background preloader

Science miscellaneous

Facebook Twitter

The exceptional grave of Louise de Quengo, a 17th century Lady - Preventive Archaeology in France. Plants Murder Bugs to Pay Their Bodyguards - Inkfish. Brainflayer: A Password Cracker That Steals Bitcoins From Your Brain. For bitcoin fans, the notion of a “brain wallet” has long seemed like the ideal method of storing your cryptocurrency: By simply remembering a complex passphrase, the trick allows anyone to essentially hold millions of dollars worth of digital cash in their brain alone, with no need to keep any records on a computer.

Brainflayer: A Password Cracker That Steals Bitcoins From Your Brain

It turns out, however, that your mind is a surprisingly vulnerable place to put the key to your crypto-liquid assets. And now one hacker is releasing the brain-thieving software to prove it. Next month at the hacker conference DefCon, security Ryan Castellucci plans to release a piece of software he calls Brainflayer, designed to crack bitcoin brain wallets and let any hacker suck out the digital cash stored in them. Pills, thrills and polymer gels: what's the future for male contraception? There are, despite an ancient and colourful history, only three forms of male contraception: condoms, withdrawal and vasectomy.

Pills, thrills and polymer gels: what's the future for male contraception?

The first condoms were used by Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete, who used a goat’s bladder in her vagina to protect against his sperm, which was said to contain scorpions and serpents that killed his mistresses. The withdrawal method got bad press in the bible when Onan withdrew and spilt his seed rather than impregnate his widowed sister-in-law, Tamar.

God was very displeased with this contraceptive method and killed him. More Consensus on Coffee’s Benefits Than You Might Think. Rounding out concerns about the effect of coffee on your heart, another meta-analysis examined how drinking coffee might be associated with heart failure.

More Consensus on Coffee’s Benefits Than You Might Think

Again, moderate consumption was associated with a lower risk, with the lowest risk among those who consumed four servings a day. Consumption had to get up to about 10 cups a day before any bad associations were seen. No one is suggesting you drink more coffee for your health. But drinking moderate amounts of coffee is linked to lower rates of pretty much all cardiovascular disease, contrary to what many might have heard about the dangers of coffee or caffeine.

Chemistry set pencils can turn life-saving tests into child’s play. This piece was first published on The Conversation If you’ve ever sat opposite a doctor and wondered what she was scribbling on her notepad, the answer may soon not only be medical notes on your condition, but real-time chemical preparations for an instant diagnostic test.

Chemistry set pencils can turn life-saving tests into child’s play

Thanks to the work of a team of researchers from California Polytechnic State University, recently published in the journal Lab on a Chip, chemicals formed into pencils can be made to react with one another by simply drawing with them on paper. The team may have taken inspiration from colouring books for their take on a chemical toolkit, but their approach could make carrying out simple but common diagnostic tests based on chemical reactions – for example diabetes, HIV, or tests for environmental pollutants – much easier. Primer0020: Zombie Bone-Eating Harem-Keeping Worms. At the bottom of the ocean, several kilometres down, is the abyssal seafloor.

Primer0020: Zombie Bone-Eating Harem-Keeping Worms

The pressure is crushing, the temperature is two to three degrees Celsius. The darkness is absolute: no light means no nutrients, and thus almost no life. Except when. How cannabis was used to shrink one of the most aggressive brain cancers. Widely proscribed around the world for its recreational uses, cannabis is being used in a number of different therapeutic ways to bring relief for severe medical conditions.

How cannabis was used to shrink one of the most aggressive brain cancers

Products using cannabinoids, the active components of the cannabis plant, have been licensed for medical use. Sativex, for example, which contains an equal mixture of the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), is already licenced as a mouth spray for multiple sclerosis and in the US, dronabinol and nabilone are commercially available for treating cancer-related side effects. Now, in a study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, we’ve also shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults. There are more than 85 cannabinoids, which are known to bind to unique receptors in cells and which receive outside chemical signals. Woman gives birth after womb transplant, in medical first. A woman in Sweden has given birth after receiving a womb transplant, the doctor who performed the pioneering procedure said on Friday.

Woman gives birth after womb transplant, in medical first

The 36-year-old mother received a uterus from a close family friend last year. Her baby boy was born prematurely but healthy last month, and mother and child are now at home and doing well. Is Breakfast Overrated? Photo For years, we’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Is Breakfast Overrated?

But scientific support for that idea has been surprisingly meager, and a spate of new research at several different universities — published in multiple articles in the August issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition — could change the way we think about early-hours eating. The largest and most provocative of the studies focused on whether breakfast plays a role in weight loss. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and other institutions recruited nearly 300 volunteers who were trying to lose weight. They randomly assigned subjects to either skip breakfast, always eat the meal or continue with their current dietary habits. Relax, UK – We're Not All Going to Die of Ebola. Some of the panicky headlines you may have read recently (Background image via) The latest Ebola outbreak has been ongoing for several months, killing over 600 West Africans.

Relax, UK – We're Not All Going to Die of Ebola

However, it hasn’t been widely reported until now for two reasons: foreign reporting is becoming increasingly non-existent, and no Westerners had died yet, so nobody really cared. Two American casualties later and suddenly the British Foreign Secretary is raving about threats to national security – threats he was presumably oblivious to until he saw them in the New York Times.

Cyclists breathe easier on their own paths. June 27, 2014 — Boston has installed more than 50 miles of bike lanes since 2007, and the number of pedal-powered commuters in the city, while only 2.1%, is more than three times the national average.

