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How To Save Formula 1

March 28, 2015 - 3:01pm

With the season newly underway, Formula 1’s struggles are already clear to see. The exorbitant costs of competing, combined with uneven profits is especially hurting the chances of survival for smaller teams. In fact, with only ten teams on the grid – down from 20 in 1989 – 2015 risks being remembered as one of the least contented F1 championships of history.

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Hydrolyzed Fish Fertilizer - Nitrogen Source, Still Meets Organic Definition

March 28, 2015 - 1:41am

In the production of organic vegetables, nitrogen is important, yet can be quite costly to manage. Nitrogen management is even more challenging when production practices call for the use of polyethylene mulch combined with fertigation. The authors of a new study published in HortScience have found that hydrolyzed fish fertilizer holds promise as an "economically feasible" nitrogen source for growing organic vegetables.


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Another One Bites The Dust - WW Cross Section Gets Back Where It Belongs

March 27, 2015 - 10:22pm
Sometimes I think I am really lucky to have grown convinced that the Standard Model will not be broken by LHC results. It gives me peace of mind, detachment, and the opportunity to look at every new result found in disagreement with predictions with the right spirit - the "what's wrong with it ?" attitude that every physicist should have in his or her genes. -->

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NRDC Says Your Xbox Is Causing Global Warming - But It Isn't

March 27, 2015 - 8:03pm
A day after Playstation announced that their players are finally getting an update which will allow them to quickly switch from Rest Mode to powered-up, a feature already available on Xbox, the National Resources Defense Council announced that Xbox players are killing Gaia.
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Yawunik Kootenayi - Lobster With Two Sets Of Eyes From 500,000,000 B.C.

March 27, 2015 - 7:41pm
What do butterflies, spiders and lobsters share in common?

Yawunik kootenayi, a marine creature with two pairs of eyes and prominent grasping appendages that lived 250 million years before the first dinosaur.

The fossil recently identified is the first new species to be described from the Marble Canyon site, part of the Canadian Burgess Shale fossil deposit.

Yawunik had evolved long frontal appendages that resemble the antennae of modern beetles or shrimps, though these appendages were composed of three long claws, two of which bore opposing rows of teeth that helped the animal catch its prey.

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Damselfly War Games - Aerial Sparring And Wing Coloration

March 27, 2015 - 7:09pm

Before a male damselfly hot-headedly enters into a duel of aerial sparring, it first works out its strategy. It gives its opponent's wings a once-over to assess its strength, knowing that more transparent wings and larger red spots generally show a stronger rival. Those who then decide to engage in long fights either try to wear their opponent down, or dazzle them with brilliant aerial moves that are too hard to follow. These damselfly war game strategies are set out in a study published in Springer's journal The Science of Nature - Naturwissenschaften. Two research groups united forces to arrive at these findings, one based in Brazil, led by Rhainer Guillermo-Ferreira, and the other in Germany, led by Stanislav Gorb.


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Costly Up Front, But High Value Care For Incidental CT Findings Worth It

March 27, 2015 - 7:09pm

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has released new guidelines on the management of asymptomatic neoplastic pancreatic cysts found incidentally during computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The author of a commentary being published in Annals of Internal Medicine explains how the AGA's bold new recommendations will affect the way physicians consider diagnostic testing. The new guidelines back away from previous recommendations that were more aggressive.

Rather than promote invasive work-up, surveillance, or surgery for typical patients, the AGA guidelines restrict aggressive follow up to patients with more high-risk features.


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Drinking Raw Milk Dramatically Increases Risk For Foodborne Illness, Analysis Finds

March 27, 2015 - 4:21pm

An analysis conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) found that the risks of drinking raw (unpasteurized) cow's milk are significant. Consumers are nearly 100 times more likely to get foodborne illness from drinking raw milk than they are from drinking pasteurized milk. In fact, the researchers determined that raw milk was associated with over half of all milk-related foodborne illness, even though only an estimated 3.5% of the U.S. population consumes raw milk.


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Ontario Agriculture Minister Can't Even Pronounce Varroa Mites

March 27, 2015 - 4:00pm
I wouldn't have thought a reason to ban the type of pesticides called neonicotinoids ("neonics"), which replaced broad spectrum organophosphate pesticides with a product similar to nicotine that naturally acts on specific receptors in the nerve synapses of some insects but is harmless to anything else, would be because politicians can't pronounce "varroa mites", yet environmentalists living in the modern Food Babe-ish 'if you can't pronounce it, you shouldn't eat it' world have made that more and more plausible. 
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Implantable Micropacemaker Designed For Unborn Baby Hearts

March 27, 2015 - 2:30pm
With each beat of a healthy heart, an electrical signal moves from the upper to the lower chambers of the heart. As this signal moves, it results in the heart contracting and pumping blood. Congenital heart block is a defect of the heart's electrical system that originates in the developing fetus, greatly slowing the rate of the heart and impacting its ability to pump blood.

