Lowly 'new girl' chimps form stronger female bonds

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 7:18pm
Low-ranking 'new girl' chimpanzees seek out other gal pals with similar status, finds a new study. The results are based on 38 years' worth of daily records for 53 adult females in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, where Jane Goodall first started studying chimpanzees in the 1960s. The researchers are still working out whether the low-ranking pairs are true buddies, friends of convenience, or merely acquaintances.
Categories: Science

Ask Slashdot: Career Advice For an Aging Perl Developer?

Slashdot - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 7:09pm
New submitter ukrifleman writes: I've been doing UK based perl, JS, light PHP and JQUERY dev plus Centos/Debian sys admin on a freelance basis for over a decade now. Mostly maintaining older stuff but I also undertook a big, 3 year bespoke project (all written in legacy non OO perl). The trouble is, that contract has now finished and all the legacy work has dried out and I've only got about 2 months of income left! I need to get a full time job. To most dev firms I'm going to look like a bit of a dinosaur, 40 odd years old, knows little of OO coding OR modern languages and aproaches to projects. I can write other languages and, with a bit of practice I'll pick them up pretty quickly. I really don't know where to start. What's hot, what's worth learning, I'm self-taught so have no CS degree, just 15 years of dev and sys admin experience. I've got a bit of team and project management experience too it's quite a worry going up against young whipper snappers that know all the buzz words and modern tech! Am I better off trying to get a junior job to start so I can catch up with some tech? Would I be better off trawling the thousands of job sites or finding a bonafide IT specialist recruitment firm? Should I take the brutally honest approach to my CV/interviews or just wing it and hope I don't bite off more than I can chew? What kind of learning curve could I expect if I took on a new language I have no experience with? Are there any qualififcations that I NEED to have before firms would be willing to take me on? I've been sitting here at this desk for 10 years typing away and only now do I realise that I've stagnated to the point where I may well be obsolete!

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Savannahs slow climate change, experts say

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:41pm
Tropical rainforests have long been considered the Earth's lungs, sequestering large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and thereby slowing down the increasing greenhouse effect and associated human-made climate change. Scientists in a global research project now show that the vast extensions of semi-arid landscapes occupying the transition zone between rainforest and desert dominate the ongoing increase in carbon sequestration by ecosystems globally, as well as large fluctuations between wet and dry years. This is a major rearrangement of planetary functions.
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Obese teens' brains unusually susceptible to food commercials, study finds

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:41pm
TV food commercials disproportionately stimulate the brains of overweight teenagers, including the regions that control pleasure, taste and -- most surprisingly -- the mouth, suggesting they mentally simulate unhealthy eating habits that make it difficult to lose weight later in life.
Categories: Science

New model predicts fish population response to dams, other ecological factors

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:40pm
Researchers have developed a model to assess how dams affect the viability of sea-run fish species that need to pass dams as they use both fresh and marine waters during their lifetimes. The aim is to test how varying passage efficiency at dams related to survival rates for these species, using a model of endangered Atlantic salmon as a case study.
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Flames fan lasting fallout from Chernobyl

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:40pm
In the years following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, forest fires billowed plumes of contaminated smoke, carrying radioactive particles throughout Europe on the wind. Now, researchers fear that a shift to a hotter, drier climate in Eastern Europe could increase the frequency of these fires.
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Study on neurogenesis in the olfactory bulb

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:40pm
The integration of new neurons in the adult brain is a phenomenon more generally compromised in the brains of depressed patients, new research shows. This new work confirms that neurogenesis in the human olfactory bulb is a marginal phenomenon in adults. These findings shed light on the special features of the human brain.
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Seismic signals used to track above-ground explosions

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:40pm
Researchers have determined that a tunnel bomb explosion by Syrian rebels was less than 60 tons as claimed by sources. Using seismic stations in Turkey, the scientists created a method to determine source characteristics of near earth surface explosions. They found the above-ground tunnel bomb blast under the Wadi al-Deif Army Base near Aleppo last spring was likely not as large as originally estimated and was closer to 40 tons.
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For pollock surveys in Alaska, things are looking up

