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Working memory better test of ability than IQ, says psychology professor

Working memory measures potential to learn, and can be crucial in supporting classroom achievement, says Tracy Packiam Alloway Tracy Packiam Alloway researches working memory at the University of North Florida and has developed the world’s first standardised working memory tests for educators. Her latest book is an edited collection, Working…

Do we live in a massive computer simulation? Scientists seek answer

A physics professor at the University of Washington says he believes he and other scientists have devised a way of investigating whether we all live in a massive computer simulation, reported the Seattle Times. The question of whether we actually live in a simulated world was put forth by a…

Gene turns heart cells into pacemaker: lab study

A gene inserted into ordinary heart cells transformed them into rare “pacemaker” cells that regulate cardiac rhythm, according to experiments carried out on lab rodents. The research is a step toward the goal of a biological fix for irregular heartbeat, which at present is tackled by drugs or electronic pacemakers,…

Australia plans drill of ancient Antarctic ice core to search for scientific ‘holy grail’

Australia announced plans to drill a 2,000 year-old ice core in the heart of Antarctica in a bid to retrieve a frozen record of how the planet has evolved and what might be in store. The Aurora Basin North project involves scientists from Australia, France, Denmark and the United States…

U.N. warns radioactive waste in unsecured sites in Tajikistan

The United Nations warned Friday that nearly 55 million tonnes of radioactive waste from old Soviet-era uranian mines remain in unsecured sites in northern Tajikistan. The former Soviet republic, where Stalin’s empire once mined uranium to create its first nuclear bomb, is still stuck with about 54.8 million tonnes of…

U.S. tightens restrictions on soot emissions by 20 percent

The United States on Friday tightened standards on emissions of soot from industry and vehicles by 20 percent, predicting that the regulations would avert thousands of deaths. The Environmental Protection Agency, in its first major announcement since President Barack Obama’s re-election, ordered stricter rules on so-called fine particle pollution that…

Study: Bellybuttons house thousands of bacterial species

A new study has revealed a vast array of bacteria residing in people’s navels — almost 3,000 in all, NBC News reported Friday. The study, published this week in the journal PLOS One, showed 2,368 types of bacteria collected from the bellybuttons of just 66 participants, including the researchers, based…

Climate Change denier leaks intergovernmental report online

Draft of IPCC’s fifth assessment, due to be published in September 2013, leaked online by climate sceptic Alex Rawls The draft of a major global warming report by the UN’s climate science panel has been leaked online. The fifth assessment report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is…

Scientists urge pardon of gay code-cracker Alan Turing

Leading scientists including Stephen Hawking urged Britain on Friday to pardon World War II code-breaker Alan Turing, who committed suicide after he was convicted of the then crime of homosexuality. Often hailed as a father of modern computing whose code-cracking is credited with shortening World War II, Turing took his…

Newly discovered slow loris already at risk of extinction

The ‘teddy bear’ face of the nocturnal Nycticebus kayan, discovered in Borneo, makes it attractive for illegal poaching A new species of primate, a “big-eyed” and venomous slow loris, has been identified in Borneo by researchers. But the new loris is already under threat from the Asian pet trade in…

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