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Little evidence that chemical imbalance causes depression, UCL scientists find

The antidepressant drug ProzacScientists have called into question the widespread use of antidepressants after a major review found “no clear evidence” that low serotonin levels are responsible for depression.

Prescriptions for antidepressants have risen dramatically since the 1990s, with one in six adults and 2% of teenagers in England now being prescribed them. Millions more people around the world regularly use antidepressants.

“Many people take antidepressants because they have been led to believe their depression has a biochemical cause, but this new research suggests this belief is not grounded in evidence,” said the study’s lead author, Joanna Moncrieff, a professor of psychiatry at University College London and consultant psychiatrist at North East London NHS foundation trust. More


Take a leisurely drive through automotive history in Ford’s newly digitized archive

Images can be downloaded free of charge for personal useFord is officially 119 years old, and in celebration, the Blue Oval is launching an online archive so car enthusiasts can sift through its long and storied past.

The Ford Heritage Vault is a digital database that contains more than 5,000 curated photographs and product brochures from Ford and Lincoln vehicles, spanning from the company’s founding in 1903 to its centennial in 2003.

The vault allows anyone to view and download the images for “personal use, free of charge,” Ford says. The automaker will update the archive with more automotive ephemera over time, so the vault will only grow in size. More


How species form: What the tangled history of polar bear and brown bear relations tells us

 the polar bear and brown bear relationship is complex BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new study is providing an enhanced look at the intertwined evolutionary histories of polar bears and brown bears.

Becoming separate species did not completely stop these animals from mating with each other. Scientists have known this for some time, but the new research draws on an expanded dataset — including DNA from an ancient polar bear tooth — to tease out more detail. The story that emerges reveals complexities similar to those that complicate human evolutionary history. More


Say hi to Proteus, Amazon’s most advanced warehouse robot yet

no R2D2 found hereAmazon has unveiled its first fully autonomous mobile robot designed to help out at its distributions centers, though it’s not clear if it’ll be ready in time for the company’s fast-approaching and super-busy Prime Day shopping event.

The new robot, called Proteus, is a low-slung, wheel-based machine that trundles about on wheels. At first glance, and even second, it looks very much like a robot vacuum, but this device performs transportation tasks rather than cleaning duties. And just like a robot vacuum, Proteus uses sensors to help it navigate and avoid obstacles, including mobile ones such as humans. More


Can we think without using language?

wordthink is very very slowHumans have been expressing thoughts with language for tens (or perhaps hundreds) of thousands of years. It's a hallmark of our species — so much so that scientists once speculated that the capacity for language was the key difference between us and other animals. And we've been wondering about each other's thoughts for as long as we could talk about them.

"The 'penny for your thoughts' kind of question is, I think, as old as humanity," Russell Hurlburt, a research psychologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas who studies how people formulate thoughts, told Live Science. But how do scientists study the relationship between thought and language? And is it possible to think without words? More


US Air Force tests its hypersonic missile and it's five times greater than the speed of sound

A Boeing B-52H Stratofortress in flight over the Persian GulfThe U.S. Air Force has successfully completed the test of its AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon or ARRW on May 14, the military outfit said in a press release.

Hypersonic weapons are the next frontier of warfare. Capable of traveling at speeds greater than five times that of sound, these missiles can cause much havoc. Last July, Russia claimed that it had successfully tested its hypersonic missile, Tsirkon, in a matter of just two years after it was announced.

Earlier this year, North Korea, too, announced the successful demonstration of a hypersonic gliding warhead. During the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Russia claimed to have used them. While these claims are hard to verify, the U.S. military's efforts have been lagging behind its adversaries in this domain, and work has been afoot to set this straight. More


Scientists grew living human skin around a robotic finger

 Living human skin covering a robotic finger can bend with the finger and self-heal The Terminator may be one step closer to reality. Researchers at the University of Tokyo have built a robotic finger that, much like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s titular cyborg assassin, is covered in living human skin.

The goal is to someday build robots that look like real people — albeit for more altruistic applications.

Super realistic-looking robots could more seamlessly interact with humans in medical care and service industries, say biohybrid engineer Shoji Takeuchi and his colleagues June 9 in Matter. (Whether cyborgs masked in living tissue would be more congenial or creepy is probably in the eye of the beholder.) More


The Roe v. Wade leak is bringing an onslaught of medical misinformation and dangerous DIY interventions

 abortion advocates and foes clash over the laws Since news broke that the U.S. Supreme Court is now in favor of overturning the historic Roe v. Wade decision, which would ban or significantly restrict abortion access in at least 22 states, the internet has been awash with misinformation.

Everything from fake narratives about women’s fertility, to “DIY” abortion alternatives, to conspiracy theories and misconceptions about reproductive health has permeated TikTok, Instagram and Twitter. The majority of the American public do not want to see an overturning of Roe v. Wade. For those who might need to circumvent state-imposed abortion bans, mail-order abortion pills — or abortifacients — are a key strategy.

Abortion advocates campaign for them as a way to help millions of people safely end unwanted pregnancies themselves. But among patients and doctors alike, public knowledge about abortion in the U.S. is lacking. A study conducted in 2020 showed that 36% of respondents had never heard of a medication abortion, made up of mifepristone and misoprostol, the drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to induce one. More


Road to Table: Wyoming's Got a New App for Claiming Roadkill

 There truly is an app for everything, including roadkill in Wyoming LANDER, Wyo. — The aroma of sizzling meat in melted butter wafts from a cast iron pan while Jaden Bales shows his favorite way to cook up the best steak cuts from a big game animal.

The deep red backstrap pieces, similar to filet mignon of beef, are organic and could hardly be more local. They're from a mule deer hit by a car just down the road from Bales' rustic home in a cottonwood grove beneath the craggy Wind River Range. Bales was able to claim the deer thanks to a new state of Wyoming mobile app that's helping get the meat from animals killed in fender benders from road to table and in the process making roads safer for critters. State wildlife and highway officials rolled out the app — possibly the first of its kind in the U.S. — this winter when Wyoming joined the 30 or so states that allow people to collect roadkill for food. More


Scientists create world’s biggest family tree linking 27 million people!

 Video grab showing the estimated geographic locations of modern and ancient human ancestors backwards in time. Estimates OXFORD, United Kingdom — The world’s biggest family tree linking around 27 million people has been created by scientists. The genetic model combines thousands of modern and prehistoric genomes, providing new insight into key events in human history.

The breakthrough is a major step towards mapping the entirety of human relationships, with a single lineage that traces the ancestry of all people on Earth. The family tree also has widespread implications for medical research, identifying genetic predictors of disease.

“We have basically built a huge family tree, a genealogy for all of humanity that models as exactly as we can the history that generated all the genetic variation we find in humans today. This genealogy allows us to see how every person’s genetic sequence relates to every other, along all the points of the genome,” says principal author Dr. Yan Wong in a university release. More


NASA's Perseverance Rover Captures Video of Solar Eclipse on Mars

An eclipse is a good place for a sun to hideNASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has captured dramatic footage of Phobos, Mars’ potato-shaped moon, crossing the face of the Sun. These observations can help scientists better understand the moon’s orbit and how its gravity pulls on the Martian surface, ultimately shaping the Red Planet’s crust and mantle.

Captured with Perseverance’s next-generation Mastcam-Z camera on April 2, the 397th Martian day, or sol, of the mission, the eclipse lasted a little over 40 seconds – much shorter than a typical solar eclipse involving Earth’s Moon. (Phobos is about 157 times smaller than Earth’s Moon. Mars’ other moon, Deimos, is even smaller.) More


Love it or hate it, licorice might just hold the key to curing cancer

 Don’t fill your car with licorice treats just yet CHICAGO, Ill. — Offering a distinct, almost bitter flavor profile, licorice is a candy most people either love or hate. Well, just like medicine, a new study finds it might be wise to grin and bear the taste — because licorice could also be good for your health. Researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago say this polarizing candy that comes from a root may one day help prevent and even treat certain types of cancer.

Gnanasekar Munirathinam, an associate professor in the department of biomedical sciences at the College of Medicine Rockford, authored these remarkable findings while studying substances derived from the licorice plant Glycyrrhiza glabra. At that time, Prof. Munirathinam and his team were focusing specifically on the effect of licorice on prostate cancer. More


30-second COVID test proves just as accurate as a PCR test

The motherboard of a COVID-19 rapid testing device that UF Health researchers helped develop is seen hereGAINESVILLE, Fla. — An inexpensive COVID testing system could screen for the virus in just 30 seconds, researchers from the University of Florida say.

Their study reveals that the new device is just as accurate as a PCR test, which has become the gold standard during the pandemic — but takes up to 24 hours for results to arrive.

Moreover, researchers say the new device costs just $50 to build and is reusable — unlike similar rapid testing devices which are trying to cut down waiting times for COVID patients. “There is nothing available like it,” says Josephine Esquivel-Upshaw, D.M.D., a professor in the UF College of Dentistry, in a university release. “It’s true point of care. It’s access to care. We think it will revolutionize diagnostics.” More


First ever recording of the moment someone dies reveals how our lives really do flash before us

brain activity near death A patient was being treated for epilepsy, hooked up to an electroencephalogram (EEG). The 87-year-old man's brain activity was being measured when he suddenly had a heart attack and died.

This meant the 15 minutes around his death was recorded on the EEG. In the 30 seconds either side of the patient's final heartbeat, an increase in very specific brain waves were spotted.

These waves, known as gamma oscillations, are linked to things like memory retrieval, meditation and dreaming. This could mean - although many more studies would need to take place - we might see a sort of film reel of our best memories as we die. More


NRAO and Optisys Partner Up to Produce 3D Devices for Radio Astronomy

very large array radio observatoryCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Recent advancements in 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) for metallic structures make it possible to print all-metal electromagnetic devices—like antennas and waveguides—on demand.

A new partnership between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Optisys, LLC, headquartered in West Valley City, Utah, will explore the potential for leveraging this technology for radio astronomy applications. In radio astronomy, the performance of antennas, waveguides, and other electromagnetic parts help determine the capability and sensitivity of radio telescopes and the quality of scientific data they deliver to researchers. The more capable and sensitive the antenna and other devices, the more scientists can learn about the Universe. NRAO’s Central Development Laboratory (CDL) is continuously testing new technologies in pursuit of building better telescopes. More


Chinese scientists create AI nanny to look after embryos in artificial womb

 technology could help solve some major reproductive problems for humans An artificial womb for fetuses to safely grow in, and a robotic nanny to monitor and take care of them.

All within the realm of possibility, say Chinese scientists, in what could be a breakthrough for the future of childbearing in a country facing its lowest birth rates in decades. That is, once the law allows the use of such technology.

Researchers in Suzhou, in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, say they have developed an artificial intelligence system that can monitor and take care of embryos as they grow into fetuses in an artificial womb environment. This AI nanny is looking after a large number of animal embryos for now, they said in findings published in the domestic peer-reviewed Journal of Biomedical Engineering last month. More


Mystery surrounding Tutankhamun’s ‘space dagger’ made of metal from a METEORITE finally solved

 dagger of King Tut The discovery backs a previous theory that the decorative shiv was gifted to King Tut’s grandfather from abroad.

The artefact's origins and the way it was manufactured remain one of the great mysteries surrounding Tut's grave goods. It's unusual in that it was made using a metal that the Egyptians would not begin to smelt for another 500 years: Iron.

In 2016, scientists determined that the chemical makeup of the 13-inch blade show that it was expertly crafted from an iron meteorite. Now an analysis from a team at the Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan has revealed that the object was likely made outside of Egypt. More


Water vapor detected on a 'super Neptune' planet

Illustration of a "super Neptune," TOI-674 bWASHINGTON - Scientists have discovered water vapor in the atmosphere of a recently discovered planet, NASA announced Thursday.

According to the agency, the planet, named TOI-674 b, is a bit bigger than Neptune and orbits a red-dwarf star about 150 light-years away — which is considered nearby in astronomical terms.

TOI-674 b is considered an exoplanet, or a planet around other stars, known to have water vapor in their atmospheres. The water vapor was discovered by an international team of scientists, led by Jonathan Brande of the University of Kansas, and included researchers from the NASA Ames Research Center and from IPAC and other research centers at Caltech. The discovery has been submitted to an academic journal. More


Our Language Has Gotten More Emotional. Why?

 language has become less rational over the last generation Language is getting less rational. That's the gist of new findings from researchers at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Indiana University. Their study—"The rise and fall of rationality in language," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America—found that the past 40 years have seen a shift from the language of rationality to the language of emotion.

The researchers looked at the language used in millions of English- and Spanish-language books published between 1850 and 2019, analyzing the use of 5,000 frequently used words. The rise of reasoning words like determine and conclusion and the decline of intuitive words like feel and believe could be seen starting around 1850 and lasting until the late 20th century. But over the past 40 years, this trend reversed, as words associated with intuition and emotion were used more frequently and words associated with fact-based arguments were used less frequently. More


Did Your Catalytic Converter Get Stolen? The Pandemic--and Rhodium--Could Share Some Blame

your catalytic converter got snatched for the valuable metals inside This is the most valuable metal on the planet.

More valuable than silver, gold, platinum, or even this jewelry. It’s this powder right here.

This jewelry is being treated with a thin coating of rhodium—a chemically inert, corrosion resistant metal. It protects the silver and gives it a nice shiny finish.

But you probably use rhodium, every single day, for another reason. Rhodium is a key ingredient in every car sold in the United States since around 1975. More


Scientists Have Captured Footage Of A Rare Fish That Can See Through Its Own Transparent Head

The elusive fish’s eyes are two brilliant green orbs behind its face that glance up towards the top of its head Scientists have obtained footage of a fish with a bulbous, translucent head and green orb-like eyes peering out through its forehead thousands of feet beneath the surface of Monterey Bay off the coast of California.

The barreleye fish (Macropinna microstoma) is a strange organism that is rarely seen. Despite sending their remotely operated vehicles (ROV) on more than 5,600 dives in the fish’s habitat, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have only sighted the species nine times, MBARI tweeted on Dec. 9. More


What The Matrix Got Wrong About Cities of the Future

The world of the Matrix is here. It’s nothing like what we imagined Like neo's pink, hairless body in The Matrix's great reveal, cities have been invaded by tubes for nearly their entire lives. Over the centuries, water pipes, gas pipes, steam pipes, electricity cables, and air ducts have crept across buildings and landscapes, coursing through walls, floors, and sidewalks on their way to making the modern world.

By a long margin, the water came first. Earthen conduits moved stormwater in Xi'an, China, millennia ago; lead tubes led drinking water under the stone-paved streets of classical Rome. In response to the waterborne pandemics of the 19th century, the modern European and North American city became defined by sewers and drains so extensive as to be beyond imagining. Today, when water tumbles out of the tap into your sink, it is but a cameo turn in an epic journey from faraway reservoir through final sewage treatment, across dozens—even hundreds—of miles, and months or years of time. More


NASA’s ‘Eyes on Asteroids’ Reveals Our Near-Earth Object Neighborhood

Eyes on Asteroids uses science data to help visualize asteroid and comet orbits around the Sun Through a new 3D real-time visualization tool, you can now explore the asteroids and comets that approach Earth’s orbital neighborhood – and the spacecraft that visit these objects – with a click or a swipe. NASA’s Eyes on Asteroids brings this data to any smartphone, tablet, or computer with an internet connection – no download required.

Thousands of asteroids and dozens of comets are discovered every single year, some of which – called near-Earth objects (NEOs) – follow orbits that pass through the inner solar system. Now totaling about 28,000, their numbers rising daily, these objects are tracked carefully by NASA-funded astronomers in case any might pose an impact threat to our planet.

The new web-based app depicts the orbits of every known NEO, providing detailed information on those objects. Using the slider at the bottom of the screen, you can travel quickly forward and backward through time to see their orbital motions. More


Cryptocurrency faces a quantum computing problem

An IBM quantum computer Cryptocurrencies hold the potential to change finance, eliminating middlemen and bringing accounts to millions of unbanked people around the world. Quantum computers could upend the way pharmaceuticals and materials are designed by bringing their extraordinary power to the process.

Here's the problem: The blockchain accounting technology that powers cryptocurrencies could be vulnerable to sophisticated attacks and forged transactions if quantum computing matures faster than efforts to future-proof digital money.

Cryptocurrencies are secured by a technology called public key cryptography. The system is ubiquitous, protecting your online purchases and scrambling your communications for anyone other than the intended recipient. The technology works by combining a public key, one that anyone can see, with a private key that's for your eyes only. More


These Algorithms Look at X-Rays—and Somehow Detect Your Race

A study raises new concerns that AI will exacerbate disparities in health care AMillions of dollars are being spent to develop artificial intelligence software that reads x-rays and other medical scans in hopes it can spot things doctors look for but sometimes miss, such as lung cancers. A new study reports that these algorithms can also see something doctors don’t look for on such scans: a patient’s race.

The study authors and other medical AI experts say the results make it more crucial than ever to check that health algorithms perform fairly on people with different racial identities. Complicating that task: The authors themselves aren’t sure what cues the algorithms they created use to predict a person’s race.

Evidence that algorithms can read race from a person’s medical scans emerged from tests on five types of imagery used in radiology research, including chest and hand x-rays and mammograms. The images included patients who identified as Black, white, and Asian. For each type of scan, the researchers trained algorithms using images labeled with a patient’s self-reported race. Then they challenged the algorithms to predict the race of patients in different, unlabeled images. More


Grow and eat your own vaccines?

Grant enables study of plants as mRNA factories The future of vaccines may look more like eating a salad than getting a shot in the arm. UC Riverside scientists are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories.

Messenger RNA or mRNA technology, used in COVID-19 vaccines, works by teaching our cells to recognize and protect us against infectious diseases.

One of the challenges with this new technology is that it must be kept cold to maintain stability during transport and storage. If this new project is successful, plant-based mRNA vaccines — which can be eaten — could overcome this challenge with the ability to be stored at room temperature. More


Lock of Sitting Bull’s hair confirms great-grandson’s identity

Geneticists used a lock of hair from Lakota Sioux leader Tatanka Iyotake, or Sitting Bull, to confirm his relationship to a living descendant Lakota Sioux Chief Tatanka Iyotake, known to the English-speaking world as Sitting Bull, spent decades fighting white settlers’ attempts to push the Sioux off their lands in the Western United States. After defeating U.S. Lt. Col. George Custer’s army at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, he became a synonym for Indigenous resistance.

Now, researchers have used badly fragmented DNA from Sitting Bull’s scalp lock—a short braid kept for ceremonial purposes—to confirm that a Sioux man from South Dakota is the storied chief’s great-grandson.

But the work, more than 10 years in the making, has raised questions among scientists who worry about how Indigenous data are used in research. “It’s cool from a forensic point of view,” says Keolu Fox, a Kanaka Maoli, or Native Hawaiian, geneticist at the University of California (UC), San Diego, who was not involved in the research. “But the real question is, would Sitting Bull have been comfortable with this?” More


Evidence Indicates There’s Another Planet the Size of Mars in Our Solar System

A rogue planet with a flash of an eclipsed star, and a cosmic background Our solar system has more surprises in store.

