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Women Are Better Than Men At Multitasking

Women Are Better Than Men At Multitasking | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
A new study found that women performed better on multitasking tests than men.
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Google has developed a technology to tell whether ‘facts’ on the Internet are true

Google has developed a technology to tell whether ‘facts’ on the Internet are true | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
It gives new meaning to the phrase "let me Google that for you."
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Google has developed a technology to tell whether ‘facts’ on the Internet are true

Google has developed a technology to tell whether ‘facts’ on the Internet are true | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
It gives new meaning to the phrase "let me Google that for you."
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Sound waves precisely position nanowires

Sound waves precisely position nanowires | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
"Because the pitch of both the one-dimensional and two-dimensional structures is sensitive to the frequency of the standing surface acoustic wave field, this technique allows for the patterning of nanowires with tunable spacing and density," the researchers report in a recent issue of ACS Nano. The nanowires in solution will settle in place onto the substrate when the solution evaporates, preserving the pattern. The researchers note that the patterned nanowires could then be transferred to organic polymer substrates with good accuracy by placing the polymer onto the top of the nanowires and with slight pressure, transferring the nanowires.
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Home : Statistics for Biologists

Home : Statistics for Biologists | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
A collection of articles from the publisher of Nature that discusses statistical issues biologists should be aware of and provides practical advice to improve the statistical rigor of their work.
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Schizophrenia not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders - PsyPost

Schizophrenia not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders - PsyPost | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
New research shows that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease but a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. The fi ...
Sharrock's insight:
"The investigators also replicated their findings in two additional DNA databases of people with schizophrenia, an indicator that identifying the gene variations that are working together is a valid avenue to explore for improving diagnosis and treatment." http://www.psypost.org/2014/09/schizophrenia-single-disease-multiple-genetically-distinct-disorders-28177
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FuturistSpeaker.com – A Study of Future Trends and Predictions by Futurist Thomas Frey » Blog Archive » The Great Cow Epiphany and the Six Immutable Laws of Information

FuturistSpeaker.com – A Study of Future Trends and Predictions by Futurist Thomas Frey » Blog Archive » The Great Cow Epiphany and the Six Immutable Laws of Information | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
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World's Data Could Fit on a Teaspoon-Sized DNA Hard Drive and Survive Thousands of Years

World's Data Could Fit on a Teaspoon-Sized DNA Hard Drive and Survive Thousands of Years | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The blueprint of every living thing on the planet is encoded in DNA. We know the stuff can hold a lot of information. But how much is a lot? We
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Textbook Theory Behind Volcanoes May Be Wrong | Caltech

Textbook Theory Behind Volcanoes May Be Wrong | Caltech | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The new measurements suggest that what is really happening is just the opposite: Instead of narrow jets, there are broad upwellings, which are balanced by narrow channels of sinking material called slabs. What is driving this motion is not heat from the core, but cooling at Earth's surface. In fact, Anderson says, the behavior is the regular mantle convection first proposed more than a century ago by Lord Kelvin. When material in the planet's crust cools, it sinks, displacing material deeper in the mantle and forcing it upward.
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The fascinating, unpredictable, terrifying future of autonomous cars

The fascinating, unpredictable, terrifying future of autonomous cars | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
It makes sense for Apple to be very interested.
Sharrock's insight:
" The researchers looked at various studies on road accidents and concluded that it's not clear a self-driving car would ever be safer than an experienced middle-aged driver (the safest age group). Not all accidents are caused by drivers: 80% of accidents involving pedestrians at crossings are the fault of the pedestrian, they say. Weather, road conditions and vehicle failure can also be factors. None of these will be eliminated by autonomous vehicles."(Excerpt)
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A Machine That Trains Your Brain to Pay Attention

A Machine That Trains Your Brain to Pay Attention | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
A new brain-scanning technique could change the way scientists think about human focus.

Via Spaceweaver
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Spaceweaver's curator insight, February 11, 6:06 PM

Interesting new method, using neuronal signals read by fMRI machine to create feedback loops that help humans to train certain abilities which are not available to conscious access.

