Astronomers confirm the existence of potentially habitable super-Earth

Exoplanet GJ581d is the first potentially habitable world astronomers have discovered, but some astronomers believed that the planet wasn’t actually there – it was all an observational flaw mixed with some noise in the signal. However, British researchers recently released a study which confirms that the planet does exist and further underline the matter of habitability. This is one of the planets outside our solar system most likely to harbor life.

Your smartphone might be making you stupid

People who excessively rely on their smartphones scored lower on tests which gauged cognitive abilities like analytical thinking than those who use their smartphones less frequently. The results reported by psychologists at University of Waterloo suggest that using smartphones to find answers to questions – difficult or not – via search engines makes you lazy and less apt at solving problems.

Scientists analyze 300 year old DNA from Caribbean slaves

Three hundred years ago, three African-born slaves from the Caribbean suffered a sad fate. No one knew who they are, no one knew what they went through, and until recently, no one knew where they came from. Now, researchers extracted and sequenced tiny bits of DNA to figure out where in Africa these people came from when they were captured and enslaved.

Psychedelics aren’t linked to mental health problems – on the contrary

Two new studies, independently published in the same journal, found that consciousness expanding substances like LSD or psilocybin (the psychoactive substance found in ‘magic mushrooms’) couldn’t be linked with mental health problems in the general population. Moreover, according to data fed from a nationwide survey, psychedelics make people less prone to suicide and suicidal thinking than the general population. Previously, studies showed that psychedelics have significant results in treating addiction and post traumatic stress, under guidance and supervision. The researchers stress, however, that some individuals may experience adverse psychological effects.

Livestock teeth show ancient farmers avoided dangerous flies

A study conducted on 2000 year old tooth enamel found that ancient farmers traveled to the grassy plains southern Africa to develop herding away from the dangerous tsetse fly.

Supernova flings star out of the Milky Way – it’s the fastest moving star ever

Astronomers have discovered a star racing at a incredible pace of 2.6 million miles an hour (4.2 million kilometers an hour), making it the fastest moving star discovered thus far. It’s so fast that it should exit our galaxy and turn into an intergalactic rogue. It doesn’t stop here. Such celestial oddities are believed to be spurred in motion by the extreme gravitational tugs found in the vecinity of supermassive black holes, such as the one found at the core of the Milky Way. The new found road runner, however, was most likely flung outward by a Type Ia supernova, one of the most powerful and brightest bursts of energy in the universe. Little is know about such stellar explosions, and the hypervelocity star might submit some valuable clues.

The plane that will circle the globe on solar power alone

Tomorrow, Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will embark on an epic journey aboard Solar Impulse 2 – an airplane entirely powered by solar power – that will take them around the world. The five-months, 35,000 kilometers long trip will start and end in Dubai.

Florida officials banned from using words like “climate change” or “global warming” in public

In Florida, some have already found a solution to climate change: just ignore the damn thing! According to a outrageous report released by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, employees  of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have been ordered to stop using key terms like “global warming” or “climate change” in public communications, be them on twitter, PR releases or

Dropping weights in space to test Einstein’s general relativity

Extraordinaire experimental physicist  Galileo Galilei allegedly climbed hundreds of step to reach the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa’s – which wasn’t so leaned as it is today – and dropped  pairs of balls of different weights and materials onto the ground. The experiment was meant to prove in front of the crowd of scholars and students gathered in front

The farmers of the future will be all robots

By 2050, world population is expected to rise to nine billion, but the amount of arable land meant to grow food will remain mostly the same as it stands today. As such, a 25% increase in productivity is mandated to support not just a growing populace, but also a wealthier one – as income inequality is coming down in developing countries, we’re also seeing a sharp increase in meat consumption, for instance. Genetically modified organisms and waste management are just a few paramount solutions. At the same time, productivity stems from agricultural processes and some modern farmers are already integrating the latest technology to increase their yields and cut costs. Twenty years from now, expect your oranges and corn to be 100% sown, grown and harvested by robots.

Love Hormone might help men lose weight

A study conducted on a small number of men concluded that the “love hormone” oxytocin may reduce appetite, helping men lose weight.

Catalina Fox Makes Sharp Recovery

The Catalina Fox simply can’t catch a break – it went from endangered, to doing so well that local residents want to kill it again.

Incredibly old tool found in Oregon

Archaeologists working in Oregon have uncovered a stone tool which seems to be way older than any previously documented site of human occupation in North America. When archaeologists date things, they use a relative law borrowed from geology, called the superposition law. The superposition law states that sedimentary layers are deposited in a time sequence, with the oldest on the

Cosmetic eye surgery turns brown eyes into blue

We live in a society which puts a lot of pressure on looks. Women especially, are always looking for new ways to make themselves look more attractive either by dyeing their hair, wearing make-up or, in some particular extreme cases, plastic surgery. Now there’s another type of aesthetic procedure – a novel laser treatment which can change your eyes’ color. The

2.4 Billion People Have Untreated Tooth Decay

Dental health is still a generally neglected issue throughout the world – most people just delay their dental problem or simply ignore them until they become unbearable. Although it’s pretty simple to have a correct dental hygiene, most people simply don’t care enough about this, and as a result, almost 2 and a half billion people suffer from untreated tooth decay.

How the praying mantises make their amazing leaps

Praying mantises are peculiar creatures, by human standards. The insect often stands in a pose that looks like it is praying, but make no mistake – it’s a formidable killer and an unforgiving lover. The unholy mantis uses its spiky front legs with great accuracy to ledge unto prey, but also to hold onto its male lover after mating to chop of his head. Ouch! A less known aspect of praying mantises is their agility. The insects make extremely calculated leaps and controlled landings, all in the blink of an aye. Now, a team from University of Cambridge and University of Bristol, UK, have found out how they manage their acrobatic feats. In short, it’s a complex interplay between the counter-rotation of three body parts to exchange momentum. This orients the insect towards its target with great precision.

Mars may have had a huge ocean

Scientists have found tantalizing evidence regarding Mars’ wet past – according to new research, the Red Planet may have once had a huge ocean, containing 5 million cubic miles of water with a depth of over a mile.

Planet discovered in four-star solar system

For the second time, astronomers have discovered a planet in a solar system with four stars! While most solar systems only have one star, two stars are pretty rare, three are very rare, and four stars… that almost never happens – or at least this is what we thought. The planet wasn’t newly discovered, but previously, astronomers thought it resides

Exploding supernova observed in four different images

According to a new report, a team of astronomers has observed a supernova explode – split into four different images. It’s a “needle in the hay stack” scenario which astronomers were hoping to find for a long time… and now they finally did.

Self-driving cars might generate hundreds of billions in revenue

Some people waste hours each day driving their car, time they could have otherwise spent better. You’ll still be trapped on the road in a self-driven car, but the added benefit is that you’ll be free to do other stuff – anything but stare into your windshield non-stop. According to a study made by McKinsey & Company, self-driving cars could generate billions of dollars a year in revenue from mobile internet services and products, even in situations where occupants only save a couple of minutes. Of course, we had it coming. What did you thought people would do with their spare driving time? Surf the internet, of course.