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Science News - Mathematics, Economics, Archaeology, Fossils



Phys.org provides the latest news on science, fossils, archaeology, chemistry, mathematics, biology and science technology.



 



Was pirate Black Sam Bellamy found? DNA test could tell (Update)

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 17:13:39 EST

Researchers say they're working to use DNA to identify whether a human bone recovered from a Cape Cod shipwreck belongs to the infamous pirate Samuel "Black Sam" Bellamy.



Experts: Vast underwater archeology site imperiled in Mexico

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:42:51 EST

Mexican experts say the recently mapped Sac Actun cave system "is probably the most important underwater archaeological site in the world," but is threatened by pollution.



Study identifies traces of indigenous 'Taino' in present-day Caribbean populations

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:00:10 EST

A thousand-year-old tooth has provided genetic evidence that the so-called "Taíno", the first indigenous Americans to feel the full impact of European colonisation after Columbus arrived in the New World, still have living descendants in the Caribbean today.



Were Team GB's skeleton suits responsible for fantastic three medal haul?

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:20:02 EST

Team GB skeleton rider Lizzie Yarnold won a stunning Winter Olympic gold on February 17, backed up by bronzes for Laura Deas and Dom Parsons. Thanks to drag-resistant ridges, 3-D laser scanning and topnotch material, Team GB's skeleton suits are said to have provided up to a one-second advantage per run over the rest of the field and have been a hot topic of controversy.



Improving the shopping experience on mobiles

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:10:48 EST

Product sales on mobiles continue to grow, but conventional photographs of products often fail to provide key information to shoppers. In response, the Inclusive Design Group at the Department's Cambridge Engineering Design Centre has developed a proof of concept for improved Mobile Ready Hero Images, in collaboration with Unilever.



8000-year old underwater burial site reveals human skulls mounted on poles

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:50:02 EST

A team of researchers with Stockholm University and the Cultural Heritage Foundation has uncovered the remains of a number of Mesolithic people in an underwater grave in a part of what is now Sweden. In their paper published in the journal Antiquity, the group describes the site where the remains were found, the condition of the remains and also offer some possible explanations for the means by which the remains found their way to the underwater burial site.



Higher income level linked to police use of force against black women

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:40:02 EST

Black women with higher incomes are more likely to experience a forceful police interaction during a street stop, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.



Researcher discusses stalking in the age of social media

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:36:31 EST

Whether in person or on the internet, being stalked is a terrifying and isolating experience. Victims may be afraid to report their stalker out of fear of retaliation or be unsure where the dividing line falls between innocent behavior and obsessive, potentially dangerous tendencies.



Study reveals links between youth victimization, beliefs about government, and political participation

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 07:50:27 EST

Young people's views about the government and their level of political involvement are shaped by their life experiences and start developing during adolescence. While most research on this topic focuses on the impacts of positive life experiences, in a paper published in American Psychologist, researchers from Baylor College of Medicine explore the links between negative experiences during adolescence, in the form of crime victimizations, and beliefs about government and political participation.



How companies can restore trust after CEO misconduct

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 02:59:47 EST

A new study published today in the Journal of Trust Research reveals how boards of directors can proactively address CEO misconduct to increase public trust towards an organization.



Understanding roots opens students to science, diversity

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 16:30:02 EST

Focusing science education on students through genetic and genealogical studies may be the way to increase minorities in the pipeline and engage students who would otherwise deem science too hard or too uninteresting, according to a Penn State anthropologist.



Personalized curriculum captures students' imagination, interest

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 16:30:01 EST

Focusing on their personal DNA and genealogies, middle school students appear to have learned as much as their peers who used case studies, according to a Penn State researcher.



Unprecedented study of Picasso's bronzes uncovers new details

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 10:00:02 EST

Musee national Picasso-Paris and the Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS) have completed the first major material survey and study of the Musee national Picasso-Paris' world-renowned Pablo Picasso bronzes using cutting-edge, portable instruments.



Research team uncovers hidden details in Picasso Blue Period painting

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 10:00:01 EST

An international partnership of the Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS), the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, has used multiple modes of light to uncover details hidden beneath the visible surface of Pablo Picasso's painting "La Miséreuse accroupie" (The Crouching Woman), a major work from the artist's Blue Period.



Humans will actually react pretty well to news of alien life

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:00:02 EST

As humans reach out technologically to see if there are other life forms in the universe, one important question needs to be answered: When we make contact, how are we going to handle it? Will we feel threatened and react in horror? Will we embrace it? Will we even understand it? Or, will we shrug it off as another thing we have to deal with in our increasingly fast-paced world?



