Human activity drives evolution of bigger brains in animals

It’s clear that humans are now, more than ever, a driving force in evolutionary biology. Early domestication efforts through breeding and training have changed some species to the point that they’ve grown to be as we wanted them to become. The effects of climate change, a great part of which is anthropogenic, actually influence animals all over the world in

Deadly Mers virus found in tomb bat – not the one spreading it to humans

Many months later after scientists isolated thousands of samples taken from different bat species found close to the home of the first known victim of the Mers coronavirus – a deadly virus which first emerged in the Middle East last year, killing 47 so far (~50% fatality among infected) – scientists found the evidence of the presence of the virus in

Delusional people actually see the world differently

There’s an extremely fine line between delusion and grand vision – it’s enough just to take a look back in history and you’ll find a myriad of examples where great minds who justly challenged the status quo were labeled insane, and in some even more unfortunate times, heretics. That’s not to say that behind every conspiracy theorist or person who

LSD and other psychedelics not linked with mental illnesses

Researchers  at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Department of Neuroscience analyzed a massive survey of 130,000 randomly chosen people from the US to see whether there is any association  between psychedelic drug use and mental health problems – a claim that has had large circulation and is often cited, despite little research in this respect. Their findings suggest

How bacteria colonize the human gut – study reveals important insights

Our bodies are hosts to some hundreds of thousands of bacteria that live in harmony with each other, helping the body be healthy, in return for the food and shelter it provides to these tiny organisms . Collectively, all the microorganisms inside the human body are referred to as the microbiome, most of whom are found in the  gastrointestinal (GI) tract

Women are more likely to wear pink and red during ovulation

It has been previously shown that during ovulation, women tend to increase their attractiveness to men (though not necessarily conscious). Not only do they change their voice pitch [1], but they also tend to dress more fashionable [2]. A new study published in Psychological Science adds to this growing body of research by suggesting that ovulating women may also choose

Breakthroughs against malaria: highly effective vaccine developed; meanwhile, anti-malaria soap wins prize

Some 300 million cases of malaria are reported each year in Africa, the continent where the disease is still running rampant. For decades, scientists have been investing immense amounts of energy battling the disease, trying to come up with effective treatments. The recent step forward in the war against malaria  comes from Maryland-based biotech Sanaria, which reportedly has developed an anti-malaria

Only 6% of Marijuana research studies medical benefits, says Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is an established neurosurgeon, but you all might know him better as CNN’s chief medical correspondent through the various live interventions he’s had along the years on television as well as some feature documentaries. Last night, his most recent documentary, called “WEED”, premiered on CNN as you might have already guessed, it’s all about marijuana and its medicinal

This is not SciFi: software update slated for bionic eye will grant higher resolution and colour vision

The Argus II is the first bionic eye implant, designed to grant the blind vision, that has been approved by the FDA in the US. The wearer of such an implant is now capable of distinguishing objects and live an almost independent life, which is absolutely remarkable by itself, however its performance is light years away from the natural counterpart.

‘Sniffing’ cancer: device detects cancer odors in urine

A while ago, ZME Science reported on some mind blowing research in which dogs were trained to literally sniff lung and breast cancer from samples. The dog’s detection accuracy was between 90% and 95% for breast and lung cancer, respectively, compared to biopsy results. Recently, a collaborative team of researchers from University of Liverpool and the University of the West of

Experiment shows that crabs and lobsters feel pain, suggests we don’t really understand animal pain

I have never in my life eaten a crab or a lobster, because ever since I was a kid, boiling an animal alive seemed extremely cruel; it just didn’t make sense that an animal doesn’t feel pain – and even today, it doesn’t, to me. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is damaged and needs fixing. It

First artificial ‘meat’ burger, cultured in a petri dish, tasted by panel of experts

A few years ago ZME Science reported how a group of researchers at University of Maastricht in Holland were on a mission to grow the first lab cultured ‘hamburger’. After five years of painstaking work and €250,000 invested (backed by Google’s Sergey Brin), an edible version was finally developed and what better way to put it to test than…eat it! As such,  a

Temperature control and monitoring achieved at the cellular level

Temperature is an important physical parameter which greatly influences a system. Monitoring and/or manipulating this state parameter with great accuracy is thus of great importance to scientists. Recently, researchers part of  DARPA’s Quantum-Assisted Sensing and Readout (QuASAR) program proved a new technique that allowed them to measure and control temperatures at the nanometer scale inside living cells. Measuring temperatures at such fine spatial

Researchers grow teeth-like structure using stem cells from urine

A new study performed by scientists in China has further elevated stem cell research after they successfully grew teeth-like structures using cells derived from an unlikely source: urine. Eventually, they hope that human stem cells could provide the basis for a tooth bud that could be transplanted into the jaw of the patient. Some of you might find it weird that

Huge honey mushroom discovered in China weighs 33 pounds

Weighing in at 33 pounds (15kgs), this huge honey mushroom was recently discovered by locals in China’s Yunnan Province. Specialists aren’t sure yet, but the giant fungus could actually be a record breaker. The large clump of mushrooms, which numbered over 100 caps attached at the base of their stems, caused quite a stir amongst locals. “I guess this mushroom

Managers lose track of the big picture, only focus on grades and performance, not context

How many times did you apply for a job or to enter a graduate program in some school somewhere only to find that the position was filled by someone less capable than you? Now, we’re strictly referring to people genuinely less capable than you, otherwise we’d be hitting the same bias exhibited by the manager in charge that renounced you

Children can recover from an autism diagnosis, study finds

It’s no easy task for any psychologist to bear the news to a parent that his child is suffering from autism. For the parent, receiving the news is much worse. Not all hope is lost, however, as it’s been reported that a promising fraction of those diagnosed with autism eventually recover during young adulthood, despite still showing some mild symptoms

Migraines linked with abnormal brain arteries

We’re all swept from time to time by the occasional migraine, and rest assured you don’t want anyone around you when that time comes. Some people, however, suffer from migraines more often than others in what’s recently been classified as chronic migraines. It’s still unclear what causes them. Some studies point to dilation of blood vessels in the head, it’s even

Dwelling inside the gambler’s mind

There’s a lot more to gambling than just luck, and whilst it’s impossible to predict an outcome or utilise a system effectively, the human brain and our emotions have a lot to do with the decisions we make during the gambling process. Expectation Say you slide a coin into a one armed bandit, pull the lever and watch the reels

Death occurs more slowly than thought, like a wave killing the body cell by cell

Studying death in humans has always been precarious. I mean, it’s not like anyone would volunteer to be live dissected as they slowly die, and even if someone would agree to such a procedure, most likely it would not be allowed. Not in any western hospital anyway. Luckily, death is such a common, as in inevitable, occurrence for all living