Science news

Optical illusions fool computers into seeing things

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-11 16:10
A collection of bizarre optical illusions has tricked AI into seeing objects in static – and show that machines don't see the same way we do






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How to think about… Higher dimensions

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-11 16:00
Reality could have many more dimensions than the familiar four – physicists have tricks for projecting their minds beyond the ones we perceive (full text available to subscribers)






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Soggy space rocks brought water to young moon

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-11 15:47
The scorching impact that formed the moon should have left it completely dry, but a rain of meteorites may have delivered water






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If ‘boilers on prescription’ work, why not provide food or housing on prescription too?

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-11 14:06

Doctors and policymakers have been arguing over the boundaries between welfare and health for at least two hundred years. Vanessa Heggie looks into a history that includes nurses with chops and doctors with guns

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Breast cancer drug tamoxifen has long-term effect, study finds

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-11 13:29
Researchers say preventive effect of tamoxifen is highly significant with reduction in breast cancer rates of around a third Continue reading...
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Zoologger: The bird that mimics a toxic caterpillar

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-11 13:29
To avoid being eaten by snakes and monkeys, the chicks of a rather drab grey bird mimic the look and movements of a poisonous caterpillar






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Get your head around the 13 boldest ideas in science

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-11 13:27
The experts share their tips for imagining higher dimensions, going back before the big bang, understanding evolution and grasping quantum weirdness






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Spare us the moralising on prescription drugs. Many of us need them

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-11 13:15

Calling us ‘pill poppers’ makes it sound like a fun lifestyle choice. Do high cholesterol, post-op pain or depression sound like fun?

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The epigenetics of The X-Files

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-11 12:00

Epigenetics is helping us to solve DNA mysteries that cannot be explained by genetics alone. It might even help explain some of the spooky phenomena described in the 1990s science documentary series The X-Files

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Rosetta discovers water on comet 67p like nothing on Earth

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-11 09:48

Findings from Rosetta spacecraft’s Rosina instrument appear to suggest previously held theory is simplistic

The Rosetta spacecraft has detected water coming off comet 67P, the rubber duck-shaped lump of ice and dust that it placed the Philae robotic lander on last month.

The presence of water is not a surprise, but what has wrong-footed researchers is the makeup of the water, which is nothing like that seen on Earth.

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Torture: Why did the CIA spend over $180m on bad science?

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-11 09:10

The CIA built up a multi-million dollar system of bad science that insulated them from the truth about torture. The psychologists involved should be banished from the scientific community

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Ponds or pounding are both possible origins for life

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-11 09:00
How did life begin? The finding of unearthly water around comet 67P and a simulation of how meteorite impacts could forge amino acids hint at rival visions






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Light trickery makes bird feathers blue but not red

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-12-11 08:00
Understanding the different ways in which birds get their vivid hues could help us make coloured displays for devices such as e-readers






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Alien intelligence and the lost prologue to 2001: A Space Odyssey

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-11 07:00

The digital re-release of 2001: A Space Odyssey reminds us of the power of science fiction – no matter how speculative

2001 is showing at the Curzon Soho in London on Thursday at 8.45pm

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Calendars of light and dark that are data works of art - in pictures

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-12-11 06:45

London designers Accept & Proceed have annually for the last eight years produced a very geeky object of desire: a slickly produced “light calendar”. The black and white printed calendars show the hours of daylight and the hours of darkness over the following year. They are beautiful to look at - but need a bit of deciphering too. As the company launches its 2015 edition, here’s a gallery of all of them since 2008.

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Thousands of International Space Station images used to create stunning timelapse film – video

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-12-10 23:55
A French video editor has compiled thousands of photographs to create a timelapse view from the International Space Station as it orbits the Earth. The pictures were taken by space station crew members between 2011 and 2014. Guillame Juin told Guardian Australia he had used about 4,000 images. All are courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at the Nasa Johnson Space Center Continue reading...
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Skull of oldest horned dinosaur in North America found

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-12-10 21:33

Fossil from tiny plant eater, Aquilops americanus, suggests horned dinosaurs originated in Asia

The oldest horned dinosaur in North America sported a hooked beak, pointy cheeks, and was no bigger than a crow, according to research on its ancient remains.

The skull of the prehistoric creature that stalked the land more than 100m years ago was recovered by fossil hunters from rock in Carbon County, Montana. The skull, discovered by Scott Madsen of the Utah Geological Survey, which investigates and reports on Utah’s geologic hazards, measured only 8.4cm long and dates to about 106m years old.

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Google's new bot-trap trains machines to see the world

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-12-10 21:00
From now on you'll be matching images to prove you're not a bot – and training Google's computers to recognise real-world objects at the same time






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Phthalates risk damaging children’s IQs in the womb, US researchers suggest

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-12-10 20:40
Additives found in plastics and scented products could affect brain development and lower IQ

Pregnant women should avoid additives called phthalates found in common household products, according to US researchers, who found evidence that the substances may reduce children’s IQ.

Children whose mothers had the highest levels of phthalates had IQs on average seven points below those whose mothers had the lowest. The 328 women from inner-city New York who took part in the study had levels of phthalates in urine measured in the last weeks of pregnancy. IQs of the children were tested at seven years old.

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Why are US police so prone to violence?

New Scientist - news - Wed, 2014-12-10 20:30
Aggressive tactics and discriminatory policies have brought the US police system to a deadly impasse






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