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Bias, complexity and uncertainty in ecosystem risk assessment: pharmaceuticals, a new challenge in scale and perspective - environmentalresearchweb

Bias, complexity and uncertainty in ecosystem risk assessment: pharmaceuticals, a new challenge in scale and perspective - environmentalresearchweb | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

From historical waste sites to contemporary spills and non-point source pollution, there are many unintentional natural experiments occurring in which the inadvertent pharmacological effects of chemicals can be monitored in addition to traditional toxicological assays (Bowyer et al. 2003, Manahan 2011, Godduhn et al. 2013). The precautionary principle accounting for the irresolvable uncertainty of complex systems needs to be included so that recognition a system's potential destabilization is included in policy decisions. The logistical and spatial barriers to accomplishing a thorough ecosystem risk assessment can be reduced by using 'citizen science' to increase the availability of data, creating an ecosystem perspective. This approach will allow a longitudinal design to support the sustainability goal for the health and welfare of future generations.

 
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Communication Studies and Artificial Intelligence - h+ Magazine

Communication Studies and Artificial Intelligence - h+ Magazine | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Communication studies must come to terms with the development that communicative exchange is no longer exclusively human.
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The Physical Basis of High-Throughput Atomically Precise Manufacturing — Metamodern

The Physical Basis of High-Throughput Atomically Precise Manufacturing — Metamodern | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The Physical Basis
of High-Throughput
Atomically Precise Manufacturing
As outlined below, atomically precise manufacturing (APM) can be understood through physics, engineering design principles, proof-of-concept examples, computational modeling, and parallels with familiar technologies. Several chapters in Radical Abundance discuss these topics in depth.
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9 Cool Facts About Magnets

9 Cool Facts About Magnets | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Magnetism is light: Why do magnets stick? Magnets attract each other because they exchange photons, or the particles that make up light. But unlike the photons streaming out of a desk lamp or reflecting off of everything you see around you, these photons are virtual, and your eyes (or any particle detector) can't "see" them. They can, however, exchange momentum, and this is why they stick to things or repel them. When a kid throws a dodge ball, they're exchanging momentum with the ball, and the thrower feels a slight push back. Meanwhile the target person feels the force of the ball, and (maybe) gets knocked over — they are "repelled" from the thrower. With photons, the process can also happen in reverse, as though one kid reached out and grabbed the ball while the other was still hanging on to it, which would look like an attractive force.

Photons are the force carriers not only for magnets but also for electrostatic phenomena like static electricity, and it's why electromagnetism is the term we use for effects produced by these phenomena – including light, which is an electromagnetic wave.
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Hunger promotes acquisition of nonfood objects

Hunger promotes acquisition of nonfood objects | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Hunger motivates people to consume food, for which finding and acquiring food is a prerequisite. We test whether the acquisition component spills over to nonfood objects: Are hungry people more likely to acquire objects that cannot satisfy their hunger? Five laboratory and field studies show that hunger increases the accessibility of acquisition-related concepts and the intention to acquire not only food but also nonfood objects. Moreover, people act on this intention and acquire more nonfood objects (e.g., binder clips) when they are hungry, both when these items are freely available and when they must be paid for. However, hunger does not influence how much they like nonfood objects. We conclude that a basic biologically based motivation can affect substantively unrelated behaviors that cannot satisfy the motivation. This presumably occurs because hunger renders acquisition-related concepts and behaviors more accessible, which influences decisions in situations to which they can be applied.

Via Ashish Umre
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Ultra-cold mirrors could reveal gravity's quantum side

Ultra-cold mirrors could reveal gravity's quantum side | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

An experiment not much bigger than a tabletop, using ultra-cold metal plates, could serve up a cosmic feast. It could give us a glimpse of quantum gravity and so lead to a "theory of everything": one that unites the laws of quantum mechanics, governing the very small, and those of general relativity, concerning the monstrously huge.

 

Such theories are difficult to test in the lab because they probe such extreme scales. But quantum effects have a way of showing up unexpectedly. In a strange quantum phenomenon known as the Casimir effect, two sheets of metal held very close together in a vacuum will attract each other.

 

The effect occurs because, even in empty space, there is an electromagnetic field that fluctuates slightly all the time. Placing two metal sheets very close to one another limits the fluctuations between them, because the sheets reflect electromagnetic waves. But elsewhere the fluctuations are unrestricted, and this pushes the plates together.

