About 29% of San Francisco’s pollution comes from China

While some governments may be more environmentally conscious and apply strict environmental policies, others are not. It’s important, however, that the whole world reaches some form of common ground. After all, we’re all breathing the same air – more or less. Just so you get a finer picture,  take note of the fact that 29% of the pollution in the

Tweaking potassium in brain cells helps fight Huntington’s disease

Approximately one in 20,000 Americans suffer from Huntington’s disease, a devastating neurodegenerative affliction that  gradually deprives patients of their ability to walk, speak, swallow, breathe and think clearly. Like other similar diseases, like Alzheimer’s, there isn’t any cure, but scientists at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) may have discovered a way to tackle it by looking elsewhere than other researchers.

Middle school student shows the US government could save $400 million by switching fonts

How important are details, when it comes to saving money? Any accountant will tell you: really important. A middle school student in Pittsburg thought the same thing – he discovered that the government could save $400 million dollars just by change the typeface it uses. Inspired by a school project on saving ink, he calculated that his school could reduce

UN court rules against Japan whaling

In what may be a  historic decision, the UN’s top court has ordered Japan to stop its annual whale hunt in the Antarctic. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) rejected Tokyo’s arguments that whaling has scientific purposes, in a case which many believe will shape the future of the giant mammals. “Japan shall revoke any existant authorisation, permit or licence

How brain damage affects moral judgement

The most basic fabric of civilization was woven on the principles of moral judgement, that is to say serving the interests of the community and others, instead of merely following self-interest at large. This is why some believe, arguably or not, that religion was a key civilizing factor since it laid out a moral workbook. Thou shall not kill, thou

A new method for filtering light coming from a specific direction

Using only material geometry and interference patterns, MIT researchers have devised a novel way of passing light of any colour only if it comes from a specific angle. Light coming from other directions will be reflected, something which can be desirable in certain applications. Those who could benefit immediately from the findings are solar photovoltaics, detectors for telescopes and microscopes, and

Aging successfully reversed in mice – human trials to start next

As incredible as it may sound, scientists have successfully reversed the aging process in mice, according to a new study published in Cell. Reversing aging, a real possibility? Many of the chronic diseases that exist in older adults constitute a highly significant social and economic burden to the community; if you think about it, eliminating (or at least alleviating) the

First complete cranium replacement performed using 3D printing

Many herald 3-D printing as a new wave set to revolutionize manufacturing in the 21 century. I fully agree in most respects, however the benefits medicine can achieve through this technology haven’t been stressed enough, maybe. There’s a pen that 3-d prints bone directly on lesion sites, 3d printed skin or prosthetic. It’s the field of medical implants, however, where 3d

Series of earthquakes strike Yellowstone

Seismologists working at the University of Utah reported an earthquake occurring at 06:34 AM on March 30, 2014 (MDT). The epicenter of the magnitude 4.8 shock was located 4 miles north-northeast of Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. A supervolcano This was not a singular event, but was a part of a series of earthquakes that began in

Smarter than we give them credit: crows understand water displacement at the level of a child

New Caledonian crows understand ow to displace water to receive a reward, with the causal understanding level of a 5-7 year-old child, according to results published March 26, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE. Just a few days ago, we were presenting a study which showed that goats are smarter than previously believed, and now, it’s the birds’

Asteroids can have rings, too

When it comes to rings, we usually think about gas giants – Jupiter and Saturn have spoiled us that way. But astronauts have showed that asteroids can have rings too – at just 250 kilometres across, Chariklo is the smallest known body which has rings. Previously, only gas giants in our solar system have been seen sporting them: Jupiter, Saturn,

A drug to rule them all: fighting all cancers with one drug

When it comes to fighting cancer, it’s crucial to know what kind of cancer you’re dealing with – different diseases often require different approaches. However, when mice with human tumors received doses of anti-CD47, cancer cells shrank and ultimately disappeared, regardless of their nature; and we’re talking about human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver, and prostate tumors – all

Neither dead or alive: the suspended animation trial

For the half-dead arriving at hospitals, like the unfortunate who suffer gunshot wounds or lose a lot of blood some other way, there’s very little doctors can do. There are so little life saving procedures and surgeries that can be performed, and doctors need their patients at least a few more hours to be alive for most of these to

A possible way of predicting low IQ embryos – should we interfere then?

Cardiff University  researchers report on Monday that  children with two copies of a common gene (Thr92Ala), together with low levels of thyroid hormone are four times more likely to have a low IQ. It was found that this combination occurs in 4% of the UK populace. In the future genome sequencing will become so cheap that almost anyone will afford to

Bioprinting tissue: a solution for faster, cheaper drug testing

Testing drugs on 3-D printed human tissue might significantly improve drug research.

Prehistoric shrimps traded claws for nets, filtering food like modern whales

Cambrian fossil is earliest example of large swimming filter-feeder. An evolutionary explosion Half a billion years ago, the world was extremely different. We’re in the Cambrian, the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, which lasted from about 541 to 485 million years ago. Life is diversifying at an incredibly fast rate, into what we call today the “Cambrian explosion“.

Yeast chromosome engineered from scratch: creating cretures in a lab

In a huge breakthrough in synthetic biology, scientists at Johns Hopkins University have engineered from scratch a yeast chromosome. This is the first time scientists have been able to assemble a chromosome from a creature as complicated as a yeast, namely a prokaryrite. The implications of this research are far and wide. For one, the developments at Johns Hopkins provide

Roman emperor and pharaoh: new ancient carving tells the story

Right on the western exterior wall of the Temple of Isis at Shanhur, located just 12 miles north of the famous Luxor, archaeologists have uncovered an ancient stone carving depicting the Roman emperor Claudius dressed as a pharaoh. The scene is the most preserved out of the other 36 original scenes discovered during the 2000-2001 excavation season, after a layer of dirt

Using famous paintings to study Earth’s past atmosphere

When it comes to studying the Earth’s atmosphere and pollution, paintings are not really where you usually go to gather information. But team of Greek and German researchers suggest that colors of sunsets painted by famous artists can offer clues about our planet’s past atmosphere. They mainly focused on paintings that depicted ash and gas emitted from a volcanic eruption.

Waste-cooking solar toilet unveiled in India

An innovative project which addresses both environmental and health concerns has been revealed in Delhi, India. It’s estimated that 2.5 billion people in the world (almost 1 in 3 people) lack proper sanitation – something unimaginable in the developed world. With that thought in mind, a team at the University of Colorado Boulder has designed a self-contained, solar-powered, waterless toilet.