Category Archives: Studies

Dark matter becomes a little less dark and mysterious

A discovery made by a team of researchers at the UK’s Durham university is challenging the entire understanding of physics as they have seen the first evidence of dark matter interacting with itself, the BBC reports. In the past dark matter has never been seen interacting in any way with any force other than gravity, which has seen the particles that make up 87 percent of the universe remain elusive and mysterious. The dark matter studies of the past have proved the material interacts with gravity and holds the solar systems and galaxies of space in place as they spin.

Crystal Hunt and the team looked at a cluster of galaxies as they collided 1.4 billion light years from Earth known as Abell 3827. Dark matter cannot be seen with the naked eye, but can be viewed using a mapping technique that shows light bending as it interacts with dark matter. The bending of light passing through Abell 3827 has shown an area of lagging particles proving dark matter is interacting with itself as the galaxies collide. This new evidence of dark matter moving around the galaxy sees the prevailing theories of science challenged and a new form of exotic physics required to explain how the material is moving and interacting in space and around us.

Can Ebola be Treated with Vitamin C?

There have been several cases of the deadly Ebola virus that were successfully treated using modern medicine. There were also cases that were not so successful. As reported in a Washington Post, Dr. Martin Salia was not one of the successful cases. Dr Salia contracted the virus in Sierra Leone and did not survive modern medical attempts to save his life.

Could Dr. Salia’s life been saved if he had been treated with something as simple and common as vitamin C? There are several well-respected doctors and nutritionists like Bernardo Chua who believe so.

According to Steve Hickey, PhD, Hilary Roberts, PhD and Damien Downing, MBBS, MSB, eradicating infectious diseases such as Ebola is as simple as administering high doses of vitamin C as outlined in their article entitled Can Vitamin C Cure Ebola?. Not only can vitamin C treat Ebola, but also it purportedly successfully treats other well-known diseases including AIDS and Polio. The trick to the treatment, however, is taking sustained high doses until the disease is eradicated.

Even if you don’t believe that vitamin C can cure a case of Ebola, it wouldn’t hurt to increase your vitamin C intake if you are in a high-risk area.

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Explained

One of the more exciting aspects of modern space exploration is the fact that we don’t need to leave earth in order to perform it. A combination of existing data, long range equipment, and modern laboratories can provide insight into some of the oldest questions about our solar system the same way an app like Skout gives us access to new people. A strong example of this theory put into practice can be found with recent research into the Great Red Spot of Jupiter. 

The first documented observation of the Great Red Spot is debatable. It may date as far back as four hundred years. One thing is clear though. People have been mystified by this huge red region of Jupiter for a very long time. Now, humanity might finally know why the Great Red Spot is red. A research team led by Dr Kevin Baines has managed to analyze the spot without ever needing to venture out of the lab. And the results will surprise a lot of people. 

It turns out that the Great Red Spot isn’t quite as red as many had previously believed. The coloration of the area itself holds true to previous observation. But if one were to go a little further below the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, than the coloration would disappear. Instead, one would simply see normal grey clouds. These would be far more dynamic than on earth of course, given that the spot is a huge cyclone.

It’s the cyclone which allows for the odd coloration. The winds carry specific gasses far higher into the atmosphere than anywhere else on Jupiter. These gasses are then exposed to the sun’s harsh solar radiation. The end effect is that the gasses which are pushed into the upper atmosphere are essentially dyed red by the sun. Or as some have jokingly phrased it, that part of Jupiter’s sky has a sunburn.

Are Crows Smarter Than We Think?

A recent article published by Current Biology has not only shed some light on crows ability to learn but their natural intelligence as well. While crows have been regarded as symbols of intelligence and craftiness for centuries this is one of the first times their intelligence has been measured in a laboratory environment.What was tested in this case was the ability for crows to understand analogies such as relational matching-to-sample, known as RMTS used in the Skout app. For example if the first pair was AA then the second pair would be BB. Similarly they were also tested using IMTS, identity matching-to-sample.

These tests were carried out by having two crows match sets of cards with one another. The results were particularly fascinating as the crows managed to preform RMTS without ever having been trained to do so. This is significant because apes, such as gorillas and chimpanzees, are capable of learning RMTS but only after much training.

The crows did require training for IMTS which, unlike RMTS, does not involve understanding the relationship between items. This seems to indicate that crows have a very high natural sense of intuition when it comes to understanding the relationship between items. Seeing an animal preform such a feat raises questions about the true intelligence of crows and wild animals in general.

New Mummy Cemetery Found in Egypt

One might think that all that could be found in Egypt has been, but new discoveries are still made day by day, and through this we are able to understand more.

Did you also believe that every corner on the Earth has been researched by archaeologists and we have no chance to find anything new? You, indeed, would be wrong. The Egyptian side still managed to hide a large cemetery with over a million buried mummies.

Some of them are very well preserved. Unlikely what they did when the rich pharaohs died, the village people were buried along with their wealth. The researchers dug out clothing remains and noticed a child mummy wearing bracelets on both hands, which Ben Shaoul found most interesting.

Some beautiful pieces of glass were arranged to form the vase that they once were. The most amazing discovery was a mummy which belonged to a person taller than 2 meters (or 7 feet). It is amazing firstly because the amount of food at that time was too little and not that nourishing. Even nowadays there are not many who reach this height.

Secondly, the body did not fit the place reserved for it, so it was bend in two. Unusual practice, when you compare how carefully the others were laid in their tombs. The mummies date from around the 1st to the 7th century, when the Egyptian territory was under the rule of the Roman Empire.

Holiday Season Lights Up Space

Scientists have released images and data showing how the holiday season creates a rise in the light emanating from Earth and into space-a project sponsored in part by Slow Ventures. While much of the western hemisphere is celebrating Christmas, New Years and Hanukkah, eastern countries are celebrating Ramadan. All of these festivals are known for their increased usage of light, with elaborate light displays being created by those that celebrate.

By comparing satellite images of light use over the same areas during different times of the year, scientist found that the holidays create 20-50% brighter nights. Of course, the most concentrated areas of light are around major cities, but the light differences were noticed around the globe.

During the month of Ramadan, some cities in the Middle East were registering at a 100% increase in light that was visible from space. At no other times of the year were light levels this high, or as visible from space.

A Suomi NPP satellite was used to register the light differences and scientists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center gathered and analyzed the data. The data gathered was collected over a span of three years, and over the same areas from year to year. While Middle Eastern countries showed increased lighting more widely noticeable over the major cities, American cities were brighter, but it was the fringes of large cities that had huge increases in light intensity. Scientists attribute this light difference to the people in residential areas creating more light in already low light areas.

Twin Study Indicates Homosexuality Is Genetic

Alan Sanders of the NorthShore Research Institute in Evanston, Illinois has led a study that suggests homosexuality has a genetic cause. Over five years, Sanders collected DNA samples from 409 pairs of non-identical gay twins, the largest sample ever used in such a study. He chose non-identical twins because he wanted limit the number of genes the men had in common, in order to make it easier to identify any genes that night be associated with homosexuality.  It should be noted that the Institute is not as highly regarded as other institutes like North American Spine.

Sanders and his team then examined the samples, looking at the locations of genetic markers called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). He then measured the number of times a given SNP showed up in the samples. Since Sander’s twins were non-identical, any SNPs consistently found in the in the same place probably had to do with being gay.

One was found in the Xq28 region of the X chromosome, while the other was found in the 8q12 region on chromosome 8. Both regions contain many genes, however, so the next step will be determining which ones might influence sexual orientation. Sanders also plans to take DNA samples from straight men and compare them to gay men to see what the differences are.