Simfish/InquilineKea's Thoughts

Science News
July 26, 2009, 7:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

science news: (more recent first)

(more @ )

My selection tends to be strongly biased along the lines of neuroscience, genetics, astrophysics, transhumanism, and animal behavior

edited: now i think i’m going to put up links. if a link’s dead, better to just keep it since ppl can google it elsewhere


Battle of the bugs leaves humans as collateral damage

Dogs can potentially sniff out prostate cancer

diabetes => twice rate of memory loss in 5 years

video games do not make MOST people more violent (only those with low agreeableness, high neuroticism, low conscientiousness)

Nature promotes vitality in people, study finds

the media finds life on titan. sort of…

Dolphins Use Diplomacy in Their Communication, Biologists Find

children abandon egalitarianism and develop meritocratic attitudes as they enter adolescence (after age 12)

People with Asperger’s less likely to see purpose behind the events in their lives

Astronomers discover ‘defiant’ new supernova

Anti-aging supplements may be best taken not too late in life

Odds 1-in-3 for Northwest Mega-Quake Within 50 Years

Pollutants Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes

Only Processed Meat Boosts Diabetes And Heart Disease

Ravens Console Each Other After Fights

JPL Diagnosing Voyager 2 data 8.6 billion miles from Earth

Gulf Coast May Be Permanently Changed by Oil Spill

Specific odors that represent food or indicate danger are capable of altering an animal’s lifespan and physiological profile by activating a small number of highly specialized sensory neurons

fruits/vegetables do not lower risk of cancer (except among heavy smokers/drinkers)

Self Esteem Peaks At Age 60

Early Earth absorbed more sunlight — no extreme greenhouse needed to keep water wet (also, another hypo: the fractal haze)

Exotic “Electroweak” Star Predicted

Elite Few Can Multitask Driving And Cell Phone

cracked: 5 Creepy Ways Video Games Are Trying to Get You Addicted (one of the best cracked articles ever, even if unrelated to science news)

First Microbes Colonized Land by Using Fat For Protection

A new 3-D map of the interstellar gas within 300 parsecs from the sun

Brain dopamine receptor density correlates with social status

“Super Earth” May Really Be New Planet Type: Super-Io

Dolphins Smarter, More Self-Aware than Previously Realized (in fact, >> chimpanzees)

Thorium, the Next Nuclear Fuel?


thorium nuclear reactors > uranium

voyager 2 finds that magnetic field just outside solar system is larger than anticipated (explaining why the local interstellar cloud still exists). direction of B is different than anticipated

octopuses use coconut shells as tools

fructose definitively shown to increase abdominal fat

sleep deprivation => orexin => beta amyloid => alzheimer’s

small amounts of beta amyloid necessary for memory

physically fit => higher IQ

2008: dual-n-back => higher fluid IQ

electroweak stars

“time-keeping” neurons discovered

“harm” ratings of drug users closely parallel “harm ratings” of researchers (in the lancet)

mostly vegetarian spider

more bisphenol a dangers

amphetamine use in adolescence may impair adult working memory

birds in captivity lose hippocampal mass

infections possibly responsible for most cancers

distant earthquakes can weaken faults thousands of miles away

removing abdominal fat improves biomarkers associated with “syndrome x”

hazardous air pollution inside tunnels

Obese older people have smaller brains than non-obese old people. (also overweight = 4% smaller; obese = 8% smaller)

social rejection causes pain similar to physical pain (interesting how this ties into swearing => pain relief)

stressed rats settle in routines and don’t try innovative solutions

very low carb diet (+high protein) => arteriosclerosis

Our moral thermostat – why being good can give people license to misbehave

swearing => pain relief

Calorie restriction => extended lifespan in rhesus macaques + total prevention of diabetes

Seagulls eating LIVING whale tissue

Betelgeuse with reduced size

16 year old has the physiological+mental age of a toddler, has never aged since then

london taxi drivers may have larger hippocampus, but at expense of spatial ability in some subtests (cuz brain region allocation may crowd out allocation of other things)

6-minutes of intensive exercise sufficient to replicate benefits of regular exercise

body remembers high lvls of glucose for 2 weeks

Feb 2009:

