NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Arrives at Martian Mountain

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the Curiosity rover, but that doesn’t mean that it stopped studying the Red Planet. Now, NASA’s rover has reached one of its main destinations: Mars’ Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity now will begin a new chapter from

Magic mushroom therapy helps smokers quit where other methods fail

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Universityin Baltimore used psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, in a novel treatment that helped a dozen people quit smoking. The findings adds to growing body of evidence that suggests psilocybin, combined with counseling, can be a highly effective tool against addiction and depression. Volunteers were given each a 20 milligram pill of psilocybin in a safe

Researchers capture sound from atoms, opening new doors to quantum research

Most quantum research is focused on studying interactions between light and atoms, a field known as quantum optics. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden took an alternate route and demonstrated for the first time that acoustic waves could be used to communicate with an atom. The findings could provide an important stepping stone for harnessing quantum effects in the

Ancient flying reptile was a cross between dragon and pelican

Paleontologists have discovered a new pterosaur species in 120-million-year-old rocks at two sites in northeastern China.  The flying reptile was dubbed Ikrandraco avatar, where draco is Latin for “dragon,” and Ikran are the pterosaurlike flying beasts depicted in the 2009 blockbuster Avatar. The ancient reptile was described in paper published in the journal Scientific Reports as having a deep lower jaw with a a thin,

BP fined $17.6 billion following 2010’s “reckless” oil spill

A federal judge has called major oil company BP (British Petroleum) “reckless”, and Transocean and Halliburton “negligent” following the major oil spill of 2010. The US District Judge Carl Barbier has ruled that BP’s “gross negligence” was the main culprit for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which is considered to be the biggest marine disaster in history. The spill claimed 11

Failing carbon policies: we’re seeing the largest carbon emissions increase in 30 years

U.N. scientists released a report in which they conclude man-made carbon emissions released between 2012 and 2013 were higher than in any other year since 1984. If this trend is set to continue, the planet will reach a tipping point where global warming will become an irreversible phenomenon that could cause enough sea level rise, drought, and severe weather to significantly harm human

MIT develops handheld mass spectrometer

Since it was first introduced decades ago, mass spectrometry has proved to be an invaluable tool for analyzing the chemical makeup of foods, pharmaceuticals, forensic remains and so on. The equipment, however, is extremely bulky, expensive (in the hundreds of thousands range) and a sample might take days of back and forth analysis before results can be returned. MIT researchers

Tracking the origin of life: computer simulation delves inside ‘primordial soup’

One of the most famous chemistry experiments of the last century was the ‘primordial soup’ project initiated by Stanley Miller. The chemist wanted to see what would happen if you mixed methane, ammonia and hydrogen – all substances readily available on Earth before life began – and zapped them with electricity, to create a phenomenon analogous to lightning which would have been

Stephen Hawking: ‘God particle’ might destroy the Universe. But wait…

I’m not sure what’s on with Stephen Hawking and his pessimistic view of the world. He’s been known for audacious, panic-inflicting claims like the world is going to be destroyed either by aliens or artificial intelligence, all if we don’t destroy ourselves in the meantime since humans only have 1,000 years left on this planet anyway, according to the eminent

The origin of fever: study shows it stems from the brain

Occasionally we’re hit by fever. Nobody likes it, most sane people actually hate it, but it’s important to note that it’s an important part of the healing process. Fever is a result of the immune response by your body to foreign invaders like viruses, bacteria, fungi, drugs, or other toxins. Research showed that it is triggered by an onset of the

Plant-based solution makes hemophilia treatments more effective

Patients with hemophilia are often forced to live in a bubble. Even the smallest cut can cause significant blood loss, and often times these minor accidents can also cause internal bleeding that affects organs and threatens life. Some treatments have proven effective at keeping hemophilia at bay, at least to a degree, yet some groups of patients do not respond

Artificial cell can move on its own

In an attempt to further out understanding of cell deformation and mechanics, researchers at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have built an artificial cellular model that can change its shape and move on its own. Cells are complex biological objects that exhibit sophisticated metabolic functions. Primordial cells, however, were much simpler in design: just a membrane and a couple of

Software makes phone pics clearer and sharper without changing hardware

There aren’t that many people who imagined that in only a couple of years we’d see smartphones with 40MGpx cameras. Amazingly as that may sound, manufacturers are nearing a stand-still as far as optics miniaturization is concerned and even so, high end camera phones don’t come near the quality of a dedicated optical hardware. A new software developed by a

Ground ozone pollution in India destroys enough crops to feed 94 million

Like most developing nations, India is burning a lot of coal to catch ground. As always the case with compromises such as these, economic growth comes at the expense of the environment. Pollution in Delhi, the capital, has reached levels comparable to Beijing, which is when you know you’ve hit a new low. A new study found high concentrations of surface

Nickel-78: a ‘doubly magic’ isotope

Some atoms are more stable than others, and the same goes for their isotopes – elements that have the same number of protons in the nucleus, but different number of neutrons. For instance, some decay in a trillionth of a second, while others can live on for billions of years. Actually, using isotopes (thorium and uranium decay) scientists were able

Google set to build its own quantum computing hardware

For some time, Google scientists have been experimenting with artificial intelligence using quantum devices provided by D-Wave. According to Google, the company’s  Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab will soon develop their own quantum hardware, most probably in a bid to secure novel technology. Quantum computers are set to be the next generation of computing devices capable of computations order of magnitude above what

Blue whales in California bounce back to 1900s numbers

We often report how many species around the world are becoming extinct, but it’s heart warming to report from time to time that some conservation efforts really do work. For instance, a new report found that Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), the largest animals on Earth, have steadily increased in population around the Californian waters to the point it’s almost as high as

Heartbeat electricity generator powers pacemaker

Swiss scientists from the University of Bern demonstrated a new device that essentially generates electrical power from the mechanical energy of heartbeats.

Brain-to-brain communication demonstrated for the very first time

A group of neuroscientists have achieved what some might believe strictly belongs to the realm of science fiction – they’ve successfully transmitted a message relayed by the brain of a person to another directly; no voice, no video, no sound, no text. The information was fed directly to the brain. If that wasn’t enough, the message was transmitted over thousands

Dreadnoughtus schrani, a newly named dinosaur, is the largest to ever walk the face of the Earth

A newly found superdinosaur Dreadnoughtus schrani, is the largest known land animal for which mass can be accurately calculated, a recent study concluded. The giant speciment, which isn’t even fully grown, probably measured 85 feet long and weighed about 65 tons. The name literally means “fear nothing”, and the dinosaur has already been nicknamed Dread. It is named after the British battleship HMS