Lab News

Bill Nye is going to march on Washington

Popular Science - 30 March 2017 - 5:30pm
Science

The Science Guy joins the March for Science

When scientists gather to march in support of research and truth on April 22, Bill Nye the Science Guy will be right there with them. Read on:…
Categories: Life Science News

Video Games Are Making Teenagers More Sexist, Says New Study

The Huffington Post UK - 30 March 2017 - 4:07pm

As anyone who has ever played Grand Theft Auto can attest video games have not, in the past, exactly been known as bastions of female empowerment and equality.

With interaction between men and women in games like GTA limited to three options – paying women for sex, looking at them, or killing them - it’s not exactly the makings of a feminist manifesto.

And now new research has shown this depiction is actually having a small but measurable impact on the levels of sexism among teenagers.

The team from Iowa State University studied 13,000 teenagers from schools in Lyon and Grenoble, France, who played an average of two hours a day.

They then then asked them whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement: “A woman is made mainly for making and raising children.”

Participants who spent more time playing video games were more likely to agree.

While they didn’t analyse what games they were playing specifically, the team point out that previous studies have found that as many as 80% of all female characters in popular games are portrayed as sexualised and scantily clad.

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Douglas Gentile, professor of psychology who worked on the study, says these images are sending a powerful message: “Many different aspects of life can influence sexist attitudes. It was surprising to find a small but significant link between gameplay and sexism. 

“Video games are not intended to teach sexist views…nonetheless, much of our learning is not conscious and we pick up on subtle cues without realising it.”

They also looked at the influence of television and religion, and said that religion and sexism was also three times higher than video games.

But TV was found to be unrelated to sexism, Gentile says this may be evidence of the growing number and variety of female character roles on TV compared to two decades ago. 

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Categories: Life Science News

Here’s how air pollution kills 3,450,000 people a year

Popular Science - 30 March 2017 - 3:31pm
Health

Coal is costly

As the president rolls back regulations that keep our air clean, how will air pollution hurt the global population? Read on:…
Categories: Life Science News

New tyrannosaur had a sensitive side

Science News - 30 March 2017 - 3:00pm
Tyrannosaurs may have had sensitive snouts that detected temperature and touch.
Categories: Life Science News

Climate change contributes to mental illness

Popular Science - 30 March 2017 - 1:30pm
depressed man Health

It makes us a little nuts

A new report highlights the ways in which climate change can hurt our mental health. Read on:…
Categories: Life Science News

You Can Now Get Your Domino's Delivered By A Robot

The Huffington Post UK - 30 March 2017 - 1:09pm

Few things are more disappointing than opening up a takeaway pizza box to find that your pepperoni feast is a soggy cold mess.

Domino’s has now found a novel way to streamline the delivery process, ensuring that your pizza arrives swiftly, intact and piping hot: robots.

Following in the tracks of Just Eat, the US pizza giant has signed a partnership with Starship Technologies, developers of an autonomous delivery robot.

Starship claims that its robots can make deliveries within 1 mile of restaurants within 15-30 minutes of an order being placed, travelling at up to 6 kph.

Each robot boasts both 3G and GPS built-in and an array of cameras and sensors to make sure it doesn’t roll into pedestrians.

Domino’s CEO outlined the thinking behind the partnership in a press release: 

“Robotic delivery units will complement our existing delivery methods, including cars, scooters and e-bikes, ensuring our customers can get the hottest, freshest-made pizza delivered directly to them, wherever they are.

“With our growth plans over the next five to 10 years, we simply won’t have enough delivery drivers if we do not look to add to our fleet through initiatives such as this.”

Sadly, the service is currently only operating with six robots in Germany and Holland, but if it’s a success you could see the little bots rolling down pavements across Europe in coming years.

If you live out in the sticks, miles from your nearest Domino’s, you needn’t feel left out. Last year the firm started testing drone deliveries in rural New Zealand. If regulation allows it, the service could be rolled out in other countries soon. 

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Categories: Life Science News

Virtual Reality Is Being Used To Decrease Pain In Hospital Patients

The Huffington Post UK - 30 March 2017 - 1:07pm

Virtual reality is able to significantly reduce pain levels by “hijacking” the senses of hospital patients, without the need for drugs, according to new research.

The team in Los Angeles took one hundred patients from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, all of whom reported pain levels above a score of three on the numeric pain scale.

They gave half of them access to VR, which consisted of ‘calming’ video content of helicopter rides over Iceland or swimming with whales (although that does sound a little stressful if you ask us). 