Kepler planet-finding mission launched

NASA assigns priority to Europa mission

US CO2 satellite fails to launch

US satellite collides w/ Russian satellite

slow earthquakes in pacific northwest are synchronized with shear stress (or something i forgot)

Jan 2009:

google earth used by swiss police to find marijuana field

The radiative forcing potential of different climate geoengineering options

cassini affirms liquid hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon rain on titan’s lakes – but questions arise as to where the hydrocarbons come from (since there’s only enough to last for 10 million years)

birds survived dinosaur extinctions possibly due to larger brains

Global Warming Irreversible, NOAA Scientist Finds

Eat less, remember more

omega-6s might not contribute to inflammation (too much speculation based solely on its contribution to arachidonic acid)

Scientists Rank Global Cooling Hacks

dolphins use elaborate rituals to prepare cuttlefish

“There was a graded association with average sleep duration: participants with less than 7 hours of sleep were 2.94 times…more likely to develop a cold than those with 8 hours or more of sleep. ”

At M.I.T., Large Lectures Are Going the Way of the Blackboard

For Fats, Longer May Not Be Better

Elderly may have higher blood pressure in cold weather

Rats prefer Manhattan topology to New Orleans topology

Pelicans falling “off” the sky along the West coast

“A lot of the world’s e-waste is exported to Guiyu, China, where peasants heat circuit boards over coal fires to recover lead (a 15″ computer monitor can pack up to 7 lbs. of Pb), while others use acid to burn off bits of gold.”

Bush signs unprecedented ocean protection bill

Brain Scans Show Some Remain Deeply In Love For Decades

[NYT] Charles Murray: Should the Obama Generation Drop Out?


Killer Raven Swarms Attacking Farm Animals

– Hobbyists are trying genetic engineering at home

– scientists say anti-cousin marriage laws outdated

– nature editorial: it is perfectly acceptable for people to use drugs to cognitively enhance themselves

– study: over 5 yr period, 34% of those with < 5 hrs of sleep/day developed calcified plaques in their arteries. 7% of control group with normal sleep did. 11% of people with slightly less sleep did.

– when u feel sleepy – parts of ur brain have already fallen asleep

– oceans acidifying 10x faster than previously thought

– amoeba can form multicellular organisms of hetereogenous genotypes (although they want similar genotypes). usually there are 4 living cells for every dead cell

– extinct penguin discovered through DNA analysis (not through fossils) – 500 yrs extinct

– cognitive distance. other people, greater distances, greater temporal distances, tasks requiring more self-control => all are cogntively distant. the stroop test helps measure this.

– Long-term memories may be preserved in neurons by a process called DNA methylation

– mineral kingdom has co-evolved with life

– exercise pill

– photosynthetic slug (Gene Regulation in Primates Evolves under Tissue-Specific Selection Pressures:)

– myelin deteriorates after age 39

– Rats check their own knowledge before taking a test

– Group Bragging Betrays Insecurity, Study Shows

– “Spinner dolphins have long been known for their teamwork in capturing prey but a new study using high-tech acoustics has found that their synchronization is even more complex than scientists realized and likely evolved as a strategy to maximize their energy intake.”

– “The means by which proteins provide a ‘border control’ service, allowing cells to take up chemicals and substances from their surroundings, whilst keeping others out, is revealed in unprecedented molecular detail for the first time, in the journal Science.”

– “The human intestine detects potential poisons passing into it – and may take action to reduce the harm they cause.”

– aspies are more rational in a particular game theory-based game

– “Religiosity Curbs Teen Marijuana Use By Half, National Study Finds”

– “Cell Protein Suppresses Pain Eight Times More Effectively Than Morphine”

– “Are the elites more polarized? Yes!”

– “Antisocial Kids Have Less Cortisol In Stressful Situations”

– only 68 molecular building blocks are used to construct these four fundamental components of cells: the nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), proteins, glycans and lipids,’

– bisphenol-A => diabetes

– magpies recognize themselves in mirrors

– rhea has rings!

– more evidence of calorie restriction working; more evidence of vitamin D helping; more evidence that vitamin C and E don’t in megadoses

– elephants recognize themselves in mirrors

– chimps hunt with spears


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