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Mon, 22 Jan 2018
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Survival advantage: From birth on, females are hardier

hardy female genetics

Breaking down the results by age group, the researchers found that most of the female survival advantage came in infancy, with newborn girls hardier than newborn boys.
Women are known to outlive men. And that advantage may start early, according to researchers who've found baby girls more likely to survive famines, epidemics and other misfortunes.

The fact that females have this advantage in infancy-when there are few behavioral differences between the sexes-suggests biology may be at least partly responsible, the researchers said.

"Our results add another piece to the puzzle of gender differences in survival," said study leaders Virginia Zarulli, from the University of Southern Denmark, and James Vaupel, from Duke University.

They examined about 250 years of data on people who died at age 20 or younger due to severe circumstances. These included slavery in Trinidad and the United States in the early 1800s; famine in Sweden, Ireland and the Ukraine in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries; and measles epidemics in Iceland in the 1800s.

Comment: See also:


Study: Nearly imperceptible changes in how people move could diagnose neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism

Physical movement diagnose autism
© James Brosher, Indiana University
IU Ph.D. student Di Wu directs a volunteer as she touches images on a screen using a device designed to track miniscule fluctuation in the arm's movement. IU-led research suggest physical movement is an accurate method to diagnose neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.
A new study led by researchers at Indiana University and Rutgers University provides the strongest evidence yet that nearly imperceptible changes in how people move can be used to diagnose neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

The study's results, reported Jan. 12 in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, suggest a more accurate method to diagnose autism. Current assessments depend on highly subjective criteria, such as a lack of eye movement or repetitive actions. There is no existing medical test for autism, such as a blood test or genetic screening.

"We've found that every person has their own unique 'movement DNA,'" said senior author Jorge V. José, the James H. Rudy Distinguished Professor of Physics in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Physics. "The use of movement as a 'biomarker' for autism could represent an important leap forward in detection and treatment of the disorder."

It's estimated that 1 percent of the world's population, including 3.5 million children and adults in the United States, are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, which is the country's fastest-growing developmental disability.


UN climate change predictions challenged by mainstream study

climate change protest
© Reuters/ Suzanne Plunkett
Climate change theories challenged by new study on Earth's surface temperature
Climate change predictions making alarming claims on Earth's future have been challenged by a new study. Suggestions the planet's surface will warm by 5° Celsius by 2100 are not realistic, according to a team of scientists.

Frightening climate change predictions by the UN would be void if the group from the University of Exeter is correct. Their probe into greenhouse gases pushing up the planet's temperatures found possible end-of-century outcomes to be only half the range found by others.

"Our study all but rules out very low and very high climate sensitivities," said lead author Peter Cox.

Comment: Seems 'scientists' are starting to get an inkling that the models that have been proven to be completely garbage don't actually produce good data. Next step would be for them to acknowledge a real threat:


Where can you find chunks of the meteor that blew up over Michigan?

Meteor over Michigan
© Mike Austin/YouTube
Reports have the meteor that streaked across southeast Michigan Tuesday night re-entering the atmosphere somewhere in Macomb County, with some pinpointing it to the area near 25 Mile Road and Card.

Phones at police stations and in newsrooms - including WWJ's - lit up with questions and concerns. Some joked that it was an extraterrestrial visitor, others worried a bomb had exploded.

Wolverine Lake Police Chief John Ellsworth was so shaken by the electricity he felt in the air followed by a blinding flash that he told WWJ he thought it was the 'beginning of the end.'

Comment: See also: Meteor fireball lights up night sky over Michigan; USGS registers impact as M2.0 earthquake (UPDATE)

2 + 2 = 4

Why feminist theory isn't responsible scholarship

papers missing trashcan
Let's be real about something important: nobody actually cares what feminist scholars think or why they think it. Truth be told, this isn't surprising. Feminist scholarship is a peculiar academic backwater that nobody should pay any attention to-and it's probable that nobody would if it weren't becoming so painfully influential.

Comment: This is an incredibly naive perspective.

