Programmers' stress levels can accurately predict the quality of their code

In Using (bio)metrics to predict code quality online, presented at the ACM's 38th International Conference on Software Engineering, two Swiss researchers presented their work on monitoring programmers' biometrics to predict the quality of the code they were writing.

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It's too late to do anything about sudden oak death, which has already killed 1,000,000 trees

Phytophthora ramorum is a mold, related to the Irish Potato Famine pathogen, that causes some oak and tanoak trees to split open and bleed out all their sap, something called "sudden oak death." Read the rest

Virus trading cards, animated and 3D-printable

Eleanor Lutz used files from the Protein Data Bank to model the molecules comprising the viruses that are the scourge of our human race. Read the rest

Avocados should not exist

“The avocado is highly regarded by many people as delicious and nutritious, but the most extraordinary thing about avocados may be their very existence.”

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When the antibiotics run out, maybe we can use GMO maggots to stave off infection

NC State University researcher Max Scott and colleagues have engineered a strain of transgenic blueflies whose maggots secrete human growth factor, which they hope to use to fight infections in patients with non-healing wounds for whom antibiotics do not offer any hope. Read the rest

Heatmaps of the human body in varying emotional states

Disappointingly, these heatmaps of human bodies whose owners are experiencing various emotional states were not produced with infrared cameras, but rather with self-reporting by subjects being asked to say where they were experiencing more and less sensation while watching videos and seeing words intended to trigger those emotions. Read the rest

Gorgeous 3D printed trilobites

D. Allan Drummond, the University of Chicago biologist who recently 3D printed and cast a fascinating model of a yeast cell dividing, also creates exquisite bronze sculptures of trilobites, marine arthropods that went extinct 250 million years ago. Images and video below.

See more at Professor Drummond's Instagram feed.

(via SciAm)

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3D printed model of cellular division

D. Allan Drummond, assistant professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and human genetics from the University of Chicago's The Drummond Lab 3D printed this model of a yeast cell dividing in solid bronze: "Late-anaphase budding yeast, mother & daughter." Read the rest

China plans to ban ivory trade “within a year or so.” US official: Yes it's a “huge” deal.

During his visit to Washington last month, China's President Xi Jinping vowed to stop the commercial trade in ivory in his nation, but didn't say much about when or how.

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'Dracula fish' and snub-nosed monkeys among 200+ new species discovered in Himalayas

“A sneezing monkey, a walking fish and a jewel-like snake are just some of a biological treasure trove of over 200 new species discovered in the Eastern Himalayas in recent years,” reports the World Wildlife Foundation today.

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Genocide, not genes: indigenous peoples' genetic alcoholism is a racist myth

I've heard -- and repeated -- the theory that addiction rates among indigenous people in the Americas was caused by genetics -- specifically, that "new world" populations hadn't gone through the European plague years' genetic bottleneck that killed everyone who couldn't survive on alcoholic beverages (these having been boiled during their production and thus less likely to carry infectious diseases). Read the rest

Scientists discover that giraffes "hum" at night

Giraffes aren't known for their vocalizations, a limitation thought to be caused by their long necks, but biologists have know determined that they do "hum" at night. According to cognitive biologist Angela Stöger at the University of Vienna, the animals produce a low frequency hum with "a complex acoustic structure." Hear it below!

"It could be passively produced – like snoring – or produced during a dream-like state – like humans talking or dogs barking in their sleep,” Stöger told New Scientist.

Stöger adds that the hum could also be how giraffes communicate with each other when it's too dark to see.

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Watch ants weirdly circle an iPhone when it rings

These ants circle an iPhone like it's the Ka'aba in Mecca. Read the rest

BBC TV host is very excited about this Blue Whale that just showed up

“I can see it now!”

New species of Crayfish named after Edward Snowden

Scientists named this newly-identified species of Indonesian crayfish Cherax snowden, after Edward Snowden. Read the rest

Video: How do pygmy seahorses end up on matching corals?

Pygmy seahorses come in many colors, and biologists wondered whether they seek out coral that matches perfectly, or changed color somehow to match the coral they find. Read the rest

Why magenta doesn't appear in the rainbow

Steve Mould's colored flashlights (sometimes called "coloured torches" in distant lands) are useful props in this excellent 5-minute lecture on color mixing. I learned that magenta is not a color. Rather, it is the absence of green.

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