Google Maps Gives Up the Cupcakes which Counted Your Calories

Cupcake with pink frosting on top

Google ditches the offensive cupcakes from Google Maps

Not a long time ago, Google released a new feature on its Maps app, which was meant to show people the calories they would burn if they chose to walk to a certain location. However, this feature didn’t reach the desired effect, so Google decided it was better to ditch it.

The cupcakes showed how many calories you could have burned by walking

The update was supposed to promote activity as a healthy option, and to convince users to walk to their direction instead of taking the car. Therefore, it calculated how many calories they would burn if they opted for this healthier alternative. If you selected the walking route, these calories were displayed as small cupcakes.

However, users didn’t grasp Google’s good intentions, and slammed the new feature everywhere on the web. Most of them took to Twitter to express their disapproval of the cupcakes, and blamed Google for being mindless about those people who struggle with eating disorders or similar issues.

Users didn’t refrain from expressing their disapproval of the feature

Seeing the negative feedback the feature had received, Google admitted the cupcakes were merely an experiment. The company performed a brief session of testing on iOS but, since it hasn’t been welcome by users, the feature will be dumped.

Users had other things to complain about. Since the calories are displayed as pink cupcakes, some of them found they were subtly addressed to women. Others didn’t make such extensive associations, but still found the feature was quite unsuitable for Google Maps. If users are interested in the calories they burn, they have plenty of other designated apps to use.

After this failed attempt, Google will probably stick to keep Maps free of useless updates, and focus more on its strength and advantages.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Frontier Offered Us the First Glimpse into the Jurassic World Evolution Universe

Jurassic World logo on a dusty brown background

Frontier released a preview on the upcoming Jurassic World Evolution

Developers Frontier have just released their yearly livestream expo, and it came with some special surprises for fans. Gamers had dozens of questions regarding Jurassic World Evolution, the long-awaited dinosaur game. Since the game will only be out sometime during the summer of 2018, Frontier decided it was time to let people find out more about it.

Jurassic World Evolution follows the line of the 1993 movie

Therefore, during the livestream in question, the developers came up with some answers about Jurassic World Evolution which kept bugging the fans for quite a long time. Therefore, the game is dedicated to all those who enjoyed the 1993 film, Jurassic Park. The entire atmosphere revives the cinematic experience, and leads players through all the stages in the development of the park.

Therefore, they start from the beginning, where you can collect samples of dinosaur DNA right from the archaeological sites. Then, you can use genetic engineering to raise your own specimens, and build Jurassic Park. The game won’t let players get bored, as they have to take decisions on how to run the park.

The game will put players at test

Also, they have three options they can choose from, when it comes to administrative details. First of all, the park can serve for pure entertainment. Then, you can choose to show everybody how good your security is by managing to keep the huge reptiles from ravaging the surroundings. In the end, you can use it for research purposes, or you can choose a mix of all three.

The game won’t be easy, as it will test the players’ ability to deal with the unexpected. Therefore, they will have to deal with emergencies, such as biological hazards which threaten your dinosaurs. Frontier developers provided plenty of screenshots from Jurassic World Evolution, where they present the surroundings and the mechanics behind the gameplay.

Fossilized Fecal Matter Shows How Herbivorous Dinosaurs Sometimes Cheated and Ate Crustaceans

Hadrosaur skeleton in a museum

Hadrosaurs ate crustaceans to get extra proteins

A recent study on fossilized dinosaur fecal matter revealed an interesting truth about them, which contradicts the previous theory on the diet of herbivorous specimens. As their name says, scientists thought they fed exclusively on plants. However, the traces found in these fossils revealed they sometimes ate some meat.

Crustacean traces were hidden in fecal fossils

Researchers discovered some 75 million years old fecal fossils belonging to hadrosaurs, a species of dinosaurs well-known for being herbivorous. However, the analysis of these fossils revealed this species didn’t always choose plants for dinner. They found traces of crustaceans in the fecal matter, together with particles of wood coming from coniferous trees.

However, these were not the only fossil samples containing traces of crustacean shells. Some other coprolites, which are actually remains of dinosaur droppings, contained the same traces, and these remains were present in the Kaiparowits Plateau, Utah. This area was a favorite for hadrosaurs, so they might have occasionally cheated on their plant-only diet.

