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Is there such a thing as 'math' dyslexia?

Daniel Ansari, an assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at The University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, is using brain imaging to understand how children develop math skills, and what kind of brain development is associated with those skills.

Some children who experience mathematical difficulties have what has been termed developmental dyscalculia – a syndrome that is similar to dyslexia, a learning disability that affects a child's ability to read. Children with dyscalculia often have difficulty understanding the concept of numerical quantity. For example, they find it difficult to connect abstract symbols, such as a number, to the numerical magnitude it represents. They can't see the connection between five fingers and the number '5'.

No matter where you are on the political spectrum, says a new Northwestern University study in the Journal of Research in Personality, you're motivated by fear.

Political conservatives worry about fear of chaos and absence of order while political liberals operate out of a fear of emptiness, they say.

How did they arrive at those conclusions?

Masdar, Abu Dhabi's program to develop sustainable solutions to meet the world's future energy demand, has established an international awards program designed to recognize innovation and leadership in the global search for future energy solutions -- the Zayed Future Energy Prize.

The Zayed Future Energy Prize recognizes individuals, organizations, companies and NGOs who are advancing innovation in the field of clean energy and sustainable development. A jury of international experts chaired by Nobel Laureate Dr. R.K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will choose one winner and two finalists for the prize.

Are drinks like Red Bull and other 'energy' beverages making caffeine a gateway drug? Johns Hopkins scientists who have spent decades researching the effects of caffeine say that is the case, and they report that a slew of caffeinated energy drinks now on the market should carry prominent labels that note caffeine doses and warn of potential health risks for consumers.

Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., one of the authors of an article that appears in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence this month, says most of these drinks advertise their products as performance enhancers and stimulants – a marketing strategy that may put young people at risk for abusing even stronger stimulants such as the prescription drugs amphetamine and methylphenidate (Ritalin).

Caffeine intoxication, a recognized clinical syndrome included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases, is marked by nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, gastrointestinal upset, tremors, rapid heartbeats (tachycardia), psychomotor agitation (restlessness and pacing) and in rare cases, death.

Professor Ron Appel, speaking at the 10th anniversary conference of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics in Berne, Switzerland, says they have completed the annotation of human proteins.

Where the Human Genome Project produced a dictionary, this new work is more like an encyclopedia because it looks at life as it is really organized in our body at the molecular level, which will speed up scientific work that aims to improve our quality of life, like how we can combat genetic-based diseases.

Professor Amos Bairoch, head of the SIB's Swiss-Prot group said: "If human DNA is the script of life, proteins are its actors, its living embodiment."

The deep interior of Neptune, Uranus and Earth may contain some solid ice.

Through first-principle molecular dynamics simulations, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists, together with University of California, Davis collaborators, used a two-phase approach to determine the melting temperature of ice VII (a high-pressure phase of ice) in pressures ranging from 100,000 to 500,000 atmospheres.

For pressures between 100,000 and 400,000 atmospheres, the team, led by Eric Schwegler, found that ice melts as a molecular solid (similar to how ice melts in a cold drink). But in pressures above 450,000 atmospheres, there is a sharp increase in the slope of the melting curve due to molecular disassociation and proton diffusion in the solid, prior to melting, which is typically referred to as a superionic solid phase.