10 Weird and Strange Syndromes

When we get ill, majority of us think this is the worst illness we’re going through RIGHT? I used to think this way too before finding about many of the weird syndromes that have to live with throughout their lives. And the sad part is that most of the syndromes have NO CURE AT ALL!

Is everything made of numbers?

when Albert Einstein finally completed his general theory of relativity in 1916, he looked down at the equations and discovered an unexpected message: the universe is expanding.

10 Ways to Lose Calories without Exercising

Infomercials bombard us every day with techniques to lose weight fast . But many of us actually shun the idea of losing weight without much effort. However there are ways of losing weight without being a total gym bunny. All you have to do is make a few changes in your lifestyle.

Top 10 Creepy Girls in Fiction

A recent trend in media is the idea that children are scary or creepy. Girls seem to be particularly popular – from pale-faced, stringy-haired ghosts to demonically possessed victims, creepy girls are becoming a common feature in horror films and other genres. This list covers ten creepy girls who have appeared in films, TV and video games in the past thirty or so years, to frighten or fascinate audiences. Most can be terrifying but have a sense of sympathy to them, or some are just unstoppable creatures of evil wanting to rip the world apart.

10 Tragic Prison and Asylum Fires

While fire is something that has proven to be something very useful to mankind over the years being one of the greatest discoveries, it is potentially a hazard. It’s like a caged demon waiting to be set free so it can render everything to dust and ashes. There have been many dangerous fires throughout our history and has taken many lives but that’s just because of carelessness and well, nature did have a role in forest fires too. Anyway, this list talks about cruel fires in different prisons and asylums throughout the world. Tragic as it may sound, it still holds true. I hope this particular list proves useful and educative to you folks.

Showing posts with label wonders of science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wonders of science. Show all posts

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Top 10 Controversial pieces of evidence for extraterrestrial life

Over the years many hints have emerged that there might be life beyond Earth. New Scientist looks at 10 of the most hotly-debated discoveries.
1. 1976, The Viking Mars landers detect chemical signatures indicative of life

Tests performed on Martian soil samples by NASA's Viking landers hinted at chemical evidence of life. One experiment mixed soil with radioactive-carbon-labelled nutrients and then tested for the production of radioactive methane gas.
The test reported a positive result. The production of radioactive methane suggested that something in the soil was metabolising the nutrients and producing radioactive gas. But other experiments on board failed to find any evidence of life, so NASA declared the result a false positive.
Despite that, one of the original scientists - and others who have since re-analysed the data - still stand by the finding. They argue that the other experiments on board were ill-equipped to search for evidence of the organic molecules - a key indicator of life.

2. 1977, The unexplained extraterrestrial "Wow!" signal is detected by an Ohio State University radio telescope

In August 1977 an Ohio State University radio telescope detected an unusual pulse of radiation from somewhere near the constellation Sagittarius. The 37-second-long signal was so startling that an astronomer monitoring the data scrawled "Wow!" on the telescope's printout.
The signal was within the band of radio frequencies where transmissions are internationally banned on Earth. Furthermore, natural sources of radiation from space usually cover a wider range of frequencies.
As the nearest star in that direction is 220 million light years away, either a massive astronomical event - or intelligent aliens with a very powerful transmitter would have had to have created it. The signal remains unexplained.

3. 1996, Martian "fossils" are discovered in meteorite ALH80041 from Antarctica

NASA scientists controversially announced in 1996 that they had found what appeared to be fossilised microbes in a potato-shaped lump of Martian rock. The meteorite was probably blasted off the surface of Mars in a collision, and wandered the solar system for some 15 million years, before plummeting to Antarctica, where it was discovered in 1984.
Careful analysis revealed that the rock contained organic molecules and tiny specs of the mineral magnetite, sometimes found in Earth bacteria. Under the electron microscope, NASA researchers also claimed to have spotted signs of "nanobacteria".
But since then much of the evidence has been challenged. Other experts have suggested that the particles of magnetite were not so similar to those found in bacteria after all, and that contaminants from Earth are the source of the organic molecules. A 2003 study also showed how crystals that resemble nanobacteria could be grown in the laboratory by chemical processes.

