Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Why do dogs have bigger brains than cats? They are more sociable.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 28, 2010) — Over millions of years dogs have developed bigger brains than cats because highly social species of mammals need more brain power than solitary animals, according to a study by Oxford University.
For the first time researchers have attempted to chart the evolutionary history of the brain across different groups of mammals over 60 million years. They have discovered that there are huge variations in how the brains of different groups of mammals have evolved over that time. They also suggest that there is a link between the sociality of mammals and the size of their brains relative to body size, according to a study published in the PNAS journal.
The research team analysed available data on the brain size and body size of more than 500 species of living and fossilised mammals. It found that the brains of monkeys grew the most over time, followed by horses, dolphins, camels and dogs. The study shows that groups of mammals with relatively bigger brains tend to live in stable social groups. The brains of more solitary mammals, such as cats, deer and rhino, grew much more slowly during the same period. Read more here.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
This could be a major development in e-readers.
FOX News reported:
No need to wish for access to the library at Hogwarts; you may soon own a book that can refill its pages -- just like magic.
Imaginations are running wild upon news of a breakthrough that could lead to a low-cost and even disposable e-reader. Coining the phrase "E-paper on paper," electrical engineering professor Andrew Steckl and University of Cincinnati doctoral student Duk Young Kim have developed a method that allows colored text and video to be displayed on flexible, organic paper.
Not too unlike pixels on a screen, "electrowetting" involves applying voltage to millions of colored droplets within a display to form the images seen on the paper, Steckl told FoxNews.com.
"We've been working with electrowetting devices for making displays for some time, and I thought it would be great if the kind of devices we build used more natural materials," Steckl said. "You know, renewable materials that we can harvest on a regular basis and then dispose of more naturally as well."
Saturday, November 27, 2010
CERN's Large Hadron Collider is starting to make interesting discoveries.
(PhysOrg.com) -- In an experiment to collide lead nuclei together at CERN's Large Hadron Collider physicists from the ALICE detector team including researchers from the University of Birmingham have discovered that the very early Universe was not only very hot and dense but behaved like a hot liquid.
By accelerating and smashing together lead nuclei at the highest possible energies, the ALICE experiment has generated incredibly hot and dense sub-atomic fireballs, recreating the conditions that existed in the first few microseconds after the Big Bang. Scientists claim that these mini big bangs create temperatures of over ten trillion degrees.
At these temperatures normal matter is expected to melt into an exotic, primordial ‘soup’ known as quark-gluon plasma. These first results from lead collisions have already ruled out a number of theoretical physics models, including ones predicting that the quark-gluon plasma created at these energies would behave like a gas.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
This is only partly true. L-tryptophan in turkey does make you sleepy, but there are other reasons.
The turkey is often cited as the culprit in afterdinner lethargy, but the truth is that you could omit the bird altogether and still feel the effects of the feast. Turkey does contain L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid with a documented sleep inducing effect. L-tryptophan is used in the body to produce the B-vitamin, niacin. Tryptophan also can be metabolized into serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters that exert a calming effect and regulates sleep. However, L-tryptophan needs to be taken on an empty stomach and without any other amino acids or protein in order to make you drowsy. There's lots of protein in a serving of turkey and it's probably not the only food on the table.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Credit: L.P. Madin / WHOI
This is a strange creature.
(PYSORG)-The bizarre, newly-revealed squidworm -- a free-swimming worm with up to 10 squid-like limbs -- is one of a host of strange discoveries that await scientists in the vast, largely unexplored spaces of the deep ocean.
New anatomical and genetic analysis of the squidworm Teuthidodrilus samae has revealed it to be a segmented worm -- an annelid, just as the earthworm is. But its appearance is far stranger than any backyard night crawler you've ever seen.
The slimy animal's flattened body is about 3.5 inches long. It possesses 25 or more pairs of translucent white paddles arranged on its sides for swimming and up to 10 fragile, tentacle-like appendages at its head that are the same length as its body or longer.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Emerging economies are pumping out CO2 faster than developed countries are reducing it.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 22, 2010) — Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions -- the main contributor to global warming -- show no sign of abating and may reach record levels in 2010, according to a study led by the University of Exeter (UK).