The eight official planets aren't the only ones that survived the formation of our solar system, and the Earth might have another sister planet lurking somewhere in interstellar space, in a "third zone" of the solar system, according to a recent paper published in the journal Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

This means that, if Planet 9 is out there, it might have a Mars-sized company. More


Human Footprints Found in New Mexico Are 23,000 Years Old – Long Before the Ice Age Glaciers Melted

The fossilized human footprints were buried in multiple layers of gypsum soil on a large playa in White Sands National Park New scientific research conducted at White Sands National Park in New Mexico has uncovered the oldest known human footprints in North America. The discovery reveals evidence of human occupation in the Tularosa Basin beginning at least 23,000 years ago, thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

“These incredible discoveries illustrate that White Sands National Park is not only a world-class destination for recreation but is also a wonderful scientific laboratory that has yielded groundbreaking, fundamental research,” said Superintendent Marie Sauter. More


China wants to build a mega spaceship that’s nearly a mile long

An artist's illustration of a futuristic spaceship orbiting Earth. The Chinese proposal aims to look into the feasibility China is investigating how to build ultra-large spacecraft that are up to 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) long. But how feasible is the idea, and what would be the use of such a massive spacecraft?

The project is part of a wider call for research proposals from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, a funding agency managed by the country's Ministry of Science and Technology. A research outline posted on the foundation's website described such enormous spaceships as "major strategic aerospace equipment for the future use of space resources, exploration of the mysteries of the universe, and long-term living in orbit."

The foundation wants scientists to conduct research into new, lightweight design methods that could limit the amount of construction material that has to be lofted into orbit, and new techniques for safely assembling such massive structures in space. If funded, the feasibility study would run for five years and have a budget of 15 million yuan ($2.3 million). More


In Argentina, giant rodents vie with the rich for top real estate

Also known as a carpincho or chiguire, the capybara is the largest rodent in the world and can measure up to 1.35 meters Families of a giant rodent native to South America have been invading a luxury gated community in Argentina, highlighting the country's controversial environmental and social policies.

Nordelta is a 1,600 hectare (3,950 acre) luxury private urban complex built on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, on a wetland from the Parana river that is the capybara's natural habitat. Many Nordelta residents have complained about capybara's ruining manicured lawns, biting pets and causing traffic accidents. More


A billionaire wants to build a utopia in the US desert. Seems like this could go wrong

Entrepreneur Marc Lore, left, at a high-tech aviation expo in Hawthorne, California. Lore wants to build a ‘city of the Welcome to Telosa, a $400bn “city of the future,” according to its founder, the billionaire Marc Lore. The city doesn’t exist yet, nor is it clear which state will house the experiment, but the architects of the proposed 150,000-acre project are scouting the American south-west. They’re already predicting the first residents can move in by 2030.

Telosa will eventually house 5 million people, according to its website, and benefit from a halo of utopian promises: avant-garde architecture, drought resistance, minimal environmental impact, communal resources. This hypothetical metropolis promises to take some of the most cutting-edge ideas about sustainability and urban design and make them reality. More


Rattlesnake rattles use auditory illusion to trick human brains

The Western diamondback rattlesnake, one of the species of rattlesnake known to use frequency jumps to trick the ear The menacing rattle of a rattlesnake's tail is far more sophisticated than first thought, as the sound can create an auditory illusion that suggests the venomous snake is closer to a potential threat than it really is, according to a new study.

Scientists think that rattlesnakes "rattle" the keratin structure on their tails to warn off predators, gradually increasing the frequency as a possible attacker gets closer. But now they've found the snake may have another trick in its arsenal — a sudden frequency jump in the rattling sound that it uses to fool its listener.

"Our data show that the acoustic display of rattlesnakes, which has been interpreted for decades as a simple acoustic warning signal about the presence of the snake, is in fact a far more intricate interspecies communication signal," senior study author Boris Chagnaud, a professor of neurobiology at Karl-Franzens-University Graz in Austria, said in a statement. More


Tesla May Be About To Open Up Its Superchargers For Other EVs In Europe

Open charging network very soon, starting maybe next month using Tesla app. It will start in Europe With the rise in electric vehicles production in the automobile industry and the increased demand for these sustainable vehicles, governments and authorities along with bigger companies are investing to facilitate the smooth execution and operation of these electric vehicles.

There is a need for better roads, infrastructure, and facilities like charging stations if the transition towards electric vehicles is expected to go without any obstructions.Owing to this explanation, Tesla will be opening its charging station in Europe soon. This charging station will be open to cars other than Tesla’s as well. This is the special feature of this station. The charging station will be made available to all the vehicles belonging to all the companies by next month. More


High-tech virtual wall is the latest defense at the US-Mexico border

equipment used at the U.S.-México border solar power SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico — The feds have turned to cutting-edge cameras developed by a virtual-reality wunderkind to help them monitor the southern border — by creating an invisible border wall.

The high-tech watch poles known as Autonomous Surveillance Towers are powered by solar energy and use artificial intelligence to detect movement along a two-mile radius, sending the information in real-time to agents patrolling the area.

And they’re now being installed at different points along the nearly 2,000 miles of the US-Mexico border.

“The ASTs are in remote locations that are difficult to reach,” Border Patrol agent Joel Freeland recently told The Post. “They operate 24-hours a day and are environmentally friendly because they rely entirely on solar power.” More


Hummingbirds Know How to Thwart Male Harassers

at some point in the birds’ evolution a few of these females got fed up with being harassed Jay Falk has some choice words for white-necked jacobins, the iridescent, blue-tinged hummingbirds he spent much of graduate school chasing through the Central American tropics. They’re “the show-off jerks of the hummingbird community,” he told me.

Falk, a biologist at the University of Washington, is deeply fond of the birds, who are gorgeous and clever and sassy. Sometimes, they’re brave enough to flit right up to him and inspect what he’s holding in his hand. But jacobins are also bullies, especially when they spot one of the species’ more modestly colored females, which sport green backs and mottled gray chests. These dull-feathered gals can’t even seek out a meal without being catcalled, pecked, or body slammed by their kin—acts that are sometimes about sex, sometimes about rudeness, and perhaps quite often about both. More


WHO issues new recommendations on human genome editing for the advancement of public health

editing genes can produce amazing creatures eugenic wonders Two new companion reports released today by the World Health Organization (WHO) provide the first global recommendations to help establish human genome editing as a tool for public health, with an emphasis on safety, effectiveness and ethics.

The forward-looking new reports result from the first broad, global consultation looking at somatic, germline and heritable human genome editing. The consultation, which spanned over two years, involved hundreds of participants representing diverse perspectives from around the world, including scientists and researchers, patient groups, faith leaders and indigenous peoples.

“Human genome editing has the potential to advance our ability to treat and cure disease, but the full impact will only be realized if we deploy it for the benefit of all people, instead of fueling more health inequity between and within countries,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. More


Our Genes Shape Our Gut Bacteria, New Research Shows

In the study, published recently in Science, researchers discovered that most bacteria in the gut microbiome are heritable after looking at more than 16,000 gut microbiome profiles

Our gut microbiome—the ever-changing "rain forest" of bacteria living in our intestines—is primarily affected by our lifestyle, including what we eat or the medications we take, most studies show. But a University of Notre Dame study has found a much greater genetic component at play than was once known.

In the study, published recently in Science, researchers discovered that most bacteria in the gut microbiome are heritable after looking at more than 16,000 gut microbiome profiles collected over 14 years from a long-studied population of baboons in Kenya's Amboseli National Park. However, this heritability changes over time, across seasons and with age. The team also found that several of the microbiome traits heritable in baboons are also heritable in humans. More


How do scientists calculate the age of a star?

Clusters of stars like this one, called NGC6405 or the Butterfly Cluster, formed all of their stars around the same time. That fact has helped astronomers figure out how old star clusters are We know quite a lot about stars. After centuries of pointing telescopes at the night sky, astronomers and amateurs alike can figure out key attributes of any star, like its mass or its composition. To calculate a star’s mass, just look it its orbital period and do a bit of algebra. To determine what it’s made of, look to the spectrum of light the star emits. But the one variable scientists haven’t quite cracked yet is time.

“The sun is the only star we know the age of,” says astronomer David Soderblom of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. “Everything else is bootstrapped up from there.” Even well-studied stars surprise scientists every now and then. In 2019 when the red supergiant star Betelgeuse dimmed, astronomers weren’t sure if it was just going through a phase or if a supernova explosion was imminent. (Turns out it was just a phase.) The sun also shook things up when scientists noticed that it wasn’t behaving like other middle-aged stars. More


Rats prefer to help their own kind

rats look after their tribe and humans do the same Washington [US] - A decade after scientists discovered that lab rats will rescue a fellow rat in distress, but not a rat they consider an outsider, new research from the University of California, Berkeley, pinpoints the brain regions that drive rats to prioritise their nearest and dearest in times of crisis. It also suggests humans may share the same neural bias.

The findings, published on July 13, in the journal eLife, suggest that altruism, whether in rodents or humans, is motivated by social bonding and familiarity rather than sympathy or guilt. More


This device harvests power from your sweaty fingertips while you sleep

the power is in your sweaty hands Feeling extra sweaty from a summer heat wave? Don’t worry–not all your perspiration has to go to waste. In a paper publishing July 13 in the journal Joule, researchers have developed a new device that harvests energy from the sweat on–of all places–your fingertips.

To date, the device is the most efficient on-body energy harvester ever invented, producing 300 millijoules (mJ) of energy per square centimeter without any mechanical energy input during a 10-hour sleep and an additional 30 mJ of energy with a single press of a finger. The authors say the device represents a significant step forward for self-sustainable wearable electronics. More


Indonesian Hunter-Gatherers Were Making Tiny Point Tools Thousands of Years Ago

An ancient Toalean tool Archaeologists from Griffith University, the University of New England and the Balai Arkeologi Sulawesi Selatan have examined a collection of stone and bone tools made by the Toaleans, a group of hunter-gatherer people who lived on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi between 1,500 and 8,000 years ago.

“The Toaleans lived in southernmost Sulawesi around 1,500-8,000 years ago,” said lead author Yinika Perston, a Ph.D. student in the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution at Griffith University.

“During this time, they produced several distinctive small tools that have not been found elsewhere on the island, including the so-called Maros points, which were possibly used as arrowheads and have fine tooth-like serrations.” More


Curiosity Spots Carbon Dioxide-Ice Clouds in Martian Skies

Curiosity captured these clouds just after sunset on March 19, 2021 In March 2021, NASA’s Curiosity rover observed clouds made of carbon dioxide (CO2) ice at high altitudes in the atmosphere of Mars.

Clouds are typically found at the equator of Mars in the coldest time of year, when the planet is the farthest from the Sun in its oval-shaped orbit.

But two Earth years ago, the Curiosity team members spotted clouds in the Martian atmosphere earlier than expected. This year, they were ready to start documenting these early clouds from the moment they first appeared in January. More


First-known pregnant mummy discovered

Researchers took scans of the mummy and found that the remains belonged to a pregnant woman Researchers have discovered the world's first-known pregnant mummy, dating from the first century in Egypt. The find was unexpected, as inscriptions on the mummy's coffin suggested the remains inside belonged to a male priest, according to a new study.

The mummy was donated to the University of Warsaw in Poland in 1826; only recently did archaeologists with the Warsaw Mummy Project conduct a detailed analysis of the mummy while studying the National Museum in Warsaw's collection of animal and human mummies.

X-ray and CT scans of the mummy revealed that the remains inside belonged to a female and did not match the coffin and cartonnage case that was made for a male. The mummy was obviously not the remains of a priest named Hor-Djehuty from ancient Thebes, whose name was inscribed onto the coffin, the researchers said. More


VW Will Design Its Own Chips For Self-Driving Cars

It's borrowing its strategy from Apple and Tesla Volkswagen won’t settle for off-the-shelf computing power with its self-driving cars.

As Reuters (via Autoblog) reports, company chief Herbert Diess told Handelsblatt in an interview that VW will design its own high-performance chips for autonomous vehicles.

It was a matter of eking out the best possible hardware, Diess said — much like Apple and Tesla, the move would give VW “higher competence” in defining its processors.

The automaker wouldn’t build the chips themselves, but did want to own patents. The company’s software division, Cariad, would expand to develop relevant expertise. A move like this might be key to VW’s goal of becoming a more agile, tech-savvy brand. Tesla relied on standard NVIDIA hardware for earlier cars, but has shifted to custom chips that give it more control over how Full Self-Driving and Autopilot will develop. More


These mysterious stone structures in Saudi Arabia are older than the pyramids

The landscape is dotted with ancient mustatils, which are named after the Arabic word for a rectangle Thousands of monumental structures built from walls of rock in Saudi Arabia are older than Egypt's pyramids and the ancient stone circles of Britain, researchers say – making them perhaps the earliest ritual landscape ever identified.

A study published Thursday in the journal Antiquity shows that the mysterious structures dotted around the desert in northwestern Saudi Arabia – called "mustatils" from the Arabic word for "rectangle" – are about 7,000 years old. That’s much older than expected, and about 2,000 years older than either Stonehenge in England or the oldest Egyptian pyramid.

“We think of them as a monumental landscape,” said Melissa Kennedy, an archaeologist at the University of Western Australia in Perth and an author of the study. “We are talking about over 1,000 mustatils.” More


Stars made of antimatter could lurk in the Milky Way

some of the universe’s antimatter may have survived in the form of stars Fourteen pinpricks of light on a gamma-ray map of the sky could fit the bill for antistars, stars made of antimatter, a new study suggests.

These antistar candidates seem to give off the kind of gamma rays that are produced when antimatter — matter’s oppositely charged counterpart — meets normal matter and annihilates. This could happen on the surfaces of antistars as their gravity draws in normal matter from interstellar space, researchers report online April 20 in Physical Review D.

“If, by any chance, one can prove the existence of the antistars … that would be a major blow for the standard cosmological model,” says Pierre Salati, a theoretical astrophysicist at the Annecy-le-Vieux Laboratory of Theoretical Physics in France not involved in the work. It “would really imply a significant change in our understanding of what happened in the early universe.” More


The Story of the Soviet Z80 Processor

 East Germany was all in on the Z80, Romania, Poland and Czechoslovakia made clones of the 8080, Bulgaria, the 6800 and 6502 Before we get into the fascinating story of the Soviet (specifically the Angstrem) Z80 clone it’s good to understand a bit about the IC industry in the USSR. There were many state run institutions within the USSR that were tasked with making IC’s.

These included analogs of various western parts, some with additional enhancements, as well as domestically designed parts. In some ways these institutions competed, it was a matter of pride, and funding to come out with new and better designs, all within the confines of the Soviet system. There were also the various Warsaw Pact countries (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania), that were aligned with the USSR but not part of it. These countries had their own IC production, outside of the auspices and direction of the USSR. They mainly supplied their own local markets (or within other Warsaw Pact countries) but also on occasion provided ICs to the USSR proper, though one would assume an assortment of bureaucratic paperwork was needed for such transfers. More


Neanderthals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech

Neanderthal skull with modern human skull in background Neanderthals -- the closest ancestor to modern humans -- possessed the ability to perceive and produce human speech, according to a new study published by an international multidisciplinary team of researchers including Binghamton University Associate Professor of Anthropology Rolf Quam and graduate student Alex Velez.

"This is one of the most important studies I have been involved in during my career," said Quam. "The results are solid and clearly show the Neanderthals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech. This is one of the very few current, ongoing research lines relying on fossil evidence to study the evolution of language, a notoriously tricky subject in anthropology." More


NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity’s first official flight rescheduled for early Monday

NASA Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is shown before being stored on to the mars rover Perseverance NASA officials said Saturday they’re targeting Monday, April 19, for a historic flight of a small helicopter on Mars that was postponed last weekend due to a technical problem.

The 4-pound helicopter named Ingenuity is now scheduled for approximately 12:30 a.m. PDT Monday.

A livestream will begin at 3:15 a.m. PDT as the helicopter team prepares to receive the data downlink in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, NASA said Saturday, April 17.

Ingenuity was designed and built at JPL. Simi Valley-based AeroVironment designed most of the hardware. More


100-Million-Year-Old Seafloor Sediment Bacteria Have Been Resuscitated

The seafloor-drilling ship Joides Resolution In 2010, Japanese scientists from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program’s Expedition 329 sailed into the South Pacific Gyre with a giant drill and a big question.

The gyre is a marine desert more barren than all but the aridest places on Earth. Ocean currents swirl around it, but within the gyre, the water stills and life struggles because few nutrients enter. Near the center is both the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility (made famous by H.P. Lovecraft as the home of the be-tentacled Cthulhu) and the South Pacific garbage patch. At times the closest people are astronauts passing above on the International Space Station.

The sea here is so miserly that it takes one million years for a meter of marine “snow”—corpses, poo and dust—to accumulate on the bottom. The tale of all that time can total as little as 10 centimeters. It is the least productive patch of water on the planet. More


Perseverance rover flexes its arm on Mars for the 1st time

rover wandering on another world NASA's Perseverance rover has spent a busy two weeks settling into its new home on Mars, most recently flexing its robotic arm for the first time.

Perseverance touched down on the Red Planet on Feb. 18 to begin work looking for traces of ancient life and selecting rock samples for a future mission to carry to Earth's laboratories for much more thorough examination. But before "Percy" sets off on those scientific adventures, the car-sized robot must first warm up, so to speak, testing its components and confirming nothing was damaged during the perilous landing.

"This week I’ve been doing lots of health checkouts, getting ready to get to work," NASA officials wrote in an update from the rover's Twitter account posted on March 3. "I’ve checked many tasks off my list, including instrument tests, imaging, and getting my arm moving." More


Part Robot, Part Frog: Xenobots Are the First Robots Made From Living Cells

Scientists reassemble a frog’s living cells into robotic devices — with no electronics requiredThe African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, typically lives in the streams and ponds of sub-Saharan Africa, scavenging for food that it rips apart with its feet. In January, researchers at the University of Vermont and Tufts University published a report that gave the amphibian a different lot in life. They harvested its embryonic skin and heart cells and reassembled the living matter into robotic devices — transforming Xenopus into xenobot.

Xenobots are the first robots made completely of living materials. They’re designed on a supercomputer running software that emulates natural selection: Algorithms determine possible effective tissue configurations for a xenobot to perform a specified task, such as moving through fluids or carrying a payload. The most promising designs are sculpted with tiny forceps and cauterizing irons, then set free in petri dishes, where the specks of amphibian flesh live for about a week before decomposing. There are no electronics involved. More


Life after death: Physicist Michio Kaku says digital immortality is 'within reach'

The expert believes the human consciousness could soon be transferred into a digital afterlife Scientists have been trying to find out whether life after death is real for centuries. Most of the world's religions describe some form of an afterlife but the world of science has not reached a verdict on the issue just yet. However, outside the realm of metaphysics, scientists are exploring how technology could extend our life after death.

Michio Kaku, best-selling author and professor at The City College of New York, believes life after death can be achieved through digital means.

