News, Psychology

Connect or disconnect? Technology interferes with couple relationships for the worse

Technology appears to negatively relate to relationship and personal well-being. Image: Clinton Power

The introduction of mobile phones coupled with internet made for a huge leap in communication, making people connect with each other easier than ever. Under a mist of noise and over-stimulation of our, let’s face it, limited attention span, technology has also taken its toll. We’ve all noticed it, but let’s not be hypocritical about it either. How many times…

News, Physics

Superconductivity achieved at room temperature for a fraction of a second

superconductivity

Using a pulse of infrared light, physicists at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter have turned an insulating material into a superconductor even at room temperature, a property that was retained  for only a few millionths of a microsecond. Superconductivity is a state where a material can conduct electricity with absolute zero resistance, with no…

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Genetic probe flares cancer directly in the blood stream

NanoFlares light up (red clouds) individual cells if a cancer (in this study, breast cancer) biomarker (messenger RNA, blue) is detected by recognition DNA (green) molecules coated on gold nanospheres and containing a fluorescent chemical (red) reporter flare (credit: Tiffany L. Halo et al./PNAS)

The Nanoflare technology uses a genetic-based approach to detect and image live cancer cells present in the blood stream, well before these had a chance to develop into a tumor. The gene-hunting particles developed at Northwestern University might help doctors develop personalized treatments for their patients and curb cancer spread, according to the paper published in PNAS. Hunting cancer’s genes…

News, Physics

Two new subatomic particles discovered at CERN, as predicted by Standard Model

View of the CMS detector at the end of 2007. (Maximilien Brice, © CERN)

While the LHC at CERN is gearing up for its long awaited restarted, following an overhaul, scientists aren’t standing idle. After analyzing collision data made during 2011-2012, physicists have identified two new baryons, known as  known as the Xi_b‘- and Xi_b*- . The new subatomic particles’ properties match predictions based on the theory of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), a subset of the…

Environmental Issues, News, Physics, World Problems

Twice as many lightnings expected by 2100 as a result of global warming

lightning

Researchers from the  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, have devised a model that projects how climate change affects atmospheric lightning discharges. According to their findings, global warming – particularly through more water vapor gathering in the upper atmosphere – will cause lightning strikes to increase in frequency by 50% during this century. More warming and…

Biology, Mind & Brain, News

Is this the first Proof that Meditation alters Cellular Activity?

Meditation

There’s an immense body of evidence that proves that meditation has significant beneficial effects for mental health, but it’s only recently that researchers in Canada discovered a link between mindfulness meditation and altered cellular activity in cancer patients. Biology and meditation: no longer mutually exclusive “We already know that psychosocial interventions like mindfulness meditation will help you feel better mentally,…

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Anxiety can damage the brain and foster Alzheimer’s

Studies have shown that anxiety in MCI is associated with abnormal concentrations of plasma amyloid protein levels and T-tau proteins in cerebrospinal fluid, which are biomarkers of Alzheimer’s. Photo: Therapy Ideas

Researchers at Baycrest Health Sciences’ Rotman Research Institute have found that patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who also show anxiety symptoms are at a much greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s. This was the first study of its kind that isolated anxiety in a longitudinal study covering people diagnosed with MCI, painting a clearer picture of how anxiety interferes with cognitive…

Biology, News

Multicellular Life may have ‘cheated’ its way into Existence

Bacterial collectives were bred where cheats were either suppressed or encouraged. Photo: Gayle Ferguson

One of the most fundamental question evolutionary biologists are trying to answer is how did multicellular life evolve from single celled organisms. Researchers from New Zealand, Germany and the USA believe they have found a counter-intuitive hint after studying organisms evolve in real time: cheating, non-cooperative cells may have pressured evolution to work on a program that would integrate two cell states….

Anthropology, News

Humans first interbred with Neanderthals at least 50,000 Years Ago

This reconstruction of another ancient modern human found in Romania 43,000 years ago gives us a glimpse of how the Siberian man might have looked like.

Following the genome sequence of the oldest modern human remains outside of Africa using the most refined DNA analysis to data, scientists believe they arrived at a more price time frame when humans and Neanderthals first interbred – sometimes between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago. The findings also suggest modern humans arrived in northern Eurasia substantially earlier than some scientists thought. A…

Materials, News

This electric generator is only a few atoms thick

Positive and negative polarized charges are squeezed from a single layer of atoms, as it is being stretched. —Image courtesy of Lei Wang/Columbia Engineering

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and the Georgia Institute of Technology report the first experimental proof of piezoelectricity and the piezotronic effect in an atomically thin material, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), making the experimental setup, in effect, the thinnest electrical generator in the world. The resulting generator is optically transparent, extremely light, and very bendable and stretchable. In the future, such generators could be…