Children’s immune systems are less likely to be hypersensitive if they are exposed to rural dirt, but one enzyme may also be vital for this effect
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Scientists have discovered why TNT is so toxic to plants and intend to use this knowledge to tackle the problem of cleaning up the many sites worldwide contaminated by the commonly used explosive.
Biologists have taken an important step in making it possible to clean millions of hectares of land contaminated by explosives. Biologists have unraveled the mechanism of TNT toxicity in plants raising the possibility of a new approach to explosives remediation technology. TNT has become an extensive global pollutant over the last 100 years and there are mounting concerns over its toxicity to biological systems. —> Read More
Ecologists have discovered a pattern that is consistent across a range of ecosystems. They found that, in a very systematic way, in crowded settings, prey reproduced less than they do in settings where their numbers are smaller. Some scientists are already suggesting that it may well be the discovery of a new law of nature. —> Read More
Can a computer spot the next top model? Scientists create an algorithm that scours Instagram to find the best new talent
Researchers at Indiana University say they have created an algorithm that can predict the popularity of new faces to the world of modelling with over 80 per cent accuracy. —> Read More
But until 2007, there was a federal ban on using D.C.’s municipal funds for needle exchange programs, an outreach technique that reduces disease spread and can channel vital health and addiction services to drug users. When Congress lifted the ban, public health scientists were eager to see if needle exchanges would stem the tide of new HIV cases in the district.
Thanks to a new study that followed the first two years of such needle exchange programs in D.C., the verdict is in: By funding the exchanges, lawmakers helped avert at least 120 new HIV cases in the District in the first 24 months, saving an estimated $44 million in lifetime costs for HIV/AIDS care.
Currently, only 16 states and Washington, D.C. explicitly authorize needle exchange programs, according to April 2015 data from LawAtlas. But research consistantly shows that providing clean needles to drug users reduces infectious disesase and, despite claims to the contrary, doesn’t “encourage” drug addiction.
“A lot of policymakers are caught up in that belief system without looking at the evidence,” said lead researcher Monica Ruiz of George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. But, she said, this latest study provides clear evidence that setting aside such biases in favor of evidence-based policies can save lives — and help reduce an unnecessary health care burden.
How needle exchanges work
Injection drug users have a higher risk of contracting blood-borne diseases like HIV and hepatitis B and C because the disease can be transferred from an infected person to a new person if they —> Read More
Artistic inspiration comes from anywhere even painting by numbers. However, in this case, the numbers are a table or matrix of numbers. How? First, take a look at this image that was part of the mathematical art exhibit at the
To understand this portrait, created by Dr. Bruce Torrence of Randolph-Macon College, you need to know the Lights Out game. We’ll play on a 5 by 5 grid of lights. When the game starts, a random number of these lights is switched on. In the game below, the upper left light is on.
Pressing any of the lights will toggle it and the adjacent lights. For example, pressing the lower right light, as seen below, toggles the lights above and to the right.
If we then press the light in the fourth row and fourth column, the puzzle becomes the configuration seen below. Why all the toggling? The goal of the puzzle is to switch all the lights off, preferably in as few button presses as possible.
This puzzle lies behind Torrence’s portrait of Tibor Gallai seen above. Gallai, a Hungarian mathematician, was the first to prove that for any sized grid in the Lights Out game, it is always possible to get from the all-on to the all-off state.
Where are the numbers in this art piece? The portrait is pieced together from 28 by 28 squares which come from reachable states of the Lights Out game on a 28 by 28 grid of lights. How do you know which configurations of lights can be acheived in a game? That’s where Torrence used math and equations. A 28 by 28 grid becomes a 28 by 28 grid of numbers where 1 and 0 —> Read More
A 12-year-old boy was out camping in the wilds when he stumbled upon a large human-like footprint. Denis Alexandrov discovered the anomalous footprint… —> Read More
DARPA’s Gremlin program is named for the imaginary, mischievous imps that became the good luck charms of many British pilots during World War II. —> Read More
Apple is rumoured to be revealing a supersized iPad next week. Now it seems Samsung has tried to steal its thunder by teasing an extra large tablet at its Gear S2 launch event at IFA, Berlin. —> Read More