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Science AMA Series: I'm Steven Strogatz, a professor of mathematics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. I apply math to biology and physics and love communicating with the public about math through books, radio shows, and New York Times articles, and I’m here today to talk about it. AMA!
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Researchers find that one person likely drove Bitcoin from $150 to $1,000, in a new study published in the Journal of Monetary Economics. Unregulated cryptocurrency markets remain vulnerable to manipulation today.
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Fracking is one of the least sustainable ways to produce electricity, says new study. When comparing environmental, economic and social sustainability, scientists find shale gas extraction ranks 7th out of 9 different energy sources.
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Conservatives are more vulnerable than liberals to "echo chambers" because they are more likely to prioritize conformity and tradition when making judgments and forming their social networks.
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More than half of youth and young adults who had consumed energy drinks reported adverse outcomes, some serious enough to warrant seeking medical help. The adverse outcomes were significantly more prevalent than with other sources of caffeine such as coffee.
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Wildlife species are being exposed to high levels of rat poison in northwest California, with illegal marijuana farms the most likely source point. Study found 7 of the 10 northern spotted owls and 40% of the 84 barred owls collected tested positive for rat poison.
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A study found that 90% of patients who had "penicillin allergy” on their charts weren't actually allergic. The authors say many patients are getting broad-spectrum antibiotics (e.g. clindamycin) for no reason, which raises health care costs and makes antibiotic-resistant bacteria harder to treat.
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The "Two Brothers" mummies were found in 1907 with a label showing their mom's name. DNA evidence shows they were not brothers but half-brothers.
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Surfers more likely to harbour antibiotic resistant superbugs, study finds - Beach Bums project looked at surfers’ faeces and found they are three times more likely to carry drug-resistant E coli bacteria. Researchers found that surfers swallow ten times more seawater than swimmers.
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Group recreates DNA of man who died in 1827 not using his remains but just DNA samples from his descendants
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When an infectious disease cannot be contained, ants engage in “destructive disinfection.” Researchers exposed ant pupae (developing “babies”) to a fungus. The pupae were groomed to remove any signs of the fungus. Then, they were sprayed with formic acid, leaving behind a heavily damaged corpse.
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New Study Links Pregnant Women Taking Acetaminophen with Language Delays in Baby Girls
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In urban streams, persistent pharmaceutical pollution can cause aquatic microbial communities to become resistant to drugs.
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Genetically "normal" BRCA-1 genes with abnormal methylation are strongly associated with ovarian cancer. This may have clinical implications as current screening tests do not capture abnormal methylation.
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A survey of 4000 millionaires found that only at higher levels of wealth are they happier than those at lower levels and that those that inherited their money were less happy than those who earned it
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For the first time, astronomers spot a supermassive black hole that has spewed out material twice, revealing its feeding behavior over time.
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After crows fight they touch and preen each other to make up
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Study of 385-million-year-old shark suggests humans and sharks shared common ancestor 440 million years ago
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Human Emissions Made Ocean Heat Wave 53 Times More Likely - Three 2016 marine heat waves that killed whales, birds, corals, and shellfish from Australia to Alaska were many times more likely thanks to climate change.
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Children who experienced severe peer victimization/bullying were more than twice as likely to report depression or low moods at age 15, and 3 times more likely to report anxiety. The severe victimization group was almost 3.5 times more likely to report serious suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
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Dietary salt promotes neurovascular and cognitive dysfunction through a gut-initiated TH17 response
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Harvard Geoengineering researchers propose seeding of airplane engine exhaust with sulfuric acid (in the stratosphere) for better particle size distribution control that is suited to solar radiation management purposes
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Study finds that global warming exacerbates refugee crises | when temperatures in agricultural areas and seasons at the source countries varied away from an optimal value (of about 20°C), the number of people seeking asylum increased.
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Cancer Risk: Why do women with melanoma do better than men
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Robust prediction of individual creative ability from brain functional connectivity
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Feeding live invertebrate prey in zoos and aquaria: Are there welfare concerns?
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Western University researchers are finding a link between athletes with severe concussions and patients living with ALS — a degenerative neurological disorder.
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UK group identifies a novel botulinum toxin gene cluster from Enterococcus species. This is the first complete botulinum toxin gene cluster identified in a non-clostridial genome.
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A new study suggests that older people who have worsening anxiety symptoms may be more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Anxiety disorders are common across the United States, thought to affect around 40 million adults each year.
