Futurity

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  • Finding faults at work can wear you down

    Futurity » Society and Culture
    Andy Henion-Michigan State
    25 Feb 2015 | 12:57 pm
    Although pointing out problems and suggesting solutions can both help a company improve, employees may want to find the right mix of the two. Focusing on the negative side can cause workers to become mentally fatigued and defensive and experience a drop-off in production, according to new research. While both behaviors can help a company, it’s important that workers find a balance between the two, says Russell Johnson, a management professor at Michigan State University. “The moral of this story is not that we want people to stop raising concerns within the company, because that…
  • Preventing 1 case of HIV could save $338,400

    Futurity
    Karen Walters-Cornell
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:13 pm
    Preventing just one person at high risk from contracting HIV could save from $229,800 to $338,400, depending on the continuity of treatment. Researchers projected the savings by estimating the lifetime medical costs of people both with and without HIV, assuming that the HIV-infection occurred at age 35. The findings will be used by fiscal planners and public health advocates as they evaluate current prevention programs and make decisions about resource allocation. One relatively new—and expensive—HIV prevention option is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is targeted at high-risk…
  • Scientific ‘turf’ could make Earth’s crisis worse

    Futurity » Earth and Environment
    Layne Cameron-Michigan State
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:32 am
    Carving up Earth’s ecological challenges among different scientific disciplines won’t get the job done, say experts. A group of scientists argues in Science that the growing global challenges have rendered sharply segregated expertise obsolete. Disciplinary approaches to crises like air pollution, biodiversity loss, climate change, food insecurity, and energy and water shortages, are not only ineffective, but also making many of these crises worse because of counterproductive interactions and unintended consequences, says lead author Jianguo “Jack” Liu, chair in…
  • Preventing 1 case of HIV could save $338,400

    Futurity » Health and Medicine
    Karen Walters-Cornell
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:13 pm
    Preventing just one person at high risk from contracting HIV could save from $229,800 to $338,400, depending on the continuity of treatment. Researchers projected the savings by estimating the lifetime medical costs of people both with and without HIV, assuming that the HIV-infection occurred at age 35. The findings will be used by fiscal planners and public health advocates as they evaluate current prevention programs and make decisions about resource allocation. One relatively new—and expensive—HIV prevention option is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is targeted at high-risk…
  • Bluebird moms can make competitive sons

    Futurity » Science and Technology
    Daniel Stolte-Arizona
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:54 am
    Female bluebirds can produce more or less competitive sons by influencing the amounts of hormones in their eggs, say biologists. “Mothers are uniquely positioned to be a bridge between current environmental conditions and the traits of their offspring,” says Renée Duckworth, an assistant professor in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology in the University of Arizona College of Science. “This is one of those rare cases where we can see how these local behavioral interactions, which can be exceptionally variable, can lead to highly predictable ecological patterns…
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  • Preventing 1 case of HIV could save $338,400

    Karen Walters-Cornell
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:13 pm
    Preventing just one person at high risk from contracting HIV could save from $229,800 to $338,400, depending on the continuity of treatment. Researchers projected the savings by estimating the lifetime medical costs of people both with and without HIV, assuming that the HIV-infection occurred at age 35. The findings will be used by fiscal planners and public health advocates as they evaluate current prevention programs and make decisions about resource allocation. One relatively new—and expensive—HIV prevention option is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is targeted at high-risk…
  • Bluebird moms can make competitive sons

    Daniel Stolte-Arizona
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:54 am
    Female bluebirds can produce more or less competitive sons by influencing the amounts of hormones in their eggs, say biologists. “Mothers are uniquely positioned to be a bridge between current environmental conditions and the traits of their offspring,” says Renée Duckworth, an assistant professor in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology in the University of Arizona College of Science. “This is one of those rare cases where we can see how these local behavioral interactions, which can be exceptionally variable, can lead to highly predictable ecological patterns…
  • How tiny wires trap a ‘tornado’

    Phil Sneiderman-JHU
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:40 am
    Wires only a billionth as thick as a human hair may help keep the “super” in superconductivity. Superconductors are materials that, at low temperatures, can carry electric current without the wasteful loss of energy caused by resistance. But this useful ability can be crippled or lost when electrons swirl into tiny tornado-like formations called vortices. Magnetic fields, such as those produced by electric motors, can cause these disruptive mini-twisters. Physicists have now figured out how to trap troublesome vortices within extremely short, ultra-thin nanowires, keeping…
  • Can alternating feast and famine boost health?