James Quach at the University of Tokyo suggests that we might be able to observe the equivalent effect for gravity. That would, in turn, be direct evidence of the quantum nature of gravity: the Casimir effect depends on vacuum fluctuations, which are only predicted by quantum physics.

 

But in order to detect it, you would need something that reflects gravitational waves – the ripples in space-time predicted by general relativity. Earlier research suggested that superconductors (for example, metals cooled to close to absolute zero such that they lose all electrical resistance) might act as mirrors in this way.

 

"The quantum properties of superconductors may reflect gravitational waves. If this is correct, then the gravitational Casimir effect for superconductors should be large," says Quach. "The experiment I propose is feasible with current technology."

 

It's still unclear if superconductors actually reflect gravitational waves, however. "The exciting part of this paper has to do with a speculative idea about gravitational waves and superconductors," says Dimitra Karabali at Lehman College in New York. "But if it's right, it's wonderful."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Germ-killing molecules identified in alligator blood

Germ-killing molecules identified in alligator blood | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Thick armor and jaws packed full of teeth aren't the only defences that alligators and crocodiles have. They also have formidable immune systems and some of the protective molecules that enable this have now been identified. Their discovery in the blood of the American alligator might even pave the way for a new generation of antibiotics.

 

Crocodilians have existed on Earth for at least 37 million years. Over the course of their evolution, they have developed a very strong defence against infection. "They inflict wounds on each other from which they frequently recover without complications from infection despite the fact that the environments in which they live are less than sterile," says Barney Bishop of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, co-author of the new study.

 

American alligators have an enviable innate immune system, the "primitive" first line of defence that is shared by all vertebrates. In 2008, chemists in Louisiana found that blood serum taken from the reptiles destroyed 23 strains of bacteria and depleted reserves of the HIV virus. The germ-killing molecules were identified as enzymes that break down a type of lipid.

 

Although their results have yet to lead to any new antibiotics, enzymes aren't the only pathogen-busting molecules that alligators have up their sleeve. Bishop's group has now identified and isolated peptides known as a CAMPs or cationic antimicrobial peptides. These molecules are positively charged so the team developed nanoparticles to electrostatically pick them out of the complex mix of proteins in alligator blood plasma.

 

In total, the group fished out 45 peptides. Of these, they chemically synthesised eight and evaluated their antimicrobial properties. Five killed some of the E.colibacteria they were presented with, while the other three destroyed most of theE.coli and also showed some activity against bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause inflammation and sepsis, and Staphylococcus aureus, which can trigger skin infections, sinusitis and food poisoning. So far, the strains have performed well, says Bishop. Identifying novel antimicrobial peptides is urgently needed because of the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, says Guangshun Wang at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. "Because of the novelty of the sequences," he says, "these peptides provide new templates for developing antimicrobials to combat superbugs."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Sorting Out Emotions | Caltech

Sorting Out Emotions | Caltech | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Building on previous studies targeting the amygdala, a team of researchers has found that some brain cells recognize emotions based on the viewer's preconceptions rather than the true emotion being expressed.
Sharrock's insight:

"These are very exciting findings suggesting that the amygdala doesn't just respond to what we see out there in the world, but rather to what we imagine or believe about the world," says Ralph Adolphs, the Bren Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Caltech and coauthor of a paper that discusses the team's study.  "It's particularly interesting because the amygdala has been linked to so many psychiatric diseases, ranging from anxiety to depression to autism.  All of those diseases are about experiences happening in the minds of the patients, rather than objective facts about the world that everyone shares."


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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, March 2, 12:49 AM

emotions are the products of our mind, as much as they are of objective reality out there!

Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, March 4, 3:29 AM

Another, deeper roots to our biases... on the brain-cell level... well, that might be a challenge...

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Data Mining Indian Recipes Reveals New Food Pairing Phenomenon | MIT Technology Review

Data Mining Indian Recipes Reveals New Food Pairing Phenomenon | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
By studying the network of links between Indian recipes, computer scientists have discovered that the presence of certain spices makes a meal much less likely to contain ingredients with flavors in common. In the same way that Western chefs search for unusual ingredients that share the same flavors, negative food pairing may also drive the development of new flavor combinations and recipes in Indian food. “Our study could potentially lead to methods for creating novel Indian signature recipes, healthy recipe alterations and recipe recommender systems,” conclude Jain and co.
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33rd Square: Innovative Dentistry - What the Future Holds for Us

