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17 Sep 14 - Science News

Citizen science sheds ray of light on prickly character
Dr Chin says engaging citizen scientists was very successful in this instance as it gave them many sets of eyes to see something rare, and the ray is so distinctive it could not be mistaken for other marine animals.

Science: Precious Petals to Passionate Teachers
Robyn Stutchbury asked: Science has lost funding, status and respect under Abbott's government. For the first time since 1931, we have no Minister for Science; instead we have the Minister for Industry believing his 'passion for science' together with ...

Big data is watching you
Friend or foe? Technologies like sensor networks enable us to gather enormous volumes of data at prodigious speeds and often in complex forms (Source: nevarpp/iStockphoto).

Art meets science in the Queensland outback
Ms Carmichael, a descendant of the Quandamooka people of Moreton Bay, Queensland, was selected from a competitive field as artist-in-residence to join almost 80 UQ biological sciences students on a 2013 Outback Ecology Studies field trip. Working ...

Size doesn't matter for black holes
The discovery has helped scientists settle a long standing debate about how ultra-compact dwarf galaxies are created. Astronomers had wondered whether ultra-compact dwarfs were the stripped cores of more massive galaxies, or simply tightly packed balls ...

CSIRO scientists sorting mail, cleaning labs after budget cuts
Some highly skilled scientists and project leaders at the CSIRO are being kept from their research to clean laboratories, write promotional material, sort mail and refill photocopiers after government budget cuts and a efficiency drive that have forced ...

Area pundit angry at political science for proving him wrong
Salon columnist Thomas Frank does not like political science, and he particularly dislikes my column arguing that political science is improving political journalism. In riposte, he's written an article demonstrating the need for political journalists ...

Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes, claim scientists
Eran Elinav, a senior author on the study at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, said that while the evidence against the sweeteners was too weak to change health policies, he had decided to give them up.

The top 50 science stars of Twitter
Genomicist Neil Hall sparked an online tempest this summer by proposing a “Kardashian Index,” or K-index—a comparison of a scientist's number of Twitter followers with their citations.

Imprinted brain theory links autism and schizophrenia
'Imprinted' genes may affect a baby's behaviour and could be involved in the development of autism or schizophrenia. (Source: moswyn/iStockphoto).

Human brain gene turns mice into fast-learners
In the first study designed to assess how partially 'humanising' brains of a different species affects key cognitive functions, scientists report that mice carrying Foxp2 - a human gene associated with language - learned new ways to find food in mazes ...

The flawed nature of the International Whaling Commission's science
As a body established to look at a scientific approach to whaling, the International Whaling Commission's scientific credibility is sorely lacking.

Science for a better society and a stronger economy
Incensed at budget cuts and poor working conditions, the scientists forced the prime minister to admit that before the minerals run out, Australia must become "the clever country".

All Science Should Be Taught With Gigantic Ball Machines
When drug manufacturer Seattle Genetics needed an effective way to promote its cancer-fighting antibody-drug conjugate medicines at a trade show, it enlisted a company called Creative Machines to design and build this amazing ball contraption that ...

Human faces evolved to be recognisable, scientists say
The scientists assessed human facial variability using a US Army database of body measurements compiled from male and female personnel in 1988.

Why Tom is so damn wrong about the relevancy of political science
He was frustrated with the content of International Security and then went on a tear about how irrelevant and "made up" political science is. Given my respect for his work and the importance of his blog within the policy community, I found this view ...

Genius Grant To Science Historian
“My name is Pamela Long, and I'm a historian of 15th and 16th century Europe, of the history of science and technology and cultural history.

Q&A: John Durant and David Kaiser on spurring public interest in science
What are the best ways to get the general public interested in science? Last year a large MIT workshop convened dozens of scientists, artists, bloggers, citizen-scientists, and journalists to examine new grassroots forms through which people are ...

Science says: comfort food isn't all that comforting
A study, published in Health Psychology reveals that although people believe comfort food can have mood-altering effects, the truth of the matter is they don't.

Ig Nobels to Honor the Hilarious Side of Science on Thursday
Science doesn't always have to be serious. In fact, sometimes it can be quite funny. Not convinced? You can see for yourself on Thursday (Sept.

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