Archive for 'Research News'

fucK Gene Polymerase Chain Reaction on Sputum

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

This provocatively-titled study adds a new way in which one can analyze sputum for medical purposes:

Quantitative fucK Gene Polymerase Chain Reaction on Sputum and Nasopharyngeal Secretions to Detect Haemophilus influenzae Pneumonia,” Guma M.K. Abdeldaim, Kristoffer Strålin, Per Olcéne, Paula Möllinge, and Bjorn Herrmann, Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease, vol. 76, no. 2, June 2013, pp. 141-146.

The authors are at Uppsala University, National Center for Diseases Control, Benghazi, Libya, Örebro University, Sweden, and Karolinska University, Sweden.

Recycling of Ramen Noodles Waste Soup

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Industrial energy recovery from waste soup of ramen noodles is feasible, suggests a new study.

The study is: “The recovery of oil from a lot of oily wastewater and the production of biodiesel from its oil,” Chihiro Kondo, Hiroki Sano, Nobuki Ichimiya, Koji Yamane, and Kiyoshi Kawasaki, Transactions of the JSME, vol. 85, no. 874, 2019. The authors, at Okayama University of Science, Ridai-cho, and The University of Shiga Prefecture, Japan, report:

“This paper describes how to produce a biodiesel fuel (BDF) from the waste soup of ramen noodles, especially focusing on the recovery process of the oil (triglycerides) from a large amount of waste soup or the oily wastewater disposed of by pouring it down the sink by a ramen restaurant. By combining a semi-transparent bucket (~6 L) with a cock and solvent extraction, it is shown that oil can be recovered easily from 300 or more bowls of ramen noodle waste soup, with an energy profit ratio (EPR) of more than 5.2.”

(Thanks to Raymond Kunikane Terhune for bringing this to our attention.)

BONUS (only tangentially related): This video shows a more traditional, non-industrial, human-based method of extracting energy from ramen noodles waste soup:

Put a spin on it: Whirling babies then, and adults in the future

Friday, August 16th, 2019

Compare and contrast, if you will, this press release from the University of Colorado: “Artificial gravity breaks free from science fiction

…and the Ig Nobel Prize-winning patent by George and Charlotte Blonsky: “Apparatus for facilitating the birth of a child by centrifugal force

Computers no longer ‘morons’ – they’ve evolved to become ‘leaders’ [says new study]

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

“We want to start a theoretical and empirical discourse on the paradigm ‘computers as leaders’, because the world has changed since 1967, when Peter Drucker stated that computers are morons and make no decisions.”

– explain Jenny S.Wesche [of Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Psychology, Division of Social, Organizational and Economic Psychology, Berlin, Germany] and Andreas Sonderegger [of University of Fribourg, Institute of Psychology, Fribourg, Switzerland ] in their new paper for the journal Computers in Human Behavior. Not only noting that :

“ […] computers have [also] begun to take over leadership functions, guiding and commanding human workers.”

but also :

“Computers are becoming intelligent entities and are already making decisions that seriously influence human work and life. They evolved from ‘tools’ to ‘partners’ to ‘leaders’ in their interactions with humans and conceptual coverage is in danger of falling short of this development.”

See: When computers take the lead: The automation of leadership currently in-press at the journal Computers in Human Behavior

Bonus Assignment [optional] Which current-day ‘leaders’, if any, could profitably be replaced by a computer?

Image Credit: still from ‘Target Earth’ 1954

Research research by Martin Gardiner

Smell and Laugh, Tickled Rats

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

This study tells of a new (and perhaps the first) advance in the effort to explore the relationship between rats and laughter and odor:

Odour Conditioning of Positive Affective States: Rats Can Learn to Associate an Odour with Being Tickled,” Vincent Bombail, Nathalie Jerôme, Ho Lam, Sacha Muszlak, Simone L. Meddle, Alistair B. Lawrence, and Birte L. Nielsen, PLoS ONE, vol. 4, no. 6, 2019: e0212829.

The authors report: “This work is the first to test in a fully balanced design whether rats can learn to associate an odour with tickling.”

The report does not specify whether this effect also happens in mice.

The University of Edinburgh produced a press release about the rat work.

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