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Submission + - Study: Compound Found In Beer boosts brain function

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers have found that a chemical found in hops may actually improve memory. Unfortunately, a person would need to drink 3,520 pints of beer a day to get a high enough dose of the chemical to boost their brain power. A daunting task for even the most enthusiastic Oktoberfest participant. From the article: "Researchers at Oregon State University discovered that doses of xanthohumol, a flavonoid found in hops, improved memory and thinking in a lucky group of mice. Flavonoids are a class of compounds present in plants, known to have numerous health benefits. Last year, researchers discovered that a flavonoid found in celery and artichokes could potentially fight pancreatic cancer. The researchers treated the mice with dietary supplements of xanthohumol over the course of eight weeks. Their goal was to determine if xanthohumol could affect palmitoylation, a naturally occurring process in animals (including humans) that’s associated with memory degradation. The mice then went through a series of tests—including the popular Morris water maze—to gauge whether or not the treatments had improved their spatial memory and cognitive flexibility. For the younger mice in the group, it worked. But on the older mice, unfortunately, the xanthohumol didn’t seem to have any effect."

Submission + - Tor protects and serves transgender service members (

_AustinPowell writes: Griffin Boyce is a 29-year-old prospective clinical psychology Ph.D. student. He's also a hacker and researcher who works as a developer for Tor, the powerful anonymizing service home to 2 million users at any given moment. As a transgender male, he's uniquely qualified to communicate with and assist men and women struggling in the armed forces. Over the course of three years, Boyce estimates that he's spoken with over 200 service members and trained many of them to use Tor, which provides critical layers of protection that make it extremely difficult to find out a user's location, history, or identity.

Submission + - Politician blames Nintendo for lazy teens (

dotarray writes: An Australian politician believes Nintendo and Xbox are to blame for the country's high number of unemployed youth. Federal Liberal MP Ewen Jones argues that young people should be made to wait six months before receiving unemployment benefits, a proposal put forward by the Abbott government.

Submission + - Bringing Back Quality Science Kits (

Harris-Educational writes: Big Box Stores and others have "science kits" but in many cases they are cheap, throw-away, with poor (if any) instructions. Most are not made in the USA. Parents will spend $50+ on a video game but what about spending $50+ on a quality and inspiring educational experience (and sharing that experience with their children). Some kids today are lucky and are able to play with micro-controllers, PC's on a chip, and 3D printers but how many of them know the basics and can troubleshoot a circuit when something goes wrong? Do they really understand their technological building blocks?

Harris Educational (a small "Maker Business") is working to change all that for the better by launching 'Reinventing Science' kits that hearken back to the great science kits of the 50's and 60's like those made by A.C. Gilbert, REMCO, and others. One example is "Reinventing Edison: Build your own Light Bulb" in which experimenters work with a vacuum chamber and build a working incandescent light bulb like Edison and Swan did. These kits won "Best in Class" and an "Editor's Choice" awards at World Maker Faire in New York last week and will be on display again on October 4th and 5th at Maker Faire Atlanta. In addition to Harris Educational's Kickstarter (also working to raise money to launch an educational maker space in Burlington NC) Harris Educational is also a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made awards Is our society ready to invest again in quality hands-on STEM education like it did during the Space Race?

Submission + - Apple faces large penalties in EU tax probe

chasm22 writes: EU Regulators are apparently set to accuse Apple and the Irish government of entering into several sweetheart deals that left Apple with lower taxes than what it legally owed. If the ruling is upheld, Apple could owe billions in back taxes. Interestingly, it seems that the Irish government would actually get the extra money and suffer little for its part in the scheme.

Submission + - Asteroid Capture for Free Orbital Energy?

An anonymous reader writes: Dumb question: what if size didn't matter so much? There's been much discussion lately of capturing a near-Earth asteroid for mining, but what about using a larger near-Earth asteroid for gravity-assist maneuvers in long-range space exploration? Moons around target planets could be used to slow a mission's re-entry in similar fashion.

Submission + - Cameras to "see" cancer

Champaklal writes: Inspired by the mantis shrimp's ability to see polarized light, scientists are working on developing cameras to detect cancerous cells. The mantis shrimp has compound eyes which has 16 different kinds of photocells (compared to humans, we have only 3).

The camera uses aluminum nano wires to replicate the polarization sensitive ommatidia photocells in shrimps. They placed the nanowires on top of photodiodes to finally convert image into electrical signals. The complete paper can be found here.

Submission + - Could we abort a manned mission to Mars?