This does not mean science will one day allow us to stand before the Pearly Gates but, rather, technology will be able to immortalise our memories, personalities and quirks in a way that will be accessible for future generations. More


The Milky Way is probably full of dead civilizations

 It says where and when life is most likely to occur in the Milky Way, and identifies the most important factor affecting its prevalenceMost of the alien civilizations that ever dotted our galaxy have probably killed themselves off already.

That's the takeaway of a new study, published Dec. 14 to the arXiv database, which used modern astronomy and statistical modeling to map the emergence and death of intelligent life in time and space across the Milky Way. Their results amount to a more precise 2020 update of a famous equation that Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence founder Frank Drake wrote in 1961. The Drake equation, popularized by physicist Carl Sagan in his "Cosmos" miniseries, relied on a number of mystery variables — like the prevalence of planets in the universe, then an open question. More


Study: Birds Are Linked to Happiness Levels

A new study demonstrates the link between birds and happiness A new study reveals that greater bird biodiversity brings greater joy to people, according to recent findings from the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research. In fact, scientists concluded that conservation is just as important for human well-being as financial security.

The study, published in Ecological Economics, focused on European residents, and determined that happiness correlated with a specific number of bird species.

"According to our findings, the happiest Europeans are those who can experience numerous different bird species in their daily life, or who live in near-natural surroundings that are home to many species," says lead author Joel Methorst, a doctoral researcher at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, the iDiv and the Goethe University in Frankfurt. More


This Smart Toilet Will Know You by the Shape of Your Asshole

A team of researchers at Stanford University developed a prototype smart toilet with four cameras that can identify users based on their "analprint." AYour butthole is like a snowflake: No two are exactly alike.

At least, that's the crux of a new scientific paper outlining the mechanisms for a smart toilet that identifies poopers based on video clips of their unique anuses.

Stanford researchers have created the panopticon of looking up your own ass, with a "smart toilet" that monitors your health by analyzing your stool, urine, and the timing of both, using four cameras and an array of sensors and identification systems. The paper, "A mountable toilet system for personalized health monitoring via the analysis of excreta," was published Monday in the journal Nature. More


How one MILLION people could live on the Red Planet

The winning projects were judged on how well-informed they were by the restraints of science and technical limitations but also on their creativity and coherenceMore than 87,000 people revealed their creative side as they tried to design the perfect Mars colony in the HP Mars Home Planet Rendering Challenge.

The winning entries were hand picked from the huge array of futuristic-looking, idealistic city designs - which had to show how they could support up to one million residents.

The competition challenged participants to “reinvent life on Mars” for the next giant leapt of mankind – Martian colonisation. Organised by tech company HP, the initiative pulled in architects, designers, artists and engineers from all over the globe. More


Cave Paintings Discovered Deep in Amazon Forest: The Sistine Chapel of Ancients

Incredible Cave Paintings 8 Miles-Long Discovered Deep in Amazon Forest Tens of thousands of pristine cave paintings were recently found daubed across an eight-mile stretch of rock in a once-in-a-century discovery in Colombia’s Amazon rainforest.

Hailed as the “Sistine Chapel of the Ancients,” it’s the kind of discovery that changes the world of archaeology.

Believed to be 12,500 years old, the art is extremely detailed, and includes handprints and depictions of Ice Age megafauna like the mastodon, a relative of the mammoth, Ice Age horses, and giant ground sloths. More


Solar power stations in space could be the answer to our energy needs

Wind and solar farms only produce energy when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining – but we need electricity around the clock, every day It sounds like science fiction: giant solar power stations floating in space that beam down enormous amounts of energy to Earth. And for a long time, the concept – first developed by the Russian scientist, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, in the 1920s – was mainly an inspiration for writers.

A century later, however, scientists are making huge strides in turning the concept into reality. The European Space Agency has realised the potential of these efforts and is now looking to fund such projects, predicting that the first industrial resource we will get from space is “beamed power” More


Natural Organisms in Soil Can Power Lights With This Bio Battery

May Be World’s Most Disruptive Technology Plants already give us oxygen to breathe, but what if they could give us electricity, too? This Spanish start-up has made a bio-battery that generates electricity from soil microbes and is using plants to change the way we think of renewable energy.

In 2016, Google named Bioo (bee-oh) the most disruptive start-up of the year. The Spanish company created a bio battery that uses microbes in the soil that feed on decaying plant matter to generate enough electricity to turn on a light and power small appliances.

This is the most sustainable form of energy yet, as these microbes never stop working, never run out, and the product requires none of the potentially harmful chemicals and materials that traditional solar panels require. More


Smile, wave: Some exoplanets may be able to see us too

Transit observations are a crucial tool for Earth's astronomers to characterize inhabited extrasolar planets Three decades after Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan suggested that Voyager 1 snap Earth's picture from billions of miles away—resulting in the iconic Pale Blue Dot photograph—two astronomers now offer another unique cosmic perspective:

Some exoplanets—planets from beyond our own solar system—have a direct line of sight to observe Earth's biological qualities from far, far away.

Lisa Kaltenegger, associate professor of astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of Cornell's Carl Sagan Institute; and Joshua Pepper, associate professor of physics at Lehigh University, have identified 1,004 main-sequence stars (similar to our sun) that might contain Earth-like planets in their own habitable zones—all within about 300 light-years of Earth—and which should be able to detect Earth's chemical traces of life. More


Why bat scientists are socially distancing from their subjects

Biologist Winifred Frick advocates for distanced research methods and extra protective gear to safeguard North American bats from the coronavirus There’s nothing Winifred Frick likes better than crawling through guano-filled caves and coming face-to-face with bats. As chief scientist of Bat Conservation International, she is on a mission to promote understanding of bats and protect imperiled species from extinction.

For months, though, Frick has avoided research that would put her within spitting distance of bats. Her only projects to persist through the pandemic have been conducted from afar, like using acoustic monitors to eavesdrop on the animals’ squeaks and swooshes. In an era of COVID-19, that “hands-off” approach and other precautions are crucial to protect both bats and people, Frick, a biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and over two dozen other scientists argue online September 3 in PLOS Pathogens. More


NASA’s OSIRIS-REx survived its risky mission to grab a piece of an asteroid

This artist's illustration shows the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reaching out toward asteroid Bennu as it prepares to grab a sample of the space rock’s dust NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is a cosmic rock collector. Cheers erupted from mission control at 6:12 p.m. EDT on October 20 as scientists on Earth got word that the spacecraft had gently nudged a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu, and grabbed some of its rocks to return to Earth.

“The spacecraft did everything it was supposed to do,” said mission principal investigator Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona in Tucson on October 20 on a NASA TV webcast. “I can’t believe we actually pulled this off.” More


Beaked whales can hold their breath for over 3 hours (and possibly longer)

Elusive Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) spend only about 2 minutes at the sea surface to catch a breath for their marathon dives How long can you hold your breath? Even your best efforts can't come close to the breath-holding superpower of a Cuvier's beaked whale.

These whales were already known to dive deeper and longer than any other mammal, but new research shows that their marathon dives can last even longer than once thought.

When scientists recently examined data from thousands of whale dives, they found that one of these extreme divers held its breath for more than 3 hours, shattering the previously reported record — also held by the Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) — by over an hour. More


Futuristic ‘Flying-V’ Airplane Makes Successful Maiden Flight, to Be Tweaked for Passenger Use

flying V like B2 bomber Researchers have conducted a successful maiden flight of the “Flying-V,” a futuristic and fuel-efficient airplane that could one day carry passengers literally housed in its wings.

The Flying-V’s unique design places the passenger cabin, the cargo hold, and the fuel tanks in the wings, and experts hope that the plane’s aerodynamic shape will cut fuel consumption by 20 percent compared to today’s aircraft. Researchers have conducted a successful maiden flight of the Flying-V, a futuristic and fuel-efficient airplane that could one day carry passengers in its wings. More


Scientists Sequence Y Chromosome DNA of Denisovans and Neanderthals

Neanderthals and Denisovans love secrets revealed A growing number of ancient DNA studies on Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo sapiens suggest intertwined evolutionary and population histories, including several admixture events between early modern and archaic humans.

However, ancient nuclear and mtDNA sequences revealed phylogenetic discrepancies between the three groups that are hard to explain.

For example, autosomal genomes show that Neanderthals and Denisovans are sister groups that split from modern humans more than 550,000 years ago. More


Paradox-Free Time Travel is Mathematically Possible

Physicists seek to understand the underlying laws of the Universe “Classical dynamics says if you know the state of a system at a particular time, this can tell us the entire history of the system,” said Germain Tobar, a student in the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Queensland.

“This has a wide range of applications, from allowing us to send rockets to other planets and modeling how fluids flow.”

“For example, if I know the current position and velocity of an object falling under the force of gravity, I can calculate where it will be at any time.” “However, Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicts the existence of time loops or time travel — where an event can be both in the past and future of itself — theoretically turning the study of dynamics on its head.” More


Why Tokyo’s New Transparent Public Restrooms Are A Stroke Of Genius

Pritker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban's transparent public toilets turn opaque when in use. At first, it’s hard to fathom how a public restroom with transparent walls could possibly help ease toilet anxiety — but a counterintuitive design by one of Japan’s most innovative architects aims to do just that.

Around the world, public toilets get a foul rap. Even in Japan, where restrooms have a higher standard of hygiene than in much of the rest of the world, residents harbor a fear that public toilets are dark, dirty, smelly and scary.

To cure the public’s phobia, the non-profit Nippon Foundation launched “The Tokyo Toilet Project,” tasking 16 well-known architects to renovate 17 public toilets located in the public parks of Shibuya, one of the busiest commercial areas of Tokyo. More


Microbial Life on Venus? Here's What You Really Need to Know About The Major Discovery

researchers have detected traces of phosphine gas, a compound produced here on Earth by both biotic and abiotic processes Venus, the Evening Star, may gleam prettily in our night sky, but up close it's about as inhospitable as a rocky planet can be, with sulphuric acid rains, a suffocating CO2 atmosphere, and a surface atmospheric pressure up to 100 times greater than Earth's.

Based on our understanding of life on Earth, Venus would be among the last places in the Solar System you'd look to find living creatures. But an international team of scientists has just made a detection that might - just might - be a biosignature.

Conversely, it might be the sign of an abiotic chemical process that we don't yet know of. Or there might be some poorly understood geological process occurring on Venus. Either way, this discovery is the harbinger of one heck of a learning experience. More


Eerily realistic sex doll can smile, moan — and even hold a conversation

increasingly there are folks who just think that a sex doll suits their lifestyle better The next generation of sex dolls are a hot commodity thanks to the coronavirus.

A new, eerily realistic “sex robot” that can blink, smile, moan, get goosebumps and hold a conversation has been flying off the shelves since the coronavirus struck.

The dolls, sold by Sex Doll Genie and manufactured by Gynoid, are silicone-based and, according to SGD founders Janet Stevenson and her husband Amit, look and feel like a real human.

“There are lonely middle-aged men who don’t necessarily want to stroll through the dating minefield again, there are handicapped and disabled folks for whom sex dolls are convenient and non-judgmental companions, then there are couples like us who wanna add another dimension to their love-life without additional emotional baggage,” according to the website. More


U.S. Military To Replace 1970s Floppy Disks Controlling Nuclear Missiles

It's a very unique system—it is old and it is very good. Oftentimes in the military, the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” becomes hard to argue. And in a world where threat actors from enemy nation states probe for any and every weakness, replacing a system that has been glitch and breach free for decades is a tough ask. So it is with the U.S. military’s decision to shift its Strategic Automated Command and Control System (SACCS) from 1970s tech to something more contemporary. The highly secure U.S. military messaging services has finally “dumped the floppy disk,” reported defense news site C4isrnet.

The SACCS messaging system has been used with the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system, the land-based nuclear option operated by the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command. It is a network of hidden underground missile silos connected by endless secure cabling. All of which has been controlled by a 1970s computer system and those disks. “This is how we would conduct nuclear war,” one senior USAF operator explains, “on eight-inch floppy disks.” More


Humans Take a Step Closer to ‘Flying Cars’

SkyDrive was started in 2012 by members of a volunteer organization called CartivatorIn the 1880s, the first automobile was developed and about two decades later, the Wright brothers in North Carolina invented the first successful airplane. Today, the world is closer to combining those two concepts as a Japanese tech company said it completed a manned test flight of a “flying car.”

The company, SkyDrive, said in a news release on Friday that it had completed a flight test using “the world’s first manned testing machine,” its SD-03 model, an electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle. The flight time was four minutes, the company said. The aircraft has one seat and operates with eight motors and two propellers on each corner. It lifted about 3 meters (or about 10 feet) into the air and was operated by a pilot, the company said. More


Amber Fossil Shows ‘Hell Ant’ Was Unlike Anything Alive Today

A 99-million-year-old piece of amber trapped this worker hell ant grasping an ancient relative of modern cockroaches in its unique jaws, which swung upwards unlike all modern ants Some 99 million years ago an ant unlike any alive today was in the midst of a savage scythe-jawed attack when dripping plant resin froze the insect, along with its prey, in a final predatory tableau.

Now, new research based on this amber-tinted window into the Cretaceous confirms that so-called “hell ants” made a killing with the help of recurved mandibles that swung upward, pinning or even impaling prey against a horn-like protrusion sticking out of its forehead. More


Tesla Prepares for Hiring Boom as Elon Musk Targets Manufacturing Expansion

Elon Musk’s Tesla aims to deliver 500,000 cars and sport-utility vehicles this year, though the company said economic uncertainty will make that more difficult Elon Musk’s plan to build Tesla Inc.’s fourth vehicle assembly factory represents the next phase in his effort to reshape the auto maker to rapidly increase the number of electric cars it can sell each year as it races to compete with global rivals.

The chief executive’s announcement Wednesday that work has already begun to prepare building a factory on more than 2,000 acres outside of Austin, Texas, marks one of the few new major car assembly plants to be built in the U.S. in the past decade, and comes while the rest of the auto industry is navigating through a global pandemic and fears of a prolonged recession. More


Norway Scientist Claims Report Proves Coronavirus Was Lab-Made

A lab in Wuhan, China, is once again under the spotlight Norwegian scientist Birger Sørensen has claimed the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is not natural in origin. The claims by the co-author of the British-Norwegian study—published in the Quarterly Review of Biophysics—are supported by the former head of Britain’s MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. The study from Sørensen and British professor Angus Dalgleish show that the coronavirus's spike protein contains sequences that appear to be artificially inserted.

They also highlight the lack of mutation since its discovery, which suggests it was already fully adapted to humans. The study goes on to explain the rationale for the development of Biovacc-19, a candidate vaccine for COVID-19 that is now in advanced pre-clinical development. More


First asteroid found within Venus’s orbit could be a clue to missing ‘mantle’ asteroids

The first Vatira, 2020 AV2, may point to asteroids resembling Earth’s mantle Earlier this year, astronomers discovered an oddball asteroid inside the orbit of Venus—the first member of a predicted flock near the Sun. No bigger than a small mountain, the asteroid has now gained another distinction: It appears to be rich in the mineral olivine, which makes up much of Earth’s deep rock. Some astronomers think that is a clue to a larger set of asteroids, never properly accounted for, that was forged early in the formation of the Solar System.

“It’s improbable that we look at this new population and an olivine-dominated object is the first type we see,” says Francesca DeMeo, an asteroid hunter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was not part of the discovery team. “That’s what makes this a cool result.” More


Just 50% of Americans plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s how to win over the rest

this woman attended a “Reopen Virginia” protest in Richmond Within days of the first confirmed novel coronavirus case in the United States on 20 January, antivaccine activists were already hinting on Twitter that the virus was a scam—part of a plot to profit from an eventual vaccine.

Nearly half a year later, scientists around the world are rushing to create a COVID-19 vaccine. An approved product is still months, if not years, away and public health agencies have not yet mounted campaigns to promote it. But health communication experts say they need to start to lay the groundwork for acceptance now, because the flood of misinformation from antivaccine activists has surged. More


SpaceX: Why Elon Musk is saying ‘your GPS just got slightly better’

Pokémon on your smartphone SpaceX, the space exploration company headed up by Elon Musk, has just given satellite navigation a boost.

On Tuesday, the company launched a Falcon 9 rocket for its first United States Space Force mission. The rocket took off at 4:10 p.m. Eastern time from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Staton in Florida. On board was a Global Positioning System satellite, more commonly known as GPS. The mission sent up the third satellite for the new GPS III project, a major upgrade to the constellation used by people around the world to find their way.

"Your GPS just got slightly better," Musk wrote on Twitter moments after the GPS III satellite was deployed. The Falcon 9 used to send up the satellite, the first flight for this specific booster, landed on the droneship Just Read the Instructions after launch. More


Archaeologists find largest-ever Mayan complex hiding in plain sight

Researchers discover a massive ceremonial structure of the ancient Mayans using lasers. The southern tip of Mexico is hiding a giant Mayan structure from about 3,000 years ago, new research shows. The nearly one mile-long monument may be the oldest and largest ever found from the mysterious civilization. An accomplishment of this magnitude is making scientists rethink what they know about the knowledge of the ancient Mayans.

The site, known as Aguada Fénix, was discovered in the state of Tabasco, near the Gulf of Mexico. The complex, likely used as a ceremonial center and a place of gathering, was essentially hiding under the feet of modern-day Mexicans who live above the massive structure. It's 4,600 feet (1,400 meters) long and likely dates to between 1000 and 800 BCE. That time period, specifically, the year 950 BCE, also produced another Mayan site, known as Ceibal, which was previously considered the oldest-ever ceremonial center. More


Taiwan’s Pokemon Go Grandpa upgrades array to 64 phones

Pokemon Go for this old guy with 64 phones A Taiwanese man who made international news headlines two years ago for using 11 phones at a time to play Pokemon Go, has since increased the size of his array to 64 smartphones.

Chen San-yuan was featured in a BBC report August 2018 after being spotted with an array of 11 smartphones mounted to the handlebars of his bicycle. At the time, Chen was planning to add 4 more phones, BBC reported. Chen was 70 years old at the time. By November that year, Chen had increased his array to 15 phones, according to a Japan Times report. More


It Turns Out That Owls Have Long Skinny Legs Under All Their Feathers

leggy owls win it Some pictures of what hides under an owl’s majestic feathers have gone viral and are changing the way most people see these birds.

For those who have ever wondered what is hidden beneath an owl’s feathers, wonder no more. The pictures have already gone viral, and as it turns out, it’s not what you may think.

As it turns out, owls have really long, and really skinny legs. And that is a surprise to many, as there have been plenty of people reacting to the pictures online.

The reactions were mixed, with some people unable to stop giggling, and others unable to erase the mental image of the owl’s long and spindly legs. More


Researchers reveal an evolutionary basis for the female orgasm

Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy. By: Michelangelo Few things are as magical as the female orgasm, whether you are experiencing it, inducing it, or just a casual observer. It is essentially pure art in motion. Yet, there are many things we don't know about the phenomenon, scientifically speaking, such as, why it exists. Scientists have been pondering this for centuries.

