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თქვენი ღონისძიების ჩასატარებლად ეროვნულ სამეცნიერო ბიბლიოთკაში, გთხოვთ, შეავსოთ სააპლიკაციო ფორმა და გადგმოგზავნოთ ელექტრონულ მისამართზე: infopr@sciencelib.ge

მსოფლიო სამეცნიერო სიახლეები

Kitty Hawk Flyer: 'A big drone that a human can fit in'

BBC Technology - 10 საათი 11 წთ-ს წინ
A look inside the Kitty Hawk Flyer, a new flying car from the firm backed by Google's Larry Page.
კატეგორიები: ახალი ტექნოლოგიები

A billion-year-old lake could help find alien life

Futurity.org - 11 საათი 29 წთ-ს წინ

A sample of ancient oxygen from a 1.4 billion-year-old evaporative lake deposit in Ontario provides fresh evidence of what the Earth’s atmosphere and biosphere were like leading up to the emergence of animal life, according to new research.

The findings, which appear in the journal Nature, represent the oldest measurement of atmospheric oxygen isotopes by nearly a billion years. The results support previous research suggesting that oxygen levels in the air during this time in Earth history were a tiny fraction of what they are today due to a much less productive biosphere.

“It has been suggested for many decades now that the composition of the atmosphere has significantly varied through time,” says Peter Crockford, a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science who led the study as a PhD student at McGill University. “We provide unambiguous evidence that it was indeed much different 1.4 billion years ago.”

Earth atmosphere historyAn image of the history of life and atmospheric oxygen on Earth over its 4.6 billion year history. The magnifying glass shows a picture of cyanobacteria that would have dominated life on Earth across much of the Proterozoic beginning around 2.4 billion years ago. On the far right is an image of the Earth that highlights vegetation on the continents and cholorphyll concentrations in the ocean. What the new study shows is that these colors would have been much less vibrant in Earth’s deep past due to a smaller biosphere. (Credit: McGill)

The study provides the oldest gauge yet of what earth scientists refer to as “primary production,” in which micro-organisms at the base of the food chain—algae, cyanobacteria, and the like—produce organic matter from carbon dioxide and pour oxygen into the air.

Our planet, 1.4 billion years ago

“This study shows that primary production 1.4 billion years ago was much less than today,” says senior coauthor Boswell Wing, an associate professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder who helped supervise Crockford’s work at McGill.

“This means that the size of the global biosphere had to be smaller, and likely just didn’t yield enough food—organic carbon—to support a lot of complex macroscopic life,” says Wing.

To come up with these findings, Crockford teamed up with colleagues who had collected pristine samples of ancient salts, known as sulfates, found in a sedimentary rock formation north of Lake Superior.

The work also sheds new light on a stretch of Earth’s history known as the “boring billion” because it yielded little apparent biological or environmental change.

Oxygen had to fight a ‘war’ for Earth’s atmosphere

“Subdued primary productivity during the mid-Proterozoic era—roughly 2 billion to 800 million years ago—has long been implied, but no hard data had been generated to lend strong support to this idea,” notes study coauthor Galen Halverson, an associate professor of earth and planetary sciences.

“That left open the possibility that there was another explanation for why the middle Proterozoic ocean was so uninteresting, in terms of the production and deposit of organic carbon.” Crockford’s data “provide the direct evidence that this boring carbon cycle was due to low primary productivity.”

Beyond Earth

The findings could also help inform astronomers’ search for life outside our own solar system.

“For most of Earth history our planet was populated with microbes, and projecting into the future they will likely be the stewards of the planet long after we are gone,” says Crockford.

“Understanding the environments they shape not only informs us of our own past and how we got here, but also provides clues to what we might find if we discover an inhabited exoplanet,” he says.

New strategy for finding alien life goes beyond oxygen

Researchers from Yale University; the University of California, Riverside; Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario; and Louisiana State University also contributed to the work.

Funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Fonds de recherche du Québec—Nature et Technologies, and the University of Colorado Boulder supported the research.

Source: McGill University

The post A billion-year-old lake could help find alien life appeared first on Futurity.

What causes ‘brain freeze’ when you eat ice cream?

Futurity.org - 11 საათი 31 წთ-ს წინ

Although ice-cold drinks and ice cream can cause sharp, shooting mouth pain and the occasional “brain freeze,” the two reactions are completely unrelated, says neurologist Roderick Spears.

“Brain freeze starts with a cold stimulus, such as ice cream, touching the palate, the roof of the mouth,” says Spears, a clinician in the neurology department in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The cold temperature causes vasoconstriction, when blood vessels constrict or shrink quickly.

“This pain can last for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. But there’s an easy way to avoid it.”

But this isn’t what causes brain freeze. Instead, the pain comes from a rapid warming process called vasodilation, during which the vessels rebound back to regular size to counteract the initial rapid cooling. This signal heads to the brain via the trigeminal nerve. Because the trigeminal nerve is responsible for facial sensation, people often perceive this ice cream-related discomfort in the forehead or face.

“This pain can last for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes,” says Spears. “But there’s an easy way to avoid it.” Slow down. A study published in BMJ discovered that brain freeze occurs more frequently when people consume ice cream quickly.

Such a solution can’t help someone whose teeth hurt from sensitivity to the cold, however, explains Panagiota Stathopoulou, a periodontist with Penn Dental Medicine. People with healthy teeth and gums shouldn’t experience tooth sensitivity, she says. If this is happening, it could indicate that something is wrong.

“When someone experiences tooth pain or sensitivity, pain stimuli comes in contact with the tooth either directly or indirectly,” says Stathopoulou, an assistant professor of periodontics and director of the postdoctoral periodontics program.

The tissue inside the root canal of the tooth, called the pulp, contains nerves that are responsible for the sharp, uncomfortable feelings some people occasionally experience when they consume cold food and drinks.

“This is not fun…”

Several problems can cause consistent and painful tooth sensitivity. Each tooth has several layers. The exterior layer is a hard white covering called enamel. Just beneath the enamel, a softer, bony tissue called dentin makes up the bulk of the tooth. And dentin wraps around the pulp cavity, which contains living tissue and nerves.

The enamel serves as the pulp’s first layer of defense, with dentin as backup. But dentin is porous and contains tunnels called tubules, which enable the pulp to communicate with the tooth’s exterior. Normally, such communication is crucial, but when enamel breaks down those tubules allow all external oral stimuli, including ice cream, cold beer, even air, to travel directly through the porous dentin and into the pulp.

“This is not fun,” says Stathopoulou. “Additionally, the root of the tooth is normally protected by our gums. But if our gums recede, then we’ve lost that defense as well. Gum recession is often caused by overzealous brushing, and if it’s minor this problem can be solved easily by using a softer brush, better technique, and desensitizing toothpaste.”

You probably can’t tell how much fat is in ice cream

Desensitizing toothpastes contain high levels of fluoride, potassium, and other ingredients and often resolve minor sensitivity problems, but some issues require more complicated treatments.

Stathopoulou says that someone who experiences acute tooth pain or persistent tooth sensitivity should see a dentist to rule out more serious causes like a cavity or cracked tooth.

Source: Penn

The post What causes ‘brain freeze’ when you eat ice cream? appeared first on Futurity.

Fortnite: Schools 'could learn lessons from gaming'

BBC Technology - 11 საათი 33 წთ-ს წინ
Should teachers in Wales adopt some of the techniques from gaming to make lessons more engaging?
კატეგორიები: ახალი ტექნოლოგიები

Antarctic seabed site gets protection after reporter's submarine trip

BBC Sci-Tech video - 11 საათი 35 წთ-ს წინ
Video of a seabed filmed by a BBC journalist has helped the area get special protection.

