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News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Having it your way on political websites and seeing only the content that aligns with your beliefs is not good for democracy, according to Ivan Dylko, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo's Department of Communication and an expert in the political effects of communication technology. Dylko has published a groundbreaking paper in the latest issue of the journal Computers in Human Behavior that is among the first to experimentally test the political effects of customizability, a popular technology that personalizes a site's subject matter and is present on many top websites like Facebook, Google News, Twitter and others. The results of the study suggest that political websites that either customize content automatically or allow visitors to personally tailor the site's content increase the tendency for those users to consume information that agrees with their ideologies at the expense of information that challenges those beliefs. This effect was particularly strong among politically moderate participants. Customizability technology drives narrow decision-making that reflect personal biases. Liberals consume more liberal content and conservatives consume more conservative content. Researchers call the resulting information diet "political selective exposure" and Dylko's study provides important empirical evidence for what he calls "the dark side of technology." "These personalization tools were initially created to help cope with information overload. Unfortunately, these popular information technologies can unintentionally hurt our democracy," says Dylko. "The increasingly popular personalization tools are likely to lead to a situation where we are surrounded by like-minded information that creates skewed perception of reality, incorrect beliefs, extreme attitudes and suboptimal political behavior." Customizability, a key element of the modern information environment, emerges as a critical contributing factor. Using this technology, visitors, on their own, can select what articles a website delivers to them as easily as they might decide what to purchase from a clothes rack. This kind of user-driven personalization also has a system-driven counterpart that relies on software code - operating unobtrusively and sometimes covertly - that, in a political context, prioritizes stories that align with the ideological browsing patterns of individual users. "System-driven customizability, termed a 'filter bubble' by political activist and Internet entrepreneur Eli Pariser, is particularly troubling because substantial content is filtered out by the information system without users ever realizing this is happening," says Dylko. "The ease of reducing exposure to challenging opinions and automation of such filtering is what's new and important about selective exposure today." The nature and effects of customizability have split many observers into separate camps of Internet pessimists and Internet optimists, each arguing whether this technology hurts or helps democracy, according to Dylko. The optimists say that quality information that is free and easily accessible increases the likelihood that people will encounter and read opinions that differ from their own. The pessimists argue the opposite, saying human nature dictates that the Internet will not be used in the best possible way. Researchers are just beginning to understand the nature of this complex problem and its nuances. Although many researchers speculated about the implications of this technology, Dylko's study is the only experimental study to date that directly tested these effects in the context of routine consumption of political news. For the study that Dylko co-authored with Igor Dolgov, associate professor of psychology at New Mexico State University, and former and current NMSU graduate students William Hoffman, Nicholas Eckhart, Maria Molina and Omar Aaziz, subjects answered a survey that measured their political attitudes. One month later, subjects were randomly assigned to browse one of four different political websites with liberal and conservative content: A user-customizable site; a system-customizable site on which researchers manipulated content based on the survey responses; a hybrid of the first two customizability types; and a final non-customizable site. Subjects browsed the sites while researchers recorded clicks and time spent reading. "We found that presence of customizability technology increased consumption of pro-attitudinal information and decreased consumption of counter-attitudinal information," says Dylko. "Such selective exposure is known to increase political polarization, which we are seeing a lot of in modern U.S. politics. "That's not good for a healthy democracy" he says. "Living in ideological cocoons prevents cross-fertilization of political ideas, undermines civil political discourse, and hurts the quality of decision making in political context." The popularity of customizability technology, increase in the number of content choices, declining trust in various elite institutions of society and declining influence of the established traditional media are some of the factors responsible for the lack of civility and gridlock in modern politics, Dylko says. "We hope decision makers behind websites like Google, Facebook, Twitter and other key gatekeepers of political information will take note of the unintended harm their services might be inflicting on our society and try to mitigate this harm technologically. However, the public should not be let off the hook either. "We all should be more alert to how information algorithms might inadvertently negatively affect us, and try to break out of the comfortable information bubbles each of us has created on various online news and social media platforms," Dylko says.


Viswanathan S.P.,NMSU
2016 Indian Control Conference, ICC 2016 - Proceedings | Year: 2016

