Teens Have Fewer Friends, But They’re Less Lonely Than Ever Before

Much has been written in recent years about how personal electronics and social networking services seem to be isolating us more and more from each other. American adults are lonelier than they used to be, and there’s research to suggest that social media use is correlated with feelings of disconnection and dissatisfaction.

Yet among teens — arguably the most tech-saturated demographic — feelings of loneliness actually appear to be decreasing, according to research publicized this week at the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Researchers from two Australian schools, Griffith University and the University of Queensland, conducted two sets of data analysis on high school and college students. First, they looked at a small sample of studies on loneliness levels in college students from 1978 through 2009. This research suggested that college students in recent years are less lonely than the college students of past decades.

For the second data set, the researchers examined a large sample of American high school students between 1991 and 2012. The data came from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future project, a long-running study of the feelings and behaviors of high school students. The —> Read More Here

New Dinosaur Species Discovered When Scientist Takes Fresh Look At Museum’s Fossils

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After languishing in a museum for more than 75 years, a set of fossils has been given a fresh look–and it turns out the fossils belong to two never-before-identified species of horned dinosaur.

“We thought we had discovered most of the species, but it seems there are many undiscovered dinosaurs left,” Dr. Nick Longrich, the University of Bath paleontologist who made the discoveries, said in a written statement. “We’ve really only just scratched the surface.”

The fossils had been housed at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

The newly discovered species are Pentaceratops aquilonius, a smaller cousin of the beloved horned plant-eater Triceratops, and another horned plant eater belonging to the genus Kosmoceratops. The dinosaurs roamed western North America at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago.

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Western North America hosted a remarkable diversity of dinosaurs, and among the most diverse clades was the Chasmosaurinae, a group of large, horned dinosaurs.

The fossils previously had been classified as two other species, Anchiceratops and Chasmosaurus.

Longrich has proposed that the horned dinosaurs likely migrated from one part of North America to the other, diverging to form new species — and only competition —> Read More Here

Interstellar Travel… Seriously?

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The more you critically think about what interstellar travel implies, the more the prospects for it seem to be based upon fairy tales and magic. I tried to raise some of these issues in my previous blogs: Artistic rendition of a messy black hole. (Credit: NASA)

OK. Let’s go ahead and use black holes or worm holes like the magical Big Boy civilizations do in science fiction. Here are some unpleasant facts to pop that balloon.

Annoying Fact 1: Black holes are unavailable.

To use a black hole as a transport system you need to find one first. Astronomers are real good at that because black holes are messy eaters. They swallow very hot gas and produce x-rays that can be seen across the light years. The nearest known black hole after several decades of searching our neck of the Milky Way is called Cygnus X-1 and is located about 6,100 light years away. To get to this black hole and use it for interstellar travel, you first need… interstellar travel!

Annoying Fact 2: You can’t make your own black hole either

Another option is to make your own black hole. The favorite method is to grab ahold of one of those microscopic —> Read More Here

New research shows sportswomen still second best to sportsmen… in the press

Despite a sequence of stellar performances by Britain’s female athletes and team game players, coverage of women’s sport in the Press still occupies a fraction of the space given to men, according to University of Huddersfield lecturer Deirdre O’Neill, who has analysed thousands of articles in newspapers that she describes as a “football-saturated boyzone”. —> Read More Here

The influence of the Isthmus of Panama in the evolution of freshwater shrimps in America

The molecular evolution of freshwater shrimps in America was studied based in the relationship between Pacific and Atlantic sister species that are separated by the Isthmus of Panama. Despite the high morphological similarities between each pair of species, it was concluded that all species are valid taxonomic entities, proving the efficiency of the Isthmus for the genetic isolation of the species. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys. —> Read More Here

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