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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 00:30

Almost everyone agrees the Western world is over-prescribed; except the people doing the prescribing. Symptom-based medicine stopped being used 50 years ago but when it comes to mood disorders, it is still the norm. And "brief depression symptom measures," the self-administered questionnaires are used in primary care settings to determine the frequency and severity of depression symptoms among patients, are being linked to antidepressant medications being prescribed when they may not be needed, according to a paper in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.


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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Psychology"
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 00:00

University of Illinois nutritionists say they have found compounds that boost liver detoxification enzymes nearly 5X, and they've found them in the crushed seeds left over after oil extraction from an oilseed crop,
Camelina sativa, used in jet fuel.


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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Public Health"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 23:30

Credit: Flickr/Steve Jurvetson, CC BY

By Kelly E Matthews, The University of Queensland

Research suggests science graduates are struggling with essential quantitative skills and science degree programs are to blame.

Quantitative skills are the bread and butter of science. More than calculating right answers, quantitative skills are defined by applying mathematical and statistical reasoning to scientific and everyday problems.

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Author: "The Conversation" Tags: "Science and Society"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 23:00
Certain bats may be approaching wind turbines after mistaking them for trees, according to a study, and that could be leading to disaster.

Propped up by government mandates and subsidies, both solar and wind energy have become more common and thus both have come under criticism. Solar panels are toxic for the environment and their efficiency drops quickly in real-world conditions while wind has been implicated in sleep issues in humans and environmental peril. 

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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Ecology and Zoology"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 22:30

Mathematicians have introduced a new element of uncertainty into an equation used to describe the behavior of fluids, which might make it possible to better reflect the inherent uncertainties of the natural world.


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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Mathematics"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 22:30

Norway to the rescue? Credit: Travis Lupick, CC BY-NC-SA

By Steffen Böhm, University of Essex and Katharine Rockett, University of Essex

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Author: "The Conversation" Tags: "Science Education and Policy"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 22:01
Planetary geologists have speculated for decades that glaciers might once have crept through Valles Marineris, the 2,000-mile-long chasm that constitutes the Grand Canyon of Mars.

Using satellite images, astronomers have identified features they say might have been carved by past glaciers as they flowed through the canyons but those claims have remained highly controversial and contested. 

Now, a joint team from Bryn Mawr College and the Freie Universitaet Berlin has identified what could be the first mineralogical evidence of past glaciers within the Valles Marineris: a layer of mixed sulfate minerals halfway up the three-mile-high cliffs of Ius Chasma at the western end of the canyon system.

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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Geology"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 21:30

Just don't forget to listen scientists too. Credit: EPA

By Toby Miller, Cardiff University

Who should political leaders follow when it comes to climate change: environmental scientists, powerful corporations, or a million marchers? Sometimes the three groups disagree, sometimes they concur; but even then, their claims to authority are based on different and frequently conflicting ideas. The recent United Nations climate summit highlighted the confusion over how best to make progress.

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Author: "The Conversation" Tags: "Science Education and Policy"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 20:30

Image: 
Charlie Phillips/flickr. CC BY 2.0

By Joel N. Shurkin, Inside Science

(Inside Science) -- The enemy of archeology everywhere is salt. It destroys buildings, disassembles art works, and can turn ancient pottery into piles of dust.

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Author: "Inside Science" Tags: "Archaeology"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 20:30

Can hamstring injury be predicted? 

Hamstring strains account for most non-contact injuries in Australian rules football, football and rugby union, as well as track events like sprinting, and a team led by Dr. Anthony Shield, from
Queensland University of Technology,
and Dr. David Opar of Australian Catholic University, measured the eccentric hamstring strength of more than 200 AFL players from five professional clubs and may have a new metric for predicting problems.


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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Sports Science"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 20:01

Analysis of more than 8,000 women who participated in the world's largest study of two treatments for HER2-positive breast cancer reinforces clinical trial findings showing that trastuzumab (Herceptin) should remain the standard of care for this cancer.


