May 01

How your brain picks the right word: The 'cat' and 'dog' battle

Posted by: Administrator in News |

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-35946000

The average English-speaker has about 50,000 words in their mind. But how do they find the right one in 600 milliseconds? A Bangor University expert believes the constant battle for prominence between words like "cat" and "dog" could help to explain. Dr Gary Oppenheim, of the university's Language Production Lab, is working to reveal the "algorithms and architectures" behind vocabulary. He, argues the mind retrieves words by activating their "semantic features" - the elements that make up their meaning. Some words share a number of features - for instance, the words "dog" and "cat" are both furry, quadrupeds, with a tail that are domesticated. They are, however, distinguished by the fact one barks and the other meows. He argues such words, linked by their shared semantic features, are constantly reorganized and refined based on their usefulness in the recent past. "By adapting to the things that have been difficult in the recent past, you can actually predict and overcome those challenges you might experience in the near future."

 

May 01

Research finds link between angry outbursts and parasites spread by cats

Posted by: Administrator in Environment |

http://wivb.com/2016/03/25/research-finds-link-between-angry-outbursts-and-parasites-spread-by-cats/

Scientists have already linked this parasite to schizophrenia, but a new study that came out recently shows the same parasite may cause something known as intermittent explosive disorder. You’re at risk of catching this parasite if you handle the litter box. That is the most common way it is transmitted. The study authors say the parasite may change brain chemistry, which can have behavioral effects.

 

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Apr 30

A baby's first impression

Posted by: Administrator in Business & Economy |

http://www.cbc.ca/news/thenational/a-baby-s-first-impression-1.3520825

Children show an understanding of their social world earlier than previously thought. New research suggests babies closely watch how people interact, and like adults, can quickly form negative impressions. Babies at 15 months of age make snap judgments when a stranger shows anger and they don't forget quickly, child psychologists find. The researchers say by 12 months of age, babies are very responsive to other people's emotions and they use that emotional information to regulate their behavior and generalize.

 

Apr 30

Doctor: Some babies simply just sleep better than others

Posted by: Administrator in News |

http://wivb.com/2016/03/16/doctor-some-babies-simply-just-sleep-better-than-others/

Maybe you’ve tried sleep training for your baby, getting them on a schedule or making sure they eat what the books say they should eat for a good night’s rest. A doctor is putting parents minds at ease when it comes to feeling guilty about how your baby sleeps. She wrote a blog for the New York Times that basically says some babies sleep better than others, and there’s not much you can do about it. 

 

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Apr 29

Researchers build software that can predict your lifespan

Posted by: Administrator in Science & Technology |

http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/01/health/east-anglia-computer-lifespan-feat/index.html

Imagine if a computer could tell you how many days you had left. You might decide to live your life differently -- perhaps spending your money in other ways, or making your health a bigger priority. Whether you're ready to find out or not, researchers from the University of East Anglia have started a project creating a software that -- among other things -- will be able to predict a person's lifespan.

 
The researchers argue that knowing when our time is up could be helpful for planning retirement funds, getting better advice from physicians and understanding how drugs treating chronic illness could affect one's lifespan. They won't be able to provide an exact figure, but they plan to match people by age, sex, health and lifestyle to come up with an educated guess of how many years you have left to live.

Data from 3.4 million patients

"If we have a thousand people with roughly the same kind of conditions and lifestyles and so on, then on average they will live for so many years," Lead researcher Elena Kulinskaya told CNN.
 
It's a Big Data project, meaning it uses vast amounts of information -- in this case the medical records of 3.4 million British citizens.
 
"This is GP data, from people who come to see their GPs over many years -- it's routine primary care data," explains Kulinskaya, adding that, "It's absolutely anonymous."
"Big Data is great," says Dr Richard Siow, coordinator of Aging Research at King's College London, a consortium which brings together scholarship and research in aging, "Many companies are using it -- from pharmaceuticals to food distribution companies -- to try and get an overall trend.
 