Life before Google

BBC Technology - 11 საათი 38 წთ-ს წინ
This is how people did their jobs before having all the answers at the tips of their fingers.
კატეგორიები: ახალი ტექნოლოგიები

Who buys the most political ads on Facebook?

Futurity.org - 12 საათი 9 წთ-ს წინ

Donald Trump and Planned Parenthood are the top recent advertisers and young men were targeted most often, according to a new analysis of Facebook and Instagram political advertising.

“We wanted to quickly give voters easy tools to understand who is advertising and what they are advertising…”

Using complex data scraping methods, cybersecurity researchers analyzed more than 267,000 political ads that primarily ran between May 2018 and July 2018. They developed tools to enable the public to do their own analyses, using weekly updates that the researchers plan to conduct through the November elections.

Initial findings reveal the top recent political advertisers and their minimum impressions and spending:

  1. The Trump Make America Great Again Committee: 4,127 ads, 26.4 million impressions, $190,400
  2. Planned Parenthood Federation of America: 3,389 ads, 24.5 million impressions, $188,800
  3. AAF Nation, LLC (manufacturer of political-themed clothing): 862 ads, 18.4 million impressions, $78,900
  4. National Rifle Association: 213 ads, 18.3 million impressions, $58,000
  5. Beto for Texas (Democrat running for Senate): 377 ads, 13.0 million impressions, $194,400
  6. Priorities USA Action and Senate Majority PAC: 2,794 ads, 12.9 million impressions, $120,600
  7. NowThis (liberal-leaning media company): 35 ads, 11.6 million impressions, $7,400
  8. Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.: 5,396 ads, 11.3 million impressions, $83,700
  9. 4Ocean, LLC (focused on reducing ocean pollution): 78 ads, 10.6 million impressions, $68,200
  10. Care2 (creates social networking around causes): 557 ads, 10.1 million impressions, $99,900

The data also reveal substantial online advertising by candidates in congressional and state races.

The researchers found Facebook and Instagram users viewed political ads at least 1.4 billion times—and impressions may have reached nearly 3.9 billion. (Facebook’s data provide only ranges.)

Advertisers targeted males aged 25-34 most frequently. The most ads per capita appeared in Washington, DC, followed by Nevada, Colorado, and Maine. The fewest appeared in Delaware, Nebraska, and New Hampshire.

facebook impressions A heat map showing how Facebook political advertising varied widely from state to state. (Credit: NYU)

Political spending equaled at least $13.9 million and could have been five times that—the uncertainty is due to the ranges provided in the original data. A significant number of ads—43,573—did not comply with Facebook’s new requirement that political ads list sponsors and were therefore shut down, but the researchers’ daily archiving captured these “unvetted sponsor” ads.

The researchers note that some of the offenders may have been caught off guard by the policy change. They also note that while Facebook reduced the time it takes to shut down these ads from 26.4 days to 5.6 days, the delay remains longer than the ads typically run.

The team reported the top five unvetted sponsors as identified by Facebook and their minimum impressions and spending:

  1. American AF: 253 ads, 8.2 million impressions, $103,800
  2. National Rifle Association of America/NRA: 56 ads, 7.9 million impressions, $78,500
  3. I’ll Go Ahead and Keep My Guns, Thanks (listed as a media company): 26 ads, 7.6 million impressions, $120,300
  4. China Xinhua News: 44 ads, 6.8 million impressions, $6,000
  5. Walmart: 18 ads, 5.8 million impressions, $51,900

Next, the team plans to use its complex data scraping methods to reveal similar information for Twitter.

Damon McCoy, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at New York University conceived the Online Political Ads Transparency Project to build easy-to-use tools to collect, archive, and analyze political advertising data.

Although Facebook became the first major social media company to launch a searchable archive of political advertising, for both Facebook and Instagram, in May 2018, McCoy found the archive required time-consuming manual searches. He decided to apply versions of the data scraping techniques he had previously used against criminals, including human traffickers who advertised and used Bitcoin.

