Science 2.0

Chengjiangocaris: UNESCO Cambrian Arthropod

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 18:07


This fellow is Chengjiangocaris kunmingensis, a rather glorious fuxinhuiid arthropod. While he looks like he could be from the inside of the Lascaux Caves and their fire-kissed Palaeolithic paintings, albeit by a very ancient Picasso, he was found at a UNESCO World Heritage Cambrian fossil site in southern China.

As his name indicates, he is from a locality in the Yunnan region near Kunming. He is unusual in many ways, both because of the remarkable level of preservation and the position in which he was found.

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Living Fossil: Elephant Shrew

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 18:07
Meet of the most adorable of all the Living Fossil species, the Elephant shrew, Macroscelides proboscideus, one of 15 species of this order. These small, quadrupedal, insectivorous mammals strongly resemble rodents or opossums with their scaly tails, elongated snouts, and rather longish legs. 

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Move Over Burgess: There's A New Cambrian Lagerstätten In Town

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 18:07


Move over Burgess, there's a new Cambrian Lagerstätten in town. Meet Tuzoia sinesis from the Balang Formation of southern China. 

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Pleistocene Salmon Knock The Glaciers Back 6,000 Years

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 17:07
Salmon have permeated First Nations mythology and have been prized as an important food source for thousands of years. 

For the Salish people of the Interior of British Columbia, Canada, salmon was the most important of the local fishing stock and salmon fishing season was a significant social event which warranted the nomination of a “Salmon Chief” who directed the construction of the hooks, weirs and traps and the distribution of the catch.

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Plesiosaurs: Four-Paddled Vortex Swimmers

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 17:07

Plesiosaurus were large, carnivorous air-breathing marine reptiles with strong jaws and sharp teeth that moved through the water with four flippers. We'd originally thought that this might not be the most aerodynamic design but it was clearly effective as they used the extra set to create a wee vortex that aided in their propulsion. In terms of mechanical design, they have a little something in common with dragonflies.

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Dislike Of Even Legal Immigration Has Always Been Bipartisan

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 13:07

From the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban to its family separation policy, many Americans object to the White House’s hardline immigration policies as a historical aberration out of sync with U.S. values.

Having explored the evolution of these policies and their consequences as both a practitioner of immigration law and scholar of U.S.-Latin American relations, I disagree.

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Plastic-Eating Caterpillars Study Called Into Question By Independent Look At The Data And Methods

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 12:07
In April 2017, journalists promoted a claim about plastic bag eating caterpillars which led to sensationalistic coverage in worldwide media. They could eat the sea-sized floating islands of plastic bags that don't actually exist.

The science community was skeptical. 

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Forget Propaganda About Nuclear Energy , The Real Radiation Risk For Humans Is Natural Cosmic Rays

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 11:07
Sometimes pop culture becomes fact for the public. When the climate disaster film "The Day After Tomorrow" came out, journalists bizarrely started referencing it as a real climate change scenario, and now that Netflix, the home of anti-science sentiment among streaming services(1), has "Chernobyl" available, people think that is creating mutants.(2)

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Evidence Of Breeding Among Denisovans And Homo Sapiens In Asia 160,000 Years Ago

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 11:07
An analysis of a 160,000-year-old archaic human molar fossil discovered in China points to a different evolutionary path a rare trait primarily found in modern Asians than previously accepted timelines after Homo sapiens dispersed from Africa.

The study centers on a three-rooted lower molar and reveals the first morphological evidence of interbreeding between H. sapiens and the Denisovans, a sister group of Neanderthals

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Black-eyed Peas, The World's Toughest Bean, Gets Its Genome Cracked

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 10:07
Black-eyed peas, a global dietary staple for centuries due to their environmental toughness and nutritional qualities, are small beans with dark midsections. In sub-Saharan Africa they remain the number one source of protein in the human diet. 

Now it's gotten its genome decoded, a problem almost as tough as the legume itself. 

A genome is the full collection of genetic codes that determine characteristics like color, height, and predisposition to diseases. All genomes contain highly repetitive sequences of DNA that University of California Riverside Professor of Computer Science Stefano Lonardi likens to "hundreds of thousands of identical jigsaw puzzle pieces."

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Kratom Is Unsafe As An Herbal Supplement, Finds New Review Of Poison Centers Data

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 09:07
Kratom, derived from the leaves of the southeast Asian tree Mitragyna speciosa, is a supplement that is not useless, it actually does something. It contains psychoactive compounds and users also like it as an analgesic, but because it is a plant users and kratom trade groups insist it should not have to go through clinical trials, even while they sell it as a product that is a drug.

