Daily Archives: July 30, 2015

This Tragic New PSA About Using Your Phone While Driving Is Something EVERYONE Should See

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Continuing need for the ‘medical effects of sword-swallowing’ study

Jennifer Weiss, writing in the Wall Street Journal, explores the continuing need for the prize-winning study “Sword-Swallowing and Its Side Effects“. The study’s authors, Brian Witcombe and Dan Meyer, were awarded the 2007 Ig Nobel Prize for medicine. Witcombe and Meyer’s Ig Nobel acceptance speech is documented in this brief video:

CONTINUE http://www.improbable.com/2015/07/25/continuing-need-for-the-medical-effects-of-sword-swallowing-study/

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Reading tragic news can lead to depression and anxiety: researchers

In today’s society, it’s nearly impossible to escape national news, which is more often than not rife with tragedy. Yet, as we’re frequently made aware of these tragic news stories, be it through TV or social media, we’re less aware of the effects constant consumption has on our mental health. A new study from the Netherlands may help to bridge this gap.

Researchers were actually in the middle of a study on the prenatal and postnatal mental health of women in the Netherlands when they noticed women were “measurably more depressed” following the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash, Live Science reported. At this point, women began to list tragedy as a “major life event” they had experienced during their pregnancy. Victor Pop, study author and researcher at the University of Tilburg, said this became “a side note of the project.”

“We realized that possibly we could have very interesting data in our hands, because we had women who had completed the [same] questionnaires in 2013,” Pop told Live Science.

These questionnaires required women to measure their levels of depression on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most depressed. When comparing the two groups’ answers, Pop and his team found an increase in depression among women involved in the study in 2014, the year the plane crash took place. These women had an average score of 5.21 on the depression scale compared to an average score of 4.11 among the women who filled out the questionnaire in 2013.

CONTINUE http://www.rawstory.com/2015/07/reading-tragic-news-can-lead-to-depression-and-anxiety-researchers/

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Tortoise Gets a new 3D Printed Shell After Forest Fire

tortoise1One of my favorite reasons for covering the 3D printing space is the fact that I get to report on some really inspiring stories. I’m an animal lover and love seeing instances where humans and animals help each other in ways which make you realize the special connections we have with our pets. Previously we have covered many stories related to humans using 3D printers to come to the aid of animals. Just this past March, we did a story on a tortoise named Cleopatra, who had received a 3D printed shell due to a disorder that she had. This shell was not meant as a replacement for Cleopatra’s original, but was rather a means to supplement the deformed shell that was already there.

Today, however, comes news out of Santos, São Paulo, Brazil, where another tortoise, named Fred, has received an entire 3D printed shell as a replacement for one that he had lost. Fred specifically is a Red-Footed Tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaris), a species found in many areas of South America. Unfortunately he was the victim of a recent forest fire that completely deteriorated the majority of his shell.

continue http://3dprint.com/84180/3d-printed-tortoise-shell-fred/

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How Tiny Lab-Grown Human Brains Are Giving Big Insights Into Autism

First came lab-grown mini-hearts. Then came 3D printed skin. Now scientists have taken “body on a chip” to a whole new level.

Starting with skin cells from patient biopsies, scientists transformed them back into stem cells, and from those grew pea-sized, self-organizing, crazy-looking nuggets of living — yes, LIVING — brain.

These “cerebral organoids” are the brainchild of Dr. Madeline Lancaster, a neuroscientist at Cambridge who is interested in how our brains develop as embryos. A few years back while working as a postdoc in Vienna at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA), Lancaster noticed off-hand that her cultured brain cells weren’t sticking to the bottom of the dish as usual — instead, they floated up and aggregated into tiny balls.


Curiosity piqued, Lancaster tinkered around with growth conditions until her mini-brains expanded several millimeters wide — tiny compared to a normal human brain, but still something previously unachievable.

continue with video http://singularityhub.com/2015/07/26/how-tiny-lab-grown-human-brains-are-giving-big-insights-into-autism/

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These Burgers Are Made of Flies and They Are Amazingly Nutritious

Every year, during the rainy season, trillions of midges – small flies – rise from the water of Lake Victoria, in Africa, and fly in giant swarms that are said to be so dense they can suffocate a person. However, for the people living on the shores of the great lake, they are just a welcome source of protein.

Some bird species migrate to Lake Victoria during the rainy season so they can take advantage of this free feast. The flies create a sort of constantly buzzing living smog and cover every available surface as they break off from their mating ritual. But no matter how many of them are gobbled up by birds and other natural predators, there are always more than enough for the locals. As disgusting as eating flies may seem, the reality is they make up a huge quantity of biomass equivalent with large herds of big game. People living on the shores of Lake Victoria simply can’t ignore the nutritious protein flying all around them, so they catch the flies and cook them as charcoal-black fly burgers.
continue after video http://www.odditycentral.com/foods/these-burgers-are-made-of-flies-and-they-are-amazingly-nutritious.html

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950 Million Android Phones Can Be Hijacked By Malicious Text Messages


Almost all Android mobile devices available today are susceptible to hacks that can execute malicious code when they are sent a malformed text message or the user is lured to a malicious website, a security researcher reported Monday.

The vulnerability affects about 950 million Android phones and tablets, according to Joshua Drake, vice president of platform research and exploitation at security firm Zimperium. It resides in “Stagefright,” an Android code library that processes several widely used media formats. The most serious exploit scenario is the use of a specially modified text message using the multimedia message (MMS) format. All an attacker needs is the phone number of the vulnerable Android phone. From there, the malicious message will surreptitiously execute malicious code on the vulnerable device with no action required by the end user and no indication that anything is amiss.

In a blog post published Monday, Zimperium researchers wrote:

A fully weaponized successful attack could even delete the message before you see it. You will only see the notification. These vulnerabilities are extremely dangerous because they do not require that the victim take any action to be exploited. Unlike spear-phishing, where the victim needs to open a PDF file or a link sent by the attacker, this vulnerability can be triggered while you sleep. Before you wake up, the attacker will remove any signs of the device being compromised and you will continue your day as usual—with a trojaned phone.

continue http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/07/950-million-android-phones-can-be-hijacked-by-malicious-text-messages/

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