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Britain's first cloned dog born after £60,000 test-tube procedure

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-04-09 12:40
Dachshund cloned in Seoul after owner wins competition advertised in UK offering procedure free of charge

Britain's first cloned dog has been born after a £60,000 test-tube procedure, a television programme will reveal.

The tiny dachshund puppy, weighing just over 1lb, was born in Seoul, South Korea, at the end of last month following a competition advertised in the UK offering the procedure free of charge.

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Categories: Science news

Manslaughter conviction for 'negligent breastfeeding' puts other mums at risk | Steven Karch

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-04-09 11:25

A genetic defect may be the real culprit in the case of a woman taking painkillers whose baby died of a morphine overdose

On Thursday last week, a South Carolina jury convicted Stephanie Greene, a 39-year old nurse, of killing her six-week-old daughter by administering a morphine overdose in her breast milk. Greene was also convicted of involuntary manslaughter and unlawful conduct toward a child (implying negligence), though the concept of "negligent breastfeeding" is difficult to grasp.

Greene was indeed taking morphine. In 1998, she survived a traffic accident on an interstate highway in Tennessee. In the accident, which was not her fault, she suffered massive injuries skull fracture, closed head injury, occipital nerve disruption, multiple rib fractures, fractured humerus and fractured pelvis. She was airlifted to hospital.

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Categories: Science news

Waiting for the end of the world with my father, James Lovelock | Christine Lovelock

Guardian Science - Wed, 2014-04-09 07:00

As Unlocking Lovelock: Scientist, Inventor, Maverick opens at London's Science Museum, his daughter Christine recalls her science-filled childhood and the night they sat up waiting for a comet to destroy the Earth

When I was a child my father took us to the Science Museum in London. His favourite exhibit was the Newcomen steam engine, built in the early 18th century to pump water from mines. He told us how much the museum had inspired him when he was a child. Science had become the abiding passion of his life, and as we grew up it was the background to ours as well.

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Categories: Science news

Bite-sized chunks of brain science don't quite satisfy

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2014-04-08 21:00
30-Second Brain: The 50 most mind-blowing ideas in neuroscience is an admirably wide-ranging book, but simplified explanations leave you wanting more






Categories: Science news

Hive minds: Time to drop the fiction of individuality

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2014-04-08 20:00
The idea that we are freethinking individuals has shaped Western society – but the data shows that group thinking rules, says "social physicist" Alex Pentland (full text available to subscribers)






Categories: Science news

Squirting moons face off in race to find alien life

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2014-04-08 17:42
Europa and Enceladus both appear to spout jets of water and have buried oceans, making them attractive targets for future probes that will seek signs of life






Categories: Science news

Today on New Scientist

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2014-04-08 17:30
All the latest on newscientist.com: who really decoded Down's syndrome? Indian election, implant revives paralysed legs, sexism, violins, volcanoes and more






Categories: Science news

Blind playoff of Stradivarius violins and new ones leaves old Italians a little flat

Guardian Science - Tue, 2014-04-08 17:24
Soloists testing a dozen fiddles surprise themselves by picking modern instruments over multi-million pound ones, study finds

Ten world-class soloists put Stradivarius violins and new, cheaper ones to a scientific test. The new instruments won.

When the lights were dimmed and the musicians put on dark glasses, their top choice out of a dozen old and new violins was by far a new one; so was the second choice, according to a study published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Categories: Science news

Indian election speaks to internet, nukes and climate

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2014-04-08 17:04
Although India's main political parties place the battle against corruption at the heart of their manifestos, science also features heavily






Categories: Science news

Sexism will dog science until it gives women their due

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:00
Marthe Gautier's fight for recognition should inspire other female scientists who feel their contributions have been overlooked






Categories: Science news

DNA nanobots deliver drugs in living cockroaches

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:30
A swarm of nanobots made of DNA can store molecules in their folds and deliver them to specific cells by performing complex calculations






Categories: Science news

Sun traces giant figures-of-eight in the sky

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:00
A pinhole camera recorded this time-lapse image over a whole year, showing how the path of the sun across the sky traces a shape called an analemma






Categories: Science news

Pioneering implant revives legs of paralysed men

New Scientist - news - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:42
Refinements in device that reawakens spinal cord could ultimately enable walking, say its developers






Categories: Science news

Will the medical establishment stop investing in fossil fuels? | Alice Bell

Guardian Science - Tue, 2014-04-08 10:23

Alice Bell: Last week, health professionals and students launched Fossil Free Health. Will the medical establishment listen to their call to divest?

