The first color images of Pluto’s atmospheric hazes, returned by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft last week, reveal that the hazes are blue.
“Who would have expected a blue sky in the Kuiper Belt? It’s gorgeous,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado.
Ancient lakes that came and went over millions of years in the Gale crater basin on Mars may have persisted long enough for life to evolve in them, researchers have said.
Nasa scientists analysed fresh images sent back from the Curiosity rover and found evidence of lakes in the basin that lasted for up to 10,000 years at a time – potentially long enough to support life.
Last week NASA confirmed the presence of water on Mars. But today, they’ve released a new study that suggests lakes on Mars’ surface stored enough water to support life billions of years ago.
Alt: Wet paleoclimate of Mars revealed by ancient lakes at Gale Crater
Humans will be living and working on Mars in colonies entirely independent of Earth by the 2030s, Nasa has said.
The US space organisation today released its plan for establishing permanent settlements on the red planet, setting out in detail plans to create ‘deep-space habitation facilities’ which will act as stepping stones to Mars.
“Baby, I was born this way,” Lady Gaga sang in a 2011 hit that quickly became a gay anthem. Indeed, over the past 2 decades, researchers have turned up considerable evidence that homosexuality isn’t a lifestyle choice, but is rooted in a person’s biology and at least in part determined by genetics. Yet actual “gay genes” have been elusive.
Alt: Scientists find DNA differences between gay men and their straight twin brothers
The way our brain responds to others’ good fortune is linked to how empathetic people report themselves to be, according to new research. They study shows that a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) seems particularly attuned to other people’s good news, but how it responds varies substantially depending on our levels of empathy.
When done properly, the chore decreased nervousness by 27% and increased mental inspiration by 25%.
Mindful dishwashing can decrease stress and calm the mind, a new study finds.
First-born children are more likely to be short sighted because their parents force them to study more, research has suggested.
Order of birth has long been seen as crucial to personality, with the oldest child often growing up to be more conservative, academic and law-abiding than their more reckless young siblings.
DNA from a man who lived in Ethiopia about 4,500 years ago is prompting scientists to rethink the history of human migration in Africa.
Until now, the conventional wisdom had been that the first groups of modern humans left Africa roughly 70,000 years ago, stopping in the Middle East en route to Europe, Asia and beyond. Then about 3,000 years ago, a group of farmers from the Middle East and present-day Turkey came back to the Horn of Africa (probably bringing crops like wheat, barley and lentils with them).
If you have diabetes, cancer, or heart problems, maybe you should blame it on your dad’s behavior or environment. Or even your grandfather’s.
That’s because, in recent years, scientists have shown that before his offspring are even conceived a father’s life experiences involving food, drugs, exposure to toxic products, and even stress can affect the development and health of his children and grandchildren.
A pioneering surgical technique has restored some hand and arm movement to patients immobilized by spinal cord injuries in the neck, reports a new study. The researchers assessed outcomes of nerve-transfer surgery in nine quadriplegic patients with spinal cord injuries in the neck. Every patient in the study reported improved hand and arm function.
A Japanese firm plans to grow more than 10 million heads of lettuce a year by replacing its human farmers with robots in 2017.
The machines will automate every step of the planting process, from germination to seeding, harvesting and delivery while also monitoring levels of carbon dioxide and lighting conditions.
Some people might find it enough reason to worry; others, enough reason to be upbeat about what we can achieve in computer science; all await the next chapters in artificial intelligence to see what more a machine can do to mimic human intelligence. We already saw what machines can do in arithmetic, chess and pattern recognition.
If you want to learn how something works, one strategy is to take it apart and put it back together again. For 10 years, a global initiative called the Blue Brain Project has been attempting to do this digitally with a section of juvenile rat brain. The project presents a first draft of this reconstruction, which contains over 31,000 neurons, 55 layers of cells, and 207 different neuron subtypes.
For the first time, primitive human kidneys have been created in a laboratory dish, by using stem cells.
Although the kidneys cannot perform the functions of a fully formed adult kidney, the researchers hope the achievement will someday lead to new ways to treat people suffering from kidney failure.
One benefit of the closeness between pigs and humans is the potential to be organ donors. There are however, just a few nagging uncertainties that still stand in the way. The big one, the possibility of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) getting reactivated inside the human organ recipient, is no longer the concern it once was. That comes thanks to the recent groundbreaking work of the one-man army of genetics, George Church, and his lab at Harvard. The latest news, just reported in Nature, is that the group was able to use CRISPR gene-editing techniques to inactivate 62 PERVs in pig embryos.
Pigs foraging along a Scottish coastline have unwittingly uprooted the earliest evidence for a remote population of hunter-gatherers.
The uprooted items, stone tools that have been dated to around 12,000 years ago, are described in the latest issue of British Archaeology. The tools were discovered on the east coast of the Isle of Islay, Scotland, and include sharp points — likely used for hunting big game — scrapers and more.