Meet the world’s most powerful X-Ray laser

The first experiments with this laser (Linac Coherent Light Source) have been given the green light at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The illuminating of objects and processing speed will take place at an unprecedented scale, promising groundbreaking research in physics, chemistry, biology and numerous other fields. “No one has ever had access to this kind of

Rift in African desert will become ocean

In 2005, a huge 35 mile rift broke the Ethiopian desert apart and immediately led to geological claims that a new ocean was appearing there because two parts of the African continent were being pulled apart. However, the claims were quickly dismissed as being too controversial. However, a new study published in the latest issue of Geophysical Research Letters comes

Social media require ‘Community Relations 2.0’

Imagine an average day in your life; the odds are, it’ll include either logging onto facebook, tweeting, browsing some pics on flickr and videos on youtube, or some of these combined. The blazing speed at which social media is developing is catching many off guard and forcing numerous persons and firms (even corporations) to adapt. However, when it comes to

A Colourful Cosmic Jewel Box

Star clusters are among the pretties things you can see, when it comes to astrophysical observations. Recently, ESO provided some amazing pictures of one of the most beautiful nestles ever to be seen, located deep in the constellation of Crux. The cluster is named Kappa Crucis Cluster and has been nicknamed ‘the jewel box’ (by Herschel, in 1830), for reasons

Just a single cigarette has very harmful effects

It may seem hard to believe, but even smoking a single cigarette has really bad effects on you, especially if you’re a young adult, according to a study conducted by Dr. Stella Daskalopoulou. Her study found that smoking one cigarette increases the stiffness of the arteries by 25 percent in adults of ages from 18 to 30. When arteries get

Titan Arum: the titan penis flower

Amorphophallus titanum is the full name of this wonder of nature, and a worthy name it is! As most biological names, it comes from Greek, from amorphos (=without form), phallos (=penis) and titan (=giant). You could say its name loosely translates as “shapeless titan penis” – gotta love botanists for their creativity. Amorphophallus titanum is a giant flower, and much like the largest one

Israel, in danger of being hit by tsunamis

Dr. Beverly Goodman of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa was doing some research on the ancient port and shipwrecks of the place, when she stumbled upon information that led her to this conclusion. “There is a likely chance of tsunami waves reaching the shores of Israel. Tsunami events in the Mediterranean do

Roofs that change colour to save energy

When it’s really hot and sunny outside, a black roof gets really hot, while a white roof reflects rays from the sun and keeps the house cooler. During the wintertime, a black roof absorbs more heat and helps you save more energy, but in the summer, that can be a really pain. Luckily enough, some researchers at MIT developed roof

Missing flying reptile link found

An international team of researchers from the University of Leicester (UK), and the Geological Institute, Beijing (China) managed to identify a new type of a flying reptile that can prove to be a crucial step in understanding evolution, or at least a big part of it. Pterosauria was the general name given for flying or gliding reptiles, and pterodactyls are

First (mainly) vegetarian spider found

Out of the 40.000 or more species of spiders found up to date, every single one of them is a predator, capturing their prey using a complicated web, hunting them directly, or using other creative methods; all except one, that is. Bagheera kiplingi (odd choice for a veggie spider) is the first species that primarily feasts on something else than

3D structure of humans finally decoded

It’s quite obvious that genetics is the most important step in our evolution that we have to take and although the molecular structure of DNA has been discovered more than half a century ago, its three dimensional structure remained a mystery. However, recently a team led by researchers from Harvard University, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and the

Fighting against soot – more important than ever

Most of the talk about global warming revolves around carbon dioxide, sometimes giving the false impression that it alone is responsible for global warming and all its implications. However, numerous studies have revealed a new enemy, one almost as dangerous as carbon dioxide: soot. The black powdery pollutant is responsible for numerous climatic shifts, especially in the areas between the

The 8 coolest ways the Earth might be destroyed

We’ve all seen at least one movie in which our planet is destroyed, but most of them were quite repetitive and kind of uninteresting. Our planet deserves so much more! Black holes Well, it seems the more we understand things about black holes, the more we find out things we don’t know, and the more we fear them. Let’s just

7 new luminescent mushroom species discovered

Man I tell you, you can never have enough mushrooms… it’s really hard to put my finger on it, but for some reason they’re just really awesome; and glow in the dark mushrooms, that’s even more awesome. Not one, but seven of these new species were discovered, increasing the number of luminescent fungi from 64 to 71 (71 species of

Life had a big rebound following marine mass extinction event

In 1980, Luis Alvarez and his team shocked the whole world when they announced their theory that an asteroid impact that took place 65 millions years ago was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs and much of that time’s living organisms. Despite the fact that they delivered substantial evidence, there are still some minor gaps in the theory, and

Hubble shows 2 galaxies that are just losing it

Ram pressure is the pressure exerted on a body when it passes through a fluid medium; this causes a drag force that is exerted on the body. The same pressure occurs when a galaxy (body) is moving through an intergalactic gas (fluid), and in this case, the ram pressure can sweep a significant part of the intergalactic gas from the

Mad genius reddux: study suggest link between psychosis and creativity

History is just teeming with examples of brilliant artists that acted in very peculiar ways – to put it lightly. They were absolutely brilliant, and they were absolutely mad; how can this be? Well, according to a new study published in Psychological Science the two traits often go hand in hand. In order to gather information on this, Szabolcs Kéri

Immortality – just 20 years away

Raymond Kurzweil is one of the most prolific inventors and futurists; he’s the one who developed text to speech synthesis and a synthesizer that develops and even creates poetry, among others. He has also predicted new technologies that would appear and some directions that our society would take, and he got it right. Now, the 61 year old claims that

AIDS vaccine shows success for the first time

AIDS is one of the most dangerous diseases nowadays, being a pandemic for many years now, and there’s been quite little development for a cure or a vaccine. However in the past few years researchers have been getting closer and closer to pinning down a solution. Yesterday, a team formed of Thai and US scientists announced that they have found

Electricity from trees

Researchers have figured out a way to ‘plug’ into electrical power generated by trees. It has been a well known fact for years that plants can conduct electricity (humans can too, take care kids), and now scientists from MIT found out just how much they can pack up: 200 millivolts of electrical power (=0.2 volts). The lemon and potato battery