Valuable Viruses – ancient infections essential to human development

According to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine, human cellular development appears to depend on the actions of genetic material left over from ancient viral infections.

Rocks Traveled Far in Ancient Martian Rivers

How do you understand the natural history of rocks and water on another planet when all you have are pictures? You do the math. Scientists have discovered how to use images of pebble shapes to estimate to estimate how far water may have moved them in ancient Martian riverbeds. These estimates enhance geographic information about the planet to provide even

Your microbial cloud is your “signature”

Humans are walking ecosystems. Each of us carries around about 100 trillion microbes in and on our bodies, which make up our microbiome. The quality of this bacterial community has a lot to say about our health and well-being. The blend of microbes is also surprisingly unique, which says a lot about who we are as individuals. New research published

Binary black hole discovery may hint at genesis of quasars

An international astronomy team has detected two supermassive black holes that appear to be orbiting each other in a nearby galaxy. The discovery of a likely binary black hole system suggests that supermassive black holes assemble their masses through violent unions.

A Second Look at the Iceman – New discoveries motivate new analyses

Hikers discovered Ötzi the Iceman in the Ötztal Alps of Tyrol, Austria in 1991. Forensic analysis showed that he died around 5,300 years ago, making his the oldest intact human body every found. Ötzi had been preserved by glacier ice and was found with his tools, clothes, and weapons – a time capsule of Copper Age life. While years of

A New Class of Magnet Could Mean New Tech Capabilities

Researchers have discovered a new class of magnet that increases in volume when placed in a magnetic field and generates only negligible amounts of heat in the process. These properties could transform many existing technologies and enable a few new ones. Harsh Deep Chopra, Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Temple University, and Manfred Wuttig, Professor of Materials Science

This 3D printed system can turn your iPhone in a 1,000x microscope

Physicists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory used 3D printed materials and a simple glass bead to create a magnifying system that works with your smartphone’s or tablet’s built-in camera to magnify matter 100x, 350x or 1,000x. The whole system costs only 1$ to manufacture.

Newly discovered ‘sleep node’ in the brain puts you to sleep without sedatives

Neuroscientists at University of Buffalo have identified a sleep-promoting circuit inside the brainstem or the primitive part of the brain, whose activity appears to be both necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep. This is only the second ‘sleep node’ in the mammalian brain that was identified to serve this function. To demonstrate the sleep node’s function, the researchers used

Amazing fungus gnat larvae group together to form a ‘snake’ [VIDEO]

Fungus gnats (Bradysia species) – also known as dark-winged fungus gnats, are small, mosquito-like insects often found in homes and offices, usually in the vicinity of houseplants. The larvae that hatch are legless, with white or transparent bodies and shiny black heads. From the first glimpse you’ll notice they’re not the prettiest sight, but what they lack in looks, they make up in cleverness.

Social Media Sentinels and Early Disease Detection

The fast-moving news about the West Africa Ebola outbreak – the largest and longest ever recorded for the disease – may have overshadowed news of an important technical advance. An online data tool signaled a “mystery hemorrhagic fever” in forested areas of southeastern nine days before the World Health Organization announced the epidemic. In disease control, that’s a life-saving edge.

Losing ground in Greenland – New model shows faster glacial melting

News about glacial melting in Antarctica has been uniformly grim; the loss is likely unstoppable. News about melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet has been no better; Scientists had earlier believed that the losses in Greenland would eventually slow or stop, owing to the solid bedrock of the continent. Now, that view may also melt away by results of a

Something from nothing? Scientists find a way to turn light into matter

Three physicists involved with fusion research have found an elegant way to convert light to matter. And, it can be accomplished with current technology. Demonstrating the process would round out a critical set of theories about energy and matter, so a race may soon be on to test it. The Einstein relationship, E= mc2, states that energy and matter are

Inevitable Invasion? The Coming of the Jellyfish

Healthy wildlife populations aren’t always good news. Sweden’s largest nuclear power plant had to be shut down for three weeks in September after a mass of jellyfish clogged its cooling water inlet. A swarm of baby jellyfish essentially destroyed Northern Ireland’s farmed-salmon population in 2008 through stings and oxygen deprivation. A Japanese trawler capsized in 2009 trying to pull its