Archive for September, 2012


Conservationists and managers are not only interested in current environmental conditions, but also those that may develop in the future. Processes such as urbanization and human population expansion, for example, might eventually reduce the usefulness of some currently high-quality habitats. This possibility is particularly worrisome when the impacted species are threatened or endangered.

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The human brain is made up of billions of neurons, specialized cells which form vast, intricate networks among themselves to process and sort through the barrage of sensory and internal stimuli we are constantly bombarded with and mediate the appropriate response. Neurons are long and thin, with numerous branches projecting from each end to allow communication with other neurons. When excited, an electrical impulse travels through the neuron and, when it reaches the far end, sends chemical messengers into the synapse, a narrow (microscopic) space between the sending and receiving neurons. These messengers then act on the receiving end of the neighboring neuron to either excite or inhibit it.
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If you believe in scientism, you trust such tales as that, for example, the criticizing of a scientific paper is published in the same journal as the criticized article. Science writers, say people like T. Dorigo right here on Science2.0, eagerly help to disseminate such falsehoods about the peer-review system. How far do these cheerleaders themselves buy into such convenient rationalizations of the power structures that feed them? In truth, critical papers are outright rejected, whistleblowers blacklisted. “Criticism” in academic culture is a show-dance that increases established players’ citation counts. True criticism is silenced; it can be happy to land in a ‘dump-journal’ that is listed on the scientific citation index (SCI) at all.

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CSL Limited has developed a new drug candidate that is able to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and reverse its progression in animal models of the disease. The drug candidate blocks signaling by protein Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor B (VEGF-B) and this prevents fat from accumulating in the “wrong” places, such as in muscles and in the heart. As a result, cells within these tissues are once again able to respond to insulin and blood glucose is restored to normal levels. 

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The elusive 113th atomic element has been confirmed by researchers at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-based Science (RNC). A chain of six consecutive alpha decays, produced in experiments at the RIKEN Radioisotope Beam Factory (RIBF), conclusively identifies the element through connections to well-known daughter nuclides.

That sets the stage for Japan to claim naming rights for the element, the first Asian country to name an atomic element.

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Today the release of Python 3.3.0 was made official, with a couple new syntax features, a handful library modules, and several other improvements. According to Python.org’s site, the next version of the language, “includes a range of improvements of the 3.x series, as well as easier porting between 2.x and 3.x.”

Most notable is the yield from expression, which permits generator delegation to subgenerators or arbitrary subiterators. Python 3.3 also permits u'unicode' syntax which isn’t in itself new, but restores Python 2’s Unicode literal syntax, to make more code from Python 2 valid in Python 3.

The new library modules include faulthandler for help with “debugging low-level crashes,” ipaddress which includes “high-level objects representing IP addresses and masks,” lzma to “compress data using the XZ / LZMA algorithm,” unittest.mock to “replace parts of your system under test with mock objects,” and venv for access to Python virtual environments, essentially letting you make environments isolated from the Python interpreter. Changes to the I/O exception hierarchy should also make diagnosing error messages more straightforward. Also, implicit namespace packages creates directories of modules and avoids messing with .py files.

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/technology-lab/~3/3bmvfcq1rM0/

This Q&A is part of a biweekly series of posts highlighting common questions encountered by technophiles and answered by users at Stack Exchange, a free, community-powered network of 80+ Q&A sites.

davidk01 asks:

My resume is no longer relevant. It can no longer contain an adequate description of my technical abilities. One can get a much better sense of what I am capable of by looking at my GitHub repositories, my Stack Exchange profiles, and the various courses that I am taking at Udacity and Coursera. The problem is that I have no idea how to tell employers that those are the places to look if they want an accurate description of what I can do.

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/technology-lab/~3/QmAOHaCuD18/

For aesthetic reasons, plastic surgeons are sometimes required to re-position male nipples – after dramatic weight-loss for example. In such a case they are presented, in effect, with a substantially blank canvas. But the presently accepted methods for calculating ideal nipple locations are far from straightforward.

“Currently available guidelines create areolas that are too large, place the nipple-areola complex too high and too far medially, and/or require complex abstract mathematical calculations.”

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According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research, “Global Diabetes Devices Market and Diabetes Drugs Market – Industry Scenario, Trends, Analysis, Size, Share and Forecast, 2011 – 2018,” the global diabetes devices and drugs market was worth USD 50.8 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach USD 98.4 billion in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 9.9% from 2011 to 2018.

In the overall global market, North America accounted for the highest share worth USD 19.9 billion in 2011 followed by Europe. However, with the continuous population and economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region, especially India and China, it is expected to witness the highest growth rate in the next six years. 

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BOTOX(R) has been licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the management of urinary incontinence in adult patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO) due to subcervical spinal cord injury (SCI) (traumatic or non-traumatic) or multiple sclerosis (MS), who are not adequately managed with anticholinergics. 

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