Although the condition can be diagnosed in utero, all attempts to treat the condition with a standard pacemaker have failed.  Each year, approximately 500 pregnancies in the U. S. are affected by such fetal heart block - those babies may soon have the perfect solution. 
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Brain Evolution And Music: Playing Activates Genes In Humans And Songbirds

March 27, 2015 - 2:19pm

Music perception is well preserved in human evolution but the specific biological determinants of music practice are largely unknown.

A study of professional musicians found enhanced activity of genes involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission, motor behavior, learning and memory when they practiced.  Several of those up-regulated genes are also known to be responsible for song production in songbirds and that suggests a potential evolutionary conservation in sound perception and production across species, according to the authors.
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So Much For Branding: 1 Percent Of You Can Draw The Apple Logo

March 27, 2015 - 1:40pm
If you see a chicken, you know that's a chicken. If you see a cartoon of a chicken, you know that's a chicken.

But can you draw a chicken from memory?

Most people cannot draw anything that looks anything like a chicken, but is it because branding is not quality, our memories are poor, or we lose something between brains and fingers? What about something simpler and in the daily lives of Apple users more than chickens like the Apple logo? Can they draw it from memory? Probably not, as it turns out.
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Why It Took Big Humans To Populate Europe

March 27, 2015 - 1:32pm

One of the dominant hypotheses of evolution is that our genus, Homo, evolved from small-bodied early humans to become the taller, heavier and longer legged Homo erectus that was able to migrate beyond Africa and colonize Eurasia.

Not so, according to a new anthropology paper. 


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Reduce College Tuition By Separating Funding For Research And Education

March 27, 2015 - 1:00pm


The Australian federal government again failed in its attempt to allow universities to set their own prices for student fees. The key concern with the package was that student fees would rise sharply. However, this is not a necessary outcome of a deregulated university system.

Prices could be pressured to stay low if there were more competition.

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Your Brain In The Supermarket

March 27, 2015 - 1:00pm

You're out shopping for basic goods you have bought many times. Is  choosing these products a complicated decision or a simple one? 

It could be complex: Factors like price, quality, and brand loyalty may run through your mind. Indeed, some scholars have developed complicated models of consumer decision-making, in which people accumulate substantial product knowledge, then weigh that knowledge against the opportunity to explore less-known products.


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The Stars May Be Singing

March 27, 2015 - 12:30pm
The study of fluids in motion – now known as hydrodynamics – goes back to the Egyptians so it has been involved in a lot of experiments but now it has provided something new; experimental evidence that stars may generate...sound.
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Soda Bans, Bike Lanes: Which 'natural Experiments' Really Reduce Obesity?

March 27, 2015 - 5:24am

Banning sodas from school vending machines, building walking paths and playgrounds, adding supermarkets to food deserts and requiring nutritional labels on restaurant menus: Such changes to the environments where people live and work are among the growing number of solutions that have been proposed and attempted in efforts to stem the rising obesity epidemic with viable, population-based solutions. But which of these changes actually make an impact?


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Shrinking Habitats Have Adverse Effects On World Ecosystems

March 27, 2015 - 5:24am

An extensive study of global habitat fragmentation - the division of habitats into smaller and more isolated patches - points to major trouble for a number of the world's ecosystems and the plants and animals living in them.

The study shows that 70 percent of existing forest lands are within a half-mile of the forest edge, where encroaching urban, suburban or agricultural influences can cause any number of harmful effects - like the losses of plants and animals.

The study also tracks seven major experiments on five continents that examine habitat fragmentation and finds that fragmented habitats reduce the diversity of plants and animals by 13 to 75 percent, with the largest negative effects found in the smallest and most isolated fragments of habitat.


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10 Tips For Choosing An Academic Dean

March 27, 2015 - 5:24am

Clear and realistic expectations are key to successfully hiring heads of departments, say Professor Pierre-Alain Clavien, University of Zurich, and Joseph Deiss, former President of the Swiss Confederation, in a commentary in Nature magazine.

Selecting a chair for a position in clinical academic medicine is often problematic, with the diverse demands placed on the position proving a constant source of debate. Today's heads of departments are not only expected to be outstanding physicians, researchers, and teachers, but also adroit and cost-conscious managers. Finding people with such an extraordinary skill set is a formidable task.


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Levee Detonations Reduced 2011 Flood Risk On Mississippi River

March 27, 2015 - 5:24am

A controversial decision in 2011 to blow up Mississippi River levees reduced the risk of flooding in a city upstream, lowering the height of the rain-swollen river just before it reached its peak, according to a newly published computer modeling analysis led by UC Irvine scientists.

The work focused on a Missouri agricultural area called the New Madrid Floodway that was inundated when the levees were detonated. The researchers found that the region would have flooded anyway if the river had been allowed to overtop the levee banks. And separate modeling showed that the resulting damage to crops and buildings would have been similar either way, though the detonations did shift the damage zone toward Missouri and away from Illinois and Kentucky.


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