Science for the Rest of Us
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Physicists create synthetic magnetic monopole predicted more than 80 years ago

(Phys.org) —Nearly 85 years after pioneering theoretical physicist Paul Dirac predicted the possibility of their existence, an international collaboration led by Amherst College Physics Professor David S. Hall '91 and Aalto University (Finland) Academy Research Fellow Mikko Möttönen has created, ...
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Patience is needed in the world of physics, as Paul Dirac's theoritical work had to wait 80 years before being confirmed by an experiment

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Pesticides halve bees' pollen gathering ability, research shows

Pesticides halve bees' pollen gathering ability, research shows | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
Scientists call for a permanent EU ban as neonicotinoid toxins are found to harm bees and deprive their young of food
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Jean-Louis Piraux's curator insight, January 30, 2014 3:21 AM

Clear case for continuing the ban on neonicotinoids

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New World Record in Wireless Data Transmission - 40 Gbit/s at 250 GHz

New World Record in Wireless Data Transmission - 40 Gbit/s at 250 GHz | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it

Researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics and the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology have achieved the wireless transmission of 40 Gbit/s at 240 GHz over a distance of one kilometer. Their most recent demonstration sets a new world record and ties in seamlessly with the capacity of optical fiber transmission. In the future, such radio links will be able to close gaps in providing broadband internet by supplementing the network in rural areas and places which are difficult to access.

 

Digital, mobile and networked – changing media usage habits of modern society require the faster transmission of increasing vol-umes of data. Compared to the European standard, Germany lags behind in the expansion of the fiber-optic network, according to statistics from the FTTH Council Europe. Deploying new fiber-optic cables is expensive and difficult when there are natural or urban obstacles such as rivers or traffic junctions. Broadband radio links can help to overcome such critical areas, thereby facilitating the expansion of the network infrastructures. In rural areas they can be a cost-effective and flexible alternative to “Fiber to the Home”.

 

Researchers have now set a new world record in wireless data transmission: For the first time, fully integrated electronic transmit-ters and receivers have been developed for a frequency of 240 GHz, which allows the transmission of data rates of up to 40 Gbit/s. This equals the transmission of a complete DVD in under a second or 2400 DSL16000 internet connections. Distances of over one kilometer have already been covered by using a long range demonstrator, which the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology set up between two skyscrapers as part of the project “Millilink”. “We have managed to develop a radio link based on active electronic circuits, which enables similarly high data rates as in fiber-optic systems, therefore allowing seamless integration of the radio link”, says Prof. Ingmar Kallfass, who coordinated the project at Fraunhofer IAF within the scope of a Shared Professorship between IAF and KIT. Since 2013, Kallfass is with the University of Stuttgart, where he continues to lead the project.

 

Using the high frequency range between 200 and 280 GHz not only enables the fast transmission of large volumes of data, but also results in very compact technical assembly. Since the size of elec-tronic circuits and antennae scales with frequency / wavelength, the transmitter and receiver chip only measures 4 x 1.5 mm⊃2;. The semi-conductor technology developed at Fraunhofer IAF, based on tran-sistors with high carrier mobility (HEMT), makes it possible to use the frequency between 200 and 280 GHz with active transmitters and receivers in the form of compact, integrated circuits. The at-mosphere shows low attenuation in this frequency range, which enables broadband directional radio links. “This makes our radio link easier to install compared to free-space optical systems for data transmission. It also shows better robustness in poor weather condi-tions such as fog or rain”, explains Jochen Antes of KIT.

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Making logic gates out of crabs

Making logic gates out of crabs | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
Building logic gates out of silicon is old hat, as is building them from discrete transistors, 555 chips, LEGO, and even gears.
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ScienceShot: Caffeine Improves Memory in Bees - ScienceNOW

ScienceShot: Caffeine Improves Memory in Bees - ScienceNOW | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
ScienceShot: Caffeine Improves Memory in Bees - ScienceNOW
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Valentine's Day Science: Oxytocin May Help Build Long-Lasting Love

Valentine's Day Science: Oxytocin May Help Build Long-Lasting Love | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
The hormone oxytocin increases empathy and communication, key to sustaining a relationship between mates
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The sinister Pauli Effect

The sinister Pauli Effect | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
Like branches of the military, branches of science are known to have a mostly good-natured rivalry with each other. Chemists will take jabs at physicists, who will scoff at biologists, who will laugh at chemists.
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What is it? Social Cells: Scientific American

What is it? Social Cells: Scientific American | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
Social cells: The slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum spends much of its time as an apparently typical microscopic single-celled amoeba, oozing around in wet soil as it grazes on bacteria.
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Do men really have higher sex drives than women?

Do men really have higher sex drives than women? | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
There is possibly no greater source of debate than the age-old question of whether men want sex more than women. But embedded in that debate are a host of other questions.
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Harvard Professor Finds That Innovative Ideas Spread Like The Flu; Here's How To Catch Them

Harvard Professor Finds That Innovative Ideas Spread Like The Flu; Here's How To Catch Them | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
You can hear it in the way we speak: Songs are infectious, trends are contagious, videos go viral. We use disease to describe data. Information acts like illness.
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Is Paris worth a mass?