4. 2001, A more rigorous estimate of the "Drake equation" suggests that our galaxy may contain hundreds of thousands of life-bearing planets

In 1961 US radio astronomer Frank Drake developed an equation to help estimate the number of planets hosting intelligent life - and capable of communicating with us - in the galaxy.
The Drake equation multiplies together seven factors including: the formation rate of stars like our Sun, the fraction of Earth-like planets and the fraction of those on which life develops. Many of these figures are open to wide debate, but Drake himself estimates the final number of communicating civilisations in the galaxy to be about 10,000.
In 2001, a more rigorous estimate of the number of life-bearing planets in the galaxy - using new data and theories - came up with a figure of hundreds of thousands. For the first time, the researchers estimated how many planets might lie in the "habitable zone" around stars, where water is liquid and photosynthesis possible. The results suggest that an inhabited Earth-like planet could be as little as a few hundred light years away.
5. 2001, The red tinge of Jupiter's moon Europa proposed to be due to frozen bits of bacteria, which also helps explain the mysterious infrared signal it gives off

Alien microbes might be behind Europa's red tinge, suggested NASA researchers in 2001. Though the surface is mostly ice, data shows it reflects infrared radiation in an odd manner. That suggests that something - magnesium salts perhaps - are binding it together. But no one has been able to come up with the right combination of compounds to make sense of the data.
Intriguingly, the infrared spectra of some Earthly bacteria - those that thrive in extreme conditions - fits the data at least as well as magnesium salts. Plus, some are red and brown in colour, perhaps explaining the moon's ruddy complexion. Though bacteria might find it difficult to survive in the scant atmosphere and -170°C surface temperature of Europa, they might survive in the warmer liquid interior. Geological activity could then spew them out periodically to be flash frozen on the surface.

6. 2002, Russian scientists argue that a mysterious radiation-proof microbe may have evolved on Mars

In 2002 Russian astrobiologists claimed that super-hardy Deinococcus radiourans evolved on Mars. The microbe can survive several thousand times the radiation dose that would kill a human.
The Russians zapped a population of the bacteria with enough radiation to kill 99.9%, allowed the survivors to repopulate, before repeating the cycle. After 44 rounds it took 50 times the original dose of radiation. They calculated that it would take many thousands of these cycles to make common microbeE.coli as resilient as Deinococcus. And on Earth it takes between a million and 100 million years to encounter each dose of radiation. Therefore there just has not been enough time in life's 3.8 billion year history on Earth for such resistance to have evolved, they claim.
By contrast, the surface of Mars, unprotected by a dense atmosphere, is bombarded with so much radiation that the bugs could receive the same dose in just a few hundred thousand years. The researchers argue thatDeinococcus's ancestors were flung off of Mars by an asteroid and fell to Earth on meteorites. Other experts remain sceptical.
7. 2002, Chemical hints of life are found in old data from Venus probes and landers. Could microbes exist in Venusian clouds?

Life in Venus' clouds may be the best way to explain some curious anomalies in the composition of its atmosphere, claimed University of Texas astrobiologists in 2002. They scoured data from NASA's Pioneer and Magellan space probes and from Russia's Venera Venus-lander missions of the 1970s.
Solar radiation and lightning should be generating masses of carbon monoxide on Venus, yet it is rare, as though something is removing it. Hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide are both present too. These readily react together, and are not usually found co-existing, unless some process constantly is churning them out. Most mysterious is the presence of carbonyl sulphide. This is only produced by microbes or catalysts on Earth, and not by any other known inorganic process.
The researchers' suggested solution to this conundrum is that microbes live in the Venusian atmosphere. Venus's searing hot, acidic surface may be prohibitive to life, but conditions 50 kilometres up in the atmosphere are more hospitable and moist, with a temperature of 70°C and a pressure similar to Earth.
8. 2003, Sulphur traces on Jupiter's moon Europa may be the waste products of underground bacterial colonies
In 2003, Italian scientists hypothesised that sulphur traces on Europa might be a sign of alien life. The compounds were first detected by the Galileo space probe, along with evidence for a volcanically-warmed ocean beneath the moon's icy crust.
The sulphur signatures look similar to the waste-products of bacteria, which get locked into the surface ice of lakes in Antarctica on Earth. The bacteria survive in the water below, and similar bacteria might also thrive below Europa's surface, the researchers suggest. Others experts rejected the idea, suggesting that the sulphur somehow originates from the neighbouring moon Io, where it is found in abundance.
9. 2004, Methane in the Martian atmosphere hints at microbial metabolism

In 2004 three groups - using telescopes on Earth and the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiting space probe - independently turned up evidence of methane in the atmosphere. Nearly all methane in our own atmosphere is produced by bacteria and other life.
Methane could also be generated by volcanism, the thawing of frozen underground deposits, or delivered by comet impacts. However, the source has to be recent, as the gas is rapidly destroyed on Mars or escapes into space.
In January 2005, an ESA scientist controversially announced that he had also found evidence of formaldehyde, produced by the oxidation of methane. If this is proved it will strengthen the case for microbes, as a whopping 2.5 million tonnes of methane per year would be required to create the quantity of formaldehyde postulated to exist.
There are ways to confirm the presence of the gas, but scientists will need to get the equipment to Mars first.

