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  • July 13, 2015
  • 07:05 AM
  • 418 views

Tropical wetlands releasing more carbon than previously thought

by Cath Jex in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Scientists report southeast Asian tropical peatlands are emitting almost double the about of carbon officially estimated in the last IPCC report.... Read more »

  • June 25, 2015
  • 06:25 AM
  • 484 views

Can Scottish climate explain the rise and fall of European cultures?

by Cath Jex in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Scientists have pieced together the climate history from 3000 year old stalagmites and discovered a record of climate changes that may have influenced major historical events, including the fall of the Roman Empire and the Viking Age of expansion.... Read more »

  • June 6, 2015
  • 09:37 PM
  • 572 views

Doobie-ous conclusions

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

Is cannabis the Secret Cure for cancer...?... Read more »

AG McCluskey. (2015) Doobie-ous conclusions. Zongo's Cancer Diaries. info:/

  • June 3, 2015
  • 02:55 PM
  • 488 views

Just One Cornetto

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

Repeat after me: Correlation Does Not Imply Causation!... Read more »

AG McCluskey. (2015) Just One Cornetto. Zongo's Cancer Diaries. info:/

  • June 1, 2015
  • 10:21 AM
  • 445 views

Shades of Grey.......

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

The media loves a good cancer story. But the truth isn't always as Black & White as they say.... Read more »

AG McCluskey. (2015) Shades of Grey.... Zongo's Cancer Diaries. info:/

  • May 29, 2015
  • 01:35 PM
  • 419 views

Venusian Blancmanche Therapy

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

Can music cure cancer? About as well as alien dessert monsters! ... Read more »

AG McCluskey. (2015) Venusian Blancmanche Therapy. Zongo's Cancer Diaries. info:/

  • May 28, 2015
  • 03:31 PM
  • 429 views

No Cure For Cancer...?

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

Why is there no cure for cancer? Read on...... Read more »

AG McCluskey. (2015) No Cure for Cancer..?. Zongo's Cancer DIaries. info:/

  • May 28, 2015
  • 01:00 PM
  • 430 views

Chinese Whispers

by AG McCluskey in Zongo's Cancer Diaries

How would you describe cancer risk factors? Whisper it...... Read more »

AG McCluskey. (2015) Chinese Whispers. Zongo's Cancer DIaries. info:/

  • May 19, 2015
  • 07:00 AM
  • 786 views

Rap Revolution: The Musical Evolution

by Gunnar de Winter in United Academics

After soul, rock, and disco, rap is the biggest musical change of the past 50 years.
... Read more »

Mauch, M., MacCallum, R., Levy, M., & Leroi, A. (2015) The evolution of popular music: USA 1960-2010. Royal Society Open Science, 2(5), 150081-150081. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150081  

  • May 7, 2015
  • 05:46 PM
  • 916 views

What you need to know about the newly proposed science funding legislation

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

The House Science Committee, chaired by Lamar Smith, unveiled their new science budget last week. Read on to see what it proposes and what it means for science.... Read more »

  • April 14, 2015
  • 08:45 AM
  • 626 views

Malaria diagnosis with RDT MAbs

by SS in Scientific scrutiny

Examining the business of patenting MAbs against epitopes described before and the need for caution in using MAbs against epitopes reported to be deleted in different parts of the world... Read more »

  • April 10, 2015
  • 08:06 PM
  • 1,005 views

The universe is expanding, but how fast?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

We are expanding, well more accurately the universe is expanding. However researchers have found certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars, are more diverse than previously thought. The results have implications for big cosmological questions, such as how fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. Most importantly, the findings hint at the possibility that the acceleration of the expansion of the universe might not be quite as fast as textbooks say.... Read more »

  • April 8, 2015
  • 05:57 AM
  • 692 views

Where Are All The Single Authors?

by Kate Blanchfield in United Academics

The trend towards collaborative research has a downside.... Read more »

