August 5, 2014
"In April 2012 we carried out a 1-year hematological study on a population of wild Japanese monkeys inhabiting the forest area of Fukushima City. This area is located 70 km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which released a large amount of radioactive material into the environment following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. For comparison, we examined monkeys inhabiting the Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture, located approximately 400 km from the NPP. Total muscle cesium concentration in Fukushima monkeys was in the range of 78–1778 Bq/kg, whereas the level of cesium was below the detection limit in all Shimokita monkeys. Compared with Shimokita monkeys, Fukushima monkeys had significantly low white and red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, and hematocrit, and the white blood cell count in immature monkeys showed a significant negative correlation with muscle cesium concentration. These results suggest that the exposure to some form of radioactive material contributed to hematological changes in Fukushima monkeys."

Ochiai, K., Hayama, S.-I., Nakiri, S., Nakanishi, S., Ishii, N., Uno, T., … Omi, T. (2014). Low blood cell counts in wild Japanese monkeys after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Scientific Reports, 4, 5793. doi:10.1038/srep05793

July 21, 2014
compoundchem:

Nice graphic from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions page to mark the 45th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

compoundchem:

Nice graphic from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions page to mark the 45th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

July 15, 2014
theeconomist:

Daily chart: A quantified look at the situation in Israel and Gaza

theeconomist:

Daily chart: A quantified look at the situation in Israel and Gaza

July 15, 2014
compoundchem:

A look today at the chemicals behind insect repelling sprays.Read more here, including a possible reason why mosquitos just prefer some people more than others: http://wp.me/p4aPLT-mS

compoundchem:

A look today at the chemicals behind insect repelling sprays.

Read more here, including a possible reason why mosquitos just prefer some people more than others: 
http://wp.me/p4aPLT-mS

July 11, 2014
"

Objective

Despite their high prevalence in daily life, repeated night-wakings and their cognitive and emotional consequences have received less research attention compared to other types of sleep disturbances. Our aim was to experimentally compare the effects of one night of induced infrequent night-wakings (of ∼15min, each requiring a purposeful response) and sleep restriction on sustained attention and mood in young adults.

Methods

In a within-between subjects counterbalanced design, 61 healthy adults (40 females; aged 20–29years) underwent home assessments of sustained attention and self-reported mood at two times: after a normal (control) sleep night, and after a night of either sleep restriction (4h in bed) or induced night-wakings (four prolonged awakenings across 8h in bed). Sleep was monitored using actigraphy and sleep diaries. Sustained attention was assessed using an online continuous performance test (OCPT), and mood was reported online using the Profile of Mood States (POMS).

Results

Actigraphic data revealed good compliance with experimental sleep requirements. Induced night-wakings and sleep restriction both resulted in more OCPT omission and commission errors, and in increased depression, fatigue and confusion levels and reduced vigor compared to the normal sleep night. Moreover, there were no significant differences between the consequences of induced awakenings and sleep restriction.

Conclusions

Our pilot study indicates that, similar to sleep restriction, one night of life-like repeated night-wakings negatively affects mood and sustained attention.

"

Kahn, M., Fridenson, S., Lerer, R., Bar-Haim, Y., & Sadeh, A. (2014). Effects of one night of induced night-wakings versus sleep restriction on sustained attention and mood: a pilot study. Sleep Medicine, 15(7), 825–32. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2014.03.016

July 11, 2014
compoundchem:

The chemical compounds that give beer its bitterness, flavour, and aroma. Read more about how these compounds are produced in the brewing process here: http://wp.me/p4aPLT-mE

compoundchem:

The chemical compounds that give beer its bitterness, flavour, and aroma. Read more about how these compounds are produced in the brewing process here: http://wp.me/p4aPLT-mE

July 10, 2014
"We report a summary of our interdisciplinary research project “Evolutionary Perspective on Collective Decision Making” that was conducted through close collaboration between computational, organizational and social scientists at Binghamton University. We redefined collective human decision making and creativity as evolution of ecologies of ideas, where populations of ideas evolve via continual applications of evolutionary operators such as reproduction, recombination, mutation, selection, and migration of ideas, each conducted by participating humans. Based on this evolutionary perspective, we generated hypotheses about collective human decision making using agent-based computer simulations. The hypotheses were then tested through several experiments with real human subjects. Throughout this project, we utilized evolutionary computation (EC) in non-traditional ways—-(1) as a theoretical framework for reinterpreting the dynamics of idea generation and selection, (2) as a computational simulation model of collective human decision making processes, and (3) as a research tool for collecting high-resolution experimental data of actual collaborative design and decision making from human subjects. We believe our work demonstrates untapped potential of EC for interdisciplinary research involving human and social dynamics."

