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Soda Bans, Bike Lanes: Which 'natural Experiments' Really Reduce Obesity?

Banning sodas from school vending machines, building walking paths and playgrounds, adding supermarkets...

Shrinking Habitats Have Adverse Effects On World Ecosystems

An extensive study of global habitat fragmentation - the division of habitats into smaller and...

10 Tips For Choosing An Academic Dean

Clear and realistic expectations are key to successfully hiring heads of departments, say Professor...

Levee Detonations Reduced 2011 Flood Risk On Mississippi River

A controversial decision in 2011 to blow up Mississippi River levees reduced the risk of flooding...

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A study headed by researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB) shows that caffeine has a greater effect on men than women, and that these effects start just 10 minutes after it is drunk. In addition, contrary to what was previously thought, it has also been shown that decaffeinated coffee also produces an increased state of alertness. 

“Numerous studies have demonstrated the stimulant effects of caffeine, but none of these have looked at their effects in terms of the consumer’s gender,” Ana Adan, lead author of the study and a researcher in the Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology Department of the UB, tells SINC. 
The CoRoT satellite, a space mission led by the French Space Agency CNES with the participation of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Spain and the European Space Agency, ESA (RSSD and Science programme, that includes an Italian contribution), has recently observed a star analogous to the young Sun at an age of approximately 500 million years, named CoRoTExo-2a.
Laws banning marriage between first cousins are based on outdated assumptions about a high degree of genetic risk for offspring and should be repealed, according to a population genetics expert.

In an opinion article published in the US open-access journal PLoS Biology, University of Otago Department of Zoology Professor Hamish Spencer and Professor Diane Paul, a Research Associate at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, argue that laws against cousin marriage are ill-advised.

"Neither the scientific nor social assumptions behind such legislation stand up to close scrutiny," says Professor Spencer. For example, a 2002 expert review of studies regarding birth defects in offspring of cousins found that the risk was much smaller than generally assumed, he says.
In 3.5 billion years, life on earth went from single microscopic cells to giant sequoias and blue whales. Scientists have now documented quantitatively that the increase in maximum size of organisms was not gradual, but happened in two distinct bursts "tied to the geological evolution of the planet," said Michal Kowalewski, professor of geosciences at Virginia Tech.
Over the last 60 years, ever-smaller generations of transistors have driven exponential growth in computing power. Could molecules, each turned into miniscule computer components, trigger even greater growth in computing over the next 60?

Atomic-scale computing, in which computer processes are carried out in a single molecule or using a surface atomic-scale circuit, holds vast promise for the microelectronics industry. It allows computers to continue to increase in processing power through the development of components in the nano- and pico scale. In theory, atomic-scale computing could put computers more powerful than today’s supercomputers in everyone’s pocket.
The heat created by human activities does not even amount to 1/10,000th of the heat that the Earth receives from the sun, say a group of researchers, and it may not be possible to get people to agree to burn fewer fossil fuels but covering parts of the Earth would offset that.

This radical plan to curb global warming and so reverse the climate change caused by burning of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution would involve covering parts of the world's deserts with reflective sheeting and they write about it in the January issue of the International Journal of Global Environmental Issues.