Natascha Gaster, Jorge S. Burns, Michael Gaster. (2014) Single Authors – an Exterminated Race – Increasing Numbers by Increasing Credit?,. JUnQ, 5(1). info:/

  • April 5, 2015
  • 10:11 AM
  • 460 views

2000 Years of Atlantic Hurricanes Suggests We Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

by Cath Jex in Tak Fur The Kaffe

The 20th century has seen relatively few and weak hurricanes compared to the last 2000 years, shows new research.... Read more »

Donnelly, J., Hawkes, A., Lane, P., MacDonald, D., Shuman, B., Toomey, M., van Hengstum, P., & Woodruff, J. (2015) Climate forcing of unprecedented intense-hurricane activity in the last 2000 years. Earth's Future, 3(2), 49-65. DOI: 10.1002/2014EF000274  

  • April 1, 2015
  • 03:13 AM
  • 697 views

Prehistoric rock crystal extraction in the Alps

by M. Cornelissen in hazelnut relations

I have written about the most famous rock crystal find from the Swiss Alps, the Planggenstock Treasure and the use of rock crystal through the millennia before. We know where the Planggenstock Treasure and other recent finds were originally found. … Continue reading →... Read more »

Leitner, W. (2013) Steinzeitliche Gewinnung von Bergkristall am Riepenkar in den Tuxer Alpen (Tirol). Preistoria Alpina, 23-26. info:/

  • March 31, 2015
  • 04:58 PM
  • 977 views

An apple a day may keep the children away: Pesticides and sperm count

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever hear that old saying an apple a day keeps the Doctor away? Well it might have the right idea, just the wrong person. New research investigating the relationship between eating fruit and vegetables containing pesticide residues and the quality of men’s semen has shown a link with lower sperm counts and percentages of normally-formed sperm. So for people wanting children it may be time to rethink that produce.... Read more »

Y.H. Chiu et al. (2015) Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction. info:/10.1093/humrep/dev064

Hagai Levine, & Shanna H. Swan. (2015) Is dietary pesticide exposure related to semen quality? Positive evidence from men attending a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction. info:/10.1093/humrep/dev065

  • March 25, 2015
  • 07:13 AM
  • 731 views

Flawed Shades Of Gray

by RAZ Rebecca A. Zarate in United Academics

The Munker-White Illusion: flawed expectations of brightness and shadow.... Read more »

Li, Tavantzis, and Yazdanbakhsh. (2009) Lightness of Munker-White illusion and Simultaneous-Contrast illusion: Establishing an ordinal lightness relation among minimum and split-frame presentations. Review of Psychology, 16(1), 3-8. info:/

Purves D, Shimpi A, & Lotto RB. (1999) An empirical explanation of the cornsweet effect. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 19(19), 8542-51. PMID: 10493754  

  • March 18, 2015
  • 06:43 PM
  • 1,378 views

How alien cell membranes could form in methane seas

by This Science is Crazy in This Science Is Crazy!

Scientist identify 'azotosomes' - short carbon chains with a nitrogen terminus native to the atmosphere of Titan which can potentially self-assemble into bilayers in liquid methane.... Read more »

  • March 9, 2015
  • 11:15 PM
  • 758 views

How dogs get the point: what enables canines to interpret human gestures?

