Largest virus ever found is 20 times the average one

A few days ago I reported how researchers found a myriad of new virus strains inside raw sewage. On a related, more intriguing, note French scientists have recently discovered the largest virus ever discovered so far in the ocean waters off the coast of Chile. Scientists estimate it’s between 10 and 20 times the size of an average virus. Dubbed

Ice age relics still alive in China’s darkest caves

In the darkest caves of  southwest China, one can experience fragments of the long set Ice Age and travel back in time 30,000 years. No, there isn’t any time machine or stargate of some sort (scientists say time travel is impossible, I beg to differ), instead what you’ll find in one of the darkest corners of the Earth is an

Google teams up with Stephen Hawking and launches teenage space experiment contest

The most popular video sharing website in the world, YouTube, has teamed up with NASA and several other key figures from the scientific community to launch YouTube Space Lab, a global effort challenging students between the ages of 14 and 18 to design an experiment that can be conducted in space. I know there are a lot of teenaged readers

‘Kraken’ ancient lair shows signs of a vicious predator

Hundreds of millions of years ago the Earth surface and oceans were inhabited by fierce predators of huge proportions by today’s standards. In those times, more than ever maybe, the saying that there’s always a bigger fish was cruelly true. For instance, a recent study of the fossils remains of an ichthyosaur, a giant school bus-sized predators which used to roam

Gamma-ray bursts might cause mass extinction on Earth

Most of us tend to believe the Earth is a safe heaven, with little regard to outerwordly consequences. The truth is our planet, although without a doubt a true gem within our galaxy, is susceptible to a slew of events triggered from within or well beyond our solar system. A lot of them are very dangerous to life on Earth,

Ozone layer found on Venus

ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft has found an ozone layer high in the atmosphere of Venus, similar to that surrounding Earth and Mars according to astronomers. Ozone is considered fundumental to providing an environment capable of supporting life, as it absorbs much of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet ray. This recent discovery will provide highly valuable insight as to how life formed on our

Uranus orbit tipped on its side by a series of Earth-sized impacts

Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun, is a definite oddball of the solar system. It has its axis titled by a whopping 98 degrees, which makes it orbit on its side. The general accepted theory is that a big impact with an object several times the size that of the Earth nodged its axis massively, however a new study

Scientists devise invisibility cloak [VIDEO]

You’ve seen James Bond’s vanishing Aston Martin or Frodo’s Elven cloak, and probably always wished for your own means of becoming totally invisible. The are a lot of perks to such a technology (who here remembers Invisible Man movies?), and scientists from University of Dallas in Texas  have managed to devise an invisibility cloak inspired by nature, replicating the mirage effect. Check the

100 year starship program seeds the future for mankind

This weekend one of the most fascinating symposiums of the year will take place in Orlando, Fla, where apparently “nut-case” scientists will seriously take key and discuss subjects like warp interstellar travel, terraforming planets in our solar system and beyond, as well as many other subjects taken off science fiction novels – for now, at least. The event called the “100-Year

Sewage is virus haven to a myriad of unknown strains

Well, it’s pretty obvious that the rotten, insalubrious sewage environment is perfect for fostering infectious diseases and virus cultures. What’s surprising however is actually the sheer number of viruses, most of them unknown, which biologists at University of Pittsburgh have described in a recently published study in the journal mBio. According to the researchers, there are around 1.8 million species of organisms on

Scientists breed sharks in artificial uterus

Shark populations have declined at a rapid pace during the past few decades, with a significant number of species being threaten by extinction. Considering the shark is a fairly sensitive species because of its difficult breeding cycle, makes it even more vulnerable. Thus, researchers looking to develop effective breeding programs have to take it up a notch and come up

Melting polar ice makes way for new shipping routes

Record low ice volumes in the arctic caused by global warming have been reported this year, and if there are still some climate skeptics among you, recent events concerning trading in the region might provide proof enough of dramatic change. Supertankers and giant cargo ships could next year travel regularly between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via the Arctic, after

Quantum computers one step closer to reality

Physicists from Rice University have made an important break through in the field of quantum computing, after creating a tiny “electron superhighway”, critical for the development of the first working quantum computer. The quantum computer is thought to revolutionize the computing scene of the future, and is believed by many to hold the same impact that microprocessors first had in

Best ski resort in the solar system can found on Saturn’s moon

As the winter ski season is rapidly approaching, snow sports enthusiasts all over the world are already planing their trips, on a quest to find the most intense slop. Skiers need not to look farther, as Cassini scientists have announced that the probe has transmitted data which suggests Enceladus, Saturn’s icy moon, is coated by a thick layer of powdery

What makes a song ‘catchy’ – science explains

Learn what are the elements identified by science that make a catchy tune.

Glow in the dark waves on the San Diego shoreline

Strollers along the San Diego shoreline experienced their own kind of Northern Lights these past few days, only the western coast equivalent is less about skyline astral projections, and more about a grand neon blue light show luminating from within the ocean’s waves. And less cold. The event is actually a bioluminescence  phenomenon and is caused by a algae bloom

Brain imaging reveals the movies inside our mind

Mixing in a typical fMRI brain scanner with advanced computer modeling simulations, scientists at the University of California have managed to achieve the the unthinkable – render the visual expressions triggered inside the brain and play them like a movie. This is the forefront technology which will one day allow us to tap inside the mind of coma patients or be

New Pentagon Tech: sky drones that identify faces

I’d like to divert from a potential discussion which might build around the trillions of dollars spent on defense by the US government or the more or less futile efforts enterprised in the middle east, and stick to the point at hand – spy drones! Yes, scary, paranoia inducing flying unmanned vehicles whose sole purpose is that of collecting intelligence about its

Artificial leaf closer to reality after two new studies

If harnessed at a much greater potential than it is now, sunlight might not only become the primary source of energy on the planet, but the cheapest too. In one hour the sun sprays our planet with enough energy to power all the electrical needs of the word for an entire YEAR. Now that’s something to think about, and luckily

NASA maps 93% of all near-Earth asteroids. In other news, Dinosaurs wish they had science.

Armageddon can wait, NASA‘s in charge for a little while longer. The space agency recently released to the general public a report which censuses more than 93% of the total number of asteroids in the vicinity of Earth’s orbit, meaning they’re all tagged and tracked – risk of undetected collision to a minimum. That’s not all either, it seems the number of