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United Academics Magazine publishes popular science news on a daily basis.

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  • December 5, 2013
  • 07:41 AM

How chimps can act as caretakers and murderers of their predator's cub

by Katja Keuchenius in United Academics

This video and picture were made in 2011, but are currently reliving their fame on social media. The material is cute, of course, and interesting. It shows how encaptured chimps can be taught to care for their predator’s cubs. A chimp’s natural environment can also make him do just the opposite. In 1986 researchers described how a group of wild chimpanzees deliberately managed to drag a leopard’s cub away from its mother and then kill it.... Read more »

Hiraiwa-Hasegawa M, Byrne RW, Takasaki H, & Byrne JM. (1986) Aggression toward large carnivores by wild chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. Folia primatologica; international journal of primatology, 47(1), 8-13. PMID: 3557232  

  • December 3, 2013
  • 07:41 AM

Your Risk Of Disease: Would You Want To Know?

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

Private companies are selling a direct-to-consumer service that scans your genome for disease-associated variations in your DNA sequence. Who wouldn’t want to know their future risk of developing a disease? If the appropriate preventative measures are taken now then perhaps disease onset can be delayed? ... Read more »

  • December 2, 2013
  • 03:00 PM

How the Milky Way feeds itself to make new stars

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Galaxies like our Milky Way make stars. In order to accomplish that, the galaxy must first have clouds of hydrogen and helium. But gas clouds floating in from intergalactic space are usually deflected by the galaxy’s electromagnetic field.... Read more »

Alex S. Hill, S. A. Mao, Robert A. Benjamin, Felix J. Lockman, & Naomi M. McClure-Griffiths. (2013) Magnetized Gas in the Smith High Velocity Cloud. 2013, ApJ, 777, 55. arXiv: 1309.2553v2

  • November 29, 2013
  • 09:50 AM

Finally: Pills Instead Of Injections For Type 1 Diabetes

by Patrícia Fonseca Pedro in United Academics

We already use nanoparticles for various ends. What if they could also act as pills to carry the insulin to our blood instead of having to take insulin shots? Wouldn’t it be so much more easy and painless for diabetes patients?... Read more »

Pridgen EM, Alexis F, Kuo TT, Levy-Nissenbaum E, Karnik R, Blumberg RS, Langer R, & Farokhzad OC. (2013) Transepithelial transport of fc-targeted nanoparticles by the neonatal fc receptor for oral delivery. Science translational medicine, 5(213). PMID: 24285486  

  • November 28, 2013
  • 09:47 AM

When And Where Did Dogs Become Man’s Best Friend?

by Alex Reis in United Academics

New research contradicts the idea that the first farmers were responsible for domesticating dogs. It turns out that dogs became our faithful companions even before the appearance of the first settlements. The appeal presented by hunter-gatherers was enough to arouse the wolf’s curiosity and approach humans.... Read more »

Thalmann O, Shapiro B, Cui P, Schuenemann VJ, Sawyer SK, Greenfield DL, Germonpré MB, Sablin MV, López-Giráldez F, Domingo-Roura X.... (2013) Complete mitochondrial genomes of ancient canids suggest a European origin of domestic dogs. Science (New York, N.Y.), 342(6160), 871-4. PMID: 24233726  

Larson G, Karlsson EK, Perri A, Webster MT, Ho SY, Peters J, Stahl PW, Piper PJ, Lingaas F, Fredholm M.... (2012) Rethinking dog domestication by integrating genetics, archeology, and biogeography. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(23), 8878-83. PMID: 22615366  

Vilà C, Savolainen P, Maldonado JE, Amorim IR, Rice JE, Honeycutt RL, Crandall KA, Lundeberg J, & Wayne RK. (1997) Multiple and ancient origins of the domestic dog. Science (New York, N.Y.), 276(5319), 1687-9. PMID: 9180076  

Thalmann O, Shapiro B, Cui P, Schuenemann VJ, Sawyer SK, Greenfield DL, Germonpré MB, Sablin MV, López-Giráldez F, Domingo-Roura X, Napierala H,Uerpmann HP, Loponte DM, Acosta AA, Giemsch L, Schmitz RW, Worthington B, Buikstra JE, Druzhkova A, Graphoda. (2013) Fossil dogs and wolves from Palaeolithic sites in Belgium, the Ukraine and Russia: osteometry, ancient DNA and stable isotopes. Science . DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.033  

