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  • How 1930s radio technology could make the internet more secure - Futurity
    University Rice University Rutgers University Stanford University Stony Brook University Syracuse University Texas A M University Tulane University University at Buffalo University College London University of Arizona University of California at Irvine University of California Berkeley University of California Davis University of California Santa Barbara University of Chicago University of Colorado at Boulder University of Copenhagen University of Florida University of Illinois University of Iowa University of Kansas University of Leeds University of Maryland University of Melbourne University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of Missouri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Science and Technology Related Articles How garden plants fight off speck disease Teeth link Darwinius fossil to lemurs not monkeys Snag radioactive waste like a Venus flytrap Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print Scientists adapted an interference technique borrowed from 1930s era radio engineering to help reveal quantum light Credit John Schneider Flickr How 1930s radio technology could make the internet more secure Stanford University right Original Study Posted by Andrew Myers Stanford on February 2 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license If there s ever going to be a totally secure quantum internet we re going to have to overcome some significant challenges Among the most critical will be devices that can send and receive quantum data To that end researchers at Stanford University have created a novel quantum light source that might someday serve as the basis for quantum communication They explained their findings in a paper published in Nature Photonics The physics of quantum communication is admittedly complex Standard lasers are actually not useful for secure communication because they emit what is called classical light Data eavesdroppers could extract any data being carried via classical light without detection In contrast a quantum internet would be based on quantum light in which a single unit of light a single photon cannot be measured without being destroyed Therefore an efficient source of quantum light would enable perfectly secure communication Quantum keys keep secrets safe from code breakers Senior author Jelena Vuckovic a professor of electrical engineering has been working for years to develop various nanoscale lasers and quantum technologies that might help conventional computers communicate faster and more efficiently using light instead of electricity She and her team including lead author Kevin Fischer a doctoral candidate realized that a modified nanoscale laser can be used to efficiently generate quantum light for quantum communication The problem is that the quantum light is much weaker than the rest of the light coming from such a modified laser it is difficult

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/radio-quantum-communications-1099362-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • How we got coal: New study fuels the debate - Futurity
    Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print Much of the scientific community was really enamored with this simple straightforward explanation says geobiologist Kevin Boyce So it has not only refused to die it has become a conventional wisdom Credit James St John Flickr How we got coal New study fuels the debate Stanford University right Original Study Posted by Ker Than Stanford on January 25 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license The consolidation of the ancient supercontinent Pangea 300 million years ago played a key role in the formation of the coal that powered the Industrial Revolution a new study asserts The finding contradicts a popular hypothesis first formally proposed in the 1990s that attributes the formation of Carboniferous coal to a 60 million year gap between the appearance of the first forests and the wood eating microbes and bacteria that could break them down A section of Devonian era approximately 360 million year old coal shows fungally mediated degradation of wood older than the Carboniferous Credit Ker Than Much of the scientific community was really enamored with this simple straightforward explanation says geobiologist Kevin Boyce associate professor of geological sciences at Stanford University So it has not only refused to die it has become a conventional wisdom In the new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences researchers took a closer look at this evolutionary lag hypothesis examining the idea from various biochemical and geological perspectives Our analysis demonstrates that an evolutionary lag explanation for the creation of ancient coal is inconsistent with geochemistry sedimentology paleontology and biology says Matthew Nelsen a postdoctoral researcher in Boyce s lab and first author of the paper Coal burns cleaner when you add oat hulls The scientists examined ancient organic rich sediments from North America and showed that not all of the plants that existed during the Carboniferous period which began about 360 million years ago possessed high concentrations of lignin a cell wall polymer that helps give plant tissues their rigidity Lignin is the biochemical component that according to the evolutionary lag hypothesis ancient bacteria and fungi were unable to break down The researchers also showed that shifts in lignin abundance in ancient plant fossils had no obvious impact on coal formation In fact many Carboniferous coal layers were dominated by the remains of lycopsids an ancient group of largely low lignin plants Central to the evolutionary lag model is the assumption that lignin is the dominant biochemical constituent of coal Nelsen says However much of the plant matter that went into forming these coals contained low amounts of lignin The scientists instead argue that the waxing and waning of coal deposits during the Carboniferous period was closely tied to a unique combination of tectonics and climate conditions that existed during the assembly of Pangea Synthesizing findings from across various scientific fields the scientists argue that during the Carboniferous massive amounts of

