Day: March 28, 2018

There’s still no scientific way to know who’s about to start shooting

Why we’re not better at predicting mass shooters:

‘There have been 306 school shootings since 2013, or about one a week, according to Everytown. Each time such a tragedy occurs, we’re first reminded of the easy availability of assault weapons followed quickly by blame assigned to the people — local police, psychologists, social workers — who failed to identify the perpetrator as a danger to their community. But this kind of hindsight is unfair. The truth is there’s been amazingly little coordinated study of the psychology behind mass shooters and very little consensus as to what those warning signs might be. A new review of such research was compiled by sociologist Michael Rocque and criminologist Grant Duwe and is in the February issue of Current Opinion in Psychology….’

Via Big Think

Prosthetic Memory System Successful in Humans

‘There is new hope for people suffering from memory related problems. Researchers have successfully implanted a neuroprosthetic system into the brains of epilepsy patients that uses the person’s own memory patterns to enhance memory encoding and recall….’

Via Neuroscience News

A close call of 0.8 light years

Astronomers discover that star grazed solar system 70K years ago:

‘Astronomers identify the closest known flyby of a star to our solar system: a dim star that passed through the Oort Cloud 70,000 years ago A group of astronomers from the US, Europe, Chile and South Africa have determined that 70,000 years ago a recently discovered dim star is likely to have passed through the solar system’s distant cloud of comets, the Oort Cloud. No other star is known to have ever approached our solar system this close – five times closer than the current closest star, Proxima Centauri.

In a paper published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, lead author Eric Mamajek from the University of Rochester and his collaborators analyzed the velocity and trajectory of a low-mass star system nicknamed “Scholz’s star.”

The star’s trajectory suggests that 70,000 years ago it passed roughly 52,000 astronomical units away (or about 0.8 light years, which equals 8 trillion kilometers, or 5 trillion miles). This is astronomically close; our closest neighbor star Proxima Centauri is 4.2 light years distant. In fact, the astronomers explain in the paper that they are 98% certain that it went through what is known as the “outer Oort Cloud” – a region at the edge of the solar system filled with trillions of comets a mile or more across that are thought to give rise to long-period comets orbiting the Sun after their orbits are perturbed….’

Via University of Rochester

“I Tried to Befriend Nikolas Cruz. He Still Killed My Friends.”

Op-ed piece by MSD student Isabelle Robinson:

‘The implication that Mr. Cruz’s mental health problems could have been solved if only he had been loved more by his fellow students is both a gross misunderstanding of how these diseases work and a dangerous suggestion that puts children on the front line….’

Via NYTimes

New, previously unknown human organ discovered

NewImageNewfound ‘organ’ had been missed by standard method for visualizing anatomy

‘Researchers have identified a previously unknown feature of human anatomy with implications for the function of all organs, most tissues and the mechanisms of most major diseases.

Published March 27 in Scientific Reports, a new study co-led by an NYU School of Medicine pathologist reveals that layers of the body long thought to be dense, connective tissues – below the skin’s surface, lining the digestive tract, lungs and urinary systems, and surrounding arteries, veins, and the fascia between muscles – are instead interconnected, fluid-filled compartments….’

Via EurekAlert! Science News