Sounds and visual effects of slot machines increase desire to play

A study carried out by researchers at the University of Alberta focused on how the various sound or visual modes of slot machines can increase the appeal of these games and substantially induce gambling.
The result was perhaps predictable: all those little lights and sounds that these machines emit only increase the desire to play again.

For games like this, and especially LED screens, it’s been said that blue light blocking glasses can have an adverse effect on health.

The study was conducted by Marcia Spetch, a researcher at the Department of Psychology, who immediately makes it clear that this also applies to virtual slot machines, those that can be found on the Internet and which have become very popular in recent years.
Among the most “attractive” or “bewitching” sounds there are those of coins and among the images that of the dollar symbol.

All these features also make the winnings, when they happen, more “memorable”, as the researcher herself explains: “Such signals are prevalent in casinos and probably increase the appeal of slot machine gambling”.
In addition, the same researchers found that the subjects they experimented on preferred to play on slot machines that were richer in these signals and sounds, regardless of the machine’s risk level and when these sounds or visual effects appeared.

“People should be aware that their attraction and sense of victory can be biased,” explains Christopher Madan, researcher at the University of Nottingham and other author of the study, published in the journal Addiction .


Blue light blocking glasses

Data centers consume less energy than thought according to new models

Very often when we talk about electricity consumption we mention the data centers, essential centers for the functioning of the Internet itself. According to a new study produced by researchers from various institutes, however, data centers can no longer be cited as one of the main causes of the growing consumption of electricity in the world because in recent years there have been very important improvements in the efficiency of these systems.

The models that researchers have calculated, in fact, reveal that, although the data centers themselves have increased in number in the world, in the last 10 years the power consumption would have remained almost unchanged.
This can be explained by the continuous improvements in the efficiency of the data centres themselves, both as regards the computers themselves and the cooling systems.

Of course, this does not mean that the information technology industry and policy makers can “rest on their laurels”, as Eric Masanet, one of the authors of the study, explains: “We believe that the remaining efficiency potential is sufficient to last several more years. But the growing demand for data means that everyone, including policy makers, data center operators, equipment manufacturers and data consumers, must step up their efforts to avoid a possible increase in power consumption at the end of this decade.

The study, published in Science , made use of various data from various sources, including data on market developments in the data centre and server sector.
The researchers concluded that the efficiency gains in recent years are much greater than those observed in other sectors of the global economy.

Irrigating agricultural land with saltwater is possible thanks to mushrooms

The ability to irrigate your fields with saltwater would mean a major revolution for all those arid areas of the world that are unable to grow real crops because of the climate. It never happened because salt causes irreparable damage to plants.

But new research at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) shows that there is hope. According to the researchers who worked with Egyptian scientists, it is possible to water tomato fields with saltwater thanks to the desert mushroom.

Mohamed Abd al-Aziz also participated in the study, working on the project with Heribert Hirt. The same researcher acknowledges that increasing the salt tolerance of plants can be a very important discovery, but we must also achieve this goal in a sustainable and economical way.

The researchers used Piriformospora, a species that establishes a symbiotic relationship with plants, contributing to their growth under salt stress conditions. Studies conducted by researchers show that this fungus can improve the growth of tomato plants treated with long-lasting salt irrigation.

The researchers conducted experiments in tomato greenhouses for four months, studying the genetic and enzymatic features of two groups of plants, one of which was colonized by Piriformospora and the other not. The researchers found that the fungus enhances the expression of a certain gene in the leaves called LeNHX1.

This gene, along with other members of the same family, is responsible for the removal of sodium from the cells. Sodium accumulation can have a negative effect on plant metabolism when they deal with salt water. In addition, the researchers also found that plants treated with fungus showed higher levels of potassium in leaves, shoots and roots, indicating a higher level of activity of antioxidant enzymes.

Finally, fungus treatment increased yields by 22% under normal conditions and by 65% under salt watering.

According to the same researchers, this is a relatively simple and economical method, which can also be used for large-scale agriculture.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to William Kaelin, Gregg Semenza and Peter Ratcliffe.

This morning the names of the Nobel Prize winners in medicine were revealed. This was the first announcements of the new season of 2019 and one of the most interesting, as many people believe that Greta Tunberg could become one of the most serious candidates for the prestigious world prize, which will be awarded on Friday.

The Medicine Prize will be awarded to two American researchers, William Cailin and Gregg Semyonza, and one British researcher, Peter Ratcliffe.

The reasons for this lie in the research that the three researchers conducted on how oxygen levels can affect cellular metabolism and physiological functions, and which “paved the way for new promising strategies to combat anemia, cancer and many other diseases,” as noted by the same jury.

This discovery may indeed make it possible to create new drugs that, for example, regulate our body’s cells in such a way that they adapt to changes in oxygen levels, such as excessive oxygen depletion.

William Cailin, 61, is currently a research fellow at Howard Hughes Medical School in the states, and Gregg L. Semenza works at the Johns Hopkins University Institute of Cellular Engineering.

Peter Ratcliffe, 65, works at the Francis Crick Institute in London and heads the Target Discovery Institute in Oxford.