Sayama, H., & Dionne, S. D. (2014). Studying Collective Human Decision Making and Creativity with Evolutionary Computation, arXiv:1406.6291

July 10, 2014
"This paper presents an agent-based artificial cryptocurrency market in which heterogeneous agents buy or sell cryptocurrencies, in particular Bitcoins. In this market, there are two typologies of agents, Random Traders and Chartists, which interact with each other by trading Bitcoins. Each agent is initially endowed with a finite amount of crypto and/or fiat cash and issues buy and sell orders, according to her strategy and resources. The number of Bitcoins increases over time with a rate proportional to the real one, even if the mining process is not explicitly modelled.
The model proposed is able to reproduce some of the real statistical properties of the price absolute returns observed in the Bitcoin real market. In particular, it is able to reproduce the autocorrelation of the absolute returns, and their cumulative distribution function. The simulator has been implemented using object-oriented technology, and could be considered a valid starting point to study and analyse the cryptocurrency market and its future evolutions."

Cocco, L., Concas, G., & Marchesi, M. (2014). Using an Artificial Financial Market for studying a Cryptocurrency Market, arXiv:1406.6496

July 10, 2014
compoundchem:

jtotheizzoe:

compoundchem:

Great graphic from James Kennedy (@VCEasy) comparing natural & artificial peaches.

Interesting infographical look at how a few thousand years of human intervention can result in a deliciously juicy summer treat. Most interesting? The percentage of sugar a peach holds has not gone up that much, only the edible flesh ratio and percent water have.
I should add that in this graphic, “artificial” just means that the modern peach was artificially selected by farmers who chose which variants to propagate, as opposed to being subject to the unguided processes of natural selection. I worry about the misconception that “artificial” here might be misconstrued into meaning “inferior” or “dangerous” or “fake”. It is none of those things.
Don’t fear the fruits of science. Especially the juicy ones. 

Very good point - the ‘artificial’ in this graphic should maybe be something more along the lines of ‘selectively bred’ in order to avoid misconceptions.
I think it was made off the back of a video the creator saw on ‘natural’ bananas, which was seemingly ignorant of the fact that modern bananas were also very selectively bred from the original fruit. If you want to stick a ‘natural’ label on things, then it’s still natural, but quite removed from its original natural form, which is a small, dry pod, stuffed with seeds and rather hard flesh. A little less appetising.Additionally, the banana in the form you know and love can’t reproduce by itself. It very much depends on human cultivation in order to survive. This cultivation prevents genetic diversity, so cultivated bananas are very vulnerable to diseases that can wipe out entire crops.

compoundchem:

jtotheizzoe:

compoundchem:

Great graphic from James Kennedy () comparing natural & artificial peaches.

Interesting infographical look at how a few thousand years of human intervention can result in a deliciously juicy summer treat. Most interesting? The percentage of sugar a peach holds has not gone up that much, only the edible flesh ratio and percent water have.

I should add that in this graphic, “artificial” just means that the modern peach was artificially selected by farmers who chose which variants to propagate, as opposed to being subject to the unguided processes of natural selection. I worry about the misconception that “artificial” here might be misconstrued into meaning “inferior” or “dangerous” or “fake”. It is none of those things.

Don’t fear the fruits of science. Especially the juicy ones. 

Very good point - the ‘artificial’ in this graphic should maybe be something more along the lines of ‘selectively bred’ in order to avoid misconceptions.

I think it was made off the back of a video the creator saw on ‘natural’ bananas, which was seemingly ignorant of the fact that modern bananas were also very selectively bred from the original fruit. If you want to stick a ‘natural’ label on things, then it’s still natural, but quite removed from its original natural form, which is a small, dry pod, stuffed with seeds and rather hard flesh. A little less appetising.

Additionally, the banana in the form you know and love can’t reproduce by itself. It very much depends on human cultivation in order to survive. This cultivation prevents genetic diversity, so cultivated bananas are very vulnerable to diseases that can wipe out entire crops.

July 10, 2014
http://thecraftychemist.tumblr.com/post/91326027754/hogwartsisbiggerontheinside-toanuparu-my-mom

hogwartsisbiggerontheinside:

toanuparu:

MY MOM HAS THIS NASTY THING WITH HER EYES RIGHT

WELL ANYWAY SHE HAD EYEDROPS

BUT THEY GAVE HER EYE AN ALLERGIC REACTION

AND IT CAUSED HER EYE TO GLOW IN THE DARK

AND SHE SAYS SHE ACTUALLY HAD GREEN/PURPLE NIGHT VISION

MY MOMS COOLER…

(Source: cliffjumparound)

July 10, 2014
"The rise of smartphones and web services made possible the large-scale collection of personal metadata. Information about individuals’ location, phone call logs, or web-searches, is collected and used intensively by organizations and big data researchers. Metadata has however yet to realize its full potential. Privacy and legal concerns, as well as the lack of technical solutions for personal metadata management is preventing metadata from being shared and reconciled under the control of the individual. This lack of access and control is furthermore fueling growing concerns, as it prevents individuals from understanding and managing the risks associated with the collection and use of their data. Our contribution is two-fold: (1) we describe openPDS, a personal metadata management framework that allows individuals to collect, store, and give fine-grained access to their metadata to third parties. It has been implemented in two field studies; (2) we introduce and analyze SafeAnswers, a new and practical way of protecting the privacy of metadata at an individual level. SafeAnswers turns a hard anonymization problem into a more tractable security one. It allows services to ask questions whose answers are calculated against the metadata instead of trying to anonymize individuals’ metadata. The dimensionality of the data shared with the services is reduced from high-dimensional metadata to low-dimensional answers that are less likely to be re-identifiable and to contain sensitive information. These answers can then be directly shared individually or in aggregate. openPDS and SafeAnswers provide a new way of dynamically protecting personal metadata, thereby supporting the creation of smart data-driven services and data science research."

