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Updated: 2 weeks 6 days ago

No, We're Not "Anti-Sex Difference"

9 April 2017 - 11:18am
Jordan-Young & Fine, The Guardian
At a time when both science and feminism are under attack, there are welcome signs that neuroscience is showing new openness to critiques of research into sex differences. Mainstream journals increasingly publish studies that reveal how misleading assumptions about the sexes bias the framing of hypotheses, research design and interpretation of findings and these critiques increasingly come with constructive recommendations, discussions and debates.
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Do Honeybees Feel Pain?

9 April 2017 - 11:17am
Ross Pomeroy, RealClearScience
Most complex animals feel pain, but what about insects? Does the buzzing fly feel the crunch of a swatter? Does the pesky mosquito recoil in agony when stung by a bug zapper? Do experiments on fruit fly gladiators constitute torture?
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Finding Sheds Light on Ancient Rome-Britain Scandal

9 April 2017 - 11:17am
David Keys, Independent
A remarkable archaeological investigation is shedding new light on the Roman conquest of Britain and on the geopolitical background to one of the murkiest royal sex scandals of British history.
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New Spider-Like Crab Can Climb Trees

9 April 2017 - 11:17am
Deepa Padmanaban, Nat Geo
A striking new species of crab has been found living in tree-holes high above the ground. The animal, which fits in the palm of a human hand, has a deep bluish black body that stands out against the tree bark that it prowls for worms and seeds to eat.
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How Cancers Evolve Drug Resistance

9 April 2017 - 11:16am
Anna Azvolinsky, The Scientist
Receiving three separate courses of a new class of anticancer immunotherapy agents is not typical for a cancer patient, yet that is what retired Major League Baseball administrator Bill Murray, now 79, endured to treat his melanoma. When I was told that I might be dying from melanoma, I thought I might as well go for it, says Murray.
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A New Way to Get Information Out of Black Holes

9 April 2017 - 11:14am
Preskill, Quantum Frontiers
Two weeks ago I attended an exciting workshop at Stanford, organized by the It from Qubit collaboration, which I covered enthusiastically on Twitter. Many of the talks at the workshop provided fodder for possible blog posts, but one in particular especially struck my fancy. In explaining how to recover information that has fallen into a black hole (under just the right conditions), Juan Maldacena offered a new perspective on a problem that has worried me for many years.
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World's Oldest Bed Bugs Found in Oregon Cave

9 April 2017 - 11:14am
Blake de Pastino, West Digs
A network of caves in southern Oregon, thought to be among the earliest known sites of human habitation in the American West, turns out to have hosted other residents, too: bed bugs.Archaeologists have found the remains of several species of bed bugs dating back as much as 11,000 years the oldest ever found revealing new insights into the distant relatives of the parasitic insects that infest modern mattresses.
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A.I. Will Eliminate Millions of Jobs. Time to Prepare.

9 April 2017 - 11:13am
Krista Jones, Pol Options
The artificial intelligence (AI) revolution has begun, and it's going to take all of us government, businesses and employees to steer through the resulting workforce disruption.More than just helping our kids avoid jobs that machines will take over in the future from driving trucks and reading X-rays to picking stocks and balancing the books we need to look at ways of retraining the millions of adults who will be displaced by machines and get them back doing meaningful, relevant work.
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Why We Sleep Less as We Age

9 April 2017 - 11:13am
Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science
It's a known fact that as we age, we sleep less. But the reasoning behind this phenomenon is poorly understood. Do older adults sleep less because they need less sleep, or because they simply can't get the sleep they need?
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We're Entering a New Age of Philosophy

9 April 2017 - 11:12am
Luciano Floridi, The New Atlantis
When we use a computer, its performance seems to degrade progressively. This is not a mere impression. Over the years of owning a particular machine, it will get sluggish. Sometimes this slowdown is caused by hardware faults, but more often the culprit is software: programs get more complicated, as more features are added and as old bugs are patched (or not), and greater demands are placed on resources by new programs running in the background.
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Challenging the Bee-Extinction 'Crisis'

7 April 2017 - 11:44pm
Hank Campbell, Science 2.0

Colony Collapse Disorder, the belief that honeybees, an important pollinator, are being killed off in droves, has been good for environmental fundraising but hasn't had a scientific foundation.Nonetheless, it has persisted for 10 years despite data showing that periodic die-offs in bees are as common, and therefore predictable, as solar cycles and California droughts. From the time that records of bees were formally kept, there were reports of mass die-offs without explanation, a thousand years before pesticides even existed.
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Why Did Our Ancestors Eat Each Other?

