Be Less Stupid, Top 5 Science — March 16, 2015 at 10:08 AM

Top 5 Science Stories: March 20th, 2015



NASA Scientist Says One Year Left Of Calif. Water Supply

Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, says data shows water storage in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins will be gone in a year. He adds that our backup supply, groundwater, will also be gone soon. (more)

Listening to classical music modulates genes that are responsible for brain functions

Although listening to music is common in all societies, the biological determinants of listening to music are largely unknown. According to a new study, listening to classical music enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopamine secretion and transport, synaptic neurotransmission, learning and memory, and down-regulated the genes mediating neurodegeneration. Several of the up-regulated genes were known to be responsible for song learning and singing in songbirds, suggesting a common evolutionary background of sound perception across species. (more)

Are Americans More Tolerant?

As America’s headlines turn more and more to issues of tolerance — race, religion, free speech, same sex marriage — research shows that Americans are actually more tolerant than ever before. Researchers found that Americans are now more likely to believe that people with different views and lifestyles can and should have the same rights as others. (more)

Big toe’s big foot holds evolutionary key

Our skeletons hold tell-tale signs that show that human bipedalism are unique to humans especially when compared to our closest living relatives, apes. Exactly when these signs first appear in our evolutionary history is one of the fundamental questions driving Palaeoanthropology studies today. Scientists have now combined visualization techniques, engineering principles, and statistical analysis into a powerful new way of analyzing the structure of long bones. (more)

Face-to-face bullying worse than cyber-attacks, students say

Face-to-face bullying is more cruel and harsh than online attacks, a survey of school students found. The findings of this study indicate that significantly more victims perceived traditional bullying to be more harsh and cruel than cyberbullying. “It clearly indicates the feelings of the children and the very real threat they have of being physically harmed by another child,” the lead investigator said.

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