The study, which also involved the University of East Anglia (UK) and other global institutions, is part of the annual carbon budget update by the Global Carbon Project.
In a paper published November 21 in Nature Geoscience, the authors found that despite the major financial crisis that hit the world last year, global CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuel in 2009 were only 1.3 per cent below the record 2008 figures. This is less than half the drop predicted a year ago.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
The paranormal is entering the realm of reality?
(PhysOrg.com) -- A Cornell University scientist has demonstrated that psi anomalies, more commonly known as precognition, premonitions or extra-sensory perception (ESP), really do exist at a statistically significant level. Psi anomalies are defined as "anomalous processes of information or energy transfer that are currently unexplained in terms of known physical or biological mechanisms."
In a paper soon to appear in the leading (peer-reviewed) social psychology publication, The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, psychologist Daryl Bem described nine experiments, in most of which he reversed the order of well-known psychological experiments such as recall and affective priming, so that what was usually seen as the cause became the effect. The experiments were carried out over a period of eight years and were well-designed and controlled and rigorous enough to be replicated in the future by other researchers.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Astronomers think they have an explanation for "missing stars."
ScienceDaily (Nov. 19, 2010) — In the local group of galaxies that also includes the Andromeda Nebula and our Milky Way, there are about 100 billion stars. According to astronomers' calculations, there should be many more. Now, physicists from the University of Bonn and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland may have found an explanation for this discrepancy...
For years, astronomers worldwide have been looking for a plausible explanation for this discrepancy. In cooperation with Dr. Carsten Weidner from St. Andrews University, Dr. Pflamm-Altenburg and Professor Dr. Pavel Kroupa, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Bonn, may now have found the solution. It seems that so far, the birth rate has simply been overestimated. But this answer is not quite as simple as it sounds. Apparently, the error of estimation only occurs during periods of particularly high star production.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
For the first time ever, scientists have created and captured antimatter. They were able to preserve the antimatter atoms for one-tenth of a second.
Scientists working on the big bang machine in Geneva have done the seemingly impossible: create, capture and release antimatter.
The development could help researchers devise laboratory experiments to learn more about this strange substance, which mostly disappeared from the universe shortly after the Big Bang around 14 billion years ago.
Trapping any form of antimatter is difficult, because as soon as it meets normal matter -- the stuff Earth and everything on it is made out of -- the two annihilate each other in powerful explosions.
In a new study, physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva were able to create 38 antihydrogen atoms and preserve each for more than one-tenth of a second.
These don't sound as dangerous as a real black hole.
PHYSORG: While our direct knowledge of black holes in the universe is limited to what we can observe from thousands or millions of light years away, a team of Chinese physicists has proposed a simple way to design an artificial electromagnetic (EM) black hole in the laboratory.
In the Journal of Applied Physics, Huanyang Chen at Soochow University and colleagues have presented a design of an artificial EM black hole designed using five types of composite isotropic materials, layered so that their transverse magnetic modes capture EM waves to which the object is subjected. The artificial EM black hole does not let EM waves escape, analogous to a black hole trapping light. In this case, the trapped EM waves are in the microwave region of the spectrum.The so-called metamaterials used in the experiment are artificially engineered materials designed to have unusual properties not seen in nature.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Remote operation allows doctors to operate from a room next door and avoid radiation and lead aprons used in many heart procedures.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 15, 2010) — The world's first remote heart procedure, using a robotic arm alongside 3-D mapping, is due to take place at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester. It comes six months after Dr Andre Ng carried out the first ever remote catheter ablation procedure using the Amigo Robotic Catheter System.
Dr Ng, is senior lecturer at the University of Leicester and consultant cardiologist and electrophysiologist at Glenfield Hospital.
On November 16, Dr Ng will be carrying out another "world first" using the robotic arm in combination with advanced 3-dimensional mapping to fix an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (AF).
Monday, November 15, 2010
The boundary between Earth and space take center stage in this photo captured by cameras on a balloon-launched paper airplane built by space enthusiasts at The Register in the U.K. The plane was carried to an altitude of about 17 miles before descending back to Earth on Oct. 28, 2010. Credit: The Register [Full Story]
The paper airplane was carried aloft by a helium balloon.
