News, World Problems

UN: fewer hungry people worldwide, but still a long way to go

Source: Borgen Magazine

The number of hungry people worldwide has dropped to 800 million, down from a billion more than a quarter century ago. Progress in Latin America and East Asia accounts for the massive reduction in the number of undernourished people, but the UN warns there are still many challenges that need to be overcome if world hunger is to end by 2030. The report proposes rich countries divert more of their resources to poorer environments, while vulnerable countries need to invest more in social protection schemes, incentives for rural areas and promote peace in conflict ridden countries like those in Africa.  Sub-Saharan Africa still has the highest level of undernourishment in the world – almost one in four people there do not have access to enough food.

News, Technology

Robo-roach and robo-bird team up to conduct recon mission

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It’s almost like a Disney movie: a roach helps a bird take off from its back in order to save their friends – except both the roach and the bird are robotic, and the recon mission was just a test conducted in a lab from the University of California, Berkeley. But this technology could save lives for real, researchers explain. “While

Health & Medicine, Science

Modified herpes virus used to treat skin cancer

Image via herpesaware.com

A new clinical trial from the UK brings exciting results as a modified strain of the herpes virus has been successfully used to treat skin cancer patients, with only minor side effect.

News, Science

Some influential studies are “sleeping beauties”, going unnoticed for decades after publishing

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A study which combed through millions of research papers published over the span of a century measured their citations and found many obscure studies surfaced much later into attention and were recognized for their true worth. Typically, if a study hasn’t received any citations within the first couple of years since it got published, it will likely stay as it is – forgotten and uninteresting. But this is no rule. The exception are those works of science that were ahead of their time. For instance, the statistical model the researchers employed cites one paper published by Albert Einstein and others which didn’t became influential until 1994. This insight into the “science of science” will prove useful in assessing citation dynamics in general.

Animals, Biology, News

Last ditch effort gives endangered turtles another chance

one of the four surviving Yangtze Turtles.

A female Yangtze giant softshell turtle (quite possibly the last female of her species) has been given another chance to breed. She has been artificially inseminated at the Suzhou Zoo in China, in a last ditch effort to attempt to preserve her species.

Biology, News, Technology

Scientists 3D print eggs, trick birds into thinking they’re real

Image via 3D print.

It’s more than just a nasty trick – scientists have actually 3D printed eggs to help them better understand bird behaviour. They were especially interested in bird perception and what particular characteristics make them identify real eggs from fake ones.

Alien life, Astronomy, News

NASA presents toolkit to search for life on Jupiter’s Moon Europa

Realistic-color Galileo mosaic of Europa, highlighting the mysterious lines. Image via Wikipedia.

Sending a probe to look for alien life is just half of the work – it’s the tools you send there that will actually do the job, and NASA has decided which tools it wants to send to Jupiter’s moon Europa, a place considered by many the likeliest to hold alien life.

Biology, News

Sturdy virus might help us treat infectious diseases

Electron micrograph of Sulfolobus infected with Sulfolobus virus STSV1. Bar = 1 μm. Image via Wikipedia.

Scientists are studying a virus that survives in extremely hot environments in the hope that it will give us better ways of fighting infectious diseases.

Health & Medicine, News

Tinder usage caused STD spike, officials say

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It’s taking the world by storm, and allowing millions of people world wide to meet friends… and hook up. But for all the joy that is bringing to the world, Tinder also has its downsides – a new study reports the app has actually led to an increase of STD incidence.

Health & Medicine, News

Key protein that prevents Ebola outbreak found. Preventive vaccine now in works

Nowa Paye, 9, is taken to an ambulance after showing signs of the ebola. Image: Telegraph

A breakthrough study confirmed what scientists have long suspected: Ebola attaches itself to a singular, “gateway” protein to infect hosts. When mice were genetically engineered to lack the protein, these failed to become infected. Though extremely early, these promising results suggest Ebola outbreaks could be contained using vaccines that inhibit the protein either to stop the spread or prevent infection altogether. Nine out of ten infected Ebola patients die, and last year was the worst outbreak in history killing more than 11,000 people in Africa in official numbers, and likely twice as much in reality.