How Genuine Is Your Smile?

A smile is your best feature as per body language experts. It helps you break the ice with strangers, make friends feel welcome and show your family your love and affection. Yet, a smile can also be fake. A fact that many people have noticed without the help of technology, however this software can help tell fake smiles from real ones.

Professor Hassan Ugail at the University of Bradford, United Kingdom said that we use two main sets of muscles when we smile. The zygomaticus major is responsible for the upward curling of the mouth. The orbicularis oculi caused the crinkling around the eye. The software analyses the movements of the eyes, mouth and cheeks to spot genuine smiles.

In a fake smile the mouth movement takes place, but the eye muscles don’t move. Genuine smiles exhibit at least 10% more muscle movement than false posed smiled. For human beings not able to pick up the subtle clues of a fake smile, this software would help. The science project may see further use by scientists working to gain insights into human behavior and emotions.

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400 Kg Thigh Bone Found

When we think of bones, that massive weight does not come to mind. After all just how heavy can human, chicken, goat or even buffalo bones be? The largest bones we see in daily life may not weight more than 20 kgs, even if they came from a large animal. So how did a 400 kg bone surface? When you understand that it’s the femur of a dinosaur, it will definitely make more sense.

This colossal bone was found in France near a wine growing village at the vast Angeac-Charente palaeontological site near Bordeaux. It is a site which is popular with both experts and amateur volunteers. In all the discoveries that have been uncovered at the site, this thigh bone of a Sauropod is surely a unique and unparalleled discovery. Sauropods are a subgroup of the saurischian, or “lizard-hipped,” dinosaurs.

The Sauropod were the largest land animals to roam the Earth. The massive dinosaur was considered to be a plant eating vegetarian. Researchers have estimated that the dinosaur had a long neck and tail. The four legged herbivore was about 59 feet tall on average. No wonder the bone of this scientific discovery made in France was 400 kgs.

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Top Soil is Disappearing

The Earth has enough mud and dirt for farmers to grow food, right? Maybe not. The food plants are usually best grown in top soil which has organic mulch combined with silt and sand. Like the farms in Iowa have, which is considered extremely fertile top soil and allows the farmers to grow soyabean, maize and oats in world topping production.

Unfortunately the world over, Iowa included, top soil is disappearing. What used to be 14-16 inches of top soil in Iowa at the beginning of the 20th century has now reduced to merely 6-8 inches this year. About one third of the top soil across the world is disappearing in a combination of extensive farming practices and increased rain and storms which wash away the soil.

The process to form top soil takes centuries, which means that we may not have enough top soil left in a couple of decades to grow food for our growing human population. Researchers are working on modifying some wheat plants so that they don’t have roots as deep as the traditional forms. If successful it will be used to modify other plants

This science experiment may help the farmers grow plants even in low levels of top soil. In other studies researchers are trying to grow plants without any soil at all. Using a fluid which is nutrient rich in a green house to grow spinach. Only time will tell what the future of farming will bring.

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“Flyboard” across the Channel

A hundred and ten years ago in the month of July Frenchman Louis Bleriot made the first trip across the English Channel in an aeroplane. It was a historic moment for the aviation industry. This year entrepreneur Franky Zapata decided to use the landmark date for his attempt to cross the channel on his “Flyboard.”

The Flyboard is a jet- powered hovercraft that can reach speeds of 190 kilometers per hour. It was also on display on the 14 July military parade which was presided over in Paris by the French President Emmanuel Macron. Franky Zapta successfully flew down the Champs-Elysees boulevard during the annual Bastille Day parade.

Amidst concerns from local maritime authorities, Franky , a former jet-ski champion, set off from the beach at Sangatte, near Calais. It would always be challenging crossing especially considering the windy day. He wanted to cross over in 20 minutes, however it was not possible for him to maintain the 140 km/hr speed to cover the distance of 35 km.

There was considerable fanfare at the beach when he departed and disappeared from view. It was announced shortly after that he had failed the attempt and landed in the water. Now he’s working on the science project to be able to refuel midway and make a successful crossing.

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Climate Change is Real!

For a number of years scientists have been telling the general population about global warming. They have spoken about how the activities of humankind have sped up the process and led to climate change. While a number of more responsible people have sat up and taken notice, there are still plenty of those who refuse to believe that change in the climate can lead to the drastic catastrophes that the scientists claim.

Here’s the proof supported by scientific studies. Researchers at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, conducted a study on a species of birds called mountain wagtails. It was found that as the temperature increased these birds became lighter. The scientific reasoning is that larger animals can survive cold weather better, but in warmer climate with scare food, it is the smaller animals that survive best.

Another study of the Thwaites Glacier in the Antarctica shows that it is on the brink of melting really fast. The rate of ice loss for this and five other glaciers in the are has doubled in just six years. The 70,000 square mile glacier would raise the sea levels across the world at a much higher rate than previously expected. This will lead to coastlines flooding over all continents.

