Congress today overwhelmingly passed the 2016 spending bill. The House of Representatives this morning voted 316 to 113, with a majority of Republicans and nearly all Democrats favoring the $1.1 trillion package for all federal agencies. The Senate concurred a few hours later with a vote of 65 to 33. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law later today. Early on 16 December, congressional leaders released the text of an omnibus spending bill that will fund all federal agencies for the rest of the 2016 fiscal year. We’ve taken a look at how individual agencies fared under the bill (see bullets below). Science has also compiled a table showing the budgets of key research agencies and programs. 2016 spending bill gives NIH $2 billion raise, largest in 12 years At long last, Congress to make R&D tax credit permanent White-nose bat study funded FDA gets 5% bump and ban on gene editing NASA science budget rises 6.6% NOAA research rises 4% in new budget … [Read more...] about Updated: Budget agreement boosts U.S. science
Accelerated computer science degree
Today, the NFL announced a new partnership with Amazon Web Services to develop a set of software tools to try and predict what causes player injuries. Called ‘Digital Athlete,’ the program will insert a computer created player into millions of simulated games to generate recommendations about changing player equipment, altering the game's rules, and minimizing injuries in certain scenarios. The program will use Amazon’s Regoknition system to break down video feeds from current NFL games and record information about everything from play selection, weather, playing surface, and player position. Scroll down for video Amazon and the NFL will partner on a new program called 'Digital Athlete,' and AI-driven simulation of millions of games using a computer-created player to learn more about player injuries Amazon’s SageMaker software will also be used to build machine learning models to apply that data as the basis to simulate new variations on … [Read more...] about The NFL ‘Digital Athlete’ program will place computer-generated players in simulations using Amazon’s AI tools to understand how injuries happen
The North Polar Region has warmed almost as much in the last decade as the whole of the Earth in the last 137 years, according to a new study. The research paper claims the Arctic has warmed by 1.35°F (0.75°C) in 10 years, while Earth as a whole has warmed by around 1.44°F (0.8°C) since the start of the 1880s. The new research paper, written by 15 international experts, predicts the effects of a 3.6°F (2°C) average global temperature rise – a milestone anticipated in the Paris Agreement. 'Many of the changes over the past decade are so dramatic they make you wonder what the next decade of warming will bring,' said lead author Eric Post, a UC Davis professor of climate change ecology. 'If we haven't already entered a new Arctic, we are certainly on the threshold.' Ice melting in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago (pictured) off the north coast of Russia As Earth approaches the dangerous 3.6°F (2°C) warming … [Read more...] about Arctic has warmed up by 1.35 degrees Fahrenheit in just a decade – the same temperature increase that the rest of the planet has experienced in 137 YEARS, study claims
Dr. Daniel Kahneman Source: Eirik Solheim/Flickr While some still adhere to the idea that a psychology degree is a road to financial struggle, this is far from true. In fact, Dr. Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 nobel prize in economics argues psychology is an undervalued aspect of a huge determinant of business success- decision making. Kahneman asserts that “most people, normally feel that they already know all the psychology and all the sociology they are likely to need for their decisions. I don't think they are right, but that's the way it is.”1 Indeed, Kahneman’s and colleagues work on cognitive bias demonstrated several replicable ways in which our decisions and judgments are not as rational as we may think they are. Perhaps it is not a coincidence then, that as society becomes more aware of its ignorance in decision making, understanding the psychology behind our choices is becoming more valuable. In fact, from … [Read more...] about How Lucrative Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology?
Iran has announced plans to enrich uranium beyond the levels allowed under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. But how is uranium enriched? Fresh out of the mine, uranium ore contains about 1% uranium oxide. This is the starting material and it needs some processing. It is treated with chemicals, often strong acids, to extract the oxide and make yellowcake, a powder that contains about 80% uranium oxide. Before the uranium can be used in nuclear reactors or atomic bombs, it has to be enriched. This is because natural uranium contains too little uranium-235, the form of uranium that is easily split to release energy in the process known as fission. Natural uranium contains only 0.7% uranium-235, with the remainder mostly made up of uranium-238. The isotopes differ only in the number of neutrons found in their atoms. Uranium-235 atoms have 92 protons and 143 neutrons, whereas uranium-238 atoms have 92 protons and 146 neutrons. To enrich uranium, yellowcake is first turned into a gas … [Read more...] about Iran’s uranium enrichment programme: the science explained