News, Psychology

What does money mean to you? For women love, for men freedom


Generally speaking, men and women seem value money differently. After surveying 100,000 British men and women about their feelings surrounding money, researchers found women were twice as likely to associate cash with love and feelings of care in general, while men were again twice as likely to equal money with freedom and power.

Feature Post, Great Pics

112 Elements from the Period Table Illustrated as Characters


Science not only involves a lot of technical know-how, but also a great deal of creativity and imagination. Often science and art are seen as opposites, which can’t be further from the truth. Worst case, they complement each other. For one, art may actually be the best way to communicate science to those who have yet to take a class or lacked an inspired influence in its due time. Take for instance Kaycie Dunlap’s graduate thesis called Elements – Experiments in Character Design. For her project Kaycie decided to use her passion for character design to give chemistry a more human look. So she ambitiously sketched by hand a witty character for 112 chemical elements from the period table.

News, World Problems

Oil industry at its lowest in six years: over $500 billion in collective debt


In just a couple of weeks the price of oil, and commodity in general, have plunged. This Friday, oil was trading on the international market for $47 a barrel, while the American benchmark is currently sitting at $41.5. The low pricing – the lowest in six years – is driving a lot of companies bankrupt, while large companies like Exxon and Shell have been forced to cut down on their losses firing employees and shutting down exploration and exploitation projects.

Great Pics, Science

How not to get hit by a car: 7 easy tips for kids and parents alike


In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 4,092 pedestrians were killed in crashes with motor vehicles and 59,000 were injured. These numbers represent a 22 percent drop from 1998. However, an unknown number of pedestrian crashes requiring emergency room treatment are not included in these reported fatalities and injuries because they did not occur in a public roadway (i.e., crash occurred in a parking lot or driveway). Some of these fatalities are caused by both driver and pedestrian negligence. Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner to avoid injury to others. This includes keeping an eye out for pedestrians and properly yielding when necessary. But that doesn’t mean pedestrians can’t be extra careful and avoid an accident even when poor driving is involved. Here are some sound tips aimed at kids, but which parents should take heed also.

Health & Medicine, News

Good news: we’re living longer. Bad news: longer in sickness

old age

Life expectancy has gone up by six years on average throughout the world since 1990, according to a survey led by scientists at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. The extensive survey analyzed records from 188 countries. Japan tops the list with an average life expectancy of 83 years. While there’s reason to rejoice in the news, it’s worth mentioning that living with disabilities and illness has also been prolonged. The same advances that helped us live longer have also prolonged our suffering and this is where scientists are trying to invest their energy: focus less on extending life expectancy and more on the quality of our last years on this planet.

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Simple blood test predicts which breast cancer patient will have a relapse months in advance

Image: Dr Meletis

The trend is clear: medicine is becoming more and more personalized. Ultimately, when you’ll enter a hospital for a diagnosis or treatment, a (likely digital) doctor will use tailored solutions to address your health needs, all based on your past medical and genetic records. Considering diagnosis, just a few drops of blood will be enough to diagnose a plethora of afflictions. Take the latest news coming from the The Institute of Cancer Research in London, for instace. There, British doctors were able accurately predict which breast cancer patient will relapse next by tracking key mutations of residual cancer cells found in the blood. It’s a very powerful tool – one that will probably become standard practice soon.

Climate, News, Renewable Energy

U.S. Navy will install 210 MW of solar energy in the Arizona desert

Solar Farm in Tucson, Arizona. The one planned by the Navy will be a lot bigger. Image courtesy of IBM Research, Flickr Creative Commons

The Department of the Navy (DON) announced it will make the largest investment in renewable energy by an federal entity. Its plan is to install a huge 210 megawatt (MW) solar facility – enough to power 80,000 Californian homes – in the Arizona desert, which would serve electricity to 14 US Navy installations. The agreement was signed last month and marks the latest in a slew of measures meant to make the Department of Defense less dependent on oil – not just by the navy, but also the military or air force.

News, Pollution, World Problems

The Grand Canyon is polluted with dangerous levels of toxic metals

Horseshoe Bend displays the scenery and solitude of the Colorado River in the upper reaches of the Grand Canyon. Fishing on the river is peaking as temperatures are ideal for spring midge hatches. Image: Denver Post

U.S. Geological Survey scientists report the Grand Canyon’s food webs are contaminated with dangerously high levels of mercury and selenium. The source of the runoff pollution can be tracked down hundreds of miles upstream, coming from coal-burning electrical plants and other human sources. This shows that “remote ecosystems are vulnerable to long-range transport and subsequent bioaccumulation of contaminants,” the researchers write.

Health & Medicine, News

How many germs you can find in your home: about 9,000 different species


After they analyzed dust samples collected from 1,200 US households, researchers at University of Colorado at Boulder identified over 9,000 different species of microbes, bacteria and fungus. The exact makeup depends on where the home is located, the gender of the people living inside and whether or not pets are present.

News, Physics

Black holes store information as holograms at the event horizon, says Stephen Hawking

Image: The Guardian

Nothing can escape a black hole, not even light, any scientists schooled in modern physics will tell you. Eminent British physicists, Stephen Hawking, suggests however that information is still retained at the boundary of black holes, known as the event horizon.