FOX News reported:
An oversize paper airplane sent up toward the edge of space by a British online tech publication has snapped stunning photos of the final frontier and the Earth far below.
The paper aircraft's Vulture 1 mission took place Oct. 28 as part of the Paper Aircraft Released In Space (PARIS) project conducted by three space enthusiasts with The Register, an online technology publication in the U.K.
Photos from a camera attached to the plane show the curve of the Earth and the black of space beyond. [Paper Airplane's Photo of Space]
Sunday, November 14, 2010
The Lunar far side as seen by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter. (Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)
Tidal forces early in the moon's history?
ScienceDaily (Nov. 12, 2010) — A bulge of elevated topography on the far side of the moon -- known as the lunar far side highlands -- has defied explanation for decades. But a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, shows that the highlands may be the result of tidal forces acting early in the moon's history when its solid outer crust floated on an ocean of liquid rock.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The STS-133 mission will be Discovery's final mission before retirement. It is unclear ho long it will take NASA to repair the two 7 inch cracks.
Fox News reported:
Discovery was scheduled to take off Nov. 5 on its final mission, to the International Space Station, a flight that was delayed until Nov. 30 following discovery of a fuel leak. Tuesday morning, technicians
at the space agency identified two cracks on a section of the tank’s metal exterior during removal of the external fuel tank foam insulation.
An unidentified NASA technician snapped a few high-resolution photos of the crack -- and promptly posted them on his son's blog, Gizmodo reported Tuesday evening.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
The bad news is you may have to pee on your iPhone.
The NY Observer reported;
British health officials are hard at work on a new app that will allow users to pee into their cell phones and find out within minutes if they have an STD.
Seriously, we could not make this stuff up if we tried.
According to The Guardian, £4 million have been invested in the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, which is creating a smartphone app that will allow users, "to put urine or saliva on to a computer chip about the size of a USB chip, plug it into their phone or computer and receive a diagnosis within minutes."
Sunday, November 7, 2010
The desktop PC never looked so good.
(Reuters Health) - Whoever invented the 'laptop' probably didn't worry too much about male reproductive health.
Turns out, unsurprisingly, that sitting with a computer on your lap will crank up the temperature of your nether regions, which could affect sperm quality.
And there is little you can do about it, according to the authors of a study out today in the journal Fertility and Sterility, short of putting your laptop on a desk.
The researchers hooked thermometers to the scrotums of 29 young men who were balancing a laptop on their knees. They found that even with a lap pad under the computer, the men's scrotums overheated quickly.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
NASA is investigating what is causing the fire balls over Canada.
MONTREAL — Great balls of fire have been reported swooping over Eastern Canada and several U.S. states.
Even NASA's on the case.There are different theories about what was behind the sighting of those fireballs.
Friday, November 5, 2010
NASA snaps a pic of Comet Hartley 2 from only 435 miles away.
ABC News reported:
Thirteen million miles out in space, a NASA probe called Deep Impact has flown within 435 miles of Comet Hartley 2, and the early pictures are a sight to behold.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
E.T. is safe now.
DENVER – Denver residents have jettisoned a plan to officially track space aliens.
The proposal defeated soundly Tuesday night would have established a commission to track extraterrestrials. It also would have allowed residents to post their observations on Denver's city Web page and report sightings.
Early results show Denver residents voted 106,776-20,162 against the proposal.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
It is really cool Astronauts can vote from space. It is a shame our government can't arrange for all the military to get their ballots on time.
FOX News reported:
To help space station crewmembers stay involved with their local politics, NASA has made arrangements with county officials that allow astronauts to vote from space. The ballots are prepared by county officials and beamed up from Mission Control.
“I voted on Sunday through an electronic e-mail system,” Kelly told reporters via a video link today (Nov. 2). “I think Texas actually passed a law where we could vote from space, and it felt like an honor and privilege to exercise our rights as U.S. citizens from the International Space Station.”
Monday, November 1, 2010
A new scale ranks alcohol as the most harmful drug. It beat out heroin and crack.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 1, 2010) — A new system that ranks drugs on the basis of harm caused to both the user and others places alcohol as the most harmful drug, above heroin and crack. The scale, developed by drug experts led by Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London, is published online in The Lancet.