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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
If you love mad science, you are about to be ecstatic. In these amazing historic images of laboratories — many over a century old — you can see the crazy, brilliant scientific instruments of another age. See More
In a finding that can potentially affect everything from the age of the universe to calculating the orbit of satellites, two new studies suggest the speed of a photon in a vacuum may fluctuate by as much as 50 quintillionths of a second per square meter.
So, the speed of light – 299,792,458 meters per second – may need some rethinking. Read more