Ocean life threatened by mass extinction

Climate change and over-fishing are held responsible for the swift collapse of coral reefs and the propagation of mass extinction among marine life. According to the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), which presented the study this Tuesday to the U.N., the Earth is faced with its biggest spate of mass extinctions in millions years. “We now

Remember and forget at the flick of a button

A team of neuro-scientists have managed to restore lost memories to rats by activating a part of their brains through an artificial memory chip – just like a sort of neuro-prosthesis. Further advances backed by this study might lead to the development of important leaps in long-term memory treatment, providing relief for Alzheimer or dementia patients. Researchers from Wake Forest

An Implant for Memory

My Alma mater (USC) is doing some pretty cool things with the human brain. Even when I took a neuroscience class there a couple years ago my professor was working on a prosthetic for the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for encoding long term memories.     Well, now researchers have taken another step forward and made an

The complete Akkadian dictionary

Akkadian, or Assyro-Babylonian, is the oldest attested written language – the code for the cuneiform writing system. Texts written in Akkadian date back as early as 2800 BC, and although it hasn’t been spoken for well over two thousand years, the language can be considered invaluable to the unraveling of the first human civilizations from Mesopotamia. A hundred years in

Intense Gamma Ray blast indeed traced back to supermassive black hole

We previously reported about an incredible gamma ray burst triggered by a black hole, so powerful that nothing like this was observed before, or even dimmed possible. A recently published paper in the journal Science sheds more light on the subject. A typical gamma ray burst commonly occurs when massive stars explode due to collisions with other stars or simple

Iran will launch a monkey into space

Last year, Iran successfully launched a rocket that carried a mouse, a turtle and worms into space. This summer, the Iranian Space Organization is planning on taking its space program one step further by sending a monkey into orbit this summer. This was revealed this Thursday by Iran’s top space official at a press conference  after the launch of the

Giving Primates a Third Arm (and Why it Matters)

When you first hear of the work done by Miguel Nicolelis and his team, though the “cool factor” is high, you might wonder as to the practical application. Miguel has spent the last number of years (and, in fact, most of his career) working to gives our primate cousins a third (robotic) arm. In his new book, Beyond Boundaries, he

Jupiter and the Earth [pic]

We all know (hopefully) that Jupiter is much, much larger than the Earth; but sometimes, the best way to get a sense of scale is a picture. Just so you can figure out how big that spot is, look at it, and look at this picture of Jupiter. Via UniverseToday

The “do it yourself” weapons of the Libyan rebels

For the past few months, the situation in Libya has varied from dire to horrifying; the rebels are fighting to maintain ground and even push whenever they get some help, but the situation they are in is not a good one. Scrambling to arm themselves against organized and trained military and mercenaries, the rebels have started to make use of

The White Desert of Brazil [amazing photos]

Usually, deserts are barren, arid wastelands field with sand, all kinds of lizardy creatures and a minimum amount of water – basically, death traps. Brazil’s Lençóis Maranhenses National Park may very well be the world’s most harmless desert, and if not, it’s the most stunning one for sure. Spanning a mere 1000 square kilometers, the White Desert as it’s referred to

Stunning image of “O-ring” shapped nebula

The brilliant image from above was captured by Spitzer space telescope and depicts a ring shaped region formed by hot gas and glowing dust. Dubbed RCW 120, the nebula lies about 4,300 light-years away from Earth, and is located in the constellation Scorpius, just above the plane of the galaxy. The wavelength emited by the nebula is far within the

Voyager-1 on the brink of interstellar flight

Launched in in the late 1970’s in a mission to study the planets Jupiter, Saturn and their respective satellites, the two Voyager probes have been most certainly put to a more pioneering goal and sent into outer space after having completed their last missions. Currently, Voyager-1 is the most distant human-made object from Earth and is now quite ready the

Indian man dies after fasting in protest of Ganges pollution

The river Ganges has literally been at the center of Indian life for thousands of years, both socially and spiritually. Millions of people have been fed, bathed and enlightened by it. It’s a sacred river, regarded as the most important stream in Hindu mythology – it’s also very dirty. The Ganges is considered to be the fifth most polluted river

Magic Mushrooms can treat depression, anxiety and addiction, study shows

Researchers have found that the mystical experiences obtained by volunteers under the psychoactive substance found in hallucinogenic mushrooms has lead to a substantial improvement of their lives. Although a lot of similar studies have been made showing the beneficial long term effects which come with ingesting psilocybin mushrooms, be it spiritual or physical, this particular research was centered around answering

Study: traumatic brain injuries in Asterix comics

Brain surgeons must have the best sense of humor in the whole scientific community. Seems like a team of German neurosurgeons took the liberty to analyze the hundreds of head injuries roman legionnaires had to suffer at the hands of the ruthless gaul Asterix. They’re results have been remarkable – this my friend is pure gold. From the study abstract:

Highest efficiency in the world: Nano-magnetic computers

According to a recently published study, computer processor chips made out of nano-scale magnets could yield an efficiency close to the limit imposed by physics. A 100% efficiency is impossible in practice, since any mechanical or electrical process requires more energy than it theoretically needs because of dissipation, be it heat (most of the time) or even sound. Nana-magnetic computing

Another Star Wars dream come true – the hoverbike

An Australian engineer boosts that he has successfully managed to build a working hover bike, one, he claims, that you could ride to 173 mph at 10,000 feet and feel like any other motorcycle. So far, however, Chris Malloy’s prototype hoverbike hasn’t done any of the aforementioned claims, aside from hovering a bit over ground, but the concept is still

Explore the ocean floor with Google Ocean

When Google Earth was first released I was simply struck  with amazement by the myriad of features the software was bundled with. I never imagined I could have my very own state of the art satellite imaging from the comfort of my armchair and notebook. This may be common enough now (meanwhile Google maps popularized the satellite imaging trend tenfold),

China’s Chang’e 2 finished moon orbiting mission, now headed for outter space

Last year, in October, China launched its second moon orbiter, as part of the country’s rapidly growing reformed space program . The Chang’e 2, as it was dubbed, has seen a great deal of improvements compared to its predecessor, including a more powerful rocket that delivered the probe to the moon more quickly. Today, after finishing all its scheduled missions

Chinese space program posters

In a recent post I showed you some absolutely stunning Soviet space program posters, and guess what – we’re back with more space posters, only this time, it’s the other communist titan on the planet: China. What is striking about these posters are the children; while the Soviets emphasized on the power of the people and their national heroes (Yuri