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Researchers have developed the first application to combat 'shoulder-surfing' of PINS and passwords: a hybrid-image keyboard that appears one way to the close-up user and differently at a distance. The technology blends one image of a keyboard configuration with high spatial frequency and a completely different one with low spatial frequency. Experiments showed it was effective for mobile phones and when video cameras recorded PIN entry, as might happen at an ATM.
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A new medical-diagnostic device made out of paper detects biomarkers and identifies diseases by performing electrochemical analyses -- powered only by the user's touch -- and reads out the color-coded test results, making it easy for non-experts to understand.
[syndicated profile] sciencedaily_feed
Through their pattern of firing, neurons influence the behavior of the cells that upon maturation will provide insulation of neuronal axons, according to a new study. The findings suggest the existence of a complex and nuanced interplay between neurons and the non-neuronal cells that support and protect them.
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The link between a mother's body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy and the metabolic traits of her children is likely mediated by shared genetics and familial lifestyle rather than effects on the fetus during gestation, according to new study.
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Young children are more likely to attribute mental states to characters that belong to the same group as them relative to characters that belong to an outside group, according to new findings. The study shows that 5- and 6-year-olds were more likely to describe interactions between two characters in terms of what they were thinking and feeling when the characters had the same gender or geographic origin as them.
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Harnessing the nano-tractor-beam like abilities of optical tweezers, researchers have developed an all-silicon nanoantenna to trap individual quantum dots suspended in a microfluidic chamber.

Hubble's twisted galaxy

Aug. 22nd, 2017 02:50 pm
[syndicated profile] sciencedaily_feed
Gravity governs the movements of the cosmos. It draws flocks of galaxies together to form small groups and more massive galaxy clusters, and brings duos so close that they begin to tug at one another. This latter scenario can have extreme consequences, with members of interacting pairs of galaxies often being dramatically distorted, torn apart, or driven to smash into one another, abandoning their former identities and merging to form a single accumulation of gas, dust and stars.

Saturn-lit Tethys

Aug. 22nd, 2017 02:47 pm
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Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet.
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Asteroid Florence, a large near-Earth asteroid, will pass safely by Earth on Sept. 1, 2017, at a distance of about 4.4 million miles, (7.0 million kilometers, or about 18 Earth-Moon distances).
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Dim objects called brown dwarfs, less massive than the Sun but more massive than Jupiter, have powerful winds and clouds -- specifically, hot patchy clouds made of iron droplets and silicate dust. Scientists recently realized these giant clouds can move and thicken or thin surprisingly rapidly, in less than an Earth day, but did not understand why.
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by NewsHound

Here’s a roundup of  media comments made by Lib Dem parliamentarians and spokespeople today.

GP numbers

Norman Lamb slammed the Government for failing to deliver more GPs:

The government’s promise to recruit 5,000 more GPs by 2020 lies in tatters, with fewer GPs now than when this pledge was first made.

“The pitiful increase we have seen in recent months is nowhere near enough to cope with rising patient demand.

“This failure to recruit enough doctors will inevitably have a damaging impact on the ability of patients to access the healthcare they need.

“We are already close to breaking point, with people in many parts of the country struggling to get appointments with their GP.

“More doctors are urgently needed to guarantee a fully-staffed NHS that provides everyone with the care they need.

Swinson criticises UK support for Trump Afghanistan move

The government didn’t really get round to condemning Donald Trump’s appalling remarks in the wake of Charlottesville, but they were quick off the mark to support him sending more troops to Afghanistan. Jo Swinson said:

For once, sense seems to have prevailed in the White House.

“But to succeed in Afghanistan will require winning the hearts and minds of its people and working closely with neighbouring countries.

“On that front, Donald Trump has already done untold damage through his proposed refugee ban, Islamophobic comments and cack-handed approach to foreign affairs.

“The government’s rapid statement of support for Trump today contrasts with its failure to swiftly condemn his divisive views and actions in the past.

“Simply pouring more troops into Afghanistan will not work without a broader strategy involving careful diplomacy and redoubled efforts to build a stable government.”

Even Brussels must be tired of this waffle

Tom Brake commented on the latest Brexit paper to come from the Government, this time on civil judicial links post Brexit:

Each Brexit paper the government releases leaves us with more questions than answers. Even Brussels must have had enough of this waffle by now.

“The Conservatives are admitting the current system has served British citizens well, giving them certainty that the same rules will apply across Europe. So why are ministers hell-bent on ripping up this system and plunging British citizens abroad and EU citizens here into uncertainty?

“No clarity has been given over which court will resolve disputes and how this will work in practice.

“The government doesn’t even seem to know what it wants to negotiate, so how can it possibly secure a good deal for Britain?”

And he rounded on the Government after they admitted a no-deal Brexit would make it harder to return abducted children:

This exposes the reality of a no deal Brexit, abducted children at greater risk and families plunged into uncertainty.

“The Government needs to end its heartless insistence that no deal is better than a bad deal.

“Avoiding the devastating human consequences of an extreme Brexit should come ahead of the ideological obsessions of Tory Brexiteers.

