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Learning ability in math and reading are tightly linked and highly genetic, scientists say

Learning ability in math and reading are tightly linked and highly genetic, scientists say | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it

Around half of the genes that influence how well a child can read also play a role in their mathematics ability, say scientists from UCL, the University of Oxford and King’s College London who led a study into the genetic basis of cognitive traits.

 

While mathematics and reading ability are known to run in families, the complex system of genes affecting these traits is largely unknown. The finding deepens scientists’ understanding of how nature and nurture interact, highlighting the important role that a child’s learning environment may have on the development of reading and mathematics skills, and the complex, shared genetic basis of these cognitive traits.

 

The collaborative study, published today in Nature Communications as part of the Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium, used data from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) to analyse the influence of genetics on the reading and mathematics performance of 12-year-old children from nearly 2,800 British families.

 

Twins and unrelated children were tested for reading comprehension and fluency, and answered mathematics questions based on the UK national curriculum. The information collected from these tests was combined with DNA data, showing a substantial overlap in the genetic variants that influence mathematics and reading. 

 

Dr Chris Spencer (Oxford University), lead author said: “We’re moving into a world where analysing millions of DNA changes, in thousands of individuals, is a routine tool in helping scientists to understand aspects of human biology. This study used the technique to help investigate the overlap in the genetic component of reading and maths ability in children. Interestingly, the same method can be applied to pretty much any human trait, for example to identify new links between diseases and disorders, or the way in which people respond to treatments.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Ashish Umre
Rick Frank's insight:

I can hear the protesters screaming already :)

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Diane Johnson's curator insight, July 14, 2014 12:24 PM

Really interesting - the more we know about our genetic underpinnings, the more we know there is to learn.

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France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels

France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
All new buildings in commercial zones across the country must comply with new environmental legislation
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Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer

Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
I am now face to face with dying. But I am not finished with living.
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Pinterest Acquires Machine Learning Commerce Recommendation Engine Kosei

Pinterest Acquires Machine Learning Commerce Recommendation Engine Kosei | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Facebook knows who you were. Google knows what you want now. But Pinterest yearns to know what you want next, which is “exactly” why it acquired recommendation engine startup Kosei, Pinterest’s head of engineering Michael Lopp tells me.

For an undisclosed figure, Pinterest gets Kosei’s tech that understands 400 million relationships between 30 million products, and the majority of its 10 person team including its co-founders. Lopp says the Kosei team will spend their first 90 days figuring out where to apply themselves across black ops spam deterrence, product discovery and recommendations, visual object recognition, ad click prediction for monetization, growth analytics, and building a machine learning system on spark for Pinterest’s data team.

Pinterest’s Lopp says its unclear exactly what they’ll work on as “they’re not really filling any gaps”. Instead, their goal is to help the company “hit internal metrics faster”. The company explains in an engineering blog post about the acquisition that “With the addition of the Kosei team, we can supercharge our existing graph to help brands reach people at the right moments, and improve content for Pinners.”

Via Ashish Umre
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Responsible Innovation - The Role of Ethics in an Increasingly Complex World


Via Complexity Digest, Ashish Umre
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Reinventing TV News

Reinventing TV News - Geeks Bearing Gifts - Medium
I don’t want to dwell on this but I have to say that TV news — especially local TV news — sucks. It favors heat over lig…

Via Luís António Santos
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The Global Risks 2015 Report

The Global Risks 2015 Report | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
The 2015 edition of the Global Risks report completes a decade of highlighting the most significant long-term risks worldwide, drawing on the perspectives of experts and global decision-makers.
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RClimate Script Introduction

RClimate Script Introduction | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Would you like to be able to generate a GISS temperature anomaly trend chart on your PC with just 1 line of R script? What about downloading the R script to your PC so that you can edit the script ...

Via M. Edward (Ed) Borasky
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Weather Forecasts Are About To Get Even Better - Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal - AGU Blogosphere

Weather Forecasts Are About To Get Even Better - Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal - AGU Blogosphere | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it

Via M. Edward (Ed) Borasky
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How stories change hearts and brains

How stories change hearts and brains | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Across time and culture, stories have been agents of personal transformation – in part because they change our brains

Via Luís António Santos
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How They Did It: Al Jazeera “Beyond the Beach"

How They Did It: Al Jazeera “Beyond the Beach" | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Adobe Muse is ideally suited for building online media presentations, and nowhere have I seen better evidence of that than Al Jazeera’s “Beyond the Beach” documentary. I recently chatted with Konstantinos Antonopoulos, Interactive producer at Al Jazeera English, and asked him about the processes involved in the build. | Tags: Adobe Muse, Case Study, Media, Journalism, Interviews

Via Luís António Santos
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This is quite well done.

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The surprising origins of Europeans

The surprising origins of Europeans | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Geneticists David Reich and Nick Patterson detailed recent work on human migrations that led to the populations of today’s Europe.
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The Rutherford Institute :: Are ‘We the People’ Useful Idiots in the Digital Age?

The Rutherford Institute :: Are ‘We the People’ Useful Idiots in the Digital Age? | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it

Via Arun Shrivastava
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Arun Shrivastava's curator insight, November 24, 2014 2:48 AM

“Who needs direct repression,” asked philosopher Slavoj Zizek, “when one can convince the chicken to walk freely into the slaughterhouse?” The author further states, "In an Orwellian age where war equals peace, surveillance equals safety, and tolerance equals intolerance of uncomfortable truths and politically incorrect ideas, “we the people” have gotten very good at walking freely into the slaughterhouse, all the while convincing ourselves that the prison walls enclosing us within the American police state are there for our protection." Serious reading.

