Posted: February 11, 2017 Filed under: Education | Tags: American Civil Liberties Union, Assault and battery, diversity training, Gender role, New York University, Princeton University, Research, Stereotype, United States, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Amelia Hamilton writes: We live in the age of inclusion where we are to be welcomed and treated equally, but, paradoxically, we are all to be labeled clearly so that everyone knows what status we may embody. Take college campuses, the incubator of liberalism gone amok. So-called “diversity training” has attempted to make students painfully aware of all of their differences (well, all differences but ones of opinion, since diversity of thought has become intolerable in academia).
“know your kind and stick to it. Don’t risk offending people from other backgrounds by trying to understand their worldviews.”
Student Carrie Pritt recently wrote of her experience as an incoming freshman at Princeton University, where different labels (white, male, wealthy) were rattled off and students were asked to stand if they identified with that group. “But what did it really accomplish?” she asked. “In compressing us into isolated communities based on our race, religion or gender, the minister belittled every other piece of our identities.” He faced a crowd of singular young adults and essentially told them that their heritage outweighed their humanity.
The message was clear: “know your kind and stick to it. Don’t risk offending people from other backgrounds by trying to understand their worldviews.” Although she understands that the university was trying to do something good, Carrie wonders, “Why were the university administrators, who speak so highly of diversity, choosing to strip us of our individuality?” It’s a good question. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 19, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Guns and Gadgets, Law & Justice, Politics, Self Defense | Tags: Barack Obama, Brady Campaign, Concealed carry in the United States, Concealed Carry Permit Holders, Crime prevention, Florida, Gun, Gun laws, Investigation, John Lott, Research, Texas, United States, Violent crime
Cortney O’Brien reports: “Indeed, it is impossible to think of any other group in the U.S. that is anywhere near as law-abiding” as concealed carry permit holders. So concluded the Crime Prevention Research Center following its new report, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States 2016.”
“With about 685,464 full-time police officers in the U.S. from 2005 to 2007, we find that there were about 103 crimes per hundred thousand officers. For the U.S. population as a whole, the crime rate was 37 times higher—3,813 per hundred thousand people.”
The center studied the rate of criminal offenses among concealed carry holders in Florida and Texas when coming to its conclusion.
The findings speak for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 2, 2015 Filed under: Humor, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Gratification, media, news, Parody, Research, satire, science, Tufts University
MEDFORD, MA—In a finding that upends longstanding assumptions about human mental capabilities, a Tufts University study published Monday has determined that gratification can actually be deliberately postponed. “We now have sound scientific evidence that suggests one can intentionally enjoy something at a point in time beyond this very moment,” said study co-author Bennett Sims…(read more)
Posted: July 11, 2015 Filed under: Science & Technology, Think Tank | Tags: biomedical engineering, brainets, Duke University, Laboratory, Miguel Nicolelis, MIT, MIT Technology Review, Monkey Brains, Monkeys, neurobiology, Rats, Research
Neurobiologists have shown that brain signals from multiple animals can be combined to perform certain tasks better than a single brain
Mike Orcutt reports: New research proves that two heads are indeed better than one, at least at performing certain simple computational tasks.
The work demonstrates for the first time that multiple animal brains can be networked and harnessed to perform a specific behavior, says Miguel Nicolelis, a professor of neurobiology and biomedical engineering at Duke University and an expert in brain-machine interfaces.
“Even though the monkeys didn’t know they were collaborating, their brains became synchronized very quickly, and over time they got better and better at moving the arm.”
He says this type of “shared brain-machine interface” could potentially be useful for patients with brain damage, in addition to shedding light on how animal brains work together to perform collective behaviors.
Networked Monkey Brains Could Help Disabled Humans
Nicolelis and his colleagues published two separate studies today, one involving rats and the other involving monkeys, that describe experiments on networks of brains and illustrate how such “brainets” could be used to combine electrical outputs from the neurons of multiple animals to perform tasks. The rat brain networks often performed better than a single brain can, they report, and in the monkey experiment the brains of three individuals “collaborated” to complete a virtual reality-based task too complicated for a single one to perform.
