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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

http://www.penny4nasa.org/

Why should I care?:


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Old 06-07-2014, 10:39 AM   #1846
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Id be down for one of these....





Scientists Create Shatterproof Phone Screens

New Electrode Could Lead to Shatterproof Smartphone Displays
(Photo : The University of Akron) A transparent layer of electrodes on a polymer surface could be extraordinarily tough and flexible, withstanding repeated scotch tape peeling and bending tests, providing for a shatterproof smartphone touchscreen.
Too many of us are carrying shattered phones because screens we can't afford new screens. However, scientists from the University of Akron may have discovered a solution to save fragile phones their dilapidated doom.

Lead researcher Yu Zhu, assistant professor of polymer science at University of Akron, and his team created a transparent electrode that could make phones shatterproof.

Zhu and his team found that that a transparent layer of electrodes on a polymer surface helps boost surface toughness and flexibility. Researchers said that latest findings were proven with repeated scotch tape peeling and bending tests.

Researchers said the latest study could transform and replace traditional touch screens, which have coatings that are made of brittle indium tin oxide (ITO). Not only are ITOs weaker, they are also more expensive to manufacture.

"These two pronounced factors drive the need to substitute ITO with a cost-effective and flexible conductive transparent film," Zhu said in a news release.

He noted that the new film will be just as transparent as the traditional ITO, and may even offer greater conductivity.

Study data revealed that the novel film retained its shape and functionality after being bent over 1,000 times. Researchers believe that the latest invention could be produced in cheap, mass-quantity rolls.

"We expect this film to emerge on the market as a true ITO competitor," Zhu says. "The annoying problem of cracked smart phone screens may be solved once and for all with this flexible touch screen."

The findings are published in the journal ACS Nano.
**** yes!!! This is to 1st-world nations what clean water is the 5th-world nations..
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:17 AM   #1847
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Don't think this has been posted yet. But very good news...



The House Passes a $435 Million Increase to NASA's Budget

Vote of 321-87 provides an extra $435 million above the President's 2015 request

After a multi-day floor debate, the House of Representatives passed its 2015 funding bill for Commerce, Justice, Science, and related agencies by a vote of 321-87. NASA, which is included in this bill, is provided with $17.9 billion—$435 million above the President's 2015 request and $250 million above its 2014 level. The accompanying committee report also directs the Planetary Science Division of NASA to receive a very strong $1.45 billion, nearly $185 million above the budget proposed by the President and very close to The Planetary Society's goal of $1.5 billion per year.

Marcia Smith at Space Policy Online has more details about the bill, including highlighting the four amendments that tried to take money away from NASA:

Four NASA-related amendments were defeated, three by voice vote and one by recorded vote.

Kildee (D-MI), reduce NASA's Exploration account by $10 million and shift the funds to the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center: defeated by voice vote.
Kildee (D-MI), reduce NASA's Exploration account by $15 million and shift the funds to Violent Crime Reduction Partnership Program: defeated by voice vote.
Cicilline (D-RI), reduce NASA's Construction account by $8.5 million and shift the funds to Safe Neighborhoods Program (crime prevention): defeated 196-212.
Kilmer (D-WA), reduce NASA's Aeronautics account by $2 million and shift the funds to Economic High Tech and Cyber Crime Prevention Program: defeated by voice vote.
CJS committee chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) and ranking member Chaka Fattah (D-PA) opposed all of them because they would have cut NASA funding, not because they disagreed with the alternative priorities advocated by the amendments' sponsors.

I think we can all agree with the motivations here, but we need to avoid raiding one of the few truly long-term, optimistic goals of the U.S. government.

A proposal for a 1% across the board cut to all agencies, proposed by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), was also defeated, fortunately.

The Senate has yet to release details about its proposed NASA budget for 2015, though it looks like we'll see the first draft next week. The full Senate must pass its own version of the budget and then reconcile it with the House, so there is still a ways to go, but so far things are looking quite good for Planetary Science and for NASA.

