Genetically engineered crops reach 11.5% of the total arable land

The first genetically engineered or biotech food products were released on the market for the first time in 1994. Consumers received them fairly well, and since then more production intensified, such that between 1997 and 2010, the total surface area of land cultivated with GMOs had increased by a factor of 87. In 2011, biotech crops reached 160 million hectares,

Water droplets orbiting around a knitting needle in space [AMAZING VIDEO]

One might think knitting and physics experiments don’t really have much in common, however astronaut  Dr. Don Pettit, currently on mission onboard the International Space Station, would think otherwise. Using an statically charged knitting needle made out of teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene), Pettit fired tiny droplets of water through a syringe towards the needle after which a marvelous display of physics unfolded. The

The Carina Nebula in all its splendor [AMAZING PHOTO]

This incredible photo of the Carina Nebuna, a massive star formation , was taken by the  The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), in the infrared spectrum. Even the astronomers from the ESO, who are privileged enough to witness some of the most amazing sights in the Universe, claim in a recent press release that this “one of the most

High-resolution genome sequence of ancient human ancestor released online

Last year, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, produced a draft of the Denisova genome, in order study in what proportion they relate to homo sapiens sapiens. The  Denisovans, are a new group of hominids, discovered just two years ago, which is believed to have lived around 30,000 years ago, alongside Neanderthals and early homo sapiens ancestors. Since

Meet the bat-primate: the highest pitched primate in the world

The size of a fist when fully grown, the tiny Philippine tarsier has always been considered a very quiet being. Ironically, this big eyed, lemur-like animal wasn’t quiet at all, you just needed the right ears to hear him our. Recently, researchers at Humboldt State University in California have proven that the Philippine tarsier is quite the chatty being, communicating with its peers in

How to make photosynthetic solar panels, MIT scientist explains

If you’re reading this post via e-mail or RSS, please visit the post’s page on the website to view the video interview. MIT researchers, guided by Andreas Mershin’s vision of a world fueled by cheap and renewable electricity, have recently published a paper in which they explain how photovoltaic panels made from plants can be considered a highly appealing alternative

Firefighting in space might lead to important combustion advancements

Space offers incredibly fascinating experimental conditions for various scientific studies, otherwise very hard or practically impossible to replicate on Earth. Microgravity is something of great interest to scientists, and even simple experiments with fire are extremely insightful. Combustion in space occurs at much lower temperatures and with a lower amount of required oxygen, and to better understand the process, scientists

Surgery replaces woman’s jaw with a 3D printed titanium one

Hailed as a breakthrough in reconstructive surgery, an 83-year old woman had her lower jaw replaced by an exact 3D printed replica made out of titanium. The implant was made by heating and fusing together titanium ore, one layer at a time with a laser. The procedure took place last summer in the Netherlands, but only recently became public. Usually,

Astronomers use massive objects in space as huge telescopes, find brightest galaxy via gravity lens

Whenever a massive object, with an equally massive gravitational pull, like black holes or galaxy clusters, falls between an observer, say a telescope, and a distant target in the background to be observed, than a gravitational lens is formed. Light emitted from the distant object gets twisted by the massive object, and ends up distorted at the telescope – this

Subglacial lake surface reached after drilling through 4km of Antarctic ice – ‘alien life’ expected

It took 30 years, an enormous amount of effort and patience, and drilling through 3,768 meters of thick ice for scientists to finally reach the surface of the Vostok, a unique subglacial lake. Just as large as the great Ontario lake, the Vostok is thought to be 20 million years old, and due to the fact that it’s been completely

Russia announces re-birth of manned lunar program, on eve of Feb 7 full moon

The Russian space agency recently announced that they’ll be soon launching a campaign to recruit cosmonauts for upcoming missions to the Moon, slated for the next ten years. Interestingly enough, the announcement comes just one day before the much expected February full moon, called Snow Moon – yes there’s actually snow on the moon this time of year. Don’t miss it tomorrow!

Fungus that devours plastic might help clean the environment

A group of students from Yale University, along with molecular biochemistry professor Scott Strobel, were on a routine trip to the Amazon’s Yasuni National Park, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, when they stumbled across a peculiar type of mushroom capable of eating polyurethane plastics. If successfully applied to landfills clogged with millions of metric tons of garbage plastics, this could

Drought on Mars for the past 600 million years: life impossible on surface

For the past three years, scientists have been analyzing  data fed back by the 2008 NASA Phoenix mission to Mars, which touch landed on the planet’s northern poles. Even though there was ice, soil analysis showed that the planet has been suffering from a massive, 600 million years long drought, providing inhospitable life supporting conditions on its surface. Despite previous research  claimed Mars

The Blue Marble – a view from the other side [HIGH RES PHOTO]

Last week, NASA released a incredibly stunning high resolution photo of the Earth captured by one of the instruments aboard the agency’s National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project (or NPP). The photo was soon flooded on news stands, media outlets, social networks and blogs, and spread through out the world in all its glory. The photo was centered on the

Growing up around gadgets hinders your social skills, study finds

Modern technology has revolutionized the way we communicate forever. From the telegraph, to the wire telephone, to the internet, to extremely capable smartphones, technology, fueled by scientific advancements, has helped people communicate easily with one another and be aware of what’s going on in world instantly. Too much of anything, however, can be harmful, and when people start to interact

Newly discovered “super-Earth” planet might support life

The hunt for finding another Earth is making progress every day, as scientists are constantly adding new viable candidates to the list. It’s estimated that in our galaxy alone, the Milky Way, there are between 200 and 400 billion stars – out of all of these, from a statistical point of view, the chances of finding another Earth-like planet, capable

Why the brain gets slower as we get older

From a certain age onward, humans seem to process information at a slower pace – learning new things becomes more difficult, remembering where you put the car keys seems to give headaches, and it gets ever worse as we age even more. Neuroscientists at the University of Bristol studying dysfunctional neural communication in Alzheimer patients demonstrated that the number one likely culprit to

How moths could reinvent aerospace [Amazing video]

I used to see moths as simple, clumsy beings, whose sole purpose in life is that of annoying people by hitting light-bulbs head first repeatedly in a closed loop. The hawk moth (Manduca sexta), however, is in a whole different league entirely, and it’s because of this hummingbird-like insect that I’ve come to reconsider my views upon the species. Using high speed cameras,

The oldest crocodile so far found was 30 feet long had a shield for a head

Casey Holliday, a University of Missouri researcher, was looking through some of the hundreds of unlabeled items kept in a storage facility when he come about a remarkable find –  a skull fragment from an ancient croccodile, dating back from the late Cretaceous, around 95 million years ago. What’s really interesting about the find is not only the fact that

The ankle is the most pleasurable stratching area, study finds

A team of researchers, lead by itch expert Gil Yosipovitch, have studied which parts of the body produce the most pleasure when scratched, and found that scratch relief varies along different areas of the body. If you believe this study is totally irrelevant or useless, Yosipovitch believes otherwise and explains how the science of itching might help mankind, if we