Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

November 18, 2008

From http://eurekalert.org:

Public Release: 18-Nov-2008
New tool trains athlete brains to react 53 percent faster
Two researchers from the School of Optometry of the Universite de Montreal have discovered how to train the brain of athletes to improve their overall athletic performance.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/uom-ntt111808.php

Public Release: 18-Nov-2008
Kids from juvenile justice system 7 times more likely to commit criminal acts
The study showed that kids who went through the system were seven times more likely to commit criminal acts as adults that correlated with the severity of their sentence. For instance, for the least severe sentence (community service) the risk of relapse is 2.3 percent. However, for the most severe sentence (juvenile retreat) the risk of relapse is 38 percent.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/uom-kfj111808.php

Public Release: 17-Nov-2008
Billions of particles of anti-matter created in laboratory
Take a gold sample the size of the head of a push pin, shoot a laser through it, and suddenly more than 100 billion particles of anti-matter appear. The anti-matter, also known as positrons, shoots out of the target in a cone-shaped plasma “jet.”
https://publicaffairs.llnl.gov/news/news_releases/2008/NR-08-11-03.html

Public Release: 17-Nov-2008
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Study finds Canada’s supervised injection facility cost-effective
Canada’s only supervised injection facility is extending lives and saving the health-care system millions of dollars, a new study from the University of Western Ontario and University of Toronto shows. In analyzing the cost-effectiveness of Vancouver-based Insite, a safe injection facility in a downtown neighborhood where about 5,000 injection drug users live, researchers found $14 million in savings and health gains of 920 life-years over 10 years.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/uowo-sfc111708.php

Public Release: 17-Nov-2008
Medical Teacher
Non-white med students reject therapies associated with their culture
Non-white medical students are more likely to embrace orthodox medicine and reject therapies traditionally associated with their cultures. That is one finding from an international study that measures the attitudes of medical students toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). While seemingly counter-intuitive, white students view CAM more favorably than their non-white counterparts, the study authors say.
NIH/National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/gumc-nms111708.php

Public Release: 17-Nov-2008
Minnesota Law Review
Democratic Party control could ban mandatory arbitration, expert says
Democratic Party control in Washington could restore lawsuits as an option for workers and consumers now forced to settle disputes through mandatory arbitration that gives employers and businesses an unfair edge, a University of Illinois labor law expert says.
http://news.illinois.edu/news/08/1117arbitration.html

Public Release: 17-Nov-2008
American Journal of Psychiatry
Novel imaging technique reveals brain abnormalities that may play key role in ADHD
A new study in the advance edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry reveals shape differences in the brains of children with ADHD. Researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins Center for Imaging Science used a new tool, large deformation diffeomorphic mapping, allowing them to examine the shape of the basal ganglia. Boys with ADHD had shape differences and decreased volume of the basal ganglia compared to typically developing children.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/kki-nit111708.php

November 11, 2008

From http://eurekalert.org:

Public Release: 10-Nov-2008
Mayo Clinic Proceedings
Eye conditions linked with obstructive sleep apnea
Numerous studies have shown a connection between sleep disorders and medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and metabolic disorders, including the risk of obesity and diabetes mellitus.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/mc-ecl111008.php

Public Release: 10-Nov-2008
Physical Review E
Forced evolution: Can we mutate viruses to death?
Can scientists create a designer drug that forces viruses to mutate themselves out of existence? A new study by Rice University bioengineers could help make it happen. The study, which will appear in Physical Review E, offers the most comprehensive mathematical analysis to date of the mechanisms that drive evolution in viruses and bacteria, and it could help scientists who are looking to add “lethal mutagenesis” to medicine’s disease-fighting arsenal.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Korea Research Foundation
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/ru-fec111008.php

Public Release: 10-Nov-2008
Ethanol will curb farm income until economy rebounds, economist says
Ethanol helped drive two years of record profits for grain farmers, but also will hold income down during a looming recession that has already sliced crop prices in half, a University of Illinois economist says.
http://news.illinois.edu/news/08/1110farmrecession.htm

