Depression May Speed up Brain Aging Health 

Depression May Speed up Brain Ageing

By Kate Stone Psychologists at the University of Sussex have found a strong correlation between depression and the speed at which the brain ages. Although scientists have previously found that people with depression or anxiety have an increased risk of dementia later in life, this is the first study that provides comprehensive evidence for the effect of depression on the decline in overall cognitive function (also referred to as cognitive state). The researchers behind this new study are hoping that their work will lead to greater public awareness of the…

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Another Early Toothed Bird Raises Its Head Animals Paleontology 

Another Early Toothed Bird Raises Its Head

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg Sometimes what you seek is right under your nose. Using fossils found in the 1870s, paleontologists have pieced together the skull of a toothed bird that represents a pivotal moment in the transition from dinosaurs to modern birds. “Right under our noses this whole time was an amazing, transitional bird.” Ichthyornis dispar is a key member of the evolutionary lineage that leads from dinosaurian species to today’s birds. It lived nearly 100 million years ago in North America and looked like a toothy seabird—like a gull…

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Technology Design to Step up Your Game Technology Videos 

Technology Design to Step up Your Game

Accessibility is critical to extend the advantages of technology to as a large number of people as possible. Microsoft estimates that there are over a billion people with disabilities around the world, many of whom like to game. Hence, three years ago, the XBox Accessibility team started working on a new type of controller. They collaborated with occupational therapy groups and nonprofits to build the controller that people with disabilities needed. How does it work? What are its features? Watch this video from the Endgadget series. With smooth, rounded edges and…

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How Do People Interact with Closed Nature Trails? Citizen Science Education Environment 

How Do People Interact with Closed Nature Trails?

by Maggie Gaddis In the first quarter of 2018, I worked with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) staff to identify trails of monitoring interest. We reflected on the feedback received in 2017. The Citizen Science Program concept was received well at the end of 2017,  and we agreed to expand the Program by including more trails. All trails are in the Garden of the Gods in 2018. The potential for additional sites is there, but we agreed it was best to focus our attention on the Garden. A question…

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Students Explore Oceans, Wetlands with Interactive Games Biology Education Environment 

Students Explore Oceans, Wetlands with Interactive Games

By Shayna Keyles @shaynakeyles One of the best ways for students to learn about biodiversity is through hands-on experience. Of course, teachers can take their kids to the local pond to learn how different aquatic species interact, but what if students could learn about any aquatic environment, such as the oceans, or even the Everglades? That’s where iBiome, an interactive app by our friends at Springbay Studio, comes in handy. The series of downloadable games helps students develop scientific skills by creating observable, virtual biodomes in a variety of environments.…

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New Ebola Vaccine in Development Biology Health 

New Ebola Vaccine in Development

By Michelle Dookwah @mtdookwah Only a few summers ago, “Ebola” became a household word as the worst outbreak of the virus in history ravaged its way across western African nations and threatened health safety worldwide. It became easier to not think about the Ebola virus once the urgency of the crisis passed, and now news media is filled with other medical emergencies such as Zika or measles outbreaks—although there is a vaccine for the latter (cough, cough). However, several research groups haven’t forgotten about the devastation caused by the hemorrhagic…

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How Squids Lost Their Shells Animals Biology Videos 

Squids’ Shells: From Armor, to Vehicle, to Ghost

Shells made their first appearance between 635 and 541 million years ago, especially after the first predators had shown up. How have cephalopods’ shells evolved from armors to means of transportation? How have they adapted to further suit these animals’ needs? Watch this video from the PBS Eons series. The ancestors of modern, squishy cephalopods like the octopus and the squid all had shells. Shells helped mollusks move through water, giving them an advantage over similar animals without a shell. Over time, some cephalopods internalized their shell like a backbone, some…

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Cooking, Evolution, and Brain Growth Anthropology Education 

Cooking, Evolution, and Brain Growth

Cooking establishes the difference between animals and people. In fact, we’re not the only social animals that sit down to eat together, but we are the only ones who cook. But how is cooking linked to human brain’s growth and evolution? This is a video from Dr. Joe Hanson’s It’s Okay To Be Smart series. Cooking helped humans strengthen social bonds and cooperation. Although our brain uses one-fifth of the calories that we eat, we spend only 5 percent of our daily lives eating, while Chimpanzees and Gorillas spend more than half…

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Why Are Eggshells So Strong? Animals Biology 

Why Are Eggshells So Strong?

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg Anyone who has a tried to squeeze a chicken egg from end to end knows how strong eggshells are. Not much in nature mineralizes as quickly as a bird egg. How is it that fertilized chicken eggs manage to resist fracture from the outside while, at the same time, can be broken open from the inside by a tiny chick? It’s all in the eggshell nanostructure, according to a new study led by McGill University scientists and published in the journal Science Advances. For millions of…

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Plastic Pollution: An Emerging Threat Beneath Our Feet Biology Environment Health 

Plastic Pollution: An Emerging Threat Beneath Our Feet

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci Tiny plastic particles that can barely be seen by the human eye have made their way from our soil into everyday items we know—from earthworms to honey to the beer that we drink—bringing toxic chemicals with them wherever they go. The saying goes that what we can’t see can’t hurt us. Yet, what if these unseen particles are not only hurting us but also changing the entire course of biological evolution? Researchers in Germany have issued a new warning that these human-generated “microplastics” could potentially be…

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