Sunday, 26 March 2017

‘Your animal life is over. Machine life has begun.’ The road to immortality

‘Your animal life is over. Machine life has begun.’ The road to immortality

In California, radical scientists and billionaire backers think the technology to extend life – by uploading minds to exist separately from the body – is only a few years away. Here’s what happens. You are lying on an operating table, fully conscious, but rendered otherwise insensible, otherwise incapable of movement. A humanoid machine appears at your side, bowing to its task with ceremonial formality. With a brisk sequence of motions, the machine removes a large panel of bone from the rear...

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Scientists issue ‘apocalyptic’ warning about climate change

Scientists issue ‘apocalyptic’ warning about climate change

Researchers studying the largest-ever mass extinction in Earth’s history claim to have found evidence that it was caused by runaway global warming – and that the “apocalyptic” events of 250 million years ago could happen again. About 90 per cent of all the living things on the planet were wiped out in the Permian mass extinction – described in a 2005 book called When Life Nearly Died – for reasons that have been long debated by scientists. Competing theories have been put forward, including meteor strikes, huge volcanic eruptions and climate change.

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For insect detectives, the trickiest cases involve the bugs that aren't there

For insect detectives, the trickiest cases involve the bugs that aren't there

People with delusional parasitosis believe they need help not from a psychiatrist but from an insect specialist, so many turn to entomologists.

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Who Killed the Iceman? Clues Emerge in a Very Cold Case

Who Killed the Iceman? Clues Emerge in a Very Cold Case

When the head of a small Italian museum called Detective Inspector Alexander Horn of the Munich Police, she asked him if he investigated cold cases.

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The strange case of the phantom Pokemon

The strange case of the phantom Pokemon

In August 2016, a woman claimed to have been attacked by a real Pokemon. Her terrifying hallucination reveals the mysterious 'twilight zone' between waking and sleep—a strange state of consciousness that may also lie behind various phenomena, from the Salem Witch Trials to alien abductions. Psychologist Matthew Tompkins explains.

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Study on hormone fluctuations finds women feel more assertive when they are fertile

Study on hormone fluctuations finds women feel more assertive when they are fertile

Female hormones impact women’s assertiveness and sexual availability, according to a study recently published in Psychoneuroendocrinology. Previous studies of female sexual behavior have found that women are the fussier sex when it comes to mate selection. This is thought to be because women put in the greater parental investment due to pregnancy, giving birth, breast feeding and historically being the primary carer for the offspring, whilst the male took on a hunter-gatherer role. Therefore, females are more selective in choosing a high quality mate that compensates for their parental investment.

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Elon Musk's Tesla Solar Shingles Are About to Go On Sale

Elon Musk's Tesla Solar Shingles Are About to Go On Sale

Elon Musk’s plan for an all-Tesla existence is about to get one step closer, when his high-tech solar roof shingles go on sale in April. Musk tweeted that Tesla would start taking orders for the unique solar tiles in April on Friday in the middle of a massive news-dump about the upcoming Tesla Model 3. Tesla’s new solar roof, made from a sophisticated new kind of glass tile that disguises solar panels as ordinary shingles, was announced as the icing on top of the Tesla and Solar City merger-cake.

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How to hunt for a black hole with a telescope the size of Earth

How to hunt for a black hole with a telescope the size of Earth

Here's how to catch a black hole. First, spend many years enlisting eight of the top radio observatories across four continents to join forces for an unprecedented hunt. Next, coordinate plans so that those observatories will simultaneously turn their attention to the same patches of sky for several days. Then, collect observations at a scale never before attempted in science — generating 2 petabytes of data each night.

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A Delightful Dictionary for Canadian English

A Delightful Dictionary for Canadian English

A reference book delves into the history of Canadian terms such as “toque,” “double-double,” and even “eh.”

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Inactive teens develop lazy bones, study finds

Inactive teens develop lazy bones, study finds

Inactive teens have weaker bones than those who are physically active, according to a new study. Researchers with UBC and the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, measured the physical activity and bone strength of 309 teenagers over a specific four-year period that is crucial for lifelong, healthy skeletal development.

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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Flying water taxis are coming to Paris this summer.

Flying water taxis are coming to Paris this summer.

Lo and behold, flying machines straight out of a Jetsons cartoon are set to become a reality. Think Uber but as a boat which hovers above the water– so basically, a flying boat taxi, right here along the Paris Seine River..

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The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles

The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles

Certain kinds of exercise may mitigate the effects of aging at the cellular level.

