Investigators at Stanford University have found a surprising link between creative problem-solving and heightened activity in the cerebellum, a structure located in the back of the brain and more typically thought of as the body’s movement-coordination center. —> Read More
Infrared light passes through silicon the way visible light passes through glass. That makes it theoretically possible to replace wires with silicon fibers. Why bother: to transmit lots more data while using lots less energy. But until now there had been no way to automate the design of these optical strands. ‘We used (our) algorithm to design a working optical circuit and made several copies in our lab,’ said lead researcher Jelena Vuckovic. —> Read More
CERN’s recently restarted Large Hadron Collider has collided two proton beams at a record energy of 13 teraelectronvolts, meaning experiments are about to resume
Nearly three-quarters of fresh shop-bought chickens test positive for food poisoning bug campylobacter in year-long study. —> Read More
Over half of the world’s remaining saiga antelope population has dropped dead within the last few weeks. The alarm had been raised earlier this month … —> Read More
Don’t complain too much when temperatures rise this summer, because it used to be worse. A lot worse.
Some 3.3 billion years ago, monster asteroids — in some cases bigger than Rhode Island — repeatedly slammed into the Earth with impacts so violent that air temperatures soared to 932 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks at a time, according to a new study published in the journal Geology.
Temperatures rose to such extreme levels that the oceans literally boiled, causing sea levels to drop by about 330 feet.
Yet somehow, early life managed to survive.
“These impacts would have a profound influence on any life trying to evolve into more complex, low-temperature organisms,” geologist Donald Lowe of Stanford University, who led the research, told Science News. “They’d keep getting whacked by these giant impactors and driven to extinction or near extinction.”
There they found evidence that the Earth was hit by eight monster asteroids ranging in size from about 12 miles wide to about 60 miles wide over the space of 250 million years, Ars Technica reports.
By comparison, the asteroid commonly blamed for the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs was “only” about 6 miles wide.
The 932-degree temperatures and boiling oceans would support a theory that all modern life is descended from thermophiles (organisms that thrive in extreme heat), as anything that preferred the cold would have been wiped out, according to Science News.
“You can picture these asteroids as a crazed tree trimmer showing up and chopping branches off the tree of life,” planetary scientist Kevin Zahnle of the NASA Ames Research —> Read More
The importance of family support on a child’s ‘school readiness’ is highlighted in a study published this month in the British Journal of Educational Psychology. Researchers developed and piloted a new index that might provide a simple and stress-free alternative to the government’s proposed baseline assessments for four-year-olds starting school. —> Read More
‘Peacocking’ males who splash the cash to impress women help boost the economy: Study finds link between sexual selection and economic growth
Mathematicians in Australia have proposed that man’s need to engage in conspicuous consumption, by buying luxury goods (illustrated) drives the economy. —> Read More
Glaciers in the Everest region (file photo shown) could shrink at least 70 per cent or even disappear entirely by the end of the century as a result of climate change, scientist have said. —> Read More
The philanthropist (pictured) originally made the comments at a conference in Berlin. He said the world must use the lessons from Ebola to prepare for any future ‘war’ against disease. —> Read More