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/coal-pangea-1095042-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Are diet books our manuals for a better world? - Futurity
    t read diet books just to lose weight They serve as both myths and manuals for a better world a new analysis of contemporary diet books suggests Diet books are stories about where we come from who we are now and where we should go says Adrienne Rose Johnson a doctoral candidate in Stanford University s Modern Thought and Literature Program They re whole worldviews about health human history and the future of the species You can t get bigger than that Diet books are stories about where we come from who we are now and where we should go Johnson s analysis suggests a common thread in all of the diets she analyzes is an assumption that the more modern we become the sicker we become According to Johnson this narrative distorts how we think of disease both in everyday life and on a larger scale in medicine and public policy We have to consider how to approach disease in the 21st century as not embedded in these myths of human progress she says Johnson points out that the 21st century diet du jour the paleo plan typifies the contemporary diet s attachment to the past by presenting the life of the cave man as the model of health This is the argument that s been around since Darwin that the cave man is our natural self and to conduct ourselves in a godly or natural way a way conducive to our biology we have to revert to his way of life she says In her analysis she examines how diet books leverage various myths of human origins to associate health with the way our ancestors lived Although studies have examined the anti feminist culture of dieting Johnson s work is original in its focus on diet books as political manifestos or persuasive texts not just weight loss manuals This is uncharted territory Johnson says Her research combines a medical history of diseases of civilization that is diseases associated with the modern age including heart disease obesity and diabetes with a literary analysis of diet books and medical advice Hero s narrative The diet books in Johnson s study focus on myths of the cave man Adam and Eve and pre colonial and pre industrial societies She also delved into diet subcultures by interviewing obesity researchers and gurus at conventions like the Ancestral Health Society and a dude ranch weight loss camp She characterizes most diet books as a hero s narrative in which the protagonist starts out suffering goes on a quest and then achieves happiness Johnson references passages from paleo diet books to illustrate the underlying narrative forms of these popular stories For example The Paleolithic Prescription 1988 describes an idealized Stone Age community as full of sweet honey beautiful women and abundant feasts Their lives were full of closeness and interdependence talking arguing laughing playing How consumerism feeds our need for Krispy Kreme Johnson argues that these passages which have very little to do with weight

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/diet-books-1091842-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Digital map: How China is moving millions of graves - Futurity
    Gabriel Jorby Flickr Digital map How China is moving millions of graves Stanford University Posted by Stanford on January 13 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license In the last 15 years grave relocation has been taking place in China on a massive scale To date some 15 million deceased people s remains have been moved A team at Stanford University is creating a digital platform to visualize the complex and largely unreported effort and to tell the human stories They plan to launch it later this year We are making visible both the human level of grave relocation through stories alongside the details concerning when where and why it is taking place in order to understand it on a macro level says Tom Mullaney an associate professor of history The Grave Reform in Modern China project creates a nuanced digital map of China that mixes the growing living population with the dead Our approach allows us to see the augmented narrative of such a process letting us tell a story of historical development and change through distinct perspectives he says When users come to the site they will see a two panel layout On part of the screen are narratives about grave relocation which could be stories articles and essays In the main area of the screen is the map of China where users can navigate through all of the data layered on the map according to a variety of filters As these cities grow we are seeing a massive migration of the dead as the burial sites are forced to make way We are building a set of narratives each a curated walking tour through the data Mullaney explains For example we found out about the grandchildren of a Second World War veteran who discovered through the media that the grave site of their grandfather had been dug up and moved We can now see the motivation for this relocation as well as how it impacted the family involved For collaborator David McClure a digital humanities research developer at Stanford their approach builds a new map of China The project systematically maps out places where the government is moving grave sites to new locations to make space for different kinds of new development infrastructure or agricultural land McClure says A second population crisis Over the past 30 years and even more aggressively over the last decade Chinese government officials and private sector partners have relocated millions of human remains The government is simultaneously promoting cremation to reduce the overall number of newly buried Chinese corpses The policy is controversial as it impacts the profoundly personal and intimate questions concerning how a family commemorates a deceased loved one This zoomable map displays race of every US resident While there are many examples of grave relocation throughout history the scale of the phenomenon in contemporary China is unprecedented This is the second population crisis in China one that we don t often

