Culture

You enter your quarter into the slot machine and hit the button. Two lemons and a cherry appear in front of you--close to a win, but not quite. For nearly 70 years, researchers believed that near-miss events like these would encourage you to continue gambling. But new research from University of Alberta scientists suggests that the near-miss effect may not exist at all.

The project, led by recent PhD graduate Jeffrey Pisklak and MSc graduate Joshua Yong, examined the relationship between near-miss events and persistent gambling behaviour in both human and animal subjects.

HOUSTON - (Oct. 17, 2019) - During embryonic development, the entire nervous system, the skin and the sensory organs emerge from a single sheet of cells known as the ectoderm. While there have been extensive studies of how this sheet forms all these derivatives, it hasn't been possible to study the process in humans - until now.

Rice bioscientist Aryeh Warmflash, graduate student George Britton and their colleagues have created a system in which all of the major cell types of ectoderm are formed in a culture dish in a pattern similar to that seen in embryos.

ITHACA, N.Y. - The molecules of life are twisted. But how those familiar strands in DNA's double helix manage to replicate without being tangled up has been hard to decipher. A new perspective from Cornell physicists is helping unravel the mystery.

Offshore mussel farm sites need to have the right temperature, food availability, and the right currents. According to a study by researchers at NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center, several suitable locations can be found off the Northeastern U.S.

Their findings, published in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, suggest that the most promising locations for mussel aquaculture among the six oceanic sites studied are off New York's Long Island, north of Cape Ann in Massachusetts, and off New Hampshire.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 17, 2019) -- Most states that transition to block grant funding for Medicaid - in which the federal government provides a fixed annual sum - would see lower revenue for their community health centers that care for Medicaid beneficiaries and other residents. Under a block grant, total health center revenues generated by the Medicaid expansion population would drop 92 percent and 58 percent for traditional enrollees by 2024, according to a study published today in the Milbank Quarterly.

DUBLIN, Ireland - Politicians from Ireland are less effective in connecting with Dublin voters on the emotional issue of Brexit than their counterparts in other countries, according to a groundbreaking study by cross-Atlantic Irish and U.S. partners.

Scientists have put elite wheat varieties through a sort of "Photosynthesis Olympics" to find which varieties have the best performing photosynthesis. This could ultimately help grain growers to get more yield for less inputs in the farm.

"In this study we surveyed diverse high-performing wheat varieties to see if their differences in photosynthetic performance were due to their genetic makeup or to the different environments where they were grown," said lead researcher Dr Viridiana Silva-Perez from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis (CoETP).

Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have pioneered a novel approach to 3D print chocolate-based products at room temperature by cold extrusion.

The hot-melt extrusion method is widely used in 3D printed chocolates where the chocolate is required to be between the temperatures of 31oC to 36oC so that it can be melted and dispensed accordingly. While this method has its advantages in simplicity and accessibility, the narrow range of operating temperature can be highly restrictive and inflexible.

In line with the increasing global concerns about the state of our planet, perfecting the technology for alternative energy generation has become a hot topic among researchers worldwide. Among the many techniques being investigated to generate clean energy, water splitting is a very promising one. In particular, water (H2O) can be split to obtain dihydrogen (H2) by using solar energy; this is known as photoelectrochemical water splitting.

LA JOLLA, CA - Chemists at Scripps Research have invented an efficient method for making a synthetic version of the plant compound bilobalide, which is naturally produced by gingko trees. It's a significant feat because bilobalide--and closely related compounds--hold potential commercial value as medicines and "green" insecticides.

Currently, agriculture remains one of the most labor-intensive and vital sectors of human activity. For Lobachevsky University scientists, increasing its efficiency is one of their research priorities that requires the development of new methods and approaches, including methods for remote monitoring of the crops.

New research from Aarhus University shows that ants inhibit at least 14 different plant diseases. The small insects secrete antibiotics from glands in the body. On their legs and body, they also host colonies of bacteria that secrete antibiotics. It is probably these substances that inhibit a number of different diseases and researchers now hope to find biological pesticides that may conquer resistant plant diseases.

A group of University of Tokyo researchers and their colleagues suggest that stereotypical gender role attitudes and negative images of STEM fields of Japanese parents may be associated with girls' reduced university participation. Providing more information to parents about potential career paths in certain fields after university may be one way to overcome this hurdle.

A research team consisting of Professor Michiteru Kitazaki from the Toyohashi University of Technology, Associate Professor Tomohiro Amemiya from the University of Tokyo, and Professor Yasushi Ikei from Tokyo Metropolitan University have developed a virtual walking system. This system records a person walking, then re-plays it to another user through the oscillating optic flow and synchronous foot vibrations.

A new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that the presence or absence of moonlight has a considerable bearing on when migratory birds take flight in the autumn.

Together with colleagues at the Department of Biology at Lund University, Gabriel Norevik studied European nightjars (Caprimulgus europaeus) and how the lunar cycle and moonlight affects the departure time when the birds start their three-month-long migrationflight to areas south of the Sahara.