Bacteria in smokeless tobacco products may be a health concern

Science Daily - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 6:20pm
Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a new paper. An estimated 8 million people use smokeless tobacco products in the US. But there has been little data on the microbial populations that exist within these products.
Categories: Science

Everyone Wants a Level 5 Self-Driving Car—Here’s What That Means

Wired News - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 6:12pm
As cars that drive themselves evolve and spread over the coming years, here's a guide for understanding what's left for you to do. The post Everyone Wants a Level 5 Self-Driving Car—Here's What That Means appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

On Women’s Equality Day, More Tech Companies Promise Change

Wired News - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 6:10pm
Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft have signed the White House Equal Pay Pledge. But now comes the real work. The post On Women's Equality Day, More Tech Companies Promise Change appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Alphabet's Nest Wants to Build a 'Citizen-Fueled' Power Plant

Slashdot - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 6:00pm
Mark Chediak, reporting for Bloomberg:Alphabet Inc's Nest Labs is looking to enlist enough customers in California to free up as much power as a small natural gas-fired plant produces, helping alleviate potential energy shortages in the region following a massive gas leak that has restricted supplies. Nest, which supplies digital, wireless thermostats, is partnering with Edison International's Southern California Edison utility to get households enrolled in a state-established energy conservation program. The company wants to attract 50,000 customers through next summer that could shrink their total demand by as much as 50 megawatts when needed, Ben Bixby, Nest's director of energy businesses at Nest, said by phone. "We are building a citizen-fueled clean power plant," he said.

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Categories: Science

Dropbox Is Urging Users To Reset Their Passwords

Slashdot - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 5:20pm
Dropbox is forcing a number of users to change their passwords after the cloud storage company found some account details linked to an old data breach. "The next time you visit dropbox.com, you may be asked to create a new password. We proactively initiated this password update prompt for Dropbox users who meet certain criteria," the company writes on its website. Fortune reports: The popular cloud storage said the move was related to the theft of an old set of Dropbox credentials, dating back to 2012. So the users the company has contacted are those who created Dropbox accounts before mid-2012 and have not updated their passwords since that time. Dropbox disclosed in July 2012 that some users were getting spammed, and the cause appeared to be the theft of usernames and passwords from other websites. As is often the case, some people reuse their usernames and passwords across different web services. (If it still needs saying, you really shouldn't reuse your passwords, ever.)

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Categories: Science

White House Proposes a New Immigration Rule for Entrepreneurs

Wired News - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 5:07pm
The Startup Visa failed in Congress. A new rule is the Obama Administration's last chance to pave the way for immigrant entrepreneurs. The post White House Proposes a New Immigration Rule for Entrepreneurs appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Robot Babies Not Effective Birth Control, Australian Study Finds

Slashdot - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 4:40pm
An anonymous reader writes: Girls given imitation babies to look after in an effort to deter teenage pregnancy could actually be more likely to get pregnant, according to a study. Researchers in Australia found 8% of girls who used the dolls were expecting by the age of 20, compared with 4% of those who did not. The number of girls having at least one abortion was also higher among girls given the dolls: 9% compared to 6%. 'Baby Think It Over' dolls were used in a Virtual Infant Parenting (VIP) programme which began in 57 schools in Western Australia in 2003. During the three-year study, published in The Lancet, 1267 girls aged 13 to 15 used the simulators -- which need to be fed and changed, while 1567 learned the normal health curriculum. The idea originated in the United States and is used in 89 countries. Researchers from the Telethon Kids Institute in Western Australia are now warning that such programmes may be a waste of public money.

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The Slashdot Interview With VideoLAN President and Lead VLC Developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf

Slashdot - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 4:00pm
You asked, he answered! VideoLan President and Lead Developer of VLC Jean-Baptiste Kempf has responded to questions submitted by Slashdot readers. Read on to find out about the upcoming VideoLAN projects; how they keep VLC sustainable; what are some mistakes they wish they hadn't made; and what security challenges they face, among others!

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Juno Probe to Get 1st Up-Close Look at Jupiter Saturday

Space.com - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 3:40pm
At 8:51 a.m. EDT (1251 GMT) on Saturday (Aug. 27), Juno will zoom within 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) of Jupiter's cloud tops — closer than the probe is scheduled to come during its entire mission, NASA officials said.
Categories: Science

Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Use Optical Media?

