Nanotech powered by your breath

At the nano scale, even the slightest of motions can be harnessed and transformed into useful work. Material science researchers  at the University of Wisconsin, for instance, have developed a very thin plastic belt capable of vibrating from low velocity fluid flow, such as one’s breath. Made out of  polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), the microbelt not only vibrates but also entraps electrical

The unified theory of brain learning

The brain learns basically by shifting between different strengths of its synapses, as a response to different stimuli – that much is clear. However, recently, a team of UCLA scientists have shattered the common belief about the mechanism of learning, showing that the brain learns rhythmically, and that there is an optimal ‘rhythm’, or frequency, for changing synapse strength. Any

Gamers solve decade old HIV puzzle in ten days

Scientists from the University of Washington have been struggling for the past decade to decipher the complex structure of an enzyme that exhibits  behavior similar to that of an enzyme key in the development of AIDS from an HIV infection, and which might hold a critical role in building a cure for the disease. Gamers playing spatial game Foldit have

Researchers create artificial lung that works on air, not oxygen

Researchers from Cleveland have managed to create an artificial lung that reaches an efficiency comparable to that of the real organ, by using air, instead of pure oxygen, as an essential element. There is still a long way to go, and human transplant is years away, but the results so far are extremely encouraging, and the device is a huge

Northern people have bigger eyes and brains

A new Oxford University study shows how people living further away from the equator have bigger eyes and brains than those living closer to it. This is to cope with the harsh colder climate, scientists say. Anthropologists come to this conclusion after examining 55 skulls, dating from the 1800s, representing 12 different populations from around the globe. By measuring eye

Shorties: the Google body browser

You should know that Google has a sort of Google Maps application, only it’s not for real maps, but for the human body. It’s a pretty awesome and nifty tool, especially if you’re into anatomy at a basic or intermediate level, or if you have problems visualizing the human body, or even if you’re just curious. Here it is. Some

Owning a dog will make you healthier

While a dog’s psychological value to its owner is very much attested, helping cure loneliness and such, a recent study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, finds that people who own and walk a dog are 34 percent more likely to meet federal benchmarks for physical activity. “Walking is the most accessible form of physical activity available

An interesting fact: Male fertility is in the bones

The researchers of the Columbia University Medical Center discovered a nice revealed a nice little nugget of information that will probably astonish most of our male (and probably female) readers. The male fertility is determined partially by the bones. How exactly does this work and how does this effect us? Well, they’ve discovered that the skeleton in male mice acts

Universal flu vaccine breakthrough

British scientists claim to have made a significant breakthrough regarding a universal flu vaccine; this new vaccine, developed by researchers from the Oxford University is different from all other types of vaccine, as it targets the proteins inside the virus, rather than proteins on the flu’s external coat. The major advantage is that the proteins inside the virus are far

How the human brain differs according to sex – male and female brains compared

I recently came across a very interesting piece in the NY Post which cites a study that shows that while it was well known that a difference in size between male and female brains exists, there is now evidence that there are significant differences in the size of certain structural parts of the brain, according to gender. As such, researchers

Gecko tail has a mind of its own

The (awesome) ability of geckos and other related reptiles to shed their tale when endangered by predators has been known for a long time, but scientists know little about the movement, and especially what controls the movement of the tail once it’s separated from the tail. Anthony Russell of the University of Calgary and Tim Higham of Clemson University in

Brain solves problems when we daydream

As an old saying goes, time spent wishing is time wasted. I’m guessing day dreaming goes into the same category, right?? Wrong. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences activity in numerous brain regions actually increases when our mind wanders off to a different place. The study led by researchers from the University