Political attack ads have more power against women

McCoy and his team praised Facebook for its pioneering transparency in establishing a public archive and its plan to launch an API—an app interface—that will enable large-scale analysis; however, Facebook has not specified when in 2018 it will launch this API.

“We wanted to quickly give voters easy tools to understand who is advertising and what they are advertising, as well as how much is being spent to influence votes and the targets of the ads,” McCoy says.

You can visit the project’s website here and download the project’s data here.

Collaborators on the Online Political Ads Transparency Project are from NYU.

Source: NYU

The post Who buys the most political ads on Facebook? appeared first on Futurity.

Drugs could destroy super-strong bacterial armor

Futurity.org - 12 საათი 14 წთ-ს წინ

Scientists have previously overlooked the astonishing physical strength of the thin outer membrane that clings to E. coli‘s stout cell wall, according to a new study.

For over a century, scientists have studied E. coli, one of the bacteria that cause food poisoning, as a model for fighting infections. Such research has led to a variety of antibiotics that penetrate the protective cell walls of bacteria to kill them.

The new research, however, reveals that E. coli has managed to keep a big secret about its defenses.

Scientists had long known that many bacteria have outer membranes. But until now researchers thought of it like a layer of shrink wrap that simply made it tougher to get antibiotics into cells. But as the new study shows, the outer membrane physically protects the cell and could be a good target for a new class of antibacterial drugs.

“We’ve discovered that the outer membrane can act as a suit of armor that is actually stronger than the cell wall,” says K. C. Huang, an associate professor of bioengineering and of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University. “It’s humbling to think that this function had been hiding in plain sight for all these years.”

Huang says the findings suggest new infection-fighting strategies for the roughly half of all bacterial species that, like E. coli, have outer membranes.

“If we can attack the outer membrane, infectious bacteria will be pre-weakened for targeting with antibiotic treatments that disrupt cells in other ways,” he says.

Behind the shield

All bacteria have a cell wall that surrounds and protects the cell’s inner workings. Many decades ago, scientists discovered that E. coli and many other bacteria have an additional layer, called an outer membrane, that surrounds their cell walls.

Since its discovery, this outer membrane has been used as a way to classify bacteria into those that do and do not react to a common staining technique, called a Gram stain. Bacteria with outer membranes do not react to the chemical stain are called Gram-negative. Bacteria with naked cell walls react to the stain and are classified as Gram-positive.

Both kinds of bacteria can become infectious and, when this occurs, the presence or absence of an outer membrane can also help determine how responsive they will be to antibiotics. Gram-negative bacteria—which have outer membranes—tend to be more resistant to antibiotics.

“Scientists knew that outer membranes were chemical shields,” Huang says. “Thus, it was easy to relegate this third layer to an annoyance when dosing the cell with antibiotics.”

Tests of strength

In recent years, however, researchers have had clues that the outer membrane is more important than they’d thought. In one study, Huang’s lab removed E. coli‘s cell wall but left its outer membrane intact. Unsurprisingly, the bacteria lost their cucumber shape and became blobs. But a large fraction of these blobs survived, multiplied and ultimately regenerated new cucumber-shaped E. coli.

“…a strong outer membrane is the difference between life and death…”

Enrique Rojas, a former postdoctoral scholar in Huang’s lab and first author of the new paper, says that study was a clue that the outer membrane must play important structural and protective roles.

“We just listened to the data. Science is about data, not dogma,” says Rojas, now an assistant professor of biology at New York University.

Over the last four years, the group members tested the outer membrane’s structural powers.

They suddenly collapsed the pressure inside the bacteria, but instead of causing the cell wall to massively shrink, as prevailing assumptions would have predicted, they found that the outer membrane was strong enough to almost entirely maintain E. coli‘s cucumber shape.