We should take a moment to appreciate what happened today. NASA got an increase (a small one, but an increase nonetheless) within the context tight fiscal policies in government. The CJS committee, led by Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA), made the NASA pie a little bigger, which supported an increase to NASA science, particularly planetary science. This is not a perfect bill (Commercial Crew receives too little funding in my opinion) but overall the House funded NASA at a stronger level than anyone predicted. It's easy to get angry at Congress for a lot of things, but we should also make sure to acknowledge when they do something good. Today is a good day for space advocates, NASA, and space science, and I hope it's the start of a trend leading into the future.

Take notes, Senate!
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:23 AM   #1848
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Maddest Scientists Of All Time



All of us are here because we ****ing love science. But, there are some who go a little overboard with the whole thing. If you are reading through these and thinking “where the hell was the ethics board?!” please remember that most of these happened at a time when they didn’t exist. In fact, they probably now exist because of batshit crazy mad scientists like these.

Hanging out with Nicolas Minovici

Execution by hanging has been around for thousands of years, but there are a lot of variables as to what actually happens to the human body when suspended by a noose. Nicolai Minovici, a scientists from Romania, had observed and analyzed about two hundred hangings, but he still felt that he was missing key data. After all, every case he analyzed resulted in the subject’s death, so there was no way to get a first-hand account. He felt the only way to get the answers he sought was to actually hang himself.

Over the course of two weeks, Minovici and his collaborators hanged themselves several times in order to see what it actually felt like. The ever-so-surprising result? It hurt. A lot. None of the researchers were able to tolerate the pain for more than a few seconds; a fact for which they apologized repeatedly. It’s okay. We’ll forgive that one.

The best part of waking up is fresh vomit in your cup!

Stubborn doesn’t even begin to describe Stubbins Ffirth, who was training to be a doctor in the early 1800s. He hailed from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which had fallen victim to a yellow fever epidemic a few years prior. Ffirth noticed that yellow fever cases were much more prevalent in the summer than in the winter and concluded that it must not be a contagious disease, otherwise there wouldn’t be that discrepancy. In order to prove his position, he collected bodily fluids from yellow fever patients including saliva, sweat, urine, blood and vomit.

He then began to pour these fluids into open wounds, into his eyes, ingesting it in pill form, and even drank vomit straight. Throughout all of this, he remained healthy and believed his results supported his hypothesis. Unfortunately, it was eventually discovered that the patients who supplied him with all of those bodily fluids were actually late-stage and no longer contagious. Either way. None of that shit is acceptable to do under any circumstances.

Yellow fever is more prevalent in the summer months because it is typically transmitted by mosquitos.

Stomach-eating bacteria are not a beverage

In the early 1980s, Robin Warren and Barry Marshall collaborated on the research of the bacteria of H. pylori and both predicted it was linked to certain ulcers and gastric cancer. This idea was not popular, as stomach acid was thought to be too hostile of an environment for bacteria to survive. The pair tried in vain to use the bacteria to cause ulcers in piglets, leaving Marshall frustrated. He then ingested the cultured bacteria thinking it could possibly contribute to gastric troubles a few years down the line. Instead, the results came within days.

In less than a week, Marshall developed nausea, bad breath from the bacteria’s waste, and considerable inflammation. The bacteria was then cultured out and he took a course of antibiotics two weeks after the onset of infection, after all of the necessary tests had been done. The pair published their results in 1985, though the link to gastric cancer had not been made at that time. In 2005, Marshall and Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery.

Have a heart

In the early 1930s, Werner Forßmann believed that a catheter could be inserted into the heart for delivering drugs and radiopaque dyes. He was unable to gain permission to test this idea, for the fear that interacting with the heart would end up killing the patient. In direct defiance of his department’s chief surgeon, Forßmann convinced the nurse responsible of the sterile supplies so he could just try it on himself, to show it could be done. Reluctantly, she agreed, though only if she could be the guinea pig so he would not operate on himself. If Forßmann’s boss couldn’t get him to listen, this nurse sure as hell wasn’t going to be successful either.