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Friday, 24 March 2017

Millennials earn 20% less than Boomers did at same stage of life

Millennials earn 20% less than Boomers did at same stage of life

Baby Boomers: your millennial children are worse off than you. With a median household income of $40,581, millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated, according to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles.

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World's largest artificial Sun rises in Germany

World's largest artificial Sun rises in Germany

Germany's DLR has constructed the world's largest artificial Sun. The three-storey "Synlight" electrically-powered sun lamp will be used for various research projects, including developing processes for producing hydrogen fuel using sunlight.

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A 130-Year-Old Fact About Dinosaurs Might Be Wrong

A 130-Year-Old Fact About Dinosaurs Might Be Wrong

New research on the creatures’ family tree could “shake dinosaur paleontology to its core.”

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'Devastating' coral loss in South China Sea

'Devastating' coral loss in South China Sea

Scientists are warning of another "devastating" loss of coral due to a spike in sea temperatures. They say 40% of coral has died at the Dongsha Atoll in the South China Sea. Nothing as severe has happened on Dongsha for at least 40 years, according to experts. Anne Cohen of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, US, said the high water temperatures of 2015/16 were devastating for reef systems globally, including Dongsha.

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3-D Organ Printing Breakthrough Could Help Save 175,000 Lives a Year Worldwide

3-D Organ Printing Breakthrough Could Help Save 175,000 Lives a Year Worldwide

The promise of 3-D printing organs has been around almost for as long as we’ve had 3-D printers. Now, scientists with the University of California – San Diego have made a significant breakthrough to help make it happen. Part of the problem with building a 3-D organ is mimicking the complex blood vessel structure both within the organ, and surrounding it which connects it with the rest of the body’s cardiovascular system. Earlier this year, the Chen Lab for BioNanomaterials succeeded in putting together a vascular system integrated within specimen tissue.

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Tesla Model 3 will give ‘superhuman’ safety to driver and be ’10x safer than current cars’, says Tesla analyst Adam Jonas

Tesla Model 3 will give ‘superhuman’ safety to driver and be ’10x safer than current cars’, says Tesla analyst Adam Jonas

Even though Tesla CEO Elon Musk already announced that the company aims for the Model 3 to score 5 stars in every safety category, Morgan Stanley’s Tesla analyst Adam Jonas says that the vehicle’s safety could be an underrated feature that will give the vehicle a competitive edge. Jonas sent a new note to clients today and referred to the Model 3’s safety features as an ‘ah-hah!’ moment when the car will launch later this year.

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Drug 'reverses' ageing in animal tests

Drug 'reverses' ageing in animal tests

Mice had more stamina, hair and improved organ function with the drug.

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Gun injuries cost Americans $730 million a year in hospital bills

Gun injuries cost Americans $730 million a year in hospital bills

The total cost for initial inpatient hospitalization for firearm-related injuries was $6.6 billion. The federal government's portion was $2.7 billion.

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Plans for coal-fired power plants drop by almost half in 2016

Plans for coal-fired power plants drop by almost half in 2016

Twenty-sixteen saw a "dramatic" decline in the number of coal-fired power stations in pre-construction globally. The authors of a new study say there was a 48% fall in planned coal units, with a 62% drop in construction starts. The report, from several green campaign groups, claims changing policies and economic conditions in China and India were behind the decline. However, the coal industry argues the fuel will remain essential to economic growth in Asia for decades to come.

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Special glasses give people superhuman colour vision

Special glasses give people superhuman colour vision

A pair of spectacles filter light to trick the eyes into seeing colour differently, letting people distinguish between hues that look the same but aren't

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Japanese company develops a solar cell with record-breaking 26%+ efficiency

Japanese company develops a solar cell with record-breaking 26%+ efficiency

A group of researchers funded by a Japanese government program develops “industrially compatible” cells. Solar panels are cheaper than ever these days, but installation costs can still be considerable for homeowners. More efficient solar panels can recapture the cost of their installation more quickly, so making panels that are better at converting sunlight into electricity is a key focus of solar research and development. The silicon-based cells that make up a solar panel have a theoretical efficiency limit of 29 percent, but so far that number has proven elusive. Practical efficiency rates in the low-20-percent range have been...