Slashdot - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 3:19pm
The other day at an event, public relation officials were handing out press kit (it usually contains everything the company announced, photos from the event, and contact information of the company) to journalists. When I reached office and opened the kit, I found a CD in it. Which was weird because it's been two to three years since I had a computer with an optical drive. And all these years I didn't need one. Which brings up the question: Does your work require dealing with CDs and DVDs anymore? An anonymous reader asks the same question: I still use optical discs for various backup purposes, but recently I developed doubts as to the reliability of the media to last a reasonable amount of time. I have read a review on Amazon of the TDK DVDs, in which somebody described losing 8000 (sic!) DVDs of data after 4 years of storage. I promptly canceled my purchase of TDKs. So, do you still use opticals for back-up -- Blu-Rays, DVDs, CDs? -- and if so, how do you go about it?I do buy Blu-Ray discs of movies, though. So my life isn't optical disc free yet. What about yours?

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Categories: Science

Predictive tool vital to sustainable environmental futures

Science Daily - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 3:07pm
A new predictive tool, which for the first time combines human perception of the environment with land-use planning and socioeconomic data, could help governments mitigate the impact of climate change in developing countries. 
Categories: Science

Moth takes advantage of defensive compounds in Physalis fruits

Science Daily - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 3:07pm
Researchers found that the specialist moth Heliothis subflexa benefits from secondary plant components by turning the original defensive function of these compounds into its own advantage. Withanolides, which are present in Physalis plants, usually act as immune suppressants and feeding deterrents in insects. Surprisingly, Heliothis subflexa uses these plant defenses as immune-system boosters. Moreover, withanolides protect the moth from harmful effects caused by pathogenic bacteria. The new study demonstrates a unique benefit to host-plant specialization.
Categories: Science

Breast milk sugar may protect babies against deadly infection

Science Daily - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 2:48pm
A type of sugar found naturally in some women’s breast milk may protect newborn babies from infection with a potentially life threatening bacterium called Group B streptococcus, according to a new study. These bacteria are a common cause of meningitis in newborns and the leading cause of infection in the first three months of life globally.
Categories: Science

Egyptian women say doctors don't discourage female genital cutting, study finds

Science Daily - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 2:48pm
More Egyptian women are seeking the opinions of physicians on whether their daughters should undergo female genital cutting, which is illegal in the country, but they say doctors don't advise against the procedure.
Categories: Science

Hiding in plain sight: Vast reef found hiding behind Great Barrier Reef

Science Daily - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 2:48pm
Scientists working with laser data have discovered a vast reef behind the familiar Great Barrier Reef. High-resolution seafloor data provided by LiDAR-equipped aircraft have revealed great fields of unusual donut-shaped circular mounds, each 200-300 meters across and up to 10 meters deep at the center.
Categories: Science

Insecticide ryanodine: Building a chemical from the ground up

Science Daily - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 2:48pm
Chemists have significantly improved upon the synthesis of a molecule related to muscle and neuronal function. A research team has been busy trying to crack the puzzle of the insecticide ryanodine, a complex molecule first isolated from a tropical plant in the 1940s. Ryanodine paralyzes insects by binding to a class of calcium-channel receptors called ryanodine receptors. In humans, these receptors play critical roles in muscle and neuronal function.
Categories: Science

Second Confirmed Death In Japan Involving Pokemon Go

Slashdot - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 2:45pm
An anonymous reader writes: The Japan Times reports another death. This time a 20 year old woman has died after being hit by a car while riding her bicycle. The man driving the car claimed he was distracted changing the battery because it was nearly flat from playing Pokemon Go. Police have already charged him with negligence resulting in injury. The penalty for causing death is a maximum 7 years jail. The Japanese National Police agency said there have been 79 bicycle and car accidents linked to the game. Another death was reported yesterday

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Categories: Science

Volcanic eruption masked acceleration in sea level rise

Science Daily - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 2:15pm
The cataclysmic 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines masked the full impact of greenhouse gases on accelerating sea level rise, according to a new study.
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Allergy research: Response to house dust mites is age-dependent

Science Daily - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 2:15pm
In adults with a house dust mite allergy, a cascade of inflammatory signals on the surface of the airways leads to airway remodeling. This process cannot be influenced by standard cortisone therapy.
Categories: Science

Next steps in understanding brain function

Science Daily - Fri, 26/08/2016 - 2:15pm
As scientists around the globe join efforts to understand brain function, we enter the era of Big Data and stir up debate on how science is done and how it can affect us all.
Categories: Science