When the nurse was restrained on the operating table, he acted like he was using a local anesthetic on her arm, while he was actually doing it on himself. He made an incision just above the inside of his elbow and fished the catheter up through the antecubital vein into his right ventricle; a 65 centimeter-long journey. The nurse eventually caught on and assisted with the catheter’s placement. The pair then WALKED (!!) to the x-ray department to confirm it had been placed correctly. The next thirteen years included severe disciplinary action from the hospital, a change of field from cardiology to urology, a stint as a medical officer for the Nazis, getting caught as a US POW, working as a lumber jack after the war, and then a return to medicine as a country doctor.

The dangerous experiment was all worth it when Forßmann was jointly awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the development of the heart catheter.

Black widow spider bite

In 1933, Allan Walker Blair allowed a female black widow to bite him for a full 10 seconds in order to study the effects the venom would have on a grown man. He had difficulty breathing within minutes, due to the massive cramping that overtook his entire body. A couple hours later, he was rushed to the hospital due to a drastic loss of blood pressure, accompanied by sweating and collapsing on the floor, writhing in pain.

Despite the pure agony he was in, he managed to lie still long enough to have an electrocardiogram taken. He had taken one a few days prior to the spider bite in order to have a control comparison. Despite everything else, his heart remained relatively unchanged throughout the ordeal. It took several weeks for all of the symptoms to subside, but Blair did arrive at the ever-shocking conclusion that the venom of a female black widow is “dangerously poisonous for man." Duh.

Full stop, Doctor

Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in 1947, though nobody knew what would happen if the pilot needed to eject from the aircraft at those speeds. The sudden deceleration from ejecting was assumed to inflict more Gs than could be tolerated by the human body, and the pilot would die instantly. At the time, 18 Gs were thought to be the maximum a human could endure. Flight surgeon John Paul Stapp decided to use his body to determine how suddenly the pilots could decelerate and survive.

The US Air Force designed a sled that would rocket Stapp forward and then come to a sudden stop into a pool of water . Starting at 145 km/h (90 mph), the speed was gradually increased. By the time he ran his last trial at 1017 km/h (632 mph), he had suffered a host of injuries, including broken ribs, concussions, broken bones, migraines, and even lost his vision for a few days when his eyeballs nearly popped out of his head. He topped out experiencing 46.2 Gs, which is the equivalent of having a 3175 kg (7000 lb) elephant land on him.

Go eat worms

Giovanni Battista Grassi was performing an autopsy in 1878 when he noticed the the large intestine was filled with tapeworm eggs. At the time, it wasn’t entirely understood how tapeworm infections occurred, so he decided to try it out for himself. After making sure he wasn’t already infected, he ate about 100 of the eggs (that had been sitting in a dead man’s fecal matter, mind you) to see if the infections are caused by ingestion.

A month later, Grassi began exhibiting the signs of tapeworm infection, supporting his hypothesis. After clearing himself of the tapeworms, other parasitologists followed suit in a creepy rite of passage. Subsequent doctors kept trying to outdo one another by swallowing more eggs and allowing them to develop into maturity. This continued for many years, until almost everyone realized it was a pretty horrible plan. However, one researcher ingested the eggs taken from a reindeer brain as recently as 1984.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:28 AM   #1849
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Stephen Hawking Says A.I. Could Be Our 'Worst Mistake In History'



The world's most famous physicist is warning about the risks posed by machine superintelligence, saying that it could be the most significant thing to ever happen in human history — and possibly the last.

As we've discussed extensively here at io9, artificial superintelligence represents a potential existential threat to humanity, so it's good to see such a high profile scientist both understand the issue and do his part to get the word out.

Hawking, along with computer scientist Stuart Russell and physicists Max Tegmark and Frank Wilczek, says that the potential benefits could be huge, but we cannot predict what we might achieve when AI is magnified — both good and bad.