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A San Francisco startup just created the world's first lab-grown chicken

A San Francisco startup just created the world's first lab-grown chicken

San Francisco-based startup Memphis Meats says it has made the world's first lab-grown chicken strips from animal cells. On March 14, Memphis Meats invited a handful of taste-testers to their kitchen to try it. And according to the company, they said it tastes just like chicken. "It is thrilling to introduce the first chicken and duck that didn’t require raising animals. This is a historic moment for the clean meat movement," Memphis Meats' cofounder and CEO, Uma Valeti, said in a press release.

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Large Hadron Collider discovers five hidden subatomic particles

Large Hadron Collider discovers five hidden subatomic particles

Five new particles have been discovered 'hiding in plain sight' at the Large Hadron Collider. The discovery comes from the collider's LHCb detector, or LHC beauty, which searches for objects such as antimatter. The five new particles are examples of baryons, which means they are made up of three fundamental particles called quarks, and all of them were discovered at once. "The exceptionality of this discovery is that observing five new states all at once is a rather unique event," said CERN's Stefania Pandolfi.

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Cities are Looking to Implement Electric Vehicles for Public Services

Cities are Looking to Implement Electric Vehicles for Public Services

Despite Trump’s Administration signaling its efforts to keep fossils fuels relevant, cities are taking matters into their own hands by looking into the use of electric vehicles for public services. Many cities already use hybrid solutions for public transportation, but are now negotiating with the auto industry to provide them with vehicles that can be used for other services such as police, fire, medical, waste, and much more.

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Stephen Hawking is going to space

Stephen Hawking is going to space

Professor Stephen Hawking will soon see one of his biggest dreams become reality as he's set to venture into outer space soon.

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These Parrots Can Make Other Parrots 'Laugh' — a First

These Parrots Can Make Other Parrots 'Laugh' — a First

Forget the laughing kookaburra—kea are the birds that really tickle each other's funny bones. The highly intelligent parrot has a specific call, that—like human laughter—puts other parrots that hear it in a good mood. This makes the kea the first known non-mammal to show contagious emotion, joining the ranks of humans, rats, and chimpanzees.

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Germany Converts Coal Mine Into Giant Battery Storage for Surplus Solar and Wind Power

Germany Converts Coal Mine Into Giant Battery Storage for Surplus Solar and Wind Power

Germany is embarking on an innovative project to turn a hard coal mine into a giant battery that can store surplus solar and wind energy and release it when supplies are lean. The Prosper-Haniel coal mine in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia will be converted into a 200 megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric reservoir that acts like a giant battery. The capacity is enough to power more than 400,000 homes, Governor Hannelore Kraft said, according to Bloomberg.

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Stop What You’re Doing and Watch This Stunning Video of Mars

Stop What You’re Doing and Watch This Stunning Video of Mars

A new aerial video of Mars, made from high-res satellite imagery, gives a gorgeous, 3D sense of the planet's topography

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On Cognitive Doping in Chess (and Life)

On Cognitive Doping in Chess (and Life)

Thinking more effectively may mean thinking more slowly.

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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Secret Crime-Fighter Revealed to Be 1930s Physicist

Secret Crime-Fighter Revealed to Be 1930s Physicist

Nine recently unearthed notebooks record the true scope of work done by the mysterious forensics pioneer called “Detective X.” By Veronique Greenwood.

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How do cuckoos know they are cuckoos?

How do cuckoos know they are cuckoos?

How do the chicks of birds that use other birds to raise their young, such as cuckoos and koels know that they are cuckoos or koels and not the other type of bird?

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It’s Time to Take the Gaia Hypothesis Seriously

It’s Time to Take the Gaia Hypothesis Seriously

“Perhaps life is something that happens not on a planet but to a planet: It is something that a planet becomes.” By David Grinspoon

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Homo Faber

Homo Faber

Discovering the infinite universe. By Lewis H. Lapham.

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Canada's first spaceport could host launches in 2020

Canada's first spaceport could host launches in 2020

Canada will finally have its own spaceport courtesy of private space corporation Maritime Launch Services. The company plans to start building (PDF) the facility next year in an isolated town on Nova Scotia's eastern coast. It decided on the site after assessing 14 different candidates. The town's and surrounding areas' low population density and the fact that rockets launching from the spaceport will fly over a large body of water make it the perfect location.

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A hot bath has benefits similar to exercise

A hot bath has benefits similar to exercise

Many cultures swear by the benefits of a hot bath. But only recently has science began to understand how passive heating (as opposed to getting hot and sweaty from exercise) improves health. At Loughborough University we investigated the effect of a hot bath on blood sugar control (an important measure of metabolic fitness) and on energy expended (number of calories burned). We recruited 14 men to take part in the study. They were assigned to an hour-long soak in a hot bath (40˚C) or an hour of cycling.

