Latest Blog Posts


Is There Signal in the fMRI Noise?

By Neuroskeptic | April 18, 2015 7:00 am

A new paper in Neuroimage suggests that methods for removing head motion and physiological noise from fMRI data might be inadvertently excluding real signal as well.

The authors, Molly G. Bright and Kevin Murphy of Cardiff, studied the technique called nuisance regression. It’s a popular approach for removing fMRI noise. Noise reduction is important because factors such as head movement, the heart beat, and breathing, can contaminate the fMRI signal and lead to biased results. Nuisance regres …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, head motion, methods, papers, select, Top Posts

Drone 360

Malicious UAV Pilots Can't Hide From This Righteous Drone

By Carl Engelking | April 17, 2015 1:54 pm

A company in France has figured out a way to track down the foolhardy drone pilots that give responsible hobbyists and commercial operators a bad name.

The robotics company ECA Group announced they have built and tested an on-board drone technology that can locate malicious drone operators in under a minute. ECA, of course, isn’t revealing exactly how it works, but French government authorities have seen it in action and they were apparently “fully satisfied.”

Policing the Skie …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, Top Posts


Dogs Use Their Gaze to Make You Love Them

By Carl Engelking | April 17, 2015 11:32 am

One look is all you need to understand the enduring bond between humans and dogs.

Domestic dogs, unlike their wild wolf cousins, are adept at non-nonverbal communication with humans, and a lot of eye contact happens between dogs and their owners. But there’s more to that gaze than meets the eye: When owners and their dogs stare into each other’s eyes, levels of oxytocin — the so called “love” molecule — spike in the bloodstream of both man and dog.

The same effect occurs  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts


Why You're More Likely to See a Coyote That's Sick

By Elizabeth Preston | April 17, 2015 9:44 am

Run-ins are on the rise between coyotes and city-dwelling humans, and scientists aren’t sure why. Now researchers in Alberta think they’ve found a piece of the puzzle. Coyotes are more likely to creep into human spaces if they’re unhealthy.

Conflict between humans and coyotes has increased during the last 20 years, write University of Alberta graduate student Maureen Murray and her coauthors. Yet coyotes were expanding their range for decades before that. They’ve spread to inhabit near …


"Bombogenesis": Watch as a Storm in the North Atlantic Explodes into a Powerful Cyclone

By Tom Yulsman | April 17, 2015 9:34 am

Want to cook up a nice meteorological stew called “bombogenesis” (otherwise known as explosive growth of an extratropical cyclone)?  Here’s the recipe:

Take a low pressure system mix in a big dollop of heat coming off the Gulf Stream. Now, move the developing storm into the North Atlantic where you’ve got relatively warm air to the southeast and frigid, polar air to the northwest. Stir…

The video above shows what you wind up with: Explosive growth …

Citizen Science Salon

Citizen Science Helps Discover Thirty New Species Where You Would Least Expect It

By Guest | April 17, 2015 8:14 am

This is a guest post by Aaron Pomerantz, a version of which originally appeared on the author’s website The Next Gen Scientist. Search through hundreds of citizen science projects on SciStarter to find one that gets you buzzing!

A recent study has revealed thirty species that are new to science living in the bustling city of Los Angeles. This is really exciting news because we usually don’t think of urbanized areas as having biologically diverse environments. Our human-made habitat see …

Out There

The Fertile Crescent of Space Exploration

By Corey S. Powell | April 16, 2015 4:12 pm

The new image of Ceres that NASA released today is doubly thrilling. It unveils more of the landscape of this mysterious in-betweener world–an object classified both as a giant asteroid and as a dwarf planet, a type of object never before observed up close. But it also taps into the unique significance of the crescent shape, both to our culture and to our science.

The crescent is one of the most recognizable icons in astronomy. It is the signature element of the oldest known representati …

MORE ABOUT: Ceres, comet, NASA


Zapping the Brain With Electricity Boosts People's Creativity

By Carl Engelking | April 16, 2015 3:00 pm

Need some creative, out-of-the box ideas? Try adding a little jolt to your next brainstorming session.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill have found that stimulating the brain with electrical impulses boosts creativity. The impulses, researchers say, activated specific brain waves associated with originative thinking, and people who were buzzed scored significantly higher on a test of creative thought.

Time to kiss writer’s block goodbye.
Making Waves
Our …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts


Poll: When Will We Find Alien Life?

By Lisa Raffensperger | April 16, 2015 1:37 pm



Seriously, Science?

Study examines why dog owners don't always clean up their pooch's poop.

By Seriously Science | April 16, 2015 6:00 am

“Sh*t happens.” And, if you’re a regular walker, your shoes (and nose!) are probably very aware that much of it is due to dogs. But how do dog owners normally handle the doodoo? We will let Professor Gross, the author of this poop-tastic study, introduce the topic in his own (very well chosen) words:

“To be sure, at first glance, dog walking seems straightforward. Walk the dog, let it poop, then walk the dog home. But this simple description raises a fundamental question: why it is that t …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: fun with animals, ha ha poop

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