7 April 2017 - 9:51pm
James Cole, The Conversation
In the recently released horror movie Raw, a lifelong vegetarian teenager arrives at a veterinary school and, after being forced to consume a rabbit kidney at a student initiation ritual, discovers a deep desire to eat human flesh. Most of us are fascinated with cannibalism and there are many examples of brutal and dark dramas exploring the topic, including Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal.
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Eight Megawatt-Hour Flow Battery Is Largest of Its Kind

7 April 2017 - 9:51pm
Megan Geuss, AT
A company called UniEnergy Technologies (UET) has installed a new large flow battery on the grid in Snohomish County in Washington state. The 2MW, 8MWh battery system may seem like a small installation compared to recent projects in Southern California and Hawaii, but it's quite a step for the nascent flow battery industry. In fact, this installation is currently the largest capacity containerized flow battery system in the world. It's housed in 20 connected shipping containers and will be used by the Snohomish Public Utility District (otherwise known as SnoPUD), which has also invested in...
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Is TRAPPIST-1 Alive or Dead?

7 April 2017 - 9:51pm
John Wenz, Astronomy

TRAPPIST-1 opens up an exciting field for astronomers: a small, nearby, compact planetary system with seven Mars- to Earth-size worlds orbiting in days or weeks instead of months and years. What's more, because their star is small and cool, all the planets may be habitable.Maybe. Two new papers are out on TRAPPIST-1. One makes the chances for life even more ripe, while the other virtually strips away all chances of habitability.
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Dolphins 'Tenderize' Octopus Before Eating

7 April 2017 - 9:51pm
Kacey Deamer, Live Science

Attempting to consume live octopus can prove deadly for predators, but dolphins have an innovative way to prep their dinner: They tenderize the meat by tossing it around.In a new study, researchers have detailed the eye-catching way dolphins eat octopus. Scientists observed bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Australia shaking octopus prey on the water's surface, and tossing the animals several feet into the air multiple times. This was all done to help break down and tenderize the prey before eating it, the researchers said.
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FDA Approves Sale of Genetic-Risk Tests

7 April 2017 - 9:50pm
Gina Kolata, NY Times

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration said it would allow a company to sell genetic tests for disease risk directly to consumers, providing people with information about the likelihood that they could develop various conditions, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.The move on Thursday is a turnaround for the agency, which had imposed a moratorium in 2013 on disease tests sold by the company, 23andMe, which is based in Mountain View, Calif. The decision is expected to open the floodgates for more direct-to-consumer tests for disease risks, drawing a road map for other...
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Giant-Virus Discovery Elicits Discord and Debate

7 April 2017 - 1:19am
Sara Reardon, NN
Evolutionary biologists have never known what to make of viruses, arguing over their origins for decades. But a newly discovered group of giant viruses, called Klosneuviruses, could be a 'missing link' that helps to settle the debate or provoke even more discord.In 2003, researchers reported that they had found giant viruses, which they named Mimiviruses, with genes that suggested their ancestors could live outside of a host cell1. The discovery split researchers into two camps. One group thinks viruses started out as self-sufficient organisms that became trapped inside other cells,...
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Are Fast Radio Bursts From Extraterrestrials?

11 March 2017 - 1:10am
Andrew Griffin, The Independent
Scientists might have found proof of alien life but misunderstood it, according to a professor at Harvard University. Strange radio waves that have been reaching Earth might actually be leakage from a huge, light-powered ship deep in space.
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NASA Planning for Orbital Spaceport

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
Alison Klesman, Astronomy
NASA's goal of sending humans to Mars by the 2030s faces many challenges. Now, if all goes well, the American space agency is poised to take one of the first steps toward overcoming those challenges. Although the project is still speculative, NASA and other International Space Station (ISS) partners have begun making plans for a cis-lunar spaceport designed to provide a stepping-stone to the Red Planet.
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If You Think You're a Genius, You're Crazy

11 March 2017 - 1:09am
Dean Keith Simonton, Nautilus
When John Forbes Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician, schizophrenic, and paranoid delusional, was asked how he could believe that space aliens had recruited him to save the world, he gave a simple response. Because the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.
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