Apart from vestigial organs, there are few structures in the body we don't know the function of. It seems that the clitoris is there merely for pleasure. But would evolution invest so much in such a fanciful aim? Over the years, dozens of theories have been posited and hotly debated. More


300,000-Year-Old Wooden Throwing Stick Found in Germany

The team hypothesizes that hominins who lived at Schöningen — likely Homo heidelbergensis — used the newly-found weapon to hunt birds or smaller game or to hit larger game such as horses The locality of Schöningen contains over 20 archaeological sites that date to the Middle Pleistocene and is well known for its exceptional preservation.

The newly-found throwing stick originates from the best-known of the sites, Schöningen 13 II-4, from which well-preserved throwing spears, a push lance and wooden tools of unknown function were unearthed in the 1990s.

“The chances of finding Paleolithic artifacts made of wood are normally zero,” said Professor Nicholas Conard, a researcher in the Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology and the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment at the University of Tübingen. More


Coronavirus: People-tracking wristbands tested to enforce lockdown

As well as confirming a person is staying at home, the device can monitor the wearer's heart rate and be used to call the emergency services Bulgaria is the latest country to test a wristband that can track people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Up to 50 residents in Sofia will be given a device that can record their movements using GPS satellite location data.

Several nations are testing similar wristbands to make sure people are obeying orders to stay at home. South Korea and Hong Kong have also been using electronic trackers to help enforce quarantine.

The trial in Bulgaria will use Comarch LifeWristbands, developed in Poland. More


Is There a Parallel Universe That's Moving Backwards in Time?

time flows backwards and undoes thingsTime, as we understand it, moves from the past to the future irreversibly. But now, an international trio of theoretical physicists is suggesting that there’s more than one future. Two parallel universes were produced by the Big Bang: ours, which moves forward in time (pictured above), and another where time moves backwards. These findings were published in Physical Review Letters in October.

In the 1920s, British astronomer Arthur Eddington coined the term “arrow of time” (sometimes “time’s arrow”), which describes the asymmetrical, one-way direction of time. Many physicists today accept that time moves in the direction of increasing entropy—or disorder, randomness, and even chaos—in an effort to approach some equilibrium among all of the things. According to this thermodynamic arrow of time, things increasingly fall apart. If that’s the case, then our universe must have began in a low-entropy, highly ordered initial state. More


The Greenest Diet: Bacteria Switch to Eating Carbon Dioxide

Such bacteria may, in the future, contribute to new, carbon-efficient technologies Bacteria in the lab of Prof. Ron Milo of the Weizmann Institute of Science have not just sworn off sugar – they have stopped eating all of their normal solid food, existing instead on carbon dioxide (CO2) from their environment. That is, they were able to build all of their biomass from air. This feat, which involved nearly a decade of rational design, genetic engineering and a sped-up version of evolution in the lab, was reported this week in Cell. The findings point to means of developing, in the future, carbon-neutral fuels.

The study began by identifying crucial genes for the process of carbon fixation – the way plants take carbon from CO2 for the purpose of turning it into such biological molecules as protein, DNA, etc. The research team added and rewired the needed genes. They found that many of the “parts” for the machinery that were already present in the bacterial genome could be used as is. More


Humans are still evolving: 3 examples of recent adaptations

The average temperature of the human body has changed Evolution is an ongoing process, although many don’t realize people are still evolving. It’s true that Homo sapiens look very different than Australopithecus afarensis, an early hominin that lived around 2.9 million years ago. But it is also true that we are very different compared to members of our same species, Homo sapiens, who lived 10,000 years ago — and we will very likely be different from the humans of the future.

What we eat, how we use our bodies, and who we choose to have kids with are just some of the many factors that can cause the human body to change. Genetic mutations lead to new traits — and with the world population now above 7 billion and rising, the chances of genetic mutations that natural selection can potentially act on is only increasing. More


Humans aren't the only species that rely on grandmothers to watch the kids: Orca grannies ensure baby whales live longer

A group of southern resident orca whales swim in the inshore coastal waters of Washington state and British Columbia, Canada In most animals, the end of a female's reproductive years aligns with the end of her life. In humans, however, women live long past menopause — and there's an evolutionary reason for that.

Anthropologists refer to the high survival rate of post-menopausal women as "the grandmother effect," since the presence of grandmothers boosts the chances that their kin will survive (and pass on their genetic information to future generations). That's because these older women help their children care for and feed their grandchildren.

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that another species benefits from the grandmother effect, too: orcas. More


Neandertals Dove Underwater to Collect Clam Shells to Use as Tools

General morphology of retouched shell tools Neandertals collected clam shells and volcanic rock from the beach and coastal waters of Italy during the Middle Paleolithic, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE in January, by Paola Villa of the University of Colorado and colleagues.

Neandertals are known to have used tools, but the extent to which they were able to exploit coastal resources has been questioned. In this study, Villa and colleagues explored artifacts from the Neandertal archaeological cave site of Grotta dei Moscerini in Italy, one of two Neandertal sites in the country with an abundance of hand-modified clam shells, dating back to around 100,000 years ago.

The authors examined 171 modified shells, most of which had be retouched to be used as scrapers. All of these shells belonged to the Mediterranean smooth clam species Callista chione. More


Elon Musk’s Grandfather Was Head Of Canada’s Technocracy Movement

Dr. Joshua Haldeman with his wife Winnifred One of history’s recurring themes is that technology sometimes outruns society, leaving politicians gasping to catch up with the consequences. So it was with the impact of the printing press, the steam engine and the computer. Arguably, so it is again today with gene editing, social media and artificial intelligence.

While technologists often rail that politicians just do not “get” technology, politicians counter that technologists all too rarely grasp politics. One fascinating example of both sides of the debate was the history of the technocracy movement that briefly flourished in North America in the 1930s. The “revolt of the engineers”, as it was called, holds some interesting lessons for today. More


China's sci-tech weapons in COVID-19 fight

COVID 19 fight BEIJING, -- Dr. Bruce Aylward, team lead of the WHO-China joint mission on COVID-19, has given examples of China's scientific and technological measures taken to fight the virus:

-Routine medical services provided online

-Real-time, long-distance contact, support, investigation between experts, researchers on 5G platform

China "turbo-charged it (classic approach for infectious disease control) with modern science and modern technology in a way that was unimaginable even a few years ago," Aylward told the press on Monday. More


NASA’s 10 Ways to Celebrate Pi Day on March 14

Pi day celebration commences On March 14, NASA will join people across the U.S. as they celebrate an icon of nerd culture: the number pi. So well known and beloved is pi, also written p or 3.14, that it has a national holiday named in its honor.

And it’s not just for mathematicians and rocket scientists. National Pi Day is widely celebrated among students, teachers and science fans, too. Read on to find out what makes pi so special, how it’s used to explore space and how you can join the celebration with resources from NASA. More


Elon Musk says he plans to send 1 million people to Mars by 2050

Martian settlement will begin In a series of tweets on Thursday, Elon Musk revealed new details about his plan to build a city of 1 million people on Mars by 2050.

Musk said he hoped to build 1,000 Starships — the towering and ostensibly fully reusable spaceship that SpaceX is developing in South Texas — over 10 years.

That's 100 Starships per year.

Eventually, Musk added, the goal is to launch an average of three Starships per day and make the trip to Mars available to anybody.

"Needs to be such that anyone can go if they want, with loans available for those who don't have money," Musk wrote. More


NSW mobile phone cameras to switch on: Everything drivers need to know

High-tech Cameras now targeting mobile users NSW drivers who threaten lives by using mobile phones behind the wheel risk being caught by unmarked cameras as new technology rolls out across the state.

However, drivers captured flouting the law will initially be spared punishment during a three-month grace period which will see them receive a warning letter only.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance says the world-first technology targeting phone use via fixed and mobile trailer-mounted cameras would roll out from Sunday, December 1. More


Ancient humans procreated with at least four other species

your granddaddy got some strange poon one night Fifty-thousand years ago, humans’ romantic horizons extended far beyond other boring Homo sapiens. That’s according to a July 2019 study that describes how our ancestors often mated with other species of the the Homo genus: Neanderthals, Denisovans, and two other unnamed hominids.

The discovery was made after scientists used previous studies to create “mixing maps” — aka when and where mating between humans and other hominid species happened. Turns out that these cross-species liaisons happened at times in Europe, and at other times in Asia. More


Top 4 candidates in our solar system for terraforming

make a planet into a new home Whether you're feeling optimistic or pessimistic about humanity's long-term chances on Earth, most of us agree that we should colonize other planets. Whether that's out of humanity's sheer pioneering spirit or the pragmatic survival instinct to spread out so that a catastrophe on Earth doesn't wipe out the species, establishing a colony on a nearby planet seems like a must.

Trouble is, our neighboring celestial bodies are constantly bombarded by deadly radiation, lack water or oxygen, rain sulfuric acid, swing from extreme heat to cold, and possess many other inhospitable characteristics. No matter where we go in our solar system, we'll have to engage in one of the largest projects imaginable: terraforming. Depending on the environment we want to transform into a more Earth-like one, the nature of this project will vary tremendously. Here's some examples from some of the most likely candidates for terraforming in our solar system. More


Pentagon is investigating how it can use FISH as spies to detect underwater drones

weaponize the fish A program in the U.S. Department of Defense is looking to recruit fish in its efforts to surveil the world's underwater terrain and enhance its ability to detect enemy ships.

By harnessing marine organisms' ability to sense even the most minute disturbances in their environments, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) -- the U.S. Department of Defense's experimental research arm -- says it could be able to preemptively discover even the smallest autonomous vehicles.

Among the potential enlistees of the program called The Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors (PALS), are goliath grouper, black sea bass, snapping shrimp, and other even smaller organisms like bioluminescent plankton and other microorganisms. More


Flushing away time: tilted toilet aims to increase employee productivity

Developers at StandardToilet have determined that 13 degrees is exactly the right tilt to make your employee feel miserable on the toilet without causing any lasting pain In an age of never ending work surveillance tech – from devices that track every move an employee makes to tools that measure keystrokes to determine how intensely you’re working – it feels only natural to end up here: at a toilet that does a little work-friendly kneecapping to get you off the seat in good time.

That’s right: for £150-£500 ($196-$654) you can subject your staff to having to sit at a 13-degree angle on the toilet, in the hope of getting them off it quicker. Developers at StandardToilet have determined that 13 degrees is exactly the right tilt to make your employee feel miserable on the toilet without causing any lasting pain. More


The 2010s were supposed to bring the ebook revolution. It never quite came.

An Amazon Kindle reader in Sao Paulo, Brazil At the beginning of the 2010s, the world seemed to be poised for an ebook revolution.

The Amazon Kindle, which was introduced in 2007, effectively mainstreamed ebooks. By 2010, it was clear that ebooks weren’t just a passing fad, but were here to stay. They appeared poised to disrupt the publishing industry on a fundamental level. Analysts confidently predicted that millennials would embrace ebooks with open arms and abandon print books, that ebook sales would keep rising to take up more and more market share, that the price of ebooks would continue to fall, and that publishing would be forever changed. More


Does Certified Organic Mean What We Think It Does?

lookalike foods come in organic formThere’s something of a civil war brewing in the organic movement. On one side are industry boosters boasting about how organic has gone mainstream. These folks are fine with a Big Ag version of organic agriculture—enormous monocrop fields and global distribution to every Walmart across the land.

On the other side are purists who feel that the spirit of organic—building healthy soil, promoting biodiversity, focusing on small producers and distributing regionally—is no longer represented by the USDA certified organic label (hence the various alternative organic labels popping up).

The USDA certification has never explicitly required any of those things, however. Instead, organic rules focus primarily on substituting natural fertilizers and pest control methods for chemical ones. But even here things aren’t quite as they seem. More


Relearning The Star Stories Of Indigenous Peoples

Some of those stories are part of how indigenous people made sense of the world around them “They’re coming out,” says Wilfred Buck. “They’re starting to come out.”

It’s a freezing cold night on the shore of Lake Winnipeg in rural Manitoba, Canada, and we are waiting for the stars. It’s early May, but I’m wearing three sweaters and huddled next to a crackling, popping campfire, listening to Buck tell us the stories behind constellations I’ve never heard of until tonight.

“Right below the grandmother spider is the Pleiades, the seven sisters,” says Buck. “And that’s called Pakone Kisik. The hole in the sky. And the hole in the sky is where we come from.” More


The last mammoths died on a remote island

The last woolly mammoths lived on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean During the last ice age -- some 100,000 to 15,000 years ago -- mammoths were widespread in the northern hemisphere from Spain to Alaska. Due to the global warming that began 15,000 years ago, their habitat in Northern Siberia and Alaska shrank. On Wrangel Island, some mammoths were cut off from the mainland by rising sea levels; that population survived another 7000 years.

The team of researchers from Finland, Germany and Russia examined the isotope compositions of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and strontium from a large set of mammoth bones and teeth from Northern Siberia, Alaska, the Yukon, and Wrangel Island, ranging from 40,000 to 4,000 years in age.

The aim was to document possible changes in the diet of the mammoths and their habitat and find evidence of a disturbance in their environment. The results showed that Wrangel Island mammoths' collagen carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions did not shift as the climate warmed up some 10,000 years ago. The values remained unchanged until the mammoths disappeared, seemingly from the midst of stable, favorable living conditions. More


Mars Once Had Salt Lakes Similar to Earth – “Key Ingredient of Microbial Life”

image from NASA’s Curiosity rover shows part of the wall of Gale Crater Mars once had salt lakes that are similar to those on Earth and has gone through wet and dry periods, according to an international team of scientists that includes a Texas A&M University College of Geosciences researcher.

Marion Nachon, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Texas A&M, and colleagues have had their work published in the current issue of Nature Geoscience.

The team examined Mars’ geological terrains from Gale Crater, an immense 95-mile-wide rocky basin that is being explored with the NASA Curiosity rover since 2012 as part of the MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) mission. More


Researchers “Translate” Bat Talk. Turns Out, They Argue—A Lot

The Egyptian fruit bat is a highly social mammal that roosts (and argues) in crowded colonies.Plenty of animals communicate with one another, at least in a general way—wolves howl to each other, birds sing and dance to attract mates and big cats mark their territory with urine. But researchers at Tel Aviv University recently discovered that when at least one species communicates, it gets very specific. Egyptian fruit bats, it turns out, aren’t just making high pitched squeals when they gather together in their roosts. They’re communicating specific problems, reports Bob Yirka at

According to Ramin Skibba at Nature, neuroecologist Yossi Yovel and his colleagues recorded a group of 22 Egyptian fruit bats, Rousettus aegyptiacus, for 75 days.

Using a modified machine learning algorithm originally designed for recognizing human voices, they fed 15,000 calls into the software. They then analyzed the corresponding video to see if they could match the calls to certain activities. More


40,000-year-old bracelet made by extinct human species found

Denisovans migrated out of Africa sometime after the first wave of Homo erectusIn what is quite an amazing discovery, scientists have confirmed that a bracelet found in Siberia is 40,000 years old.

This makes it the oldest piece of jewelry ever discovered, and archeologists have been taken aback by the level of its sophistication.

The bracelet was discovered in a site called the Denisova Cave in Siberia, close to Russia's border with China and Mongolia.

It was found next to the bones of extinct animals, such as the wooly mammoth, and other artifacts dating back 125,000 years.

The cave is named after the Denisovan people — a mysterious species of hominins from the Homo genus, who are genetically different from both Homo sapiens and Neanderthals. More


The Future Looks Like Salt Reactors

Moltex Energy, a small British company, has raised millions of dollars through crowdfunding by pitching its new type of nuclear fission, which it calls a Stable Salt Reactor A small British nuclear energy company, Moltex Energy, has raised GBP6 million ($7.5 million) through the crowdfunding investment site Shadow Fundr. The investment will allow the company to begin a pre-licensing process in Canada, conduct further business in the U.K, and continue to develop its signature technology, a stable salt reactor (SSR).

There are several varieties of nuclear fission, which are broken down by the materials they use to moderate and/or cool the intense heat given off by the process. One of these is called a molten salt reactor (MSR), which is moderated and cooled by circulating a molten salt. It's not typical table salt, but usually a mixture of lithium fluoride and beryllium fluoride. More


Scientists discover way to ‘grow’ tooth enamel

 A human tooth is repaired. Though enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, it cannot self-repair Scientists say they have finally cracked the problem of repairing tooth enamel.

Though enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, it cannot self-repair. Now scientists have discovered a method by which its complex structure can be reproduced and the enamel essentially “grown” back.

The team behind the research say the materials are cheap and can be prepared on a large scale. “After intensive discussion with dentists, we believe that this new method can be widely used in future,” said Dr Zhaoming Liu, co-author of the research from Zhejiang University in China. More


Thanks to Student’s Hunch, Seniors With Dementia Are ‘Coming Alive’ Again With the ‘Magic’ of Virtual Reality

Rendever’s VR platform brings new experiences and fond memories to aging adults in nursing homesAs Reed Hayes stood inside an assisted living facility in front of an elderly man struggling with dementia, he wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

The man sat slouched in his wheelchair, unmoving, his eyes barely open. Hayes had enrolled in MIT’s Sloan School of Management with the idea of helping older adults overcome depression and isolation through the immersive world of virtual reality. Now he needed to test his idea.

Hayes turned on a virtual reality experience featuring a three-dimensional painting by Vincent Van Gogh and a classical piano playing in the background. Nervously, he placed the headset on the man. What happened next stunned everyone in the room. More


First human-monkey chimera raises concern among scientists

Researchers reprogrammed human cells before injecting them in the monkey embryo Efforts to create human-animal chimeras have rebooted an ethical debate after reports emerged that scientists have produced monkey embryos containing human cells.

A chimera is an organism whose cells come from two or more “individuals”, with recent work looking at combinations from different species. The word comes from a beast from Greek mythology which was said to be part lion, part goat and part snake.

The latest report, published in the Spanish newspaper El País, claims a team of researchers led by Prof Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte from the Salk Institute in the US have produced monkey-human chimeras. The research was conducted in China “to avoid legal issues”, according to the report. More


Alien planets could be better suited for life than Earth

Kepler space telescope and other instruments have suggested that one in four stars hosts an Earth-like planet Earth’s oceans have made it the perfect environment for biodiversity, but a new study suggests that it may not have the best conditions in the galaxy.

The study suggests that exoplanets that have “favorable ocean circulation patterns” could be better suited to support a wider range of life than Earth.

“This is a surprising conclusion,” said lead researcher Stephanie Olson of the University of Chicago in a statement. “It shows us that conditions on some exoplanets with favorable ocean circulation patterns could be better suited to support life that is more abundant or more active than life on Earth.” More


Swedes are getting implants in their hands to replace cash, credit cards

A man receives his implanted microchip in Stockholm, Sweden Thousands of people in Sweden are having futuristic microchips implanted into their skin to carry out everyday activities and replace credit cards and cash.

More than 4,000 people have already had the sci-fi-ish chips, about the size of a grain of rice, inserted into their hands — with the pioneers predicting millions will soon join them as they hope to take it global.

