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Reasons to Learn Another Language 2012-03-17

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Discovery, Health, Intolerance, Science.
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Speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age. (more…)

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Latest Fertility Indicators 2011-08-08

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Discovery, Glasgow, Science, Scotland.
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Scientists have discovered a new method that can help women know if their biological clock is ticking, and find out whether they are likely to have an earlier menopause and should not delay trying to conceive, or whether their fertile life will end later.

For the first time, a team of Scottish researchers from St Andrew’s has found how levels of a hormone, which can reveal how many eggs a woman has remaining, change throughout her reproductive life. (more…)

Religion Boosts Sport 2011-05-12

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Discovery, Health, Humanities, Intolerance, Science.
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At the Champions League final there is likely to be evidence of faith, with players making the sign of the cross and other religious gestures. But does belief really boost sporting performance, asks Mr Matthew Syed.

All eyes will be on Mr Lionel Messi, the world’s greatest footballer, when he walks out with Barcelona in The Champions League final. If you watch carefully, you may see him crossing himself as he strides onto the pitch.

On the opposing side, Manchester United striker Mr Javier Hernandez has been known to pray on the pitch. (more…)

Quantum Mechanics Meets Einstein: Horava 2010-08-11

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Discovery, Science.
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It was a speech that changed the way we think of space and time.

The year was 1908, and the German mathematician, Mr.Hermann Minkowski, had been trying to make sense of Mr.Albert Einstein’s hot new idea — what we now know as special relativity — describing how things shrink as they move faster and time becomes distorted.

‘Henceforth space by itself and time by itself are doomed to fade into the mere shadows,’ Mr.Minkowski proclaimed,
‘And only a union of the two will preserve an independent reality.’

And so space-time — the malleable fabric whose geometry can be changed by the gravity of stars, planets and matter — was born.

It is a concept that has served us well, but if Czech physicist Mr.Petr Horava is right, it may be no more than a mirage.

Mr.Horava, who is at ‘The University of California, Berkeley‘, wants to rip this fabric apart and set time and space free from one another in order to come up with a unified theory that reconciles the disparate worlds of quantum mechanics and gravity — one the most pressing challenges to modern physics. (more…)

Enzyme Makes Fuel from Air 2010-08-05

Posted by clype in Discovery, Science.
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An enzyme found in the roots of soybeans could be the key to cars that run on air.

Vanadium nitrogenase, an enzyme that normally produces ammonia from nitrogen gas, can also convert carbon monoxide (CO), a common industrial by-product, into propane, the blue-flamed gas found on stoves across the USA.

While scientists caution the research is still at an early stage, they say that this study could eventually lead to new, environmentally friendly ways to produce fuel — and eventually petrol — from thin air. (more…)

Carb Rinse for Better Sport 2010-07-20

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Discovery, Health, Science.
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Exercise scientists say they have stumbled on an amazing discovery: athletes can improve their performance in intense bouts of exercise, lasting an hour or so, if they merely rinse their mouths with a carbohydrate solution. They don’t even have to swallow it. (more…)

New Finds Upsets Theory of Planet Formation 2010-04-17

Posted by clype in Discovery, Glasgow, Science, Scotland.
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Nine new planets have just been discovered, and unlike the planets in our solar system, two of them are orbiting in the opposite direction to the rotation of their host star. This — along with a recent study of other ‘exoplanets’ — upsets the dominant current theory of how planets are formed. (more…)

Hunger Trigger in Food 2009-06-08

Posted by clype in Discovery, Health, Science.
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New research led by The University of Cincinnati (UC) suggests that the hunger hormone ghrelin is activated by fats from the foods we eat—not those made in the body—in order to optimise nutrient metabolism and promote the storage of body fat.

The findings, the study’s author says, turn the current model about ghrelin on its head and (more…)

New Drug Stops Arthritis 2008-10-28

Posted by clype in Discovery, Health, Statistics.
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A monthly injection of the antibody drug ‘Tocilizumab‘ can halt arthritis for around half of all sufferers and is particularly effective if administered in the early stages of the disease. (more…)

Karaoke Song Lands Big Deal 2007-09-23

Posted by clype in Discovery, Humanities, Scotland.
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After years of belting out the hits in karaoke bars, a Scot who will soon be picking up his pension has been signed by a US American record label. (more…)