Design considerations for agile, precise and reliable attitude control of micro-spacecraft using Adaptive Singularity-free Control Moment Gyroscope (ASCMG) actuators are presented here. A complete dynamics model of a spacecraft with an ASCMG is derived using the principles of variational mechanics, relaxing some assumptions made in prior literature on Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMG). The dynamics so obtained shows the complex nonlinear coupling between the internal degrees of freedom associated with an ASCMG and the spacecraft base body's attitude motion. By default, the general ASCMG model is equivalent to that of a Variable Speed Control Moment Gyroscope without symmetrical rotor and gimbal, and can operate as a CMG by spinning the rotor at constant speed. This dynamics model is then extended to include the effects of multiple ASCMGs placed in the spacecraft bus, and sufficient conditions for non-singular ASCMG cluster configurations are obtained to operate the cluster in CMG mode. The adverse effects of the simplifying assumptions that lead to the standard CMG design, and how they lead to CMG singularities, are described. A bare minimum hardware prototype of an ASCMG using low cost COTS components, is shown. A control scheme for agile and precise attitude pointing control of a cubesat using a finite number of ASCMGs in the absence of external torques, is presented. A Geometric Variational Integration scheme is obtained for this multibody spacecraft for numerical and micro-controller implementation. © 2016 IEEE.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Annapolis, MD; Feb. 9, 2017--In a crowded marketplace of products advertised to repel mosquitoes, consumers are wise to trust spray-on repellents containing DEET or PMD, say researchers at New Mexico State University. In a comparison study of several mosquito-repellent products, "wearable" devices such as bracelets or sonic repellers were found to be largely ineffective in repelling Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. "These findings are extremely important for consumers because they need to be aware that there are mosquito repellent products available that are ineffective," says Stacy Rodriguez, laboratory manager at the Molecular Vector Physiology Laboratory at NMSU. "While the labels of many products make strong claims, some products simply don't work." The results of the study by Rodriguez and colleagues are soon to be published in the Entomological Society of America's Journal of Insect Science. They tested five wearable devices (OFF!® Clip-On, PIC® Personal Sonic Mosquito Repeller, Mosquitavert® Repellent Bracelet, Mosquito-No!™ Repellent Bracelet, and InvisabandTM), one candle (Cutter® Citro Guard), and five sprays (Cutter® Lemon Eucalyptus, All Terrain® Kids Herbal Armor™, Avon® Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus Picaridin, Repel® Sportsmen Max Formula®, and Ben's® Tick & Insect Repellent). Each was worn by, used, or applied to a human subject in a wind tunnel near a three compartment cage containing Ae. aegypti female mosquitoes. Each repellent was tested for a 15-minute period, during which time mosquitoes were free to wander from the middle compartment of the cage into either the compartment closer to the human or the one further away. Then, the mosquitoes were counted in each compartment to determine how attracted they were--or weren't--to the human wearing the repellent being tested. The only wearable device that fared well in the study was OFF!® Clip-On, which features a nebulizer to vaporize its repellent chemical, Metofluthrin. The sonic repeller and bracelets showed no significant reduction in mosquito attraction. "Although the active ingredients in some bracelets may be mosquito repellents, we hypothesize that the concentrations that are emitted by all of the bracelets that we tested were too low to have an effect," the researchers note in the study. The five spray-on repellents tested showed significant, though varying, levels of reduction in mosquito attraction in the test. Cutter® Lemon Eucalyptus (30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus, known by its chemical acronym, PMD) and Ben's® Tick & Insect Repellent (98 percent DEET) were the most effective. "This finding confirms the findings of several other studies that found DEET and PMD the most effective and longest lasting mosquito repellents currently available," the researchers write. Rodriguez and her colleagues say consumers should seek out the most effective repellents to avoid mosquito bites. "At a time where vector-borne disease like Zika is a real threat, the most egregious danger to the consumer is the false comfort that some repellents give them protection against Ae. aegypti when they actually offer none," they write. "Efficacy of Some Wearable Devices Compared with Spray-On Insect Repellents for the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae)," by Stacy D. Rodriguez, Hae-Na Chung, Kristina K. Gonzales, Julia Vulcan, Yiyi Li, Jorge A. Ahumada, Hector M. Romero, Mario De La Torre, Fangjun Shu, and Immo A. Hansen, will be published in the Journal of Insect Science on February 16, 2017. Journalists may request advance copies via the contact below. ABOUT: The Entomological Society of America is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has over 6,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. The Society stands ready as a scientific and educational resource for all insect-related topics. For more information, visit http://www. . Journal of Insect Science publishes research on all aspects of the biology of insects and other arthropods from the molecular to the ecological, and their agricultural and medical impact. For more information, visit https:/ , or visit http://www. to view the full portfolio of ESA journals and publications.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Katherine Jetter announces the opening of an exhibition of opals from around the globe at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, of which she is the guest curator. The Wonderful World of Opals features cut and uncut stones from Australia, Mexico, Ethiopia and Peru, as well as some set opal jewels from Jetter’s own collection. A one-of-a-kind rough opal specimen from Australia that weighs over 160 pounds is also part of the show. Grand opening events for the public include short talks, displays, and demonstrations at the museum on Feb. 10, and Feb. 11, 2017. Jetter was approached by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs in 2016 and worked to produce a collection of over 50 specimens, some of the finest in the world, one of which is encased in a fossilized dinosaur bone. Jetter collaborated with some of the world’s foremost opal miners, two of who will be present at a private reception on February 9: Bill Kasso of Eagle Creek Opals and Charlie Alsen of Opal Country. Other contributing miners include Andrew and Damien Cody of Cody Opal, Juergen Schuetz of Emil Weis and Susan Cooper of Broken River Mining. Jetter was recently selected by jewelry historian Olivier Dupon as one of his top picks of 35 contemporary jewelers in the world, featured in his newly launched book Fine Jewelry Couture: Contemporary Heirlooms. "This is an exceptional collection of opals curated by a leader in the opal industry,” said Margie Marino, director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. “The Museum is very proud to be able to work with world-wide partners to bring this exhibition to the people of New Mexico. This is a rare opportunity for visitors to the Museum to see a whole opal in its raw state and examine how it is formed,” she said. A number of collaborative and educational events have been scheduled for the opening weekend to enhance the visitor experience. Events Scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 Free with Museum Admission 10am to 3pm: Rock, mineral and gem demonstrations and displays by the Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Club/Museum Lapidary Studio FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES (including images and information about the private reception on February 9): Jennifer Hobson-Hinsley Jennifer(@)jlhmedia(.)com 505 603 8643 ### ABOUT KATHERINE JETTER LTD: Katherine Jetter was born in Melbourne, Australia and spent her youth in England, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. After attending SevenOaks School in Kent, UK, Katherine received a Bachelors Degree in Clinical Psychology from University College of London followed by an analyst position at JP Morgan. After attending the globally renowned Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and receiving certification as a Graduate Gemologist and Jewelry Designer, Katherine put her expertise to use by working for various international, high-end designer jewelers, including De Beers. Launching Katherine Jetter Ltd. in 2008, her collection was immediately picked up by Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus after showcasing at the prestigious Couture Jewelry Show in 2009. Katherine’s beautiful collections are featured in numerous retailers worldwide from Moscow to China including a selection of Neiman Marcus stores and high profile independent retailers across the U.S. Katherine and her husband, Daniel Burrell, moved to Santa Fe in 2010. They are active philanthropists in the community, with a key focus on furthering education for young people in New Mexico and have formed a foundation to support these efforts, the New Mexico Leadership Institute (NMLI), of which Katherine is President. NMLI partners with The University of New Mexico (UNM), New Mexico State University (NMSU) and top business leaders to provide New Mexico high school students with training and mentoring designed to develop effective leadership skills. Katherine is also on the Executive Board for NDI (New Mexico Dance Institute), and ran the Garfield Street Foundation on behalf of Rosemont Realty for 3 years. Katherine and Daniel have a daughter, Dylan, who is two years old. ABOUT THE NEW MEXICO MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY & SCIENCE: The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a Division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department of Cultural Affairs is New Mexico’s cultural steward and is charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, eight historic monuments, arts, archaeology, historic preservation and library programs, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is the largest state cultural agency in the nation.


