The prehistoric monument Stonehenge may have been built as a giant xylophone, researchers have claimed. The Royal College of Art spent months tapping more than 1,000 types of rock to study the monument’s musical qualities. Most rocks produced a “dull thud” while the bluestones, which formed the earliest stone circle, were found to “sing” when struck. The rocks made a range of metallic sounds like bells, gongs and tin drums, the study confirmed. Read more: Rock ‘n’ roll: Stonehenge may have been a giant xylophone
Can your brain detect events before they even occur? That was the stunning conclusion of a 2012 meta-analysis of experiments from seven independent laboratories over the last 35 years, which found that the human body “can apparently detect randomly delivered
stimuli occurring 1-10 seconds in the future” (Mossbridge, Tressoldi, & Utts, 2012). In the studies, physiological readings were taken as participants were subjected to unpredictable events designed to activate the sympathetic nervous system (for example, showing provocative imagery) as well as ‘neutral events’ that did not activate the nervous system. These readings showed that the nervous system aligned with the nature of the event (activated/not activated) – and what’s more, the magnitude of the pre-event response corresponded with the magnitude of the post-event response.
Women are able to carry higher levels of genetic defects without getting brain development disorders such as autism, supporting the possibility of a “female protective effect,” finds a new study. The study gives clues as to why 50 percent more males typically have an intellectual disability than females, and why boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls.
As far as universal limits go, the speed of light gets all the glory. But did you know there is a different speed limit for particles? It’s called the GZK limit, and some people think it has already been exceeded. Which has some pretty weird implications for the laws of the universe.
A 4-month-old infant in Maryland may be the first person to have had teeth form in his brain as a result of a specific type of rare brain tumor, according to a new report of the case. The boy is doing well now that his tumor has been removed, and doctors say the case sheds light on how these rare tumors develop.
A team of scientists has developed a way to turn pain on and off using light. They used a technique known as optogenetics to insert light-sensitive proteins called opsins into the nerves of lab mice. After a couple of weeks, the nerves became light-sensitive. One color of light would increase the sensation of pain; another would decrease it. This bears huge implications in a number of fields, from neuroscience to psychology, and could help millions of people who suffer from chronic pain.
Ray Kurzweil popularized the Terminator-like moment he called the ‘singularity’, when artificial intelligence overtakes human thinking. But now the man who hopes to be immortal is involved in the very same quest – on behalf of the tech behemoth Google.
With the help of a tiny fragment of zircon extracted from a remote rock outcrop in Australia, the picture of how our planet became habitable to life about 4.4 billion years ago is coming into sharper focus. READ MORE: Oldest bit of crust firms up idea of cool early Earth
Most of us have heard of the famous double-slit experiment. Usually it’s played out in a lab in seconds. But there’s one version, dreamt up by physicist John Archibald Wheeler, which can be played out over much of the galaxy, over millions of years. His thought experiment suggests that we could retroactively determine the fate of ancient photons.
Scientists have developed a way for monkeys to control “avatars” that could be used to help paralyzed people move their bodies. In the tests scientists found that brain signals from the master monkey’s mind could be used to stimulate an avatar’s spinal cord to control its movements
New research suggests that the shapes of both plants and animals evolved in response to the same mathematical and physical principles. By working through the logic underlying Kleiber s Law (metabolism equals mass to the three-quarter power) and applying it separately to the geometry of plants and animals, researchers were able to show that plants and animals display equivalent energy efficiencies
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-02-evolution-geometries-life-scientists-longstanding.html#jCp