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:40pm
Scientists have turned their view of the nation's largest fishery upside down with upward-facing sonar systems that are mounted to the seafloor and monitor the passage of fish above. They just completed their first experimental deployment of the new system, and the data, though upside down, looked great. In the future, these systems might augment traditional, ship-based acoustic surveys.
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New chemical technology boosts potency of targeted cancer therapy

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:40pm
A new chemical technology uses cancer cells' own protein-degrading machinery to destroy, rather than merely inhibit, cancer proteins. Researchers developed the strategy as a way to develop inhibitors of "undruggable" proteins and overcome drug resistance, a common shortcoming of targeted therapies. Resistance arises when tumors that originally responded to a particular therapy manage to circumvent the drug's effects and resume their growth.
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Epstein-Barr virus co-infection may boost malaria mortality in childhood

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:40pm
Malaria researchers are calling attention to a trouble-maker whose effects may be underappreciated: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Their experiments with mice show that co-infection with a virus closely related to EBV can make a survivable malaria parasite infection lethal.
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Intuitive control of robotic arm using thoughts alone

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:40pm
Through a clinical collaboration between Caltech, Keck Medicine of USC and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, a 34-year-old paralyzed man is the first person in the world to have a neural prosthetic device implanted in a region of the brain where intentions are made, giving him the ability to perform a fluid hand-shaking gesture, drink a beverage, and even play 'rock, paper, scissors,' using a robotic arm.
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Tara Oceans expedition yields treasure trove of plankton data

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:39pm
A multinational team of researchers who spent three and a half years sampling the ocean's sunlit upper layers aboard the schooner Tara unveil the first officially reported global analyses of the Tara Oceans consortium.
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New insights into global ocean microbe-virus interactions, drivers of Earth's ecosystems

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:39pm
Ocean microbes are vital to the Earth's ecosystems, and their interactions with ocean viruses can have dramatic effects on processes ranging from oxygen production to food supply. Marine biologists have now uncovered new information about the way marine viruses and microbes interact on a global scale, which may allow researchers to predictively model their complex interactions.
Categories: Science

Sudden onset of ice loss in Antarctica so large it affects Earth's gravity field

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:39pm
Scientists have observed a sudden increase of ice loss in a previously stable region of Antarctica. The ice loss in the region is so large that it causes small changes in the gravity field of the Earth.
Categories: Science

Partly human yeast show a common ancestor's lasting legacy

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:39pm
Despite a billion years of evolution separating humans from the baker's yeast in their refrigerators, hundreds of genes from an ancestor that the two species have in common live on nearly unchanged in them both, say biologists. The team created thriving strains of genetically engineered yeast using human genes and found that certain groups of genes are surprisingly stable over evolutionary time.
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Can a viral co-infection impair immunity against Plasmodium and turn malaria lethal?

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:39pm
It is known that infections with certain viruses can weaken the immune response to another pathogen. A new study reports provocative findings in mice that infection with the mouse equivalent of Epstein-Barr virus can turn infections with certain parasites that cause malaria in mice (which are normally quickly suppressed by the immune system) into a lethal disease.
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Using healthy skin to identify cancer’s origins: Cancer-associated DNA changes in 25 per cent of normal skin cells

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:38pm
Normal skin contains an unexpectedly high number of cancer-associated mutations, according to a study. The findings illuminate the first steps cells take towards becoming a cancer and demonstrate the value of analyzing normal tissue to learn more about the origins of the disease.
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Proteins may slow memory loss in people with Alzheimer's

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:38pm
Certain proteins may slow the devastating memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, according to a groundbreaking new study. The researchers found evidence that an elevated presence of a protein called neuronal pentraxin-2 may slow cognitive decline and reduce brain atrophy in people with Alzheimer's disease.
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Implantable micro-device to monitor oxygen in glioma to improve treatment outcomes

Science Daily - Thu, 21/05/2015 - 6:38pm
Monitoring oxygen levels in human tumors growing in a mouse brain using EPR oximetry with implantable resonators provides opportunities to evaluate and optimize various strategies being developed to improve oxygen levels in the glioma.
Categories: Science