10. 2004, A mysterious radio signal is received by the SETI project on three occasions - from the same region of space

In February 2003, astronomers with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) project, used a massive telescope in Puerto Rico to re-examine 200 sections of the sky which had all previously yielded unexplained radio signals. These signals had all disappeared, except for one which had become stronger.
The signal - widely thought to be the best candidate yet for an alien contact - comes from a spot between the constellations Pisces and Aries, where there are no obvious stars or planets. Curiously, the signal is at one of the frequencies that hydrogen, the most common element, absorbs and emits energy. Some astronomers believe that this is a very likely frequency at which aliens wishing to be noticed would transmit.
Nevertheless, there is also a good chance the signal is from a never-seen-before natural phenomenon. For example, an unexplained pulsed radio signal, thought to be artificial in 1967, turned out to be the first ever sighting of a pulsar.

Source : newscientist , shegeftiha

Friday, July 19, 2013

Meet the small yellow worm that can REGROW its own head - and its old memories

Scientists have discovered that not only can the planarian worm regrow its head if its cut off, the regenerated brain contains the same memories that were stored in the decapitated one.
Researchers from Tufts University in Boston tested the memory of the planarian worms by measuring how long it took them to reach food in a lab environment.
The small yellow worms had been trained to ignore the bright lights in the lab so they could find their meals without being distracted and the scientists found that even after decapitation worms remembered this training. Researchers at Tufts University have discovered that not only can the planarian worm, pictured, regrow its own head if its decapitated, the new head contains old memories.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Astronomers discover giant planet chock-full of diamonds

55 Cancri e was first identified back in 2004, but at the time scientists thought that it was covered in water and rocks, much like the Earth. We now know that's probably not true and, what's more, the most interesting find regarding 55 Cancri e could be under the surface.
More accurate measurements have revealed a surface temperature of nearly 4,000 °F, and a density much higher than our planet, leading researchers to conclude that 55 Cancri e is actually composed almost entirely from high-density carbon, or, in other words, solid diamond.
With a diameter that's about double that of earth's, 55 Cancri e revolves around a star called 55 Cancri a. The star is part of the constellation Cancer and is visible from earth with the naked eye, although the much smaller planet is a tough catch. Both are approximately 40 light years from earth, so the chances of heading up there to grab some diamonds are pretty slim.
I guess that until we perfect warp speed travel, anyone looking for the ultimate bling had better headto Siberia.
Reuters, via The Nation (Pakistan)

Source: dvice.com

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Is everything made of numbers?