While the other 50% just watched a two-dimensional nature video.

Those patients who had virtual reality therapy claimed to have experienced a 24% drop in their pain levels after using the virtual reality goggles. While the video patients only reported a 13.2% drop. 

Brennan Spiegel, Director Of Health Services Research, said: “Results indicate virtual reality may be an effective tool along with traditional pain management protocols, This gives doctors and patients more options than medication alone.”

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While it is not currently known how virtual reality works to reduce pain, it is thought that ‘immersive distraction’ plays a major role.

This is when the mind is so deeply engaged in an immersive experience it becomes difficult, if not impossible to perceive stimuli other than pain.

The VR intervention was only around 15 minutes long in these trials and just included one visualiation, so the team speculates it is possible that pain could rebound afterwards.

Trials to test longer-term treatment are currently ongoing, and suggest that patients might require repeated exposure to get the full benefits.

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Categories: Life Science News

For kids, daily juice probably won’t pack on the pounds

Science News - 30 March 2017 - 1:00pm
An analysis of existing studies suggests that regular juice drinking isn’t linked to much weight gain in kids.
Categories: Life Science News

SpaceX To Make History By Launching First 'Used' Rocket Into Space

The Huffington Post UK - 30 March 2017 - 12:24pm
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SpaceX hopes to make history today by launching the first ‘used’ rocket back into space.

The recycled Falcon 9 rocket was originally used last year and then safely brought back to Earth.

Today though it will hopefully be re-used, affirming SpaceX’s vision to create a rocket that can be launched into space, land itself and then be reused again.

It sounds simple enough on paper but when you realise just how mind-bogglingly hard it is to put an object into space you start to realise just how ambitious that vision is.

The conditions that a rocket experiences when it goes into orbit and then has to re-enter the atmosphere are staggering, which is why until now most rockets are considered one-use objects.

This has meant that traditionally rocket launches like these come with pretty astronomical price tags, something that Elon Musk and SpaceX are hoping to reduce, drastically. Indeed SpaceX is already offering a discount to its customer for this launch.

The rocket will be transporting a telecoms satellite into space that will provide a range of TV and telecommunications services to the Caribbean, Central and South America.

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One of the main reasons clients are so behind reusable rockets is the speed of turnaround.

There are simply too few opportunities for companies to place objects in space, leading to considerable queues. By creating rockets that can be launched, landed and turned around in a reasonable window it should greatly increase the quantity of launches and in turn reduce the price.

Incredible Astronomy Photographs From 2016

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Categories: Life Science News

Apple iOS 10.3 Update Protects iPhones From Fake Ransomware

The Huffington Post UK - 30 March 2017 - 12:10pm
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The latest update for the iPhone’s operating system thwarts cybercriminals’ attempts to con users with fake ransomware.

Hackers have been exploiting a bug to display an ‘irremovable’ pop-up in Safari that accused people of accessing illegal pornography or pirating music.

The message demanded users pay £100 in the form of an iTunes gift card to unlock the browser screen.

While the popup appears to be irremovable, clearing the browser cache was enough to banish it.

The security researchers who first exposed the trick, which runs using JavaScript code, explained in a blog:

“The attack doesn’t actually encrypt any data and hold it ransom. Its purpose is to scare the victim into paying to unlock the browser before he realizes he doesn’t have to pay the ransom to recover data or access the browser.”

Professor Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert at Surrey University told the BBC that people were wrong to assume that Apple devices are invulnerable:

“This shines a light on the fact that nothing is invulnerable. JavaSript is cross-platform and it’s a matter of how you manage it.”

If the patch isn’t enough to convince you to download iOS 10.3, it’s worth bearing in mind that users have reported extra storage space after updating.

The update boasts a new file management system that could be responsible for freeing up valuable storage space.

The update also includes a nifty feature that locates users’ AirPods when they go amiss.

Here’s hoping 10.4 does something about iPhone’s pitiful battery life, but we won’t be holding our breath... 

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Categories: Life Science News

Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin Spacecraft Is Even More Luxurious Than We'd Expected

The Huffington Post UK - 30 March 2017 - 12:08pm
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Tourists rocketing into space aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spacecraft are in for a pretty luxurious ride.

The Amazon founder’s space firm has just released the first images of the craft’s interior and it looks so much comfier than conventional rocket ships.

In a press release, Bezos said that each passenger who pays to board New Shepard will be offered a window seat to take in the incredible views of Earth.