In other experiments, they put E. coli cells through two hours of rapid increases and decreases in pressure. E. coli cells normally shrug off these repeated insults and grow as if no changes at all had occurred. However, when the researchers weakened the outer membrane, cells died quickly.

‘Smart antibiotics’ kill C. diff and spare good bacteria

“The presence or absence of a strong outer membrane is the difference between life and death,” Huang says.

The experiments identified a handful of components that give the outer membrane its surprising strength. Drugs that destabilize the deceptively thin outer layer could help destroy infectious bacteria, Huang says.

New insights

Huang adds that the findings are part of an emerging field of study called mechanobiology. Whereas scientists once viewed cells as sacks of chemicals to study by chemical means, today a confluence of tools reveal the infinitely complex structural properties that make cells and organs tick.

“It’s a very exciting time to be studying biology,” Huang says. “We are approaching the point at which our tools and techniques are becoming precise enough to discern, sometimes at almost the atomic level, the physical rules that give rise to life.”

Watch how bacteria ‘harpoon’ DNA to develop drug resistance

The research appears in Nature.

Additional coauthors are from Stanford; the University of California, San Francisco; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Funding for the research came from the National Institutes of Health; the National Science Foundation; the Stanford Systems Biology Center and Simbios Center for Physics-Based Computation at Stanford; the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; the Swiss National Science Foundation; and the Allen Discovery Center program through the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group.

Source: Stanford University

The post Drugs could destroy super-strong bacterial armor appeared first on Futurity.

More people opt in for colorectal cancer screening by mail

Futurity.org - 12 საათი 21 წთ-ს წინ

Sending tests in the mail can boost rates of colorectal cancer screening, research shows.

In collaboration with the Mecklenburg County Health Department in Charlotte, researchers with UNC Lineberger’s Carolina Cancer Screening Initiative examined the impact of targeted outreach to more than 2,100 people insured by Medicaid who were not up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening.

The project resulted in a nearly 9 percentage point percent increase in screening rates for patients who received a screening kit in the mail compared with patients who just received a reminder, and it demonstrated that their method could serve as a model to improve screening on a larger scale. The findings appear in the journal Cancer.

50,600 deaths each year

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 97,000 people will receive a colorectal cancer diagnosis in the United States this year, and the disease will result in approximately 50,600 deaths. It is third most common type of cancer in the United States, and the second leading cause of cancer death.

“Preventive care amongst vulnerable populations rarely rises to the top of the mental queue of things that need to get done.”

While colorectal cancer screening has proven effective in reducing cancer deaths, researchers report too few people are getting screened. Current guidelines from ACS recommend regular screening with either a high-sensitivity stool-based test or a structural (visual) exam for average-risk people aged 45 years and older, and that colonoscopy should follow all positive results.

Despite these recommendations, studies have identified notable gaps in screening rates, including by race, geographic region, and other socioeconomic factors. Among patients who are insured, people with Medicaid have the lowest rates of colorectal cancer testing.

“There has been a national push to increase colorectal cancer screening rates since colorectal cancer is a preventable disease, but screening rates are only about 63 percent, and low-income, and otherwise vulnerable populations, tend to be screened at even lower rates,” says first author Alison Brenner, research assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine’s internal medicine department.

Test kits in the mail

For the project, researchers either mailed reminders about colorectal cancer screening and instructions on how to arrange one with the health department, or reminders plus a fecal immunochemical test, or FIT kit, which can detect blood in the stool—a symptom of colon cancer. The patient completes the test at home and returns it to a provider for analysis. Patients who have a positive FIT kit result will be scheduled for a colonoscopy.

The researchers worked with the Mecklenburg County Health Department staff, who coordinated the reminders and mailings and ran the test analyses. They also partnered with Medicaid care coordinators to provide patient navigation support to patients who had abnormal test results and required a colonoscopy.