Cyclists breathe easier on their own paths

To help urban planners continue to improve bike friendliness, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) set out to determine the types of lanes that expose cyclists to the smallest amount of vehicle pollution. The researchers attached a mobile monitoring unit to the back of a bicycle and hit the road to sample two types of pollutants from vehicular exhaust—black carbon and nitrogen dioxide—known to increase the risk of asthma, heart disorders, and other health problems. They traveled five common bicycling routes in the city during both morning and evening commutes, to compare bike paths, which are separated from the road, and bike lanes, which run adjacent to traffic. Read abstract: Impact of bicycle route type on exposure to traffic-related air pollution. Teen to government: Change your typeface, save millions. An e.

You can write it with one fluid swoop of a pen or one tap of the keyboard. Superbug gonorrhoea found in Japan - health - 13 July 2011. An untreatable strain of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea, resistant to all existing antibiotics, has been identified in Japan. The news follows warnings last week from the US Centers for Disease Control that it is only a matter of time before invincible strains of Neisseria gonorrhoea emerge in the US. The Japanese superbug, called H041, was isolated by Magnus Unemo at the Örebro University Hospital in Sweden, and reported this week at the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research meeting in Quebec, Canada.

Sanjay Gupta: Only 6 Percent Of Marijuana Research Considers Medical Benefits. It's impressive researchers have managed to conduct even that many studies. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and CNN's chief medical correspondent, is officially down with weed. In an article for CNN , the well-known medical personality apologized for dismissing the scientific value of medical marijuana research. "It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications.

Britain ponders 'three-person embryos' to combat genetic diseases. Doug Turnbull, director of the Wellcome Trust centre for mitochondrial research at Newcastle University, has urged the government to move quickly allow the new treatment. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian The government is considering whether to propose legal changes that would allow radical new treatments for families at risk of incurable genetic diseases that involve the creation of so-called "three-person embryos".

Rolf Zwaan: The Preliminary Results are in! Update February 3, 2013, I removed the figure for reasons explained in my next post. The Father and the Fetus. Schoolboy patents pancreatic cancer sensor. This article was taken from the October 2012 issue of Wired magazine. Older fatherhood: something interesting for society to consider. The obvious advice is becoming a father under the age of 40 is probably better for the health of your children than waiting until you are older. Flu vaccines for all children. 25 July 2012Last updated at 04:31 ET Nasally introduced flu vaccine. Silky scheme for vaccine storage without refrigeration - health - 09 July 2012. Silkworms may provide a novel way to store vaccines.

Nobel laureate occasionally hangs out on street corners, answering physics questions. Girl, 10, has vein made from her own stem cells successfully transplanted. The Swedish team grew a vein for the young girl using her own bone marrow stem cells. Womb with a View: Labor inside an MRI Scanner Reveals the Mechanics of Childbirth: Scientific American Gallery. In 2010 a woman in Germany became the first person to give birth inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. The results, published May 2 in European Radiology, provide an extraordinary view of what exactly happens as a baby moves through the birth canal. The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Genius. Does Texting Increase Truthfulness? May 18, 2012 According to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, texting is a good way to attain honest answers to delicate questions.

The Physics of Spilled Coffee. Scientists face many obstacles on the path to greater knowledge. Microsoft Word is cumbersome, inefficient, and obsolete. It’s time for it to die. N.Y. Preschool Starts DNA Testing For Admission. The Right (and Wrong) Way to Die When You Fall Into Lava. House mice picked up poison resistance gene by having sex with related species. Hagfish filmed choking sharks with slime, and actively hunting fish. Graffiti from Pompeii. Nature Wants to Eat You. What made Darwin first. Weirdest of the Weird: Discoblog’s Favorite Stories of 2010. Drink 'til You're Green: Scientific American Podcast. New From Google: The Body Browser. The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical. Anti-clotting factors in vampire bat saliva may save your life. Human and jellyfish combined to make the first living laser. Was Darwin a Punk? A Q&A with Punker-Paleontologist Greg Graffin.

Sound of sex could alert internet porn filter - tech - 20 May 2011. Partial solar eclipse and transit of the Space Station from Oman. Absinthe Fact and Fiction. Sunspot Drop Won’t Cause Global Cooling. Booze myths: The truth at the bottom of the bottle - health - 31 December 2010. Take a look at the world's oldest mathematical object - io9. Heart With No Beat Offers Hope Of New Lease On Life. Tut, tut! Finding the genetic trail. France Telecom to Shut Down a Beloved Precursor of the Web.

Ultrasonic French Fries. Japanese robot arm can pick up ketchup. Earth is shaped like a lumpy potato - environment - 05 April 2011. Genetically Modified Cows Produce "Human" Milk - Food. What killed Charles Darwin? Arnold Gesell - Dome Alone - LIFE in the Laboratory - Photo Gallery. Stone Age humans liked their burgers in a bun - life - 18 October 2010 - New Scientist. Ancient People Played Lots Of Games: Scientific American Podcast.

Semen allergy suspected in rare post-orgasm illness. The Forgotten History of Muslim Scientists [Slide Show] The link between coffee and acute ischemic stroke onset. Zeros to heroes: 11 unlikely ideas that changed the world - 08 September 2010. Researchers study the science of stabbing with a broken bottle. Archaeologists turn Kinect into handheld 3D scanner. Hairy limbs keep bed bugs at bay. Sabre-toothed squirrel scurried at dinosaurs' feet - life - 02 November 2011.