“In the monkey experiment, the researchers combined two or three brains to perform a virtual motor task in three dimensions. After implanting electrodes, they used rewards to train individual monkeys to move a virtual arm to a target on a screen.”
To build a brain network, the researchers first implant microwire electrode arrays that can record signals as well as deliver pulses of electrical stimulation to neurons in the same region in multiple rat brains.
“An individual monkey brain does not have the capacity to move the arm in three dimensions, says Nicolelis, so each monkey learned to manipulate the arm within a certain ‘subspace’ of the virtual 3-D space.”
In the case of the rat experiment, they then physically linked pairs of rat brains via a “brain-to-brain interface” (see “Rats Communicate Through Brain Chips”). Once groups of three or four rats were interconnected, the researchers delivered prescribed electrical pulses to individual rats, portions of the group, or the whole group, and recorded the outputs.
[Read the full text here, at MIT Technology Review]
The researchers tested the ability of rat brain networks to perform basic computing tasks. For example, by delivering electrical pulse patterns derived from a digital image, they recorded the electrical outputs and measured how well the network of neurons processed that image. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 7, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere, Science & Technology, Space & Aviation | Tags: Airplane, NASA, Research, video
Research for giving rescuers a better chance at locating plane wrecks.
Posted: November 4, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, Science & Technology, U.S. News | Tags: 113th Congress, Innovation, Lawmakers, Popular Mechanics, Research, Senate, technology
The Innovation 15: Our Most Science- and Tech-Friendly Members of Congress
So maybe things aren’t that great. The 113th Congress of the United States is on track to enact just 251 laws in its two-year session, the least productive Congress since 1973. If a bill attempts to do anything more than rename a post office, it’s likely to languish in committee, ignored, while lawmakers sling partisan dung over budgets and borders. Not a great environment for innovation-minded legislation trying to become law. But it’s midterm- election time in America, and 33 Senate seats and every seat in the House of Representatives are up for grabs. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 19, 2014 Filed under: Robotics, Science & Technology | Tags: Advanced Functional Materials, Edward Lucas White, Liquid, Mechanical engineering, Medical device, Purdue, Purdue University, Research
For phys.org, Emil Venere writes: Researchers have developed a technique that might be used to produce “soft machines” made of elastic materials and liquid metals for potential applications in robotics, medical devices and consumer electronics.
“Once you print it you can flip it over or turn it on its side, because the liquid is encased by this oxide skin. We use this finding to embed our electronics in elastomer without ruining or altering the printed structures during the processing steps…”
Such an elastic technology could make possible robots that have sensory skin and stretchable garments that people might wear to interact with computers or for therapeutic purposes.
Purdue researchers have developed a technique to embed a liquid-alloy pattern inside a rubber-like polymer to form a network of sensors. The approach might be used to produce “soft machines” made of elastic materials and liquid metals for potential applications in robotics, medical devices and consumer electronics. Credit: Rebecca Kramer/Purdue University
“We use this finding to embed our electronics in elastomer without ruining or altering the printed structures during the processing steps.”
However, new manufacturing techniques must be developed before soft machines become commercially practical, said Rebecca Kramer, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University.
She and her students are working to develop the fabrication technique, which uses a custom-built 3D printer. Recent findings show how to use the technique to create devices called strain gauges, which are commonly found in many commercial applications to measure how much something is stretching. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 26, 2013 Filed under: Science & Technology, Think Tank | Tags: Anthracite, Coal, Fluorescence, James Tour, Quantum dot, Research, Rice, Rice University
Coal could be a source of cheap, nontoxic fluorescent nanoparticles useful for biomedicine.
Mike Orcutt writes: Glowing graphene: An electron microscope image shows fluorescent carbon nanoparticles extracted from anthracite coal.
Coal can be turned into large volumes of glowing quantum dots, according to Rice University researchers.
The new method could represent a very cheap way to produce fluorescent carbon nanoparticles that could be useful in biomedicine, and especially in the imaging of living human cells and tissues, says James Tour, a chemistry professor at Rice. Tour, who led the research, says early tests suggest that the particles are nontoxic, and says his group is working on developing the particles into fluorescent probes and drug-delivery vehicles.
