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,

Signs of water found in the atmosphere of 5 alien planets

Using the Hubble telescope, astronomers have identified faint signals of water in the atmosphere of five exoplanets. The alien planets, however, are classed as hot-Jupiters – huge planets with a surface temperature too hot to support life. Finding water on planets light years away from Earth is definitely of great note and marks a step forward in scientists’ quest (and

Being healthy and obese is impossible – the two are mutually exclusive, researchers say

It’s surprising to me that this has to be said, but … oh well. If you are obese, you’re unhealthy. Even if you have normal blood pressure, cholesterol and blood-sugar, you’re still unhealthy. A study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, concluded that so-called “healthy obesity” was a myth. “Healthy obesity” or “benign obesity” is a relatively new term,

Study Estimates US Emits 50 Percent More Methane Than it Claims

The United States is spewing 50 percent more methane than the official federal government estimates, a new study concludes. The paper, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science shows that most of the emissions come from cows, refineries and drilling spew and occurs in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. This not only raises some big questions

Using volcanoes to power liquid fuel production

Volcanoes aren’t generally regarded as being particularly practical for us humans, quite frankly on the contrary. An innovative company from Iceland, however, is suggesting that it may be feasible to produce methanol – a liquid fuel with high heating value that can even work with normal gasoline-powered engines – by refining the CO2 spewed by volcanoes. The energy required to

China’s rover on route for the moon and first lunar landing in 40 years

In the early hours of December 2nd, China deployed its Chang’e-3 spacecraft on route for the moon after launching it via a  Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang launch centre in Sichuan. The spacecraft is expected to reach lunar orbit in about 4 days, if everything goes as planned. On 14 December, the probe is expected to touch base with the moon at Sinus