“It’s very ‘Black Mirror,’” Swedish scientist Ben Libberton told The Post of the similarity to the TV series highlighting futuristic scenarios. Like glorified smartwatches, the chips help Swedes monitor their health and even replace keycards to allow them to enter offices and buildings. More


Should the Rich Be Allowed to Buy the Best Genes?

Is there any field that is more cutthroat and competitive than biological research iology is the new tech. I’m at a conference in Quebec City on CRISPR, the molecular tool designed to edit genes, and it has the same vibe as the meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club and the West Coast Computer Faire did in the 1970s, except that the hip young innovators are programming with genetic code rather than computer code. Now that schools are finally realizing that every kid should learn how to code, they are going to have to switch from teaching 0101 to A.G.C.T., the four bases of our DNA.

Many of the star pioneers are here, including Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna, who in 2012 co-discovered how to combine two snippets of RNA with an enzyme to make a programmable scissors that could cut DNA at a precise location, and Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute, who raced her to show how the tool could edit genes in humans and is now in a battle with her for patents to the technology. More


A Trip to North America's Galapagos

This picture of an island fox was taken on Santa Cruz Island, one of California's Channel Islands. For weeks, I had been promising my kids they would see baby foxes. It was my way of selling our camping trip. We were headed for the remote Santa Rosa Island, off the coast of California, where a boat would drop us off for the better part of a week. While there I also planned to find time to talk to local researchers about an effort to restore the island's native cloud forests and the remarkable program that brought the island fox back from the brink of extinction.

The foxes weigh the same as two AA batteries when they are born, I told my children. And the pups can fit in the palm of your hand.

The Channel Islands, or "North America's Galapagos," as Santa Rosa and its neighboring islands are sometimes called, are home to that fox and several other rare and unique plant and animal species. It's one of the more difficult national parks to access -- a long and often choppy two-hour boat ride from Ventura. More


Facebook “Internet of Money” to Control Bill Pay, Access to Public Transportation

all your money is belong to usWhile Silicon valley is making a move back to cash, Facebook is pushing its cashless system on the globe.

The system, called Calibra wallet, will give the world’s population access to the “internet of money”, as well as controlling access to transportation and goods.

Facebook “… intends to open the Calibra Wallet up to additional services, so that people can pay bills, buy goods by scanning a code or accessing public transport”.

The service will reportedly allow individuals to use public transport “without the need for cash or travel passes”. More


Robots thrive in the forest on jobs that humans find too boring

robots tend the forest From watching pulp cook for hours on end and tracking parasite bugs on satellite photos to handling lengthy legal documents, Swedish forest companies are creating new jobs they would never ask a human to do.

Packaging maker BillerudKorsnas has been an early adopter of artificial intelligence by using the technology to analyze thousands of diagrams to determine just how long it needs to cook its wood chips before they turn into pulp. While that process could be done manually, it says it would be difficult to find any human who'd be willing to spend all day just looking at such charts.

"A machine can review large data quantities and find patterns in ways we humans just find too boring," Olle Steffner, director of intellectual property management, said. "Tasks such as monitoring processes or analyzing diagrams will hardly be missed by anybody. Our staff is needed for other things." More


Your Hair Mites Are So Loyal Their DNA Reflects Your Ancestry

Mite DNA could hold clues to ancient human migrations and future skin health Most people would probably prefer to forget that their eyebrows are also shaggy ecosystems, home to scores of microscopic hair mites. But a DNA analysis reveals that your mites are incredibly loyal to you—and that could help scientists trace ancient human migrations and perhaps find new ways to treat common skin ailments.

Demodex folliculorum is a species of mite that lives in and around the hair follicles of humans and other mammals. Bowdoin College evolutionary geneticist Michael Palopoli and his colleagues sampled the DNA of these mites living on a diverse group of 70 human hosts. More


Marijuana Farms Have Found a Way to Keep Their Stink From Irking the Neighbors

New tech could make life a lot easier for other local growers–and the people around them Cannabis entrepreneur Autumn Shelton was growing her bud business in Santa Barbara County when she started getting complaints from neighbors about the odor coming off the plants. In order to ease relations with the community, she worked with scientists to install a new odor-capture system that could make it far easier for California marijuana farmers and homeowners to live side by side.

Working with her business partner, Shelton discovered the Bloomington, Indiana-based Byers Scientific. The company had already built odor-capture solutions for waste water treatment plants, landfills, and livestock feedlots, but cannabis was a new sector for them. Researchers at Byers were able to develop a customized version of their waterless vapor-phase system that specifically addressed the needs of marijuana farms. More


Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago

Hominin teethNeanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, substantially earlier than indicated by most DNA-based estimates, according to new research by a UCL academic.

The research, published in Science Advances, analysed dental evolutionary rates across different hominin species, focusing on early Neanderthals. It shows that the teeth of hominins from Sima de los Huesos, Spain—ancestors of the Neanderthals—diverged from the modern human lineage earlier than previously assumed.

Sima de los Huesos is a cave site in Atapuerca Mountains, Spain, where archaeologists have recovered fossils of almost 30 people. Previous studies date the site to around 430,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest and largest collections of human remains discovered to date. More


Our Moon Is Shrinking and Wrinkling, Study Claims

Unlike our planet, the Moon doesn't have tectonic plates The Moon is steadily shrinking, causing wrinkling on its surface and quakes, according to an analysis of imagery captured by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) published Monday.

A survey of more than 12,000 images revealed that lunar basin Mare Frigoris near the Moon's north pole - one of many vast basins long assumed to be dead sites from a geological point of view - has been cracking and shifting.

Unlike our planet, the Moon doesn't have tectonic plates; instead, its tectonic activity occurs as it slowly loses heat from when it was formed 4.5 billion years ago. This in turn causes its surface to wrinkle, similar to a grape that shrivels into a raisin. More


Dolphin ancestor's hearing was more like hoofed mammals than today's sea creatures

Vanderbilt University paleontologists are looking into the evolutionary origins of the whistles and squeaks that dolphins and porpoises make -- part of the rare echolocation ability that allows them to effectively navigate their dark environment.

The team, one of the first in the world to examine the ability's origins, used a small CT scanner to look inside a 30-million-year-old ear bone fossil from a specimen resembling Olympicetus avitus. This member of the toothed whale family, in a branch that died out before modern dolphins and porpoises appeared, lived in what is now the state of Washington. The CT scan revealed cochlear coiling with more turns than in animals with echolocation, indicating hearing more similar to the cloven-hoofed, terrestrial mammals dolphins came from than the sleek sea creatures they are today. More


With New Tech, Treadmills Are Getting Trendy

The boring old treadmill workout is having a moment right now On a recent evening, Elizabeth Ewens was in the middle of an intense run workout. Her coach told her to kick it up, so she did and received encouragement from a fellow runner. She finished the workout feeling good.

While Ewens' evening workout sounds like what running groups around the world do several nights a week, she was actually in her home, live-streaming a treadmill class, complete with motivational instructor, music and leader board, to a monitor on her screen.

"Sometimes you know you're not going to motivate yourself during a workout and you need someone to set the bar for you," the 49-year old California attorney says. More


Secret feuds and heartbreak at the centre of the historic first landing on the moon

Neil Armstrong was the first man to land on the moon - so the story goesNeil Armstrong climbed out of the lunar module simulator at NASA HQ after a particularly harrowing practice session for the upcoming Apollo 11 moon landing, promptly lit up a cigarette and announced, "Well, that's my one cigarette for the year."

"It was the only time anyone saw him smoke anything but the occasional cigar," says author Jim Donovan, whose new book Shoot For The Moon contains the definitive account of that momentous mission.

It seemed that Armstrong needed the fortification. More


Curiosity Captured Two Solar Eclipses on Mars

Curiosity Captured Two Solar Eclipses on Mars When NASA's Curiosity Mars rover landed in 2012, it brought along eclipse glasses. The solar filters on its Mast Camera (Mastcam) allow it to stare directly at the Sun. Over the past few weeks, Curiosity has been putting them to good use by sending back some spectacular imagery of solar eclipses caused by Phobos and Deimos, Mars' two moons.

Phobos, which is as wide as 16 miles (26 kilometers) across, was imaged on March 26, 2019 (the 2,359th sol, or Martian day, of Curiosity's mission); Deimos, which is as wide as 10 miles (16 kilometers) across, was photographed on March 17, 2019 (Sol 2350).

Phobos doesn't completely cover the Sun, so it would be considered an annular eclipse. Because Deimos is so small compared to the disk of the Sun, scientists say it's transiting the Sun. More


Massive U.S. Machines That Hunt For Ripples In Space-Time Just Got An Upgrade

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory Scientists are about to restart the two giant facilities in the United States that register gravitational waves, the ripples in the very fabric of the universe that were predicted by Albert Einstein more than a century ago.

Einstein realized that when massive objects such as black holes collide, the impact sends shock waves through space-time that are like the ripples in water created by tossing a pebble in a pond.

In 2015, researchers made history by detecting gravitational waves from colliding black holes for the first time — and this was such a milestone that three U.S. physicists almost immediately won the Nobel Prize for their work on the project. More


Scientists claim to have 'reversed time' with quantum computer

Electronics for use in a quantum computer in the quantum computing lab An international team of scientists claims to have reversed time with the help of a quantum computer.

By using electrons and quantum mechanics researchers claim they were able to turn back time in an experiment likened to causing a broken rack of pool balls to roll back into place.

The experiment used quantum computer programs to ‘rewind’ scattered quantum bits or qubits back to their starting points.

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, helped by colleagues in Switzerland and the U.S., expect the technique to become more efficient. More


Study blames YouTube for rise in number of Flat Earthers

Conspiracy theories shown on video-sharing site persuade people to doubt Earth is round Researchers believe they have identified the prime driver for a startling rise in the number of people who think the Earth is flat: Google’s video-sharing site, YouTube.

Their suspicion was raised when they attended the world’s largest gatherings of Flat Earthers at the movement’s annual conference in Rayleigh, North Carolina, in 2017, and then in Denver, Colorado, last year.

Interviews with 30 attendees revealed a pattern in the stories people told about how they came to be convinced that the Earth was not a large round rock spinning through space but a large flat disc doing much the same thing. More


People Are Finding Cameras on Some American Airlines and Singapore Airlines Planes — Here's What That's About

Cameras are a standard feature on many in-flight entertainment systems used by multiple airlines In-flight entertainment (IFE) systems are a ubiquitous part of air travel these days — especially on long, transoceanic flights. For the most part, they are innocuous screens on the back of seats designed to entertain us while we jet across the sky.

Recently, however, a few eagle-eyed travelers have noticed that while we watch the screens, they could be watching us.

This week, one passenger aboard a Singapore Airlines flightthis link opens in a new tab noticed a camera built into his IFE screen. Another passenger noticed a similar camera aboard his American Airlines flightthis link opens in a new tab.

Is someone spying on us? According to the airlines, no. More


Drug giant Glaxo teams up with DNA testing company 23andMe

DNA test results will be used to develop drugs under a new agreement Home DNA test results from the 5 million customers of 23andMe will now be used by drug giant GlaxoSmithKline to design new drugs, the two companies announced Wednesday.

It’s the biggest partnership yet aimed at leveraging the increasingly popular home genetic testing market, in which customers pay for mail-in saliva tests that are analyzed by various companies. 23andMe dominates the market.

“By working with GSK, we believe we will accelerate the development of breakthroughs,” 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki wrote in a blog post. More


SpaceX to Shift Starship Work From California to Texas

SpaceX Starship will launch from Texas WASHINGTON — Less than a week after laying off 10 percent of its employees, SpaceX said Jan. 16 that it plans to shift work on at least prototypes of its next-generation launch system from Los Angeles to Texas.

In a statement, SpaceX said it was now planning to build prototypes of its Starship vehicle, the upper stage of its next-generation reusable launch system, at its site in South Texas originally designed to serve as a launch site. An initial prototype version of that vehicle has been taking shape in recent weeks at the site in advance of "hopper" tests that could begin in the next one to two months. More


Watch Scientists Accidentally Blow Up Their Lab With The Strongest Indoor Magnetic Field Ever

Researchers at the University of Tokyo were expecting to create a strong magnetic field, but they got a lot more than they were bargaining for Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Tokyo accidentally created the strongest controllable magnetic field in history and blew the doors of their lab in the process.

As detailed in a paper recently published in the Review of Scientific Instruments, the researchers produced the magnetic field to test the material properties of a new generator system. They were expecting to reach peak magnetic field intensities of around 700 Teslas, but the machine instead produced a peak of 1,200 Teslas. (For the sake of comparison, a refrigerator magnet has about 0.01 Tesla) More


Israeli Scientists Claim They're On The Path To A Cure For Cancer

Illustration of a breast tumourA small team of Israeli scientists think they might have found the first complete cure for cancer.

“We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer,” said Dan Aridor, of a new treatment being developed by his company, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), which was founded in 2000 in the ITEK incubator. AEBi developed the SoAP platform, which provides functional leads to very difficult targets.

“Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market,” Aridor said. “Our solution will be both generic and personal.” More


15 accidental inventions that changed the world

happy little accident There are some things we can live without: hover boards, the noodle fan, wigs for cats, the selfie-stick, a gym subscription.

Others, we didn’t know we couldn’t live without. They may not crucial for our survival, but life just wouldn’t be the same without them.

A favorite childhood toy, America’s favorite beverage, a life-saving medication — we traced the down sixteen modern commodities that not only created a foundation for our life, but in some cases, keep us alive. Some of the world’s most recognizable or important discoveries were stumbled upon by accident. More


Why Do I Keep Waking Up In The Middle Of The Night?

no doze Nelly waked up too often Consistently waking up in the middle of the night for seemingly no reason is unfortunately very common — and exactly as frustrating as it sounds. If it just happens once in a while, it's not that bad. But when it starts happening every night for days, weeks, or even months on end, that's when you start feeling desperate.

You're tired, you have no idea what's going on, and you don't know how to prevent it from happening. To figure out how to fall asleep and stay asleep (at least until your alarm clock goes off in the morning), you first need to figure out what your body is trying to tell you when you keep waking up in the middle of the night.

There are likely plenty of reasons you're having trouble staying asleep. If you're lucky, it can be an easy fix — like, something in your sleep environment that you can adjust. If you're not lucky, though, it could be something that requires outside help or maybe even medical attention. More


This Artist Made a Radio Out of a Kitchen Sink

Amanda Dawn Christie’s work commemorates the fading glory of shortwave radio Some artists work in oils, say, or marble. Amanda Dawn Christie works in radio. Not radio in the sense of performing on air. But radio in the sense of the giant cultural and technological phenomenon that is broadcasting, and specifically shortwave broadcasting.

For decades, shortwave was the only way to reach a global audience in real time. Broadcasters such as the BBC World Service and Voice of America used it to project “soft power.” But as the Internet grew, interest in shortwave diminished.

Christie’s art draws from shortwave’s history, representing it in sculpture, performance, photography, and film. Her focus is the life of the Radio Canada International (RCI) transmitter complex, located in Sackville, New Brunswick, near Christie’s hometown. The transmitter was in operation from the 1940s until 2012. “Those towers were always just a part of the landscape that I grew up around,” says Christie. It took a radio-building workshop to spark her interest: “I built a radio out of a toilet-paper tube.... I thought I did a great job because I picked up Italian radio. It turned out I did not—I was just really close to this international shortwave site.” More


We Have More Evidence That Two Earth-Like Exoplanets Have Stable Climates And Seasons Just Like Us

Researchers suggest that Kepler-186f's axial tilt is very stable, much like the Earth Two exoplanets thought to be similar to Earth apparently are, at least when it comes to climate, Kepler-186f is the first identified Earth-sized planet outside the solar system orbiting a star in the habitable zone.

This means it's the proper distance from its host star for liquid water to pool on the surface.

The study, which appears in the Astronomical Journal , used simulations to analyze and identify the exoplanet's spin axis dynamics. Those dynamics determine how much a planet tilts on its axis and how that tilt angle evolves over time. Axial tilt contributes to seasons and climate because it affects how sunlight strikes the planet's surface. More


Scottish GPs to begin prescribing rambling and birdwatching

Shetlanders with chronic and debilitating illnesses could be given ‘nature prescriptions’ Doctors in Shetland are to start prescribing birdwatching, rambling and beach walks in the Atlantic winds to help treat chronic and debilitating illnesses for the first time.

From Friday, doctors working in the 10 GP surgeries on the islands will be authorised by the archipelago’s health board, NHS Shetland, to issue “nature prescriptions” to patients to help treat mental illness, diabetes, heart disease, stress and other conditions.

Patients will be given calendars and lists of walks drawn up by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds showing them particular bird species and plants, and suitable routes to take. The leaflets are to be available at surgeries. More


The Physics of a Spinning Spacecraft in The Expanse

syfy channel The Expanse The Expanse should just change their post credits for each episode to include a list of homework questions. Seriously—there are so many great things to explore in this hard science fiction show.

In a recent episode, one of the large spaceships (the Navoo) rotates in order to create artificial gravity (that's not really a spoiler). How about some questions and answers about this giant spinning spaceship?

How do you make artificial gravity?

Let me get right to it. You are probably somewhere near the surface of the Earth and there is a gravitational force between you and the Earth pulling you down. But here is the crazy part—you don't really feel this gravitational force. Since the gravitational force pulls on all parts of your body, you don't feel it. What you actually feel as "weight" is the force from the floor (or seat) pushing up on you. We call this the "apparent" weight. More


Helium temporarily bricks iPhones and Apple Watches in Chicago hospital, Android devices immune

iPhones get bricked by helium A new report from iFixit today looks into a curious case of many iPhones and Apple Watches failing at a hospital, at the same time. At first the cause was thought to be an electromagnetic pulse, but further investigation revealed the issue was helium.

They mystery started when a new MRI machine was being installed at Morris Hospital, outside Chicago. Systems Specialist, Erik Wooldridge said that he started hearing that smartphones had stopped working in the building. More


BlackFly electric personal VTOL ultralight aircraft is USA-qualified

The idea behind the vehicle is efficient and affordable commuting in rural and urban areas OPENER has announced that its BlackFly ultralight VTOL aircraft has been qualified for use in the US. The company says that BlackFly is simple to operate and master with no formal licensing needed in the US. BlackFly is fully amphibious and is designed to operate from small grassy areas for distances of up to 25 miles.

It is speed limited in the US to 62mph. The FAA requires no licensing for the use of ultralight qualified vehicles in the US. OPENER says that it will require all operators to complete the FAA Private Pilot written exam and complete a mandated vehicle familiarization and operator training. The vehicle is zero emissions and has eight propulsion systems spread across two wings. More


Why have humans never found aliens?

Where is everybody? “IF ALIENS are so likely, why have we never seen any?” That is the Fermi Paradox—named after Enrico Fermi, a physicist who posed it in 1950.

Fermi’s argument ran as follows. The laws of nature supported the emergence of intelligent life on Earth. Those laws are the same throughout the universe. The universe contains zillions of stars and planets.