The researchers used sound waves to agitate three types of coal—bituminous, anthracite, and coke—each treated with acid. They then heated the samples for 24 hours. The resulting particles, which range in size from two to 40 nanometers, were made of several layers of graphene oxide, an atom-thick carbon compound with a highly ordered structure. The size of the particles made from each type of coal was distinct, and each size emitted a different color of fluorescence.
Tour and his colleagues say there is enough evidence to call the carbon particles quantum dots. Quantum dots are nanoparticles in which electrons are confined to a space smaller than their wavelength, a phenomenon which gives rise to fluorescence; different-sized dots glow different colors when excited by a light source. Tour acknowledges that future research might reveal the particles to be fluorescent due to factors other than this phenomenon, but he says that wouldn’t change the potential technological applications.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 20, 2013 Filed under: Reading Room, Think Tank | Tags: Academic publishing, Amgen, Bayer, Doctor of Philosophy, History of science, National Institutes of Health, Peer review, Research, Scientist, Trust but verify
Scientific research has changed the world. Now it needs to change itself
A simple idea underpins science: “trust, but verify”. Results should always be subject to challenge from experiment. That simple but powerful idea has generated a vast body of knowledge. Since its birth in the 17th century, modern science has changed the world beyond recognition, and overwhelmingly for the better.
But success can breed complacency. Modern scientists are doing too much trusting and not enough verifying—to the detriment of the whole of science, and of humanity.
Too many of the findings that fill the academic ether are the result of shoddy experiments or poor analysis (see article). A rule of thumb among biotechnology venture-capitalists is that half of published research cannot be replicated. Even that may be optimistic. Last year researchers at one biotech firm, Amgen, found they could reproduce just six of 53 “landmark” studies in cancer research. Earlier, a group at Bayer, a drug company, managed to repeat just a quarter of 67 similarly important papers. A leading computer scientist frets that three-quarters of papers in his subfield are bunk. In 2000-10 roughly 80,000 patients took part in clinical trials based on research that was later retracted because of mistakes or improprieties.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 7, 2013 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere, Science & Technology | Tags: Brigham Young University, Facebook, Food, Instagram, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Pinterest, Research, Ryan Elder, Utah
The Experts Have Spoken: Instagram Pictures of Food Will Ruin Your Meal
Eliana Dockterman reports: When your friend stops you from digging into your delicious meal so that she can Instagram the food, it spoils the eating experience. And there’s science to prove that.
A new study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology says that over-exposure to food photos on Instagram ruins your meal. Marketing professors at Brigham Young University asked 232 people to look at and rate pictures of food.
Half of the participants looked a pictures of sweet food (cakes, pastries), half at pictures of salty food (pretzels, chips). Both groups were then asked to have a salty food snack. Those who had looked at pictures of salty food enjoyed their snack less. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 19, 2013 Filed under: Mediasphere, Reading Room | Tags: 3D printing, Cartilage, Cell (biology), Printers, Research, technology, Tissue (biology), University of Manchester
Darryl D’Lima, an orthopedic specialist, worked with a bioprinter in his research on cartilage at Scripps Clinic in San Diego.
SAN DIEGO — Someday, perhaps, printers will revolutionize the world of medicine, churning out hearts, livers and other organs to ease transplantation shortages. For now, though, Darryl D’Lima would settle for a little bit of knee cartilage.
Dr. D’Lima, who heads an orthopedic research lab at the Scripps Clinic here, has already made bioartificial cartilage in cow tissue, modifying an old inkjet printer to put down layer after layer of a gel containing living cells. He has also printed cartilage in tissue removed from patients who have undergoneknee replacement surgery.
There is much work to do to perfect the process, get regulatory approvals and conduct clinical trials, but his eventual goal sounds like something from science fiction: to have a printer in the operating room that could custom-print new cartilage directly in the body to repair or replace tissue that is missing because of injury or arthritis.
Read the rest of this entry »