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Vitamins And Heart Disease

Vitamins are important for human health. This has been established by studies down the years by researchers. Having vitamin C ensure that your immune system works well. Vitamin A helps you maintain good eyesight, and so forth with other vitamins. However, even now the researchers are discovering new ways in which vitamins can help the human body.

At the John Hopkins University in the United States, researchers led by Professor Guoying Wang have been studying the effect of vitamin D deficiency in children. The study co-relates the deficiency of the vitamin in early childhood to an increased risk of elevated systolic blood pressure in them as adults.

Systolic blood pressure refers to the higher number in the two readings of a blood pressure. This figure reflects the amount of pressure exerted by the blood on the artery walls as the heart beats. The lower number refers to the diastolic reading.

High levels of systolic blood pressure can indicate an elevated risk of cardiovacular disease even if the diastolic level is normal. Simply put if you have suffered from vitamin D deficiency as a kid, you are at a great risk of getting a heart attack as an adult. Now that’s useful information from this science project.

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AI to Help Spot Spoilers

Have you ever felt frustrated when you came across a spoiler from a television show that you were yet to see? Simply browsing the internet and going through your social media accounts is enough to tell you about how a particular game ended before you get to watch the recording. In order to help people avoid such spoilers scientists have come up with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that can flag potential spoilers in online reviews.

Mengting Wan is associated with SpolierNet, a dataset with spoiler annotations on a very large scale. The computer science student has found that spoiler sentences usually tend to be clumped together towards the end of a review. The tool, SpoilerNet has been able to trace spoilers with an accuracy of 89 to 92%. This means that when you use this tool you are much less likely to be hit with spoilers than if you are simply browsing the net.

Naturally SpoilerNet is a tool which will constantly need to be updated, but the researchers are hoping to program it in such a way that the tool can make use of AI to train itself. The science project based on this innovative artificial intelligence tool may lead to revolutionizing the way we save ourselves from unwanted spoilers online.

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Bye Bye Heavy School Bags

The ever increasing number of school books have resulted in heavier and heavier school bags over the last few decades. While some schools offer the ability to retain unnecessary books in the lockers at school, many schools around the planet do not have this facility. This leaves young students trudging along to and from school with a heavy backpack. One which often causes them back pain and may even affect the spinal growth.

Researchers at the Liverpool Jon Moore University in collaboration with the researchers at the University of Granada in Spain conducted a scientific study in Applied Ergonomics. The study was conducted on 49 students from primary school and conducted a kinematic analysis of their trunk and lower limbs under three conditions.

The first was walking without any burden. The second had the children walk with a traditional school bag. Third had them walk with pulling a backpack trolley with loads at 10%, 15% and 20% of their body weight respectively. The study found that for least impact it was best that the school children pulled trolleys rather than carried backpacks. Also if they had to carry backpacks, the weight of the backpack should not exceed 10% of the child’s body weight.

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Death Defying Roaches

A common insect that may be feared by the majority of the population is the cockroach. This insect has the ability to breed quickly and population levels can increase drastically if they take root within an area of your home. The exterminating of cockroaches has traditionally been done using chemical sprays that kill them. Especially in cases of large spread infestation.

Unfortunately Purdue University researchers have found out that if a cockroach survives an insecticide treatment, they tend to develop an immunity to it. Not only will that chemical be rendered ineffective against the cockroach, it will also pass on the immunity to it’s offspring. This results in a larger population of cockroaches that are immune to most traditionally used insecticides.

Michael Scharf, professor of entomology (That’s the study of insects) says that within a generation they can register a four to six fold increase in resistance to a spray that the parent has survived. As more chemical immunity builds up in these insects, the professor feel that cockroach populations will continue to boom. Their scientific study recommends exploring non chemical methods of pest control in the future to have any kind of effect against the burgeoning population of roaches.

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Why Flyers Misbehave

We have all been on that flight where a co-passenger is found being loud, rude and obnoxious. The incident can affect flight safety, cause delays for the airline and disrupt the passenger’s peace of mind. The International Air Transport Association has recorded one disruptive incident for every 1053 flights in the year 2017. In the year 2016 it was one such incident for every 1424 flights.

Flying is never a stress free activity, and having badly behaved people only adds to the unpleasantness. This is why it would be handy if we knew what made people who were quite decent on the ground, suddenly become rube in the air. To this purpose the Atmosphere Research Group, a travel analysis firm, came up with a study.

The factors that may contribute to disruptive behavior according to the study have been many. A few of which include less number of flight attendants on duty, crowding in the economy class seats, fear of crashing, boarding through the first class section rather than the midsection of the plane, and presence of people from multiple classes of life. The scientific study shows that as the stress level on people increases due to one or a combination of factors, they tend to become more aggressive in the closed space.

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