A pill to burn fats? Harvard scientists have found a way

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have taken what they describe as “the first step toward a pill that can replace the treadmill” for the control of obesity – they have developed a pill which can turn white (bad) fat into brown (good) fat. Personally, I’m not a believer in a magic cure for qetting rid of those extra pounds.

Record breaking energies achieved in a compact particle accelerator 3 million times smaller than the LHC

With the help of the most powerful laser in the world, scientists have achieved the highest energies yet in a compact particle accelerator. The tabletop-sized device accelerates electrons to high speeds by firing high power laser pulses in a controlled manner through a plasma tube only 9 centimeters in size. The accelerator ring at the Large Hadron Collider in CERN is

Scientists create ‘artificial evolution’ for the first time

Scientists have made a significant step towards developing fully artificial life – for the first time, they demonstrated evolution in a simple chemistry set without DNA. In a way, the researchers showed that the principle of natural selection doesn’t only apply to the biological world. Using a simple a robotic ‘aid’, a team from the University of Glasgow managed to create an evolving

Saturn’s Moon Titan has Strong Winds and Hydrocarbon Dunes

New experimental research found that Saturn’s largest Moon, Titan, has much stronger winds than previously believed. These rogue winds actually shape the hydrocarbon dunes observed on its surface. Titan is, along with Earth, one of the few places in the solar system known to have fields of wind-blown dunes on its surface. The only other ones are Mars and Venus. Now,

Viking Colonization Was a Family Affair

Vikings are often depicted as brutes – raiding, pillaging, killing the men and raping the women. But according to a new study, coloniozing may have actually been a family affair. Maternal DNA from ancient Norsemen suggests that more often than not, women also traveled alongside the men. Vikings were excellent seafarers – this was the key to the development of their

Blowfish don’t actually hold their breath when inflated

When under threat, the pufferfish quickly inflates into a spherical shape to help it ward off  and escape predators. Until now, biologist had thought that in this state the pufferfish – also known as the blowfish, toadfish or sea squab – holds its breath all the while, but this assumption has been overturn by the findings made by Australian researchers who

High heels really do have power over men, study shows

Marilyn Monroe once said that if you give a woman the right shoes, she can conquer the world; that may be a bit of a stretch, but a new study published in a Springer journal has shown that if a woman wants attention or help from a man, high heels definitely go a long way. Previous research has already shown

Not all fracking is the same – some sites emit a hundred times more than others

Not all boreholes are the same – scientists using mobile equipment measured how many gaseous compounds are emitted by the extraction of oil and natural gas in the US. This is the first time an analysis like this has been conducted at a high temporal resolution using a vapor capture system, and the results show that some boreholes have 100 times more

Infrared light can be detected by the human eye after all

The human retina can only detect incident light that falls in waves 400 to 720 nanometers long, so we can’t see microwave or ultraviolet wavelengths. This also applies to infrared lights which has wavelengths longer than visible and shorter than microwaves, thus being invisible to the human eye. Apparently, this isn’t entirely true. In some special conditions, the human eye can indeed detect

Major Viking Hall Identified in Sweden

A major Viking hall measuring over 50 metres in length has been identified near Vadstena in Sweden. Archaeologists from Stockholm University and Umeå University used non-invasive geophysical techniques to identify the hall, and they have a very good idea how it looked like, even without  actually digging it. The Viking Age is the period from 793 AD to 1066 AD in European history,

This is the world’s first 3D Printed Car

3D printing is changing our lives – we’re seeing it already. Basically any household item can be 3D printed, and cheaper; in medicine we have 3D printed bones and even skin, you can get a 3D printed tattoo, 3D printed fossils for education, you can 3D print houses cheaply and quickly and even rocket parts – NASA is actually 3D printing rocket engine parts!

Mars kept liquid water on its surface for millions of years

New evidence beamed back by the Curiosity rover and analyzed by NASA JPL scientists suggests that the Gale Crater on Mars had large lakes, rivers and deltas for millions or tens of millions of years. The implications are huge, since if Mars ever had a chance of fostering life, it needed to not only have flowing water and organic molecules at its

Stunning 2200-Year-Old Mosaics Discovered in Ancient Greek City

Three new mosaics have been uncovered in the ancient Greek city of Zeugma, which is actually located in today’s Turkey. The incredibly well preserved mosaics date back to the 2nd century BC, but they’re still as beautiful as the first day. There are actually two ancient cities called Zeugma – one in Dacia (probably today’s Romania), and one in modern Gaziantep Province,

Dawn spacecraft will soon figure out what Ceres actually is

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has set sail to Ceres – one of the most intriguing objects in our solar system. Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, containing a third of all the mass in the asteroid belt. The unmanned Dawn spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Ceres in early 2015, and will hopefully shed provide

Ancient “lava pie” found on Mars

A NASA probe has taken a picture of a surprising pie-like geological feature on Mars. Scientists are not yet sure what caused the feature, but the likely culprit is lava. The 1.2 mile (1.9 km) wide feature was imaged by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) appears like an island of iron in a very smooth field. Judging

Australia might set the stage for failed climate change talks in Paris next year

Australia’s Abbott government has been accused of intentionally taking measures that might lead to an international greenhouse gas emission target in Paris, next year. Australian leaders are keen on insisting there should be a binding legal agreement between the countries that agree to the action, arguing that in lack of such a internationally enforceable framework the agreement would lack credibility.

Ecuador indigenous leader killed just days before environmental Peru Protest

An indigenous leader of the Shuar people who was openly opposing a major mining project in Ecuador has been found bound and buried, just days before an environmental protest he was organizing in Peru’s capital, Lima. We here don’t really like to tackle politics – unless it directly involves science or the environment… and this is exactly the case. José Isidro Tendetza

IBM develops device which could power slums with used laptop batteries

An IBM team analyzed a sample of discarded batteries and found that they can still be used and can still provide benefits. They developed a device which uses re-usable Lithium Ion cells from discarded laptop battery packs to power low energy DC devices. They found that 70% of used batteries could still store enough power to keep an LED light on more than

X-Ray laser reveals how proteins act at an atomic level

A team of researchers from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has revealed how the atomic structure of proteins changes during photosynthesis using an X-Ray laser which captures snapshops with unprecedented temporal resolution. As if conventional lasers weren’t awesome enough, scientists invented X-Ray lasers – which use stimulated emission to generate or amplify electromagnetic radiation in the near X-ray area of the spectrum,

New Horizon probe back online after 9 year journey to Pluto

Nine years and three billion miles later, NASA’s New Horizon probe awoke once it neared a strip close to Pluto. The probe was kept in hibernation for more than two thirds of its trek and will is soon expected to finally explore the dwarf planet and, most importantly, the world that surrounds it – the Kuiper belt. It’s the farthest any spacecraft