People Move Less in Extreme Weather, Jawbone Tracker Finds
The company looked at data posted online over the course of a year by people in the U.S. wearing the Jawbone UP fitness tracker, and found that on weekdays, users walked 5 percent more steps when the temperature was 70degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) than they did when it was 40 F (4 C). "There is an ideal temperature range for physical activity," Eugene Mandel, a member of Jawbone's data team, wrote in a Nov. 19 blog post. "People move more when the temperature is comfortable. Hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. now wear the Jawbone UP, a wristband that tracks its users' movements, sleep patterns and healthy living goals, the company says.
Planet Hunting to Sky Surveys, Astronomy and Statistics Realign (Op-Ed)
G. Jogesh Babu is director of the Center for Astrostatistics at Penn State, and Eric Feigelson is the center's associate director and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State. After a century hiatus, astronomy and statistics recently reconnected, giving rise to the new field of astrostatistics. NASA's Kepler mission has detected several thousand planets orbiting other stars, but it was through statistics that astronomers inferred that most stars have planetary systems and hundreds of millions of Earth-like planets probably exist in the galaxy. Such insights followed a long gap in the relationship between astrostatistics — a term coined by us in our book of the same title published in 1996 — and the broader field of astronomy.
Binary Earth-Size Planets Possible Around Distant Stars
Two Earth-size planets that orbit each other might exist around distant stars, researchers say. Ryan and his colleagues Miki Nakajima and David Stevenson detailed their findings Nov. 11 at the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Tucson, Arizona.
Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - - A banking culture that implicitly puts financial gain above all else fuels greed and dishonesty and makes bankers more likely to cheat, according to the findings of a scientific study. Researchers in Switzerland studied bank workers and other professionals in experiments in which they won more money if they cheated, and found that bankers were more dishonest when they were made particularly aware of their professional role. ...
Early-Life Trauma May Help with Managing Stress Later
Stress in one generation can lead to problems in that generation's offspring, but it may also pass certain benefits on to future generations, new research in mice suggests. "We've been interested in the effects of traumatic stress for several years, and showed that the effects are multiple but mostly negative," said study co-author Isabelle Mansuy, a researcher at the University of Zurich in Switzerland.
Expensive Baby Monitors Give False Reassurance, Researcher Says
"They just don't work," said David King, a lecturer in pediatrics at the University of Sheffield in England who authored the new article.
Small Volcanic Eruptions Slow Global Warming
Small volcanic eruptions account for part of the global warming slowdown since 2000, a new study suggests. Until now, the climate impacts of small volcanic blasts were overlooked because their planet-cooling particles cluster below the reach of satellites, scientists reported Oct. 31 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The stratosphere is the second layer of Earth's atmosphere, above the one in which humans live (the troposphere). Closer to the polar regions, the boundary drops to about 6 miles (10 km), said lead study author David Ridley, an atmospheric scientist at MIT.
'Star-gazing' shrimp discovered in South Africa
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A tiny shrimp equipped with large, candy-striped eyes to ward off predators has been discovered in South African waters, the University of Cape Town said on Friday. The 10-15 mm-long crustacean has been christened the "star-gazer mysid" as its eyes seem to gaze permanently upwards. Similar to insects' eyes, they each look in a different direction. "The vivid ringed patterns are thought to be there to make the eyes appear to belong to a much bigger creature, and hence to scare off predators," the university said. ...
Want to live on the 'roof of the world'? Grow barley
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Tibetan Plateau, the harsh Asian domain known as the 'roof of the world,' would not seem an ideal place for people to call home thanks to its extreme altitude, frigid temperatures, relentless winds and low-oxygen conditions. When people did succeed in colonizing this remote land, it was only after they discovered how to feed themselves year-round with cold-hardy crops like barley brought to the region from far away, scientists said on Thursday. ...
HIV drugs show promise in treating common eye disease
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A class of drugs used for three decades by people infected with the virus that causes AIDS may be effective in treating a leading cause of blindness among the elderly. HIV drugs called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), including AZT and three others, blocked age-related macular degeneration in mice and worked well in experiments involving human retinal cells in the laboratory, researchers said on Thursday. In HIV-infected people, NRTIs block an enzyme the virus uses to create more copies of itself. ...