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Posts Tagged ‘research’

Studies have seemed to show that couples who periodically annoy each other are more likely to stay married for longer.

In a recent study, the researchers found that, as a couple ages, a lifetime of closeness rubs up a rash of irritations. Participants in the study, which was presented at the Gerontological Society of America, were asked who in their lives – spouse, children or friends – “gets on my nerves” or “makes too many demands on me.” The older the couple, the more likely the answer was “spouse.”

If this is any indicator, it probably means that my beloved and I will be together for a long time! What’s your take on this?

[Link: TheStar.com]

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The brainy chaps at Lancaster University have managed to create something a lot like a universe the size of a marble. According to the article:

By placing helium in a state which most closely resembles the form it held at the beginning of the universe, scientists have created an opportunity for the gas to go through several low-energy evolutions. These defects in space-time, are represented by tiny whirlpools in the helium, which are created by the rapid expansion, and equally rapid slowing of the expansion; something that it’s believed our own universe did at the big bang and in the moments thereafter.

Is it just me, or is this somewhat remniscient of Terry Pratchett’s book “The Science of Discworld“? The reason that these miniscule universes are great for research is that you generally don’t want to go messing with the kinds of forces that helped create the universe in the first place. As noted in the article:

Black holes and supernovas aren’t pleasant lab partners.

I’ll say. Wonder how long it’ll take for the bruhaha to start up in the same way it did about the Large Hadron Particle Collider at Cern…

[Link: Environmental News Blog]

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Japanese scientists at the Keiko University school of medicine may have found a way of using women’s menstrual blood to replace stem cells, managing to grow heart cells from connective tissue harvested from the blood.

According to Shunichiro Miyoshi, a cardiologist with the Keio University team, cells in women’s menstrual blood have properties similar to those of embryonic stem cells, which can transform themselves into a variety of different cell types as the body requires.

What was surprising is that the menstrual blood has a 20-30% success rate, versus the 0.2-0.3% success derived from stem cells harvested from human bone marrow. The researchers found the results surprising:

When the researchers cultured the cells derived from menstrual blood for one month, then placed them in close proximity to rat heart muscle cells cultured in vitro, they were astounded to see the transformed connective tissue cells beating right along with the rat cells!

The experiment was done on rats, but they hope to be able to replicate it using human blood.

[Link: InventorSpot]

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It looks like it’s going to be one of those back-and-forth items between research showing gamers to be social outcasts and research showing non-gamers to be social outcasts. This is research to the latter effect. According to the article:

Playing games apparently gives young males social confidence, according to the study, while those who don’t play video games had a significantly greater risk of becoming anti-social.

Which certainly should come as a surprise to all those advocates of the evils of video games and gamers in general. In its own light, it certainly makes sense, because the researchers cite the Viginia-Tech shooter as a prime example:

“It’s interesting if you look at what happened a year ago at Virgina Tech… [the attacker’s] suitemates who he shared a dorm room with said that he didn’t play video games at all and that struck them as really odd because everyone else did.

[Link: GameZine.co.uk]

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