Twenty-one percent of patients who received FIT kits in the mail completed the screening test, compared with 12 percent of patients who just received a reminder. Eighteen people who completed FIT tests had abnormal results, and 15 of those people were eligible for a colonoscopy. Of the 10 who completed the colonoscopy, one patient had an abnormal result.

“Preventive care amongst vulnerable populations rarely rises to the top of the mental queue of things that need to get done,” Brenner says. “In North Carolina, many Medicaid recipients are on disability. Making something like colorectal cancer screening as simple and seamless as possible is really important. If it’s right in front of someone, it’s more likely to get done, even if there are simple barriers in place.”

Next steps

Brenner says the study shows the potential to harness resources like the county health department for health prevention services.

These bacteria may nudge colorectal cancer to spread

The researchers plan to move forward to study whether they can implement their approach on a larger scale, and to understand all of the cost implications, says Stephanie Wheeler, associate professor in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the study’s senior author.

“This is looking at expanding the medical neighborhood—to harness community resources to target patients and in this case, insured patients, who are maybe not getting this from a primary health care organization, and how to increase screening rates in these types of vulnerable populations,” Brenner says.

UNC Lineberger supported the study through a Tier 2 Stimulus Award, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network. Individual researchers had support from the National Institutes of Health and the University of North Carolina Royster Society of Fellows.

Source: UNC-Chapel Hill

The post More people opt in for colorectal cancer screening by mail appeared first on Futurity.

More Americans agree on going green than you might think

Futurity.org - 12 საათი 24 წთ-ს წინ

While the United States is deeply divided on many issues, there is remarkable consensus on climate change, according to new research.

“But the American people are vastly underestimating how green the country wants to be,” says Jon Krosnick, a professor of communication and of political science at Stanford University, about new findings from a poll he led on American attitudes about climate change.

“The majority doesn’t realize how many people agree with them…”

Researchers conducted the study with ABC News and Resources for the Future, a Washington, DC-based research organization. They polled a representative sample of 1,000 American adults nationwide from May 7 to June 11, 2018. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points.

The poll showed that Americans don’t realize how much they agree about global warming: Despite 74 percent of Americans believing the world’s temperature has been rising, respondents wrongly guessed 57 percent.

“The majority doesn’t realize how many people agree with them,” says Krosnick. “And this may have important implications for politics: If people knew how prevalent green views are in the country, they might be more inclined to demand more government action on the issue.”

Breaking the numbers down along party lines, although Republicans and Democrats differ on the issue, the poll revealed that the gap is not as large as people perceive.

For example, 57 percent of Republicans believe the world’s temperature has probably been increasing over the past 100 years, and 66 percent believe that humans either mostly or partly caused the increase. However, respondents—which included Republicans, Democrats, and independents—thought only 43 percent of the Republican base perceived that the world’s temperature was probably going up.

Respondents also underestimated Democrats’ opinions. Respondents thought 69 percent of Democrats believed global warming has probably been happening, but in reality, the proportion is much higher at 89 percent.

Steady belief in climate change

“Public belief in the existence and threat of global warming has been strikingly consistent over the last 20 years, even in the face of a current administration skeptical about climate change,” says Krosnick, who has been tracking public opinion about global warming since 1995.

“…Americans continue to send a strong signal to government about their preferences on this issue.”

To coincide with the release of the 2018 survey data, Krosnick has launched a comprehensive website with findings from surveys he has conducted over 20 years. Included are detailed graphs that show how attitudes toward climate issues and policy have trended over time.

Among the most striking findings of the new poll is that the proportion of Americans who say the issue is extremely important to them personally is at an all-time high: 20 percent (up 7 points from 2015), with 56 percent saying it’s either very important or somewhat important.

“Twenty percent of Americans might seem like a small group, but these are people who wake up every morning saying, ‘Another day, another opportunity to do something about climate change,'” Krosnick says. These people are overwhelmingly on the green side of the issue: Some 68 percent say that government should do more. “These are the folks who put pressure on government to take action, and that group has been growing.”