The last year has seen a rapid proliferation of groups calling on universities across the UK to disinvest from fossil fuels. From Fossil Free Aberdeen to Fossil Free Sussex, groups of students, staff and alumni have put pressure on universities reduce their investments in fossil fuels. Some also call for greater transparency in investments, and several call for broader ethical investment policies (e.g. divesting from the arms trade too).

Last week saw the launch of Fossil Free Health. Its focus is not so much on universities, but other bodies which surround training and research on health; the Royal Colleges, the British Medical Association and the Wellcome Trust.

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Categories: Science news

'Seven' triumphs in poll to discover worlds favourite number | Alex Bellos

Guardian Science - Tue, 2014-04-08 08:40

The results of an online survey reveal a world in love with numbers that stand out and feel exceptional

Brides. Sages. Days. Seas. Sins. Sisters. Dwarves.

When it comes to ancient myths, stories and traditions, humans have always favoured seven above other numbers. And this heptophilia continues to the present day.

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Categories: Science news

This blogger found Upworthy-style headlines very annoying. Youll find his response utterly plausible | Dean Burnett

Guardian Science - Tue, 2014-04-08 07:00

Many people are constantly complaining about the current trend to write Upworthy-style headlines, but why does such a seemingly-harmless thing cause such annoyance? The science and psychology behind it really wont blow your mind

There are plenty of bad things going on in the world right now. Climate change, brutal dictatorships, endless wars, Nigel Farage, and so on. Faced with all that, it seems incredibly churlish to get worked up about sites using Upworthy-style headlines to get attention. But it is annoying! Massively so. Im not the first person to say this; its an increasingly common complaint.

But why is it so annoying? Whats the harm in a youth-orientated website using idiosyncratic, emotionally-charged headlines to attract readers? One answer is: its because it's become an alarmingly widespread approach. This is understandable; Upworthys distinct style has generated a formidable amount of web traffic (maybe). In a world where the only ones who dont care about search engine optimisation and web traffic are Icelandic vulcanologists, anything that helps attract traffic is going to be imitated. Something so widespread is bound to attract criticism.

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Categories: Science news

Cosmos: how the creator of Family Guy remade Carl Sagan's pivotal TV series

Guardian Science - Tue, 2014-04-08 06:59
Carl Sagan's 1980s documentary series introduced a generation to astronomy. Seth MacFarlane took the bold move to help remake a show many said could never be recreated

"TThis is an extraordinary sentence I am about to utter," says astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in a voice charged with significance. "[I met] Seth MacFarlane at a kickoff meeting of a new office opened in Hollywood by the National Academy of Sciences." He seems barely able to believe it himself. "The National Academy of Sciences," he reiterates. It's as though he just revealed the royal family have been hanging out in McDonald's.

Science and the movies seem unlikely bedfellows, but hooking them up was a strategic move by the NAS to combat what it saw as a growing public disconnection with science, as well as to offer film-makers help and inspiration for storylines. The upshot was the Science and Entertainment Exchange programme, launched in 2008.

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Categories: Science news

Why do we love to organise knowledge into trees?

New Scientist - news - Mon, 2014-04-07 21:00
From studying the bible to visualising computer storage, Manuel Lima's sumptuous The Book of Trees explores the tree diagram's appeal for showing information






Categories: Science news

Who really decoded Down's syndrome?

New Scientist - news - Mon, 2014-04-07 20:00
The Frenchman credited with finding the genetic cause of Down's is in line for sainthood. Now his colleague says it was her who made the crucial breakthrough (full text available to subscribers)






Categories: Science news

Pro violinists fail to spot Stradivarius in blind test

New Scientist - news - Mon, 2014-04-07 20:00
Could you tell a new violin from a vintage Stradivarius? Top-notch soloists couldn't in a blind test, and they even preferred new instruments






Categories: Science news
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