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Political science: Who is it for?

In a recent post here, Eitan Hersh summarizes research on campaigning and persuasion: If you want to convince a white, suburban, straight, gay-marriage opponent to change their mind, recruit one of their white, suburban, straight neighbors to engage with them.... Want to mobilize blacks and Latinos? Send black and Latino canvassers to […]

Uh, oh: Looks like Lewandowsky and Oreskes will be going after the AGU now for admitting the ‘hiatus’ exists

Given Lew and Oreskes latest admonition to scientists who use the word “pause” or “hiatus” it looks like they’ll be applying the “D” word to the entire AGU community of scientists any minute now. From the AGU website, EOS: Tracking the Missing Heat from the Global Warming Hiatus Despite indications that the Pacific Ocean is…

Spider Skies

In the Southern Tablelands region of Australia, a “ballooning” event has seen millions of spiders riding the wind and creating their own arachnid storm. For reasons that are not entirely clear, the spiders in question crawl to the highest...Show More Summary

Friday assorted links

1. Appropriating Instagram. 2. Kevin Warsh on optimal committee design for the FOMC. 3. Economics of the craft beer industry. 4. How urban barbecue technologies are developing. 5. Which is a denser city: Los Angeles or Beijing?  By the way, more than half of Beijing’s residents live far from the city center, beyond the fifth […]

ACADEMIC BUN FIGHT! Potential PaleoArchean Trace Fossils Mimic Biogenic Cenozoic Microbial Corrosion

Paleoarchean trace fossils in altered volcanic glass Authors:Staudigel et alAbstract:Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed...Show More Summary

In Northern Ireland, sectarianism has become sextarianism

If you grew up in Northern Ireland during the 1970s and 1980s, sectarianism pervaded every aspect of your everyday life. In fact, such is the pervasiveness of sectarianism that it’s almost been normalised. These days, it’s sometimes not even recognised or regarded as a problem. read more

This week at Forbes: Beheadings and cannibalism, origins of obesity, Roman dentistry, historic cemetery clean-up, and endangered Native American sites

Here's what I wrote over at Forbes the week of May 17-23: Gruesome evidence of political torture found on Precolumbian skulls. This amazing (and very readable) paper is by good friend Sara Becker, who let me post a picture of a skull with evidence the eye had been gouged out. Show More Summary

How to manage Saudi anger at the Iran nuclear deal

One of the consequences of U.S. nuclear negotiations with Iran has been increased tensions with U.S. allies in the region. Most dramatically, Saudi Arabia has signaled its displeasure at U.S. diplomacy with its Iranian rival by threatening to procure nuclear weapons from Pakistan. Over the years, Washington’s strategy has been to reassure Saudi Arabia; for instance, in […]

Study uses farm data to aid in slowing evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds

Although researchers and industry personnel have made recommendations to slow the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds, an understanding of the patterns and causes of the resistance has been limited. A recently published study looking...Show More Summary

Ledipasvir plus sofosbuvir: Hint of added benefit in further patient group

Documents subsequently submitted by the manufacturer show an advantage in sustained virologic response also for hepatitis C infection of genotype 1 with HIV coinfection without cirrhosis of the liver, reviewers report.

Go fish! Ancient birds evolved specialist diving adaptations

A new study of some primitive birds from the Cretaceous shows how several separate lineages evolved adaptations for diving. Living at the same time as the dinosaurs, Hesperornithiform bird fossils have been found in North America, Europe and Asia in rocks 65-95 million years old. Show More Summary

How a schizophrenia risk gene affects the brain

Brain imaging studies have already revealed that mental illnesses involve alterations in both the structure and connectivity of the brain. Scientists have now, for the first time, shown how the disruption of a key gene involved in mental illness impacts on the brain.

From reverberating chaos to concert halls, 'good acoustics' is culturally subjective

Play a flute in Carnegie Hall, and the tone will resonate and fill the space. Play that same flute in the Grand Canyon, and the sound waves will crash against the rock walls, folding back in sonic chaos. The disparity is clear – to the modern listener, the instrument belongs in an auditorium. Show More Summary

New method to map poaching threats

Ecologists have developed a new method to better identify where poachers operate in protected areas. Analysing 12 years of ranger-collected data, different types of threats were monitored and recorded, including the commercial hunting...Show More Summary

RegeneRx Phase II Dry Eye Trial results

Results of the 72-patient, placebo-controlled Phase II study evaluating RGN-259 (RegeneRx preservative-free eye drops) for the treatment of dry eye patients using Ora Inc.'s controlled adverse environment (CAE) model have been published and identify the key efficacy targets for a larger, multi-center, Phase IIb/III U.S. Show More Summary

How schizophrenia risk gene DISC1 affects the brain

Scientists have for the first time shown how the disruption of a key gene involved in mental illness impacts on the brain. The discovery could be used in the future to help develop psychiatric drugs. The DISC1 gene is a risk factor for...Show More Summary

The Connection Between Depression & Parkinson’s Disease

A Swedish population study was recently published in the journal Neurology suggesting that people who experienced depression at one point in their lifetime were at greater risk for also developing Parkinson’s disease. Of the 140,688 patients in Sweden with depression over a period of 25 […]

Robot masters new skills through trial and error

Researchers have developed algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn, marking a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence.

An evolutionary heads-up: The brain size advantage

Animals with large brains are considered to be more intelligent and more successful than those with smaller brains. Researchers have now provided the first experimental evidence that large brains provide an evolutionary advantage. Large-brained...Show More Summary

The Kick-Butt World of Cutthroat Compounds

The following post was excerpted from Sentence First: An Irishman's blog about the English language. A houseboat is a type of boat; a boathouse is a type of house. This illustrates a common pattern in English morphology: the rightmost part of a compound (houseboat) is usually the ‘head’. Show More Summary

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