And those windows are the largest of any craft to ever have flown into space.

Blue Origin hasn’t yet revealed how much it will charge space tourists, but Richard Branson’s rival Virgin Galactic is charging $250,000 (£201,000) a pop.

Unmanned test missions have already begun and the firm could start taking passengers to suborbital heights by the end of this year, Mashable reported.

Bezos has previously said he has ambitions to see millions of people living and working in space, describing it as a “worthwhile goal”. 

Like SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private space firm, Blue Origin relies on rockets that can be flown several times in a bid to drastically reduce costs.

Nearly a year ago, the firm captured the moment the New Shepard Rocket made a rapid fast descent landing. It’s well worth a watch. 

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Categories: Life Science News

Does brushing your teeth affect your appetite?

Popular Science - 29 March 2017 - 10:11pm
Health

It's complicated

There’s no evidence that brushing your teeth has any effect on the hormones that regulate a person’s appetite. Read on:…
Categories: Life Science News

The devastating effects of childhood lead exposure could last a lifetime

Popular Science - 29 March 2017 - 9:12pm
kid playing Health

Even moderate exposure might lower IQ

Even modest exposure to lead as a kid causes a decline in IQ points—and career opportunities—with effects lasting well into middle age. Read on:…
Categories: Life Science News

Mosquito flight is unlike that of any other insect

Science News - 29 March 2017 - 9:00pm
High-speed video and modeling reveal a more complex understanding of mosquito flight.
Categories: Life Science News

Thinning ice creates undersea Arctic greenhouses

Science News - 29 March 2017 - 8:00pm
Arctic sea ice thinned by climate change increasingly produces conditions favorable for phytoplankton blooms in the waters below, new research suggests.
Categories: Life Science News

Neandertals had an eye for patterns

Science News - 29 March 2017 - 8:00pm
Neandertals carved notches in a raven bone, possibly to produce a pleasing or symbolic pattern, scientists say.
Categories: Life Science News

Asteroid in Jupiter's orbit goes its own way

Science News - 29 March 2017 - 7:00pm
Asteroid shares Jupiter’s orbit around the sun but travels in the opposite direction as the planet.
Categories: Life Science News

Social Media Can Change Lives - For Better Or Worse

The Huffington Post UK - 29 March 2017 - 6:05pm
all women everywhere Imagine if you walked down the street today and every single person along the way said exactly what they thought of you out loud, to your face? Whatever they liked, about what you were wearing, about your new pixie cut - it would be shocking and devastating. Responding without a filter out loud, online, is exactly like shouting at someone on the street - so every time we step onto the street we need to be prepared for that. I share a lot of glimpses of me and my life online, but not intimate details of my home and family life. For me social media has been a positive force. I get to share what interests me with people who want to discover it, whether that be work, clothes, cats or a cause I'm championing. One-line moments of my life aren't the same as opening myself up. Once you invite strangers into your life and become intimate with them there is no turning back, even when you want to switch off. People absorb what you say and see their own life reflected in what they're reading, which is why everything becomes so personal. I don't share me, I just share my interests and that means that when I get the shouting from the strangers on the street I can just ignore them. There is an instinctive human trait to want to be liked and understood, and having an opportunity to explain who you are, and why you're like who you are, is addictive. Getting instant approval and feedback from people who view life through the same lens is instantly gratifying, but it's not nourishing or healthy to believe in people we don't know. There is no forgiveness on Twitter. In real life words disappear in the air; on social media, they are there forever - you can delete your tweet but others can then still have ownership over your words through a timely screen grab or a re-tweet. An innocent mistake, a flippant remark, a tweet poorly wordsmithed can change your life in a moment. And there are no shades of grey. For those who type how they think, or don't think before they type, the tide can turn towards them, and those who previously championed their voices might try to silence them. If you are feeling you can defend your choices, or explain your life in 140 characters, it's not enough. When you type be ready to act too. The power of words can transform into action. The power of social media as activism is simply an amazing thing. If you have a strong enough message you can use it for the benefit of others; reaching those who have the same voice, to drive awareness and charity campaigning. When news needs to travel fast there is nothing like Twitter. An idea can spread in minutes. Some friends and I wanted to help the refugees in Calais and in two weeks, purely through the power of Twitter and social media, 'Help Refugees' aid arrived in Calais. But we have to be careful that we don't replace activism with a status update. It's so easy to make a bold statement online and feel like you're actively adding to a cause, movement or view. But moaning on Facebook to 500 people you haven't seen for 10 years isn't being socially minded, it's having a rant to people who don't really care. Typing your feelings is a temporary relief; getting a 'like' can be an instant way to salve your conscience, but it's not changing anything. If you're experiencing sexism in the work place, then walk in and confront it. Don't anonymize it online. The Cows, by Dawn O'Porter, is published by HarperCollins on 6th April. HuffPost UK is running a month-long project in March called All Women Everywhere, providing a platform to reflect the diverse mix of female experience and voices in Britain today Through blogs, features and video, we'll be exploring the issues facing women specific to their age, ethnicity, social status, sexuality and gender identity. If you'd like to blog on our platform around these topics, email ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com

