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  • November 25, 2015
  • 07:40 PM

Closing the loop on an HIV escape mechanism

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Nearly 37 million people worldwide are living with HIV. When the virus destroys so many immune cells that the body can’t fight off infection, AIDS will develop. The disease took the lives of more than a million people last year.... Read more »

Lu, M., Hou, G., Zhang, H., Suiter, C., Ahn, J., Byeon, I., Perilla, J., Langmead, C., Hung, I., Gor'kov, P.... (2015) Dynamic allostery governs cyclophilin A–HIV capsid interplay. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201516920. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1516920112  

  • November 22, 2015
  • 11:45 PM

Radicalization, expertise, and skepticism among doctors & engineers: the value of philosophy in education

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

This past Friday was a busy day for a lot of the folks in Integrated Mathematical Oncology here at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Everybody was rushing around to put the final touches on a multi-million dollar research center grant application to submit to the National Cancer Institute. Although the time was not busy for me, […]... Read more »

Gambetta, D., & Hertog, S. (2009) Why are there so many Engineers among Islamic Radicals?. European Journal of Sociology, 50(02), 201. DOI: 10.1017/S0003975609990129  

  • November 17, 2015
  • 04:48 PM

What’s in a name? More than you think…

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

What’s in a name? In the case of the usernames of video gamers, a remarkable amount of information about their real world personalities, according to research. Analysis of anonymised data from one of the world’s most popular computer games by scientists in the Department of Psychology at York also revealed information about their ages.... Read more »

  • November 15, 2015
  • 03:19 PM

The rise of do-it-yourself biology

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The Wilson Center’s Synthetic Biology Project has released a short documentary on the growth of the do-it-yourself biology (DIYbio) movement as seen through a community DIYbio lab in Baltimore, Maryland. ... Read more »

The Wilson Center. (2015) The rise of do-it-yourself biology: A look at the Baltimore Underground Science Space. Synthetic Biology Project. info:other/Link

  • November 11, 2015
  • 06:22 AM

The Dangers of Galactic Cosmic Rays

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Eager to travel to Mars? Think twice!

NASA, galactic cosmic rays, mars, space travel

Explorations of Mars with probes and spacecraft are revealing intriguing features of the Red Planet. The most recent discovery by the NASA spacecraft Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, that liquid water very likely flows on Mars, has stirred enthusiasm among scientists who have been looking for signs of “life-as-we-know-it” on the planet for the last twenty years.

One of the major future goals of ........ Read more »

Parihar, V., Allen, B., Tran, K., Macaraeg, T., Chu, E., Kwok, S., Chmielewski, N., Craver, B., Baulch, J., Acharya, M.... (2015) What happens to your brain on the way to Mars. Science Advances, 1(4). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400256  

  • November 6, 2015
  • 12:07 PM

When Does an Android Become a Creepazoid?

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

The uncanny valley is a place no one wants to be. Somewhere between machine and human, the theory goes, robots take a dive into creepiness. But roboticists aren't sure the valley really exists. Now, researchers in California say they have new evidence for this icky zone, and they can even draw a map of it.

Robotics professor Masahiro Mori first proposed the uncanny valley in 1970. The idea feels right—certainly some robots are charming and others, especially androids not quite succeeding ........ Read more »

  • November 1, 2015
  • 05:42 AM

News on propulsion at NASA

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

There has been a lot of rumor on measurements performed by Eagleworks labs at NASA this spring. After that, NASA imposed a veto on whatever information should coming out about the work of this group until peer-reviewed work should have appeared. Most of the problems come out from the question of the EmDrive. This is […]... Read more »

  • October 28, 2015
  • 08:20 PM

How common is sexting among married couples?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Earlier this year, we looked at a study that suggested sexting can be healthy in a relationship, but that study primarily looked at non-married couples and the average age for the behavior was, as you may expect, young adult. Which may lead you to think that married couples don’t sext. In fact, married couples do report sexting, but it is much less common than in young adult relationships and consists more of intimate talk with their partners than sending nude or nearly nude photos via mobile ........ Read more »

  • October 26, 2015
  • 07:30 PM

Researchers create technology to produce lighter, long-lasting batteries from silicon

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Substantially smaller and longer-lasting batteries for everything from portable electronic devices to electric cars could become a reality thanks to an innovative technology developed by University of Waterloo researchers. Zhongwei Chen, a chemical engineering professor at Waterloo, and a team of graduate students have created a low-cost battery using silicon that boosts the performance and life of lithium-ion batteries.... Read more »

  • October 17, 2015
  • 06:25 AM

Five maps to show how sea level rise affects you

by Cath Jex in Tak Fur The Kaffe

TFTK has found five of the best free maps that show the neighbourhoods most vulnerable to sea level rise.... Read more »

Strauss BH, Kulp S, & Levermann A. (2015) Carbon choices determine US cities committed to futures below sea level. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26460051  

  • October 7, 2015
  • 09:38 AM

Video Tip of the Week: Weave, Web-based Analysis and Visualization Environment

by Mary in OpenHelix

At the recent Discovery On Target conference, a workshop on data and analytics for drug discovery contained several informative talks. This week’s Video Tip of the Week was inspired by the first speaker in that session, Georges Grinstein. Not only was the software he talked about something I wanted to examine right away (Weave)–his philosophy on […]... Read more »

