Ten years on, scientists still debating the origins of Homo floresiensis—the ‘Hobbit’

(Phys.org) —It’s been ten years since the bones of Homo floresiensis, aka, the “hobbit” were uncovered in Liang Bua, a cave, on the island of Flores in Indonesia, and scientists still can’t agree on the diminutive hominin’s origins. This month, the journal Nature has printed a comment piece by Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London and two pieces by Ewen Callaway, one a retrospective with interviews with the central players, and the other a podcast with the four principle scientists involved in the find—Bert Roberts, Thomas Sutikna, Dean Falk, and Stringer. —> Read More Here

Your Ebola Questions, Answered

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Since the start of the Ebola outbreak, we’ve noticed a lot of questions floating around out there about exactly what the disease is, how it spreads and how the world is responding to it. To set people’s minds at ease, we decided to tackle a few of the most commonly asked questions about the Ebola virus.

The question:

Ebola in existance since 1976, why no cure?

— mohammed Zahid Khan (@abu_ghazi123) October 20, 2014

The answer: Before this current outbreak, there have only been 2,418 documented Ebola patients with varying strains of the disease, which is far too few patients for scientists to learn from and treat with experimental drugs. Also, the relatively small amount of people who would have benefited from an Ebola cure (previous outbreaks are contained after several hundred are sickened) might mean that big pharmaceutical companies don’t have enough of a financial incentive to pursue expensive drug research.

Then there’s the “10-year-slide” in research funding for the National Institutes of Health, which doles out money for research projects around the nation. Dr. Francis Collins, head of the NIH, told HuffPost’s Sam Stein that his institute has been working on a vaccine for Ebola since 2001 —> Read More Here

7 Reasons To Be Proud Of Being A Night Owl

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It’s been said that early birds get the worm, but night owls also reap a whole lot of benefits just by being who they are. And it’s time they got some praise.

Please don’t get us wrong: We are definitely sleep advocates. And it is very important for you to make sure that you get the right amount of sleep (seven to nine hours for the average adult) every single day in order to stay healthy. This is not permission to stay up late and skimp on sleep. But if your lifestyle can allow for a later wake time, you might feel inclined to stay up a bit later, too.

While there has been a lot of praise for being a morning person (those health benefits are real and very good), there hasn’t been much to tout the perks of being someone who works best at night. Behold — an ode to those who love to burn the midnight oil.

1. Night owls might have a higher IQ.

Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary scientist at the London School of Economics and Political Science, found a connection between intelligence and adaptive behaviors that are “evolutionarily novel” — meaning they deviate from what —> Read More Here

Study shows more than half of peer-reviewed research articles published during 2007-2012 are now open access

(Phys.org) —A recent study paid for by the European Commission, and conducted and published by (the non-peer reviewed site) Science-Metrix, has found that more than half (approximately 55 percent) of peer-reviewed research articles that were originally published between the years 2007-2012 can now be accessed free of charge somewhere on the Internet—a marked increase over last year when papers from just one year reached that mark. Researchers with the study also found that approximately 13 percent of peer-reviewed research papers were published directly to open access sites in 2012. Papers first published behind paywalls make their way to open access sites only after a certain time delay, usually, the researchers report, due to authors archiving their papers themselves. —> Read More Here

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