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Categories: Life Science News

Why The People Complaining About Video Technology In Football Are Wrong, And Should Embrace The Future

The Huffington Post UK - 29 March 2017 - 5:41pm
21:08 BST 28/03/17 - Antoine Griezmann sees his goal against Spain ruled out for offside by a video assistant referee, or VAR, after initially being awarded by the referee. 21:08:01 BST 28/03/17 - Twitter, radio airwaves and pubs across the country are full of absolute bores complaining that video technology is ruining football, has ruined football, will ruin football, and is probably why their wives left them for someone whose face couldn't be mistaken for a particularly large, lumpy tomato. 08:45 BST 29/03/17 - As above, but on Facebook, finally. Technology being introduced to football has been a thorny subject for about as long as technology has... well, existed, really. Goalline technology caused the most recent fan kerfuffle when it was slowly introduced at the start of the decade, with (it turned out) unfounded fears that the system would hinder the 'flow' of the game. Less than four seasons on, it's hard to imagine the Premier League without it. Games have swung - unlike in the past, looking hard at Pedro Mendes here - based on correct decisions rather than guesswork and mistakes. Technology, once again, has succeeded. The arguments against the VAR have been more or less identical. 'It's a danger to the flow of the game'. 'Bad decisions are just a part of the sport'. 'I live in Sunderland and have never seen anything that isn't steam-powered in my life'. The arguments are different to the real reasons though - those are trickier to get into. The two overriding reasons people seem averse to video technology in football are the sense of tradition and the distrust of the unknown. Those are hard to form logical arguments around though, so we get 'flow of the game' and 'part of the sport' bollocks. How much do football games actually flow? It is - unsurprisingly, perhaps - less than you might guess. In the 2010 World Cup, the ball was in play for an average of 54 minutes per game. Even without allowing for injury time, that's only 60% of the 90 minutes featuring 'actual football'. What flow? (For the record, the 2014 World Cup - the first with goal-line technology - saw that figure jump to 57.6 minutes, or 64% of the game.) FIFA's own guidelines on VAR usage make the point that, when reviewing goal decisions, the ball is already out of play. Watching Griezmann's non-goal on Tuesday night, the French players were still celebrating and beginning to jog back to the halfway line when the decision was overturned. The technology couldn't have worked more perfectly - the right decision was made and the game wasn't obstructed in any way. Equally - as with any offside call or non-call - the ball was dead and the game was stopped when Gerard Deulofeu's goal later in the game was given by the VAR. That didn't stop hordes of people online complaining about...what, exactly? A vague sense of ennui? Having nothing to complain about? These are the same - the exact same, search their timelines - people who rant and rave at 'disgraceful' referees for getting marginal decisions wrong. They fume at a touch-tight judgement call going against their team. Now, when there's a system to eradicate clear mistakes, it's the end of football as we know it? The guidelines for VAR usage are simple and clear. There are four situations where the assistant can make a decision. ​To check, after a goal, that there is no clear reason for it to be disallowed. To make sure there are no clear mistakes made in the award - or non-award - of a penalty. To ensure there are no clearly wrong decisions made in the decision to send off - or not send off - a player. To avoid a scenario where a referee disciplines the wrong player for an offence. That's it. That's all. It's not hard. These are all decisions which take time out of the game for a break in play in any case. They can't break a flow that literally doesn't already exist. If you need a kicker, just look at the commercial side of things. Football is a multi-billion business now, and the money men just can't justify their investments being dashed to pieces on the basis of one simple human error. It works for fans. It works for businesses. It has to happen. Stop being a pr*ck. Accept video assistant referees. Let football get a little bit better. ​

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Categories: Life Science News

Gene editing of human embryos yields early results

Science News - 29 March 2017 - 5:30pm
Gene editing in embryos has started in labs, but isn’t ready for the clinic.
Categories: Life Science News

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