Tweet much to gain popularity is an inefficient strategy

The imbalanced structure of Twitter, where some users have many followers and the large majority barely has several dozen followers, means that messages from the more influential have much more impact. Less popular users can compensate for this by increasing their activity and their tweets, but the outcome is costly and inefficient. This was confirmed by an analysis of the social network performed by researchers from the Technical University of Madrid. —> Read More Here

Efficient genetic editing

Led by Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology David Liu, a team of Harvard researchers have developed a system that uses commercially-available molecules called cationic lipids — long, greasy molecules that carry a positive charge — to efficiently deliver genome-editing proteins into cells, and have even demonstrated that the technology can be used to perform genome editing in living animals. —> Read More Here

‘Divide and rule’ — raven politics

Mythology has attributed many supernatural features to ravens. Studies on the cognitive abilities of ravens have indeed revealed that they are exceptionally intelligent. Ravens live in complex social groups and they can gain power by building social bonds that function as alliances. Cognitive biologists of the University of Vienna now revealed that ravens use a ‘divide and rule’ strategy in dealing with the bonds of conspecifics: Socially well integrated ravens prevent others from building new alliances by breaking up their bonding attempts. —> Read More Here

How Maggots Can Reveal Whether You’re Liberal Or Conservative

What do maggots have to say about your political leanings? A lot more than you might think.

A strange new study shows that the way your brain responds to photos of maggots, mutilated carcasses, and gunk in the kitchen sink gives a pretty good indication of whether you’re liberal or conservative.

“Remarkably, we found that the brain’s response to a single disgusting image was enough to predict an individual’s political ideology,” Read Montague, a Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute psychology professor who led the study, said in a written statement.

For the study, 83 men and women viewed a series of images while having their brains scanned in a functional MRI (fMRI) machine. The images included the disgusting photos described above, along with photos of babies and pleasant landscapes.

Afterward, the participants were asked to rate how grossed out they were by each photo. They also completed a survey about their political beliefs, which included questions about their attitudes toward school prayer, gun control, immigration, and gay marriage.

There was no significant difference in how liberals and conservatives rated the photos. But the researchers noted differences between the two groups in the activity of brain regions associated with disgust —> Read More Here

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