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…

News, Space

Top-Secret Air Force plane lands after 2 year mission in Earth’s orbit

X-37B

After exactly 674 days in orbit, the Air Force’s top secret spaceplane landed in California on Friday. There’s very little anyone knows about the plane, apart from its name – X-37B – and the fact that it can fly in orbit unmanned. The two main assumptions are that it’s either a space plane or a bomber. Maybe both. A mysterious unmanned shuttle…

News, Physics, Technology

Magnetic Mirror reflects Light like No Other. Opens new suit of Optical Applications

In Lewis Caroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871), the sequel to the classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice again enters a fantastical world, this time by climbing through a mirror into the world that she can see beyond it. Though far from Alice’s spectacular feat, scientists at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico demonstrated a new…

Animals, Biology, News

Sharks have Social Personalities too: some are friendlier than Others

Juvenile spotted cat sharks (Scyliorhinus canicula) were studied for their social interactions. They can found throughout the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, but during the test the sharks were monitored in large tanks containing three habitats in Plymouth. Photo: University of Florida

When people think of sharks, the most immediate response might be jaws, fright or blood, but if you’re willing to set prejudice aside you might find that these animals aren’t that different from most of us; at least in one important respect: social interactions….

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Automated tasks are still processed while you sleep

sleep

Despite an incredible body of work dedicated to researching what goes inside the brain while we sleep, consensus among neuroscientists suggests we’re just beginning to scratch the surface. For instance, we’ve yet to answer a fundamental question: why do we need sleep? We all agree that we needed it  – going without sleep for long periods of time can bring…

Biology, Genetics, News

Tobacco plants borrowing bacteria genes achieve more efficient photosynthesis

This plant may look like an ordinary tobacco plant, but on the inside it was engineered to express bacteria proteins which helps it perform more efficient photosynthesis. Photo: Rothamsted Research

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say we owe all the wonders of life to photosynthesis – the ability of plants and certain bacteria to convert CO2 into energy (sugars) and food. Scientists have for some time attempted to enhance photosynthesis through genetic manipulation, but it’s only recently that we’re beginning to see these efforts take form. The most recent…

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. ……