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Our Backyard and Beyond, A Month of Astronomicaly Rich Discoveries

Posted: October 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Astronomy, Cankler Science News, Favorite New Thought, From The Web | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Our Backyard and Beyond, A Month of Astronomicaly Rich Discoveries

The Southern Milky Way Above ALMAWOW, isn’t really a word, it’s more like a thoughtfilled sound, in this case it’s the one I made looking back over this past month of astronomical discoveries. From a diamond encrusted jewel to a new earth sized planet a stones throw from our own blue planet.

News from skywatchers has boomed out through September and October this year, with clever astronomers and planetary scientists pushing the boundaries of computer climate modelling, forecasting weather, climatic change and glacial movements on Mars that just might have valid predictors for climate change on Earth.

A new planet, the closest yet outside our solar system and just an astronomical stone’s throw away at four light years,and according to scientists, seriously raising the chances of finding a habitable planet in Earth’s neighbourhood. Researchers say the new planet is too close to its sun to support any known forms of life, with a surface temperature estimated at 1,200 degrees Celsius.

Previous studies suggest that when one planet is discovered orbiting a sun, there are usually others in the same system. The new Earth-sized planet, announced in science journal Nature by Stephane Udry and Xavier Dumusque at the Geneva Observatory, orbits one of the suns in Alpha Centauri, only 40 trillion kilometres away, visible to the naked eye – though we’d suggest you wear clothes while backyard stargazing – The planet was discovered using the HARPS instrument on a telescope at the ESO’s – European Southern Observatory –  La Silla site in Chile. :: Read the full article »»»»


Chinese Tree Offers Hope For Alcoholics

Posted: January 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Biomechanic, Medicated | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Chinese Tree Offers Hope For Alcoholics

DHM Offers Hope For AlcoholicsResearchers at the University of California – UCLA –  are investigating a 500-year-old Chinese hangover cure in the hope they can put its properties into a pill to help alcoholics and stave off hangovers. Alcoholism is a huge problem globally, killing 2.5 million people each year according to the World Health Organization. There has been serious research recently looking for drugs that stop people drinking, or at least encourage them to drink less.

In an article published in the latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, they describe how dihydromyricetin blocks the action of alcohol on the brain and neurons and also reduces voluntary alcohol consumption, with no major side effects, in an early study with rats. Only an estimated 13 percent of people identified as having an alcohol use disorder receive medical treatment, partly due to a lack of effective medications without major side effects. Read the full article »»»»


Flexible Organic Small-Molecule Solar Cells

Posted: November 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Engineered Life, Santa Barbara, Science, Science News, Science of Green, Solar Stars | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Flexible Organic Small-Molecule Solar Cells

We’ve raved about solar cells previously: here, and here, the technology has taken several quantum leaps over the past decade. Paintable  crystalline and printable solar cells seem to be the way of the future, the fight now is for real solar efficiency. Solar panels that can be simply printed have inched a step closer with the development of an energy efficient, organic, small-molecule solar cell. The solar cell, which was developed by a team from the University of California, Santa Barbara, has energy efficiencies of 6.7 per cent, which rivals the best polymer-based solar cells. Most polymer-based designs have reached the 6 to 8 range for efficiency.

“These results provide important progress for solution-processed organic photovoltaics and demonstrate that solar cells fabricated from small donor molecules can compete with their polymeric counterparts,” the authors, including Nobel Prize winner Professor Alan Heeger, wrote in Nature Materials. Read the full article »»»»


UC Berkeley Scientists Use Magnetic Brain Imaging to Reveal the Movies In Our Mind

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Favorite New Thought, M.Aaron Silverman, Outside the Box, Science, Science News, University of California-Berkeley | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on UC Berkeley Scientists Use Magnetic Brain Imaging to Reveal the Movies In Our Mind

Highpants Psychic

Researchers from the University of California-Berkeley have used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging – fMRI – and computational models to watch clips of movies inside the minds of people who just viewed them . . . researchers were able to decipher and reconstruct movies from peoples minds!

As you move through the world or you watch a movie, a dynamic, ever-changing pattern of activity is evoked in the brain. The goal of movie reconstruction is to use the evoked activity to recreate the movie you observed. To do this, we create encoding models that describe how movies are transformed into brain activity, and now researchers have used those models to decode brain activity and reconstruct the stimulus, they’ve turned our thoughts of moving pictures back into movies . . .

 Human visual encoding is a clever and complex system, it consists of several dozen distinct cortical visual areas and sub-cortical nuclei, all arranged in a network that is both hierarchical and parallel. Visual information comes into the eye and is transduced into nerve impulses, electrified. These impulses are sent on to the lateral geniculate nucleus and then to Primary Visual Cortex :: Read the full article »»»»