Writing in The Independent, the scientists warn:

Looking further ahead, there are no fundamental limits to what can be achieved: there is no physical law precluding particles from being organised in ways that perform even more advanced computations than the arrangements of particles in human brains. An explosive transition is possible, although it might play out differently from in the movie: as Irving Good realised in 1965, machines with superhuman intelligence could repeatedly improve their design even further, triggering what Vernor Vinge called a "singularity" and Johnny Depp's movie character calls "transcendence".

One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.

So, facing possible futures of incalculable benefits and risks, the experts are surely doing everything possible to ensure the best outcome, right? Wrong. If a superior alien civilisation sent us a message saying, "We'll arrive in a few decades," would we just reply, "OK, call us when you get here – we'll leave the lights on"? Probably not – but this is more or less what is happening with AI. Although we are facing potentially the best or worst thing to happen to humanity in history, little serious research is devoted to these issues outside non-profit institutes such as the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, the Future of Humanity Institute, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, and the Future Life Institute. All of us should ask ourselves what we can do now to improve the chances of reaping the benefits and avoiding the risks.

Read the entire article here.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:34 AM   #1850
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The Turing test has allegedly been overcome for the first time.

Computer becomes first to pass Turing Test in artificial intelligence milestone, but academics warn of dangerous future



A programme that convinced humans that it was a 13-year-old boy has become the first computer ever to pass the Turing Test. The test — which requires that computers are indistinguishable from humans — is considered a landmark in the development of artificial intelligence, but academics have warned that the technology could be used for cybercrime.

Computing pioneer Alan Turing said that a computer could be understood to be thinking if it passed the test, which requires that a computer dupes 30 per cent of human interrogators in five-minute text conversations.

Eugene Goostman, a computer programme made by a team based in Russia, succeeded in a test conducted at the Royal Society in London. It convinced 33 per cent of the judges that it was human, said academics at the University of Reading, which organised the test.

It is thought to be the first computer to pass the iconic test. Though other programmes have claimed successes, those included set topics or questions in advance.

A version of the computer programme, which was created in 2001, is hosted online for anyone talk to. (“I feel about beating the turing test in quite convenient way. Nothing original,” said Goostman, when asked how he felt after his success.)

The computer programme claims to be a 13-year-old boy from Odessa in Ukraine.

"Our main idea was that he can claim that he knows anything, but his age also makes it perfectly reasonable that he doesn't know everything," said Vladimir Veselov, one of the creators of the programme. "We spent a lot of time developing a character with a believable personality."

The programme's success is likely to prompt some concerns about the future of computing, said Kevin Warwick, a visiting professor at the University of Reading and deputy vice-chancellor for research at Coventry University.

"In the field of Artificial Intelligence there is no more iconic and controversial milestone than the Turing Test, when a computer convinces a sufficient number of interrogators into believing that it is not a machine but rather is a human," he said. "Having a computer that can trick a human into thinking that someone, or even something, is a person we trust is a wake-up call to cybercrime.

"The Turing Test is a vital tool for combatting that threat. It is important to understand more fully how online, real-time communication of this type can influence an individual human in such a way that they are fooled into believing something is true... when in fact it is not."

The test, organised at the Royal Society on Saturday, featured five programmes in total. Judges included Robert Llewellyn, who played robot Kryten in Red Dwarf, and Lord Sharkey, who led the successful campaign for Alan Turing's posthumous pardon last year.

Alan Turing created the test in a 1950 paper, 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence'. In it, he said that because 'thinking' was difficult to define, what matters is whether a computer could imitate a real human being. It has since become a key part of the philosophy of artificial intelligence.

The success came on the 60th anniversary of Turing's death, on Saturday.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:37 AM   #1851
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Ohh shit you guys!

Laser device can detect alcohol in cars, report authors in 'Journal of Applied Remote Sensing'

External laser device detects presence of alcohol vapors inside of a moving car



BELLINGHAM, Washington -- A new open-access article in the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing is garnering attention for research that could aid in the campaign to prevent drunk driving: a device that can detect alcohol in cars. The Journal of Applied Remote Sensing is published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

The article "Stand-off detection of alcohol in car cabins," by Jarosław Młyńczak, Jan Kubicki, and Krzysztof Kopczyński of the Military University of Technology in Warsaw, Poland, details experiments using an external laser device to detect the presence of alcohol vapors inside of a moving car. The device was constructed at the university's Institute of Optoelectronics based on previous research from a 2013 paper by the same authors.

