Scientists find genetic mutation that makes woman feel no pain

Doctors have identified a new mutation in a woman who is barely able to feel pain or stress after a surgeon who was baffled by her recovery from an operation referred her for genetic testing. Jo Cameron, 71, has a mutation in a previously unknown gene which scientists believe must play a major role in Read more about Scientists find genetic mutation that makes woman feel no pain[…]

New research indicates we transition between 19 different brain phases when sleeping

A rigorous new study has examined the large-scale brain activity of a number of human subjects while sleeping, presenting one of the most detailed investigations into sleep phases conducted to date. The study suggests that instead of the traditional four sleep stages we generally understand the brain moves through, there are in fact at least Read more about New research indicates we transition between 19 different brain phases when sleeping[…]

Humans Built Complex Societies Before They Invented Moral Gods

The appearance of moralizing gods in religion occurred after—and not before—the emergence of large, complex societies, according to new research. This finding upturns conventional thinking on the matter, in which moralizing gods are typically cited as a prerequisite for social complexity. Gods who punish people for their anti-social indiscretions appeared in religions after the emergence Read more about Humans Built Complex Societies Before They Invented Moral Gods[…]

Studies Keep Showing That the Best Way to Stop Piracy Is to Offer Cheaper, Better Alternatives

Study after study continues to show that the best approach to tackling internet piracy is to provide these would-be customers with high quality, low cost alternatives. For decades the entertainment industry has waged a scorched-earth assault on internet pirates. Usually this involves either filing mass lawsuits against these users, or in some instances trying to Read more about Studies Keep Showing That the Best Way to Stop Piracy Is to Offer Cheaper, Better Alternatives[…]

Incredible Experiment Gives Infrared Vision to Mice—and Humans Could Be Next

By injecting nanoparticles into the eyes of mice, scientists gave them the ability to see near-infrared light—a wavelength not normally visible to rodents (or people). It’s an extraordinary achievement, one made even more extraordinary with the realization that a similar technique could be used in humans. Of all the remarkable things done to mice over Read more about Incredible Experiment Gives Infrared Vision to Mice—and Humans Could Be Next[…]

In small groups, people follow high-performing leaders

researchers at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering have cracked the code on how leaders arise from small groups of people over time. The work is detailed in a study, “Social information and Spontaneous Emergence of Leaders in Human Groups,” published in The Royal Society Interface. […] To conduct the research, the team convened several Read more about In small groups, people follow high-performing leaders[…]

New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

A team of Canadian scientists has developed a fascinating new experimental drug that is purported to result in rapid improvements to both mood and memory following extensive animal testing. It’s hoped the drug will move to human trials within the next two years. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a key neurotransmitter, and when altered it can Read more about New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood[…]

Finland basic income trial left people ‘happier but jobless’

Giving jobless people in Finland a basic income for two years did not lead them to find work, researchers said. From January 2017 until December 2018, 2,000 unemployed Finns got a monthly flat payment of €560 (£490; $634). The aim was to see if a guaranteed safety net would help people find jobs, and support Read more about Finland basic income trial left people ‘happier but jobless’[…]

Decision making in space – different than on earth

Dr. Elisa Ferre, senior lecturer in psychology, and Maria Gallagher, lead author and Ph.D. student, both from Royal Holloway, investigated how alterations in gravity changed decision making. Astronauts are primarily trained in physical fitness and given the right equipment, but are rarely proficient in how their brain functions will work millions of miles away from Read more about Decision making in space – different than on earth[…]

Stock market shows greater reaction to forecasts by analysts with favorable surnames

Financial analysts whose surnames are perceived as favourable elicit stronger market reactions to their earnings forecasts, new research from Cass Business School has found. The researchers found that following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, market reactions weakened for forecasts from analysts with Middle Eastern surnames. They also found that following the French and German governments’ opposition Read more about Stock market shows greater reaction to forecasts by analysts with favorable surnames[…]

Visualizing the Crime Rate Perception Gap

  The Crime Rate Perception Gap There’s a persistent belief across America that crime is on the rise. Since the late 1980s, Gallup has been polling people on their perception of crime in the United States, and consistently, the majority of respondents indicate that they see crime as becoming more prevalent. As well, a recent Read more about Visualizing the Crime Rate Perception Gap[…]

Why nonviolent resistance is more successful in effecting change than violent campaigns

Chenoweth and Stephan collected data on all violent and nonviolent campaigns from 1900 to 2006 that resulted in the overthrow of a government or in territorial liberation. They created a data set of 323 mass actions. Chenoweth analyzed nearly 160 variables related to success criteria, participant categories, state capacity, and more. The results turned her Read more about Why nonviolent resistance is more successful in effecting change than violent campaigns[…]

Twins get some ‘mystifying’ results when they put 5 DNA ancestry kits to the test

Last spring, Marketplace host Charlsie Agro and her twin sister, Carly, bought home kits from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA and Living DNA, and mailed samples of their DNA to each company for analysis. Despite having virtually identical DNA, the twins did not receive matching results from any of the companies. In most cases, the results from Read more about Twins get some ‘mystifying’ results when they put 5 DNA ancestry kits to the test[…]