The bone and teeth structure of these hadrosaurs was typical of animals living closer to fresh water. There, their preferred meal included conifers and fern. The Kaiparowits Plateau was rich in sources of fresh water, as well as conifers and other similar plants, so it quickly became the ideal area where hadrosaurs could live.

Crustaceans were a sure source of proteins for the reproductive periods

Researchers revealed these dinosaurs chose to eat wood and crustaceans during the periods of reproduction. Such food was a good source of calcium, and improved their protein levels when they most needed them. The decaying wood contained plenty of small insects and creatures, which are a valuable source of protein, while crustaceans provide many other nutrients.

In fact, more herbivorous dinosaurs fed on unusual food for them, such as crustaceans, during reproductive periods. These creatures are a sure source of proteins for tough times, and easy to catch for dinosaurs which weren’t used to hunting. The study on hadrosaurs was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Sleep Deprivation Can Reduce Depression Symptoms, Claims New Study

a hand over a cover with swirly models on a person with sleep deprivation

According to a new study, sleep deprivation might be a helpful, short-term way of improving the symptoms of depression.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine found that sleep deprivation might actually help reduce the symptoms of depression. Results from the research show that up to 50 percent of the people suffering from depression might temporarily benefit from a short-term lack of sleep.

Sleep Deprivation Combats Depression But Is Not a Solution

The lack of sleep is often regarded as a symptom of a depressive mood disorder. It has long been thought that lack of sleep results in an irritable mood. However, it might seemingly also help curb some depression symptoms.

Elaine Boland, the study’s lead researcher, explains that individuals across different populations benefitted from the loss of sleep. This was not noted to hold regardless of the type of deprivation, be it partial or total. The sort of medicine administered as well as what the definition of response was or how the outcome was measured also seemingly did not affect the results.

Researchers took into account both partial (20-21 hours without sleeping) and total sleep deprivation (36 hours without sleeping). Their analysis included data gathered from sources dating between 1974 to 2016.

The connection between a lack of sleep and improving one’s mood actually goes back to 19th century Germany. Psychiatrist Johann Christian August Heinroth asserted that a lack of sleep seemed to improve melancholia symptoms in his patients. He even used sleep deprivation as a therapeutic tool for melancholic patients.

The therapeutic use of deprivation in a clinical setting is still a controversial subject since the lack of sleep is often associated with the possible development of mental illness. However, as some researchers suggest, one night of deprivation could lead to the brain being able to reset its circadian rhythm the following evening.

While deprivation seems to provide some temporary relief from the symptoms of a depressive mood, it should not be used on the long-term. It should also not come in the way of making helpful lifestyle changes. Ones that will promote a more sustainable improvement in mood.

The study’s findings and results are presented in a paper released in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 

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Antarctica Cave System Might Be Holding Unidentified Life Forms

antarctica cave system seen from inside

Scientists discovered a subglacial Antarctica cave system which might be holding still unknown life forms.

A recent study points to the fact that Antarctica might be inhabited by even more life forms than initially believed. The research team behind it discovered an ‘extensive’ cave system on the cold continent, one located in the vicinity of its volcanoes.

A closer look revealed that these are seemingly warmer than might be believed. In turns, this also allows the possible existence of both plant and animal life forms, some of them possibly being entirely new ones.

Antarctica Cave System Revealed to be a Treasure Trove of Data

According to the research paper, the network of active subsurface volcanoes which have been venting steam seems to have carved out an “extensive and interconnected” network of subglacial caves. After analyzing this system, the scientists determined that this can actually be considered hospitable to both macroscopic and microscopic creatures.

Warmed by the internal heat of the planet, this Antarctica cave system is considered a “geothermal area”.

“If geothermal environments in Antarctica, including subglacial geothermal caves, could indeed have housed invertebrates and plants during past glacial periods, we hypothesize that diverse species should also live in these environments today,” state the researchers.

They also point out that such regions could often be “tens of degrees warmer” than the temperatures of the outside air. This network of caves might also foster liquid water as well as light in areas with thinner overlying ice.

The study team took samples from the subglacial caves and volcanoes that created them. This revealed the presence of DNA traces from algae, moss, arthropods, and roundworms. These were detected both in the subsurface and exposed areas.

