Weird Science
Follow
Find
2.8K views | +0 today
Weird Science
Cool and fascinating tidbits from the world of science
Curated by Daniel House
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Why Cats Can Survive Falls that Would Kill any Other Animal?

Why Cats Can Survive Falls that Would Kill any Other Animal? | Weird Science | Scoop.it

It's all about evolution. Domesticated cats are the descendants of arboreal creatures that had to be able to survive the occasional fall while jumping from tree branch to tree branch. That's added up to an amazing biological toolkit that helps ensure their survival, even when falling from dozens of stories up.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

The Trouble With String Theory

The Trouble With String Theory | Weird Science | Scoop.it
Particle physics is to physics what big game hunting is to field biology. While theoretical physicists pore over their mathematical models, particle physicists are out in the brush with their pith helmets and shotguns, speaking softly, carrying big accelerators and blowing stuff up real good.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Neuroskeptic: Personality Without Genes?

Neuroskeptic: Personality Without Genes? | Weird Science | Scoop.it

According to a paper just published in Nature, we haven't found any genes for personality. The study was a big meta-analysis of a total of 20,000 people of European descent. In a nutshell, they found no single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with any of the "Big 5" personality traits of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Rocky Road: Ernst Haeckel

Rocky Road: Ernst Haeckel | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Haeckel was born in 1834 to a family of some distinction. He studied medicine at the universities of Würzburg and Berlin, but soon realized he hated disease too much to be a good doctor. When he opened a medical practice in Berlin, it was only a formality. The young man then embarked on a lengthy trip to Italy, financed by his father, where he toyed with the idea of becoming a landscape painter. By then, Dad had lost patience, and Haeckel abandoned that fancy and turned to science. Besides he was in love.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

The Benefits of Bilingualism

The Benefits of Bilingualism | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

ChronoZoom: Zoom and Explore the History of the Universe

ChronoZoom is an ambitious project by UC Berkeley, Moscow State University and Microsoft Research to create a universal timeline of … well, everything. Trace the history of the cosmos all the way down to modern times, and get an idea of the scale of time, this microsecond of the universe’s existence that we are living in.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

33rd Square | Woolly Mammoth To Be Cloned By Korean Scientists

33rd Square | Woolly Mammoth To Be Cloned By Korean Scientists | Weird Science | Scoop.it

A Siberian woolly mammoth preserved in permafrost could walk the Earth again after 10,000 years, after Russian academics signed a deal with a controversial Korean scientist to clone the animal.

Hwang Woo-Suk of South Korea's Sooam Biotech Research Foundation -- who created the world’s first cloned dog, Snuppy, in 2005 -- will implant the nucleus from a mammoth cell into an elephant egg to create a mammoth embryo.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Gamers outdo computers at matching up disease genes : Nature News & Comment

Gamers outdo computers at matching up disease genes : Nature News & Comment | Weird Science | Scoop.it
The hope that swarms of gamers can help to solve difficult biological problems has been given another boost by a report in the journal PLoS One1, showing that data gleaned from the online game Phylo are helping to untangle a major problem in comparative genomics.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Extra gene keeps mice cancer-free and permanently skinny

Extra gene keeps mice cancer-free and permanently skinny | Weird Science | Scoop.it
The gene PTEN is a tumor suppressor, making it one of the best genes to have in the fight against cancer. But the latest research suggests that preventing cancer is just the beginning of all the amazing things this gene can do.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Scientists Decode Gorilla Genome :: Could it Hold Key to the Human Condition?

Scientists Decode Gorilla Genome :: Could it Hold Key to the Human Condition? | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Researchers in Cambridge have deciphered the genetic code of the gorilla - the last of the Great Ape genuses to be sequenced.

 

Writing in the journal Nature, the scientists say that researchers can now begin to examine the similarities and differences between the apes.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Shrouded at Sea: Scientists Give Ships Invisibility Cloaks

Shrouded at Sea: Scientists Give Ships Invisibility Cloaks | Weird Science | Scoop.it
The breakthrough, courtesy of researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, is the latest in a series of developments in invisibility research — many of them Pentagon-funded. Too bad this one won’t actually address what’s arguably the military’s biggest on-the-water worry: Hiding ships from the watchful eyes of potentially dangerous foes. Instead, these scientists think they’ve figured out how to trick the water itself.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

10 Years of Gorgeous Images of Earth From Space

10 Years of Gorgeous Images of Earth From Space | Weird Science | Scoop.it

 

Ten years ago on March 1, the European Space Agency launched an 8-ton satellite called Envisat that would deliver back to Earth some of the most beautiful images of our planet taken from space.

Since then, Envisat has orbited Earth more than 50,000 times and has lived twice as long as planned.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

The man who invented the heart-lung machine was better known for a creative use of pig hairs

The man who invented the heart-lung machine was better known for a creative use of pig hairs | Weird Science | Scoop.it
Did you know that the heart-lung machine was invented twice? And that, in typical scientific fashion, almost no one credits the original inventor. Instead, this neuroscientist is known for calibrated pig bristles.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Can You Really Sequence DNA With a USB Thumb Drive?

