background preloader

Science and Technology

Facebook Twitter

A Man Filmed Heaven For 7 Days. What He Saw Took My Breath Away. Ants can sense earthquakes a day in advance. ENSO Plastics - Redefining Biodegradable Plastics - Huge Volcano Eruptions May Have Caused The Die-Off That Paved The Way For Dino Domination. The Triassic die-off is one of 5 mass extinctions on Earth in the past 542 million years. Excavating Evidence of A Great Extinction Along sea cliffs in southern England, geologist Paul Olsen of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory samples rocks from near the 201,564,000-year Triassic extinction boundary. Kevin Krajick/Earth Institute We all know a gigantic asteroid is to blame for wiping out the dinosaurs--but what wiped out the animals that came before them? A changed climate, brought about by devastating volcanic eruptions, may have cleared the way.

New research strengthens the argument that more than 200 million years ago, massive volcano eruptions spewed gargantuan amounts of noxious gas into the atmosphere, causing catastrophic global warming and acidification of the oceans. About 76 percent of the life forms on Earth perished, in a terrible die-off known as the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event. Blueprint: Engineers Invent A Healthier Toilet.

"One-and-a-half million children die each year from diseases related to poor sanitation.

Blueprint: Engineers Invent A Healthier Toilet

We're building a disinfecting toilet that doesn't need running water or massive treatment plants and is cheap and odor-free. It's a squat toilet, which is what many people around the world prefer. The waste falls onto a sloped conveyor belt. Solids stick, and liquids run off into a bed of sand, which filters everything 10 micrometers or larger, including most parasites and their eggs. Then the liquid falls into a shallow trough, where an ultraviolet lamp—running on five watts from a solar panel on the roof—destroys any other pathogens in minutes. The sand filter's top layer will get clogged, so a corkscrew mechanism skims it off to join the solids, which another belt squeezes to remove moisture so they can be burned efficiently. Brain Scans Show Who You're Thinking About.

March 13th, 2013 | by Charles Q.

Brain Scans Show Who You're Thinking About

Choi Scientists scanning the human brain can now tell whom a person is thinking of, the first time researchers have been able to identify what people are imagining from imaging technologies. Work to visualize thought is starting to pile up successes. Recently, scientists have used brain scans to decode imagery directly from the brain, such as what number people have just seen and what memory a person is recalling. They can now even reconstruct videos of what a person has watched based on their brain activity alone. "We are trying to understand the physical mechanisms that allow us to have an inner world, and a part of that is how we represent other people in our mind," Spreng says.

Imagining others His team first gave 19 volunteers descriptions of four imaginary people they were told were real. "Humans are social creatures, and the social world is a complex place," Spreng says. Unlocking brain’s personality models.

Neotic Sciences

Oops! 5 retracted science studies from 2012. When you read about medical breakthroughs in the newspapers, you shouldn't get your hopes up. This is not because of journalistic hyperbole or even the fact that cures often are years away from the initial publication of result. It seems that an increasing number of scientific studies are just plain wrong and are ultimately retracted. Worse, a study published in October 2012 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (uh, if it's true) claims that the majority of retractions are due to some type of misconduct, and not honest mistakes, as long assumed.

The blog Retraction Watch tracks such retractions and has notified its readers of hundreds of journal-article withdrawals in 2012 alone. The king of retractions, according to Retraction Watch, is Japanese anesthesiologist Yoshitaka Fujii, who falsified data in 172 of 212 of his papers published between 1993 and 2011. Here is a list of some of the more interesting retracted papers in 2012. 1. Moon got a little sloppy, though. This rarely photographed piglet squid smiles for the camera. How soon before the police can predict crimes before they happen? For those who want to know how well predictive policing works, just check out New York City's profiling habits.

How soon before the police can predict crimes before they happen?

Steady, consistent decline in general crime and murders for about TWENTY straight years! Sudden increase in profiling of minorities compared to the majority at a rate of 9:1 ... uh, EIGHT years ago. No ADDITIVE decline in crime whatsoever. More likely to arrest and confiscate weapons from the group NOT being profiled. FEWER positive results leading to arrest in minority profiling compared to majority profiling. NYC's response?

I'd love it if someone came up with an effective system to police neighborhoods that didn't amount to terrorizing citizens. Because it doesn't work one damn bit. The smart thing to do would be to post more ready-response officers in hotzones of criminality to REACT to crime and prosecute it effectively where it happens. What is the Higgs boson? FANCM Limits Meiotic Crossovers. The Fission Yeast FANCM Ortholog Directs Non-Crossover Recombination During Meiosis.