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Costa Rica powered with 100% renewable energy for 75 straight days

Costa Rica powered with 100% renewable energy for 75 straight days | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Well done Costa Rica, well done. The Cental American country has achieved a major clean energy milestone, meeting 100 percent of its power demand with renewable energy for 75 straight days. googletag.cmd.push(function() else if ((widthWindow > =...
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2015 World Press Freedom Index

2015 World Press Freedom Index | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
The Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index highlights the worldwide deterioration in freedom of information in 2014. Press freedom, challenged by conflicts, the growing threat from non-state operatives, violence during demonstrations or resulting from the financial and economic crisis, is in retreat on all five continents. The organization examines this disturbing trend in seven thematic analyses.

Via Manuel Pinto, Luís António Santos
Rick Frank's insight:

Interesting that Canada (8th) much higher than the US (49th out of 180) in freedom of the press. But they are free to have handguns because I guess that is more important :)

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This Surprising Reading Level Analysis Will Change the Way You Write

This Surprising Reading Level Analysis Will Change the Way You Write | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Ernest Hemingway is regarded as one of the world’s greatest writers. After running some nerdy reading level stats, I now respect him even more.

Via M. Edward (Ed) Borasky
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Responsibility and Truth in Photography

Responsibility and Truth in Photography | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Joerg Colberg's online photography magazine, featuring photographer profiles, interviews, articles, and book reviews.

Via Luís António Santos
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Pipelines for Data Analysis

Pipelines for Data Analysis | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Guest Lecture: Pipelines for Data Analysis Lecture | January 21, 2015 | 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | 190 Doe Library, UC Berkeley Speaker/Performer: Hadley Wickham, Assistant Professor, Rice University; Chief Scientist, RStudio

Via M. Edward (Ed) Borasky
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Visualizing New York City's 2014 Weather

Visualizing New York City's 2014 Weather | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Recreating Edward Tufte's famous weather visualization for New York City in 2014

Via M. Edward (Ed) Borasky
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Meet The 80 People Who Are As Rich As Half The World

Meet The 80 People Who Are As Rich As Half The World | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Eighty people hold the same amount of wealth as the world's 3.6 billion poorest people, according to an analysis just released from Oxfam. The report from the global anti-poverty organization finds...

Via M. Edward (Ed) Borasky
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jon inge's curator insight, January 24, 3:52 PM

nice to put a name to them but look at where they have creamed their amazing wealth - in past it was land that gave great wealth , than the power of capital to generate income but now we add the  enormous revenue power of technology which is an extension of capital + enterprise 

sadly the rich just keep getting richer 

Ayisha Sheik's curator insight, February 4, 2:20 AM

Karl Marx would hate these people for sure!

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Astrophysicists Prove That Cities On Earth Grow in the Same Way As Galaxies in Space

Astrophysicists Prove That Cities On Earth Grow in the Same Way As Galaxies in Space | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
The way galaxies evolve from variations in matter density in the early universe is mathematically equivalent to the way cities grow from changes in population density on Earth, say cosmologists.
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Tree-shaped Wind-turbines Shows Biomimicry at its Best

Tree-shaped Wind-turbines Shows Biomimicry at its Best | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it

"... a French company called NewWind has been developing aesthetically pleasing, tree-shaped turbines meant to run silently within cities, at ground level. The innovation is simple named “L’Arbre à Vent” or in English “The Wind Tree”. The tree features 72 artificial leaves where each leave is a small turbine that rotates around a vertically directed axis. The leaves are very light-weight, which means that they can generate power from very small amounts of wind. Actually it takes nothing more than 4.4 mph (2 meters/second) of wind for them to function, and this is amount of wind is equal to a gentle breeze."

 

Photo: Michaud LARIVIERE, http://www.cite-telecoms.com/decouvr/arbre-a-vent/


Via Miguel Prazeres, Ashish Umre
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ibexerain's comment, January 13, 12:10 AM
Sensational looking
Michael Holder's curator insight, January 13, 6:43 PM

Perhaps the beginning of the end and the extinction of mammoth Industrial Wind Turbines and their globally corrupt Corporate boon-doggle. One can only hope - good riddance!  

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The effects of bilingualism on the white matter structure of the brain

The effects of bilingualism on the white matter structure of the brain | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Recent studies suggest that learning and using a second language (L2) can affect brain structure, including the structure of white matter (WM) tracts. This observation comes from research looking at early and older bilingual individuals who have been using both their first and second languages on an everyday basis for many years. This study investigated whether young, highly immersed late bilinguals would also show structural effects in the WM that can be attributed to everyday L2 use, irrespective of critical periods or the length of L2 learning. Our Tract-Based Spatial Statistics analysis revealed higher fractional anisotropy values for bilinguals vs. monolinguals in several WM tracts that have been linked to language processing and in a pattern closely resembling the results reported for older and early bilinguals. We propose that learning and actively using an L2 after childhood can have rapid dynamic effects on WM structure, which in turn may assist in preserving WM integrity in older age.

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When Journalists Must Not Be Objective

When Journalists Must Not Be Objective - Backchannel - Medium
Even for those who cover news, some issues demand activism. Free speech is one of them.

Via Luís António Santos
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Releases 400,000 Images Online for Non-Commercial Use

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Releases 400,000 Images Online for Non-Commercial Use | Miscellaneous news items | Scoop.it
Kinder in einem Feriendorf / Martin Munkacsi / 1929
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has released a vast archive of 400,000 (mostly) hi-resolution digital images online that you can download and use for non-commercial purposes. From a 12-megapixel scan of Rembrandt's 1660 self-portrait to over
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