What policies Americans support

The researchers also asked survey participants about what climate policies they support.

Despite US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, some 81 percent of respondents believe that the country should try to cut the greenhouse gases that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere to meet the target in that agreement. A majority of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere today comes from carbon dioxide—which is released from burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil).

Political split on climate change isn’t so wide after all

One option to reduce greenhouse gas accumulations is to regulate those emissions through taxation.

More than two-thirds of survey respondents (67 percent) say the federal government should require companies to pay taxes for every ton of greenhouse gases they emit. In addition, some 78 percent say that a tax should be levied on oil, coal, or natural gas imported by a company from another country.

“Large majorities support some policy approaches and oppose others,” Krosnick says. “For example, the public objects to increasing taxes on gasoline and electricity designed to reduce consumption, perhaps because those taxes guarantee an increase in what consumers pay without a guarantee that emissions will actually be reduced.”

In the survey, people overwhelmingly favored renewable energy over the traditional oil industry. For example, 81 percent support tax breaks to companies that produce electricity from water, wind and solar power. Americans also see an opportunity for future employment within this sector: 69 percent say the better way for the government to encourage job creation is by developing renewable energy rather than encouraging fossil fuel use.

The researchers also found broad distrust in the traditional energy sector. For example, 78 percent believe that oil companies have not been honest about their products’ role in global warming and think the companies have tried to cover it up. Their doubt is also reflected when it comes to creating American jobs: Only 21 percent believed that protecting the traditional energy industry was the better way for job growth.

What role should courts have in fighting climate change?

“This survey is an exciting next step in our 20-year-old survey research program and documents that Americans continue to send a strong signal to government about their preferences on this issue.”

Funding for this research came from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, and Resources for the Future.

Source: Stanford University

The post More Americans agree on going green than you might think appeared first on Futurity.

Alcohol-related cirrhosis deaths skyrocket in young adults

ScienceDaily Med - 12 საათი 30 წთ-ს წინ
Liver disease deaths jumped by 65 percent in the United States, from 1999-2016, disproportionately affecting adults ages 25-34. The increase in deaths among young adults was driven entirely by alcohol-related liver disease, according to a new study.
კატეგორიები: მედიცინა

Switching to certain antidiabetic drugs linked to increased risk of major complications

ScienceDaily Med - 12 საათი 30 წთ-ს წინ
For people with type 2 diabetes, switching to sulfonylurea drugs to control blood sugar levels is associated with an increased risk of complications compared with staying on the drug metformin, a new study finds.
კატეგორიები: მედიცინა

Des substances toxiques dans les tampons et les serviettes hygiéniques

LeMonde - bio, environ, sciences - 12 საათი 51 წთ-ს წინ
L’Agence de sécurité sanitaire recommande aux fabricants d’éliminer ces composés chimiques aux effets cancérogènes ou perturbateurs endocriniens.

Why websites still break at the worst possible times

Popsci.com - Technology - 13 საათი 36 წთ-ს წინ
dog Technology

Even the mighty Amazon isn't immune from system failures.

This is why even big companies like Amazon still sometimes have issues with their websites.