33rd Square: Innovative Dentistry - What the Future Holds for Us | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Dentistry uses cutting-edge technology to create and maintain brighter smiles. Here are some of the newest technologies you will find in a modern dentist's office.
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Why Do We Feel Thirst? An Interview with Yuki Oka | Caltech

Why Do We Feel Thirst? An Interview with Yuki Oka | Caltech | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
In the paper, we linked specific neural populations in the brain to water drinking behavior. Previous work from other labs suggested that thirst may stem from a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, so we wanted to identify which groups of neurons in the hypothalamus control thirst. Using a technique called optogenetics that can manipulate neural activities with light, we found two distinct populations of neurons that control thirst in two opposite directions. When we activated one of those two populations, it evoked an intense drinking behavior even in fully water-satiated animals. In contrast, activation of a second population drastically suppressed drinking, even in highly water-deprived thirsty animals.  In other words, we could artificially create or erase the desire for drinking water.

Our findings suggest that there is an innate brain circuit that can turn an animal's water-drinking behavior on and off, and that this circuit likely functions as a center for thirst control in the mammalian brain. This work was performed with support from Howard Hughes Medical Institute and National Institutes of Health [for Charles S. Zuker at Columbia University, Oka's former advisor].
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Phys.Org Mobile: High-tech contact lenses zoom with a wink of an eye

Phys.Org Mobile: High-tech contact lenses zoom with a wink of an eye | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Scientists also unveiled other research at the AAAS conference involving the latest advances in vision aids—some of which could potentially help the 285 million people worldwide with some form of vision impairment. 

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Diffusion Tensor Imaging of the Brain

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a promising method for characterizing microstructural changes or differences with neuropathology and treatment. The diffusion tensor may be used to characterize the magnitude, anisotropy and orientation of the diffusion tensor. This paper reviews the biological mechanisms, acquisition and analysis methodology of DTI measurements. The relationships between DTI measures and white matter pathologic features (ischemia, myelination, axonal damage, inflammation, and edema) are summarized. Applications of DTI to tissue characterization in neurotherapeutic applications are reviewed. The interpretations of common DTI measures – mean diffusivity (MD), fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (Dr) and axial diffusivity (Da) – are discussed. In particular, FA is highly sensitive to microstructural changes, but not very specific to the type of changes (e.g., radial or axial). In order to maximize the specificity, it is recommended that future studies use multiple diffusion tensor measures (e.g., MD and FA, or Da and Dr) to better characterize the tissue microstructure.

 
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No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning

No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
(Phys.org) —The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein's theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.

 

..."Ali and Das explain in their paper that their model avoids singularities because of a key difference between classical geodesics and Bohmian trajectories. Classical geodesics eventually cross each other, and the points at which they converge are singularities. In contrast, Bohmian trajectories never cross each other, so singularities do not appear in the equations.

 

"In cosmological terms, the scientists explain that the quantum corrections can be thought of as a cosmological constant term (without the need for dark energy) and a radiation term. These terms keep the universe at a finite size, and therefore give it an infinite age. The terms also make predictions that agree closely with current observations of the cosmological constant and density of the universe."

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A Map of Science — Metamodern

A Map of Science — Metamodern | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Under the title “A Map of Science”, it was featured by Nature in 2006. Here’s a description by the developers at informationesthetics.org:

As to what the image depicts, it was constructed by sorting roughly 800,000 scientific papers into 776 different scientific paradigms (shown as red and blue circular nodes) based on how often the papers were cited together by authors of other papers. Links (curved lines) were made between the paradigms that shared common members, then treated as rubber bands, holding similar paradigms closer to one another when a physical simulation forced them all apart: thus the layout derives directly from the data. Larger paradigms have more papers. Labels list common words unique to each paradigm.

Each “list of common words unique to each paradigm” forms a streaming ribbon in the image above. What the authors call a paradigm, I would call a field, or topical area (such as seismology, organometallic chemistry, cryptology, virology, and stellar dynamics), clustered within broader areas (such as geophysics, chemistry, computer science, molecular biology, and astrophysics).

Sharrock's insight:

The author added: "Update: In the comments, modeless at seadragon.com points to a zoomable version of the map that uses the Seadragon technology. Highly recommended for viewing the textual details."


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