How Genetic Engineering Will Change Everything Forever – CRISPR

Designer babies, the end of diseases, genetically modified humans that never age. Outrageous things that used to be science fiction are suddenly becoming reality. The only thing we know for sure is that things will change irreversibly.

Source: Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

Scientists just discovered a new kind of fire

And it’s got some pretty extraordinary properties

Scientists have discovered a new kind of ‘blue whirl’ flame that could lead to cleaner ways of burning fuel, as well as helping in the clean-up of oil spills.

The refined flame is based on fire whirls, which naturally occur when rising heat and turbulent winds combine to create a thin tornado of flames. When creating fire whirls in the lab, researchers happened upon their blue whirl flame, which has never before been observed.

“A fire tornado has long been seen as this incredibly scary, destructive thing. But, like electricity, can you harness it for good? If we can understand it, then maybe we can control and use it,” said fire protection engineer, Michael Gollner, from the University of Maryland.
Continue reading “Scientists just discovered a new kind of fire”

Are We Reaching the End of World Records?

As we near the limits of human strength and speed, technology and culture keep moving the finish line.

In 1896 Charilaos Vasilakos won the first modern marathon, a qualifying race for Greece’s Olympic team, with a time of three hours and eighteen minutes. Today that would not even qualify him for the Boston Marathon. Since the beginning of the modern Olympic Games world records in every sport have advanced sharply, driven by factors as disparate as global conflicts, social change, technological improvements and changing rules.

The general upward trend in performance is largely due to advances in our understanding of fitness, conditioning, diet and nutrition, says Mark Williams, a professor of sport, health and exercise science at Brunel University in London.
Continue reading “Are We Reaching the End of World Records?”

WATCH: A Breathtaking Timelapse Of The Never-Setting Arctic Sun

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN THE ARCTIC

In the polar regions called, the sun never sets in summer — and it looks really nifty when you watch it sped up.

Why Doesn’t the Sun Set ?
Continue reading “WATCH: A Breathtaking Timelapse Of The Never-Setting Arctic Sun”

2015 Warmest Year On Record

International report confirms Earth is hot and getting hotter
2015 topped 2014 as warmest year on record with help from El Nino

An annual State of the Climate report has confirmed that 2015 surpassed 2014 as the warmest year on record since at least the mid-to-late 19th century.

Last year’s record heat resulted from a combination of long-term global warming and one of the strongest El Niño experienced since at least 1950, according to the more than 450 scientists that contributed to the report. They found that most indicators of climate change continued to reflect trends consistent with a global warming.  Continue reading “2015 Warmest Year On Record”

Physicists Can’t Agree On Whether Or Not Time Is Real

Physicists can’t agree on whether the flow of future to past is real or a mental construct.

DOES ANYBODY REALLY KNOW WHAT TIME IS?

According to our best theories of physics, the universe is a fixed block where time only appears to pass. Yet a number of physicists hope to replace this “block universe” with a physical theory of time.

Einstein once described his friend Michele Besso as “the best sounding board in Europe” for scientific ideas. They attended university together in Zurich; later they were colleagues at the patent office in Bern. When Besso died in the spring of 1955, Einstein — knowing that his own time was also running out — wrote a now-famous letter to Besso’s family. “Now he has departed this strange world a little ahead of me,” Einstein wrote of his friend’s passing. “That signifies nothing. For us believing physicists, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”  Continue reading “Physicists Can’t Agree On Whether Or Not Time Is Real”

More evidence that male and female brains are wired differently

While measuring brain activity with magnetic resonance imaging during blood pressure trials, researchers found that men and women had opposite responses in the right front of the insular cortex, a part of the brain integral to the experience of emotions, blood pressure control and self-awareness.

FINDINGS
While measuring brain activity with magnetic resonance imaging during blood pressure trials, UCLA researchers found that men and women had opposite responses in the right front of the insular cortex, a part of the brain integral to the experience of emotions, blood pressure control and self-awareness.

The insular cortex has five main parts called gyri serving different roles. The researchers found that the blood pressure response in the front right gyrus showed an opposite pattern in men and women, with men showing a greater right-sided activation in the area while the women showed a lower response. Continue reading “More evidence that male and female brains are wired differently”

How Far Can We Go? Limits of Humanity

Is there a border we will never cross? Are there places we will never be able to reach, no matter what? It turns out there are. Far, far more than you might have thought…

The Brain Dictionary

Where exactly are the words in your head?

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure brain activity in seven people while they listened to more than 2 hours of stories from The Moth Radio Hour. This data was used to estimate voxel-wise models that predict brain activity in each voxel (volumetric pixel) based on the meaning of the words in the stories. Read the paper describing this research here.

Scientists have created an interactive map showing which brain areas respond to hearing different words. The map reveals how language is spread throughout the cortex and across both hemispheres, showing groups of words clustered together by meaning. The beautiful interactive model allows us to explore the complex organisation of the enormous dictionaries in our heads.

Explore the brain model for yourself here.

Read the paper here.

Watch SpaceX Successfully Land A Rocket On A Floating Drone Ship For The First Time

It’s absolutely incredible to watch

SpaceX has finally landed its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea:

(I recommend that you watch the whole video of this mission) SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched a cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station, but most important part is the fact that after several failed attempts, SpaceX successfully landed the first stage of the rocket on an ocean barge. All previous SpaceX’s attempts to land the rocket on a floating drone ship crashed.

[Few days ago, Blue Origin successfully launched and landed their rocket. Watch it here]

Scientists Stored These Images in DNA—Then Flawlessly Retrieved Them

DNA data storage could help us file away the vast amounts of information we continue to generate

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To do it, researchers from the University of Washington first have to convert ones and zeroes that make up a digital file using the four basic building blocks of DNA— adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine. Once the team’s determined how to represent a file, they then synthesize artificial DNA based on their calculations.

Reading the data is made easier by distinctive markers that the team place within the strands of DNA. The team can sequences the sample, then use these markers to finds the starting point of a file. Then they simply read back the combination of adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine, use the Huffman coding to convert it back into digital data and—voila!—the files is restored.

Gizmodo / University of Washington (PDF)

See Blue Origin’s Third Rocket Launch, Flight And Landing

Last Saturday, Blue Origin successfully launched and landed another rocket. The rocket deployed its landing thrusters just 1097 meter (3,600 feet) above the ground. Amazing!

A Newly Discovered Triple Sun Planet

How would the skies look like?

That triple-solar view isn’t the only weird thing you’d see happen overhead.

Astronomical Journal published the details of the discovery of this triple sun planet. Gizmodo talked with lead author of the paper Jason Eastman of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He sketched out a timeline for what that might look like, both over a few days or thousands of years:

You’d see the primary star about the size of your outstretched, splayed hand (about 40x the apparent size of our Sun). Your year and day would be the same: 3 Earth days, which means half of planet would be in continuous daylight and the other half would be in continuous darkness.

You’d also see two points of light about 2 degrees apart, each as bright as the full moon (KELT-4BC). Those two points would orbit each other every 30 Earth years, and every 4000 years, they’d make a complete orbit in the sky (that is, for 2000 years, they’d rise during the Summer and for 2000 years, they’d rise during the Winter).

Scientists Have A Crazy Plan To Halt Global Warming

With giant problems come giant solutions. But, pumping a vast volume of seawater to Antarctica to freeze it is insane.

Source: Earth System Dynamics