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Black Death spread by human fleas and lice, research shows
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A Military Medicine pilot study finds that meditation brings PTSD symptoms below clinical levels in 80% of veterans within 30 days, an average 54.5% decline in PTL-5 scores among the 46 veterans in the study
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Here's a physiological reason why some people are more creative than others
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A study has found that junior surgeons need years of training before becoming excellent surgeons. However, with the advent of robotic surgery, the junior surgeon's practice is significantly reduced, and evidence suggests that junior surgeons don’t acquire the skills they require.
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Obesity shaved almost a year off life expectancy in the US, according to a new study PNAS.
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Meta-analysis of action video game impact on perceptual, attentional, and cognitive skills. - PubMed
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The share of culturally different immigrants is a significant and sizable determinant of anti-immigration votes (research paper)
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Teens using Instagram and Snapchat more than 2 hours/day tend to develop body image concerns, which in turn lead to poorer mental health.
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Long tube butterflies use to suck nectar from flowers actually developed before flowering plants did, so it must have originally evolved for a different purpose
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Human fleas and lice, not rats, responsible for the spread of plague (Black Death)
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Trustworthiness and altruism have a synergistic effect when combined with physical attractiveness - Physical attractiveness and prosociality greatly boosts a person’s desirability as a romantic partner. But the combination of these traits produces “more than the sum of its parts”.
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Activated skin stem cells smoothen out differences in their neighbours
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9 obx-fan Is it just the genes? Perhaps other factors come in to play such as motivation, family encouragement, and quality of the education environment.
9 onejiveassturkey This is a terrible article. Read the Guardian version for a much more clear and balanced interpretation of the results: "But the effect is very small. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the researchers estimate that it corresponds to a drop in IQ of about 0.04 points per decade. If all the genes that contribute to education were included, they add, that figure might rise to 0.3 points per decade. Nevertheless, Stefansson believes that if the trend continued for **centuries**, the impact could be serious...Stefansson concedes that changes in education can swamp any genetic effects, writing that IQ scores rose by nearly 14 points between 1932 and 1978, as technological and socioeconomic changes boosted education on a mass scale. “There are all kinds of things in the environment that may prevent this decline having all that much impact on the true education that people receive,” he said. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jan/16/natural-selection-making-education-genes-rarer-says-icelandic-study
8 Pandacius This is not surprising. There is a very significant correlation between education attainment and fertility in women https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertility_and_intelligence There are many reasons - Educated women have more opportunities, children get in the way of these oppertunities - Several personality factors (e.g ambition) that correlated with desire for education, anti-correlate with wanting to start a family. This could also explain why in the study, that people with genes that correlation with reduction have less children - even if they are no educated themselves. - Education typically correlates with more liberal beliefs, which means a greater willingness for contraception and abortion. Traditionally, prior to 1900, these effects were often counteracted by the fact that 1. Less educated people tend to suffer far higher infant/ child-birth mortality 2. Less educated people had a high chance of dying before fathering anyone (through way, famine etc) 3. There were no reliable means of contraception/abortion 4. Women had little opportunities to be educated, nor choice on whether to have children. 5. Ambitious men had the opportunity to father a lot of children (e.g. Genghis Khan). 6. Cost to lifestyle costs a *lot* more for educated people. e.g. jobs require high levels of education are typically in big cities, where the extra room to house a kid is prohibitively expensive. Like these factors balanced, producing more genetic pressure towards traits that favor education. At the danger of sounding *very* controversial. Unfortunately I don't think the solution is more education. It is education that caused this effect (giving ambitious people more opportunistic than having children, especially women). Obviously, I am *not* advocating we stop educating women, but I think the following steps could be useful - Drastically *reduce* the opportunity cost for having children, especially for women. State sponsored maternity leave, give companies extra subsidies to compensate for loss of staff. Pay women with children an extra bonus that is proportional to their salary/education level. - Promote sperm donations, as this one of the few areas where highly educated genes are favored (most people prefer choosing sperm of successful people). - Remove stigma on on Surrogacy and even subsidize it, allowing educated women to have children without the associated opportunity cost. As you can see, these are already pretty controversial, and would probably never pass the vote in any democratic country. So... idiocracy it is.
19 bertiebees This is a hot mess. There is no "Gene" for going though higher education. Hell in 1920 in Iceland women weren't even allowed to pursue higher education in that country. This is some knock off science that they even admit has no merit.
2 Azul_Profundo >Again, this is all speculation is only based on one country, and it's incredibly difficult to predict what's going to happen to humans in the distant future. weak conclusions but it is something important that se should pay atention to.
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1 jazztaprazzta I don't know if it's "education genes" (doesn't seem like there's even such a thing ). It's a fact of life however that people with higher education have less children on average. That's a factual observation which doesn't need genes or any kind of even vaguely eugenic perspective.
1 c3534l Is this the only thing the gene does? I doubt it. I suspect several confounding factors are at work here.