So, even if life is unlikely to arise on any particular astronomical body, the sheer abundance of creation suggests the night sky should be full of alien civilisations. Fermi wondered why aliens had never visited Earth. Today, the paradox is more usually cast in light of the inability of radio-telescope searches to detect the equivalent of the radio waves that leak from Earth into the cosmos, and have done for the past century. More


Anomalies in The Large Hadron Collider's Data Are Still Stubbornly Pointing to New Physics

nobody said solving the biggest mysteries in the Universe would be easy Past experiments using CERN's super-sized particle-smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), hinted at something unexpected. A particle called a beauty meson was breaking down in ways that just weren't line up with predictions.

That means one of two things – our predictions are wrong, or the numbers are out. And a new approach makes it less likely that the observations are a mere coincidence, making it's nearly enough for scientists to start getting excited.

A small group of physicists took the collider's data on beauty meson (or b meson for short) disintegration, and investigated what might happen if they swapped one assumption regarding its decay for another that assumed interactions were still occurring after they transformed. More


Ancient Girl's Parents Were Two Different Human Species

this reconstruction of a Neanderthal female was the first made using ancient DNA evidence When the results first popped up, paleogeneticist Viviane Slon didn't believe it. “What went wrong?” she recalls asking herself at the time. Her mind immediately turned to the analysis. Did she make a mistake? Could the sample be contaminated?

The data was telling her that the roughly 90,000-year-old flake of bone she had tested was from a teenager that had a Neanderthal mom and Denisovan dad.

Researchers had long suspected that these two groups of ancient human relatives interbred, finding whiffs of both their genes in ancient and modern human genomes. But no one had ever found the direct offspring from such a pairing. More


New Horizons Just Found Hints of a Huge Structure at The Edge of Our Solar System

This boundary is known as the heliopause, which marks the official edge of the Solar System Way out past Pluto, in the region of asteroid-filled space known as the Kuiper belt, NASA probe New Horizons just got a tantalising hint of a long-sought structure in the outer Solar System.

An ultraviolet glow picked up by the probe's Alice UV spectrometer could be evidence of the 'hydrogen wall', a region of dense hydrogen on the boundary between the Solar System and interstellar space.

"We're seeing the threshold between being in the solar neighborhood and being in the galaxy," astronomer Leslie Young of the Southwest Research Institute and New Horizons team told Science News. Although space has extremely low pressure, it still exists, and the solar wind exerts an outward pressure. At a certain point that wind is no longer strong enough to push back against interstellar space. More


Scientists Have an Interesting Theory on Why Some People Are Left-Handed

southpaw development begins early For a long time, scientists have debated why some people are left-handed. Formerly, people thought our hand orientation depended on genetic differences in our brain, but recent research seems to indicate that our preference actually stems from our spinal cord.

"The research — by Sebastian Ocklenburg, Judith Schmitz, and Onur Gunturkun from Ruhr University Bochum, along with other colleagues from the Netherlands and South Africa — found that gene activity in the spinal cord was asymmetrical in the womb and could be what causes a person to be left- or right-handed," explains an article by Lindsay Dodgson on Business Insider, citing research from a study published in the journal eLife in 2017. More


The Next Big Discovery in Astronomy? We Probably Found It Years Ago — But Don't Know It Yet

An artist's illustration of a black hole "eating" a star. Earlier this year, astronomers stumbled upon a fascinating finding: Thousands of black holes likely exist near the center of our galaxy.

The X-ray images that enabled this discovery weren't from some state-of-the-art new telescope. Nor were they even recently taken – some of the data was collected nearly 20 years ago.

No, the researchers discovered the black holes by digging through old, long-archived data. Discoveries like this will only become more common, as the era of "big data" changes how science is done.

Astronomers are gathering an exponentially greater amount of data every day – so much that it will take years to uncover all the hidden signals buried in the archives. More


The next major innovation in batteries might be here

Doubling a drone’s battery life, quadruples the area it can cover Lithium-ion batteries were first introduced to the public in a Sony camcorder in 1991. Then they revolutionized our lives. The versatile batteries now power everything from tiny medical implants and smartphones to forklifts and expensive electric cars. And yet, lithium-ion technology still isn’t powerful enough to fully displace gasoline-powered cars or cheap enough to solve the big energy-storage problem of solar and wind power.

Dave Eaglesham, the CEO of Pellion Technologies, a Massachusetts-based startup, believes his company has made the leap beyond lithium-ion that will bring the battery industry to the next stage of technological disruption. He and his colleagues have accomplished something researchers have been struggling with for decades: they’ve built a reliable rechargeable lithium-metal battery. More


We Might Finally Know What Smacked Uranus Sideways

A planet twice the size of Earth gave our most unfortunately named planet its odd tilt. Most planets have poles roughly aligned with the sun's, which we have labeled north and south. Not Uranus.

For whatever reason, the seventh planet from the sun has always rolled on its side, throwing off all sorts of strange magnetic activity in the meantime. It's unlikely Uranus was tilted when it formed, and astronomers have struggled to understand the cause.

New research published today in the Astrophysical Journal suggests that Uranus got hit by a planet twice the size of Earth long ago. This collision could have radically changed the planet, resulting in its telltale tilt and making it relatively frigid compared to farther-out Neptune. Uranus is about 14 times the mass of Earth and around four times larger in radius. Whatever hit Uranus is thought to have been between two or three Earth-masses. More


The Vanishing City

An archaeologist uses Burning Man — the world’s biggest pop-up community — to learn about humanity’s past settlements Every year around Labor Day weekend, about 75,000 people converge on the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to build a city. Occupying more than 14,000 acres, the pop-up metropolis features distinctive neighborhoods, extensive dining and entertainment, even a small airport. I find no hint of this when I visit the playa, or desert basin, on a sunny afternoon in March. All I see is a flat expanse of white alkaline soil, nearly identical to what pioneers described in their 19th-century journals.

The disappearing act is by design. It’s one of the core attributes of Black Rock City, guided by the tenets of the event for which this temporary metropolis is built: the annual pyrotechnic extravaganza known as Burning Man. Yet the weeklong festival’s leave-no-trace ethos has not stopped archaeologist Carolyn White from studying the city as she would any other vanished civilization. In fact, the cyclicality is one of the qualities that draws her here year after year. More


Science Explains What Happens To Someone’s Brain From Complaining Every Day

I saw people rewire their brains with their thoughts The human brain is remarkably malleable. It can be shaped very much like a ball of Play-Doh, albeit with a bit more time and effort.

Within the last 20 years, thanks to rapid development in the spheres of brain imaging and neuroscience, we can now say for certain that the brain is capable of re-engineering – and that we are the engineers.

In many ways, neuroplasticity – an umbrella term describing lasting change to the brain throughout a person’s life – is a wonderful thing. More


Engage Warp Drive! Why Interstellar Travel's Harder Than It Looks

ahead warp factor six How hard is it to hop to the nearest star system or soar across the galaxy? A typical "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" movie makes it look easy. When the heroes get a distant distress call, they use "warp drive" or "hyperdrive" and arrive at their destination within minutes or hours. If we got the right propulsion, would it be possible for us to voyage that quickly in real life?

Almost 50 years ago, humans were walking on the moon. But we stopped going in 1972 and never ventured any farther, except by sending robotic probes. Humans have never gone to Jupiter, as the book and movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" promised us, or even to Mars. What is it that makes travel far away so difficult? Besides the obvious human health concerns (living in microgravity tends to weaken a body over time) and budgetary issues, there are vast technological problems with traveling to faraway places. More


First-ever colour X-ray on a human

The CERN technology, dubbed Medipix, works like a camera detecting and counting individual sub-atomic particlesNew Zealand scientists have performed the first-ever 3-D, colour X-ray on a human, using a technique that promises to improve the field of medical diagnostics, said Europe's CERN physics lab which contributed imaging technology.

The new device, based on the traditional black-and-white X-ray, incorporates particle-tracking technology developed for CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which in 2012 discovered the elusive Higgs Boson particle.

"This colour X-ray imaging technique could produce clearer and more accurate pictures and help doctors give their patients more accurate diagnoses," said a CERN statement. More


Andromeda may have eaten the Milky Way’s long-lost sibling

The Andromeda Galaxy, located some 2.5 million light-years from Earth The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is the largest member of the Milky Way’s gang of galactic neighbors, known as the Local Group. With around a trillion suns worth of mass, Andromeda’s gravitational influence is a force to be reckoned with. And according to new research, no galaxy in the Local Group knows this better than M32, an oddball satellite galaxy now orbiting Andromeda.

In a study published today in Nature Astronomy, researchers showed that about 2 billion years ago, the Andromeda Galaxy cannibalized one of the largest galaxies in the Local Group, turning it into the strange compact galaxy known as M32 that we see bound to Andromeda today. This massive collision stripped M32’s progenitor galaxy (dubbed M32p) of most of its mass – taking it from a hefty 25 billion solar masses to just a few billion solar masses. More


5,300-year-old Iceman's last meal reveals remarkably high-fat diet

Iceman had his groceries inspected  by scientists In 1991, German tourists discovered, in the Eastern Italian Alps, a human body that was later determined to be the oldest naturally preserved ice mummy, known as Otzi or the Iceman. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on July 12 who have conducted the first in-depth analysis of the Iceman's stomach contents offer a rare glimpse of our ancestor's ancient dietary habits.

Among other things, their findings show that the Iceman's last meal was heavy on the fat. The findings offer important insights into the nutritional habits of European individuals, going back more than 5,000 years to the Copper Age. They also offer clues as to how our ancient ancestors handled food preparation. More


Tesla bursts into flames after fatal crash in Switzerland

Tesla go boom Swiss firefighters have indicated the impact of a fatal crash involving a Tesla car may have triggered a battery fire, causing the vehicle to go up in flames.

A 48-year-German driver died on Thursday when his car hit a barrier on a motorway in the canton of Ticino, southern Switzerland. The car burst into flames and was attended to by Bellinzona firefighters, who say the blaze may have been caused by the Tesla battery. More


Hyderabad radio ham receives world recognition

international magazine CQ Amateur Radio inducted Farhan along with 11 others to its 2018 Hall of FameHyderabad: Ashhar Farhan, founder of Lamakaan and a long-time radio ham, is in elite company after being recognized for popularising the open-source Bit-X semi-kits, thus opening up the world to more hams in a much more affordable way.

On Friday, the international magazine CQ Amateur Radio inducted Farhan along with 11 others to its 2018 Hall of Fame, with Farhan being the only living Indian on the list.

The other Indian name was Kalpana Chawla, the NASA astronaut killed in 2003. Apart from Chawla, Farhan shares space in the Hall of Fame with prominent personalities such as Hollywood actor Marlon Brando, NASA astronaut David Brown, cybersecurity expert Mark Pecen and World War II photographer Ed Westcott. More


Tech companies scramble as sweeping data rules take effect

The GDPR only applies to the member states of the European Union, but users in the U.S. will also see changes as some websites decide to apply the new protections beyond Europe A sweeping set of new data privacy regulations descending on Europe is leaving internet companies in the U.S. scrambling to overhaul their practices to avoid steep penalties.

Companies like Google, Twitter, Yelp and Uber have in recent weeks sent notices to their users about updates to privacy policies and user agreements aimed at making their data collection practices more transparent.

The moves are part of an industry-wide effort to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect on Friday and forces companies to give full disclosure about what they do with the digital data they collect and offer their users more control over their information. More


Life inside hidden ’uncontacted’ Amazonian tribes REVEALED

THE incredible lives of uncontested Amazonian tribes that have had little to no communication with the outside world Despite popular opinion so-called uncontacted tribes do have relations with neighbouring groups or tribes – whether they are friendly or not.

They are, however, considered to be people who have no peaceful contact with anyone in mainstream society. Survival International, a group that aims to protect the rights of tribal people, estimates there are about 100 uncontacted tribes across the globe.

Many groups who live in isolation from larger society carve out an existence in hunter-gatherers or bartering communities. They live in communal groups that rely heavily on the rainforest where they hunt, fish and harvest food. More


Facebook Disabled 1 Billion Fake Accounts in the Last Year

Fakebook or Fecebook describe it well Facebook continued to give the public a peek behind the curtain, releasing a major report on Tuesday that announced the Silicon Valley company removed more than one billion fake accounts. Facebook also said it purged millions of posts that violate its rules in the last year.

The first-ever “Community Standards Enforcement Report,” a robust 81 pages, details the company’s efforts to weed out unsavory content, including violence and terrorist propaganda. The report accounted for the fourth quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2018. More


Tesla owner who turned on car's autopilot then sat in passenger seat while banned from driving

What Patel did was grossly irresponsible and could have easily ended in tragedy A man who switched on his car's autopilot before moving to the passenger seat while travelling along a motorway has been banned from driving for 18 months. Bhavesh Patel, aged 39, of Alfreton Road, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, April 20.

The court heard that at 7.40pm on May 21, 2017, Patel was driving his white Tesla S 60 along the northbound carriageway of the M1, between junctions 8 and 9 near Hemel Hempstead.

While the £70,000 car was in motion, he chose to switch on the supercar's autopilot function before moving across to the passenger seat and leaving the steering wheel and foot controls completely unmanned. More


Is Facebook secretly building an internet satellite? Signs point to yes

Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk may soon be going head to head in space Facebook may be secretly working on its own satellite broadband service.

The possible move comes just a few months after SpaceX launched its first two prototype satellites for an internet constellation it hopes may one day be over 11,000 strong.

A partially redacted FCC application obtained by IEEE Spectrum outlines a plan for an experimental satellite from a mysterious company called PointView Tech LLC, which IEEE goes on to connect to Facebook. More


Star Wars Rebel Alliance symbol on an insect? Bee-lieve it

the force is with this bee Humans aren't the only animals that can cosplay. Mother Nature endowed an unusual bee with one of the most famous symbols in all of sci-fi: the Star Wars Rebel Alliance logo.

Joseph Wilson, co-writer of The Bees in Your Backyard field guide, is celebrating May the 4th, Star Wars Day, with a photo of Triepeolus remigatus, a cuckoo bee with a distinctive marking that makes it look like it should be battling the Imperial forces alongside a bunch of Jedi and rebels.

But this particular bee has a dark side. Wilson said it "sneaks into the nests of squash bees and hides its egg. When its baby hatches, it kills the baby squash bee and eats the pollen that was left for the squash bee." That sounds a lot more Sith than Jedi. More


Police using 'drone killers' to disable flying devices in emergency situations

Law enforcement agencies are considering a new technology to rein in drones that may be interfering in emergency situations Drones have been used for a lot more than making videos and delivering pizzas.

They have dropped drugs into prison yards, scouted out illegal border crossings and grounded lifesaving efforts by accidentally wandering into the flight paths of firefighting aircraft.

The sky may be the limit for drones, but local law enforcement agencies are looking for a way to bring them back to earth. A new electronic device called a "drone killer" could be the answer. More


Why Asparagus Makes Your Urine Smell

Our bodies convert asparagusic acid into sulfur-containing chemicals that stink—but some of us are spared from the pungent aroma If you’ve ever noticed a strange, not-entirely-pleasant scent coming from your urine after you eat asparagus, you’re definitely not alone.

Distinguished thinkers as varied as Scottish mathematician and physician John Arbuthnot (who wrote in a 1731 book that “asparagus…affects the urine with a foetid smell”) and Marcel Proust (who wrote how the vegetable “transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume”) have commented on the phenomenon.

Even Benjamin Franklin took note, stating in a 1781 letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels that “A few Stems of Asparagus eaten, shall give our Urine a disagreable Odour” (he was trying to convince the academy to “To discover some Drug…that shall render the natural Discharges of Wind from our Bodies, not only inoffensive, but agreable as Perfumes” More


In Smart Cities of the Future, Posters and Street Signs Can Talk

Engineers tested the new technology with this poster at a Seattle bus stopOne day, signs may be able to talk to us through our phones and our car radios. Okay, so this may not be a technological breakthrough you’ve long awaited. Given how much time we already spend interacting with devices, you may be wondering if we really need to have more opportunities for inanimate objects to communicate with us.

Allow Vikram Iyer to explain.

“We think this is a technique that can really be used in smart cities to provide people with information when they’re outdoors,” he says. More


DARPA Is Researching Time Crystals, And Their Reasons Are 'Classified'

what could DARPA possibly want with these things? The US military likes to stay at the forefront of the cutting edge of science - most recently investigating ways they can 'hack' the human brain and body to make it die slower, and learn faster.

But in an unexpected twist, it turns out they're also interested in pushing the limits of quantum mechanics. The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced it's funding research into one of the strangest scientific breakthroughs in recent memory - time crystals.

In case you missed it, time crystals made headlines last year when scientists finally made the bizarre objects in the lab, four years after they were first proposed. More


Flowering Plants Originated Between 149 and 256 Million Years Ago

Flowering plants likely originated between 149 million years ago (Jurassic period) and 256 million years ago (Permian period) Angiosperms (flowering plants) are neither as old as suggested by previous molecular studies, nor as young as a literal interpretation of their fossil record, according to new research.

“The discrepancy between estimates of angiosperm evolution from molecular data and fossil records has caused much debate,” said co-author Dr. Jose Barba-Montoya, of University College London.

“Even Darwin described the origin of this group as an ‘abominable mystery’.” More


Autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder share molecular traits, study finds

braining not working so good with bad molecule A UCLA-led study, appearing Feb. 9 in Science, has found that autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder share some physical characteristics at the molecular level, specifically, patterns of gene expression in the brain. Researchers also pinpointed important differences in these disorders' gene expression.

"These findings provide a molecular, pathological signature of these disorders, which is a large step forward," said senior author Daniel Geschwind, a distinguished professor of neurology, psychiatry and human genetics and director of the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment. "The major challenge now is to understand how these changes arose."

Researchers know that certain variations in genetic material put people at risk for psychiatric disorders, but DNA alone doesn't tell the whole story. Every cell in the body contains the same DNA; RNA molecules, on the other hand, play a role in gene expression in different parts of the body, by "reading" the instructions contained within DNA. More


Opportunity will celebrate its 14th year on Mars

This visualization of the Opportunity rover on Mars was created using "Virtual Presence in Space" technology developed at JPL Opportunity, one of the two Mars Exploration Rovers launched in 2003, landed successfully on the Red Planet at 04:54 UTC on January 25, 2004. Its original mission parameters planned for 90 martian days (called sols) of operation during the mild summer on the Meridiani Planum near the planet’s equator.

As of January 16, 2018, Opportunity has been operational for 4,970 sols and driven 28.02 miles (45.09 kilometers) on the martian surface. On January 25, 2018, Opportunity turns 14 — in Earth years. In Mars years (which last about 687 Earth days, or 669 sols), she turns 7.4. More


Scientists warn we may be creating a 'digital dark age'

The IBM 729 Magnetic Tape Unit was IBM's iconic tape mass storage system from the late 1950s through the mid-1960sYou may think that those photos on Facebook or all your tweets may last forever, or might even come back to haunt you, depending on what you have out there. But, in reality, much of our digital information is at risk of disappearing in the future.

Unlike in previous decades, no physical record exists these days for much of the digital material we own. Your old CDs, for example, will not last more than a couple of decades. This worries archivists and archaeologists and presents a knotty technological challenge.