Estell R.E.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Utsumi S.A.,WK Kellogg Biological Station | Cibils A.F.,NMSU | Anderson D.M.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Journal of Chemical Ecology | Year: 2014

Differential plant use by herbivores has been observed for several woody plant species and has frequently been attributed to plant secondary metabolites. We examined the relationship between terpenoid concentration and Juniperus monosperma herbivory by small ruminants. Two groups of animals (10 goats or 5 goats plus 4 sheep) browsed 16 paddocks (20 × 30 m) containing one-seed juniper for six days during two seasons. Juniper leaves were sampled from 311 saplings immediately after browsing. Saplings were categorized by size (short [<0.5 m], medium [0.5-1.0 m], or tall [>1.0 m]), and by browsing intensity (light [<33 %], moderate [33-66 %], or heavy [>66 %]). Juniper bark was collected from 12 saplings during spring. Total estimated terpenoid concentrations in leaves and bark were 18.3 ± 0.3 and 8.9 ± 0.8 mg/g, respectively, and the dominant terpene in both tissues was α-pinene (11.1 ± 0.2 and 7.6 ± 0.7 mg/g, respectively). Total terpenoid concentration of juniper leaves was greater in spring than summer (20.6 ± 0.5 vs. 16.7 ± 0.3 mg/g, respectively) and was lower in short saplings than medium or tall saplings (16.5 ± 0.6 vs. 19.8 ± 0.4 and 19.5 ± 0.4 mg/g, respectively). Total terpenoid concentration of leaves also differed among the three defoliation categories (21.2 ± 0.6, 18.7 ± 0.5, and 16.1 ± 0.4 mg/g for light, moderate, and heavy, respectively). The smallest subset of terpenoids able to discriminate between light and heavy browsing intensity categories included eight compounds ([E]-β-farnesene, bornyl acetate, γ-eudesmol, endo-fenchyl acetate, γ-cadinene, α-pinene, cis-piperitol, and cis-p-menth-2-en-1-ol). Our results suggest terpenoid concentrations in one-seed juniper are related to season, sapling size, and browsing by small ruminants. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA).


