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Vision decisions: continuity fields, and why we miss subtle visual changes

Guardian Science - Fri, 2014-04-11 14:00
MIT neuroscientist's research suggests how we see is a function of the brain's attempt to manage the world's visual chaos

Our eyes are continuously bombarded by visual information millions of colours, shapes and ever-changing motion yet seeing never feels like work. Researchers have discovered one reason: our brains perform automatic visual smoothing over time. A study has found that our visual perception of things is influenced by what we saw up to 15 seconds ago. This helps create a stable environment, despite sacrificing some accuracy.

It also means that what you see around you that cup of coffee, the face of your co-worker, your computer screen may be a time-averaged composite of now and the past.

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Categories: Science news

Scientists, unions and greens unite in concern over Kew Gardens cuts | Alice Bell

Guardian Science - Fri, 2014-04-11 13:11

Cuts to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew risk the loss of 125 jobs, many in science and public engagement.

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Categories: Science news

Wire up hives to keep bees happy and healthy

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2014-04-11 13:00
A do-it-yourself hive, complete with sensors to track temperature, humidity and pollution will keep your bees happy and stress-free






Categories: Science news

Make up your mind! The science behind bisexuality | Tania Browne

Guardian Science - Fri, 2014-04-11 12:17

'Like Jessie J, my bisexuality is just a phase. A phase that has lasted over 30 years, and through 17 years of marriage. Oh please, someone help me!' Tania Browne tries to see the science behind her pathetic, craven indecision

Are you a cat person, or a dog person?

Do you like Blur or Oasis, The Saturdays or Little Mix?

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Categories: Science news

Feedback: The forgotten dolls of science

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2014-04-11 12:00
Barbie mummified, spam from around the world, the arithmetic of the UK parliament, and more (full text available to subscribers)






Categories: Science news

Online army helps map Guinea's Ebola outbreak

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2014-04-11 11:18
Health workers responding to an Ebola outbreak in Guinea had no maps to go on, so they turned to the internet for help






Categories: Science news

Try stargazing wherever you are

Guardian Science - Fri, 2014-04-11 09:30
Astronomy isn't just for the dark sky areas  it's amazing how much can be spotted from a city garden
Download a star map
Read on for a special offer on stargazing experiences and a chance to win a telescope

The first "wow" moment of my stargazing adventure took place before I had even looked through a telescope. Staring up at the cloudy night sky one cold March evening, I spotted a bright pinprick of light to the south-west. "Which star is that?" I asked Seb Jay, the astronomer who was going to teach me to stargaze and who was, at that moment, busy setting up a pair of telescopes in my back garden.

Seb looked over his shoulder. "That's not a star," he said. "It's Jupiter."

My first memory of stargazing is watching the moon with my dad. He was brought up in rural Nigeria, which had great views of the night sky. He was fascinated by science, and after he moved to London he would take me for walks in Finsbury Park. As the evening came, we would watch the glorious full moon rise. That and watching The Clangers on TV was the beginning of my fascination with the stars. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, presenter of The Sky at Night

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Categories: Science news

Synthetic biology can supplement traditional farmers

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2014-04-11 09:00
Traditional spice producers and synthetic biologists don't have to compete – there's room for both






Categories: Science news

Digitising cave art will prevent it being lost forever

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:00
Virtual records of fragile archaeological sites will preserve them for future generations when it's not possible to defend them from the elements






Categories: Science news

Can resveratrol the 'wonder chemical' in red wine live up to the hype? | Corrinne Burns

Guardian Science - Fri, 2014-04-11 07:00

With purported activity against cardiac disease, cancer and even ageing, the pressure on resveratrol to deliver is enormous

In an increasingly chemophobic world, one chemical resveratrol is doing rather well for itself. This polyphenolic stilbenoid is a natural product found in peanuts, cocoa powder and the roots of Japanese knotweed, but it only came to public prominence as the health-promoting component of red wine, in which it is present at levels of up to 14 milligrams per litre, depending on the grape variety.

As molecules go, it is certainly a multitasker, with purported activity against cardiac disease, obesity, cancer, vascular dementia and ageing. Thats a lot of pressure to put on one molecule. Can resveratrol live up to our expectations?

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Categories: Science news

Engineered vaginas grown in women for the first time

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-04-10 23:30
Lab-grown vaginas made from the recipient's own cells have changed the lives of four young women, allowing them to have sex for the first time






Categories: Science news

LHC spots particle that may be new form of matter

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-04-10 22:31
Can matter be made of four quarks bound together? The discovery of a new particle has been confirmed at the LHC and may be our best hope of an answer






Categories: Science news

Banish jet lag with a handy mathematical scheduler

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-04-10 22:00
An app based on a complex mathematical model promises full recovery from jet lag in just a few days, even for extreme time zone shifts






Categories: Science news

Spacewatch: ISS in the evening sky

Guardian Science - Thu, 2014-04-10 21:30

The International Space Station (ISS) is again a conspicuous visitor to Britain's evening sky as it tracks eastwards, usually to fade from sight as it enters eclipse in the Earth's shadow. Our predictions give the BST times of its transits for London and Manchester over the coming week. Asterisks flag the directions in which it enters eclipse.

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Categories: Science news

Pharma to fork: How we'll swallow synthetic biology

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-04-10 20:00
Our best antimalarial drug comes from a plant, but now modified microbes are brewing it in a factory. Synthetic biology has got real – and food may be next (full text available to subscribers)






Categories: Science news

Command a glowing robot horde to do your bidding

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-04-10 19:23
Squadrons of scurrying "pixelbots" swarm into shapes based on your gestures or what you draw on a tablet






Categories: Science news

Flies steer like mini-helicopters to avoid attackers

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-04-10 19:00
High-speed cameras and winged robots have revealed how flies can dodge danger in less time than it takes us to blink






Categories: Science news

Ghostly glasses let you learn through a teacher's eyes

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-04-10 18:30
The Ghostman system shows your teacher's movements superimposed over your own in real time. It could help people in remote areas who need physiotherapy






Categories: Science news

Is stockpiling pandemic flu drugs shrewd or misguided?

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-04-10 17:40
A group questioning the stockpiling of antiviral drugs has renewed its claim that they don't work. What does the evidence say, asks Debora MacKenzie






Categories: Science news

Today on New Scientist

New Scientist - news - Thu, 2014-04-10 17:30
All the latest on newscientist.com: consciousness as a state of matter, genetic testing of unconceived children, NASA's Martian flying saucer and more
Categories: Science news
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