Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Fantasy and Reality – how does the brain tell the difference?

fantasy dreamAC

Some people, like history’s greatest artists or scientists, have a fantastic imagination that long transcends reality. Others have this line completely blurred and can’t make sense of what’s real or not. For most of us, however, fantasy and reality are clearly separated in our mental psyche. Now, a team of neuroscientists have explored the neural pathways that move information pertaining to…

News, Technology, Videos

Gecko-hand-gloves helps human climb wall like spiderman

Geckos can run just as easily along a wall or ceiling as they can across a floor. This is due to special pads on their toes, which can even grip glass. No man-made adhesive technology comes even close to functioning as well as gecko feet. Credit: Institute for Creation Research

Watch out, Spiderman! Stanford engineers recently demonstrated a pair of  gecko-inspired hand pads strong enough to pull the weight of an adult man and to allow him to climb a wall. Scaling walls like a gecko At the center of the gecko’s clinging ability are its specialized pads, located on the reptile’s toes, comprised of various satae (bristle- or hair-like structures ) on the…

News, Pollution

Electron Beams might reduce NOx (smog) emissions in coal plants and cut costs

coal plant flue gas

With the EPA setting stricter guidelines for NOx emissions fired by coal plants, the industry is now in a position where it needs new, advanced technologies that clean flue gases. Such a solution might came from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), which recently partnered with a leading coal corporation to implement its electron beam technology. The system works by zapping…

News, Technology

Google pays $1.16 bn to lease NASA airbase for “robots, planes and space exploration”

google nasa

Google has paid over 1 billion dollars to lease a NASA airbase with 3 hangars for 60 years. Planetary Ventures, one of Google’s subsidiary companies, will take over management of the Moffett Federal Airfield. “As Nasa expands its presence in space, we are making strides to reduce our footprint here on Earth,” said the Nasa administrator Charles Bolden in a press…

News, Space

New ‘Mystery Islands’ found on Titan’s Methane Sea

Image credits: NASA/JPL

The enduring Cassini spacecraft returns with new insight into the hydrocarbon seas from Saturn’s moon Titan. The latest findings were reported after the spacecraft’s most recent flyby above Titan’s northern hemisphere on August 21, where it performed observations of the largest liquid methane/ethane sea, the 400,000 square kilometre Kraken Mare. The Cassini astronomers were looking to probe the methane sea’s depths, but…

Space, Videos

Astronauts Submerge a GoPro camera Inside a Floating Ball of Water On The ISS

photo credit: GoPro in water by Steve Swanson, Reid Wiseman, and Alexander Gerst. Screen capture from YouTube.

Curious about how water surface tension “behaves” in microgravity, astronauts onboard the International Space Station decided to stick a GoPro camera inside a floating ball of water. They filmed the results in 2D and in 3D: The crew “submerged” a sealed GoPro camera into a floating ball of water the size of a softball and recorded the activity. The video was filmed…

News, Science

Oldest ‘fish-lizard’ bridges Ichthyosaur evolutionary gap

Ichthyosaurs were predatory marine reptiles that swam the world's oceans while dinosaurs walked the land. They appeared in the Triassic period, dying out around 25 million years before the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs. much more streamlined, fish-like form built for speed. One species has been calculated to have a cruising speed of 36 km/h. These enormous predators remained at the top of the food chain until they were replaced by the plesiosaurs.

One of the most long-lived and fiercest marine predator in history was the ichthyosaur, and a recent fossil find from China bridges an important gap in the creature’s evolutionary history. Truly, a fish and a lizard The ichthyosaur (Greek for “fish lizard”), which lived from about 248 million years ago to about 95 million years ago, has been liken by many…

News, Space

Mysterious object at the heart of Milky Way might be a Merged Star

The center of the Milky Way galaxy, with the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), located in the middle, is revealed in these images. The large image contains X-rays from Chandra in blue and infrared emission from the Hubble Space Telescope in red and yellow. Credit: NASA

A mysterious cosmic object thought to be an immense cloud of gas and dust left scientists scratching their heads after it wasn’t consumed by the supermassive black hole that lies at the center of our galaxy. After it passed a critical point in its orbit around the black hole – where a gas cloud would have typically become engulfed in…

GeoPicture

GeoPicture of the Week: Lava Flow from Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai`i

Image credits: USGS.

We tend to think of geology as a slow moving force, something which rarely interferes on the scale of a human life. But every once in a while, geology comes up and shows us that it is actually ruling the Earth. Such is the case with the Hawai’i lava flow. In case you didn’t know, a slow moving lava flow is…

Astronomy, News

Cassini captures stunning picture of Titan’s seas

Image credits: NASA/JPL

Saturn’s Moon Titan is a remarkable place; it’s the only place aside for the Earth which has liquids on its surface – albeit, the liquid isn’t water, but rather hydrocarbons: methane and ethane. Titan is too cold to have liquid water on its surface, but that doesn’t make it any less spectacular. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured some amazing pictures of…