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CRISPR Leads To Genetic Sex Selection In Mammals For The First Time

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 06:07
Fish, insects, crustaceans, and even some plants possess the ability to change the sex of their offspring before they are born.

It's a genetic skill mammals lack. Or did.

A new study reveals a genetic system in mammals that enables two animals to mate and produce only females. A similar system based on identical principles would produce only males.

This proof of concept is in mice - an instance where a mouse study is actually valid - but the real benefit is for agriculture, where farmers may want dairy cows and egg-laying chickens and not have to deal with random chance. 


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Buprenorphine Is A Schedule III Drug For Opioid Addiction - Taking It Off Prescription Will Save Lives

Science 2.0 - Jul 09 2019 - 06:07

There is no question the government and its hand-picked advisors have hyped claims of opioid addiction beyond all sense. Doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and legitimate pain patients have all been steamrolled in an effort to stop what is really a recreational use problem. 

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Marijuana Legalization Linked To Decline In Teen Use

Science 2.0 - Jul 08 2019 - 19:07
Data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys between 1993 to 2017 covering 27 states and Washington, D.C., before and after "medical" marijuana laws were adopted and 7 states from before and after recreational marijuana laws were adopted covering more than 1.4 million high school students finds that marijuana laws appear to be associated with a decrease in the odds of marijuana use in the past 30 days or frequent marijuana use after medical marijuana laws were passed.

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All Calories Are Equal, But Not All Fat Is

Science 2.0 - Jul 08 2019 - 17:07
When you ingest sugar from honey or sugar from cane, your body converts it to a common currency - adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The same goes for fat and protein.

It's the calories that matter and too many of any of those will result in body fat - and that is not all equal. The location of where fat is stored in the body can have significant implications for human health, according to a new study which compared fat cells from under the skin and from the harmful fat inside the abdomen, creating the first comprehensive genomic map that reveals unique features, which appear to 'hard-wire' different types of fat early in cell development.

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Forget Coffee, Try Playing Minecraft For A Creative Boost

Science 2.0 - Jul 08 2019 - 15:07

The next time you need to get a creative boost, try playing a video game. Not all day, that is the road to unemployment, but taking a break to play an open-ended building game, like Minecraft, has been found to increase creativity. Especially if you just do whatever you'd like.

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Psychological Impact Of Genetic Testing - Like All Psychology, It Depends

Science 2.0 - Jul 08 2019 - 14:07
Population level metrics such as Body Mass Index (BMI) or statistical correlation using epidemiology don't do much to inform individual experience, and psychology faces the same issue. Surveys can tell us whatever surveys can tell us about what a particular group of people taking surveys think, but there is a reason that no polling group does well with Congressional districts that are contentious. It simply doesn't work. As we learned when we first believed the anti-vaccine problem was a fringe religious issue, what people claim on surveys is not their behavior.(1)

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Autonomous Vehicles: Which Driving Style Will You Prefer?

Science 2.0 - Jul 08 2019 - 12:07
Automated automobiles are coming, the question is how they will behave. Not how they will perform, anything is guaranteed to be safer than millions of distracted individuals and ATM machines have shown what accuracy will look like, but how they will behave, their driving style, may impact individual uptake in the short term.

Do you want robotic efficiency, a car that won't stop at a cross-section when no other cars are around, or automation that emulates average human driving and not only stops but even peeks ahead to get a better "view" like a human might? The surprising result was that efficiency was not the overwhelming winner; people today prefer a blend of both. 

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Fake News, Or Just Bias Different From Our Own?

Science 2.0 - Jul 08 2019 - 11:07
The underlying central metaphor of the new Marvel film "Spider-Man: Far From Home" is that news shouldn't be trusted. Many agree, but whether or not people label it "fake" seems to be based on how different their own bias is.

If you are a Republican and regard CNN is biased, having a conservative voice on their network does not make the outlet seem less biased, it makes the participant seem less credible, even if they believe the individual is honest. 

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Confluence Of Hype: In Mice, A Genetic Change Prevents A Disease That Doesn't Exist

Science 2.0 - Jul 05 2019 - 11:07
In modern American culture, two exploratory fields in science compete to scare the public or suggest the promise of miracle cures; epidemiology and studies in mice.

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