    Morgan Sherburne-Florida
    27 Feb 2015 | 9:43 am
    A recent clinical trial shows that a feast-or-famine diet may mimic some of the benefits of fasting. The findings also suggest that adding antioxidant supplements may counteract those benefits. Fasting has been shown in mice to extend lifespan and to improve age-related diseases. But fasting every day, which could entail skipping meals or simply reducing overall caloric intake, can be hard to maintain. “People don’t want to just under-eat for their whole lives,” says Martin Wegman, an MD-PhD student at the University of Florida College of Medicine and coauthor of the paper…
  • Should dentists test patients for diabetes?

    Christopher James-NYU
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:59 am
    Of the 29.1 million Americans living with diabetes, an estimated 8.1 million are undiagnosed. New research suggests a trip to the dentist could be an effective way to identify people who might diabetes and don’t know it. Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the study of 408 dental patients shows that using gingival crevicular blood (GCB) for hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing produces values that are nearly identical to those obtained using finger stick blood (FSB), with a 99 percent correlation between the two samples. An important first step Testing HbA1c is promoted by…
 
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    Futurity » Earth and Environment

  • Scientific ‘turf’ could make Earth’s crisis worse

    Layne Cameron-Michigan State
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:32 am
    Carving up Earth’s ecological challenges among different scientific disciplines won’t get the job done, say experts. A group of scientists argues in Science that the growing global challenges have rendered sharply segregated expertise obsolete. Disciplinary approaches to crises like air pollution, biodiversity loss, climate change, food insecurity, and energy and water shortages, are not only ineffective, but also making many of these crises worse because of counterproductive interactions and unintended consequences, says lead author Jianguo “Jack” Liu, chair in…
  • Is blue-green scum turning lakes into toxic pools?

    Chris Chipello-McGill
    27 Feb 2015 | 7:13 am
    Blue-green algae has become a summertime staple in lakes in North America and Europe, and scientists say pollution is likely to blame. For a new study, researchers looked at historical changes in the levels of cyanobacteria, the scientific term for the photosynthetic bacteria that form the blue-green scum on the surface of ponds and lakes during hot summer months. Rapid urban growth “We found that cyanobacterial populations have expanded really strongly in many lakes since the advent of industrial fertilizers and rapid urban growth,” says Zofia Taranu, who led the study as a PhD…
  • Dozens of monster hurricanes hit Cape Cod in last 2,000 years

    Keith Randall-Texas A&M
    26 Feb 2015 | 11:36 am
    Ancient sediments from a coastal pond in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, show that enormous storms have battered the region for 2,000 years. The hurricane strikes deposited a distinct layer of sand mobilized from the adjacent beach. The analysis, published in the journal Earth’s Future, suggests some of the hurricanes would have dwarfed recent storms like Hurricane Sandy in 2012 that caused $65 billion in damages. Very stormy periods The findings could offer clues about global warming and future storm intensity, says Peter van Hengstum, assistant professor of marine sciences at Texas A&M…
  • To fix human health, focus on ecosystems

    Glynis Smalley-Monash
    26 Feb 2015 | 7:25 am
    Treating human health and society as part of an ecosystem could help us overcome problems like the antibiotic crisis and the obesity epidemic, according to new research. The living world is by nature a collaborative enterprise rather than a competitive one, says Professor Mark Wahlqvist of Monash University. “It is unhelpful to look at ourselves as discrete species as the interconnectedness of all things, animate and inanimate, becomes more apparent,” he says. In research published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Wahlqvist says awareness is growing of the…
  • Are coral reefs headed for another big collapse?