Pang JF, Kluetsch C, Zou XJ, Zhang AB, Luo LY, Angleby H, Ardalan A, Ekström C, Sköllermo A, Lundeberg J.... (2009) mtDNA data indicate a single origin for dogs south of Yangtze River, less than 16,300 years ago, from numerous wolves. Molecular biology and evolution, 26(12), 2849-64. PMID: 19723671  

  • November 26, 2013
  • 11:40 AM

How To Stop Online Bullying

by Flora Brils in United Academics

Bullying can have a big impact, including loneliness, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and even suicide. Now cyberbullying is on the rise. How to adress this new phenonemon? Researchers map responses that are successful (or unsuccesful) against cyberbullying.... Read more »

  • November 25, 2013
  • 08:52 AM

Brain Scans in the Classroom: The Future of Neuroscience

by Koko Beers in United Academics

Neuroimaging techniques have been widely used to study the brain as well as for clinical applications. New developments direct neuroscience towards more practical applications of neuroimaging, that go beyond research or health care, explaining pedophelial behaviour, improving movie making and more.... Read more »

Ariely D, & Berns GS. (2010) Neuromarketing: the hope and hype of neuroimaging in business. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 11(4), 284-92. PMID: 20197790  

Belcher, A. . (2010) Neurolaw. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science. DOI: 10.1002/wcs.8  

  • November 24, 2013
  • 06:10 AM

Machine Made Body Parts

by Rebekah Morrow in United Academics

I first heard about this while I was watching Grey’s Anatomy. Meredith was trying to print a 3D model of a liver, and I thought “That’s cool, but it will never happen.” As it turns out, I was wrong – it’s already happening.... Read more »

Lee VK, Singh G, Trasatti JP, Bjornsson C, Tran TN, Xu G, Yoo SS, Dai G, & Karande P. (2013) Design and Fabrication of Human Skin by 3D Bioprinting. Tissue engineering. Part C, Methods. PMID: 24188635  

  • November 22, 2013
  • 05:15 AM

Humpback Whales Share Songs Over Lunch

by Dyani Lewis in United Academics

Whales learn new tunes at shared Antarctic feeding grounds.... Read more »

  • November 22, 2013
  • 04:17 AM

4 Beneficial Effects Of Physical Exercise On The Brain

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Research in the last decade has identified some of the main effects of exercise on the brain and has started to unravel the molecular mechanisms by which the physiological changes triggered by exercise modify the activity of neurons in the brain.... Read more »

  • November 21, 2013
  • 05:17 AM

New Step In Genetic Modification Of Plants

by Geetanjali Yadav in United Academics

Plant transformation is insertion of new genetic material to the plant’s body. This used to be difficult because many economically important plants are recalcitrant to it as they lack certain gene elements. But according to a recent report published in Science, researchers now have successfully transformed a model plant, Arabidopsis, through agrobacterium-mediated transformation process.... Read more »

Sardesai N, Lee LY, Chen H, Yi H, Olbricht GR, Stirnberg A, Jeffries J, Xiong K, Doerge RW, & Gelvin SB. (2013) Cytokinins Secreted by Agrobacterium Promote Transformation by Repressing a Plant Myb Transcription Factor. Science signaling, 6(302). PMID: 24255177  

  • November 18, 2013
  • 08:14 AM

Collective Memory: Scientific Aproach To Telepathy

by Katja Keuchenius in United Academics

Why do humans often make independent but similar discoveries at about the same time? What makes us repetitively stumble upon that new word or phenomenon that we just learned about the other day? And how do mice know all about our poison and traps? Is it because all members of a species share a thelapethic-like collective memory?... Read more »

  • November 15, 2013
  • 10:48 AM

Humans Did Not Speciate For Two Million Years

by Jeffrey Daniels in United Academics

Newly found fossils suggest hominids are ‘breeds’ of the same species.... Read more »

  • November 14, 2013
  • 03:00 PM

Sleeping Literally Clears Your Head

by Pieter Carrière in United Academics

It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it, John Steinbeck hit the nail on the head. It turns out sleep flushes your brain clear.... Read more »

Xie L, Kang H, Xu Q, Chen MJ, Liao Y, Thiyagarajan M, O'Donnell J, Christensen DJ, Nicholson C, Iliff JJ.... (2013) Sleep drives metabolite clearance from the adult brain. Science (New York, N.Y.), 342(6156), 373-7. PMID: 24136970  