Stand-off detection is a chemical and biological compound identification method using a laser that takes place at a distance from people to reduce the potential for damage. The authors note that the use of stand-off detection for chemical identification is already described in many papers, but that developments in the types of lasers that can be used in this application have been made in recent years, including "eye-safe" microchip lasers.

"This work illustrates how remote sensing technologies affect our everyday life," said Marco Gianinetto of the Politecnico di Milano, an associate editor with the journal. "We all are already familiar with laser instruments used by the police for speed-limit enforcement. Now these researchers have demonstrated how a laser device could be effectively used for detecting drunken drivers and thereby helping to reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol. In the future, a similar technology may be developed to detect different chemical compounds, enabling the detection of drivers under the influence of other intoxicants."

The use of the device is simple: The laser system is set up on the side of the road to monitor each car that passes by. If alcohol vapors are detected in the car, a message with a photo of the car including its number plate is sent to a police officer waiting down the road. Then, the police officer stops the car and checks for signs of alcohol using conventional tests.

The authors note that the device would likely also identify cars where the driver is sober but the passengers are not, or if there is spilled alcohol in the car, but that the device "will surely decrease the number of cars that have to be checked by police and, at the same time, will increase efficacy of stopping drunken drivers."

The device was tested with a car deployed on the road while the laser stayed in the laboratory next to an open window, making it possible to extensively monitor the device.

The researchers simulated alcohol vapor coming from a human lung by evaporating a water solution of alcohol of an appropriate concentration and at an appropriate temperature. The results showed that the presence of alcohol vapors was detected at concentrations of 0.1% and greater.

"From the practical point of view, there seem to be some countermeasures, such as driving with windows open, solar screens on the side windows, etc., that can be applied by drivers to deceive the system," the authors wrote in their conclusion. "However, such situations are very easily detected by the system, which sends this information to the policeman indicating that the car should be checked."

Other issues, including driving with air-conditioning or fans, will be investigated in the next stages of the ongoing project, as well as addressing commercialization concerns including creating a device that is more compact, robust and user-friendly.

The Journal of Applied Remote Sensing is published under Editor-in-Chief Ni-Bin Chang of the University of Central Florida, in the SPIE Digital Library, which contains nearly 400,000 articles from SPIE journals, proceedings, and books, with approximately 18,000 new research papers added each year. Abstracts are freely searchable, and an increasing number of full journal articles are published with open access.

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 256,000 constituents from approximately 155 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided more than $3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2013.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:57 PM   #1852
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What if we could simply genetically alter mosquitos to cause their eventual extinction? Mad science, or realistic possibility?

GM mosquitoes a ‘quantum leap’ towards tackling malaria

New technique injects mosquitoes with a gene that results in mostly male offspring, eventually leading to a population crash

Scientists have hailed the genetic modification of mosquitoes that could crash the insect’s populations as a “quantum leap” that will make a substantial and important contribution to eradicating malaria.

Previous efforts to tackle the disease, that kills more than 1 million people each year – most of whom are African children – have included bed nets to protect people and insecticides to kill the mosquito species most responsible for the transmission of malaria (Anopheles gambiae).

The new technique by a team at Imperial College London involves injecting mosquitoes with a gene that causes the vast majority of their offspring to be male, leading to an eventual dramatic decline in population within six generations as females disappear.

“You have a short-term benefit because males don’t bite humans [and transmit malaria],” Andrea Crisanti, one of the authors of the new research, which was published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, told the Guardian.

“But in the long term you will eventually eradicate or substantially reduce mosquitoes. This could make a substantial contribution to eradicating malaria, combined with other tools such as insecticides.”