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Guest post by: Lucia Lazarowski, PhD candidate. Her research is available via free promotional access in the journal Behavioural Processes until February, 2016. Hi Mia and Julie,As a long-time fan of the blog, it is an honor to be a guest contributor! I am especially excited to tell DYBID readers about this research because it was somewhat of a pet project (pun intended). I am now a PhD student at Auburn University, but this study was done while I was working at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. At NCSU, I worked with a team of veterinarians and animal behaviorists on a several projects aimed at improving selection and training of military working dogs, and I was primarily involved with studies related to explosives detection. Meanwhile in the canine cognition world, a hot topic was that of dogs’ ability to follow human gestures. Several studies have demonstrated that dogs are able to use human gestures, like pointing, to find hidden treats. An interesting finding that fueled a lot of the research in this area is that dogs perform better on these tasks than chimpanzees, our closest relatives, and wolves, dogs’ closest relatives. Is it possible that dogs are able to read and use human gestures because they co-evolved with humans, endowing them with a specialized human-like type of social cognition that their ancestors missed out on? Or, is it that dogs are such an integrated part of our lives that through our daily interactions they learn that paying attention to our body language pays off?These two viewpoints have sparked a heated debate among canine scientists. In order to tease apart the roles of domestication and experience (or the nature/nurture debate, as your high school psychology teacher would call it), researchers have tested canines of different species (domesticated and wild-type) and different life histories (human-reared and feral). The domestication hypothesis, which suggests that point-following is an innate skill that dogs have acquired in a case of convergent evolution with humans, predicts that domestication alone is sufficient for point-following. The learning hypothesis, on the other hand, contends that dogs must learn through experience to follow human gestures, regardless of domestication status.  The fact that chimps and wolves do not appear to utilize human pointing as dogs do seems to support domestication as an explanation. But, (plot twist!) if wolves are raised with humans from an early age and are tested in appropriate conditions, they can perform as well or even better than dogs.  To recap, groups that have succeeded at human pointing tasks include canines that are domesticated and socialized (pet dogs), non-domesticated and un-socialized (wolves), and non-domesticated and socialized (hand-reared wolves).  Hopefully at this point the missing piece of the puzzle is obvious: what about domestic dogs that have not been heavily exposed to humans? This vital yet untested sub-group of canines would help tip the scales in the domestication vs. experience debate.At NCSU, we were gearing up to begin a new study investigating factors related to olfactory learning in canine explosives detection. The dogs acquired for this study were mixed-breed males around 1 year old, and unlike our previous studies which used trained military working dogs, these were laboratory-reared dogs. It occurred to me that this would be the perfect opportunity to test a group of dogs that met all of the proposed criteria for the “missing link”: laboratory dogs lack the same experiences that pet dogs living in human homes have (including the possibly critical opportunity to learn about human gestures), but they are socialized to humans at an early age and thus not fearful like feral dogs may be. Another bonus is that their life histories are known and documented, unlike dogs found in a shelter that at some point may have lived with people. If the opportunity to learn about human gestures is critical for point-following behavior to develop and not just domestication alone, these dogs would be expected to perform worse than pet dogs on point-following tasks.  We tested 11 laboratory dogs and 9 pet dogs using methods established in previous studies in which dogs watched as humans performed two types of point (“easy” and “hard”, for simplicity’s sake).  What we found was that while pet dogs followed the harder point to the correct container significantly higher than chance, the laboratory dogs did not. Both groups of dogs were able to locate the correct container using the easier point, demonstrating that any failures were not due methodological flaws or to an inability to perform the demands of the task (note that success on these easier point trials can be explained by simpler mechanisms like physical proximity to the container).  Our results seem to suggest that exposure to humans and the opportunity to learn about the meanings of gestures plays an important role in dogs’ ability to follow pointing.  Interestingly, a few dogs in the pet group performed just as poorly as the laboratory dogs, which would lend further support to the idea that individual experiences shape these abilities. Further, failures by the laboratory dogs are not likely caused by cognitive deficits due to an impoverished environment; the dogs received environmental enrichment including daily interactions with kennel and research staff, play-time with conspecifics, outdoor exercise, and a variety of toys (and after completing thi... Read more »

  • March 7, 2015
  • 10:17 AM
  • 1,328 views

How radiation from space affects the Earth's climate

by This Science is Crazy in This Science Is Crazy!

Convergent cross-mapping analysis finds 'modest causal effect' of cosmic rays on global temperatures over short timescales, but rules out effect on long-term global warming.... Read more »

Tsonis, A., Deyle, E., May, R., Sugihara, G., Swanson, K., Verbeten, J., & Wang, G. (2015) Dynamical evidence for causality between galactic cosmic rays and interannual variation in global temperature. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201420291. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420291112  

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