Public Release: 10-Nov-2008
A perfect bond
A new laser technique from Tel Aviv University seals and heals wounds.
http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7925

Public Release: 10-Nov-2008
Science
Maastricht University researchers produce ‘neural fingerprint’ of speech recognition
Scientists from Maastricht University have developed a method to look into the brain of a person and read out who has spoken to him or her and what was said. With the help of neuroimaging and data mining techniques the researchers mapped the brain activity associated with the recognition of speech sounds and voices.
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
http://www.unimaas.nl/default.asp?template=werkveld.htm&id=Q06604X23SUA400B5HD2&taal=en

Public Release: 10-Nov-2008
Current Biology
Study doubles species diversity of enigmatic ‘flying lemurs’
Colugos, the closest living relatives of primates most notable for their ability to glide from tree to tree over considerable distances, are more diverse than had previously been believed, according to a new report published in the Nov. 11 issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/cp-sds110408.php

Public Release: 10-Nov-2008
American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2008
Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association
Heart’s surplus energy may help power pacemakers, defibrillators
In an experimental study researchers show a beating heart may produce enough energy to power a pacemaker or defibrillator. An experimental microgenerator captured enough surplus heart energy to provide 17 percent of the power needed to run an implantable pacemaker. Generator refinements could yield smaller, longer-lasting, and more sophisticated implantable devices.
United Kingdom Technology Strategy Board
http://americanheart.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=547

New (to me) Electoral College Site

September 18, 2008

This isn’t as gloomy for Democrats as it sounds:

Public Release: 17-Sep-2008
INFORMS Annual Meeting
Latest Electoral College forecast shows McCain ahead by as many as 27 votes
A new approach to determining who will win the most electoral votes in the US Presidential race factors in lessons learned from the 2004 election and uses sophisticated math modeling. The research will be presented at the annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). As of Sept. 16, the margin in electoral votes could be as high as 282.8 votes for McCain against 255.2 for Obama.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-09/ifor-lec091708.php

Go to http://election08.cs.uiuc.edu/, and you’ll see a range of forecasts. To begin with, the website shows 60% probability of McCain winning — rather lower than 100%.

And results will differ if any of these happen:

More undecided voters than expected vote for Obama or for McCain. Or many more undecided candidates go for one candidate. You can adjust the model for any of these alternate assumptions.

A higher than expected number of registered voters show up to vote, and vote differently from likely voters.

Maine, Nebraska, or both split their Electoral College votes. These states allocate EC votes by Congressional District, but the model doesn’t take that into account.

Oh — and the polls whose data they’re using could be wrong.

Is this election website worth following? I don’t know yet. I say it’s worth a look.

crossposted to http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/18/152714/458/143/602956

July 24, 2008

From http://eurekalert.org:

Public Release: 24-Jul-2008
Journal of Behavioral Decision Making
Why play a losing game? Study uncovers why low-income people buy lottery tickets
Although state lotteries, on average, return just 53 cents for every dollar spent on a ticket, people continue to pour money into them — especially low-income people, who spend a greater percentage of their incomes on lottery tickets than the wealthier segments of society. A new Carnegie Mellon University study points to income as an influential factor in the decision to invest in a product that provides poor returns.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-07/cmu-wpa072408.php
“In the study, the researchers note that lotteries set off a vicious cycle that not only exploits low-income individuals’ desires to escape poverty but also directly prevents them from improving upon their financial situations. They recommend that state lottery administrators explore strategies that balance the economic burdens faced by low-income households with the need to maintain important funding streams for state governments.

“‘State lotteries are popular revenue sources that are unlikely to go away anytime soon,’ said George Loewenstein, a study co-author and Herbert A. Simon professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon. ‘However, it is possible to implement measures that can actually benefit low-income lottery players and lead to fairer outcomes.’ Loewenstein noted that one such potential method for addressing income inequality, which has shown promise in other countries, is tying lottery tickets to savings accounts.”

