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Submission + - Homicide is infectious (npr.org)

Med-trump writes: "We think of individuals who commit homicide as being unlike the rest of us," said April Zeoli, a public health researcher at Michigan State University's School of Criminal Justice. "We looked at homicide as an infectious disease," Zeoli said in an interview with NPR. "To spread, an infectious disease needs three things: a source of the infection; a mode of transmission; and we need a susceptible population." The researchers studied every homicide that occurred in the city of Newark, N.J., over a period of a quarter century, from January 1982 to September 2007. Zeoli said that the model could make specific predictions about how and where homicide would spread in the future — information that could prove very valuable to police and other city officials, according to NPR

Submission + - Why salamander genome is huger than that of the humans?

Med-trump writes: Whereas the human genome is made up of about 3.2 billion base pairs, a salamander genome may contain as many as 120 billion base pairs. The news article says that organisms shed their DNA over long evolutionary timescales, but salamanders did not. This interesting study was published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.

Submission + - MIT led mission reveals the moon's battered crust is riddled with cracks (bostonglobe.com)

SternisheFan writes: The moon’s battered crust is riddled with deep fractures that may extend miles underground, according to the first findings from two NASA spacecraft orbiting Earth’s nearest neighbor. The results of the mission, led by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist, surprised researchers, who said it will provide new insight into the evolution of the early solar system, and even help inform the search for life on Mars. Announced Wednesday, the discoveries are also a reminder that the familiar moon still holds secrets four decades after NASA ended its manned missions there. “We have known that the moon’s crust and other planetary crusts have been bombarded by impacts, but none of us could have predicted just how cracked the lunar crust is,” said Maria Zuber, the MIT geoscientist who led the mission, called GRAIL.

Submission + - Scientists Produce the Lightest Material in the World (uni-kiel.de)

Med-trump writes: A network of porous carbon tubes that is three-dimensionally interwoven at nano and micro level – this is the lightest material in the world and was produced by scientists from Northern Germany. It weights only 0.2 milligrams per cubic centimetre, and is therefore 75 times lighter than Styrofoam, but it is very strong nevertheless. The scientific results were published this month in the journal Advanced Materials.

Submission + - Brains of anxious girls work harder (sciguru.com)

Med-trump writes: In a paper published in the journal Psychophysiology, Michigan State University scientists say the brains of anxious girls work much harder than those of boys. The finding stems from an experiment in which college students performed a relatively simple task while their brain activity was measured by an electrode cap. Only girls who identified themselves as particularly anxious or big worriers recorded high brain activity when they made mistakes during the task.

Submission + - South Korea surrenders to creationist demands (nature.com)

Med-trump writes: A petition to remove references to evolution from high-school textbooks claimed victory in South Korea last month after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) revealed that many of the publishers would produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx.

Submission + - A LAMP Stack for Robotics (xconomy.com)

waderoush writes: "If you visit Menlo Park, CA-based Willow Garage, you'll meet a $400,000 humanoid robot called PR2 that has stereo vision, a pair of dextrous arms, and enough smarts to roam the building indepedently and even plug itself into the wall when it needs to recharge. But in a sense, PR2 is just a demo. The real action at Willow Garage is around ROS, the Robot Operating System, a free meta-operating system that's already being used by hundreds of roboticists around the world and may soon be handed over to an independent foundation analogous to the Apache Software Foundation. Brian Gerkey, Willow Garage's head of open source development, says 'What we need is a LAMP stack for robotics,' and hopes that ROS will jumpstart innovation in robotics in the same way Linux and other free software components provided the foundation for the Internet boom. Today’s roboticists 'have to come at the problem with a very deep expertise in all aspects of robotics, from state estimation to planning to perception, which automatically limits the number of people capable of building new things,' Gerkey says. 'But by providing a basic toolset analogous to the LAMP stack, we can get to a point where all you need to know is how to write code and what you want your robot to do.'"

Submission + - Genome of Controversial Arsenic Bacterium Sequence (sciencemag.org)

Med-trump writes: One year ago a media controversy was ignited when Felisa Wolfe-Simon and her colleagues held a press conference to announce the discovery of a bacterium that not only survived high levels of arsenic in its environment but also seemed to use that element in its DNA. Last week, the genome of the bacterium, known as GFAJ-1, which gets its name from the acronym for "Give Felisa a Job." (No joke!), was posted in Genbank, the public repository of DNA sequences for all who care to take a look. But it doesn't settle the debate over whether arsenic is used in DNA.

Submission + - Walk-Through-Wall Effect Possible? (sciencemag.org)

Med-trump writes: You can't walk through a wall. But this is possible for subatomic particles by a process called quantum tunneling. Now, a team of physicists says that it might just be possible to observe such tunneling with a larger, humanmade object, though others say the proposal faces major challenges. The research, conducted by scientists in Finland was publised this month in Physical Review B (Abstract).

Submission + - Failing carbon-cutting program (nature.com)

Med-trump writes: Alberta's Can$60 million carbon-cutting program is failing, according to the latest report from the Canadian province's auditor-general, Merwan Saher. A news article in Nature adds: "the province, despite earlier warnings, has not improved its regulatory structure — and calls the emissions estimates and the offsets themselves into question."

Submission + - Molecular Pentafoil knot

Med-trump writes: Scientists now report that they have made a non-DNA molecular knot.
They created a 160-atom-loop with five crossing points, a molecular pentafoil knot. The researchers used a technique known as "self-assembly" to prepare the knot in a chemical reaction. Apparently 85% of the elasticity of natural rubber is due to knot-like entanglements in the rubber molecules chains.

Comment Partial study results (Score 2) 147

There are couple of issues with the paper. 1. effect on young patients have not been analyzed. 2. The participants received exceptional medical care and therefore there was no difference between control and experimental group in terms of mortality. 3. Protection is partial unlike other vaccines. 4. It is not clear why did they publish the partial results. The associated editorial in the issue by Nicholas J. White is thought-provoking.

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