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Mapping Ignorance
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Cutting edge scientific research
Cutting edge scientific research

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Mapping Ignorance's posts

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Is China a Socialist country? - The last issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives published the article Is China Socialist? by Barry Naughton 6, which I summarize here. In order to address the question, the first thing Naughton does is to provide a working definition of socialism. Under a broad conception, a plausible socialist system would be judged on four criteria: Capacity: the ability to control assets and income streams. Intention: the aim of shaping the economy to get desired ou...

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MI weekly selection #220 - Signs of organic material spotted on Ceres Evidence of the building blocks of life has been found on the dwarf planet Ceres. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has detected signs of organic molecules around the Ernutet crater. Los Angeles Times Radio receivers around the world linking up to see black hole Astronomers think they’re very close to seeing what a black hole actually looks like, thanks to an array of radio receivers around the world linking up to create a massive “...

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How to phase-engineer Josephson topological materials - When we approximate two superconducting materials at low temperature, so that they are only separated by a very thin layer (less than 10 nanometres thick) of an insulating material, some new and very interesting electrical effects can be observed. If normal conducting metals are separated by such a barrier in that conditions it is possible for a small current to flow between the conductors by the tunnel effect, a typical quantum mechan...

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A new hope for amputees - Amputees are people that have had a limb removed by trauma, medical illness, or surgery. In this latter case, it is used to control pain or a disease process in the affected limb, such as malignancy or gangrene. Nevertheless, most new amputations occur due to complications of the vascular system, especially from diabetes. It is estimated that 41,000 persons were living with a major loss of an upper limb in 2005. Amputees have a significant loss of quality of life. ...

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Testing alternative Dark Matter hypotesis with a clock. - The direct search for dark matter has been a thriving experimental field since a couple of decades, and a new and promising experimental approach has been recently developed and tested: the use of an atomic clock inner mechanics. This whole new idea seems to be relatively cheap since no huge technological development is needed, and relatively fast, in contrast with the complicated long term low background experiments that constitutes...

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MI weekly selection #219 - Thickness of Mercury’s mysterious water ice deposits measured Water ice on Mercury is about 50 meters thick on average, but there is some flexibility in that number and exactly where that water came from remains a mystery. Researchers used data from the MESSENGER spacecraft’s Mercury Laser Altimeter instrument to reach their estimate. Seeker Parasite adds molecule to blood to help draw mosquitoes The parasite that causes malaria releases a molecule into the bloods...

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The unexplored chemistry of electronegative gold - Gold is the quintessential noble metal. Its lack of chemical reactivity, particularly to acids and atmospheric corrosion, together with is rarity and malleability make it the precious metal it is since ancient times. Today, if we go for a description of gold in a chemistry textbook, we find something similar to this: A soft yellow malleable metallic transition element with a face-centered-cubic crystal structure. Because it is quite chemica...

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Carotenoids, I see your true colours - Photo: José Ignacio García Plazaola When autumn arrives to temperate climate forests, deciduous trees lose their characteristic green tonalities and start showing a wide spectrum of new colours: yellow, brown, orange, red… Chlorophyll reabsorption takes place in the leaves and carotenoids, present in a lower concentration, are exposed. These pigments are produced in all photosynthetic organisms, fungi and non-photosynthetic bacteria. When a natural tis...

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Bilinguals and the theory of mind - Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, knowledge, etc.— to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that may be different to ourselves. Attributing thoughts to others allows one to predict or explain their actions, and to posit their intentions. It enables one to understand that mental states can be the cause of —and thus be used to explain and predict...

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MI weekly selection #218 - New species of ghost shark with buckteeth found A new species of bucktoothed ghost shark has been described in Zootaxa. Hydrolagus erithacus is dark-colored, has a large head with big teeth and measures about 3 feet, or about 1 meter, long. Live Science Magnetic fields of stars close to our galaxy’s black hole amplified Stars that graze the black hole at the centre of our galaxy can survive, but their magnetic fields become amplified. If the stars get too close, t...
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