However, some of the collected samples did not resemble any known creatures. So the scientists suspect the possible existence of still unidentified creatures, macro, and microscopic ones. These might have lived there in the past or might still be alive now, as well.

Presently, the research team has yet to discover any live organisms in this Antarctica cave system. However, they plan on conducting more extensive research.

Current study findings were released in a paper in the journal Polar Biology.

Iamge Source: FreeGreatPicture

Galaxy Brings New Data Supporting A Magnetic Universe

magnetic universe described by a very bright star

The evolution of our magnetic universe might be better understood thanks to a recent discovery.

A team of astronomers detected the magnetic field of a galaxy situated around 5 billion light years away from our planet. Besides making it the record holder of the most distant galaxy to reveal magnetic field information, this galaxy may also help reveal new information about our magnetic universe.

New Data Supports the Idea of a Magnetic Universe

This distant galaxy’s magnetic field was detected by astronomers part of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy led by Sui Ann Mao. These conducted their research with help from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, a radio telescope network found in New Mexico.

This helped detect and also characterize the magnetic field of this distant galaxy. One of its discoveries is that this system’s magnetic field is similar in configuration to that of the Milky Way. It is also similar in strength. This was a surprise seeing as the galaxy is believed to be some 5 billion years younger than our own.

“This means that magnetism is generated very early in a galaxy’s life by natural processes, and thus that almost every heavenly body is magnetic,” stated Bryan Gaensler, a study co-author and professor at the University of Toronto’s Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics.

He then continued by pointing out that “The implication is that we need to understand magnetism to understand the universe.”

The study team members also pointed out a method of studying the magnetic universe and its cosmic evolution. Scientists can do so by measuring the magnetic fields of differently distanced galaxies when compared to Earth. Being of various ages will also help the process of better understanding this evolution.

Some theories suggested that new galaxies start off with weak and tangled magnetic fields. However, this might not be so, as suggested by this recent research.

Current study findings were released earlier this week in a paper in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Image Source: Wikimedia

The FDA Gave Its Mark OF Approval For A New Drug For ALL

syringe with drug for all

The FDA announced that it has approved a new drug for ALL, a rare form of leukemia.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has approved the commercialization and use of a new drug, one that will target ALL.

ALL or B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a rare and rapidly progressing form of blood cancer. It is caused by the bone marrow producing too many B-cell lymphocytes, which are a type of immature blood cells.

According to the National Cancer Institute, almost 6,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with all this year alone. Some 1,440 will possibly die because of it.

ALL Patients Will Have A New Drug Variant

The FDA approved the use of a new drug for this type of blood cancer, one that can be utilized by adult patients. It was approved for those that tried other treatments that ultimately failed. The medicine can be used by adults with a relapsed or refractory ALL.

“These patients have few treatments available and today’s approval provides a new, targeted treatment option,” stated Richard Pazdur.

An M.D., he is the FDA director of the Oncology Center of Excellence. Dr. Pazdur underlines that patients whose disease returned or did not respond to treatment typically have a low life expectancy.

The newly approved drug is Bespona, and Pfizer Inc. commercializes it. Before receiving the mark of approval, this medicine’s effects were tested in a trial involving almost 220 patients.

Among those given Bespona, 36 percent saw their blood cancer for a period of eight months, on average. Among those to receive chemotherapy, 17 percent saw their disease in complete remission for an average of five months.

This new drug is believed to work by binding to the surface of the cancerous cells and as such, blocking its growth.

The medicine is injectable, but it also carries the most stringent warning from the FDA as it could cause severe adverse reactions.

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People With Psychopathic Traits Find It Easier To Lie

psychopathic traits lies

People with psychopathic traits seemingly find it easier to learn how to lie.

According to a new study, lying doesn’t come innately to people with psychopathic traits. Instead, they simply find it easier to lie after learning how to.

University of Hong Kong psychologists are behind this new research, which analyzed both the habit of lying and the ratio of rather psychopathic tendencies.

The study asked its participants to give a series of truthful or untruthful answers. They had to recognize, or not, the subjects in a collection of images. Readily established cues alerted them whether they should respond truthfully to each photograph.

All of the participants performed each of the tests twice. But in between testing, they were also taught how to lie more efficiently and believable.

The proxy for a participant’s ability to lie was their response time when issuing a false response, as prompted.

