Updating to iOS 8.1: Are Apple Pay, OS X ‘Continuity’ Worth the Trouble?

Wired News - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:40pm

The recent releases of Apple’s latest computer and mobile operating systems – OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.1, respectively — have brought to full fruition the features announced at Apple’s September 9th Keynote address. Several features have been hailed as revolutionary, while others have been met with either trepidation or full-on skepticism. I’ve had a chance […]

The post Updating to iOS 8.1: Are Apple Pay, OS X ‘Continuity’ Worth the Trouble? appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

Wow! This Hubble Telescope Photo of Mars with a Comet Is Amazing

Space.com - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:32pm
A telescope orbiting Earth has captured a jaw-dropping image of a comet making an incredibly close flyby of Mars.
Categories: Science

Novel software application can stratify early-stage non-small cell lung cancer patients

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:23pm
Computer-Aided Nodule Assessment and Risk Yield, is a novel software tool that can automatically quantitate adenocarcinoma pulmonary nodule characteristics from non-invasive high resolution computed tomography images and stratify non-small cell lung cancer patients into risk groups that have significantly different disease-free survival outcome.
Categories: Science

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase immunohistochemistry testing comparable to, if not better than, fluorescence in situ hybridization testing

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:23pm
Sixteen institutions across Europe collaborated together to show for the first time that a semi-quantitative anaplastic lymphoma kinase protein expression test, immunohistochemistry, is reliable amongst several laboratories and reviewers when test methodology and result interpretation are strictly standardized and the scoring pathologists are appropriately trained on the test.
Categories: Science

Desert streams: Deceptively simple

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:23pm
Volatile rainstorms drive complex landscape changes in deserts, particularly in dryland channels, which are shaped by flash flooding. Paradoxically, such desert streams have surprisingly simple topography with smooth, straight and symmetrical form that until now has defied explanation.
Categories: Science

How ferns adapted to one of Earth's newest and most extreme environments

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:23pm
Ferns are believed to be 'old' plant species -- some of them lived alongside the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago. However, a group of Andean ferns evolved much more recently: their completely new form and structure (morphology) arose and diversified within the last 2 million years. This novel morphology seems to have been advantageous when colonising the extreme environment of the high Andes.
Categories: Science

Designer 'barrel' proteins created

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:23pm
Designer proteins that expand on nature's own repertoire, created by a team of chemists and biochemists, are described in a new paper. Proteins are long linear molecules that fold up to form well-defined 3D shapes. These 3D molecular architectures are essential for biological functions such as the elasticity of skin, the digestion of food, and the transport of oxygen in blood.
Categories: Science

Molecular structure of water at gold electrodes revealed

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:23pm
Researchers have recorded the first observations of the molecular structure of liquid water at a gold electrode under different battery charging conditions.
Categories: Science

Florida lizards evolve rapidly, within 15 years and 20 generations

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:23pm
Scientists working on islands in Florida have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard species -- in as little as 15 years -- as a result of pressure from an invading lizard species, introduced from Cuba.
Categories: Science

Highest altitude archaeological sites in the world explored in the Peruvian Andes: Survival in extreme environments

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:23pm
Research conducted at the highest-altitude Pleistocene archaeological sites yet identified in the world sheds new light on the capacity of humans to survive in extreme environments. The findings were taken from sites in the Pucuncho Basin, located in the Southern Peruvian Andes.
Categories: Science

A gut bacterium that attacks dengue and malaria pathogens and their mosquito vectors

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:22pm
Just like those of humans, insect guts are full of microbes, and the microbiota can influence the insect's ability to transmit diseases. A new study reports that a bacterium isolated from the gut of an Aedes mosquito can reduce infection of mosquitoes by malaria parasites and dengue virus. The bacterium can also directly inhibit these pathogens in the test tube, and shorten the life span of the mosquitoes that transmit both diseases.
Categories: Science