Giraud A.,CNRS Georesources lab | Sevostianov I.,NMSU
International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences | Year: 2013

A new micromechanical approach to analytical modeling of oolitic limestone is proposed. Limestone is modeled as a multiphase composite consisting of sparry calcite matrix, spherical oolitic inhomogeneities, oblate spheroidal pores of aspect ratio 0.2, and concave pores in the shape of superspheres (the concavity factor is the key parameter affecting overall properties). Maxwell's homogenization scheme is used to calculate effective bulk and shear moduli of this multiphase composite as functions of total porosities. The results are in good agreement with experimental data available in the literature. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Vella F.,University of Perugia | Dal Palu A.,University of Parma | Dovier A.,University of Udine | Formisano A.,University of Perugia | Pontelli E.,NMSU
CEUR Workshop Proceedings | Year: 2013

This paper illustrates the design and implementation of a prototype ASP solver that is capable of exploiting the parallelism offered by general purpose graphical processing units (GPGPUs). The solver is based on a basic conflictdriven search algorithm. The core of the solving process develops on the CPU, while most of the activities, such as literal selection, unit propagation, and conflictanalysis, are delegated to the GPU. Moreover, a deep non-deterministic search, involving a very large number of threads, is also delegated to the GPU. The initial results confirm the feasibility of the approach and the potential offered by GPUs in the context of ASP computations.


McDunn T.,University of Michigan | Bougher S.,University of Michigan | Murphy J.,NMSU | Kleinbohl A.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets | Year: 2013

We characterize middle-atmosphere polar warming (PW) using nearly three Martian years of temperature observations by the Mars Climate Sounder. We report the observed structure of PW and share hypotheses as to possible explanations, which have yet to be tested with global dynamical models. In the data, PW manifested between p = 15 Pa and p = 4.8×10-3 Pa. The latitude where PW maximized shifted poleward with decreasing pressure. The nightside magnitude was larger than the dayside magnitude. The maximum nightside magnitudes ranged from 22 to 67 K. As expected, the annual maximum magnitude in the north occurred during late-local fall to middle-local winter. In the south it occurred during late-local winter. Also as expected, the maximum magnitude near MY 28's southern winter solstice was smaller than that at that same year's northern winter solstice, when a global dust storm was occurring. Unexpectedly, the maximum magnitude at southern winter solstice was comparable to that at northern winter solstice for both MY 29 and MY 30, years that did not experience global dust storms but certainly experienced greater dust loading during L s = 270° than Ls = 90°. Another unexpected result was a hemispheric asymmetry in PW magnitude during most of the observed equinoxes. This paper also provides tables of (1) averaged temperatures as a function of latitude, pressure, and season, and (2) the maximum polar warming features as a function of pressure and season. These tables can be used to validate GCM calculations of middle-atmosphere temperatures and constrain calculations of unobserved winds. Key PointsPolar warming is characterized based on nearly three MYs of MCS temperaturesAverage temperatures are provided for validation of modeled temperaturesPolar warming characteristics are provided for constraint of modeled winds ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Andic A.,NMSU | McAteer R.T.J.,NMSU
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

The processes governing energy storage and release in the Sun are both related to the solar magnetic field. We demonstrate the existence of a magnetic connection between the energy released by a flare and increased oscillatory power in the lower solar atmosphere. The oscillatory power in active regions tends to increase in response to explosive events at other locations, but not in the active region itself. We carry out timing studies and show that this effect is probably caused by a large-scale magnetic connection between the regions, instead of a globally-propagating wave. We show that oscillations tend to exist in longer-lived wave trains with short periods (P < 200 s) at the time of a flare. These wave trains may be mechanisms by which flare energy can be redistributed throughout the solar atmosphere. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Walker M.,NMSU
Bioethics | Year: 2014

The primary question to be addressed here is whether pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), used for both negative and positive trait selection, benefits potential supernumerary embryos. The phrase 'potential supernumerary embryos' is used to indicate that PGD is typically performed on a set of embryos, only some of which will be implanted. Prior to any testing, each embryo in the set is potentially supernumerary in the sense that it may not be selected for implantation. Those embryos that are not selected, and hence destroyed or frozen, are 'actually supernumerary'. The argument to be advanced is hypothetical: If embryos may be said to benefit or be harmed by our actions, then PGD used to select for an embryo or embryos with the highest expected Wellbeing benefits potential supernumerary embryos. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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