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Kyva Go
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Kyva Go

Prehistorical Peculiarities  - 
 
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh examined individuals' entire genetic make-up. They pinpointed instances in which people had inherited identical copies of genes from both their mother and their father - an indicator that their ancestors were related. The findings suggest that over time, evolution is favouring people with increased stature and sharper thinking skills but does not impact on their propensity for developing a serious illness.
People have evolved to be smarter and taller than their predecessors, a University of Edinburgh study of populations around the world suggests.
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Kyva Go

Spacey News  - 
 
It is predicated on a type of "phantom" dark energy that gets stronger over time. In this case, the expansion rate of the universe becomes so great that in 22 billion years or so material objects begin to fall apart and individual atoms disassemble themselves into unbound elementary particles and radiation.

The new approach was developed by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Marcelo Disconzi in collaboration with physics professors Thomas Kephart and Robert Scherrer and is described in a paper published earlier this year in the journal Physical Review D.

The key value involved in this scenario is the ratio between dark energy's pressure and density, what is called its equation of state parameter. If this value drops below -1 then the universe will eventually be pulled apart. Cosmologists have called this the "phantom barrier." In previous models with viscosity the universe could not evolve beyond this limit.

In the Desconzi-Kephart-Scherrer formulation, however, this barrier does not exist. Instead, it provides a natural way for the equation of state parameter to fall below -1.
"In previous models with viscosity the Big Rip was not possible," said Scherrer. "In this new model, viscosity actually drives the universe toward this extreme end state."
Vanderbilt University mathematician Marcelo Disconzi, working with physicists Robert Scherrer and Tom Kephart, has come up with a new approach to calculate cosmic viscosity and the formulation favors the 'Big Rip' scenario for the end of the universe.
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Kyva Go

Down With Pandas  - 
 
The researchers noticed that chestnut-crowned babblers reused two sounds "A" and "B" in different arrangements when performing specific behaviours. When flying, the birds produced a flight call "AB", but when feeding chicks in the nest they emitted "BAB" prompt calls. When the researchers played the sounds back, the listening birds showed they were capable of discriminating between the different call types by looking at the nests when they heard a feeding prompt call and by looking out for incoming birds when they heard a flight call. This was also the case when the researchers switched elements between the two calls: making flight calls from prompt elements and prompt calls from flight elements, indicating that the two calls were indeed generated from rearrangements of the same sounds.

Co-author Dr Simon Townsend from the University of Zurich said: "This is the first time that the capacity to generate new meaning from rearranging meaningless elements has been shown to exist outside of humans.

The chestnut-crowned babbler - a highly social bird found in the Australian Outback - has the ability to convey new meaning by rearranging the meaningless sounds in its calls. This babbler bird communication is reminiscent of the way humans form meaningful words. The research findings, which are published in the journal PLOS Biology, reveal a potential early step in the emergence of the elaborate language systems we use today.
Stringing together meaningless sounds to create meaningful signals was previously thought to be the preserve of humans alone, but a new study, publishing June 29th in the Open Access journal PLOS Biology, has revealed that babbler birds are also able to communicate in this way.
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Kyva Go

Down With Pandas  - 
 
In this study, the researchers found camera trapping to be a successful method to study them, with the porcupines even developing an apparent affinity for the cameras. "At one point we began to have problems with the cameras. When we checked them, we found many of them opened and exposed to the tropical weather. After reviewing the photos, we realized it was the porcupines inadvertently opening them when they came to gnaw on them!"
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Kyva Go

Down With Pandas  - 
 
Take Coues' rice rat, for example, which researchers believe got to the island of Cozumel from nearby Mexico and Guatemala. Some island populations have grown to more than twice the size of their mainland counterparts.

'Deer mice, too, are nearly twice as big on the Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver than on the North American mainland,' said Durst, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Duke University researchers have analyzed size data for rodents worldwide to distinguish the truly massive mice and giant gerbils from the regular-sized rodents. They found that the furry animals with chisel-like teeth are 17 times more likely to evolve to nightmarish proportions on islands than elsewhere. The results are in keeping with an idea called the 'island rule,' which previous studies claimed didn't apply to rodents.
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Down With Pandas  - 
 
When the researchers brought worms into the lab from other parts of the world, the worms didn't all move down. Depending on where they were from -- Hawaii, England or Australia, for example -- they moved at a precise angle to the magnetic field that would have corresponded to down if they had been back home.

For instance, Australian worms moved upward in tubes. The magnetic field's orientation varies from spot to spot on Earth, and each worm's magnetic field sensor system is finely tuned to its local environment, allowing it to tell up from down.

The research is published today in the journal eLife.
Scientists have identified the first sensor of the Earth's magnetic field in an animal, finding in the brain of a tiny worm (C. elegans) a big clue to a long-held mystery about how animals' internal compasses work.
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Kyva Go

Discussion  - 
 
When a powerfully intense odor enters the glomerular layer of the bulb, SA cells near a given glomerulus will be strongly activated. The SA cells send inhibitory signals to ET cells situated near other glomeruli, close by as well as far and wide across the bulb. When an ET cell fires, its signal is transmitted down to mitral cells that share the same 'parent' glomerulus as the ET cell. The signal received by the mitral cells is weaker than it would be if there had been no gain control. The mitral cells are not overwhelmed, but rather are able to broadcast information to the rest of the brain encoded by the glomeruli about the odor's identify and concentration.
Today in Neuron, scientists at CSHL report discovery of a neural circuit in the mouse olfactory bulb that explains how our mammalian cousins (and by extension, we) are able to dial down powerful odor signals sampled from the environment, for the simple reason that they would otherwise overpower the nerve cells that receive and process them.
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Discussion  - 
 
How toroidal hot fusion generators seem doomed to fail.
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Discussion  - 
 
Any solid without an ordered, crystalline structure -- metal, plastic, a polymer -- that forms a molten liquid when heated above a certain temperature is a glass. The theory relies on two basic concepts: molecular crowding and string-like co-operative movement. Individual molecules within a glass aren't able to move totally freely. They move with, yet are confined by, strings of weak molecular bonds with their neighbours.

"We were surprised -- delighted -- that the model turned out to be so simple," said author James Forrest, a University Research Chair and professor in the Faculty of Science. "We were convinced it had already been published."

Molecular crowding describes how molecules within glasses move like people in a crowded room. As the number of people increase, the amount of free volume decreases and the slower people can move through the crowd. Those people next to the door are able to move more freely, just as the surfaces of glasses never actually stop flowing, even at lower temperatures.

The more crowded the room, the more you rely on the co-operative movement with your neighbours to get where you're going.

Theories of crowding and cooperative movement are decades old. This is the first time scientists combined both theories to describe how a liquid turns into a glass. The paper published by physicists from the University of Waterloo, McMaster University, ESPCI ParisTech and Université Paris Diderot appeared in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
A physicist at the University of Waterloo is among a team of scientists who have described how glasses form at the molecular level and provided a possible solution to a problem that has stumped scientists for decades.
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Kyva Go

Spacey News  - 
 
The planet, named Gliese 436b, is considered to be a "warm Neptune", because it is similar in size to Neptune, but much closer to its star Gliese 436 than Neptune is to the Sun. Although in this case the planet is in no danger of having its atmosphere completely stripped away -- leaving just a solid, rocky core -- this behaviour could explain the existence of hot super-Earths, which orbit very close to their stars and are typically more massive than Earth, although smaller than the seventeen Earth masses of Neptune.
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an immense cloud of hydrogen dispersing from a warm, Neptune-sized planet orbiting a nearby star. The enormous gaseous tail of the planet is about 50 times the size of the parent star. The findings will be published in the 24 June issue of the journal Nature.
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Down With Pandas  - 
 
According to the study's findings, gelada monkeys would not typically move upon encountering Ethiopian wolves, even when they were in the middle of the herd--68 percent of encounters resulted in no movement and only 11 percent resulted in a movement of greater than 10 meters. In stark contrast, the geladas always fled great distances to the cliffs for safety whenever they encountered aggressive domestic dogs.

The Ethiopian wolves experienced a foraging advantage on subterranean rodents when among the gelada monkeys--Ethiopian wolves foraged successfully in 66.7 percent of attempts among the gelada monkeys v. a success rate of only 25 percent when wolves foraged by themselves. The success rate may be attributed to the rodents being flushed out by the monkey herd, which disturb the vegetation as they graze or to what may be a diminished ability for the rodents to detect predators due to a visual or auditory interference posed by the grazing monkeys.
Through a rare mixed-species association observed between a carnivorous predator and a potential prey, Dartmouth-led research has identified that solitary Ethiopian wolves will forage for rodents among grazing gelada monkey herds.
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Discussion  - 
 
This one's for Justin to bring up on the show :)

The study, titled "Should He Chitchat? The Benefits of Small Talk for Male Versus Female Negotiators," published in the Basic and Applied Social Psychology reveals that small talk can be another tool in the arsenal for men, one that builds social capital and increases their likelihood of beneficial gains from negotiation. "We saw a boost in positive negotiation outcomes for men when they engaged in small talk before the negotiation," Mislin said. "Even a little small talk contributed to getting a better deal." However, the same is not true for women.
New research finds small talk in negotiations has a stronger, more consistent effect for men.
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