StartsWithABang writes: The next great leap in human spaceflight is a manned mission to a world within our Solar System: most likely Mars. But if something went wrong along the journey — at launch, close to Earth, or en route — whether biological or mechanical, would there be any way to return to Earth? A fun (and sobering) look at what the limits of physics and technology allow at present.

Submission + - The Physics (and Psychology) of Tattoos and Tattoo Removal writes: Rachel Feltman writes in the Washington Post that if you've never gotten a tattoo, you might think that a tattoo needle works by "injecting" ink under the skin which is true, but doesn't tell the whole story. Tattoo artists don't simply inject ink from some chamber in the machine into your skin. They dip the needles into pots of ink, the same way another artist would dip a brush. The ink is actually held between the needles and the purpose is the needles is to puncture the skin. "There are hundreds of tiny holes leading down to your dermis — the layer of skin between the epidermis (outer layer) and subcutaneous tissues — the ink between the needles is drawn into them by capillary action," writes Kyle Hill. "In short, the surface tension and forces holding the ink together encourages the ink to seep into the holes left by the needles."

So how does tattoo removal work? Although dermabrasion (where skin is "sanded" to remove the surface and middle layers), cryosurgery (where the area is frozen prior to its removal), and excision (where the dermatologic surgeon removes the tattoo with a scalpel and closes the wound with stitches) were the preferred methods before the 1980s, today lasers have become the standard treatment for tattoo removal because they offer a bloodless, low risk, effective alternative with minimal side effects. The type of laser used to remove a tattoo depends on the tattoo's pigment colors. (Yellow and green are the hardest colors to remove; blue and black are the easiest.) By producing short pulses of intense light that pass harmlessly through the top layers of the skin to be selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment, the laser energy causes the tattoo pigment to fragment into smaller particles that are then removed by the body's immune system. Side effects of laser procedures are generally few but may include hyperpigmentation, or an abundance of color in the skin at the treatment site, and hypopigmentation, where the treated area lacks normal skin color. Other possible side effects include infection of the site, lack of complete pigment removal and a 5 percent chance of permanent scarring.

According to John Tierney the choice to get a tattoo that is later regretted is related to the end-of-history illusion, in which people tend to “underestimate how much they will change in the future.” Teenagers and adults of all ages know that their tastes have changed regularly over the years before the current moment, but believe that their tastes will somehow not continue to grow and mature in the future. As a result, they wrongly believe that any tattoo that appeals to them today will always appeal to them in the future.

Submission + - A pipeline for beer

schwit1 writes: To reduce street truck traffic, a Belgian city is going to build a two-mile long pipeline to pump beer from its brewery to its bottling factory.

I wonder if they'll notice if someone puts a tap on that line.

Submission + - Black holes don't actually exist (

An anonymous reader writes: "By merging two seemingly conflicting theories, Laura Mersini-Houghton, a physics professor at UNC-Chapel Hill in the College of Arts and Sciences, has proven, mathematically, that black holes can never come into being in the first place. The work not only forces scientists to reimagine the fabric of space-time, but also rethink the origins of the universe."

Submission + - Facebook facing exodus of users to new social network (

wired_parrot writes: Despite criticisms of its privacy policy and intrusive advertising, Facebook has managed to retain its users and maintain its spot as the top social network. Now, however, it appears that a new social network has exploded in popularity with a large numbers of Facebook users migrating over. The move appears to be spearheaded by artists, performers, and the LGBT community, dissatisfied with Facebook's policy on using real names. Ello, as the new social network is called, promises a pro-privacy stand and to remain ad-free, a claim it emphasizes in its manifesto. Can Ello succeed in dethroning Facebook?

Submission + - FBI angry with Apple and Google for new security features (

Charliemopps writes: Recently Apple and Google implimented new encryption that will make it difficult for law enforcement to retrieve data from a locked device even when they have a valid search warent. Apparently the FBI is not very happy with either company. On Thursday FBI Director James B. Comey said:

There will come a day when it will matter a great deal to the lives of people... that we will be able to gain access” to such devices, Comey told reporters in a briefing. “I want to have that conversation [with companies responsible] before that day comes

Submission + - Brain Cell Linker Dependence Shown by Supercomputer Simulations (

jorge_salazar writes: Neuroscientists at Stony Brook University in New York teamed up with computational biophysicists at Florida State University and found that the function of a key brain cell receptor critically depends on a short polypeptide segment, which they call a linker, to function. Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and a number of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia are associated with malfunctions of this brain receptor, called the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor. Obama's $100 million BRAIN initiative promises to bring together more eclectic teams like this one to find new tools to map the human brain's billions of nerve cells, networks, and pathways in real time.

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