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Updated: 41 min 33 sec ago

Altruism And The Pathways To Imagination

Aug 29 2019 - 11:08
If you never care about Haiti until a hurricane hits, are you really altruistic or did you instead imagine how others will perceive your actions? Can altruism even exist or does it all come down to social exchange?

When people see someone in distress, neural pathways in the brain create facets of imagination that allow people to see the episode as it unfolds, finds a recent paper. That "episodic simulation", essentially the ability of individuals to re-organize memories from the past into a newly-imagined event simulated in the mindmay help them envision how to aid those in need.

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Net Generation: Z And Millennials Think They Use Technology Without Losing Productivity. Actually...

Aug 28 2019 - 16:08
Millennials, the first "Net Generation," say they can use many technologies simultaneously, masterfully switching from emails to instant messaging, app notifications, RSS feeds, and rants on Twitter much better than older generations.

Maybe they can. Generation Z certainly can.

A new study simulated a typical working environment, complete with technology interruptions, to allow scholars to track the effects on participants' inhibitory processes. College-age participants (naturally) totaling and a few other folks totaling 177 were divided into three groups: those who received IT interruptions; those who did not, and a control group. 

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Former 'Mythbusters' Host Jessi Combs Dies During Land-Speed Record Attempt

Aug 28 2019 - 15:08
Jessi Combs, age 36, the "fastest woman on four wheels" after setting a record of 398 mph in her jet-powered North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger in 2013, was killed yesterday in a crash while attempting to break her own land-speed record in southeast Oregon. She was 36.

The crash occurred on the Alvord Desert, a dry lake bed where several land-speed records have been set.


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MRD-VP-1/1: The Face Of Lucy's Ancestor, Australopithecus Anamensis, 3.8 Million Years Ago

Aug 28 2019 - 15:08
Discovery of a "remarkably complete" cranium  (MRD-VP-1/1, shortened to MRD) in February 2016 from a 3.8-million-year-old early human ancestor from the Woranso-Mille paleontological site, located in the Afar region of Ethiopia, represents a time interval between 4.1 and 3.6 million years ago when early human ancestor fossils are extremely rare, especially outside the Woranso-Mille area.

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75% Of Democrats Say Climate Change Is A Major Threat To The United States

Aug 28 2019 - 15:08
In recent Pew Survey data, 75 percent of moderate Democrats believe global climate change is a major threat to the well-being of the United States while 94 percent of Democrats who skew farther left believe that, up 30 percent from 2013.

Overall, more Americans feel that way, 57 percent this year versus 40 percent in 2013, but that increase is almost all on the left. Among the right, Republicans and people who vote Republican, that belief was 27 percent in 2019, up from 22 percent in 2013.

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The Norwegian Sea Has...Fresh Water...and The Atlantic Ocean Has Even More

Aug 28 2019 - 13:08
The salty ocean is the last place you'd expect to find fresh water but a remote-controlled vehicle deployed from the research vessel G.O. Sars found, collected and measured just that during a Norwegian Sea expedition in 2017. 

The Norwegian Sea is near the Arctic, between the North Sea and the Greenland sea, separated from the Atlantic Ocean by Iceland. 



The leakage likely originated from a large pocket of fresh water, otherwise known as an aquifer, hidden beneath the sediment of the seabed, a remnant of the last ice age.

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Australopithecus Africanus Likely Breastfed For A Year

Aug 28 2019 - 13:08
If you insist your baby has to breastfeed for a year you have a cultural heritage to justify it. Extinct species such as Australopithecus africanus likely breastfed for that long.

How could scholars determine how long A. africanus  breastfed? Like trees, teeth contain growth rings that can be counted to estimate age. Teeth rings also incorporate dietary minerals as they grow. Breast milk contains barium, which accumulates steadily in an infant's teeth and then drops off after weaning. In a new study, researchers analyzed trace minerals in two sets of fossilized A. africanus teeth from the Sterkfontein Cave outside Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Can Genetically Engineered Driscoll's Rosé Strawberries Really Be "Natural"?

Aug 28 2019 - 12:08
One thing that makes the science community spit its Fresca out its collective nose is the organic industry's claims its food is more natural than conventional.

Mutagenesis, where seeds are literally dunked in chemical and radiation baths in hopes to get a good mutation, is placed under the organic halo (along with 50 synthetic ingredients exempted because there is "no organic alternative") but if one gene is moved from a Pacific Salmon to an Atlantic salmon so the latter grows faster, it is Frankenfish to environmental lawyers. 

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Statistically Delicious: Red Wine Linked To A Better Microbiome

Aug 28 2019 - 06:08
The microbiome is the collection of microorganisms in an environment and plays an important role in human health. An imbalance of 'good' microbes compared to 'bad' is linked to adverse health outcomes. A person's gut microbiome with a higher number of different bacterial species is considered a marker of gut health but no one is really sure what that means.

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Parens Patriae: Can States Sue Over Federal School Lunch Changes They Don't Know Will Have An Effect?

