10 May, 2012 – This Week in Science


Supernovas Differentiate, Indoor Sex Work, Pond Skaters And Warehouse Pirate Bugs, Mistakes Were Made, Kids Health, Scanning Brains, Mayan Calendar Find, The Vagina Microbiomes, And Much More…

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Supernovaes differentiate!
Type 1A supernovas could come from one of two different sources, but recent findings tell us that perhaps the answer is both. “Just like mineral water,” the supernova could come from an environment with or without gas. The question is, how can two very different systems create supernovae that appear to be the same? There must be something we’re missing, right?

Take it indoors!
It turns out that someone did research to find out that indoor sex work is much safer and cleaner than street work. This study led to development of more supportive housing programs for sex workers in Vancouver, where the interviews and focus-groups took place, and where prostitution is illegal as long as it is kept indoors.

Invertebrate sex:
Two different insect males treat their females without the proper respect, but the females find a way to cope:
Pond skaters have specially adapted antennae to hold down a female so they can mate with her.
And, Warehouse pirate bugs use “traumatic insemination,” which leads to high female mortality, but in turn more babies…

You Were A Mistake
Much like the Post-it Note, human intelligence may have been the result of a mistake. An accidental duplication error in cell division can cause bad or good mutations. Researchers manipulated the gene SRGAP2 in mice, and found that when duplicated, as in a cell division copy error, the mouse’s brain would organize faster and potentially they would be smarter.

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Kids Health
It’s official, children without insurance and children with public insurance have it much tougher than those with private insurance. In fact, a great number of them lack a primary care physician, and many are likely to opt out of expensive treatment once in an ER.

Brain scans show people enjoy talking about themselves.
Recent brain scanning from the National Academy of Sciences tells us that people love to talk about themselves. In fact, 30-40% of your speech relates to “you.” With the rise of Facebook and Twitter, one wonders if this figure has inflated since the advent of social media…?

The brains of psychopaths are different
Psychopaths have structural differences to their brains. This means that they do not feel the same emotions associated with actions as normal brains do, and it comes down to their wiring. New knowledge about the structure of a psychopathic brain could lead to new preventative treatments for these individuals, and therefore reduce heinous crimes.

Mayan Calendar Find
A newly discovered Mayan calendar in Guatemala goes way past 2012,and in fact goes past the roman calendar equivalent of 3500. It would appear that the Mayan calendar that ended in 2012 was just a calendar that ended in 2012, to be followed by another calendar, and not Armageddon… So we’re OK people!!!

The Vagina Microbiomes
Measure your microbes every day to keep the doctor away? Not as catchy…

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