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/digital-map-china-graves-1090232/ (2016-02-11)
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  • This safe battery won't burst into flames - Futurity
    University of Kansas University of Leeds University of Maryland University of Melbourne University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of Missouri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Science and Technology Related Articles X rays reveal hidden notes in 200 year old opera iPad reading at night may cause sleep problems How to extract more antioxidants from wine leftovers Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print The thin polyethylene film in the new battery is embedded with spiky nanoparticles of graphene coated nickel Credit Zheng Chen This safe battery won t burst into flames Stanford University right Original Study Posted by Mark Shwartz Stanford on January 12 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license A new lithium ion battery shuts down before overheating then restarts immediately when the temperature cools The technology could prevent the kind of fires that have prompted recalls and bans on a wide range of battery powered devices including recliners computers navigation systems and hoverboards People have tried different strategies to solve the problem of accidental fires in lithium ion batteries says Zhenan Bao professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University We ve designed the first battery that can be shut down and revived over repeated heating and cooling cycles without compromising performance A typical lithium ion battery consists of two electrodes and a liquid or gel electrolyte that carries charged particles between them Puncturing shorting or overcharging the battery generates heat If the temperature reaches about 300 degrees Fahrenheit 150 degrees Celsius the electrolyte could catch fire and trigger an explosion Several techniques have been used to prevent battery fires such as adding flame retardants to the electrolyte In 2014 Stanford engineer Yi Cui created a smart battery that provides ample warning before it gets too hot Fool s gold quantum dots can boost batteries Unfortunately these techniques are irreversible so the battery is no longer functional after it overheats says Cui associate professor of materials science and engineering and of photon science and coauthor of the current study Clearly in spite of the many efforts made thus far battery safety remains an important concern and requires a new approach To address the problem researchers turned to nanotechnology Bao recently invented a wearable sensor to monitor human body temperature The sensor is made of a plastic material embedded with tiny particles of nickel with nanoscale spikes protruding from their surface For the battery experiment the researchers coated the spiky nickel particles with graphene an atom thick layer of carbon and embedded the particles in a thin film of elastic

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/lithium-ion-battery-1089242/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Bad breakups leave some doubting their identity - Futurity
    at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Society and Culture Related Articles Can polling predict terrorism Southwest s high society led pampered life Why Thanksgiving should be national cheat day Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print The experience of being left by someone who thought that they loved you then learned more and changed their mind can be a particularly potent threat to the self and can drive people to question who they truly are says Lauren Howe Credit iStockphoto Bad breakups leave some doubting their identity Stanford University right Original Study Posted by Clifton B Parker Stanford on January 11 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license We have a harder time moving on after a breakup if rejection leaves us doubting who we really are a new study finds The research shows that very basic beliefs about personality can contribute to whether people recover from or remain mired in the pain of rejection Carol Dweck a professor of psychology at Stanford University Few things in life are more traumatic than being rejected by someone who knows you well Few things in life are more traumatic than being rejected by someone who knows you well and then with this insight decides that she or he no longer cares for you or wants to be with you Dweck says adding that romantic rejection in particular poses a tremendous threat to the self Dweck and doctoral student Lauren Howe explored the basic beliefs that people carry with them into a relationship that might make them more likely to link rejection to the self and thereby magnify and extend the impact of a rejection They conducted five studies involving 891 participants who filled out online surveys about both hypothetical rejections and real life rejections The participants reported among other things how their view of themselves changed because of the rejection For example they rated the extent to which I worry that there is something wrong with me because I got rejected How people view human personality was especially significant to the study For example participants were queried about whether they believe that people can significantly change their personality a growth oriented view or that the kind of person you are is static and thus can t be changed much a fixed view The experience of being left by someone who thought that they loved you then learned more and changed their mind can be a particularly potent threat to the self and can drive people to question who they truly are says Howe A core truth The study found that people differ in whether and how they connect romantic rejections to their self It turned out that people with a fixed mindset about their personality those who believe that their personality is simply