“We may [one day] know less about the early 21st century than we do about the early 20th century,” says Rick West, who manages data at Google. “The early 20th century is still largely based on things like paper and film formats that are still accessible to a large extent; whereas, much of what we're doing now — the things we're putting into the cloud, our digital content — is born digital.” More


In the Bones of a Buried Child, Signs of a Massive Human Migration to the Americas

An illustration of ancient Native Americans in what is today called the Upward Sun River site in central Alaska The girl was just six weeks old when she died. Her body was buried on a bed of antler points and red ocher, and she lay undisturbed for 11,500 years.

Archaeologists discovered her in an ancient burial pit in Alaska in 2010, and on Wednesday an international team of scientists reported they had retrieved the child’s genome from her remains. The second-oldest human genome ever found in North America, it sheds new light on how people — among them the ancestors of living Native Americans — first arrived in the Western Hemisphere.

The analysis, published in the journal Nature, shows that the child belonged to a hitherto unknown human lineage, a group that split off from other Native Americans just after — or perhaps just before — they arrived in North America. More


New Horizons' Target Could Be Two Objects and Might Have a Moon

The more we examine it, the more interesting and amazing this little world becomes NASA's New Horizons space probe is charged with exploring some of the farthest reaches of the solar system: the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt beyond. The spacecraft's next target, a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) known as 2015 MU69, is believed to be a peanut-shaped rock, or possibly two rocks orbiting close together. New observations have suggested that MU69 could also have a moon.

The mystery speaks to how little is currently known about KBOs. "We really won't know what MU69 looks like until we fly past it, or even gain a full understanding of it until after the encounter," said New Horizons science team member Marc Buie, speaking at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in New Orleans. "But even from afar, the more we examine it, the more interesting and amazing this little world becomes." More


Why people don't work on their cars anymore

Makes a lovely piece of wall art You can still purchase guides to fixing your car, and Haynes Manuals will be happy to sell them to you.

But the company asked customers what's keeping from getting under the hood — the survey was "informal" — and the answer wasn't surprising. That hunk of plastic covering the engine.

"You won't fix what you can't see," J Haynes, CEO of Haynes Publishing said in a statement.

"Most people don't realize that removing a few simple screws will provide easy access to undercover workings of their engine and allow them to work on their own cars and save lots of hard-earned money," he added. "We say there's no need to fear the plastic engine cover." More


Bright Spots on Ceres May Be Evidence of Aliens, Says NASA

Active worlds can turn up in unexpected places. For proof, look no further than the mysterious dwarf planet Ceres.NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been exploring Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter since March 2015, and review of images Dawn has returned reveals that the dwarf planet is no mere hunk of dead rock.

Among the surface features of Ceres are hundreds of bright, reflective areas that stand out from its otherwise dark face.

"The mysterious bright spots on Ceres, which have captivated both the Dawn science team and the public, reveal evidence of Ceres' past subsurface ocean, and indicate that, far from being a dead world, Ceres is surprisingly active," said Carol Raymond, Manager of the Small Bodies Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. More


Are 'Flatliners' Really Conscious After Death?

2017 movie "Flatliners," Courtney (Ellen Page) experiences death Driven by ambition and curiosity to learn what lies on the other side of death, five medical students deliberately stop their hearts in order to experience "the afterlife" in the new thriller "Flatliners" (Sony Pictures), which opened in U.S. theaters on Sept. 29.

They quickly discover that there are unexpected and terrible consequences of dallying with death — but not everything they experience after "dying" is in the realm of science fiction. A growing body of research is charting the processes that occur after death, suggesting that human consciousness doesn't immediately wink out after the heart stops, experts say.

But what really happens in the body and brain in the moments after cardiac arrest? More


A group of scientists just discovered 20 new planets you might eventually be able to move to

The discovery officially brought the total number of habitable planets that are about the same size as Earth to 50. Tired of living on Earth? You'll be happy to know that a group of scientists just discovered 20 new planets that boast Earth-like characteristics.

The discovery was made through Kepler, a space telescope that was launched back in 2009.

Although the contraption broke down in 2013, Kepler garnered so much data during its four working years that scientists are still rummaging through it. This time around, they scoured through a list of 4,034 exoplanets (basically, planets capable of sustaining life) to find those closest to Earth. Working off that shorter list, they then singled out 20 planets that most readily resembled Earth's defining properties. More


Meet the Brits who promised the world a $25 PC, and delivered a revolution

One of the more important things about Raspberry Pi is because it’s pretty much completely open-source, it enables anyone to do pretty much anything. In 2015, Raspberry Pi became the bestselling British computer of all time.

Earlier this year, it passed the 12.5 million mark in sales, taking its place as the third highest selling general purpose computer ever built.

When the project got underway, though, its primary objective wasn’t to sell millions of units.

The Raspberry Pi was conceived as an educational device. Its enormous popularity is proof of how well it executed upon that vision.

In just five year’s time, the hardware went from a promising idea to a globally recognized brand – and we’re only going to see the full effect of how it makes computing more accessible as the next generation of programmers mature and flourish. More


Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets

High-tech tools divulge new information about the mysterious and violent fates met by these corpses If you’re looking for the middle of nowhere, the Bjaeldskovdal bog is a good place to start. It lies six miles outside the small town of Silkeborg in the middle of Denmark’s flat, sparse Jutland peninsula. The bog itself is little more than a spongy carpet of moss, with a few sad trees poking out. An ethereal stillness hangs over it. A child would put it more simply: This place is really spooky.

I drove here on a damp March day with Ole Nielsen, director of the Silkeborg Museum. We tramped out to a desolate stretch of bog, trying to keep to the clumps of ocher-colored grass and avoid the clingy muck between them. A wooden post was planted to mark the spot where two brothers, Viggo and Emil Hojgaard, along with Viggo’s wife, Grethe, all from the nearby village of Tollund, struck the body of an adult man while they cut peat with their spades on May 6, 1950. The dead man wore a belt and an odd cap made of skin, but nothing else.

Oh yes, there was also a plaited leather thong wrapped tightly around his neck. This is the thing that killed him. His skin was tanned a deep chestnut, and his body appeared rubbery and deflated. Otherwise, Tollund Man, as he would be called, looked pretty much like you and me, which is astonishing considering he lived some 2,300 years ago. More


Conspiracy Theorists Have a Fundamental Cognitive Problem, Say Scientists

The study is especially timely; recent polls suggest that nearly 50 percent of ordinary, non-pathological Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory. The world’s a scary, unpredictable place, and that makes your brain mad. As a predictive organ, the brain is on the constant lookout for patterns that both explain the world and help you thrive in it. That ability helps humans make sense of the world. For example, you probably understand by now that if you see red, that means that you should be on the lookout for danger.

But as scientists report in a new paper published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, sometimes people sense danger even when there is no pattern to recognize — and so their brains create their own.

This phenomenon, called illusory pattern perception, they write, is what drives people who believe in conspiracy theories, like climate change deniers, 9/11 truthers, and “Pizzagate” believers. More

Beluga Living with Dolphins Swaps Her Calls for Theirs

dolphins and whales living  together oh no In November 2013, a four-year-old captive beluga whale moved to a new home. She had been living in a facility with other belugas. But in her new pool, the Koktebel dolphinarium in Crimea, her only companions were dolphins. The whale adapted quickly: she started imitating the unique whistles of the dolphins, and stopped making a signature beluga call altogether.

“The first appearance of the beluga in the dolphinarium caused a fright in the dolphins,” write Elena Panova and Alexandr Agafonov of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. The bottlenose dolphins included one adult male, two adult females and a young female. But the animals soon got along, er, swimmingly. In August 2016, one of the adult female dolphins gave birth to a calf that regularly swam alongside the beluga. More


The Closest Star to Our Own Solar System Just Got a Lot More Interesting

Not-to-scale artist’s impression of the dust belts around Proxima Centauri Astronomers have announced they've discovered a ring of cold cosmic dust surrounding the closest star to our Solar System - the faint red dwarf Proxima Centauri.

This finding means that the star, which is also home to the nearest Earth-like planet discovered just last year, hosts what could be a more elaborate planetary system than we previously thought.

Using data from the ALMA Observatory in Chile, a team of researchers has detected the faint glow of what appears to be a belt of dust surrounding Proxima Centauri several hundred million kilometres out from the star. More


More Accurate World Map Wins Prestigious Design Award

You probably don’t realize it, but virtually every world map you’ve ever seen is wrong. And while the new AuthaGraph World Map may look strange, it is in fact the most accurate map you’ve ever seen.

The AuthaGraph map is the most accurate map you'll ever see. You probably won't like it.







The world maps we’re all used to operate off of the Mercator projection, a cartographic technique developed by Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. This imperfect technique gave us a map that was “right side up,” orderly, and useful for ship navigation — but also one that distorted both the size of many landmasses and the distances between them.

To correct these distortions, Tokyo-based architect and artist Hajime Narukawa created the AuthaGraph map over the course of several years using a complex process that essentially amounts to taking the globe (more accurate than any Mercator map) and flattening it out. More


The ghostly radio station that no one claims to run

“MDZhB” has been broadcasting since 1982. No one knows why. In the middle of a Russian swampland, not far from the city of St Petersburg, is a rectangular iron gate. Beyond its rusted bars is a collection of radio towers, abandoned buildings and power lines bordered by a dry-stone wall. This sinister location is the focus of a mystery which stretches back to the height of the Cold War.

It is thought to be the headquarters of a radio station, “MDZhB”, that no-one has ever claimed to run. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues.

Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz. More


Trump officials have no clue how to rebuild Puerto Rico’s grid. But we do.

Florida and Japan show clean energy is fastest, cheapest way to restore powerWith Puerto Rico’s dirty, costly electric grid wiped out by Hurricane Maria, now is the time for a clean power rebuild.

Microgrids built around cheap renewable power and battery storage are now the fastest and cheapest way to restore power — while at the same time building resilience into the grid against the next disaster.

That’s been proven by Florida after Hurricane Irma, Japan after the tsunami that caused the Fukushima meltdown, and India after recent monsoons. More


The Cult of Amiga Is Bringing an Obsolete Computer Into the 21st Century

Meet the dedicated few who are working in the shadows to keep an ancient suite of software alive, waiting for it to thrive again The IBM and Apple machines were better known among the legends of 80s computer. But perhaps no computer was more beloved by its users than the Amiga.

In the mid-1980s, Commodore released the Amiga 1000, a beast of a machine whose specs blew away the hardware of its day, and which became a cult favorite.

But by 1995, after several iterations of Amiga and years of questionable decisions by the Commodore company, the Amiga brand closed up shop. In the two decades since then, the rights to the computer and its software suite have been sold off and stuck in legal purgatory. And yet now, a group of hardware enthusiasts are trying to bring the revered 1980s computer into the 21st century. More


Researchers Think They've Figured Out What Mysterious Scottish Stone Circles Were Used For

New research into Neolithic stone circles on the Scottish islands of Orkney has revealed they were the party hotspots of the end of the Stone Age – places where people met to find partners, celebrate the summer and winter solstices, and pay tribute to the dead.

The study has also revealed how the area was a melting pot of different social groups and communities, a mix that eventually caused enough political tension for the groups to go their separate ways.

Part of a broader investigation into Neolithic living called The Times of their Lives, led by Historic England, the new analysis examines more than 600 radiocarbon dates, giving researchers a clearer view of the timing and duration of events between 3200 BC and 2500 BC on the islands. More


World’s Most Powerful Laser Is 2,000 Trillion Watts – But What’s It For?

powerful fucking laser The most powerful laser beam ever created has been recently fired at Osaka University in Japan, where the Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments (LFEX) has been boosted to produce a beam with a peak power of 2,000 trillion watts – two petawatts – for an incredibly short duration, approximately a trillionth of a second or one picosecond.

Values this large are difficult to grasp, but we can think of it as a billion times more powerful than a typical stadium floodlight or as the overall power of all of the sun’s solar energy that falls on London. Imagine focusing all that solar power onto a surface as wide as a human hair for the duration of a trillionth of a second: that’s essentially the LFEX laser. More


The brain on DMT: mapping the psychedelic drug's effects

Users have reported seeing 'aliens' or 'entities' while under the influence of the drug. A team from Imperial College London plans to put the 'machine elves' myths to rest N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is famous for producing one of the most intense psychedelic experiences possible, catapulting users into a series of vivid, incapacitating hallucinations. But despite the kaleidoscope of variation on offer, the enduring mystery of DMT is the encounters it induces with 'entities' or 'aliens': "jewelled self-dribbling basketballs" or "machine elves", as the psychedelic missionary Terence McKenna described them.

McKenna, not really a scientist so much as a roving DMT performance poet, helped popularise the drug in the 70s, along with his own intuitive theories that the entities were evidence of alien life, or that DMT facilitated trans-dimensional travel.

“They’re really amazing, spine-tingling ideas,” says Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research at Imperial College, London. “But, you know, arguably they’re bullshit.” More


Secrets of ‘lost eighth continent’ Zealandia to be unlocked as scientists set sail to explore underwater landmass

Mysterious submerged continent disappeared 75 million years ago and has never been fully investigated We know the dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago, so there is every chance scientists will find something totally unexpected in this drowned world.

It was originally part of the gigantic super-continent Gondwana, which was made up of many of the continents which now exist in the southern hemisphere.

Covering 1.9 million square miles, it extends from south of New Zealand northward to New Caledonia and west to the Kenn Plateau off Australia's east coast.

Drill ship Joides Resolution will recover sediments and rocks lying deep beneath the sea bed in a bid to discover how the region has behaved over the past tens of millions of years.

The recovered cores will be studied onboard, allowing scientists to address issues such as oceanographic history, extreme climates, sub-seafloor life, plate tectonics and earthquake-generating zones. More


The Asteroid That Just Came Close to Earth Is So Huge It Has Its Own Moons

asteroid with two moons Asteroid Florence flew by Earth last week, skimming at a distance of 7 million kilometres (4.4 million miles). It's the biggest asteroid to come this close in more than a century.

It's so big, in fact, that it has two tiny moons of its very own, according to radar images obtained by NASA when Florence was at its closest on 31 August and 1 September.

"While many known asteroids have passed by closer to Earth than Florence ... all of those were estimated to be smaller," said JPL-NASA's Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. More


How did Tesla make some of its cars travel further during Hurricane Irma?

Tesla’s cheaper models had their battery range limited Tesla drivers who fled Hurricane Irma last weekend received an unexpected lesson in modern consumer economics along the way. As they sat on choked highways, some of the electric-car giant’s more keenly priced models suddenly gained an extra 30 or so miles in range thanks to a silent free upgrade.

The move, confirmed by Tesla, followed the request of one Florida driver for a limit on his car’s battery to be lifted. Tesla’s cheaper models, introduced last year, have the same 75KwH battery as its more costly cars, but software limits it to 80% of range. Owners can otherwise buy an upgrade for several thousands of dollars. And because Tesla’s software updates are online, the company can make the changes with the flick of a virtual switch. More


Why can't monkeys talk? Scientists rumble over a curious question

though Neanderthals must have been capable of limited speech, Lieberman said, they would not have spoken with the clarity of an adult human. Decades ago, while Philip H. Lieberman was soaking in a bathtub and listening to the radio, he heard anthropologist Loren Eiseley ponder an evolutionary puzzle: Why couldn't monkeys talk? Like us, they're social primates, intelligent and certainly not quiet. Rhesus macaques grunt, coo, screech and scream. Infant macaques make sounds known as geckers. Despite the grunting and geckering, though, no other primates — not even the chimpanzees and bonobos, our nearest ape relatives — can make the vowel and consonant sounds we know as speech.

Scientists figured there were two likely sticking points. Either the brain was not wired for speech in nonhuman primates, or their windpipes were shaped the wrong way.

Lieberman, a professor emeritus of anthropology at Brown University in Rhode Island, got out of the tub and took the puzzle with him. In groundbreaking experiments with rhesus macaques in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Lieberman and his colleagues pinned the problem to monkey throats. They concluded that macaques lacked a sufficient supralaryngeal vocal tract, the space in humans that begins in the mouth and follows the hump of the tongue into the throat. Even if a monkey brain had the correct wiring for speech, the monkey vocal tract simply couldn't produce adequate sounds to talk. More


First Object Teleported from Earth to Orbit

Researchers in China have teleported a photon from the ground to a satellite orbiting more than 500 kilometers above Last year, a Long March 2D rocket took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert carrying a satellite called Micius, named after an ancient Chinese philosopher who died in 391 B.C. The rocket placed Micius in a Sun-synchronous orbit so that it passes over the same point on Earth at the same time each day.

Micius is a highly sensitive photon receiver that can detect the quantum states of single photons fired from the ground. That’s important because it should allow scientists to test the technological building blocks for various quantum feats such as entanglement, cryptography, and teleportation.

Today, the Micius team announced the results of its first experiments. The team created the first satellite-to-ground quantum network, in the process smashing the record for the longest distance over which entanglement has been measured. And they’ve used this quantum network to teleport the first object from the ground to orbit. More


Apple is still selling very old and expensive computers – these are the ones you shouldn't buy

Apple expects you to pay more and get less Apple is still selling you computers with 2013 specs for 2017 price tags.

While these computers will work fine, they have outdated specs that don't warrant their high price tags. You should steer your wallet well clear of them.

I've listed the Apple computers you shouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole, and added suggestions of computers you should consider instead.

Some of these computers are part of Apple's recent back-to-school promotion, where you can get a free pair of $300 Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones. Yet, even with the free pair of headphones, some computers aren't worth your time or money. More


Water exists as two different liquids

Artist's impression of the two forms of ultra-viscous liquid water with different density We normally consider liquid water as disordered with the molecules rearranging on a short time scale around some average structure. Now, however, scientists at Stockholm University have discovered two phases of the liquid with large differences in structure and density.

The results are based on experimental studies using X-rays, which are now published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (US).

Most of us know that water is essential for our existence on planet Earth. It is less well-known that water has many strange or anomalous properties and behaves very differently from all other liquids. Some examples are the melting point, the density, the heat capacity, and all-in-all there are more than 70 properties of water that differ from most liquids. These anomalous properties of water are a prerequisite for life as we know it. More


DNA scientists claim that Cherokees are from the Middle East

The Cherokees have lived in the Southeastern United States for over 10,000 years Archaeological evidence, early written accounts, and the oral history ofthe Cherokees themselves show the Cherokees as a mighty nation controlling more than 140,000 square miles with a population of thirty-six thousand or more. Often the townhouse stood on an earthen mound, which grew with successive ceremonial re-buildings.”

In his famous book, “The History of the America Indians” eighteenth century explorer and trader, John Adair stated that several hundred Cherokees, living in the North Carolina Mountains, spoke an ancient Jewish language that was nearly unintelligible to Jews from England and Holland. From this observation, Adair extrapolated a belief that all Native Americans were the descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. More


Groundbreaking discovery confirms existence of orbiting supermassive black holes

Artist's conception shows two supermassive black holes, similar to those observed by UNM researchers, orbiting one another more than 750 million light years from EarthFor the first time ever, astronomers at The University of New Mexico say they've been able to observe and measure the orbital motion between two supermassive black holes hundreds of millions of light years from Earth - a discovery more than a decade in the making.