    Brett Israel-Georgia Tech
    25 Feb 2015 | 9:59 am
    La Niña-like conditions in the Pacific Ocean are closely linked to an abrupt stoppage of coral growth that lasted thousands of years. Will today’s climate push reefs to another collapse? For a new study, researchers traveled to Panamá to collect a reef core, and then used the corals within the core to reconstruct what the environment was like as far back as 6,750 years ago. The findings show that cooler sea temperatures, greater precipitation, and stronger upwelling were evident about 4,100 years ago when reef accretion in the region suddenly stopped. Coral collapse triggers…
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    Futurity » Health and Medicine

  • Preventing 1 case of HIV could save $338,400

    Karen Walters-Cornell
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:13 pm
    Preventing just one person at high risk from contracting HIV could save from $229,800 to $338,400, depending on the continuity of treatment. Researchers projected the savings by estimating the lifetime medical costs of people both with and without HIV, assuming that the HIV-infection occurred at age 35. The findings will be used by fiscal planners and public health advocates as they evaluate current prevention programs and make decisions about resource allocation. One relatively new—and expensive—HIV prevention option is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is targeted at high-risk…
  • Can alternating feast and famine boost health?

    Morgan Sherburne-Florida
    27 Feb 2015 | 9:43 am
    A recent clinical trial shows that a feast-or-famine diet may mimic some of the benefits of fasting. The findings also suggest that adding antioxidant supplements may counteract those benefits. Fasting has been shown in mice to extend lifespan and to improve age-related diseases. But fasting every day, which could entail skipping meals or simply reducing overall caloric intake, can be hard to maintain. “People don’t want to just under-eat for their whole lives,” says Martin Wegman, an MD-PhD student at the University of Florida College of Medicine and coauthor of the paper…
  • Should dentists test patients for diabetes?

    Christopher James-NYU
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:59 am
    Of the 29.1 million Americans living with diabetes, an estimated 8.1 million are undiagnosed. New research suggests a trip to the dentist could be an effective way to identify people who might diabetes and don’t know it. Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the study of 408 dental patients shows that using gingival crevicular blood (GCB) for hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing produces values that are nearly identical to those obtained using finger stick blood (FSB), with a 99 percent correlation between the two samples. An important first step Testing HbA1c is promoted by…
  • Malawi study links gut microbes to nutrition problems

    Caroline Arbanas-WUSTL
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:15 am
    Gut microbes may predict whether or not children will suffer undernutrition as they grow, according to a study with twins in Malawi. Tens of trillions of microbes live in the gut, where they synthesize vitamins and process nutrients in the diet to keep the body healthy. These microbes and their genes, collectively known as the gut microbiota, begin to colonize the intestinal tract at birth. Researchers long have known that a lack of food is not the sole contributor to childhood undernutrition; infections and intestinal problems that prevent nutrient absorption are also thought to play a role.
  • Stress from bias differs among Latino teens

    Rachel Harrison-NYU
    27 Feb 2015 | 7:49 am
    Stress related to discrimination has a more pronounced effect on the mental health of Latino teens born in the US to immigrant parents, as opposed to foreign-born teens, report researchers. Latino adolescents who experience discrimination-related stress are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and issues with sleep. The longitudinal study, which appears online in the journal Child Development, suggests that first-generation immigrants and second-generation immigrants are affected differently by discrimination-related stress. Latinos are the largest and fastest growing ethnic…
 
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    Futurity » Science and Technology

  • Bluebird moms can make competitive sons

    Daniel Stolte-Arizona
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:54 am
    Female bluebirds can produce more or less competitive sons by influencing the amounts of hormones in their eggs, say biologists. “Mothers are uniquely positioned to be a bridge between current environmental conditions and the traits of their offspring,” says Renée Duckworth, an assistant professor in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology in the University of Arizona College of Science. “This is one of those rare cases where we can see how these local behavioral interactions, which can be exceptionally variable, can lead to highly predictable ecological patterns…
  • How tiny wires trap a ‘tornado’

    Phil Sneiderman-JHU
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:40 am
    Wires only a billionth as thick as a human hair may help keep the “super” in superconductivity. Superconductors are materials that, at low temperatures, can carry electric current without the wasteful loss of energy caused by resistance. But this useful ability can be crippled or lost when electrons swirl into tiny tornado-like formations called vortices. Magnetic fields, such as those produced by electric motors, can cause these disruptive mini-twisters. Physicists have now figured out how to trap troublesome vortices within extremely short, ultra-thin nanowires, keeping…
  • Brain scans show extroverts come in 2 types

