Here’s what kids eat at school lunch around the world. Needless to say, US trails behind

A typical school cafeteria serving contains fried food stuff like nuggets, mashed potatoes or peas. Kids’ nutritional uptake and diet could be a lot better, as proven elsewhere by schools all around the world. Sweetgreen, a restaurant the values local and organic produce, recently published on its Tumblr an amazing photo journal detailing what a typical cafeteria serving looks like in countries like South Korea, Brazil or Italy.

Rats reward their friends for help – first such act seen among non-humans

Norwegian rats know how to keep their friends close. A new study found they reward other rats for their help even though there’s no immediate gain at hand as a result of this behavior. Called direct reciprocation, this is the first time something like this has been recorded by science outside human interactions.

Pill reduces risk of HIV infection for gay men by 86%

Two new studies – both covering gay men, one in Britain and the other in France – were recently shared with the public boasting terrific results. In the trials, gay men were asked to take a drug called Truvada either daily or right before and after having sex. In an unlikely event of chance, both studies found a 86 percent reduction in new HIV infections among volunteers using Truvada. This suggests that the orally administered drug might be a lifeline in many HIV-ridden communities, considering 90% of all HIV cases could be prevented if those infected seek treatment.

Science finds the most and least addictive foods

Scientists from the University of Michigan have found which are the most and least addictive foods in the world. They gathered data from 500 participants and found that the most addictive foods are (no surprise) pizza, ice cream and chocolate, while the least addictive ones are cucumbers, carrots, beans and rice.

Decisions are reached in the brain by the same method used to crack the Nazi Enigma code

The highlight of the award winning film, “The Imitation Game”, is when Alan Turing and colleagues devise an ingenious statistical method that eventually helped decipher the Nazis’ Enigma code. This breakthrough allowed Allied intelligence to read previously unavailable German military positions and actions, vastly shortening World War II. Interestingly, a team of neuroscientists at Columbia University found that more or less the same statistical method applied by Turing and co. is used by the brain to make any kind of decision, be it going left instead of right in an intersection or placing a higher bet during a high raise power game instead of folding.

Three Austrian men become real-life Cyborgs

Bionic hands – artificial limbs controlled through thought power – they’re as awesome as they sound, and they’re now a reality. Three Austrian men have become real-life cyborgs after having losing their hands to injury and then undergoing innovative surgery.

Eyelashes keep eyes clean and dry – but longer is not better

Humans have been fascinated by eyelashes for centuries, with long and luxuriant eyelashes being in fashion since the days of ancient Egypt. Now, researchers have found how eyelashes actually work, what their functions are, and revealed that longer is not necessarily better.

Science shows why coffee spills but beer doesn’t – it’s in the foam

If you’ve ever walked with beverages in your hand, you probably know that coffee tens to spill easily, while beer doesn’t. Emilie Dressaire, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering, believes the secret lies in the foam.

Curiosity Rover Takes a Revealing Selfie

The Curiosity Rover, currently on Mars, took another selfie in the “Mojave” area, where it is preparing to have a second taste of Mount Sharp, the central peak within Gale crater. The selfie scene is assembled from dozens of images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the rover’s robotic arm.

Dust from the Sahara Desert Fertilizes the Amazon’s Forests

The Sahara Desert and the Amazon area have few things in common – one is a dry, barren wasteland, while the other is the most fertile area on Earth. But according to a new NASA study, there may be more than meets the eye when it comes to the two – dust from the Saharan area makes the trans-Atlantic journey, fertilizing the Amazonian rainforest with phosphorus.

Drunken rats in the attic? No problem, sober them up with some oxytocin

The love hormone, oxytocin, was found to neutralize the motor deficiency effects of alcohol in rats, sobering them up. The researchers involved believe that given enough oxytocin, similar sobering effects might be seen in humans as well.

The skin gets damaged by UV light even in the dark, ironically as it may seem

Contrary to popular belief, much of the damage inflicted to the skin by harmful ultraviolet (UV) light occurs hours after exposure to the sun, even when you’re sitting comfortably asleep in your dark bedroom. The Yale University research also made a startling find: melanin – the pigment that gives human skin and hair its colour – has both carcinogenic and protective effects. This double standard should be taken into consideration from now on when discussing UV exposure, but also when looking for new treatments to skin cancers like melanoma.

Exonerate the rats – it was gerbils that brought the Black Plague

It’s always the cute ones – a team of Norwegian researchers found that the Black Plague, which arrived in Europe in the 14th century and wiped out up to 200 million people was brought by gerbils, not by rats.

Marijuana is much safer than tobacco and alcohol, study concludes

A new study has concluded that marijuana is much safer than alcohol and tobacco combined. Alcohol is actually the most dangerous substance out of the ones studies – more dangerous than heroin, cocaine, ecstasy or meth.

Real mummified monk found in 1,000-year-old Buddha statue

Using CT-scans, researchers at the Netherlands-based Drents Museum imaged a mummified monk who lived 1,000 years ago inside a Buddha statue. Encased inside the golden cast, lie the the remains of Buddhist master Liuquan of the Chinese Meditation School. His organs were removed prior to becoming encased, which isn’t a surprise being a standard mummification practice. What was surprising however were the rolls of paper scraps covered in Chinese writing which were placed where the organs used to sit.

Want to fight peanut allergies? Eat peanuts

In 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised parents to keep children as far away from peanuts as possible, in order to avoid potential allergies – it seemed like a good idea at the time. But now, a new study has found that in the long run, that actually did more harm than good, and if we want to fight allergies, we should be feeding our children peanuts.

A DNA-ring pill might diagnose any cancer fast and accurately

Stanford scientists proved that it’s possible use DNA minirings that code the production of a specific protein that can’t be found in healthy cells to diagnose any form of cancer. The mini-rings were injected in the bloodstream of mice and allowed for accurate diagnosis up to two days from the injection. In authors envision using the same solution to diagnose any cancer in humans, while also relaying how large is the extent of the tumour. Moreover, they hope they can achieve this with an orally administered pill, instead of an intravenous injection, thus making it the least invasive form of cancer diagnosis. The only pain you’ll experience is when doctors will prick a needle in your finger to get a drop of blood. Take that, biopsy!

This stunning sports car runs on salt water

A company called nanoFlowcell has revealed a concept sports car which gets its energy from salt water and can run up to 621 miles on this electricity alone – wow!

We could cut HIV transmission rate by 90%, CDC says

Almost 70% of HIV-infected people in the US are either undiagnosed or not receiving care; this population is responsible for 91.5 percent of all infections, according to the CDC.

Big-brained mice engineered using human DNA

In the quest to understand what are the crucial differences between human and chimpanzee brains, scientists have isolated a stretch of DNA, once thought to be “junk”, near a gene that regulates brain development in mice. The engineered mouse embryos grew significantly larger brains. Those which received human brain DNA strands had 12% larger brains than those bred with chimp brain DNA. Research like this, though ethically controversial, might help identify which DNA sequences give a brain human characteristics, but also aid in findings treatment or cures for brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.