UNM Department of Physics & Astronomy graduate student Karishma Bansal is the first-author on the paper, 'Constraining the Orbit of the Supermassive Black Hole Binary 0402+379', recently published in The Astrophysical Journal. She, along with UNM Professor Greg Taylor and colleagues at Stanford, the U.S. Naval Observatory and the Gemini Observatory, have been studying the interaction between these black holes for 12 years. More


Snapchat launches location-sharing feature Snap Map

Snap Map was based on Snapchat’s secret acquisition of social map app Zenly Snapchat’s next big feature wants to get you to meet up with friends in real life rather than just watching each other’s lives on your phones. Snap Map lets you share your current location, which appears to friends on a map and updates when you open Snapchat. It’s rolling out today to all iOS and Android users globally.

“We’ve built a whole new way to explore the world! See what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!,” Snap writes on its blog. More


Feminist researcher invents ‘intersectional quantum physics’ to fight ‘oppression’ of Newton

because closing the wage gap turned out to be too much work A feminist academic affiliated with the University of Arizona has invented a new theory of “intersectional quantum physics,” and told the world about it in a journal published by Duke University Press.

Whitney Stark argues in support of “combining intersectionality and quantum physics” to better understand “marginalized people” and to create “safer spaces” for them, in the latest issue of The Minnesota Review.

Because traditional quantum physics theory has influenced humanity’s understanding of the world, it has also helped lend credence to the ongoing regime of racism, sexism and classism that hurts minorities, Stark writes in “Assembled Bodies: Reconfiguring Quantum Identities.”

Konchinsky's suit alleges that the officers' actions violated her First Amendment right to freedom of speech. More


Uranus Is Even Freakier Than We Thought

Truly, we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of Uranus’ strangeness If David Lynch designed a planet, it would be Uranus. Much like every episode of Twin Peaks: The Return, Uranus is fiercely unique and weirdly endearing, even though it makes no fucking sense. The planet’s spin axis is 98 degrees, so it essentially rotates on its side—and while we have some idea as to what could have caused that, no one’s really sure. That’s just how Uranus rolls, literally.

New research from Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that Uranus’ unusual spin axis could be responsible for another one of the planet’s oddities. Uranus’ magnetosphere, the magnetic field that surrounds it, gets flipped on and off every day as it rotates along with the planet. More


How the Roland TR-808 revolutionized music

The drum machine that blurred lines between genres If you’re into hip-hop and pop, you’ve probably heard “808” at some point. That’s a reference to the iconic Roland TR-808, a drum machine created by Ikutaro Kakehashi in 1980. Its unique dribbling bass drum sound is what artists mean when they say “turn up the 808.” The pursuit of the perfect low-frequency 808 sound is a real struggle for producers. Make a powerful enough 808, and it can blow your speakers — which can be the goal, if you’re trying to make a real banger.

Over the weekend, Kakehashi died at the age of 87, leaving behind a legacy of creations that had an immeasurable impact on music all over the world. Born in Osaka, Japan, Kakehashi got his start repairing broken watches and clocks when he was 16, and later obtained a degree in mechanical engineering. In 1960, he found his way to electronic instruments at Ace Electronic Industries. He solidified a name for himself in 1972, when he founded Roland Corporation, and spearheaded the creation of synthesizers and drum machines, including the TR-808. More


Scientists Use CRISPR-Cas9 to Create Red-Eyed Mutant Wasps

Red-eyed Nasonia vitripennis.The red-eyed wasps were created to prove that CRISPR gene-slicing technology can be used on the tiny jewel wasp Nasonia vitripennis, giving scientists a new way to study some of the wasp’s biology.

“No one knows how that selfish genetic element in some male wasps can somehow kill the female embryos and create only males,” said Dr. Omar Akbari, an assistant professor of entomology at the Institute for Integrative Genome Biology at the University of California, Riverside.

“To understand that, we need to pursue their paternal sex ratio (PSR) chromosomes, perhaps by mutating regions of the PSR chromosome to determine which genes are essential for its functionality,” added Dr. Akbari, who is the lead co-author of a paper describing the research, published this week in the journal Scientific Reports. More


"Period Emoji" Could Be Coming To Your Phone Pretty Soon

if it bleeds, you can text it now SMS messenger Women's rights group Plan International is asking supporters to vote on a variety of "period emoji" to be included in the global emoji keyboard.

The organisation has created five emoji and is urging supporters to vote on their favourite. From there, the emoji with the most votes will be submitted to the Unicode Consortium – the group that standardises characters across devices.

The CEO of Plan International Australia, Susanne Legena, said the inclusion of a "period emoji" could help change the taboo surrounding menstruation in many parts of the world. More


DNA Study Sheds Light on Evolution of Dog Breeds

Representatives from each of the 23 clades of breeds. Breeds and cladesGenetic material from 161 modern breeds helped a team of researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health assemble the most comprehensive evolutionary tree of dogs. The results are published in the journal Cell Reports..

The team, led by NHGRI dog geneticist Dr. Elaine Ostrander, examined genomic data from the largest and most diverse group of breeds studied to date, amassing a dataset of 1,346 dogs representing 161 breeds. Included are populations with vastly different breed histories, originating from all continents except Antarctica, and sampled from North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. More


Epsilon Eridani System is Remarkably Similar to Our Own

Artist’s illustration of the Epsilon Eridani system. In the right foreground, the Jupiter-mass planet Epsilon Eridani b is shown orbiting its star at the outside edge of an asteroid belt.The star Epsilon Eridani, also known as eps Eri, 18 Eri and HD 22049, is located 10.5 light-years away in the constellation Eridanus and is visible in the night skies with the naked eye.

The star’s temperature of 5,116 degrees Kelvin (almost 700 Kelvin cooler than the Sun) and low luminosity (34% solar) tell of a lower mass, approximately 83% that of the Sun.

Though its rotation speed appears similar to that of the Sun, the star is much younger, some 800 million years old, or one-fifth the age of the Sun. The Epsilon Eridani system is the closest planetary system around a star similar to the young Sun and is a prime location to research how planets form around Sun-like stars. More


First Humans Arrived in North America 116,000 Years Earlier than Thought: Evidence from Cerutti Mastodon Site

A concentration of fossil bone and rock at the Cerutti Mastodon site The Cerutti Mastodon site was discovered by San Diego Natural History Museum researchers in November 1992 during routine paleontological mitigation work.

This site preserves 131,000-year-old hammerstones, stone anvils, and fragmentary remains — bones, tusks and molars — of a mastodon (Mammut americanum) that show evidence of modification by early humans.

An analysis of these finds ‘substantially revises the timing of arrival of Homo into the Americas,’ according to a paper published this week in the journal Nature.

“This discovery is rewriting our understanding of when humans reached the New World,” said Dr. Judy Gradwohl, president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Natural History Museum. More


Is Diagnosing Your Car Problems With Your SmartPhone the Future of Car Tech?

check engine light it's still there I was driving home from work this past week, and as I was topping a hill on the freeway the dashboard lit up with some ominous error messages about my engine. Next, the check engine light came on.

I was able to get home without issues, but I was assuming that I would need to bring the car in to get it fixed.

Before I went too far, however, I went online to do some research on the specific issue my car was having…

When your check engine light comes on, it’s important to get it checked out right away. The light could be an indication that there is a serious problem like a major engine issue (that could be a safety issue), or it could be something simple like tightening your gas cap (which my wife had to do one time). The point is, until you get it checked, you just don’t know. So get it checked. More


“Super Agers” Have Brains That Look Young

Older adults who perform like young people on tests of memory have a shrink-resistant cortex As we get older, we start to think a little bit more slowly, we are less able to multitask and our ability to remember things gets a little wobblier. This cognitive transformation is linked to a steady, widespread thinning of the cortex, the brain's outermost layer. Yet the change is not inevitable. So-called super agers retain their good memory and thicker cortex as they age, a recent study suggests.

Researchers believe that studying what makes super agers different could help unlock the secrets to healthy brain aging and improve our understanding of what happens when that process goes awry.

“Looking at successful aging could provide us with biomarkers for predicting resilience and for things that might go wrong in people with age-related diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia,” says study co-author Alexandra Touroutoglou, a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School. More


Volcano On Mars Continuously Erupted For Two Billion Years

Volcano god on MarsA meteorite discovered in Algeria in 2012 has led scientists to conclude that a volcano had erupted in Mars continuously for 2 billion years.

Mars has been host to several volcanoes and also houses the largest volcano of our solar system, the Olympus Mons'Study of the meteorite led the researchers to believe that a volcano did exist on the Red Planet, which erupted continuously for 2 billion years.

"Even though we've never had astronauts walk on Mars, we still have pieces of the Martian surface to study, thanks to these meteorites," shared Marc Caffee, member of the meteorite research team and professor of physics and astronomy at Purdue. More


US Army asks for biodegradable ammo

eating lead will never be the same againThe U.S. Army gets through a lot of ammunition thanks to the amount of training it carries out. But that ammunition doesn't come without waste which slowly degrades over hundreds of years polluting whatever ground (and nearby water sources) it happens to fall upon.

So the Department of Defense (DoD) decided to do something about it, and is requesting environmentally friendly ammunition for use during training exercises.

The request was made via the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Specifically, the DoD wants "biodegradable training ammunition loaded with specialized seeds to grow environmentally beneficial plants that eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants." More


Octopuses Are ‘the Closest We Will Come to Meeting an Intelligent Alien’

Meet your new friend the octopus Convergent evolution is what happens when nature takes different courses from different starting points to arrive at similar results. Consider bats, birds, and butterflies developing wings; sharks and dolphins finding fins; and echidnas and porcupines sporting spines. Or, if you want to annoy a traditionalist scientist, talk about humans and octopuses — and how they may both have consciousness.

This is the thrust of Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, a new book by the scuba-diving, biology-specializing philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith, originally of Australia and now a distinguished professor at the City University of New York’s graduate center. The book was written up by Olivia Judson in The Atlantic, and you should read the whole thing, but what I find mesmerizing is how categorically other the eight-tentacled ink-squirters are, and how their very nature challenges our conceptualizations of intelligence. More


Study Finds Most Government Workers Could be Replaced by Robots

Imagine C3PO as an IRS agentA study by a British think tank, Reform, says that 90% of British civil service workers have jobs so pointless, they could easily be replaced by robots, saving the government around $8 billion per year.

The study, published this week, says that robots are “more efficient” at collecting data, processing paperwork, and doing the routine tasks that now fall to low-level government employees.

Even nurses and doctors, who are government employees in the UK, could be relieved of some duties by mechanical assistants. There are “few complex roles” in civil service, it seems, that require a human being to handle. More


Power Company Sends Fire-Spewing Drone to Burn Trash Off High-Voltage Wires

Fire spewing drone What happens when your power lines get all kinds of trash hanging from them and it’s not safe to send up a human? In Xiangyang, China, you send in the drones. Specifically, the drones that shoot fire.

Just in case you were worried that the robot uprising was delayed, fear no more. It appears to be right on time, as these fire-spewing drones are sent to burn off trash that gets stuck on high-voltage wires. The drones are being used by an electric power maintenance company in China to get rid of plastic bags and other debris that get caught in places that are hard to reach with a human in a cherrypicker. More


Even Cavemen Brushed Their Teeth — and They Probably Had Better Teeth Than You

Dufus Rufus the cave man had a great set of choppers As long as humans have had teeth, it’s probably safe to presume, we’ve been getting stuff stuck in them. And as long as we’ve been getting stuff stuck in our teeth, we’ve also been looking for ways to fish it out — which means our ancestors, before inventions like toothpaste and floss, had to get creative with what they had. As the Washington Post reported earlier this week, an archaeologist has discovered the first evidence of how cavemen brushed their teeth.

In a paper recently published in the journal Science of Nature, archaeologist Karen Hardy, a researcher at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, analyzed the remains of a million-year-old jawbone taken from an archaeological site in northern Spain. The bone, one of the oldest human remains ever found in Europe, was too incomplete for researchers to determine the hominid species it belonged to – but luckily for Hardy, there was still plenty of plaque preserved on the teeth, waiting to be examined. “Once it’s there it stays there,” Hardy told the Post. “It’s kind of like a tattoo of biological information — a personal time capsule.” More


Warming up your car engine on cold mornings may be a bad idea

Start it up, make sure all your windows are clear of ice/snow/fog, and just drive the thing! Everybody likes to get into a roasty, toasty vehicle with the heat blasting full force on a cold winter morning.

And the best way to do that is to warm your ride up by letting the engine idle for 10 minutes or more, right?

Not so fast...

A lot of people think that a cold engine needs to warm up in the morning. But the engineers at Road & Track magazine believe otherwise. The idea that engines need to warm up to a certain operating temperature dates back to the time of carburetors. But today's fuel-injected engines can warm up quickly even in the coldest weather. More


Sharks wary of SMS patterned wetsuit says UWA

don't become the shark's next mealASX listed Shark Mitigation Systems have achieved scientific validation of their unique, patented, shark deterrent wetsuits after the University of W.A completed a ground breaking trial of the company’s “SAMS” wetsuit technology with live white sharks in South Africa.

UWA put Shark Mitigation Systems’ claim that their uniquely patterned wetsuits that mimic the colour spectrum of water can deter shark attacks to the test and the results are quite stunning.

In a live scientific trial conducted in June and reported this week, the University of W.A says it took on average 400% longer for sharks to engage with the patterned wetsuits that contained the “SAMS” technology when compared to an ordinary black wetsuit. More


Parallel worlds exist and interact with our world, say physicists

New theory explains many of the bizarre observations made in quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics, though firmly tested, is so weird and anti-intuitive that famed physicist Richard Feynman once remarked, "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." Attempts to explain some of the bizarre consequences of quantum theory have led to some mind-bending ideas, such as the Copenhagen interpretation and the many-worlds interpretation.

Now there's a new theory on the block, called the "many interacting worlds" hypothesis (MIW), and the idea is just as profound as it sounds. The theory suggests not only that parallel worlds exist, but that they interact with our world on the quantum level and are thus detectable. Though still speculative, the theory may help to finally explain some of the bizarre consequences inherent in quantum mechanics, reports More


Vera Rubin, Who Confirmed Existence Of Dark Matter, Dies At 88

Vera Rubin works at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., in 1965 Vera Rubin, the groundbreaking astrophysicist who discovered evidence of dark matter, died Sunday night at the age of 88, the Carnegie Institution confirms.

Rubin did much of her revelatory work at Carnegie. The organization's president calls her a "national treasure."

In the 1960s and 1970s, Rubin was working with astronomer Kent Ford, studying the behavior of spiral galaxies, when they discovered something entirely unexpected — the stars at the outside of the galaxy were moving as fast as the ones in the middle, which didn't fit with Newtonian gravitational theory. More


Time travellers could use parallel dimensions to visit the past, scientists claim

Physicists reveal sensational findings which could allow science fiction dreams to become reality THERE are multiple timelines playing out in parallel universes, according to a team of researchers.

The sensational claim was made by a team of physicists, who believe that the parallel universes can all affect one another.

Professor Howard Wiseman and Dr Michael Hall, from Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, claim that the idea of parallel universes is more than just science fiction. Fellow researcher Dr Dirk-Andre Deckert, from the University of California, helped further the researchers’ theory, which goes against almost all conventional understanding of space and time. More


Is Your GPS Scrambling Your Brain?

To retain our skills, researchers offer the same strong suggestion: as often as you can, put down the GPSBefore Noel Santillan became famous for getting lost, he was just another guy from New Jersey looking for adventure. It was last February, and the then 28-year-old Sam’s Club marketing manager was heading from Iceland’s Keflavík International Airport to the capital city of Reykjavík with the modern traveler’s two essentials: a dream and, most important, a GPS unit.

What could go wrong? The dream had been with him since April 14, 2010, when he watched TV news coverage of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption.

Dark haired, clean-cut, with a youthful face and thick eyebrows, he had never traveled beyond the United States and his native Mexico. But something about the fiery gray clouds of tephra and ash captured his imagination. I want to see this through my own eyes, he thought as he sat on his couch watching the ash spread. More


Female monkeys use wile to rally troops

A female vervet monkey eats in South Africa Female vervet monkeys manipulate males into fighting battles by lavishing attention on brave soldiers while giving noncombatants the cold shoulder, researchers said Wednesday.

As in humans, it turns out, social incentives can be just as big a driver for male monkeys to go to war as the resources they stand to gain from fighting, whether it be territory or food.

"Ours is the first study to demonstrate that any non-human species use manipulative tactics, such as punishment or rewards, to promote participation in intergroup fights," study co-author Jean Arseneau, a primate specialist of the University of Zurich, told AFP.

Arseneau and a team studied four vervet monkey groups at a game reserve in South Africa for two years. They observed that after a skirmish with a rival gang, usually over food, females would groom males that had fought hardest, while snapping at those that abstained. More


What It Feels Like to Die

cience is just beginning to understand the experience of life’s end “Do you want to know what will happen as your body starts shutting down?”

My mother and I sat across from the hospice nurse in my parents’ Colorado home. It was 2005, and my mother had reached the end of treatments for metastatic breast cancer.

A month or two earlier, she’d been able to take the dog for daily walks in the mountains and travel to Australia with my father. Now, she was weak, exhausted from the disease and chemotherapy and pain medication.

My mother had been the one to decide, with her doctor’s blessing, to stop pursuing the dwindling chemo options, and she had been the one to ask her doctor to call hospice. Still, we weren’t prepared for the nurse’s question. My mother and I exchanged glances, a little shocked. But what we felt most was a sense of relief. More


Alien Star Passed Through Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago

cosmic billiards as star passes through Oort cloud Around the time modern humans are thought to have first spread across Asia, a red dwarf star passed just 0.8 light-years from the sun, a group of astronomers have concluded.

Our wandering ancestors probably never noticed. Scholz's star, as the red dwarf star is nicknamed, is so faint that, despite being just 20 light-years away, it was only discovered in 2013. Even when 25 times closer, and therefore 600 times brighter, the star officially known as WISE J072003.20-084651.2 would have required binoculars to detect (had they existed at the time). However, magnetically active stars like Scholz's can flare and it's possible that it may have occasionally become bright enough to puzzle an observant early human.

Scholz's star almost certainly passed through the Oort cloud, where most comets dwell, but probably didn't reach the inner cloud where a gravitational disturbance can trigger a cascade of comets into the inner solar system. More


Want Power? Fire Up the Tomatoes and Potatoes

Scientists are investigating what kinds of plants can best generate power, and are turning otherwise wasted food into fuel Summer is high season for composting food waste—and, at large scale operations, for generating power by burning the biogas it generates. But scientists around the globe are figuring out new ways to turn decomposing food into power beyond the trash heap, and they’re finding that some foods are better-suited to the job than others.

That matters because figuring out which foods turn into fuel efficiently makes it easier to reuse waste where it starts: in the fields and supermarkets.

Every year, more than half the fruits and vegetables produced in North America and Ocenania end up in the garbage heap, and a full 20 percent of produce grown fails to even make it off the farm. More