    David Orenstein-Brown
    27 Feb 2015 | 7:07 am
    When scientists scanned the brains of two types of extroverts—”people persons” and “go-getters”—they found similarities, but also distinct differences in their brain anatomy. “These are people just sharing with you how they tend to experience the world and what’s important to them,” says Tara White, assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences in the Brown University School of Public Health and corresponding author of the new study. “The fact that that’s validated in the brain is really exciting. There’s a deep reality…
  • Why biology teachers need to think about faith

    Matthew Swayne-Penn State
    26 Feb 2015 | 12:56 pm
    Future high school biology teachers need to prepare for questions about evolution—and that may mean talking about the intersection of faith and science. For a recent study study, political scientists conducted a series of focus group meetings with biology students at four Pennsylvania institutions—three universities and a college. They report that students from a Catholic college appeared to be more reflective when talking about issues of faith and science. “We suspect these students are somewhat less anxious around discussions of faith and science that come up in biology…
  • Cold atoms and lasers do what computers can’t

    Jade Boyd-Rice
    26 Feb 2015 | 8:16 am
    In an attempt to tackle a problem that has vexed physicists for decades, researchers turned to ultracold atoms, not supercomputers. Nearly 30 years have passed since physicists discovered that electrons can flow freely through certain materials—superconductors—at relatively elevated temperatures. The reasons for this high-temperature, or “unconventional” superconductivity are still largely unknown. One of the most promising theories to explain unconventional superconductivity—called the Hubbard model—is simple to express mathematically but is impossible to solve with…
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    Futurity » Society and Culture

  • Why biology teachers need to think about faith

    Matthew Swayne-Penn State
    26 Feb 2015 | 12:56 pm
    Future high school biology teachers need to prepare for questions about evolution—and that may mean talking about the intersection of faith and science. For a recent study study, political scientists conducted a series of focus group meetings with biology students at four Pennsylvania institutions—three universities and a college. They report that students from a Catholic college appeared to be more reflective when talking about issues of faith and science. “We suspect these students are somewhat less anxious around discussions of faith and science that come up in biology…
  • Are patent trolls good for innovation?

    Clifton B. Parker-Stanford
    26 Feb 2015 | 9:30 am
    Patent trolls are much maligned, but they may have surprising benefits for investors and the innovation economy. Stephen Haber, a political science professor at Stanford University, suggests that concerns about too much litigation involving patents are misguided. A patent troll is a person or company that buys patents—without any intent to produce a product—and then enforces those patents against accused infringers in order to collect licensing fees. Some say the resulting litigation has driven up costs to innovators and consumers. To the contrary, Haber says, his working paper,…
  • Not all kids ‘outgrow’ math struggles

    Amanda Mountz-Penn State
    26 Feb 2015 | 6:43 am
    Math difficulties can appear in some children from low socioeconomic status households as early as by age two. Early screening and intervention can help, say experts. Previous studies have shown that young children who have difficulty with math will continue to have difficulty as they get older. But until now, little was known about which children were most at risk. The new study, published in the Journal of Learning Disabilities, strongly indicates that a family’s economic status is a significant factor in whether or not a child will continue to have trouble with math. What can…
  • Finding faults at work can wear you down

    Andy Henion-Michigan State
    25 Feb 2015 | 12:57 pm
    Although pointing out problems and suggesting solutions can both help a company improve, employees may want to find the right mix of the two. Focusing on the negative side can cause workers to become mentally fatigued and defensive and experience a drop-off in production, according to new research. While both behaviors can help a company, it’s important that workers find a balance between the two, says Russell Johnson, a management professor at Michigan State University. “The moral of this story is not that we want people to stop raising concerns within the company, because that…
  • Should talk therapy get more spiritual?

    Eric Lindberg-USC
    25 Feb 2015 | 9:26 am
    Therapists and clinicians who skirt the edges of religion and spirituality may overlook the greatest source of resilience or the key to psychological issues among many of their clients. That’s the argument of Spirituality, Religion, and Faith in Psychotherapy: Evidence-Based Expressive Methods for Mind, Brain, and Body (Lyceum Books, 2014), a new book by Helen Land, associate professor with the USC School of Social Work. “We are becoming more and more of a secular society, but I think this idea of what people hold as sacred, whether it’s religious or not, will always be…
 
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