when Albert Einstein finally completed his general theory of relativity in 1916, he looked down at the equations and discovered an unexpected message: the universe is expanding.
Einstein didn't believe the physical universe could shrink or grow, so he ignored what the equations were telling him. Thirteen years later, Edwin Hubble found clear evidence of the universe's expansion. Einstein had missed the opportunity to make the most dramatic scientific prediction in history.
How did Einstein's equations "know" that the universe was expanding when he did not? If mathematics is nothing more than a language we use to describe the world, an invention of the human brain, how can it possibly churn out anything beyond what we put in? "It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here," wrote physicist Eugene Wigner in his classic 1960 paper "The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences"(Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics, vol 13, p 1).
The prescience of mathematics seems no less miraculous today. At the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, physicists recently observed the fingerprints of a particle that was arguably discovered 48 years ago lurking in the equations of particle physics.
How is it possible that mathematics "knows" about Higgs particles or any other feature of physical reality? "Maybe it's because math is reality," says physicist Brian Greene of Columbia University, New York. Perhaps if we dig deep enough, we would find that physical objects like tables and chairs are ultimately not made of particles or strings, but of numbers.
"These are very difficult issues," says philosopher of science James Ladyman of the University of Bristol, UK, "but it might be less misleading to say that the universe is made of maths than to say it is made of matter."
Difficult indeed. What does it mean to say that the universe is "made of mathematics"? An obvious starting point is to ask what mathematics is made of. The late physicist John Wheeler said that the "basis of all mathematics is 0 = 0". All mathematical structures can be derived from something called "the empty set", the set that contains no elements. Say this set corresponds to zero; you can then define the number 1 as the set that contains only the empty set, 2 as the set containing the sets corresponding to 0 and 1, and so on. Keep nesting the nothingness like invisible Russian dolls and eventually all of mathematics appears. Mathematician Ian Stewart of the University of Warwick, UK, calls this "the dreadful secret of mathematics: it's all based on nothing" (New Scientist, 19 November 2011, p 44). Reality may come down to mathematics, but mathematics comes down to nothing at all.
That may be the ultimate clue to existence - after all, a universe made of nothing doesn't require an explanation. Indeed, mathematical structures don't seem to require a physical origin at all. "A dodecahedron was never created," says Max Tegmark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "To be created, something first has to not exist in space or time and then exist." A dodecahedron doesn't exist in space or time at all, he says - it exists independently of them. "Space and time themselves are contained within larger mathematical structures," he adds. These structures just exist; they can't be created or destroyed.
That raises a big question: why is the universe only made of some of the available mathematics? "There's a lot of math out there," Greene says. "Today only a tiny sliver of it has a realisation in the physical world. Pull any math book off the shelf and most of the equations in it don't correspond to any physical object or physical process."
It is true that seemingly arcane and unphysical mathematics does, sometimes, turn out to correspond to the real world. Imaginary numbers, for instance, were once considered totally deserving of their name, but are now used to describe the behaviour of elementary particles; non-Euclidean geometry eventually showed up as gravity. Even so, these phenomena represent a tiny slice of all the mathematics out there.
Not so fast, says Tegmark. "I believe that physical existence and mathematical existence are the same, so any structure that exists mathematically is also real," he says.
So what about the mathematics our universe doesn't use? "Other mathematical structures correspond to other universes," Tegmark says. He calls this the "level 4 multiverse", and it is far stranger than the multiverses that cosmologists often discuss. Their common-or-garden multiverses are governed by the same basic mathematical rules as our universe, but Tegmark's level 4 multiverse operates with completely different mathematics.
All of this sounds bizarre, but the hypothesis that physical reality is fundamentally mathematical has passed every test. "If physics hits a roadblock at which point it turns out that it's impossible to proceed, we might find that nature can't be captured mathematically," Tegmark says. "But it's really remarkable that that hasn't happened. Galileo said that the book of nature was written in the language of mathematics - and that was 400 years ago."
If reality isn't, at bottom, mathematics, what is it? "Maybe someday we'll encounter an alien civilisation and we'll show them what we've discovered about the universe," Greene says. "They'll say, 'Ah, math. We tried that. It only takes you so far. Here's the real thing.' What would that be? It's hard to imagine. Our understanding of fundamental reality is at an early stage."


Friday, October 5, 2012

10 Fun Facts About The Brain

Fact 1: Most of the brain's weight is water. The solid part is made up of fat

Most people think the brain is completely solid but this isn't true at all. 
75% of the brain is actually made up of water!

The "solid" part of the brain is actually made up of fat and is about 10-12% 
of the brain. The rest of the brain is made of proteins, carbohydrates and salts.  

Fact 2. There are 100,000 miles of blood vessels inside the brain.

This means that if you put all of your brain's blood vessels in a straight line, you 
could wrap them around the whole earth four times! Amazing!

Fact 3: Your brain generates between 10-23 watts of power.

This is enough to power a light bulb! 

Most of the energy of the brain is used for brain cells to communicate with one another.

Fact 4: Eating non processed foods raises IQ scores
According to a New York study, if you eat a lunch that doesn't have any artificial
flavors or preservatives you can score 14% better on IQ tests! Amazing!

Fact 5: Every thought you have creates new neuron connections in your brain

The brain is incredibly flexible and more supple than people realise. 

If you think new thoughts, you create new neuron connections right away! 

Fact 6: The average person has 70,000 thoughts per day

You are thinking all the time. By changing your thoughts, you can totally change
the wiring of your brain from the inside out!

Fact 7: Laughing is a complex task involving 5 areas of the brain

Laughing is no laughing matter, as it involves a lot of the brain. This is a good way to 
stimulate your mind and also helps to release happy chemicals into your system. 

Research has shown that laughing for several minutes every day can help to 
boost your mood and overall happiness. 

Fact 8: Juggling causes rapid brain changes
Juggling or learning any new complex thing has a very positive effect on the brain. 

Juggling causes certain areas of the brain to grow, so you have more connections 
in your brain. Any complex task will give similar results!

Fact 9: The brain cannot feel pain
There are literally no pain receptors in the brain. So, though the brain can process
pain coming from other parts of your body, it can't feel it itself!

Fact 10: The average human brain is only 9.3cm high
The brain is actually smaller than most people realise. It is 16cm long and 14cm wide. 
This gives the brain a total weight of about 1.3kg.

That 1.3kg has over 200 billion neurons! Amazing!

Source: geniusintelligence.com