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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Cancer Research"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 19:00

Optical sensors are used all around the world to monitor the condition of difficult-to-access places like the underbellies of bridges, the exterior walls of tunnels, the feet of dams, long pipelines and railways in remote areas.


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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Optics"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 18:32

Though the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has asked climate scientists not to attribute weather conditions to climate change, a new paper is doing just that. 

A team writing in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society says that the atmospheric conditions associated with the unprecedented drought currently afflicting California are "very likely" linked to human-caused climate change.


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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Atmospheric"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 18:00
A team of researchers has proposed a solution to the problematic chemical composition of Neptune and Uranus, perhaps providing clues for understanding their formation.

Uranus and Neptune, which post-Pluto are considered the outermost planets in the Solar System by the International Astronomical Union, each have a mass approximately fifteen times that of the Earth and consist of up to 90% ice, with highly enriched in carbon. 

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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Space"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 17:35
A human child can look at a cartoon picture of a chicken and recognize it is a chicken, but that is a show-stopper for machine learning. Unless it matches a cartoon chicken programmed in, it will not understand cartoon chicken-ness.

Devi Parikh of Virginia Tech has been given $92,000 of unrestricted funding by Google to work directly with Google researchers and engineers as they explore how to best teach machines from visual abstractions. Obviously if anything comes of it, that will be a real bargain.


Image: freepik.com

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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Technology"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 15:56
There is less saline in Nordic Seas but that can't be blamed on more Arctic waters due to global warming. Instead, it is that the Gulf Stream has provided less salt.

 The Nordic Seas have freshened substantially since 1950. This has happened at the same time as there has been observed increased river runoff and net ice melting in the Arctic. The concurrence of a less saline ocean and Arctic freshwater input has given the climate research community reason for concern, but a new study finds that the source of fresher Nordic Seas since 1950 is rooted in the saline Atlantic, as opposed to Arctic freshwater that is the common inference.

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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Oceanography"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 14:55

In a region where modern humans are believed to have originated roughly 200,000 years ago,    DNA from the skeleton of a man who lived 2,330 years ago has a DNA profile that places it among the 'earliest diverged' – oldest in genetic terms – found to-date. 

Somehow the group broke off early in human evolution and became geographically isolated so the skeleton is modern, but its DNA is old.

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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Evolution"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 14:40

Epigenetics has been used and abused in many ways - can it tell researchers that an expectant mother had no electricity for a few days?

In January of 1998, what came to be called the North American Ice Storm of 1998 occurred. It knocked out power for days in cities and weeks in remote areas, impacting up to 4 million people. It was so worrisome that the government, concerned about panic among peaceful Canadians, deployed nearly 25 percent of its armed forces to keep peace in Quebec.

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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Genetics and Molecular Biology"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 14:09

We know our bodies don't just change in size, which makes it an effective metric in a world in motion.

Psychologists have found that people tend to perceive their dominant hand as staying relatively the same size even when it's magnified, lending support to the idea that we use our hand as a constant perceptual "ruler" to measure the world around us.

To size up the world around us, we need to be able to translate the information that comes in through our eyes into units that are relevant to our everyday lives. The body is a particularly effective metric because it allows us to relate information about object size to actions that we're able to perform on or with the object.


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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Psychology"
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Date: Sunday, 28 Sep 2014 17:00

Permafrost thaw kills forests in Canada, while drought kills trees in India and Borneo. In the U.S., in Virginia, over-abundant deer eat trees before they reach maturity, while nitrogen pollution has changed soil chemistry in Panama. 

Continents apart, trees have many similar ways to die. Many of the changes occurring in forests worldwide are attributable to human impacts on climate, atmospheric chemistry, land use and animal populations - no surprise, writing papers lamenting humanity is why many conservation groups exist. And hyperbolic cultural pandering has led to calls for a new geologic period in Earth's history—the Anthropocene, the Age of Humans. 


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Author: "News Staff" Tags: "Environment"
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