New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 7:56pm
For decades, vaccine manufacturers have used chicken eggs to grow the flu virus strains included in the seasonal vaccine. But because these human strains frequently mutate to adapt to their new environment, the resulting vaccine is often an imperfect match to the virus that it is supposed to protect against. Researchers have now devised a way to keep the human influenza virus from mutating during egg-based production, generating a perfect match to the target vaccine.
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Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 7:56pm
Language patterns could be predicted by simple laws of physics, a new study has found. A theory using ideas from physics predicts where and how dialects occur.
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RIP Microsoft Paint. Thanks for All the Hideous Doodles

Wired News - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 7:35pm
Microsoft Paint is dead, but it won't be forgotten.
Categories: Science

Fact-checking and Rumor-dispelling Site Snopes.com Held Hostage By vendor

Slashdot - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 7:30pm
Snopes.com, which began as a small one-person effort in 1994 and has since become one of the Internet's oldest and most popular fact-checking sites, is in danger of closing its doors. From a report: Since our inception, we have always been a self-sustaining site that provides a free service to the online world: we've had no sponsors, no outside investors or funding, and no source of revenue other than that provided by online advertising. Unfortunately, we have been cut off from our historic source of advertising income. We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for Snopes.com. That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage. Although we maintain editorial control (for now), the vendor will not relinquish the site's hosting to our control, so we cannot modify the site, develop it, or -- most crucially -- place advertising on it. The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us. Our legal team is fighting hard for us, but, having been cut off from all revenue, we are facing the prospect of having no financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Carbon nanotubes turn electrical current into light-emitting quasi-particles

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 7:00pm
Light-matter quasi-partic­les can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes, report scientists. Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers, they add.
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Push Notifications From Popular Apps Are Becoming Increasingly Useless And Annoying

Slashdot - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 6:40pm
David Pierce, writing for Wired: Push notifications are ruining my life. Yours too, I bet. Download more than a few apps and the notifications become a non-stop, cacophonous waterfall of nonsense. Here's just part of an afternoon on my phone: "Hi David! We found new Crown jewels and Bottle caps Pins for you!" "Everyone's talking about Bill Nye's new book, Everything All at Once. Read a free sample." "Alex just posted for the first time in a while." I get notifications when an acquaintance comments on a stranger's Facebook posts, when shows I don't care about come to Netflix, and every single day at 6 PM when the crossword puzzle becomes available. Recently, I got a buzz from my close personal friends at Yelp. "We found a hot new business for you," it said. I opened the notification, on the off chance that Yelp had finally found the hot new business I've been waiting for. It did not. So I closed Yelp, stared into space for a second, and then opened Instagram. Productivity over. Over the last few years, there's been an increasingly loud call for a re-evaluation of the relationship between humans and smartphones. For all the good that phones do, their grip on our eyes, ears, and thoughts creates real and serious problems. "I know when I take [technology] away from my kids what happens," Tony Fadell, a former senior VP at Apple who helped invent both the iPod and the iPhone, said in a recent interview. "They literally feel like you're tearing a piece of their person away from them. They get emotional about it, very emotional. They go through withdrawal for two to three days." Smartphones aren't the problem. It's all the buzzing and dinging, endlessly calling for your attention.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Biological pest management: Infected insects cause a stink

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 6:20pm
Researchers have shown how nematodes use smell to seek out uninfected insects, which they then enter and kill. The findings support the group's long-term goal of improving how gardeners and the agricultural industry use nematodes in biological pest management.
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High-temperature superconductivity in B-doped Q-carbon

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 6:20pm
Researchers have significantly increased the temperature at which carbon-based materials act as superconductors, using a novel, boron-doped Q-carbon material.
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Raccoon roundworm: Hidden human parasite?

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 6:20pm
The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess. More likely than not, it also contaminates your yard with parasites -- most notably, raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis).
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Algae cultivation technique could advance biofuels

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 6:20pm
Washington State University researchers have developed a way to grow algae more efficiently -- in days instead of weeks -- and make the algae more viable for several industries, including biofuels.
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A 'Locked' Smart Gun Can Be Fired With Just $15 Worth of Magnets

Wired News - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 6:06pm
One smart gun model's protections turn out to be easily overcome–by cheap magnets.
Categories: Science

Unemployment in the UK is Now So Low It's in Danger of Exposing the Lie Used To Create the Numbers

Slashdot - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 6:00pm
Unemployment in Britain is now just 4.5 percent. There are only 1.49 million unemployed people in the UK, versus 32 million people with jobs. This is almost unheard of. Unemployment was most recently this low in December 1973, when the UK set an unrepeated record of just 3.4 percent. From a report: The problem with this record is that the statistical definition of "unemployment" relies on a fiction that economists tell themselves about the nature of work. As the rate gets lower and lower, it tests that lie. Because -- as anyone who has studied basic economics knows -- the official definition of unemployment disguises the true rate. In reality, about 21.5 percent of all working-age people (defined as ages 16 to 64) are without jobs, or 8.83 million people, according to the Office for National Statistics. That's more than four times the official number. For decades, economists have agreed on an artificial definition of what unemployment means. Their argument is that people who are taking time off, or have given up looking for work, or work at home to look after their family, don't count as part of the workforce.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Monitoring fluid intake may help improve outcomes for bariatric surgery patients

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 5:32pm
A well-structured water distribution and documentation process led to increased water intake at one hospital.
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Seawalls: Ecological effects of coastal armoring in soft sediment environments

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 5:31pm
For nearly a century, the O'Shaughnessy seawall has held back the sand and seas of San Francisco's Ocean Beach. At work even longer: the Galveston seawall, built after America's deadliest hurricane in 1900 killed thousands in Texas.
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Summer sea ice melt in the Arctic

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 5:31pm
Earlier this year Arctic sea ice sank to a record low wintertime extent for the third straight year. Now NASA is flying a set of instruments north of Greenland to observe the impact of the melt season on the Arctic's oldest and thickest sea ice.
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Long-term brain deficits in cardiac arrest survivors: Treatment?

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 5:31pm
Research may lead to a treatment to prevent long-term sensory problems by restoring normal brain function in survivors of cardiac arrest.
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Engineers invent the first bio-compatible, ion current battery

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 5:31pm
Engineers have invented a new kind of battery: one that is bio-compatible because it produces the same kind of ion-based electrical energy used by humans and other living things.
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Evolutionary biologists solve puzzle of evolutionary relationships among vertebrates

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 5:31pm
Using the largest and most informative molecular phylogenetic dataset ever analysed, evolutionary biologists were able to construct a new phylogenetic tree of jawed vertebrates. This new tree resolves several key relationships that have remained controversial, including the identification of lungfishes as the closest living relatives of land vertebrates. The evolution of jawed vertebrates is part of our own history since humans belong to the tetrapods more specifically we are mammals, or, even more specifically, primates.
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Swaziland survey shows impressive progress in confronting the HIV epidemic

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 5:31pm
Key findings from the second Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey, SHIMS2, reveal impressive progress in confronting the HIV epidemic in the country. Results show a doubling in population viral load suppression since 2011 and a decrease by nearly half in the rate of new HIV infections.
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Scientists enlist baker's yeast in a hunt for new medicines

Science Daily - Mon, 24/07/2017 - 5:31pm
Scientists have come up with a new way to predict potentially useful drugs from a pool of undefined chemicals. They were able to more quickly identify leads that could be used to treat a range of diseases, from infections, to cancer to Alzheimer's. The finding will also help better match drugs to a disease to maximize the benefit and reduce side-effects.
Categories: Science