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Science

Non-invasive ultrasound restores memory in Alzheimer's mice

posted onMarch 12, 2015
by l33tdawg

A potential method of treating Alzheimer's disease using ultrasound is being hailed as a "breakthrough."

A team of researchers at the University of Queensland's Queensland Brain Institute Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research have successfully restored memory function in mice using the drug-free, non-invasive technology to break down the neurotoxic amyloid plaques that cause memory loss and loss of cognitive function.

Earth-sized planets discovered by Kepler may really be Earth-like

posted onJanuary 6, 2015
by l33tdawg

Ever since exoplanets were first discovered in the 1990s, astronomers have dreamed of finding an Earth-like planet amongst the stars. Better detection techniques have allowed us to find smaller and smaller exoplanets. But when we spot a planet beyond our Solar System, does “Earth-sized” really mean “Earth-like?” A new study presented at this week’s American Astronomical Society meeting shows that the smallest exoplanets are much more likely to be similar to Earth than we thought.

AirAsia Flight 8501: What Makes Thunderstorms Such a Threat to Airliners

posted onDecember 30, 2014
by l33tdawg

It’s been two days since AirAsia Flight 8501 disappeared over the Java Sea, and still there’s no sign of the missing plane or the 162 people aboard. It is, of course, all but impossible to know at this point just what went wrong, but we do know the flight’s planned route to Singapore would have taken it through clusters of thunderstorms, and we know the crew moved west of their course to avoid clouds.

Why do we cling to beliefs when they’re threatened by facts?

posted onDecember 7, 2014
by l33tdawg

People hold beliefs for a complex variety of reasons. Some of these beliefs may be based on facts, but others may be based on ideas that can never be proved or disproven. For example, people who are against the death penalty might base their belief partly on evidence that the death penalty does not reduce violent crime (which could later be shown to be false), and partly on the notion that the death penalty violates a fundamental human right to life. The latter is an unfalsifiable belief, because it can’t be changed purely by facts.

Martian meteorite may contain evidence of extraterrestrial life

posted onDecember 3, 2014
by l33tdawg

NASA rover Curiosity is beavering away up on Mars, examining rocks, drilling holes, checking out the weather -- but it's not just up there to look at the planet's hospitability for humans. It's also looking for conditions favourable for life; not now, but in the past, when Mars may have been home to extraterrestrial microbes.

But maybe the answer is right here on Earth, after all -- in the form of a meteorite.

How to increase (or decrease) brain activity and memory

posted onNovember 17, 2014
by l33tdawg

Is it possible to rapidly increase (or decrease) the amount of information the brain can store?

A new international study led by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) suggests is may be. Their research has identified a molecule that improves brain function and memory recall is improved. Published in the latest issue of Cell Reports, the study has implications for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, such as autism spectral disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.

Making the long trip to Mars? Let NASA put you in a deep sleep

posted onOctober 7, 2014
by l33tdawg

 As many Doctors from the BBC science fiction series "Doctor Who" have so eloquently put it, humanity has an inherent desire to look up toward the sky with dreams of exploring to the ends of the universe. And while our space programs are in many ways in their infancy when it comes to intergalactic exploration, NASA scientists are looking at ways to send manned aircraft farther than we've ever gone before: to Mars.

Judgment and decision-making: Brain activity indicates there is more than meets the eye

posted onOctober 3, 2014
by l33tdawg

People make immediate judgments about images they are shown, which could impact on their decisions, even before their brains have had time to consciously process the information, a study of brainwaves led by The University Of Melbourne has found.

Published in PLOS ONE, the study is the first in the world to show that it is possible to predict abstract judgments from brain waves, even though people were not conscious of making such judgments. The study also increases our understanding of impulsive behaviors and how to regulate it.

India becomes the first Asian country to reach Mars

posted onSeptember 24, 2014
by l33tdawg

Mars has become the destination of choice for ambitious space agencies and nations, and now India is among that group. After a successful maneuver, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has entered an orbit about 420 km above the surface of Mars (MOM is informally called Mangalyaan, which is Hindi for Mars vehicle). It will soon begin to photograph the planet’s surface and analyze the atmospheric composition.