Ravens use gestures to point out things and communicate

We’re inclined to think that gestures are reserved to species which at least possess some kind of articulated limbs. However, scientists have shown that wild ravens purposefully gesture, making it the first time this type of be­hav­ior has been ob­served in the wild ex­cept in the clos­est rel­a­tives of hu­mans, primates. Sure, you might argue that you’ve seen your dog

Worms show that Mars colonization is possible

There are numerous challenges that come with outer Earth colonization of distant planets like Mars, or our neighboring moon, and one of the major issues scientists have addressed is reproduction. Part of a  recently published study, scientists have tracked the development of worm cultures in space in an experiment designed to study how micro-gravity and radiation has affected them. Back in 2006, researchers blasted

Truly random numbers might be generated with quantum physics

Does flicking a dice really render a random face? The answer would be no. The dice is governed by large-scale conventional physics and its motion, and thus final position can be determined. You can’t tell where it lands just by looking at it thwirl, of course, but the fact remains it’s not random, and neither is any current computing system

Cyborg insects on the front line of future disaster response

After a devastating earthquake, most often buildings will crumble trapping people inside its ruins. Search and rescue teams work effortsly in such situation, employing both high tech solutions like heat-seeking or the simple, yet ever effective trained dogs to save people. Twenty four hours after a disaster though, the chances of a person trapped alive in the rubble to survive

Trust or not – you only need 20 seconds

Humans are hot-wired to scan other people in their surroundings, and determine whether their trust worthy or not, all by reading various signals like body language, facial expression etc. – the so called first impression. A team of researchers from UC Berkeley have now conducted a study which claims that some people are genetically predisposed to be trustworthy, and you only

See how a robot controls a human’s arm. Yes, not the other way around.

Sensitive robotic arms capable of mimicking the precise movement and manipulation of a human’s hand have been used extensively in the past, especially in delicate research where normally human hands would be exposed to hazardous environments. But a robot controlling a human arm? That’s unheard of. A team of french researchers have developed a system through which a robot sends

Deafness cured by gene therapy

A stroke of pioneering science, researchers have managed to restore hearing to a significant level in guinea pigs by using gene therapy, bolstering hope for a similar procedure to cure human deafness in the future. The therapy works by promoting the regeneration of hair cells in the cochlea, the part of the inner ear which registers sound. These hair cells

Synthetic compound dissolves HIV on contact

Researchers of Texas A&M University have managed to develop a synthetic compound capable of breaking apart the AIDS inducing virus before it has the chance to infect healthy cells. While the compound doesn’t cure HIV, it may provide effective means of preventing infection. Dubbed, “PD 404,182″, the compound works by quickly ripping and dissolving the virus before it has the chance

New discovery reveals Stonehenge secret

In a remarkable find, archeologists have uncovered two ancient pits, perfectly aligned with the sun’s natural summer cycle. These suggest that the Stonehenge site was a place for sun worship at least 500 years before the first stone was erected. Archaeologists  from the universities of Birmingham, Bradford  and Vienna were involved in an on-going survey work around Stonehenge, where they scanned

Watch the Mars rover launch LIVE this Saturday [video stream]

On November 26, after countless delays, budget overruns and buckets of sweat, humankind’s most capable machine of landing on and traveling through the red planet will finally touch base and launch towards its ambitious destination. The Curiosity rover‘s lift off is currently scheduled for 10:02 a.m. EST, this Saturday. Also known as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the Curiosity rover will

Moss graffiti: a eco-way of painting street art

The term “urban jungle” gets tossed a lot, however it can take a literary connotation when you think of beautiful moss graffiti. As people become more eco-friendly and environmentally aware, the idea of making living, breathing graffiti has become a more green and creative outlet for graffiti artists. Moss paint  is a lot more eco-friendly than the toxic chemicals used in

North American natives used to make fabrics out of dog hair

Dogs have a long history alongside humans, as faithful companions. Besides friendship, however, canines offered humans also the means to keep warm and stylish alike, as their hair was used to manufacture fabrics from cloth to carpets, a practice particular to the North American residents off the Pacific coast. The fact is highly debatable, but researchers from York University claim

Digital contact lens grants Terminator-vision

A group of ophthalmologists and optoelectronics scientists are currently working on contact lens that can display information directly to the retina. So far the device is quite rudimentary, displaying only one well focused pixel, however further research might allow individuals wearing this special computerized lenses to read e-mails, receive real time notifications of important events or even acquire Terminator-style lock-on. All as easy as

Water doesn’t prevent dehydration according to EU officials

It’s a fairly known fact that the adult human body is typically 60% made out of water. Hence comes the common sense that if you happen to become dehydrated, you have to drink water to get well. It’s an instinctual event, this is why our body developed the essential mechanism of thirst. The European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) seems to think

China releases carbon emissions report in light of upcoming UN climate event

Currently, China is the world’s largest carbon emissions contributor. Despite their efforts to make energy consumption more efficient, China’s linear industrial growth not only cancels their efforts, but leads to an overall increase of greenhouse gas emissions year after year. On the brink of the highly important U.N.-sponsored climate change conference that starts Nov. 28 in Durban, South Africa, Chinese officials

Spectacular spherical star cluster imaged by Hubble

The ever faithful Hubble telescope has offered us yet another fantastic glimpse into the Universe’s hidden gems. Captioned below is the NGC 1846 globular cluster, which lies 160,000 light-years away in the constellation Doradus. The cluster is actually the product of the Large Magellanic Cloud, which neighbors our own Milky Way. Check out this very large, high resolution photo from NASA for a more

Russia’s Phobos probe is alive! Contact established with the failed Russian craft

Two weeks ago, panic engulfed the Russian space agency after one of its dearest project, the  $170 million Phobos-Grunt mission, which was set to land on Mars’ moon Phobos, collect samples and then return to moon, got stranded in orbit, completely blocked off from any kind of communication. Valiant efforts were made to restore the craft, but in vain. However, just

Scientists engineer ‘super mice’

Scientists from the École Polytenchnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), with the aid of colleagues  from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of Lausanne, managed to improve the muscle constitution of mice by knocking out genetically a “co-repressor” of the DNA transcription process. The end product are mice that are faster, stronger and healthier – meet the new generation

Unmanned robots embark on epic voyage across the Pacific Ocean

This weekend four unmanned robot vehicles set out to cross the Pacific Ocean, for the longest voyage of this kind so far attempted. During their 300 days trek,  the Wave Glider crafts will gather immense data regarding composition and quality of sea water, which will provide researchers with invaluable data regarding the current status of the ocean’s health. The robots, designed by Liquid

Giant mound of dumped tires is visible from space

Authorities have come across a giant mound of 250,000 scrap tires in rural South Carolina, so spread out that it occupies 50 hectares and is visible from space. A transportation and recycling operation of the mound has began since then. The rural clearing in which the tires were dumped is practically impossible to notice, since its only accessible by  a circuitous dirt path