Aug 28 2019 - 06:08
In 1979, the United States Department of Education was created and no one was sure why, since education is done at the local level. But both chambers had a Democratic majority and Carter was a Democratic president and they said it was for the children so they split up the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare into two Cabinet level departments.(1)

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Why Wildfires Can't Sweep Across The Entire Amazon Rainforest And Burn Everything Down

Aug 27 2019 - 22:08

This is something some people are worried about. Isn't there a risk that the Brazilian wildfires sweep across the entire Amazon and destroy all the remaining tropical forest? However, we get wildfires in Brazil every year, and this hasn’t happened before. In 2005 for instance there were many more fires than today, and they were not being put out, they were used to deforest intentionally. Yet only a small part of the Amazon burnt.

So why is that?

A FEW PRELIMINARY REMARKS

Before I go any further, I know some of you are really scared that we are going to suffocate as a result of burning down the Amazon rainforest.

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Double-Blind Randomized Placebo Trial Shows Gluten Has No Effect

Aug 27 2019 - 22:08
The first double-blinded, placebo-controlled re-challenge trial investigating gluten-related symptoms found that ingesting 14 g/d of gluten did not induce gastrointestinal symptoms or fatigue in healthy people. There were no different effects than with a gluten-free placebo.

Which means if you gave up gluten and felt less fatigue, and you are not actually diagnosed with a gluten issue, it is likely other things in combination that made you feel better.

This study was different than others in that it was not finding effects of gluten in symptomatic populations and neglecting healthy controls, it was only for people who reported no effects from gluten.

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Marijuana, Opioids, Depression

Aug 27 2019 - 17:08

If marijuana has analgesic properties, people will try it to potentially manage their pain, but it is unclear if it does or not. Fortunately, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration signaled it is expanding its marijuana research program will draft guidelines for producing the drug for scientific and medical research. 

Until there are science answers it is people trying all of the above, and that creates confounders for other kinds of research. A new study says adults who take prescription opioids for severe pain are more likely to have increased anxiety, depression and substance abuse issues if they also use marijuana. But did marijuana cause the depression or is it being used to mitigate it? 

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Ketogenic Diet Works For Infants With Epilepsy Due To Confirmed Genetic Abnormality

Aug 27 2019 - 17:08
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet that has become a health fad but it was originally posited as a benefit for people with epilepsy.

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Graphene-Lined Clothing To Prevent Mosquito Bites

Aug 27 2019 - 14:08
Some mosquito species, such as Aedes aegypti, have been able to weave their way through evolutionary time despite having no ecological value, basically being just delivery mechanisms for things like Dengue fever, the most common vector-borne disease in the world.

We could wipe them out and the rest of the ecosystem would be just fine but environmentalists have promoted a lot of fear about science-based mitigation approaches, like a male mosquito rendered sterile, and they hate pesticides more than they love poor people, so that leaves...clothes?

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Center For Biological Diversity Wants America To Be More Like Communist China When It Comes To Politicization Of Science

Aug 27 2019 - 13:08
China bans some chemicals whether or not the evidence shows it, and the United States should be more like communist dictatorships, suggests a Center for Biological Diversity blogger in a press release for their latest op-ed in Environmental Health.

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Even One Exercise Session Is Good For The Aging Brain

Aug 27 2019 - 06:08
Exercise is obviously physically beneficial and there are claims it also releases happiness-inducing hormones - and it may work that way for a few but if you are suffering from depression the last thing you need is someone in a Live Love Laugh shirt asking if you tried going for a walk.

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Amazon Fires Are Not Depleting Earth's Oxygen Supply

Aug 27 2019 - 06:08

Fires in the Amazon rainforest have captured attention worldwide in recent days. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in 2019, pledged in his campaign to reduce environmental protection and increase agricultural development in the Amazon, and he appears to have followed through on that promise.

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In France, Gender Bias Holds Back Female Scientists

Aug 26 2019 - 19:08
In America, more women than men receive Ph.D.s and at the faculty level are not 2:1 more likely to be offered a job. Not so in France. Only 35 percent of researchers at the French National Centre for Scientific Research are women and the reason may be bias in French culture. 

In France, the concept of science remains much more strongly associated with masculinity than with femininity and it may lead to scientific evaluation committees putting women at a disadvantage during promotion rounds involving men and women researchers, say social science scholars.

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Not Savages: England Had Advanced Trade In 1100 BC

Aug 26 2019 - 19:08
If you read the Anglo-Saxon history of England, the island was a backwater savage place populated by sacrificial druids worshiping angry spiritual gods before Rome paved the way for the arrival of modern inhabitants, but that me just be invading victors writing history.

It has been assumed northwestern European trade during the Bronze Age was primarily socially embedded, as in the exchange of gifts.  It turns out people in England, before the invasions by Celts, Picts, Irish, Angles, Saxons, Romans, Vikings, and Normans, were using balance weights and scales to measure the value of materials as early as the late second and early first millennia BC

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