The scientists injected mosquitoes with a gene from slime mould – a homing endonuclease called I-PpoI – which attached itself to their X chromosome during the male’s sperm-making process and effectively shredded part of the chromosome’s DNA. The result was that more than 95% of the mosquitoes offspring were males. The researchers found that the modified mosquitoes mated with wild mosquitoes, creating fertile mosquitoes which then overwhelmingly produced male offspring, passing on the gene.

“Under field conditions the accumulation of X chromosome damage would significantly contribute to the demise of target populations,” the scientists say in their paper.

“The engineering is a quantum leap in terms of what has been done before,” said Crisanti, who worked on previous research in 2008, which took a similar approach but unintentionally resulted in sterile mosquitoes, meaning the gene’s ability to spread was limited. Imperial College London also published work in 2011 on a distinctly different approach to impair the fertility of mosquitoes generally, rather than distorting the makeup of their sex.

Nikolai Windbichler, a research fellow at Imperial College London and co-author, said that the concept of distorting the sex of a pest’s population is more than 50 years old but that the technology had not been available until now to execute the idea.

“The concept was suggested by Bill Hamilton [the famous evolutionary biologist, W.D. Hamilton], but until now there wasn’t a way to realise it. There are selfish chromosomes around but they’re too complicated, so we created something like this from scratch [the homing gene using synthetic biology], he said. “We found mosquitoes have a genetic achilles heel.”



More: http://www.theguardian.com/environme...ion?CMP=twt_gu
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:03 PM   #1853
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Something I've always suspected. I never had allergies until I moved away from the farm.

Newborns exposed to dirt, dander, germs may have lower allergy, asthma risk



Infants exposed to rodent and pet dander, roach allergens and a wide variety of household bacteria in the first year of life appear less likely to suffer from allergies, wheezing and asthma, according to results of a recent study. Those who encounter such substances before their first birthdays seem to benefit rather than suffer from them. Importantly, the protective effects of both allergen and bacterial exposure were not seen if a child's first encounter with these substances occurred after age 1, the research found.

Infants exposed to rodent and pet dander, roach allergens and a wide variety of household bacteria in the first year of life appear less likely to suffer from allergies, wheezing and asthma, according to results of a study conducted by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and other institutions.

Previous research has shown that children who grow up on farms have lower allergy and asthma rates, a phenomenon attributed to their regular exposure to microorganisms present in farm soil. Other studies, however, have found increased asthma risk among inner-city dwellers exposed to high levels of roach and mouse allergens and pollutants. The new study confirms that children who live in such homes do have higher overall allergy and asthma rates but adds a surprising twist: Those who encounter such substances before their first birthdays seem to benefit rather than suffer from them. Importantly, the protective effects of both allergen and bacterial exposure were not seen if a child's first encounter with these substances occurred after age 1, the research found.

A report on the study, published on June 6 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, reveals that early exposure to bacteria and certain allergens may have a protective effect by shaping children's immune responses -- a finding that researchers say may help inform preventive strategies for allergies and wheezing, both precursors to asthma.

"Our study shows that the timing of initial exposure may be critical," says study author Robert Wood, M.D., chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. "What this tells us is that not only are many of our immune responses shaped in the first year of life, but also that certain bacteria and allergens play an important role in stimulating and training the immune system to behave a certain way."

The study was conducted among 467 inner-city newborns from Baltimore, Boston, New York and St. Louis whose health was tracked over three years. The investigators visited homes to measure the levels and types of allergens present in the infants' surroundings and tested them for allergies and wheezing via periodic blood and skin-prick tests, physical exams and parental surveys. In addition, the researchers collected and analyzed the bacterial content of dust collected from the homes of 104 of the 467 infants in the study.

Infants who grew up in homes with mouse and cat dander and cockroach droppings in the first year of life had lower rates of wheezing at age 3, compared with children not exposed to these allergens soon after birth. The protective effect, moreover, was additive, the researchers found, with infants exposed to all three allergens having lower risk than those exposed to one, two or none of the allergens. Specifically, wheezing was three times as common among children who grew up without exposure to such allergens (51 percent), compared with children who spent their first year of life in houses where all three allergens were present (17 percent).