Patterson, D., Hicks, T., Dufilie, A., Grinstein, G., & Plante, E. (2015) Dynamic Data Visualization with Weave and Brain Choropleths. PLOS ONE, 10(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139453  

Daniels, K., Grinstein, G., Russell, A., & Glidden, M. (2012) Properties of normalized radial visualizations. Information Visualization, 11(4), 273-300. DOI: 10.1177/1473871612439357  

  • September 29, 2015
  • 02:37 PM

Scientists to bypass brain damage by re-encoding memories

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Researchers at USC and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a brain prosthesis that is designed to help individuals suffering from memory loss. The prosthesis, which includes a small array of electrodes implanted into the brain, has performed well in laboratory testing in animals and is currently being evaluated in human patients.... Read more »

  • September 29, 2015
  • 01:40 PM

How Sheep Are like an Avalanche

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Sheep are rarely dangerous to skiers, but otherwise they have a lot in common with avalanches. That's what physicists say after mathematically modeling the ungulates' behavior (and staying well out of their path).

Francesco Ginelli, who researches complex systems at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, had already studied flocks of birds and schools of fish. But he was curious to learn what was different about the movement of sheep or other grazers. Animals like these have a simple goa... Read more »

Ginelli, F., Peruani, F., Pillot, M., Chaté, H., Theraulaz, G., & Bon, R. (2015) Intermittent collective dynamics emerge from conflicting imperatives in sheep herds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201503749. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1503749112  

  • September 27, 2015
  • 01:02 AM

Neurohackers Gone Wild!

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Scene from Listening, a new neuro science fiction film by writer-director Khalil Sullins. What are some of the goals of research in human neuroscience?To explain how the mind works.To unravel the mysteries of consciousness and free will.To develop better treatments for mental and neurological illnesses.To allow paralyzed individuals to walk again.Brain decoding experiments that use fMRI or ECoG (direct recordings of the brain in epilepsy patients) to deduce what a person is looking at or sa........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2015
  • 03:27 PM

What motivates ‘Facebook stalking’ after a romantic breakup?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Social networking makes it easy to monitor the status and activities of a former romantic partner, an often unhealthy use of social media known as interpersonal electronic surveillance (IES) or, more commonly, “Facebook stalking.” Psychological and relationship factors and how individuals cope with the termination of a romantic relationship can help predict their use of online surveillance, according to a new study.... Read more »

  • September 21, 2015
  • 09:05 AM

And even more on motivation

by Mirjam Sophia Glessmer in Adventures in Oceanography and Teaching

Last week we talked about motivation quite a bit: First about why do students engage in academic tasks?, then about how motivation is proportional to the expectation of achieving a goal. Today I want to bring it all together a … Continue reading →... Read more »

Ana T. Torres-Ayala, & Geoffrey L. Herman. (2012) Motivating Learners: A Primer for Engineering Teaching Assistants. American Society for Engineering Education. info:/

  • September 17, 2015
  • 09:00 AM

The Martian: Getting Home Is Just Half The Problem

by Mark Lasbury in The 'Scope

"The Martian" movie opens soon! It's about an astronaut stranded on Mars who is trying to survive and find a way to get back home. But today, we humans here on Earth still have to think of clever ways to survive a trip to the red planet in the first place.... Read more »

  • September 16, 2015
  • 05:11 AM

Motivation proportional to the expectation of achieving a goal?

by Mirjam Sophia Glessmer in Adventures in Oceanography and Teaching

In the last post I talked about a paper on “Motivating Learners: A Primer for Engineering Teaching Assistants” by Torres-Ayala and Herman (2012). Today, I want to present a different motivation theory, also described in that paper: Attribution theory Attribution … Continue reading →... Read more »

Ana T. Torres-Ayala, & Geoffrey L. Herman. (2012) Motivating Learners: A Primer for Engineering Teaching Assistants. American Society for Engineering Education. info:/

  • September 14, 2015
  • 03:15 AM

Motivation: dangle a carrot rather than threaten with a whip!

by Mirjam Sophia Glessmer in Adventures in Oceanography and Teaching

Why do students engage in academic tasks? Next week I am giving a workshop on teaching large classes at TU Dresden. I gave a similar workshop there in spring, but because of its success I’ve been given twice as much … Continue reading →... Read more »

Ana T. Torres-Ayala, & Geoffrey L. Herman. (2012) Motivating Learners: A Primer for Engineering Teaching Assistants. American Society for Engineering Education. info:/

  • September 10, 2015
  • 02:26 PM

Physicists show ‘molecules’ made of light may be possible

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It’s not lightsaber time… at least not yet. But a team including theoretical physicists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has taken another step toward building objects out of photons, and the findings* hint that weightless particles of light can be joined into a sort of “molecule” with its own peculiar force.... Read more »

M. F. Maghrebi, M. J. Gullans, P. Bienias, S. Choi, I. Martin, O. Firstenberg, M. D. Lukin, H. P. Büchler, & A. V. Gorshkov. (2015) Coulomb bound states of strongly interacting photons. Physical Review Letters. arXiv: 1505.03859v1

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