Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Vegetative state man responds to Hitchcock clip

Alfred Hitchcock movie

Neuroscientists at University of Western Ontario in London, Canada  found that a man who was thought to be living in a vegetative state for almost twenty years showed response when an Alfred Hitchhock movie was played in the background. The findings suggest that doctors might want to explore more methods to determine whether or not a possibly vegetative state patient is…

Electronics, Health & Medicine, News

Indian teenager invents cheap device that turns breath into speech

In photo: sixteen year old inventor Arsh Shah Dilbagi demonstrating his breath to voice synthesizer.

About 1.4% of the world’s population today is speech impaired, due to conditions such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), locked-in syndrome (LIS), Encephalopathy (SEM),Parkinson’s disease, and paralysis. Imagine all the people living in Germany today were unable to speak and you’ll come to realize just how far reaching this condition is. So, aside for those being paralyzed, there are a lot…

News, Technology

Ant-sized radio that powers itself might change consumer electronics forever

tiny_radio

Researchers at the University of Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley just presented a tiny radio, so small it’s the size of an ant, that could very well change the way we interact with technology in the future. What makes the device truly incredible is its ability to power itself without using an external power supply, like a plug or…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Frequent pot smokers may light up to cope with negative emotions

Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images file photo , National Post

People who frequently smoke marijuana may use the drug to cope with negative emotions. This sort of association makes people more inclined to abuse marijuana and makes it harder to quit, according to a new study published in the  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Lighting up to fight bad vibes, but is it worth it? Dr. Lydia Shrier, of the…

Physics, Videos

Rube goldberg machine demonstrates power of optics

rube-goldberg

Everybody enjoys a good ol’ entertaining Rube Goldberg machine, whether it’s a fantasy Loony Tunes contraption or a real-life state of the art display of engineering. What’s not to love when alarm clocks, sprockets, furniture and even boiling tea pots all work together in a lovely dance, ultimately ending in lighting a candle or something like that. Today, I’d like…

Climate, Environmental Issues, News, Pollution

World deforestation surprisingly results in net cooling effect

Cropland bordering rainforest in Iguacu National Park, Argentina, Brazil. Photo: Watson Institute, Brown University

In the 1950s rainforests  covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. It’s believed that deforestation accounts for about 20% of global emissions of CO2, because of the a reduced carbon storage capacity. Yet there may be a hidden side…

Chemistry, News, Pollution

US drinking water contaminated with gas because of faulty wells, but not fracking

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

Stanford researchers traced back methane leaks from contaminated drinking water in Pennsylvania and Texas to shale gas wells. However, they note that they did not find a link between the contamination and the technique used to drill for shale gas itself, called hydraulic fracturing or more commonly known as fracking. Instead, the researchers concluded that well integrity is the main…

Environmental Issues, News

Energy efficiency could boost economy by $18 trillion, but energy saving is only 25%

energy_efficiency_benefits

The world is currently on a downward spiral, risking reaching a point of no return where global warming can no longer be reversed – not in due time at least. We’re already 50ppm of CO2 (parts per million) over the 350ppm average atmospheric CO2 concentration, considered by leading experts the carbon stabilizing threshold. It’s increasingly clear that steps are needed…

News, Renewable Energy

New electrolysis system produces hydrogen 30 times faster

A scheme that shows two methods of hydrogen generation: electrolysis and methane reforming. Image: jaea.go.jp

A new method of producing hydrogen has been reported by researchers at University of Glasgow that’s 30 times faster than current state-of-the-art methods, providing yet another advance that might one day lead to a sustainable hydrogen based economy. There’s only so much that renewable energy can grow with today’s infrastructure due to base load considerations. If the intermittency can be…

Health & Medicine, News

Magic mushroom therapy helps smokers quit where other methods fail

Psilocybin mushrooms in Hazerwoude-Dorp, The Netherlands. Photographer: Roger Cremers/Bloomberg

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Universityin Baltimore used psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, in a novel treatment that helped a dozen people quit smoking. The findings adds to growing body of evidence that suggests psilocybin, combined with counseling, can be a highly effective tool against addiction and depression. Volunteers were given each a 20 milligram pill of psilocybin in a safe…