Animals, Mind & Brain, News

Dogs can tell when you’re happy or upset, study shows

The experimental setup used for testing the dogs' ability to distinguish between emotions. CREDIT: ANJULI BARBER, MESSERLI RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Science confirms what every dog owner has known in his heart: our canine friends can tell when we’re happy or upset. The discovery represents the first solid evidence that an animal other than humans can discriminate between emotional expressions on other species.

Climate, News

US drought will be the worst in 1000 years

Las Vegas drought will reach extreme levels. Image via CBS.

In recent years, a number of independent studies have concluded that the American Southwest and central Great Plains will experience extensive droughts in the second half of this century – and global warming will make things even worse, exacerbating the already worrying conditions. Now, a new study says that things are even worse than previously imagined, and that the drought will

News, Psychology, World Problems

Dont’t Read the Comments – They Make You Mistrust the Real Experts

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If you claim you’re a doctor online, even without providing any proof, people may trust you more than the CDC. A new study has found that online comments have as much power as statements issues by health institutions – and in some cases, even more.

Health & Medicine, News, Pollution

Pollution Damages Short Term Memory, IQ and Brain Metabolism

Smog in Mexico City. Image via Geography Blog (EU)

City smog significantly lowers children’s IQ, while also raising the risk for Alzheimers disease. A new study has found that children living in highly polluted cities are at an increased risk for detrimental effects to the brain, including short-term memory loss.

Climate, News, World Problems

Climate change reversal hacks shunned in report. “Wake up and cut emission!”

geological hacks

Mitigating climate change is on the agenda of every world government, but somehow little is done to curb global warming. Echoing a quick-fix approach to life so predominantly engraved in modern culture, some are considering sweeping climate change under the proverbial rug. These so called geo-engineering methods aim to fix climate change by altering the environment, but those ideas that are actually practical today only mask the effects and do nothing to treat the symptoms, a new report signed by 16 top scientists reads. The authors used this opportunity to make an appeal for reducing global emissions, else we might be forced to actually engineer the planet with unforeseeable consequences.

Climate, Feature Post, Great Pics, World Problems

How climate change is turning Mongolia into a museum, Photographer tells the story

mongolia desert

Climate change is a threat to all life and vegetation here on Earth, but some places are worse off than others. Take Mongolia for instance. Over the past 30 years, a quarter of the country’s surface has turned into a desert, while 850 lakes and 2,000 rivers have dried out. This rapid desertification has severely disrupted habitats, making it very difficult for both man and beast to adapt. Even to this day, 25% of Mongolians living in the country are thought to be nomadic, still holding on to ancient traditions from the times when the great Khans swept the world and made it tremble, from Beijing to Rome. In the face of such diversity, the Mongolian people risk losing their heritage and way of life, as they’ve come to know it for thousands of years.

Chemistry, Environment, News, Technology

Artificial leaf and bacteria turn sunlight into liquid fuel

The prototype for the first practical "artificial leaf," which has been hyped in the media since its flashy debut at the American Chemical Society national meeting last year. Image: MIT

Using only energy from the sun, a pioneering artificial leaf system splits water to generate hydrogen – a highly energy dense fuel. When Daniel Nocera, then a professor at MIT, announced his device for the first time four years ago, people were really hyped about it but it soon became clear that making hydrogen was only part of the solution. “The problem with the artificial leaf,” Nocera says, is that “it makes hydrogen. You guys don’t have an infrastructure to use hydrogen.”

Geology, News, Pollution

400 Year Old Pollution Found in South America

A section of ice core that researchers at The Ohio State University extracted from the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru in 2003. Though the ice appears pristine, it contains evidence of human-produced air pollution from as early as the 16th Century. Photo by Paolo Gabrielli, courtesy of The Ohio State University.

We tend to think of pollution as a modern thing; after all, industrial pollution should be, well… industrial, right? Well, not quite: a group of researchers found 400 year old traces of pollution in the Peruvian Andes. The pollution was caused when the conquistadors forced the Inca to mine silver from “mountaintop mines”. Ancient Pollution In the 16th century, Spain

Animals, Videos

VIDEO: Mind Blowing Octopus Camouflage

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The above footage highlights just how amazing octopus camouflage can really get. I’m not really sure what species this is, but I assume it’s either a mimic octopus, or somethng closely related. he mimic octopus can literally mimic the physical appearance and movement of fifteen different species, that we know of (including, but not limited to sea snakes, lionfish, flatfish, brittle stars,

Environment, News

Washing soda could be used to capture CO2 fired by power plants

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology captures carbon emissions and stores them. In theory, this means carbon that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere can be locked up somewhere else - without the climate-altering effects. Image: Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage

Lawrence Livermore scientists have devised tiny capsules made up of a highly permeable polymer shell and a sodium carbonate solution that actively reacts with and absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2). Sodium carbonate is typically known as the main ingredient in washing soda, a common household item. The capsules are a lot cheaper and more environmentally friendly than other chemical carbon capture