Vampire parasitic plants ‘sweet talk’ victims via DNA communication

A parasitic plant called the dodder, which essentially acts like a ‘vampire’ upon its unsuspecting prey. A new research found the dodder actually communicates using DNA with its host in order to lower its defenses. A true vampire to the end – it needs an invitation to step in.

Big asteroid will hit Eart in 2880 … or will it?

New research has shown that a big asteroid is well on its way to hitting Earth in 2880 – and by that I mean it has a 1 in 300 chance of actually hitting our planet, but it’s still the likeliest celestial body to hit the Earth in the foreseeable future.

Early modern humans were culturally diverse before leaving Africa

Early modern human populations were culturally diverse and sometimes exchanged tools helped by river networks in a then savanna rich Sahara, according to the biggest ever comparative study of stone tools dating to between 130,000 and 75,000 years ago. At least fourdistinct populations, each relatively isolated from each other, have been identified as possessing distinct cultural practices.

Older, more compact cities are better for your health

A first of its kind study conducted at the University of Colorado Denver looked at how city design affects populace health. Older cities, initially built for pedestrian traffic in mind were found to harbor less cases of diabetes and other diseases than those with broader streets and fewer intersections. While some people can stay healthy and stick to exercising habits no matter where they live in, the study suggests that in general cities which are optimized for vehicle traffic discourage walking and other healthy activities.

Swarm of 1,000 robots self-assemble in complex shapes

In a breakthrough in robotics, researchers have programmed a swarm consisting of a whooping 1,024 members which can assemble in programmable 2-D shapes. The demonstration might provide insights in how natural self-assembling swarms operate, like ants who join up to form bridges for the good of the colony.

The most exotic material on the planet: researchers find dust from beyond the solar system

Researchers believe they have found seven dust specs from outside the solar system. This is the first time we have the chance to directly analyze interstellar matter. The material was probably ejected from a supernova.

Evidence suggests that Ebola outbreak may have been underestimated (WHO)

Ebola is starting to get more and more worrying. Now, a team of WHO researchers has announced that the outbreak may have been underestimating, as it spreads much faster and affects more people than previously thought.

Germany gets record 31% of its energy from renewables in first half of 2014

Even though coal is still Germany’s number one energy source, renewable energy is developing incredibly fast, with wind and solar energy catching up fast. If the trend continues, they will soon become the dominant energy source.

Worm glue can help seal tissue

If you’re working in a biology lab, you may want to consider firing some of your assistants and hiring some sandcastle worms; they’re pretty good chemists, able to, among others, biosynthesize glue components they use to build the underwater tubular shelters they call home. Now, researchers are creating adhesives inspired from these chemicals that might make surgeries safer or even

Severe drought threatens Chinese food security

China is experiencing the worst drought in over 50 years, threatening the country’s foo security for the first time in a long time.

Cancer tumors destroyed by fecal bacteria

Scientists introduced Clostridium novyi, a bacteria that causes mild illnesses in humans that typically lurks inside the soil and feces, in cancer tumors and found that these shrank and some cases were destroyed completely. The research suggests that bacteria, when engineered to reduce toxicity, can be a viable fighting tool against cancer, one with less destructive side effects than chemotherapy. Killing

People fake it to look “real” on social media

How you act on the internet and how you act in real life are not the same thing – and people often “fake it to make it” online according to a new study conducted by Finnish researchers. According to them, using social network sites (SNSs) almost always includes an element of fakery. They focused on two social media sites, Facebook

Workaholism – a new dangerous addiction?

A recent study conducted by Norwegian researchers found that 8.3 per cent of the Norwegian work force is addicted to work to the point where it becomes a health issue. They show that workaholism is on the rise, and the odds are this phenomenon isn’t limited to Norway. The term workaholic has two connotations attached to it – it’s either

Student faces up to 8 years of jail for sharing scientist thesis on the web

In 2011, Diego Gómez Hoyos posted someone’s thesis about amphibian taxonomy on scribd while still an undergrad, hoping that by sharing the work he would help other fellow biology students. Come 2013, Hoyos was sued by the owner of the work and now faces copyright charges that, if found guilty, could have him jailed for up to 8 years. Jail

Brighter and cheaper LEDs could be made from perovskite

We’ve covered quite a bit the recent developments involving perovskite as an extremely promising light-to-energy conversion semiconductor. Now, researchers at University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität are performing research on perovskite-based devices that work the other way around by emitting light. Their research has turned out promising results that suggest high-brightness LEDs, manufactured at low cost and more easily,

The International Space Station is out of parking space

At this very moment, the International Space Station has all its docking ports fully booked, as five manned and cargo spacecraft have occupied all available slots. Most expensive parking ticket ever The spacecrafts in question are: Soyuz TMA-12M, Soyuz TMA-13M, Cygnus 2, Progress 56, and ATV-5. The Soyuz crafts are tasked with ferrying the crew of Expedition 39/40 and 40/41 to and from

Study confirms global warming is moistening the atmosphere

Climate models have invariably predicted that the upper atmosphere would become more moist as a result of global warming, the question remained whether these disturbances are natural or anthropogenic.  A new research that used satellite readings found that indeed rising vapor content in the  upper troposphere comes a result of man-made global warming. The findings further strengthens climate models and adds

Study shows hydraulic fracking is sometimes shallow, in drinking water

Among the main arguments of hydraulic fracking proponents is the claim that fracking does nothing to threaten drinking water supply, because the process takes place much deeper. But now, a recent study conducted by Stanford researchers concludes that energy companies are fracking for oil and gas at far shallower depths than widely believed, sometimes through underground sources of drinking water.

Poor cookware might be lead poisoning an entire continent

A study suggests that immense amounts of lead are being ingested in Africa, since extensive use of cookware made from recycled materials leaks lead into the food. This is the first time the extent of lead poisoning has been assessed. Results suggest that in some instances, as much as 200 times the threshold amount for lead poisoning is being ingested.

Killing cancer with salt: chlorine payload brings destruction to cancer cells

A group of international researchers have demonstrated a novel technique for destroying cancer cells. By inserting a chloride payload that penetrates the cancer cell’s sodium membrane, the cells become flushed with salt causing a self-destruction response.