Hawkins, cofounder of Numenta and author of “On Intelligence,” tells us we aren’t solving differential equations. A robot, on the other hand, does solve differential equations, requiring roughly 3-trillion calculations for a 1s toss (“Kinematically Optimal Catching a Flying Ball with a Hand-Arm-System,” Berthold Bauml, Thomas Wimbock and Gerd Hirzinger, Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, 2010).

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Highest Energy Collisions ? Not In My Book

May 22, 2015 - 7:57pm
Yesterday I posed a question - Are the first collisions recorded by the LHC running at 13 TeV the highest-energy ever produced by mankind with subatomic particles ? It was a tricky one, as usual, meant to think about the matter.

I received several tentative answer in the comments thread, and thus answered there. I paste the text here as it is of some interest to some of you and I wish it does not go overlooked.

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Dear all,  -->

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Many Women Buy Products Because Models Are Thin, But There's A Market For Normal

May 22, 2015 - 6:11pm

Fashion is a huge industry and they use thin models because creating an ideal - the belief that women will look like that if they buy the clothes - is a time-honored strategy.

Yet as more American women become overweight and obese, and it becomes more difficult to create suspension of disbelief about body imaging psychology, that old strategy is less effective. A survey of diverse group of 239 women finds that marketing to the "thin ideal" -- the belief that thinner is better -- could be alienating up to 70 percent of their audience, said James Roberts, Ph.D., The Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in Baylor's Hankamer School of Business.  

Advertisers tend to default to this ideal without knowing for sure if other options are viable, James Roberts said.


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Photogrammetry: Of Viking Graves And Sunken Ships

May 22, 2015 - 5:39pm
Mapping archaeological digs used to take plenty of time and a lot of measuring, photographing, drawing and note taking, much of which can now be done with a technique called photogrammetry.

Photogrammetry is a method that uses two-dimensional images of an archaeological find to construct a 3-D model and it doesn't require special glasses or advanced equipment. Coupled with precise measurements of the excavation, photogrammetry can create a complete detailed map of an archaeological excavation site while being more precise than older, more time-consuming methods.

This method is already being put to use by archaeologists. When a possible Viking grave was found in Skaun in Sør-Trøndelag in 2014, the excavation site was mapped using photogrammetry.
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Smaller Volumes In Certain Regions Of The Brain Could Lead To Increased Likelihood Of Drug Addiction

May 22, 2015 - 5:20pm

A study has found that individual differences in brain structure could help to determine the risk for future drug addiction. The study found that occasional users who subsequently increased their drug use compared with those who did not, showed brain structural differences when they started using drugs.


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