  • November 14, 2013
  • 08:46 AM

God’s Existence Theorem Is Correct

by Simone Munao in United Academics

“If God is possible, then he exists necessarily. But God is possible, therefore he exists”. This is the extreme synthesis of Gödel’s most famous result. Two researchers -Christoph Benzmuller and Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo- just confirmed the result thanks to the help of a computer-assisted proof.... Read more »

Christoph Benzmüller and Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo. (2013) Formalization, Mechanization and Automation of Godel’s Proof of God’s Existence. preprint arxive . info:/

  • November 13, 2013
  • 12:28 PM

Slacktivism | Procrastination or Giving up?

by Patrícia Fonseca Pedro in United Academics

PhD student Kirk Kristofferson acknowledged that each “Like” or “Share” push us further away from meaningful support. For each of these actions, most people feel that their mission is “accomplished”. “Our research shows that if people are able to declare support for a charity publicly in social media it can actually make them less likely to donate to the cause later on.” Kristofferson reinforces.... Read more »

  • November 12, 2013
  • 10:32 AM

5 Health Claims About Hot Yoga: True Or False

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

The instructors themselves often refer to science to explain miracle cures and healing effects of hot yoga. As a scientist, I am reluctant to believe much of what is said. Is there really any truth in the 5 health claims or is it just all a marketing tool?... Read more »

Hunter SD, Dhindsa M, Cunningham E, Tarumi T, Alkatan M, & Tanaka H. (2013) Improvements in glucose tolerance with Bikram yoga in older obese adults: A pilot study. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 17(4), 404-7. PMID: 24138995  

Tracy BL, & Hart CE. (2013) Bikram yoga training and physical fitness in healthy young adults. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength , 27(3), 822-30. PMID: 22592178  

  • November 12, 2013
  • 04:46 AM

Walk In The Park Reduces Desire For Immediate Rewards

by Gunnar de Winter in United Academics

Human beings have the strong and universal tendency to prefer immediate gains over longer-term rewards. New experiments show that exposure to nature reduces this future discounting.... Read more »

van der Wal AJ, Schade HM, Krabbendam L, & van Vugt M. (2013) Do natural landscapes reduce future discounting in humans?. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 280(1773), 20132295. PMID: 24197412  

  • November 11, 2013
  • 09:53 AM

You Use Nanoparticles Everyday: 4 Examples

by Chiara Civardi in United Academics

Whatever our opinion on nanotechnology may be, what we don’t realise is that we are exposed to nanoparticles in our everyday life, not only through pollution, but by means of the products we use daily. So, here’s a short list of some of these hidden engineered nanoparticles.... Read more »

Blasco C., Picó Y. (2013) Nanoparticles in Foods, Determination of. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9285  

Cristina Buzea, Ivan I. Pacheco, & Kevin Robbie. (2008) Nanomaterials and nanoparticles: Sources and toxicity. Published in Biointerphases Vol. 2, issue 4 (2007) pages MR17 - MR71. arXiv: 0801.3280v1

Mueller M., Nowack B. (2008) Exposure modelling of engineered nanoparticles in the environment. Environmental Science . info:/

Nohynek GJ, Lademann J, Ribaud C, & Roberts MS. (2007) Grey goo on the skin? Nanotechnology, cosmetic and sunscreen safety. Critical reviews in toxicology, 37(3), 251-77. PMID: 17453934  

Peters R, Kramer E, Oomen AG, Rivera ZE, Oegema G, Tromp PC, Fokkink R, Rietveld A, Marvin HJ, Weigel S.... (2012) Presence of nano-sized silica during in vitro digestion of foods containing silica as a food additive. ACS nano, 6(3), 2441-51. PMID: 22364219  

  • November 11, 2013
  • 07:34 AM

Biology of Love: are we made to live happily ever after?

by Koko Beers in United Academics

While we learn from songs, movies and fairy tales that life is all about finding the perfect partner, about romance, soul mates and lifelong relationships; biology tells us otherwise.

Neuroscientists and neurobiologists have looked at the neuronal correlates of love, using brain imaging techniques and animal models. Reviewing various studies, Dutch researchers explain the evolution and neurobiological factors of our romantic love. Learn what evolution, biological substances and the course of relationships tell us about human relationships. Is romance and monogamy nothing but a myth?... Read more »

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