Earth is not the home you think it is. Far below the scant surface spaces we inhabit, the planet is teeming with an incredibly vast and deep 'dark biosphere' of subterranean lifeforms that scientists are only just beginning to comprehend. Hidden throughout this subsurface realm, some of the world's deepest and oldest organisms thrive in places where life shouldn't even exist, and in new research, scientists have quantified this 'dark matter' of the microbial world like never before.
As Americans’ attitudes towards psychedelics change, we’re seeing the start of something few would have ever dreamed possible: legalization. A slew of new research on the measurable benefits of psychedelic compounds, as well as increased media exposure and cultural acceptance has already made the 21st century stand in stark contrast to the extreme taboo and draconian state punishments levied against psychedelics in the 20th.
Does some aspect of our personality survive bodily death? Long a philosophical and theological question, in the 20th century this became the subject of scientific research. Fifty years ago, in 1967, Ian Stevenson, then chair of UVA's Department of Psychiatry, created a research unit—now named the Division of Perceptual Studies—to study what, if anything, of the human personality survives after death. In this Medical Center Hour, faculty from the Division of Perceptual Studies highlight the unit's work since its founding,
What was the state of humanity before civilization arose? To this day the popular conception, both among the public and as promulgated by many historians and archaeologists, is that of small, primarily nomadic, bands of people perpetually on the brink of existence, endlessly in pursuit of their next meal, characterized as “stone age”. This all changed with the domestication of plants and animals and the development of agriculture, which ultimately led to the first great civilizations taking root in such regions as Mesopotamia and Egypt around 5000 to 6000 years ago. This nice neat scenario may be the modern dogma, but that does not assure its veracity. There is another, much older, view found among the classical ancients – including the Greeks, the Romans, and the dynastic Egyptians – which is encapsulated in the legend of Atlantis.
In what can be described as a monumental step forward in the relentless pursuit of 9/11 truth, a United States Attorney has agreed to comply with federal law requiring submission to a Special Grand Jury of evidence that explosives were used to bring down the World Trade Centers.
Brazilian doctors are reporting the world’s first baby born to a woman with a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor.
Eleven previous births have used a transplanted womb but from a living donor, usually a relative or friend.
Over the last 100 years, scientists have realized, first in rats, that neurons in mammalian brains were capable of producing photons, or "biophotons." The photons appear, though faintly, within the visible spectrum, running from near-infrared through violet, or between 200 and 1,300 nanometers. The question is why?
A Nasa scientist has theorised intelligent alien life may have already been on Earth and believes that current thinking about extraterrestrial life is far too narrow. He called for physicists to take part in "speculative physics", grounded in our most solid theories but "with some willingness to stretch possibilities as to the nature of space-time and energy" and to "consider the UFO phenomenon worthy of study".
Just before 9.30am on Sunday 11 November, a series of unusual seismic pulses rippled around the world almost undetected. The waves rang for over 20 minutes, emanating about 15 miles off the shores of Mayotte - a tiny island in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Africa. It was not only the power of the seismic waves which puzzled scientists when they began to examine the readings, but also the curiously regular shape of the waveform.
A simple sheet of graphene has noteworthy properties due to a quantum phenomenon in its electron structure called Dirac cones. The system becomes even more interesting if it comprises two superimposed graphene sheets, and one is very slightly turned in its own plane so that the holes in the two carbon lattices no longer completely coincide. For specific angles of twist, the bilayer graphene system displays exotic properties such as superconductivity.
Reefs around the world are declining due to climate change, ocean acidification, coral disease, overfishing and other stressors. We are investigating potential strategies to help reverse these declines in our lifetime. In particular, we developed a micro-fragmentation and fusion method to speed the growth of brain, boulder and star corals — crucial reef-building species known for their slow growth in the wild.
Scientists are looking at some of the most unlikely sources for energy production, partly motivated by academic and research objectives, and partly to create a new framework of energy production and extraction.
Some of the world’s oldest cave paintings have revealed how ancient people had relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy. The artworks, at sites across Europe, are not simply depictions of wild animals, as was previously thought. Instead, the animal symbols represent star constellations in the night sky, and are used to represent dates and mark events such as comet strikes, analysis suggests. They reveal that, perhaps as far back as 40,000 years ago, humans kept track of time using knowledge of how the position of the stars slowly changes over thousands of years.
After 30 years of research, a team from the “Circuits et Matériaux Quantiques” international associated laboratory, led by researchers from the CNRS and Université de Sherbrooke, has just discovered a universal law for the electronic properties of high-temperature superconductors. Strikingly, this speed limit is linked to the numerical value of Planck’s constant, the fundamental quantity of quantum mechanics representing the smallest possible action that can be taken in nature.
"The forces moving the plastic around are the same forces moving the cleanup systems. In other words, where the plastic goes, the cleanup systems automatically go as well, like plastic magnets. The concept is more feasible, and also more efficient at capturing plastic," explains the Ocean Cleanup site. Slat calls his new system a "fleet" of cleanup booms. The whole thing is solar-powered, modular and flexible to move with the tides.