Jul 27, 2009 | 5
With science and technology advancing athletic performance across all sports, swimming's Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) governing body has decided to limit the amount and type of materials that can be used to make the fancy swimsuits worn by elite swimmers such as Michael Phelps.
The new rules won't affect the FINA World Championships taking place this week at the Foro Italico in Rome, where six new world records have already been set by swimmers in suits made from materials such as polyurethane, and Phelps has already won a gold metal. (Phelps won eight gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Beijing last year.)
Feb 16, 2009 | 4
In the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a character played by Jim Carrey visits an eccentric scientist who wipes out the bad memories of his relationship with Kate Winslet's character using a machine that maps their location in his brain and systematically deletes them. The concept might have seemed preposterous, but today scientists are reporting that a common blood pressure drug can produce a similar effect – not by destroying a memory itself, but by wiping out your fearful reaction to it.
Dutch scientists taught a group of 60 people to fear a spider by mildly shocking their wrists when they showed them a picture of the arachnid. Then, the next time the group were shown the spider, half were given propranolol (a beta-blocker prescribed to lower blood pressure and treat migraines in children), and half a placebo. Those who got the drug didn’t show any strong startle response to the spider, while those who got the placebo continued to have a significant one, according to the research in today’s Nature Neuroscience.
Aug 11, 2008 | 1
Score one for athletes over sportswriters: Basketball players are nearly twice as good as sportswriters at predicting whether a shot will go in the basket.
According to new research appearing in Nature Neuroscience, 'ballers can imagine the shooting motion of another player to predict whether a basketball shot is headed for nothing but net or will brick off the rim. The key to their trick: the muscles that control the pinky finger.
Sportswriters’ pinky fingers, it seems, are too busy hitting “return” and punctuating.
Researchers at Rome's Sapienza University showed footage of a man shooting free throws to 10 players from Italy's professional basketball league, five coaches, five sports journalists and 10 college students, who do not play the game. Their task: Predict whether the shooter's next shot will go in.
Jul 28, 2008 | 3
At this year's Olympics, you can boot up, but don't light up: China's pledge to host a "smoke-free" Olympic games in Beijing has gotten a boost from former Microsoft executive and co-founder Bill Gates. Gates, who left Microsoft to work full-time for his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is spending $130,000 on anti-smoking advertisements that will appear at the games, which kick off August 8, according to China Daily. The Gates Foundation's latest anti-smoking campaign is part of the $125 million it has pledged over the next five years to fight smoking in places such as China, India, and Africa. Beijing has pledged a smoke-free Olympics, banning smoking from most indoor public spaces, workplaces and spectator areas of open-air stadiums for the duration of the games. More than 350 million people in China smoke, and about 1 million people die from smoking-related causes every year, according to the nation’s Ministry of Health.
(Photo courtesy of Microsoft)
Deadline: Aug 31 2013
Reward: $100,000 USD
The Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative (GBFAI) is launching the 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge whose
Deadline: Jun 29 2013
Reward: $7,000 USD
The Seeker for this Challenge desires proposals for chemical methods that could rapidly degrade a dilute aqueous solution
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