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Your Brain Can Still Pay Attention During Sleep - And Science Can Now Hear What Your Sleeping Brain Hears

Jan 14 2019 - 11:01
Our brains can track the sounds in its environment while we sleep, and favor the most relevant ones, according to a recent study.

No great new information there. Everyone has woken up from sleep because of noise. But the mechanism that allows us (and some better than others) to sleep in complete safety and wake up at the right moment has remained a mystery. Why do some people who fall asleep on a bus or train miss their stop while others may only wake up at the sound of their own name but not that of others?

Studies that concentrated on the sleeping brain’s capacity to process isolated sounds don't help much with the real world, where we often sleep in environments where various sounds are superimposed and mixed with one another.

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Hexenyl Butyrate: Volatile Compound Found In Tomato Plants Protects Against Bacteria

Jan 14 2019 - 10:01
Tomato plants emit a volatile compound named hexenyl butyrate  which can be used for closing the stomata, key in protecting plants from bacterial attacks.

But Center for Science in the Public Interest and Environmental Working Group don't need to mobilize the trial lawyers, this volatile compound is all natural. That means is could be a new strategy for protecting crops from biotic and abiotic stress and improving yields, all without sound like scary science to their attorneys.

It's also easy to yes because it is a volatile compound. It can be applied by spraying onto plants and also by using diffuser devices, it has zero toxicity and its use is already approved in food.

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Update On 2002 NT7 - Flew Past At A Great Distance, 16.50 UTC Today 13th January - That's Further Away Than Mars At Its Closest

Jan 13 2019 - 10:01

2002 NT7 is closest at 16.50 today, UTC time. It will be 61 million kilometers away and they know the distance exactly to within 127 kilometers, and the time of the flyby accurate to the nearest minute. It is no risk to Earth.

It is already well above our orbit though, it crossed the orbit of Earth several days ago on the 8th. And 61 million kilometers is further away than Mars at its closest. It is not very close.

Earth's orbit in blue, 2002 NT7 in white.

More details here

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Space Weather Has A Bigger Impact Than Many Realize, Better Forecasting Will Help

Jan 11 2019 - 10:01
Space weather and its changes to earth's magnetic fields has an outsized impact in Arctic regions through effects on electricity networks, mining operations and shipping.

A new technique called Fractional Derivative Rate (FDR) published in Space Weather has been used for analyzing fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic field and found dramatic differences at different latitudes and different times of day.

The northernmost stations were more geomagnetically active at midday, while the activeness at the southernmost stations was highest at midnight. The largest differences between different times of day was observed in the northernmost measurement zone, in the Arctic Circle. 

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Why You Don’t Need To Worry About Asteroid 2002 NT7

Jan 10 2019 - 16:01

It actually crossed our orbit already on the 8th. It is already moving upwards away from our orbit. Earth is catching up on it from behind and is closest on the 13th at 61 million kilometers. That's further away than Mars at its closest, and much further away than Venus at its closest.

The red top tabloids and other sensationalist press and YouTube videos are going wild about this, in many different languages too. It is my most often asked question at present from scared people, whether their lives are at risk because of this asteroid. It doesn't matter if they say it or write it in Russian, Spanish, or whatever language it is, or enlist the services of clairvoyants or astrologers to pronounce about it - it is still utter nonsense.

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Choosing Models By Eye

Jan 10 2019 - 08:01
Given the use that people do of Google searches nowadays, and the rather special nature of my usual readership, I feel I may need to first of all apologize for the deceiving title of this post to the 80 to 90% of the visitors, who came to this page by searching for ways to become a member of a selection committee of miss Universe.  Sorry, you had it wrong - we are going to discuss parametric models here, not top models. But if you are happy to hear about the issues of fitting data with different functional forms, you are welcome to read on.

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"All Five Major Health Certifications": Drake’s Organic Spirits Wants You To Think Its Booze Is Better For You

Jan 10 2019 - 06:01
Drake’s Organic Spirits is touting it is the "first and only spirits line in the world to receive all five major health certifications." By "health", for four of them they simply mean manufacturing or cultural preferences; kosher, vegan, Non-GMO Project, and USDA Organic. (1) For the health-related one, gluten-free, there is no gluten in rum (sugar/molasses) anyway and since they use the same ingredients for their vodka as their rum, there is no gluten in that either.

And finally, by "spirits line" they mean the mixes that go in their rum and vodka, not the alcohol itself.

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A Baltic Lesson For The US In How To Counter Russian Disinformation Tactics

Jan 09 2019 - 16:01

As the new Congress begins, it will soon discuss the comprehensive reports to the U.S. Senate on the disinformation campaign of half-truths, outright fabrications and misleading posts made by agents of the Russian government on social media in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

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In 2021, Beans Will Be Grown In Space

Jan 09 2019 - 15:01
Traveling to Mars is a ridiculous idea outside anything but "adventure" yet the U.S. administration under President Obama scrubbed his predecessor's return to the moon and replaced it with a program bearing his name, going to the red planet.

Whether or not that actually happens, science and technology are using that potential to experiment with growing food in space. 

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California, Get Rid Of Paper Receipts But Don't Use Anti-Science Scaremongering As The Reason

Jan 09 2019 - 12:01
A California lawmaker wants to ban paper receipts - those annoying long things that immediately get lost in a grocery bag - but instead of promoting the legitimate reason to get rid of them, they are useless, he invoked chemical scaremongering.

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