Psychopathic Traits Were Also Factored In

Before the study, the participants also underwent a series of personal tests. These showed that only those that presented psychopathic traits returned significant improvements in their ability to lie. After being taught how to lie better, their response time when giving false answers was significantly higher.

“The stark contrast between individuals with high and low levels of psychopathic traits in lying performance following two training sessions is remarkable, given that there were no significant differences in lying performance between the two groups prior to training,” stated Dr. Tatia Lee, a UHK cognitive scientist part of the study.

According to the research, people with psychopathic traits find it easier to lie after being trained how to. The team believes that the deceitfulness differences could be tied to brain processes and how they perceive untruthful data.

Lee stated that lying requires a series of specific processes in the brain. These include working memory, attention, conflict resolution, and inhibitory control. These seemed to be more reduced in people with high levels of psychopathic tendencies.

Those with low such traits found seemingly found it harder to suppress truthful data.

Study results can be accessed in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

Image Source: Wikimedia

Less Sleep In Old Age Is An Evolutionary Survival Tool

Man cannot fall sleep

Disrupted sleep patterns might be the relic of an evolutionary survival tool.

It’s common knowledge that as we get older we tend to sleep less or suffer from frequent sleep disruptions. However, researchers documenting the Hadza tribe in Northern Tanzania have come to the conclusion that restless sleep might be in fact an evolutionary survival tool. The survival mechanism evolved as the ancient hunter-gatherer tribes stood on guard against nocturnal threats.

Restless Sleep as Part of An Evolutionary Survival Tool

Researchers from the Duke University and the University of Nevada, USA teamed up with researchers from Tanzania to track the sleep patterns of the Hadza people. The Hadza are a modern-day tribe that lives in similar conditions to the ancient hunter-gatherers.

The researchers were able to gather data by strapping watches on their wrists that monitored their night-time movements. What they noticed is that there is a frequent change in the sleeping patterns between the old and the young so that at least one member of the tribe is awake. From the 20 days of study, the tribe was collectively asleep only for 18 minutes.

Researcher David Samson from the Duke University noticed that despite the restless sleep, the members felt no negative emotion about insomnia or other sleep problems that are frequent in Western societies. Moreover, Westerners get a more secure sleep than the tribe. The members sleep on the ground, next to a hearth or in huts made of branches. They have no controlled climate or synthetic lights.

Charlie Nunn, co-author, and professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke stated:

If you’re in a lighter stage of sleep you’d be more attuned to any kind of threat in the environment.

Sleep flexibility has been observed in other animals such as birds and mice. However, it is for the first time that humans exhibited such behavior. As a result, the data makes the researchers suggest that perhaps restless sleep is an evolutionary survival tool that had helped our ancestors protect their tribes from any nocturnal threats.

Image source: DepositPhotos

SpaceX Had To Delay The Intelsat Launch Twice In A Row

intelsat launch

The Intelsat launch was delayed for a second time and might now take place on July 05 or July 06.

The latest update on the matter reveals that SpaceX had to delay its launch of a Falcon 9 Rocket carrying an Intelsat satellite for the second time in a row.

Initially, the company was looking to mark this as its third take off in under two weeks. It would have followed the deployment of two other rockets on Friday, June 23, and Sunday, June 25 respectively. Now, the next launch window will open on either June 05 or June 06.

Intelsat Launch Left For A New Day

Initially, the Falcon 9 rocket set to carry an Intelsat 35e satellite into space was scheduled for July 3rd at 2337 GMT or 7:37 p.m. EDT. It would have taken off from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

However, the launch team was forced to call off the event with just 10 seconds before the projected take off. Now, the Intelsat launch has been delayed for yet another day, according to a new tweet posted by Elon Musk, the company’s CEO and founder.

According to reports, the reason behind the cancellation revolves around the Falcon 9’s Guidance System. It might have also been caused by the rocket’s hardware which may have some issues. No exact details have been offered on the matter as of yet.

“We’ve got plenty of information, but (engineers are) taking their time right now to understand what system they’re really looking at that would be the cause of the hold … stated John Insprucker.

He is the principal integration engineer of the Falcon 9. Insprucker also stated that the next launch window would open on July 05th. If this succeeds, it will mark the third SpaceX mission in 11 days, 12 if it will be deployed on June 06th.

Image Source: Wikimedia