De Montjoye, Y.-A., Shmueli, E., Wang, S. S., & Pentland, A. S. (2014). openPDS: Protecting the Privacy of Metadata through SafeAnswers. PloS One, 9(7), e98790. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098790

July 9, 2014
"As human computation on crowdsourcing systems has become popular and powerful for performing tasks, malicious users have started misusing these systems by posting malicious tasks, propagating manipulated contents, and targeting popular web services such as online social networks and search engines. Recently, these malicious users moved to Fiverr, a fast-growing micro-task marketplace, where workers can post crowdturfing tasks (i.e., astroturfing campaigns run by crowd workers) and malicious customers can purchase those tasks for only $5. In this paper, we present a comprehensive analysis of Fiverr. First, we identify the most popular types of crowdturfing tasks found in this marketplace and conduct case studies for these crowdturfing tasks. Then, we build crowdturfing task detection classifiers to filter these tasks and prevent them from becoming active in the marketplace. Our experimental results show that the proposed classification approach effectively detects crowdturfing tasks, achieving 97.35% accuracy. Finally, we analyze the real world impact of crowdturfing tasks by purchasing active Fiverr tasks and quantifying their impact on a target site. As part of this analysis, we show that current security systems inadequately detect crowdsourced manipulation, which confirms the necessity of our proposed crowdturfing task detection approach."

Lee, K., Webb, S., & Ge, H. (2014). The Dark Side of Micro-Task Marketplaces: Characterizing Fiverr and Automatically Detecting Crowdturfing. arXiv:1406.0574

July 9, 2014
"

Social networking Web sites are amassing vast quantities of data and computational social science is providing tools to process this data. The combination of these two factors has significant implications for individuals and society. With announcements of growing data aggregation by both Google and Facebook, the need for consideration of these issues is becoming urgent. Just as Web 2.0 platforms put publishing in the hands of the masses, without adequate safeguards, computational social science may make surveillance, profiling, and targeting overly accessible.

The academic study of computational social science explains the field as an interdisciplinary investigation of the social dynamics of society with the aid of advanced computational systems. Such investigation can operate at the macro level of global attitudes and trends, down to the personal level of an individual’s psychology. This paper uses the lenses of computation social science to consider the uses and dangers that may result from the data aggregation social media companies are perusing. We also consider the role ethics and regulation may play in protecting the public.

"

Oboler, A., Welsh, K., & Cruz, L. (2012). The danger of big data: Social media as computational social science. First Monday, 17(7). doi:10.5210/fm.v17i7.3993

July 9, 2014
"「「邪悪」が絵に描いたような悪党の悪巧みからではなく、そうした力を持つ者たちの高慢や独善から導かれることが多いことにもっと自覚的であってほしい」というのは、今の Facebook に対して願うことでもあります。Facebook がこの点において「信頼」を得る日は来るのでしょうか。"

Facebookと「信頼」とモルモット - WirelessWire News(ワイヤレスワイヤーニュース)

July 8, 2014
"Groups of humans routinely misassign value to complex future events, especially in settings involving the exchange of resources. If properly structured, experimental markets can act as excellent probes of human group-level valuation mechanisms during pathological overvaluations—price bubbles. The connection between the behavioral and neural underpinnings of such phenomena has been absent, in part due to a lack of enabling technology. We used a multisubject functional MRI paradigm to measure neural activity in human subjects participating in experimental asset markets in which endogenous price bubbles formed and crashed. Although many ideas exist about how and why such bubbles may form and how to identify them, our experiment provided a window on the connection between neural responses and behavioral acts (buying and selling) that created the bubbles. We show that aggregate neural activity in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) tracks the price bubble and that NAcc activity aggregated within a market predicts future price changes and crashes. Furthermore, the lowest-earning subjects express a stronger tendency to buy as a function of measured NAcc activity. Conversely, we report a signal in the anterior insular cortex in the highest earners that precedes the impending price peak, is associated with a higher propensity to sell in high earners, and that may represent a neural early warning signal in these subjects. Such markets could be a model system to understand neural and behavior mechanisms in other settings where emergent group-level activity exhibits mistaken belief or valuation."

Smith, A., Lohrenz, T., King, J., Montague, P. R., & Camerer, C. F. (2014). Irrational exuberance and neural crash warning signals during endogenous experimental market bubbles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1318416111–. doi:10.1073/pnas.1318416111

Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »