Category Archives: Science

Big Discovery May Help Bring ‘Theory Of Everything’

 

The bottom part of this illustration shows the scale of the universe versus time. Specific events are shown such as the formation of neutral Hydrogen at 380 000 years after the big bang. Prior to this time, the constant interaction between matter (electrons) and light (photons) made the universe opaque. After this time, the photons we now call the CMB started streaming freely. Credit: BICEP2 Collaboration

The discovery that the universe really did expand at many times the speed of light immediately after the Big Bang should bring physicists slightly closer to their ultimate goal — the long-sought “Theory of Everything.” Read more

What If The Universe Had No Beginning?

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Artist’s impression of the Big bang, the titanic explosion that cosmologists believe created the universe. | ERICH SCHREMPP via Getty Images

What if the universe had no beginning, and time stretched back infinitely without a big bang to start things off? That’s one possible consequence of an idea called “rainbow gravity,” so-named because it posits that gravity’s effects on spacetime are felt differently by different wavelengths of light, aka different colors in the rainbow. Read me

Human Brain May Be Even More Powerful Computer Than Thought

Here, computer-simulated images of pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex, revealing branching dendrites now shown to carry out sophisticated computations rather than just acting as passive wiring.

The brain may be an even more powerful computer than before thought — microscopic branches of brain cells that were once thought to basically serve as mere wiring may actually behave as minicomputers, researchers say. Read more

How Artificial Chromosomes Could Transform Humanity

How Artificial Chromosomes Could Transform Humanity

Normally, an extra pair of chromosomes would be considered dangerous. But what if we could design our own? According to biologists, we could create custom-built chromosomes to fix a variety of health problems, and even give us new abilities. Here’s how a 24th pair of chromosomes could change our biology forever. Read more

Those Gut Germs May Shape Your Life From Birth

The germs living inside you, which scientists now believe can affect your weight, your risk of disease and other factors, may be shaping your health your whole life long, researchers reported on Thursday.

While the study doesn’t answer the question of whether you can change this so-called gut microbiome and lose weight, it does suggest a once-a-year stool test might become part of your regular checkup, the researchers say. Read more

Untouched For The Last Billion Years, Water In Canadian Mine Holds Ingredients For Life

Scientists may have discovered the oldest free-flowing source of isolated water ever known.

Scientists digging around roughly one-and-a-half miles below the Earth’s surface in an Ontario mine may have just discovered the oldest free-flowing source of isolated, untouched water ever known. Though they don’t know if anything has been living in this water, it contains both methane and hydrogen—key ingredients for life—and has likely been isolated in rock down there, untouched by Earth’s atmosphere, for a staggering 1 billion years. Read more

 

Physicists Show Time Flows Asymmetrically at the Electron Level

 

At the level of tiny particles, the laws of physics are symmetrical in time. A reaction that proceeds in one direction (such as particle A transforming into particle B) is just as likely to occur in the reverse direction (particle B transforming into A).

It’s not too strange a concept: A video showing a billiard ball’s initial bounce off a pool table’s cushion would look the same whether it was running backward or forward in time. The physics works just as well, and identically, either way.

Yet experiments since the 1960s have suggested there should be exceptions to this rule — special cases of so-called “time-reversal violation.” The first conclusive evidence of such a violation was finally discovered late last year by collaborators on an experiment named BaBar at Stanford University’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Read more

Scientists Discover Protein That Reverses Heart Disease In Older Mice

Scientists at Harvard University think they have found a way to possibly reverse the aging process in human organs.

Dr. Richard Lee, director of regenerative medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Amy Wagers, of the Department of Regenerative Biology at Harvard, made the discovery when they were working with younger and older mice.

They took an older mouse with the most common form of human heart failure and merged the mouse’s blood stream with that of a healthy young mouse using a Siamese twin technique known as parabiosis. They found that the older mouse’s diseased heart was able to reverse to a younger healthier condition. Read more

Orangutan From Borneo Photographed Using A Spear Tool To Fish

Specifically the orangutans were using sticks to pry open pulpy fruits that have “Plexiglas needles” capable of delivering a painful jab covering them. Using the tools, the orangutans were getting past handling the prickly husk and into the nutritious fruit. From an anthropological viewpoint, tool use represents an aspect of culture, since the entire group participates in a behavior that has developed over time. One unique thing to clarify is that only Sumatran orangutans have been observed to use tools, not orangutans from Borneo. Read more