That outsized influence is also unsurprising. People care very much about gender equality and about women's rights - in both the US and the UK, gender equality enjoys the support of roughly four out of five people. This sets up a problem. With the exception of other feminists, more or less the entire world completely ignores feminist theory, and they have done so for decades, which has let it go quite far down its own self-referential rabbit holes. That this scholarship has gone ignored while developing what looks like a storied academic pedigree, more than many other factors, is why feminist theory endures and exerts so much contemporary control over academia and society, which is to say it's a rather huge problem.

Comment: I think he is mistaking radical feminist theory for regular feminist theory.



'Potentially hazardous' asteroid predicted to pass close

© Flickr/ Lwp Kommunikáció
You can run and you can hide, but there's no need to panic, as the "potentially hazardous" asteroid is predicted to miss our planet.

NASA has said that the Asteroid 2002 AJ 129 will pass quite close to Earth at a distance of 2,615,128 miles. At this close proximity, it has been classifies as dangerous.

Evil Rays

Consumers beware: Microwaves could be as bad for the environment as cars, suggests new research

© CC0 Public Domain
Microwaves usage across the EU alone emits as much carbon dioxide as nearly seven million cars according to a new study by The University of Manchester.

Researchers at the University have carried out the first ever comprehensive study of the environmental impacts of microwaves, considering their whole life cycle, from 'cradle to grave'.

The study found:
  • Microwaves emit 7.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year in the EU. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of 6.8 million cars.
  • Microwaves across the EU consume an estimated 9.4 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity every year. This is equivalent to the annual electricity generated by three large gas power plants.
  • Efforts to reduce consumption should focus on improving consumer awareness and behaviour to use appliances more efficiently.


Russia's Kaspersky Lab discovers WhatsApp virus with features not 'seen anywhere else'

© Anton Vergun/TASS
In addition, the virus allows hackers to collect and analyze traffic of a victim: visited sites, logins, passwords and credit card numbers
Russian developer of antivirus software Kaspersky Lab has detected a Skygofree virus, which spies on Android users.

According to the company's statement the malware can record conversations, read and steal sms, as well as messages from WhatsApp and events from the calendar.

In addition, the virus allows hackers to connect devices to Wi-Fi networks, they also control, and to collect and analyze traffic of a victim: visited sites, logins, passwords and credit card numbers.

Comment: Also See:


Incoming: Massive house-sized asteroid will fly close to Earth next week

© YouTube
Unlike that false alarm in Hawaii, this potentially cataclysmic piece of news is real: an asteroid between 22 and 68 meters in diameter is going to swing past Earth on January 23 at around 12,300 miles an hour (around Mach 16). It's going to come within 1.1 million miles of Earth, but it's unclear whether its trajectory will cause it to hit Earth or fly past harmlessly.

The asteroid, named 2018 AJ, is just one of several asteroids that have suddenly popped up on NASA's radar without warning-the last one was 2017 YD7, which was spotted December 28 and flew past Earth on January 3.

The scary thing about these rocks is that once we spotted them, there's very little we can do to stop them: according to NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, we'd need a few decades of advance warning to deal with an asteroid 100 meters in size or larger. From there, a couple options open up, including knocking the asteroid off course with a "kinetic impactor" or using a "gravity tractor" to change its trajectory.


Incoming: NASA warns another giant asteroid will hurtle past earth in early February

2002 AJ129 asteroid

The 2002 AJ129 asteroid has been classed a 'potentially hazardous' by Nasa and will fly past Earth on 4th February at speeds of 67,000mph (107,826kmh).
A gigantic asteroid which is larger than the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, will hurtle past our planet in around two weeks time.

The 2002 AJ129 asteroid has been classed a 'potentially hazardous' by Nasa and will fly past at speeds of 67,000mph (107,826kmh).

This makes it nearly 15 times faster than the world's quickest manned aircraft - the hypersonic North American X-15, which travelled at 4,520mph (7,300kmh).

The asteroid is around 0.7 miles (1.1km) wide - making it longer than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 0.5 miles high (0.8km).