In addition, infants in homes with a greater variety of bacteria were less likely to develop environmental allergies and wheezing at age 3.

When researchers studied the effects of cumulative exposure to both bacteria and mouse, cockroach and cat allergens, they noticed another striking difference. Children free of wheezing and allergies at age 3 had grown up with the highest levels of household allergens and were the most likely to live in houses with the richest array of bacterial species. Some 41 percent of allergy-free and wheeze-free children had grown up in such allergen and bacteria-rich homes. By contrast, only 8 percent of children who suffered from both allergy and wheezing had been exposed to these substances in their first year of life.

Asthma is one of the most common pediatric illnesses, affecting some 7 million children in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By the time they turn 3, up to half of all children develop wheezing, which in many cases evolves into full-blown asthma.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:04 PM   #1854
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So what type of species that eats mosquitoes will starve to death and go extinct?
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:04 PM   #1855
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:05 PM   #1856
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So what type of species that eats mosquitoes will starve to death and go extinct?
Who gives a shit?
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:08 PM   #1857
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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Reality

Scientists Selectively Erase And Restore Memories

In a groundbreaking new study, researchers at the University of California, San Diego erased and then reactivated memories by stimulating neurons in the brains of genetically engineered rats with a series of light pulses that have been previously shown to strengthen or weaken the connections between brain cells. This is the first study to be able to directly show that the strengthening or weakening of these connections, called synapses, is the underlying basis for memory. The study has been published in Nature.

Neurons communicate with each other via synapses, which are the tiny gaps between cells that permit the flow of information in the form of a chemical or electrical signal. Early research found that repeated electrical stimulation of neurons within a brain region called the hippocampus enhanced the ability of these cells to communicate with neighbors. This process is called long-term potentiation (LTP), and it has long been suspected that this is the underlying basis of memory formation. Despite decades of research, however, no one has unequivocally demonstrated that this is the case.

For this study, a team of researchers led by UCSD neuroscientist Roberto Manilow first engineered rats so that their brain cells produced a light sensitive protein which could be activated by a pulse of light delivered by an optical fiber implanted into the brain. They then used this optogenetics to condition the rats to associate pain with optical stimulation by delivering light pulses to certain neuronal populations and then shocking the rats. The rats quickly began to associate the optical stimulation with pain and displayed fear responses when the neurons were stimulated. The scientists were able to demonstrate telltale signs of LTP by looking at chemical changes in the neurons.

Next, the team stimulated the same neurons but with a different, low-frequency sequence of light pulses that had been previously demonstrated to reverse LTP by weakening the synaptic connections, which is known as long-term depression (LTD). When the mice were given the optical stimulation that they originally associated with pain they no longer elicited a fear response, suggesting that the original memory was erased. The team was able to then reactivate the memories by delivering high-frequency light pulses that triggered LTP, and then erase them again. “We were playing with memory like a yo-yo,” Manilow said in a news-release.

The results of this study are therefore finally able to demonstrate a causal link between LTP, LTD and memory. “We can cause an animal to have fear and then not have fear and then to have fear again by stimulating the nerves at frequencies that strengthen or weaken the synapses,” said lead author Sadegh Nabavi in a news-release.

This discovery may also have applications in the field of Alzheimer’s research since, according to Manilow, the beta-amyloid protein fragment that builds up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients also weakens synapses in a similar manner to how the low-frequency stimulation in this study removed memories. “So this line of research could suggest ways to intervene in this process,” he added.


Read more at http://www.iflscience.com/brain/scie...WiKR4YQKKPG.99
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:17 PM   #1858
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You can develop allergies spontaneously in adulthood? I did not know that.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:10 PM   #1859
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This one is old but it is one of the more mind blowing ones I have seen lately.

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Old 06-10-2014, 04:22 PM   #1860
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The Turing test has allegedly been overcome for the first time.
I'm not going to call this a pass. Less than one-third of people, after only being allowed to communicate by text for 5 minutes, thought they were talking to a child.
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