Five surprising things DNA has revealed about our ancestors

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:40:03 EST

Researchers recently used DNA from the 10,000-year-old "Cheddar Man", one of Britain's oldest skeletons, to unveil what the first inhabitants of what now is Britain actually looked like. But this isn't the first time DNA from old skeletons has provided intriguing findings about our ancestors. Rapid advances in genetic sequencing over the past few decades have opened up a whole new window into the past.



Using Twitter to discover how language changes

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:09:34 EST

Scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London, have studied more than 200 million Twitter messages to try and unravel the mystery of how language evolves and spreads.



How #MeToo, awareness months and Facebook are helping us heal

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 02:06:38 EST

If we have learned anything on social media in 2017 it's that everything isn't okay. Far from it. But we are finally starting to talk about it - according to researchers at Drexel University who study our relationships with social network sites. Their latest work, an examination of how and why women decide to disclose pregnancy loss on Facebook, sheds light on a shift in our social media behavior that is making it easier for people to come forward and share their painful, personal and often stigmatized stories.



Soft tissue fossil clues could help search for ancient life on Earth and other planets

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 20:00:01 EST

Fossils that preserve entire organisms (including both hard and soft body parts) are critical to our understanding of evolution and ancient life on Earth. However, these exceptional deposits are extremely rare. The fossil record is heavily biased towards the preservation of harder parts of organisms, such as shells, teeth and bones, as soft parts such as internal organs, eyes, or even completely soft organisms, like worms, tend to decay before they can be fossilised. Little is known about the environmental conditions which stop this process soon enough for the organism to be fossilised.



Researchers challenge claims that sugar industry shifted blame to fat

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:00:04 EST

In recent years, high-profile claims in the academic literature and popular press have alleged that the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and emphasize instead the dangers of dietary fat. In a new article in the journal Science, historians at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York challenge those claims through a careful examination of the evidence.



Study dispels notion social media displaces human contact

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 13:35:36 EST

Echoing concerns that grew with the World Wide Web itself a decade earlier, the rise of social media has stoked fears of "social displacement"—the alienation of people from friends and family in favor of Facebook and Twitter.



Four legs good, two better: study tracks lizard bipedalism

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 10:25:10 EST

Mexico's Jesus lizard got its name from an unusual ability to run over water on its hind legs, its body semi-erect and its front limbs dangling in the air.



Researchers report a link between earthquakes and currency jumps

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 10:22:26 EST

Mathematicians at the Higher School of Economics have successfully demonstrated the use of a Japanese model which detects seismic activity in predicting currency risks. The research results have been published in an article titled "Hawkes Processes for Forecasting Currency Crashes: Evidence from Russia."



Police in schools—helpful or harmful? It depends on the model

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:30:52 EST

Earlier this month Victorian Opposition Leader, Matthew Guy, announced a plan to place 100 more police officers in schools. This included in 10 "at-risk" secondary schools to "tackle this violent scourge of youth crime, to keep Victorians safe."



Diversity only marginally boosts accuracy of group's predictions

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 08:13:50 EST

Diversity for boards, juries and other influential decision-making teams can help ensure that the interests of a diverse population are fairly represented and addressed.



Universal basic income policies don't cause people to leave workforce, study finds

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:50:30 EST

New research from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy suggests that a universal basic income would not cause people to leave the workforce.



Company partnerships may have in-house ramifications

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 14:51:51 EST

When companies partner with a sports team or a charity, the deal is usually about attracting consumers and strengthening their brands. Inside a company, however, what happens to employee allegiance?



Practical work-related tasks may reduce burnout in new employees

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:22:35 EST

Managers hoping to avoid employee burnout and early turnover try to provide new employees with gentle assistance during their "easing in" period. But a new Tel Aviv University study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests that immediately charging new employees with simple, direct and meaningful tasks may be no less effective in preventing newcomer burnout.



Would-be social entrepreneurs need more than a kind heart

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:22:08 EST

To want to be a social entrepreneur, empathy is not enough for millennials. They need to feel confident in their ability to solve social problems and feel valued by the people they want to help, according to new research published in the Journal of Business Venturing.



Countries with greater gender equality have a lower percentage of female STEM graduates

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 12:00:02 EST

Countries with greater gender equality see a smaller proportion of women taking degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), a new study has found. Policymakers could use the findings to reconsider initiatives to increase women's participation in STEM, say the researchers.