The Dirty Truth About Turning Seawater Into Drinking Water

A paper published Monday by United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment, and Health in the journal Science of the Total Environment found that desalination plants globally produce enough brine—a salty, chemical-laden byproduct—in a year to cover all of Florida in nearly a foot of it. That’s a lot of brine. In fact, the study Read more about The Dirty Truth About Turning Seawater Into Drinking Water[…]

Relying on karma: Research explains why outrage doesn’t usually result in revolution

If you’re angry about the political feud that drove the federal government to partially shut down, or about a golden parachute for a CEO who ran a business into the ground, you aren’t alone—but you probably won’t do much about it, according to new research by Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. The research, Read more about Relying on karma: Research explains why outrage doesn’t usually result in revolution[…]

GPU Accelerated Realtime Skin Smoothing Algorithms Make Actors Look Perfect

A recent Guardian article about the need for actors and celebrities — male and female — to look their best in a high-definition media world ended on the note that several low-profile Los Angeles VFX outfits specialize in “beautifying actors” in movies, TV shows and video ads. They reportedly use a software named “Beauty Box,” Read more about GPU Accelerated Realtime Skin Smoothing Algorithms Make Actors Look Perfect[…]

I Tried Predictim AI That Scans for ‘Risky’ Babysitters. Turns out founders don’t have kids

The founders of Predictim want to be clear with me: Their product—an algorithm that scans the online footprint of a prospective babysitter to determine their “risk” levels for parents—is not racist. It is not biased. “We take ethics and bias extremely seriously,” Sal Parsa, Predictim’s CEO, tells me warily over the phone. “In fact, in Read more about I Tried Predictim AI That Scans for ‘Risky’ Babysitters. Turns out founders don’t have kids[…]

Empathetic machines favored by skeptics but might creep out believers

Most people would appreciate a chatbot that offers sympathetic or empathetic responses, according to a team of researchers, but they added that reaction may rely on how comfortable the person is with the idea of a feeling machine. In a study, the researchers reported that people preferred receiving sympathetic and empathetic responses from a chatbot—a Read more about Empathetic machines favored by skeptics but might creep out believers[…]

Sans Forgetica font May Help You Remember What You Read

We’re all used to skimming past the boring parts of a reading assignment or a web article. But when researchers from RMIT University in Australia printed information in a weird, hard-to-read font, they found that people were more likely to remember what they read. There’s a sweet spot, their experiments suggest: If the font is Read more about Sans Forgetica font May Help You Remember What You Read[…]

Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

You might think folks would be less willing to pull the plug on a happy chatty bot begging to stay powered up, but you’d be wrong, much to the relief of us cold-hearted cynics. And this is all according to a study recently published in PLOS ONE. For this investigation, psychology academics in Germany rounded Read more about Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans[…]

Work less, get more: New Zealand firm’s four-day week an ‘unmitigated success’

The New Zealand company behind a landmark trial of a four-day working week has concluded it an unmitigated success, with 78% of employees feeling they were able to successfully manage their work-life balance, an increase of 24 percentage points. Two-hundred-and-forty staff at Perpetual Guardian, a company which manages trusts, wills and estate planning, trialled a Read more about Work less, get more: New Zealand firm’s four-day week an ‘unmitigated success’[…]

Fur, Feathers, Hair, and Scales May Have the Same Ancient Origin

New research shows that the processes involved in hair, fur, and feather growth are remarkably similar to the way scales grow on fish—a finding that points to a single, ancient origin of these protective coverings. When our very early ancestors transitioned from sea to land some 385 million years ago, they brought their armor-like scales Read more about Fur, Feathers, Hair, and Scales May Have the Same Ancient Origin[…]

Two Cancer Drugs Found to Boost Aging Immune Systems 

A new clinical trial published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine has found evidence that low doses of two existing drugs can boost the immune system of an elderly person, helping it fight common deadly infections, including the flu, with seemingly little to no side effects. The trial, run by scientists at the pharmaceutical company Novartis, Read more about Two Cancer Drugs Found to Boost Aging Immune Systems […]

First 3D colour X-ray of a human using CERN technology

What if, instead of a black and white X-ray picture, a doctor of a cancer patient had access to colour images identifying the tissues being scanned? This colour X-ray imaging technique could produce clearer and more accurate pictures and help doctors give their patients more accurate diagnoses. This is now a reality, thanks to a Read more about First 3D colour X-ray of a human using CERN technology[…]

Humans Didn’t Evolve From a Single Ancestral Population

In the 1980s, scientists learned that all humans living today are descended from a woman, dubbed “Mitochondrial Eve,” who lived in Africa between 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. This discovery, along with other evidence, suggested humans evolved from a single ancestral population—an interpretation that is not standing the test of time. The story of human Read more about Humans Didn’t Evolve From a Single Ancestral Population[…]