“The Conservatives claim to be the party of family values, but their plans would risk tearing more families apart.”

BHS prosecution: Carmichael says no court case can restore 11,000 jobs

The legal process must now run its course but no prosecution will give back the jobs of 11,000 people who Philip Green effectively put on the dole by passing the company on to Mr Chappell.

“While Green continues to enjoy his knighthood and his yacht, we need to ensure that workers and pensioners are never again put through such an ordeal.”

SNP failing on skills – Caddick

Responding to a new survey which suggests that almost two thirds of Scottish firms are concerned they will be unable to recruit sufficiently skilled employees over the next few years, Scottish Liberal Democrats have called upon the Scottish Government to boost investment in education and skills.

A total of 120 companies in Scotland were questioned as part of a UK-wide survey by Pearson UK and the Confederation of British Industry(CBI). Just over three quarters of businesses said they expect their need for “high-level skills” – including qualifications, employability skills and industry knowledge – to increase in the next three to five years, but 59% are concerned that candidates will not meet their requirements.

Scottish Liberal Democrat economy spokesperson Councillor Carolyn Caddick said:

“The Scottish economy faces serious challenges. A disastrous hard Brexit from the Tories would deprive businesses of the people they need while the SNP preside over a skills shortage and an education system that has slipped.

“The results of this survey underline the importance of remaining in the single market. The Scottish Government must also make a transformative £500 million investment in education so that everyone has the skills they need to get on in life. This is essential to building the high skill, high wage economy of the future and enabling employers to find staff and grow.”

Barclay Review “missed opportunity for radical change” to Land Value Taxation

The Scottish Government’s review into Business Rates was published today and was, as ever, timid.

The review misses the opportunity for radical changes that would benefit Scottish business. We could have moved to a system of land value taxation which would have avoided the big rate increases that Scottish businesses face when they improve their property with renewable energy or sprinkler systems. All Barclay does is ask for a further review. Land value tax would also provide an automatic incentive to redevelop brown-field sites.

“It is a good idea to exempt new buildings from rates for a year to give a new business the chance to get established. This will encourage enterprise and innovation.

“However, it is disappointing that the Barclay Review does not recommend giving businesses protection from the gigantic rate increases that some of them have faced this year. Hotels and pubs have been hammered by the last two reviews.

“Ministers will have to explain clearly if they are going to adopt the recommendation to transfer money away from local authority sports’ bodies and towards big business. These are the big headline cash transfers in the report and will concern people worried about local council services.”

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

Serotonin may worsen tinnitus

Aug. 22nd, 2017 12:38 pm
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Millions of people suffer from the constant sensation of ringing or buzzing in the ears known as tinnitus, creating constant irritation for some and severe anxiety for others. Research shows why a common antidepressant medication may worsen the condition.
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A sophisticated mechanism that allows plant roots to quickly respond to changes in soil conditions has been identified by an international research team.
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Mechanical loading is required for creating cartilage that is then turned to bone; however, little is known about cartilage development in the absence of gravity. Now, bioengineers have determined that microgravity may inhibit cartilage formation. Findings reveal that fracture healing for astronauts in space, as well as patients on bed rest here on Earth, could be compromised in the absence of mechanical loading.
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A new study shows that a molecule that regulates liver-cell metabolism and suppresses liver-cancer development interacts with thousands of genes in liver cells, and that when levels of the molecule go down, such as during liver-cancer development, the activity of certain cancer-promoting genes goes up. The findings could one day help doctors better predict survival in liver cancer patients and help determine whether the molecule -- called microRNA-122 -- should be developed as an anticancer drug.
[syndicated profile] sciencedaily_feed
A bowl of salad contains more than vitamins and minerals. Plant matter also includes remnants of the hormones plants produce to control how they grow, age, and manage water intake. Recently, scientists have reported that our gut microbes and cells may respond to these hormones and even produce similar molecules of their own. Researchers now explore how plant hormones may influence human health.
[syndicated profile] sciencedaily_feed
The discovery in lab mice that an 'anti-sense' RNA is expressed after nerve injury to regulate the repair of damage to the nerve's myelin coating could lead to a treatment that improves healing in people.
[syndicated profile] sciencedaily_feed
Those parents you overhear transforming trips to the grocery store into sensory adventures -- telling babies too young to babble that broccoli is GREEN, radishes are RED and tangerines are ORANGE -- are onto something. Being exposed to a complex and stimulating environment rich with new sights, sounds and a full vocabulary can play a powerful role in strengthening infants' developing brains.
[syndicated profile] sciencedaily_feed
Scientists have filled a research gap by developing a laboratory model to study ticks that transmit flaviviruses, such as Powassan virus. Powassan virus was implicated in the death of a New York man earlier this year. The unusual model involves culturing organs taken from Ixodes scapularis ticks and then infecting those organ cultures with flaviviruses.
[syndicated profile] sciencedaily_feed
Take a fish out of water and its stress hormones will go up. Adrenaline and noradrenaline, the 'fight or flight' hormones, peak first, followed more gradually by cortisol. A new study finds that largemouth bass whose cortisol levels rise most after a brief bout of stress are inherently harder to catch by angling.

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