NASA funds commercial space taxi development worth $269 million

As the last two shuttle flights will mark the end of a thirty year long program, NASA is looking for alternatives to transport astronauts, cargo and equipment to and from outer space. The best alternative seems to come from the private sectore, and with this in mind NASA has awarded a total $269 million dived among several top aeronautical companies

World’s oldest tootache revealed in ancient reptile fossils

Paleontologists turned into dentists after an examination of the fossilized jaw of a reptile from the Paleozoic era revealed what’s considered to be the world’s oldest tootache. Dated back 275 million years ago, the Oklahoma found Labidosaurus hamatus must have had some serious issues with its sugar tooth, as researchers  observed missing teeth and  eroded bones in its jaw, which

Sorting algorithms illustrated through folk dances

Various simulations of algorithms can be seen everywhere, especially in nature, but a recent project from the Sapientia University, Romania is definitely one of the most imaginative and novel initiatives of illustrating algorithms. The folks at Sapientia University demonstrate how different sorting algorithms work with numbered people dancing traditional Central European folk songs and arranging themselves from least to greatest.

Naked penguin chicks amaze scientists

In the last couple of years researchers have been confronted with a peculiar case in the Atlantic penguin colonies as an increased number of penguin chicks have been found to be suffering from what seems to be a feather loss causing disorder. Scientists have been studying the phenomena for a few years now, but have yet to come to a

Gray Wolves removed from endagered species list by Congress

The US Congress may have set an unforgiving precedent after approving the decision to remove the Rocky Mountain gray wolf from the Endangered Species List, marking the first time ever an animal has been cut off the list. The decision came after important Federal cuts were announced, in which Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama stood firm against

Algae gene therapy could cure blindness

Researchers have managed to restore light perception to mice through gene therapy, by inserting algae genes into the retina. The treatment has succeeded in restoring the ability to sense light and dark to blind mice, and clinical trials in humans could begin in as little as two years. “The idea is to develop a treatment for blindness,” says Alan Horsager,

San Francisco to Paris in 2 minutes [VIDEO]

Here’s another amazing time lapse video which is certain to enchant your senses and entertain equally enough, in which the Beep Show has documented its San Francisco to Paris flight by shooting a photo every 2 miles (clicky clicky every 15 seconds?). The photos were then put together masterfully, resulting in a lovely time lapse view over the American continent,

Google invests $168 million in solar tower power plant

The search engine giant who has dabbled in environmental projects before announced that it will chip in $168 million to the yet under development Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS), the soon to be world’s largest solar tower power plant. The site will be located on 3,600 acres of land in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California, where it will

Armenia’s Metsamor nuclear power station – most dangerous in the world?

In light of recent catastrophic events that plagued Japan, and the consequent nuclear crisis recently raised to level 7 on par with Chernobyl, the talk of the day in every scientific and political circle seems to be that of nuclear safety. Armenia’s 31-year old only nuclear power plant located in Metsamor is one of the few remnants of the old

Survive the apocalypse in a Kansas missile silo

As the year 2012 steadily approaches, conspiracy theories, general panic and distress are growing ever thicker as Mayan calendar superstitions are turning into mainstream concerns. Much like in the cold war when a lot of people, some more intelligent than others, formed various nuclear holocaust survival plans like backyard bunkers, there are a lot of people nowadays as well with

New dinosaur species found bridges evolutionary gap

A team of paleontologists from the Smithsonian Institute have uncovered the fossils of a brand new dinosaur species in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico which posses a particular importance by filling the family tree gap between early predatory species such as Herrerasaurus and later theropod dinosaurs. Researchers named the species Daemonosaurus chauliodus, based on the Greek words “daimon” meaning evil spirit,

Escape the city with the floating green house concept

In an attempt to combat commuter and residential pollution, architect and product designer Wyatt Little came up with a very interesting concept called the U-Boat which tries to capitalize on urban body waters (rivers, lakes etc.) and utilize them as ‘off the grid’ marina style living spaces. It’s basically a boat-house-thingy, but with tremendous green potential, since it’s all built

Expand short-term memory through exercises

The average brain can only hold about five to seven pieces of information at a time within 30 seconds – this is called working memory. What people usually do to get pass the 30 seconds interval is they re-expose themselves to the information, for instance if you want to remember a 7 digit phone number (seven pieces of information) you’ll

[VIDEO] Watch Yuri Gagarin’s historic orbital flight entirely in “First Orbit”

A few weeks ago I told you a bit about “First Orbit”, a marvelous documentary by Christopher Riley which practically visually recreates the same path Yuri Gagarin undertook exactly 50 years ago when he became the first man ever to go into space. Every six weeks, the International Space Station orbit matches the same arc around the world traced originally

Japan raises nuclear crisis level to that of Chernobyl

Japan’s nuclear crisis level has been regulated from level 5 to 7  by the International Atomic Energy Agency, at the top of the nuclear hazard scale and right on par with the 1986 Chernobyl incident, according to the level of radiation released in the accident. The new ranking signifies a “major accident” with “wider consequences” than the previous level, according

Justice served cold before lunch time: hungry judges less likely to grant parole

Law is a highly demanding field, in which its practitioners are required to have an objective and stoic approach at all times, but a recently published very interesting study shows that court judges can be just as biased as any of us and their rulings, however rational we’d love them to be, are influenced by moods and swings, and …

The flying bionic bird – da Vinci’s dream come true

I’m still left in awe after stumbling across this marvelous feat of engineering, which perfectly applies nature’s concepts to science and engineering technology. Seeing the SmartBird model in action immediately makes one imagine one of the world’s greatest minds Leonardo da Vinci on Florence’s hilltops studying and sketching the flight of birds for his aeronautical projects. Yes, this is a

Multitasking becomes more difficult as we age, brain scans show

It’s somewhat evidently observable that the elderly have more trouble focusing or multitasking than young people, but a recent study in which scientists used brain scans shows an unexpected explanation to the generation deficit. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco led by neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley, recruited 20 relatively young adults, average age 25, and 20 comparatively elderly people,

Mysterious cosmic blast triggered by black hole

On the 28th of March the Swift telescope observed a peculiar gamma-ray blast in a distant corner of the visible universe, some 3.8 billion light years away, bewildered astronomers around the world. The powerful blast is theoretically caused, scientists say, by a black hole located in the center of the distant galaxy whose gravity tore apart a massive star which

NASA to announce permanent homes for retired shuttles

Exactly 30 years ago, the first orbital space shuttle launch took place, marking the start of a slew of successful missions, with 135 successful launches, which provided important insights in space exploration, offered satellite deployment, space lab work and indispensable International Space Station service. The shuttle program however will be permanently retired soon, with only two more flights left –