We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:10pm
Frequent contributor Bennett Haselton writes: Facebook threatened to banish drag queen pseudonyms, and (some) users revolted by flocking to Ello, a social network which promised not to enforce real names and also to remain ad-free. Critics said that the idealistic model would buckle under pressure from venture capitalists. But both gave scant mention to the fact that a distributed social networking protocol, backed by a player large enough to get people using it, would achieve all of the goals that Ello aspired to achieve, and more. Read on for the rest.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

Slashdot - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 6:10pm
Frequent contributor Bennett Haselton writes: Facebook threatened to banish drag queen pseudonyms, and (some) users revolted by flocking to Ello, a social network which promised not to enforce real names and also to remain ad-free. Critics said that the idealistic model would buckle under pressure from venture capitalists. But both gave scant mention to the fact that a distributed social networking protocol, backed by a player large enough to get people using it, would achieve all of the goals that Ello aspired to achieve, and more. Read on for the rest.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Science

Big Data: New Oil or Snake Oil?

Wired News - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 5:53pm

There are two differing perspectives on Big Data and its value. One is that it is a valuable commodity that flows through an organization powering the engines of new insight and action, the other is that Big Data is no more than a collection of sometimes outrageous claims. Each argument has merit and interestingly, both […]

The post Big Data: New Oil or Snake Oil? appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Science

Will cosmic rays threaten Mars One, other deep-space astronaut projects?

Kurzweil AI - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 5:31pm

Predicted solar sunspots for Cycle 24, the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 in February 1906 (credit: David Hathaway/NASA Ames)

Crewed missions to Mars such as Mars One may face dangerous levels of cosmic rays (energetic particles), according to a new paper in the journal Space Weather by University of New Hampshire (UNH) scientists.

This is due to a recent highly abnormal and extended lack of solar activity, resulting in extremely low densities and magnetic field strengths in the solar wind.

This results in a serious reduction in the ability of the solar wind’s magnetic fields to block dangerous levels of hazardous cosmic rays, says associate professor Nathan Schwadron of the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) and the department of physics.

Artist’s rendition of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at the moon, showing the CRaTER telescope pointing out at the bottom right of the LRO spacecraft (credit: Chris Meaney/NASA)

“The behavior of the sun has recently changed and is now in a state not observed for almost 100 years,” says Schwadron, lead author of the paper and principal investigator for the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)*.

Highest intensities of galactic cosmic rays

He notes that throughout most of the space age, the sun’s activity has shown a clockwork 11-year solar cycle, with approximately six- to eight-year lulls in activity (solar minimum) followed by two- to three-year periods when the sun is more active. “However, starting in about 2006, we observed the longest solar minimum and weakest solar activity observed in the space age.”

These conditions brought about the highest intensities of galactic cosmic rays seen since the beginning of the space age, which have created worsening radiation hazards that potentially threaten future deep-space astronaut missions.

“Galactic cosmic ray radiation in particular remains a significant and worsening factor that limits mission durations,” says Schwadron.

The study is the capstone article in the Space Weather CRaTER Special Issue, which provides comprehensive findings on space-based radiation as measured by the CRaTER detector. The data provide critical information on the radiation hazards that will be faced by astronauts on extended missions to deep space such as those to Mars.

“These data are a fundamental reference for the radiation hazards in near Earth ‘geospace’ out to Mars and other regions of our sun’s vast heliosphere,” says Schwadron.

New risks to astronauts

The Sun itself is also a source of high-energy particles, such as those generated by this solar flare observed by the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager and associated coronal mass ejection observed by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft. Solar energetic particles from these events can easily penetrate typical shielding and damage spacecraft electronics and biological cells. (Credit: Nathan Schwadron, UNH-EOS)

CRaTER includes a material called “tissue equivalent plastic” — a stand-in for human muscle that is capable of gauging radiation dosage. Ionizing radiation from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles remains a significant challenge to long-duration crewed missions to deep space. Human beings face a variety of consequences ranging from acute effects (radiation sickness) to long-term effects including cancer induction and damage to organs including the heart and brain.

The high radiation levels seen during the sun’s last minimum cycle limits the allowable days for typical astronauts behind spacecraft shielding. Given the trend of reducing solar output, the allowable days in space for astronauts is dropping and estimated to be 20 percent lower in the coming solar minimum cycle as compared to the last minimum cycle.