Public Release: 23-Jul-2008
Perception
Study suggests human visual system could make powerful computer
Rensselaer professor Mark Changizi has begun to develop a technique to turn our eyes and visual system into a programmable computer. His findings are reported in the latest issue of the journal Perception.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-07/rpi-ssh072308.php

Public Release: 23-Jul-2008
Nature
Sex and lifespan linked in worms
In findings published in Nature, scientists have discovered that smaller, but more structurally diverse chemicals are a significant part of a living thing’s biology. When food is scarce or colonies become crowded, young worms stop developing normally and enter the dauer stage. In this form they can live, without eating or reproducing, for months — about ten times longer than the worm’s normal lifespan. When the dauer finds greener pastures, it finally develops into an adult and resumes its normal aging process.
National Institutes of Health
http://bti.cornell.edu/frankSchroederNature2008.php

Public Release: 23-Jul-2008
FASEB Journal
Licking your wounds: Scientists isolate compound in human saliva that speeds wound healing
A report by scientists from the Netherlands published online in rhe FASEB Journal identifies a compound in human saliva that greatly speeds wound healing. This research may offer hope to people suffering from chronic wounds related to diabetes and other disorders, as well as traumatic injuries and burns. In addition, because the compounds can be mass produced, they have the potential to become as common as antibiotic creams and rubbing alcohol.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-07/foas-lyw072308.php

Public Release: 23-Jul-2008
Nature
‘Nanonet’ circuits closer to making flexible electronics reality
Researchers have overcome a major obstacle in producing transistors from networks of carbon nanotubes, a technology that could make it possible to print circuits on plastic sheets for applications including flexible displays and an electronic skin to cover an entire aircraft to monitor crack formation.
National Science Foundation
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-07/pu-cc072208.php

Scientific press releases

May 27, 2008

From eurkalert.org:

Public Release: 27-May-2008
Geology
June 2008 Geology and GSA Today media highlights
GEOLOGY topics include Samoa on the hotspot trail, South Carolina’s offshore iceberg scours; Yellowstone’s climate-induced geyser periodicity; coralline red algae as a high-resolution climate recorder; the effects of extreme storm events on landscape and carbon dioxide; the iron isotope record and the first emergence of atmospheric and oceanic oxygen; and eastern California’s shear zone earthquakes. GSA Today’s science article discusses the Canadian Shield, Earth’s oldest continental crust, where rocks may have originated under primordial seas.
http://www.geosociety.org/news/pr/08-23.htm

Public Release: 27-May-2008
Scripta Materialia
NC State breakthrough results in super-hard nanocrystalline iron that can take the heat
Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a substance far stronger and harder than conventional iron, and which retains these properties under extremely high temperatures — opening the door to a wide variety of potential applications, such as engine components that are exposed to high stress and high temperatures.
National Science Foundation
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/ncsu-nsb052708.php

Public Release: 27-May-2008
Molecular Systems Biology
Weizmann Institute scientists build a better DNA molecule
Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science demonstrate that a mathematical concept called recursion can be applied to constructing flawless synthetic DNA molecules. The ideal molecules are created in successive rounds in which faultless segments are lifted from longer, error-containing DNA strands and assembled anew.
http://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/site/en/weizman.asp?pi=371&doc_id=5130

Public Release: 27-May-2008
JAMA
Prevalence of obesity among US children and teens does not increase
There was no significant increase in the prevalence of obese children and teens in the US between 1999 and 2006, in contrast to the increase that had been reported in prior years, according to a study in the May 28 issue of JAMA.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/jaaj-poo052208.php

Public Release: 25-May-2008
Research suggests parts of UK could be too hot for wine making by 2080
Increasing summer temperatures could mean some parts of southern England are too hot to grow vines for making wine by 2080, according to a new book launched today.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/icl-rsp052308.php
“The author, Emeritus Professor Richard Selley from Imperial College London, claims that if average summer temperatures in the UK continue to rise as predicted, the Thames Valley, parts of Hampshire and the Severn valley, which currently contain many vineyards, will be too hot to support wine production within the next 75 years.

“Instead, Professor Selley says, this land could be suitable for growing raisins, currents and sultanas, currently only cultivated in hot climates such as North Africa and the Middle East.”