As brain extracts meaning from vision, study tracks progression of processing

MIT Top News - 14 საათი 1 წთ-ს წინ
Here’s the neuroscience of a neglected banana (and a lot of other things in daily life): Whenever you look at its color — green in the store, then yellow, and eventually brown on your countertop — your mind categorizes it as unripe, ripe, and then spoiled. A new study that tracked how the brain turns simple sensory inputs, such as “green,” into meaningful categories, such as “unripe,” shows that the information follows a progression through many regions of the cortex, and not exactly in the way many neuroscientists would predict. The study, led by researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, undermines the classic belief that separate cortical regions play distinct roles. Instead, as animals in the lab refined what they saw down to a specific understanding relevant to behavior, brain cells in each of six cortical regions operated along a continuum between sensory processing and categorization. To be sure, general patterns were evident for each region, but activity associated with categorization was shared surprisingly widely, say the authors of the study published in the  Proceedings of the National Academy of Science . “The cortex is not modular,” says Earl Miller, Picower Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. “Different parts of the cortex emphasize different things and do different types of processing, but it is more of a matter of emphasis. It’s a blend and a transition from one to the other. This extends up to higher cognition.” The study not only refines neuroscientists’ understanding of a core capability of cognition, it also could inform psychiatrist’s understanding of disorders in which categorization judgements are atypical, such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders, the authors said. Scott Brincat, a research scientist in Miller’s Picower lab, and Markus Siegel, principal investigator at the University of Tübingen in Germany, are the study’s co-lead authors. Tübingen postdoc Constantin von Nicolai is a co-author. From seeing to judging In the research, animals played a simple game. They were presented with shapes that cued them to judge what came next — either a red or green color, or dots moving in an upward or downward direction. Based on the initial shape cue, the animals learned to glance left to indicate green or upward motion, or right to indicate red or downward. Meanwhile the researchers were eavesdropping on the activity of hundreds of neurons in six regions across the cortex: prefrontal (PFC), posterior inferotemporal (PIT), lateral intraparietal (LIP), frontal eye fields (FEF), and visual areas MT and V4. The team analyzed the data, tracking each neuron’s activity over the course of the game to determine how much it participated in sensory vs. categorical work, accounting for the possibility that many neurons might well do at least a little of both. First they refined their analysis in a computer simulation, and then applied it to the actual neural data. They found that while sensory processing was largely occurring where classic neuroscience would predict, most heavily in the MT and V4, categorization was surprisingly distributed. As expected the PFC led the way, but FEF, LIP and PIT often showed substantial categorization activity, too. “Our findings suggest that, although brain regions are certainly specialized, they share a lot of information and functional similarities,” Siegel says. “Thus, our results suggest the brain should be thought of as a highly connected network of talkative related nodes, rather than as a set of highly specialized modules that only sparsely hand-off information to each other.” The patterns of relative sensory and categorization activity varied by task, too. Few neuroscientists would be surprised that V4 cells were particularly active for color sensation while MT cells were active for sensing motion, but perhaps more interestingly, category signals were more widespread. For example, most of the areas were involved in in categorizing color, including those traditional thought to be specialized for motion. The scientists also note another key pattern. In their analysis they could discern the dimensionality of the information the neurons were processing, and found that sensory information processing was highly multi-dimensional (i.e. as if considering many different details of the visual input), while categorization activity involved much greater focus (i.e. as if just judging “upward” or “downward”). Cognition in the cortex The broad distribution of activity related to categorization, Miller speculates, might be a sign that when the brain has a goal (in this case to categorize), that needs to be represented broadly, even if the PFC might be where the judgement is made. It’s a bit like in a business where everyone from the CEO down to workers on the manufacturing floor benefit from understanding the point of the enterprise in doing their work. Miller also says the study extends some prior results from his lab. In a previous study he showed that PFC neurons were able to conduct highly-multidimensional information processing, while in this study they were largely focused on just one dimension. The synthesis of the two lines of evidence may be that PFC neurons are able to accommodate whatever degree of dimensionality pursuing a goal requires. They are versatile in how versatile they should be. Let all this sink in, the next time you consider the ripeness of a banana or any other time you have to extract meaning from something you perceive. The work was supported by National Institute of Mental Health, European Research Council, and the Center for Integrative Neuroscience.

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ScienceDaily Med - 14 საათი 3 წთ-ს წინ
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ScienceDaily Plants&Animals - 14 საათი 3 წთ-ს წინ
In a new study that challenges scientists' presuppositions about the carbon cycle, researchers find that tiny organisms may be playing in outside role in the way carbon is circulated throughout the ocean.
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