"But to apply Big Data to an individual is unrealistic," he adds, "There are so many different variables... you may get overgeneralizations."

Better healthcare

However, Kulinskaya is confident the research could help patients and doctors make better educated decisions about healthcare -- for example by comparing life expectancies of people on different medications. It could even come in useful for planning your pension.

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    Apr 29

    This Online Startup Banks on Student's Potential When Giving Out Loans

    Posted by: Administrator in Business & Economy |

    http://www.nbcnews.com/video/this-online-startup-banks-on-student-s-potential-when-giving-out-loans-649497667834

    This startup lender practices a non-traditional kind of lending, one that's based more on students' potential, than their credit history. The personal loan provider, which focuses on recent and upcoming college graduates, evaluates applicants’ potential on factors that can include which college they attended, their GPA and even their SAT scores.

     

    Apr 28

    Why it’s so hard to sleep in a new place

    Posted by: Administrator in News |

    http://www.futurity.org/sleep-brains-vigilance-1145392-2/

    man can't sleepPeople who go to bed wary of potential danger sometimes pledge to sleep “with one eye open.” That might not be too far from the truth. On the first night in a new place, one brain hemisphere stays more awake than the other during deep sleep, in a state of readiness for trouble.

    A new study explains what underlies the “first-night effect,” a phenomenon that poses an inconvenience to business travelers and sleep researchers alike. Sleep is often noticeably worse during the first night in, say, a hotel or a sleep lab. In the lab, researchers usually have to build an “adaptation night” into their studies to do an experiment.

    “In Japan they say, ‘if you change your pillow, you can’t sleep,'” says corresponding author Yuka Sasaki, research associate professor of cognitive linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University. “You don’t sleep very well in a new place. We all know about it.”

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    Apr 28

    Study finds women who live in greener areas live longer

    Posted by: Administrator in Environment |

    http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2016/04/15/Study-finds-women-who-live-in-greener-areas-live-longer/5861460734610/

    Scenic image of the Alps
    Women living in homes surrounded by lots of trees and vegetation may have a lower risk of death than those in areas with less greenery, a new study suggests.

    Researchers sifted through data on more than 108,000 women across the United States. The information was collected between 2000 and 2008.

    The researchers found that women living in the greenest surroundings had a 12 percent lower risk of death than those in the least green locations. The study also found that women with the most vegetation around their homes had a 34 percent lower rate of respiratory disease-related death. And women living with lush vegetation had a 13 percent lower rate of cancer death than those with the least green surroundings, the study reported.

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    Apr 28

    Moderate drinking may not be good for you

    Posted by: Administrator in News |

    http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/653158467668/

    Canadian researchers are debunking the popular belief that a glass of wine a day can keep the doctor away. The health benefits of moderate drinking are likely overstated, say Canadian researchers who reviewed 87 long-term studies on alcohol and death rates."We should drink alcohol for pleasure,"  Tim Stockwell of the University of Victoria's Centre for Addictions Research in British Columbia  said in an interview. "But if you think it's for your health, you're deluding yourself."

     

    Apr 27

    Inside the Storm Prediction Center

    Posted by: Administrator in Environment |

     http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/inside-noaas-severe-storms-lab/

    The heart of America is bracing for what could be more rough weather this week -- conditions are ripe for some destructive storms. CBS News went to Norman, Oklahoma to find out how experts track them. The storms already started in parts of Kansas already on Sunday. Bill Bunting, the operations chief at the Storm Prediction Center, said that is only the beginning. "All hazards are possible," he said. "Tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail." According to Bunting, the Midwest, South and Central Plains should brace for a week of potentially dangerous weather. The forecast comes from the center's "war room," where meteorologists track the systems and make predictions. He explained what he has learned over the years about the science of predicting weather and making forecasts. "I think key has been the understanding of how storms develop, and what environments are most favorable for say, tornadic thunderstorms, versus those that don't produce tornadoes."

     

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