Animals, Biology, News

Blue whales in California bounce back to 1900s numbers

Image: sandiegowhalewatching.com

We often report how many species around the world are becoming extinct, but it’s heart warming to report from time to time that some conservation efforts really do work. For instance, a new report found that Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), the largest animals on Earth, have steadily increased in population around the Californian waters to the point it’s almost as high as…

Environmental Issues, Geology, News

California issued rights for five times the water it actually has

How bad is California's drought? Just look above. Photo: Wiki

California is facing one of its direst drought streaks, and only last year it came out of its warmest winter on record. Clearly, things aren’t looking that good and the most vulnerable resource to these conditions is at the same time the most valuable: water. Desperate times, call for desperate measures, and this means in some instances policymakers need to…

Tech

TEST Engage:BDR

AD should show on the right, above the “SUBSCRIBE” box. ……

Environment, Great Pics, News

Antarctica from Pole to coast, captured in stunning detail

antarctica1

A mosaic of more than 3,150 high-resolution satellite images creates the best continent-wide view since 1997. The result is the one you see below: The over three thousand pictures were taken in the Southern Hemisphere’s autumn of 2008, and tiled together into a coast-to-coast view of the entire continent with its coastal waters. The result is not only lovely to look…

Biology, Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Fat grizzlies stay diabetes free thanks to protein shut down

fat_grizzly

The shutdown of a key protein allows grizzly bears to go through tremendous weight gains without loosing insulin sensitivity. Thus they’re never at risk of getting diabetes. What if we could shut this protein down for humans too?…

Chemistry, Green Living, News, Renewable Energy

Popeye’s secret: spinach provides key insight that might one day lead to artificial photosynthesis

photosynthesis

While scientists have been studying and incrementally increasing solar cell efficiency, we’ve yet to reach nature’s magnitude of solar energy conversion through photosynthesis. Artificial photosynthesis is a goal in alternative energy research, yet the process is extremely difficult to mimic since, in nature, the process involves numerous stages and transformation of matter and energy. Purdue University physicists used spinach and applied…

Chemistry, News, Research

Why your battery is dying – the answer could vastly improve battery life

Materials scientist Huolin Xin is the lead author of the two studies that sought to find which are the dominant factors that lead to life cycle degradation in rechargeable batteries. Photo: (Brookhaven National Laboratory)

If you’ve owned a smartphone or laptop for more than two years and use the gadgets frequently, then you’ve most likely noticed, to your exasperation, how short the battery life is compared to when the product was first shipped. Rechargeable batteries have been around for more than 100 years, but it’s only recently that scientists are beginning to understand what…

Materials, News, Science

Adding lithium makes graphite both transparent and conductive. A great game changer for the industry

Better, far more responsive touchscreen displays might be developed as a result of these findings. Photo:easy-it.ro

Materials found in nature often speak of at least one comprise. Metals for instance are highly conductive, but not transparent. Plastics on the other hand can be made to be transparent, but they’re very poor electrical conductors. This annoying tradeoff has aggravated scientists for some time in their efforts to design better solar cells or touchscreen displays, which need the…

Mind & Brain, Neurology

Addiction is a disease that first starts with dopamine overcorrection in the brain

dopamine_drgs_pills-

Drug and alcohol addiction affects millions of people around the world, but despite decades worth of research and billions of dollars, our understanding of addiction is still far from being complete. Brigham Young University professor Scott Steffensen and his team have recently contributed with a few pieces in the addiction puzzle, which are of vital importance. Their work suggests that…

Health & Medicine, News

Link found between nearsightedness and years spent in school

nearsightedness-and-school

A common stereotype is that people who wear glasses are labeled as nerds, but sooner than later most people from the developed world will end up wearing glasses, if the current trend continues. There are many reasons why more and more suffer from nearsightedness, ranging from urbanization, spending more time indoors and in front of the computer and so on….