January 19, 2018

Top 10 STEM News – 13th May

Top 10 STEM news for the week

This weeks Top 10 STEM News: Too much empathy may be harming you

Our editors collection of the Top 10 STEM News from around the world this week.

Hormones that are released during hunger affect decision making

Never make a decision when you are hungry. The hormone ghrelin – that is released before meals and known to increase appetite – has a negative effect on both decision making and impulse control, report scientists.

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Malaria vaccine protects adults for up to a year

Malaria infects hundreds of millions of people every year, and kills more than half a million, most of them under the age of 5 years. There is no vaccine. But now, a new study has found that an experimental malaria vaccine protected adults from infection for more than a year.

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Brain pattern predicts how fast an adult learns a new language

Some adults learn a second language better than others, and their secret may involve the rhythms of activity in their brains. New findings by scientists at the University of Washington demonstrate that a five-minute measurement of resting-state brain activity predicted how quickly adults learned a second language.

The study, published in the June-July issue of the journal Brain and Language, is the first to use patterns of resting-state brain rhythms to predict subsequent language learning rate.

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Experimental therapy halts treatment-resistant brain tumors in animals

Researchers report an experimental therapy that in laboratory tests stops aggressive, treatment-resistant and deadly brain cancers called glioblastoma and high-grade gliomas. Testing a multi-step therapeutic strategy, the scientists found a way to use a gene therapy to shut down a gene long-implicated in the formation of high-grade gliomas called Olig2.

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Genetic links to educational attainment identified

Researchers have identified 74 areas of the human genome associated with educational attainment. It is well known that social and other environmental factors influence education, but these findings suggest that large genetics analyses may be able to help discover biological pathways as well.

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SPACEX DRAGON RETURNS TO EARTH WITH CRITICAL NASA SCIENCE

A SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft loaded with nearly two tons of critical NASA science and technology experiments and equipment returned to Earth this afternoon, Wednesday, May 11, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean – and bringing about a successful conclusion to its mission to theInternational Space Station (ISS) that also brought aloft a new room for the resident crew.

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How sharing other people’s feelings can make you sick

Few people would argue that the world is cursed with an excess of empathy. But we are starting to discover that our capacity to share other’s emotions and take their perspective comes with a sting in its tail. Overdosing on the misfortunes of others is not just a problem for those in high-exposure professions such as nursing. All of us are vulnerable to catching the pain of others, making us angrier, unhappier, and possibly even sicker.

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Paper gets ‘smart’ with drawn-on, stenciled sensor tags

Researchers have created ways to give a piece of paper sensing capabilities that allows it to respond to gesture commands and connect to the digital world.

A piece of paper is one of the most common, versatile daily items. Children use it to draw their favorite animals and practice writing the A-B-Cs, and adults print reports or scribble a hasty grocery list.

Now, connecting real-world items such as a paper airplane or a classroom survey form to the larger Internet of Things environment is possible using off-the-shelf technology and a pen, sticker or stencil pattern.

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Infants swaddling for sleep associated with sudden infant death syndrome

The risk of sudden infant death syndrome appears to increase when infants are swaddled while sleeping on their stomachs or sides, new research has found. The analysis looked at four studies, which spanned two decades and covered three diverse geographical areas, including regions of England, Tasmania in Australia, and Chicago, Ill.

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High fruit intake during adolescence linked with lower breast cancer risk

Two linked papers shed new light on the relation of alcohol and diet with breast cancer and heart disease. The first study reports that high fruit consumption during adolescence may be associated with lower breast cancer risk, while the second study finds that increasing alcohol intake in later life is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

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