Brain-computer interface restores brain connectivity in injured rats

Case Western Reserve University and University of Kansas Medical Center  researchers recently report they’ve devised a neural prosthetic that partially restored brain connectivity in rats whose brains were injured. Effectively, the rats regained their functional behavior and were able to perform tasks similarly to normal rats, something that otherwise wouldn’t had been possible. The research gives hope that the interface may be

Stressed parents more likely to foster obese children

A new study found that parent stress is linked to heightened weight gain in children. The causes of this aren’t very clear yet, however scientists advise interventions should focus on how to support families in challenging conditions. Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto studied data collected during the Children’s Health Study, one of the largest and most comprehensive investigations into the

Not all species deteriorate with age, challenging study shows

For most creatures, mortality increases sharply with age – and we typically consider this to be natural. However, other animals, such as the hermit crab, the red abalone and the hydra, a microscopic freshwater animal experience very different trends enjoying almost constant levels of fertility and mortality. For the desert tortoise, the mortality even decreases as it gets older. A

Curiosity rover switches strategy: hunts for organic molecules

NASA recently announced that it will be tasking the Curiosity rover, currently exploring Mars’ surface at the Gale Crater, with a new mission that wasn’t included in the initial plan. After Curiosity provided some of the most fantastic scientific clues in recent history when it found evidence that Mars could have supported certain kind of microbes, NASA now wants to

Huge freshwater reserves found beneath oceans

Scientists have found huge reserves of freshwater in a totally unexpected area: several kilometers offshore, beneath the oceans. This new discovery has the potential to avert or at least minimize the effects of the almost certain water crisis some areas of the world will be facing in future years. A new study published in Nature reveals that an estimated half

Astronomers discover planet that shouldn’t be there

The discovery of a giant planet orbiting its star at 650 times the average Earth-Sun distance baffled researchers. So far, they haven’t been able to explain how such a strange system came to be. The international team of astronomers was led by a University of Arizona graduate student. This is the most distant planet ever found orbiting around a single,

Report slams university’s animal research

Imperial College London accepts heavy criticism from independent reviewers after exposé by animal-rights group. The Imperial College London is one of the most prestigious Universities in the world, but they are currently under severe criticism today from an independent review set up in the wake of allegations of malpractice. As the report claims, the university’s animal research facilities are understaffed,

In a Rainbow Universe, time may have no beginning

It’s one of the most alluring but hard to prove (and unlikely) theories: a Rainbow Universe. A Universe in which time simply stretches back indefinitely, without a big bang to start things off, simply with no beginning – something pretty hard to fathom. The name comes from the so-called Rainbow Gravity; basically gravity’s effects on spacetime are felt differently by

Distinguishing cancer cells using fractal geometry offers faster diagnosis

Fractals are non-regular geometric shapes that have the same degree of non-regularity on all scales. Fractals are the kind of shapes we see in nature, basically, and even though the term was first coined only a coupled of decades ago or if this is the first time you’ve heard about fractals, chances have it that you already interact with them on

Bee wipeout likely caused by pesticides and fungicides

Over the past six years, and estimated 10 million beehives have been wiped out as a result of the  so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), causing damage worth $2 billion. It’s difficult to put a price tag on billions of bees, though, or the actual damage their collapse is causing. As you may know, bees pollinate crops, flowers and all sorts

Top Universities grade inflation? Most common grade at Harvard is A, median is A-

The most common grade at Harvard is A, and the median grade is A-, Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris explained, raising fears about top American Universities artificially inflating their grades or employing softer grading standards. The information was delivered at the monthly meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as a response to government professor Harvey C.

Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, could harbor life according to report

We’ve written extensively before about the life harboring possibilities of Jupiter’s moon, the icy Europa. The moon is believed to be the likeliest candidate in our solar system, besides our own planet, capable of supporting life. Recently, a report compiled by researchers at University of Texas at Austin, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System

New evidence suggests Neanderthals organized their living spaces, much like humans do

As more and more research is conducted on Neanderthals, we start to understand that we’re not as unique as we thought, and that they were equals or even superior in many ways. Now, researchers have found that Neanderthals organized their living spaces in ways that would be familiar to modern humans. The findings show that they butchered animals, made tools

Oldest human DNA ever found – 400.000 years old

The recent discovery of DNA of a 400,000-year-old human thigh bone could provide valuable insight into the evolution of humans; researchers explain this is easily the oldest human genetic material ever found. When it comes to being a mountain, the Atapuerca Mountains in Spain don’t really have much going for them. It’s an ancient karstic region of Spain comprising mostly of

Writing about your trauma in third person helps recovery

Writing your memoirs or simply recollecting traumatizing memories in writing has been used as tool in therapy for many years now. A new study by researchers at University of Iowa  found that switching to writing in third person eases recovery and improves health of participants. Whether it’s a car accident, the death of someone close, surgery, illness, or even financial collapse,

Humans are becoming more carnivorous, worrying study shows

Humans and the food chain A country-by-country study has shown that the fast-growing economies of India and China are riving a global increase in meat consumption, cancelling out decreases elsewhere. This has serious negative environmental implications. The work analyzed both what people eat, as well as the trends of what they are eating. They also calculated an ecological metric called

Some 90% of radiology services in the U.S. hospitals are outsourced. Moving health care overseas?

Generally, you can view services like any other commodity and apply strict goods economics. So if the same type of service is available elsewhere, even in another country, at a cheaper price it makes sense, economically, to outsource. Is health care a different matter, however? Apparently, if you took an X-ray in the past decade, there’s a 90% chance it

Parents who work odd schedules hurt relationships with their children

North Carolina State University researchers report that parents who work odd schedules or jobs that differ from the typical “9 to 5” schedule risk deteriorating the relationship they have with their children. In some instances, however, the researchers found that certain work odd schedules help form better child-parent relationships than a 9 to 5. An odd schedule For their study,

Leveling global health within a generation could bring economic benefits 20 times the program’s cost

A new report made by a team of Harvard researchers proposes a set of measures aimed at leveling the health ground in the world by 2035. The authors envision a grand convergence, namely closing the most egregious equity gaps we still have between poor and rich populations around the world. Isn’t offering the same health benefits to everyone, indifferent of their

Super-strong, drug resistant bacteria evade detection net

Drug resistant bacteria (immune to almost all antibiotics) are dreaded by patients and physicians alike. Finding them in hospitals is bad enough as it is, but failing to detect them is even worse – it can result in a dramatic outbreak. This is why patients with bacterial infections are typically screened using automated lab tests that uncover the pathogen’s identity,