Sci-Tech

Cosmic Inflation & Gravitational Waves: Complete Coverage of Major Discovery – the ‘Smoking Gun’ for Universe’s Incredible Big Bang Expansion

Posted by on March 17, 2014 in Earth & Space, Science with 0 Comments
Cosmic Inflation & Gravitational Waves: Complete Coverage of Major Discovery – the ‘Smoking Gun’ for Universe’s Incredible Big Bang Expansion

On March 17, 2014 scientists announced the first direct detection of the cosmic inflation behind the rapid expansion of the universe just a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago. A key piece of the discovery is the evidence of gravitational waves, a long-sought cosmic phenomenon that has eluded astronomers until now.

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The Science of ‘Paying It Forward’

Posted by on March 16, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Science with 0 Comments
The Science of ‘Paying It Forward’

In recent years, social scientists have conducted experiments demonstrating that the effect of a single act of kindness can in fact ripple through a social network, setting off chains of generosity that reach far beyond the original act. But whether it is enough to merely witness a generous act, rather than actually benefit from one, has been an open question.

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MIT Creates Soft Robotic Fish that Moves Like the Real Thing

Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Technology with 0 Comments
MIT Creates Soft Robotic Fish that Moves Like the Real Thing

Soft robots — which don’t just have soft exteriors but are also powered by fluid flowing through flexible channels — have become a sufficiently popular research topic that they now have their own journal, Soft Robotics. In the first issue of that journal, out this month, MIT researchers report the first self-contained autonomous soft robot, a “fish” that can execute an escape maneuver, convulsing its body to change direction, in just 100 milliseconds, or as quickly as a real fish can.

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Inventor of the World Wide Web calls for online ‘Bill of Rights’

Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Sci-Tech with 0 Comments
Inventor of the World Wide Web calls for online ‘Bill of Rights’

The British inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, wants a digital bill of rights to protect Internet users from surveillance. Today is the 25-year anniversary of the Web’s creation. He hopes to spark a global conversation about the need to defend principles that have made the Web successful, but have come under attack by the government and corporate influence. New rules are need to “protect the ‘open, neutral’ system.”

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Largest Ever and Extremely Rare Yellow Hypergiant Star Discovered

Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Earth & Space with 0 Comments
Largest Ever and Extremely Rare Yellow Hypergiant Star Discovered

The largest yellow star ever discovered has another star orbiting so closely they’re actually touching. The stats for the star are impressive: dubbed HR 5171 A, the binary system weighs in at a combined 39 solar masses, has a radius of over 1,300 times that of our Sun, and is a million times as luminous. Located 3,600 parsecs or over 11,700 light years distant, the star is 50% larger than the famous red giant Betelgeuse.

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Einstein’s Lost Theory Describes a Universe Without a Big Bang

Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Science with 1 Comment
Einstein’s Lost Theory Describes a Universe Without a Big Bang

In 1917, a year after Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity was published—but still two years before he would become the international celebrity we know—Einstein chose to tackle the entire universe. His calculations told him that the universe could not stay static: it had to either expand or contract. Einstein chose to ignore what his mathematics was telling him. The story of Einstein’s solution to this problem—the maligned “cosmological constant” (also called lambda)—is well known in the history of science. But this story, it turns out, has a different ending than everyone thought: Einstein late in life returned to considering his disgraced lambda. And his conversion foretold lambda’s use in an unexpected new setting, with immense relevance to a key conundrum in modern physics and cosmology: dark energy.

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The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking

Posted by on March 10, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Science with 1 Comment
The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking

Through their training, scientists are equipped with what Carl Sagan calls a “baloney detection kit” — a set of cognitive tools and techniques that fortify the mind against penetration by falsehoods. The kit is brought out as a matter of course whenever new ideas are offered for consideration. But the kit, Sagan argues, isn’t merely a tool of science — rather, it contains invaluable tools of healthy skepticism that apply just as elegantly, and just as necessarily, to everyday life. By adopting the kit, we can all shield ourselves against clueless guile and deliberate manipulation. Sagan shares nine of these

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WISE Survey Finds Thousands of New Stars, But No ‘Planet X’

Posted by on March 9, 2014 in Earth & Space, Sci-Tech with 1 Comment
WISE Survey Finds Thousands of New Stars, But No ‘Planet X’

After searching hundreds of millions of objects across our sky, NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly dubbed “Planet X.” Researchers previously had theorized about the existence of this large, but unseen celestial body, suspected to lie somewhere beyond the orbit of Pluto.

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Stonehenge: Built For Music?

Posted by on March 6, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Science with 0 Comments
Stonehenge: Built For Music?

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

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Scientific Research Suggests We Unconsciously React to Events Up to 10 Seconds Before They Happen

Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Science with 0 Comments
Scientific Research Suggests We Unconsciously React to Events Up to 10 Seconds Before They Happen

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.

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Women’s Brains More Resilient

Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Science with 0 Comments
Women’s Brains More Resilient

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.

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What Happens When We Exceed the Universe’s Speed Limit?

Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Earth & Space, Sci-Tech, Science with 0 Comments
What Happens When We Exceed the Universe’s Speed Limit?

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.

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Baby’s Rare Brain Tumor Had Teeth

Posted by on March 2, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Science with 0 Comments
Baby’s Rare Brain Tumor Had Teeth

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.

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Scientists Turn Off Pain Using Nothing But Light

Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Sci-Tech, Science with 0 Comments
Scientists Turn Off Pain Using Nothing But Light

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.

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A Plan for Free, Global Access to the Internet

Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Futurism & Inspiring Inventions, Sci-Tech, Technology with 2 Comments

Computing devices still outnumber the people on this planet, but less than 40% of the global population has access to the Internet. Data is a costly commodity in many parts of the world. The Outernet is a plan to bridge the global information divide.

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