* The CRaTER investigation is a collaboration with team members at UNH, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Southwest Research Institute, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, The Aerospace Corporation, the University of Michigan, and NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center.

Support for this research comes from NASA’s LRO/CRaTER mission, and NASA’S Earth-Moon-Mars Radiation Environment Module and Corona-Solar Wind Energetic Particle Acceleration projects. Additional support is provided by the National Science Foundation’s Frontiers in Earth-System Dynamics program, which funds the UNH-led “Sun-to-Ice” project that uses theory and modeling results to inform the analysis of current space-based NASA measurements of the radiation environment.

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. developed and manages the LRO mission. LRO’s current science mission is implemented for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate sponsored LRO’s initial one-year exploration mission that concluded in September 2010.

Abstract of Does the worsening galactic cosmic radiation environment observed by CRaTER preclude future manned deep-space exploration?

The Sun and its solar wind are currently exhibiting extremely low densities and magnetic field strengths, representing states that have never been observed during the space age. The highly abnormal solar activity between cycles 23 and 24 has caused the longest solar minimum in over 80 years and continues into the unusually small solar maximum of cycle 24. As a result of the remarkably weak solar activity, we have also observed the highest fluxes of galactic cosmic rays in the space age, and relatively small solar energetic particle events. We use observations from the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to examine the implications of these highly unusual solar conditions for human space exploration. We show that while these conditions are not a show-stopper for long duration missions (e.g., to the Moon, an asteroid, or Mars), galactic cosmic ray radiation remains a significant and worsening factor that limits mission durations. While solar energetic particle events in cycle 24 present some hazard, the accumulated doses for astronauts behind 10 g/cm2 shielding are well below current dose limits. Galactic cosmic radiation presents a more significant challenge: the time to 3% Risk of Exposure Induced Death (REID) in interplanetary space was less than 400 days for a 30 year old male and less than 300 days for a 30 year old female in the last cycle 23–24 minimum. The time to 3% REID is estimated to be ~20% lower in the coming cycle 24–25 minimum. If the heliospheric magnetic field continues to weaken over time, as is likely, then allowable mission durations will decrease correspondingly. Thus, we estimate exposures in extreme solar minimum conditions and the corresponding effects on allowable durations.

Categories: Science

Significant increase in type 1 diabetes rates among non-Hispanic white youth

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 5:22pm
The rate of non-Hispanic white youth diagnosed with type 1 diabetes increased significantly from 2002 to 2009 in all but the youngest age group of children, according to a new study.
Categories: Science

Helping sweet cherries survive the long haul

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 5:22pm
Research into the effectiveness of hydrocooling of sweet cherries at commercial packing houses determined the need for post-packing cooling. Analyses determined that core temperatures achieved by in-line hydrocoolers during packing did not reduce temperatures sufficiently to ensure good quality retention over the longer periods of time required for container shipping to export markets. The study recommends forced-air cooling to further reduce sweet cherry temperatures in the box before shipping.
Categories: Science

Sleep difficulties common among toddlers with psychiatric disorders

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 5:22pm
Sleep difficulties -- particularly problems with falling asleep -- were very common among toddlers and preschool-aged children who were receiving clinical treatment for a wide range of psychiatric disorders, a study has found. "This study is a great reminder that it's critical for mental health providers working with young children and their families to ask about children's sleep," said one expert.
Categories: Science

Cancer exosome 'micro factories' aid in cancer progression

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 5:17pm
Exosomes, tiny, virus-sized particles released by cancer cells, can bioengineer micro-RNA molecules resulting in tumor growth. They do so with the help of proteins, such as one named Dicer, scientists have discovered.
Categories: Science

YEATS protein potential therapeutic target for cancer

Science Daily - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 5:17pm
Federal Express and UPS are no match for the human body when it comes to distribution. There exists in cancer biology an impressive packaging and delivery system that influences whether your body will develop cancer or not, scientists say. Researchers have announced findings indicating a possible new way of manipulating chromatin and its histones through a protein reader known as the YEATS domain protein, providing new hope for cancer treatment.
Categories: Science