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A pioneering pool of enterobacteria lead the charge in colonising your coffee machine leach tray

A pioneering pool of enterobacteria lead the charge in colonising your coffee machine leach tray

Scientists have now begun to explore how bacteria begin to colonise - and diversify - in that most toxic of environments - your coffee machine leach tray.

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Monday, 20 March 2017

Earliest depiction of 'Fiery Serpent' found in medieval painting.

Earliest depiction of 'Fiery Serpent' found in medieval painting.

Italian researchers examining a medieval painting may have found the earliest depiction of dracunculiasis, a parasitic infection in which a long worm creeps out of the skin. The parasite could have earned its nickname 'fiery serpent' because it causes excruciating burning pain as it bursts through the skin.

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Lotus inspires stent designers

Lotus inspires stent designers

The self-cleaning abilities of a popular plant provides clues to cutting deaths linked to stent surgery. The number of cyborgs in our midst is growing rapidly. From heart to hip, many of us will end up with a medical implant at some time in our lives. In Australia, stent implants to unblock coronary arteries are one of the top five procedures in hospital emergency rooms, but once inserted into the body, the surface of implants can cause life-threatening blood clots or bacterial infections.

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Stephen Hawking is being sent to space

Stephen Hawking is being sent to space

Stephen Hawking is going to go to space. The cosmologist and physicist will leave the Earth on board Richard Branson's spaceship, he has said. Professor Hawking told Good Morning Britain that he'd never dreamed he'd be able to head into space. But "Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic, and I said yes immediately", he said.

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How Aristotle Created the Computer

How Aristotle Created the Computer

The philosophers he influenced set the stage for the technological revolution that remade our world.

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US President-Elect Donald Trump has said vaccines cause autism, and he couldn't be more wrong

US President-Elect Donald Trump has said vaccines cause autism, and he couldn't be more wrong

The President-Elect of the United States of America has said he believes that vaccines are harmful, and has repeatedly and erroneously claimed that they cause autism. This is untrue and it's dangerous. Back in 1998, British medical researcher Andrew Wakefield published a paper in the health journal The Lancet which claimed to show a link between children who were given the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism and bowel disease.

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An ancient memorization strategy might cause lasting changes to the brain

An ancient memorization strategy might cause lasting changes to the brain

Weird as it might sound, there are competitive rememberers out there who can memorize a deck of cards in seconds or dozens of words in minutes. So, naturally, someone decided to study them. It turns out that practicing their techniques doesn't just improve your memory — it can also change how your brain works.

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Conducting the Milgram experiment in Poland, psychologists show people still obey

Conducting the Milgram experiment in Poland, psychologists show people still obey

A replication of one of the most widely known obedience studies, the Stanley Milgram experiment, shows that even today, people are still willing to harm others in pursuit of obeying authority.

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Great Barrier Reef obit maybe not so premature

Great Barrier Reef obit maybe not so premature

ENVIRONMENT -- I took a lot of grief and criticism in October from around the world, perhaps not totally undeserved, for promoting an obituary for the Great Barrier Reef. This week, the science journal Nature and The New York Times are suggesting the notion isn't...

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Yale Researchers Find That Autism Genes Helped Us to Become Smarter

Yale Researchers Find That Autism Genes Helped Us to Become Smarter

The study might also help us to identify the prodigy gene, should it exist.    

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Saturday, 18 March 2017

Newly Developed Nanowire Retinal Prosthesis Could Restore Sight to the Blind

Newly Developed Nanowire Retinal Prosthesis Could Restore Sight to the Blind

A La Jolla based startup, Nanovision Biosciences Inc, working together with a team of engineers from the University of California San Diego, have developed the wireless electronics and nanotechnology required for a new type of retinal prosthesis. This new development brings research a step closer to restoring the ability of neurons in the retina to …

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Near-death experiences: A science to bright lights and bliss?

Near-death experiences: A science to bright lights and bliss?

In a new book examining the “science of near-death experiences,” Northland ophthalmologist John Hagan presents a compelling study of people certain that they drifted, happily, to another place.

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Puppy love: therapy pooches bring peace of mind

Puppy love: therapy pooches bring peace of mind

Tucked away in Spain's Pyrenees mountains, patients at psychiatric facility Benito Menni stretch out across floor mats and stroke greyhound puppies Atila and Argi. Puppy love is part of the treatment for conditions such as schizophrenia.

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