One in thirteen people have chimp-like feet

Did you know you may have chimp-like feet?

Atomic structure of bone deciphered for the first time

Bone is a really awesome material, being hard and flexible at the same time. For something so ubiquitous and studied for so long, it might come as a surprise to some of you to hear that the molecular bone structure of bone has alluded scientists for such a long while. This is because, even though the constituent elements that make up bone have

Punching may have shaped evolution of human hand

University of Utah researchers analyzed the forces and acceleration involved when different martial artists hit a punching bag. They found that the structure of the fist provides additional support for the knuckles to transmit punching force. “We asked the question: ‘can you strike harder with a fist than with an open palm?’,” co-author David Carrier explained. “We were surprised because

Paralyzed dogs can walk again after nose cell transplant

In a remarkable medical feat, physicians at Cambridge University have restored movement in the hind legs of 23 dogs after they transplanted nerve cells from the animals’ noses. The results suggest that the procedure might hold similar promising prospects for humans suffering from spinal cord injuries. The researchers used 34 pet dogs for their experimental procedure, of which 23 had an actual

Ear could power efficient radios

Take a moment to think about what your ears do. The human ear has a complex system for turning mere sound waves into electric messages for your brain, and it serves to keep you balanced. In order to turn sound waves (which are mechanical energy) into the electrochemical energy that sends messages to the brain, the waves have to go

How ingesting silver turns the skin blue

Silver nanoparticles are often used for extensive medical treatments or antimicrobial health tonics. They’re even used in skin care products, which is rather ironic considering they’ve been linked with argyria, a condition in which the skin turns grayish-blue. Although scientists have known for quite a while that too much silver can cause this condition, the exact mechanisms that cause this transformation were

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,

Stem cells treatment dramatically improves vision of the blind

Detailed in a recently published study, a team of ophthalmologists have successfully managed to improve the vision of both of their trial patients, which were declared legally blind due to macular degeneration, by inserting human embryonic stem cells into one eye of each person. Significant improvements were recognized shortly after the procedure, and continued to progress positively in the months

“Sexual Sweat” is Recognized as Novel by the Brain

Put down that clump of Whale vomit*, there’s a better kind of perfume now: “Sexual Sweat.” In a possible attempt to level the field for scientists everywhere, researchers Wen Zhou and Denise Chen of Rice University presented 20 women with samples of human sweat, both produced from times when male volunteers viewed either pornography or a documentary (The documentaries weren’t sexy

Nanotech powered by your breath

At the nano scale, even the slightest of motions can be harnessed and transformed into useful work. Material science researchers  at the University of Wisconsin, for instance, have developed a very thin plastic belt capable of vibrating from low velocity fluid flow, such as one’s breath. Made out of  polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), the microbelt not only vibrates but also entraps electrical

The unified theory of brain learning

The brain learns basically by shifting between different strengths of its synapses, as a response to different stimuli – that much is clear. However, recently, a team of UCLA scientists have shattered the common belief about the mechanism of learning, showing that the brain learns rhythmically, and that there is an optimal ‘rhythm’, or frequency, for changing synapse strength. Any

Gamers solve decade old HIV puzzle in ten days

Scientists from the University of Washington have been struggling for the past decade to decipher the complex structure of an enzyme that exhibits  behavior similar to that of an enzyme key in the development of AIDS from an HIV infection, and which might hold a critical role in building a cure for the disease. Gamers playing spatial game Foldit have

Researchers create artificial lung that works on air, not oxygen

Researchers from Cleveland have managed to create an artificial lung that reaches an efficiency comparable to that of the real organ, by using air, instead of pure oxygen, as an essential element. There is still a long way to go, and human transplant is years away, but the results so far are extremely encouraging, and the device is a huge

Northern people have bigger eyes and brains

A new Oxford University study shows how people living further away from the equator have bigger eyes and brains than those living closer to it. This is to cope with the harsh colder climate, scientists say. Anthropologists come to this conclusion after examining 55 skulls, dating from the 1800s, representing 12 different populations from around the globe. By measuring eye

Shorties: the Google body browser

You should know that Google has a sort of Google Maps application, only it’s not for real maps, but for the human body. It’s a pretty awesome and nifty tool, especially if you’re into anatomy at a basic or intermediate level, or if you have problems visualizing the human body, or even if you’re just curious. Here it is. Some

Owning a dog will make you healthier

While a dog’s psychological value to its owner is very much attested, helping cure loneliness and such, a recent study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, finds that people who own and walk a dog are 34 percent more likely to meet federal benchmarks for physical activity. “Walking is the most accessible form of physical activity available

An interesting fact: Male fertility is in the bones

The researchers of the Columbia University Medical Center discovered a nice revealed a nice little nugget of information that will probably astonish most of our male (and probably female) readers. The male fertility is determined partially by the bones. How exactly does this work and how does this effect us? Well, they’ve discovered that the skeleton in male mice acts

Universal flu vaccine breakthrough

British scientists claim to have made a significant breakthrough regarding a universal flu vaccine; this new vaccine, developed by researchers from the Oxford University is different from all other types of vaccine, as it targets the proteins inside the virus, rather than proteins on the flu’s external coat. The major advantage is that the proteins inside the virus are far

How the human brain differs according to sex – male and female brains compared

I recently came across a very interesting piece in the NY Post which cites a study that shows that while it was well known that a difference in size between male and female brains exists, there is now evidence that there are significant differences in the size of certain structural parts of the brain, according to gender. As such, researchers

Gecko tail has a mind of its own

The (awesome) ability of geckos and other related reptiles to shed their tale when endangered by predators has been known for a long time, but scientists know little about the movement, and especially what controls the movement of the tail once it’s separated from the tail. Anthony Russell of the University of Calgary and Tim Higham of Clemson University in