Can You Really Sequence DNA With a USB Thumb Drive? | Weird Science | Scoop.it

What if you could put a few bacterial cells into a USB stick, plug it into your laptop, and get back a complete DNA sequence in a matter of minutes?

Oxford Nanopore has built a USB device that will do just that. At least, that’s what the company says. Known as MinION, the device received a hefty amount of press when it was announced in February, and it’s slated for release to the world at large in the second half of the year. But many are still skeptical that this tiny device will do what it’s designed to do.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Researchers Prove that Memories Reside in Specific Brain Cells

Researchers Prove that Memories Reside in Specific Brain Cells | Weird Science | Scoop.it

In a new MIT study, researchers used optogenetics to show that memories reside in very specific brain cells, and that simply activating a tiny fraction of brain cells can recall an entire memory — To directly test the hypothesis about memory encoding and storage in a mimicry experiment, the researchers chose optogenetics, which can stimulate neurons that are genetically modified to express light-activated proteins. That would provide experimental evidence that even ephemeral phenomena, such as personal memories, reside in the physical machinery of the brain.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Is the Universe a Computer? New Evidence Emerges.

Is the Universe a Computer? New Evidence Emerges. | Weird Science | Scoop.it

I’ve recently become familiar with the thinking of University of Maryland physicist, James Gates Jr. Dr. Gates is working on a branch of physics called supersymmetry. In the process of his work he’s discovered the presence of what appear to resemble a form of computer code, called error correcting codes, embedded within, or resulting from, the equations of supersymmetry that describe fundamental particles.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Nanotechnology Braille display makes Web accessible to the blind

Nanotechnology Braille display makes Web accessible to the blind | Weird Science | Scoop.it
In order to develop a more functional, and affordable, tool that would allow the blind to interface with their computers, scientists are working to develop sheet-type, refreshable Braille displays. A group of researchers in Japan has previously reported such full-page Braille displays by integrating organic thin-film transistors (TFT) and soft polymer actuators
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Should Science Pull the Trigger on Antiviral Drugs—That Can Blast the Common Cold

Should Science Pull the Trigger on Antiviral Drugs—That Can Blast the Common Cold | Weird Science | Scoop.it

We do currently have “antiviral” drugs, but they’re a pale shadow of their bacteria-fighting counterparts. People infected with HIV, for example, can avoid developing AIDS by taking a cocktail of antiviral drugs. But if they stop taking them, the virus will rebound to its former level in a matter of weeks. Patients have to keep taking the drugs for the rest of their lives to prevent the virus from wiping out their immune system.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Molecular computing: Using DNA to build computers that can run inside cells

Molecular computing: Using DNA to build computers that can run inside cells | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Ever since the advent of the integrated circuit in the 1960s, computing has been synonymous with chips of solid silicon. But some researchers have been taking an alternative approach: building liquid computers using DNA and its cousin RNA, the naturally occurring nucleic-acid molecules that encode genetic information inside cells. Rather than encoding ones and zeroes into high and low voltages that switch transistors on and off, the idea is to use high and low concentrations of these molecules to propagate signals through a kind of computational soup.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

A new view of DNA

A new view of DNA | Weird Science | Scoop.it

While it’s clear that DNA sequencing has been an indispensable tool in understanding any number of biological processes, new research from Harvard suggests that how DNA is packed into cells may be at least as important as the biological coding it contains. A new imaging technique, developed by Erez Lieberman Aiden, a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows, working with Nynke van Berkum, Louise Williams, and a team of researchers from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, is giving scientists their first three-dimensional view of the human genome, one that is already shedding new light on a number of what Aiden calls the “central mysteries of biology.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Aurora australis seen from the International Space Station

Aurora australis seen from the International Space Station | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Not the best place to raise a family, but what a view!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

1953: The Year That Revolutionized Life, Death, and the Digital Bit

1953: The Year That Revolutionized Life, Death, and the Digital Bit | Weird Science | Scoop.it
Three technological eras began in 1953: thermonuclear weapons, stored-program computers, and modern genetics.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Global Alliance to Study Planetary Changes Revealed

Global Alliance to Study Planetary Changes Revealed | Weird Science | Scoop.it

A global research initiative to study the Earth's changing environment and its impact on society is due to be launched later this month. The 'Future Earth' alliance aims to deliver scientific and social science research in a way that policymakers and grassroots groups would understand to help them meet their sustainable development goals in the coming decades.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

Spider silk conducts heat as well as metals, study finds

Spider silk conducts heat as well as metals, study finds | Weird Science | Scoop.it

Spider silk has some interesting properties: it's very strong, very stretchy, only 4 microns thick (human hair is about 60 microns) and, according to some speculation, could be a good conductor of heat. But nobody had actually tested spider silk for its thermal conductivity.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel House
Scoop.it!

The Moon in 2011... hour by hour

SPACE PORN: Folks at the NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio have created this amazing animation showing our view of the Moon over the entire year of 2011 with time resolution of *one hour*! The tipping, tilting, and rocking are due to the Moon's elliptical orbit coupled with its tilt. I explain this using captions in the video itself.

more...
No comment yet.