$500K NSF Grant Boosted Girls' CS Participation At Obama Daughters' $37K/Yr HS

Slashdot - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:42pm
theodp writes: On Friday, a paper entitled Creative Computation in High School will be presented at SIGCSE '16. "In this paper," explain the paper's authors, "we describe the success of bringing Creative Computation via Processing into two very different high schools...providing a catalyst for significant increases in total enrollment as well as female participation in high school computer science." One of the two schools that participated in the National Science Foundation-supported project — see NSF awards 1323305 & 1323463 for Creative Computation in the Context of Art and Visual Media — was Sidwell Friends School, which a 2013 SMU news release on the three-year, $500K NSF grant noted was best known as the school attended by President Obama's daughters. Interestingly, in a late-2014 interview, the President lamented that his daughters hadn't taken to coding the way he'd like, adding that "part of what's happening is that we are not helping schools and teachers teach it in an interesting way." Hey, nothing that a $4B 'Computer Science For All' K-12 Program can't fix, right?

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Fuel or food? Study sees increasing competition for land, water resources

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:36pm
About one-third of the world's malnourished population could be fed by using resources now used for biofuel production, new research indicates. As strategies for energy security, investment opportunities and energy policies prompt ever-growing production and consumption of biofuels like bioethanol and biodiesel, land and water that could otherwise be used for food production increasingly are used to produce crops for fuel.
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Mating without males decreases lifespan

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:36pm
Roundworm species reproducing self-fertilization instead of mating with males have shorter lifespans.
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New maps reduce threats to whales, dolphins

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:35pm
Biologists have created highly detailed maps charting the seasonal movements and population densities of 35 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises -- many of them threatened or endangered -- in US Atlantic and Gulf waters. The maps give government agencies and marine managers better tools to protect these highly mobile animals and guide ocean planning, including decisions about the siting of wind energy and oil and gas exploration along US coasts.
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Efficacy of steroid use in late preterm delivery demonstrated

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:35pm
Babies born in the late preterm period -- between 34 and 36 weeks gestation -- benefit from the use of antenatal corticosteroids to help mature the baby's lungs, new research shows.
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New kind of stem cell discovered

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:35pm
A new kind of stem cell, one that could lead to advances in regenerative medicine as well as offer new ways to study birth defects and other reproductive problems, has been discovered by a team of researchers.
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Hubble breaks cosmic distance record: Sees universe soon after Big Bang

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:35pm
By pushing the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to its limits astronomers have shattered the cosmic distance record by measuring the distance to the most remote galaxy ever seen in the Universe. This galaxy existed just 400 million years after the Big Bang and provides new insights into the first generation of galaxies.
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PGK1 protein promotes brain tumor formation, cancer metabolism

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:35pm
PGK1, a glycolytic enzyme, has been found to play a role in coordinating cellular processes crucial to cancer metabolism and brain tumor formation, according to results of a new study.
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Healthy cells 'collaborate' with tumors to help build new blood vessels

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:35pm
Healthy cells actively collaborate with tumors by creating a mesh of collagen that encourages cancer cells to build new blood vessels, a new study shows. Researchers found that 'collaborator' cells build a beneficial environment around the tumor which helps it to build the new blood vessels it needs to grow.
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Depicting as a method of communication

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:35pm
When we think of language, we usually think of words, phrases, and sentences -- strings of abstract symbols. In research over the past 50 years, cognitive and social scientists have developed extensive accounts of how people communicate with these symbols. But when people are face to face, they also communicate with actions that depict people, objects, and events. They create these depictions with their hands, arms, head, face, voice, and entire body, sometimes with other props but often without.
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New method for producing heart cells may hold the key to treating heart failure

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:35pm
Scientists have discovered how to make a new type of cell that is in between embryonic stem cells and adult heart cells, and that may hold the key to treating heart disease. These induced expandable cardiovascular progenitor cells (ieCPCs) can organically develop into heart cells, while still being able to replicate. When injected into a mouse after a heart attack, the cells improved heart function dramatically.
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'Broken' heart breakthrough: Researchers reprogram cells to better battle heart failure

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:30pm
Patients with heart failure often have a buildup of scar tissue that leads to a gradual loss of heart function. In a new study, researchers report significant progress toward a novel approach that could shrink the amount of heart scar tissue while replenishing the supply of healthy heart muscle.
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Blocking transfer of calcium to cell's powerhouse selectively kills cancer cells

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:30pm
Inhibiting the transfer of calcium ions into the cell's powerhouse is specifically toxic to cancer cells, suggesting new ways to fight the disease. Calcium addiction by mitochondria is a novel feature of cancer cells. This unexpected dependency on calcium transfer to the mitochondria for the survival of cancer cells surprised the researchers.
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Common genetic variant in a tumor suppressor gene linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:30pm
P53, a tumor suppressor referred to as has often been described as the 'guardian of the genome,' may also be the 'guardian of obesity.' New research found that a variant of the gene is heavily implicated in metabolism, which may lead to obesity and the development of type 2 diabetes.
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How many types of neurons are there in the brain?

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:29pm
For decades, scientists have struggled to develop a comprehensive census of cell types in the brain. Now, researchers describe powerful new approaches to systematically identify individual classes of neurons in the spinal cord. In doing so, they reveal elements of the underlying circuit architecture through which these neurons shape movement -- and highlight how statistical approaches could provide neuroscientists with a critical tool to quantify the cellular diversity of any region of the brain.
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People with anxiety show fundamental differences in perception

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:29pm
People with anxiety fundamentally perceive the world differently, according to a new study. They aren't simply making the choice to 'play it safe.'
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Researchers unravel pathways of potent antibodies that fight HIV infection

Science Daily - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:29pm
One of the most crucial and elusive goals of an effective HIV vaccine is to stimulate antibodies that can attack the virus even as it relentlessly mutates. Now a research team has tracked rare potent antibodies in an HIV-infected individual and determined sequential structures that point to how they developed.
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Amazon Just Removed Encryption From the Software Powering Kindles, Smartphones, Tablets

Slashdot - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:01pm
Patrick O'Neill writes: While Apple continues to resist a court order requiring it to help the FBI access a terrorist's phone, another major tech company took a strange and unexpected step away from encryption. Amazon has removed device encryption from the operating system that powers its Kindle e-reader, Fire Phone, Fire Tablet, and Fire TV devices. The change, which took effect in Fire OS 5, affects millions of users.

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Kylo Ren On Millennium Falcon In Deleted Scene - 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' DVD Trailer

Space.com - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 5:46pm
A full-length documentary, deleted scenes and more coming to the Digital HD (April 1) and Blu-Ray DVD (April 5) release of episode VII of the Star Wars saga.
Categories: Science

Buffer Sees Clear Benefits To Transparent Employee Salary Policy

Slashdot - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 5:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: At social media startup Buffer, a single leadership decision eliminated salary negotiation for new employees, preempted gender-based salary discrimination, and prompted a flood of job applications. The decision? Make all employee salaries transparent. "We set down transparency as a core value for the company," CEO Joel Gascoigne said in 2014. "And then, once we'd done that, we went through everything. And salaries was one of those key things that we found that [made us] question ourselves: 'Why are we not transparent about this?'" Years later, the policy is still in place (go ahead and calculate your salary as a would-be Buffer employee) — and it presents a fascinating case study for anyone interested in the ways open organizations approach a rather prickly subject: transparency.

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