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/rejection-breakups-identity-1088102-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • A single brain connection predicts risky gambling - Futurity
    Maryland University of Melbourne University of Michigan University of Minnesota University of Missouri University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Nottingham University of Oregon University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Rochester University of Sheffield University of Southampton University of Southern California University of Texas at Austin University of Toronto University of Virginia University of Warwick University of Washington University of York Vanderbilt University Washington University in St Louis Yale University Society and Culture Related Articles Which comes first Jobs or people Nature nurture both affect kids self control Why some tone deaf people think they re great singers Share This Article facebook twitter Action googleplus Google linkedin LinkedIn pinterest Pinterest reddit Reddit Stumbleupon mail Email Print Most people love the small chance of a huge win Brian Knutson says But people vary Some people really really like it But people who have a stronger connection don t like it as much Credit Vaughn Flickr A single brain connection predicts risky gambling Stanford University right Original Study Posted by Amy Adams Stanford on January 8 2016 You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4 0 International license Scientists tracked the activity in two brain regions and found that people who have a strong connection between the two regions are less likely to place a risky bet Activity in one brain region appears to indicate uh oh I might lose money but in another seems to indicate oh yay I could win something says Brian Knutson associate professor of psychology at Stanford University The balance between this uh oh and oh yay activity differs between people and can determine the gambling decisions we make We could predict the person s upcoming bet based on the balance of activity in these regions Knutson s team employed a technique that identifies tracts of neurons that connect brain regions and measures the strength of those connections in terms of how well insulated they are Using that technique called diffusion weighted MRI Knutson and graduate student Josiah Leong found a tract that directly connects the two regions the anterior insula and nucleus accumbens something that had been seen before in animals but never in humans What s more they found that the thicker the sheath of fatty tissue insulating the bundle an indicator of the strength of the connection the more cautious the study participants decisions were in a gambling test The neuronal connection appears to be a conduit for the more cautious brain region to dampen activity in the more enthusiastic region Most people love the small chance of a huge win Knutson says But people vary Some people really really like it But people who have a stronger connection don t like it as much Roulette wheel and MRI In the study published in Neuron the researchers gave each participant 10 that they could gamble or not in a series of games with different odds The participants got to keep any money left at

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/gambling-brain-connection-1087412-2/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Law expert says Americans are 'very conflicted' about gun control - Futurity
    engaged in criminal misconduct could help reduce the frequency of mass shooting tragedies a law expert says John J Donohue III professor of law at Stanford University has been conducting empirical research on gun violence and gun control over the last 25 years He has written on issues such as whether widespread gun ownership makes people safer and how US gun control compares to the rest of the world He recently spoke with Stanford News Service How much gun violence is there in the United States and how do we compare with other countries The US dominates the world in number of guns per capita in civilian hands and dominates the affluent countries in rates of gun homicide overall gun violence suicides and accidents The National Rifle Association tries to muddy this comparison by saying that many countries have higher rates of violence than the US but that is only true if you bring in poor countries with weak criminal justice regimes and unstable governments such as Honduras Guatemala Yemen etc What do the polls say about Americans attitudes toward guns Americans have very conflicted views on guns with some thinking they are among the most desirable and important consumer products and an important protection against criminals and a potentially tyrannical government According to the General Social Survey roughly one third of American households have guns so this is presumably the most pro gun portion of the population Disaster strikes when guns end up in the hands of deeply troubled individuals Conversely most Americans do not value hunting or target shooting and for this group a gun only makes sense if it confers protective benefits that are greater than its costs For individuals who face a particularly high risk and who are well trained in handling firearms the benefits of gun ownership can outweigh the risks For most Americans who don t hunt or target shoot though the risk reward tradeoff of guns is not favorable Many Americans in this group think the chance that private gun ownership could pose a meaningful check on government is ludicrous Moreover while one can clearly find instances where gun defense was helpful in confronting a criminal in 99 2 percent of violent crimes in the US the victims do not use a gun in self defense What gun control laws need to be changed or enacted due to terrorist shootings like the one in San Bernardino Gun policy should not be made based on a single incident but rather from a careful evaluation of the costs and benefits of particular legal interventions in light of all the evidence on mass shootings on ordinary crime as well as data on gun suicides and accidents Since it has been federal policy for decades to try to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the severely mentally ill universal background checks are an obvious first step Indeed looking at recent episodes of mass shootings one sees time and again that a background check system

    Original URL path: http://www.futurity.org/gun-control-america-1085402-2/ (2016-02-11)
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