Is Paris worth a mass? | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
IN THE 19th century, the heyday of European colonialism, those two great imperial rivals, Britain and France, agreed to carve up not merely the world, but the...
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NY Times Video: Online Learning, en Masse (MOOC's)

NY Times Video: Online Learning, en Masse (MOOC's) | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
More top colleges are offering free massive open online courses, but companies and universities still need to figure out a way to monetize them.
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Simple way to make stem cells in half an hour hailed as major discovery

Simple way to make stem cells in half an hour hailed as major discovery | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
Acid technique could lead to new era in regenerative medicine
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A game changer for regenerative medecine?

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Chinese Acupuncture Is "Theatrical Placebo", Study Finds

Chinese Acupuncture Is "Theatrical Placebo", Study Finds | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it

Pain is a big problem. If you read about pain management centers, you might think it had been solved. It has not, yet. And when no effective treatment exists for a medical problem, it leads to a tendency to clutch at straws. Research has shown that acupuncture is little more than such a straw.

 

Although it is commonly claimed that acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, it has not always been popular, even in China. For almost 1000 years, it was in decline, and in 1822, Emperor Dao Guang issued an imperial edict stating that acupuncture and moxibustion should be banned forever from the Imperial Medical Academy.

 

Acupuncture continued as a minor fringe activity in the 1950s. After the Chinese Civil War, the Chinese Communist Party ridiculed Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture, as superstitious. Chairman Mao Zedong later revived Traditional Chinese Medicine as part of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of 1966. The revival was a convenient response to the dearth of medically trained people in postwar China and a useful way to increase Chinese nationalism. It is said that Chairman Mao himself preferred Western medicine. His personal physician quotes him as saying “Even though I believe we should promote Chinese medicine, I personally do not believe in it. I do not take Chinese medicine.”

 

The political, or perhaps commercial, bias seems to still exist. It has been reported (by authors who are sympathetic to alternative medicine) that “all trials [of acupuncture] originating in China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were positive.”

 

Acupuncture was essentially defunct in the West until President Nixon visited China in 1972. Its revival in the West was largely a result of a single anecdote promulgated by journalist James Reston in the New York Times after he had acupuncture in Beijing for postoperative pain in 1971. Despite his eminence as a political journalist, Reston had no scientific background and evidently did not appreciate the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, or the idea of regression to the mean.

 

After Reston’s report, acupuncture quickly became popular in the West. Stories circulated that patients in China had open heart surgery using only acupuncture. The Medical Research Council (UK) sent a delegation, which included Alan Hodgkin, to China in 1972 to investigate these claims, about which they were skeptical. The claims were repeated in 2006 in a British Broadcasting Corporation TV program, but Simon Singh (author of Fermat’s Last Theorem) discovered that the patient had been given a combination of 3 very powerful sedatives (midazolam, droperidol, fentanyl) and large volumes of local anesthetic injected into the chest. The acupuncture needles were purely cosmetic.

 

Curiously, given that its alleged principles are as bizarre as those on any other sort of prescientific medicine, acupuncture seemed to gain somewhat more plausibility than other forms of alternative medicine. As a result, more research has been done on acupuncture than on just about any other fringe practice.

 

The outcome of this research, we propose, is that the benefits of acupuncture are likely nonexistent, or at best are too small and too transient to be of any clinical significance.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Smart organizations should also be stupid, according to new theory

Smart organizations should also be stupid, according to new theory | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
Critical reflection and shrewdness can help companies to avoid crises, but sometimes good old-fashioned stupidity can serve an important function in raising the efficiency of an organization, in a new theory of 'functional stupidity.'...
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ScienceShot: Humans Have a Tender Spot for Robots - ScienceNOW

ScienceShot: Humans Have a Tender Spot for Robots - ScienceNOW | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
ScienceShot: Humans Have a Tender Spot for Robots - ScienceNOW
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Pitch perfect

Pitch perfect | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
TWO years ago at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Janet Werker, from the University of British Columbia,...
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Finding Self-Discipline in Others: Scientific American

Finding Self-Discipline in Others: Scientific American | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
People who lack restraint seek out colleagues and friends who are not impulsive
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Polyandry is more common than we thought

Polyandry is more common than we thought | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
Polyandry occurs when, for whatever reason, a society emerges where women are permitted to marry more than one man at the same time. For decades, anthropologists believed that it was extremely rare.
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Noam Chomsky Explains Why Today's Republicans Would Call Nixon a Radical

Noam Chomsky Explains Why Today's Republicans Would Call Nixon a Radical | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
Why can everyone learn Portuguese? Are some aspects of our nature unknowable? Can you imagine Richard Nixon as a radical? Is Twitter a trivializer?
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Archaeologists Mistake Viking Brewhouses For Bathhouses

Archaeologists Mistake Viking Brewhouses For Bathhouses | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
For years, archaeologists studying Viking remnants and artifacts in Britain had assumed that certain stone structures were bathhouses, or a kind of primitive sauna.
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Funny Friday Science: People without Gene for Underarm Odor Still Wear Deodorant: Scientific American

Funny Friday Science: People without Gene for Underarm Odor Still Wear Deodorant: Scientific American | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
Societal norms often dictate the products people use even if they don’t need them
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Pot Smokers Might Not Turn Into Dopes After All: Scientific American

Pot Smokers Might Not Turn Into Dopes After All: Scientific American | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
Revisiting data casts doubt on the link between heavy cannabis use and declining IQ
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Safety of Induced Stem Cells Gets a Boost: Scientific American

Safety of Induced Stem Cells Gets a Boost: Scientific American | Science for the Rest of Us | Scoop.it
Fears of an immune response to replacement tissues have been overestimated, new research suggests, rejecting previous findings about possible side effects
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Good news!

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