The role that plants play in absorbing carbon dioxide is one of the great unknowns of climatology. Now, an industrial-scale experiment in a Staffordshire forest has been designed to help fill gaps in our knowledge about climate change. Continue reading BIFoR FACE In Situ Experiment – Modelling the Response of a Temperate Woodland to Increased Levels of Carbon Dioxide
The Sentinel satellite program was designed to replace the older Earth observation missions, which have reached retirement or are nearing the end of their operational life span. The satellite array will ensure a continuity of data, so that there are no gaps in ongoing studies. Continue reading Sentinel Is Watching
The Arecibo observatory is a very large radio telescope located in Puerto Rico. In 1974, astronomers used it to broadcast a message into outer space intended to demonstrate human intelligence. Why are we so interested in finding intelligence in the stars, and yet so deaf to the many species who manifest it here on Earth?
The emergence of Big Data has meant that everything we do online leaves digital traces. “Big data” is fairly new. It’s huge and it’s scary – very scary. This revolutionary approach to data-driven communications is said to have played an integral part in Brexit “Leave” campaign and U.S. president Donald Trump’s extraordinary win. Continue reading Psychometrics and “Big Data” – Who Do They Think You Are?
As the X-Files series enjoy a revival on TV, the American spy agency has decided to place thousands of declassified documents detailing government research into UFOs on its website. The CIA documents also confirm the reality of humans with ‘Special Abilities’ able to do seemingly impossible things. Continue reading CIA Releases “X-Files”
You. Yes, YOU! You’re rather bright, aren’t you? Intelligent, smart. Let’s face it a little-known genius! And you have a unique opinion on just about everything. Not specifically one subject. Because you’re a contrarian. or as I like to call it: a “brainiac”. Continue reading Ode to the Contrarian or Why Intelligence May Not Be the Best Strategy in Life
Synthetic cannabinoids were designed for recreational use. Many used them legally in an attempt to recreate the effects of organic cannabis, or to achieve similar psychoactive effects, until they were banned in May 2016. But they promised more than they delivered. Spice is one of them. Continue reading Spice of Life? The Health Cost of Synthetic Cannabinoids and the Adverse Effects of Full Agonists
Temperature inversions are meteorological phenomena which can occur over busy cities under particular environmental conditions. Retired jet engines could be used as “virtual chimneys”, and draw upwards the resulting smog that clouds the air over some of the World’s most polluted cities. Continue reading Temperature Inversions, City Pollution and Defunct Jet Engines
Many places in the World have limited sources of drinkable water, whether it is because of limited rainfall or because of polluted water resources. Without sufficient potable water, the health of possibly billions of people remains at risk. In Lima, Perú, a simple technology helps people harvest water from the fog. Continue reading The Fog Harvesters of Lima, Peru
Sarin is a deadly compound. Colourless, odourless, and fatal even at low concentrations. A new drug designed to fight against the deadly effects of organophosphorous nerve agents, like sarin, is in sight. Continue reading Compound Interest: An Antidote to Sarin
Agronomic engineers have managed to improve upon one the most important biological process on the planet – photosynthesis. The increased yield in crop could be as much as 15%. Continue reading Feeding of the Nine Billion – The Future of Photosynthesis and Increased Crop Productivity
We live on the ever-changing planetary surface of Earth. Now, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s “Eruptions, Earthquakes, & Emissions” (“E3”) web application reveals a time-lapse animation of the data held on volcanic eruptions and quakes on Earth since 1960. The dynamic Earth at one glance!
Continue reading Fifty Years of Turmoil in One Minute – The Recent Living Respiring Dynamic Earth
It’s cold down there. Icy cold. It’s dark. Pitch black, in fact. And the crushing pressures make the deepest parts of the oceans into some of the most hostile places on our planet. The lowest of the low. The deepest of the deep. Only three human explorers ever made it down there. As a brand new wave of deep-sea exploration begins, we look at the mysterious world where marine scientists will be diving into… Continue reading Sailing the Lower Midnight… – The Uncharted Frontier of Modern Deep-Sea Exploration
Welcome to Jurassic Skye! While dinosaurs might be long dead and no threat to puny humans, the rich fossil record of the Scottish island of Skye – the “Misty Isle” – has provided palaeontologists with important clues to the lives of prehistoric predators and their preys. Continue reading Fantastic Beasts of the “Misty Isle” – Welcome to Jurassic Skye!
A team of scientists have written music that they found most cats respond to a “little like sonic catnip”. They used tempos and melodies originating from purrs and suckling. Continue reading Music for Cats… – Guaranteed to be your Cat’s Jam!
The term ‘Anthropocene’ has entered scientific literature as an expression of the fundamental environmental change caused to planet Earth by humankind, despite not being a formally defined geological unit within the geological time scale. The hunt is on for the “golden spike” – a marker for future researchers to point to in millions of years and identify as the geological start of the Anthropocene epoch. Continue reading Human versus Nature – The Golden Spike of the Anthropocene
A revolution in the treatment and understanding of clinical depression may be looming. And specialists are already talking about one of the strongest discoveries in psychiatry for the past two decades. For the 350 million people who suffer from the illness worldwide, this could potentially mean light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Continue reading Looking on the Bright Side of Clinical Depression
Be honest. We all have one. What’s your poison? Booze, tobacco, prescription drugs… or something a little more exotic? Cannabis is a controversial plant, regarded by many as a godsend. If Carlsberg made a ‘erb… Continue reading Panacea Nostrum – The Forensic Toxicology of Cannabis
The Evelyn tables are the oldest known anatomical preparations in Europe – a manner of human herbarium – showcased at a scarcely visited location in the very heart of London. Continue reading The Evelyn Tables – Musings on Leoni d’Este’s Human Herbarium
A new study shows that birds and humans ‘talk’ to each other, as they partner up to hunt for honey bees nests together in the forests of Mozambique.
Prior to the discovery of nociceptors in 1906, scientists believed that animals were like mechanical devices that transformed the energy of sensory stimuli into motor responses. Pain is one of those stimulated reactions, but it is unlike other sensations. What is the purpose of pain? Continue reading Ouch!! #$@*!! – We Take a Quick Look at the Neuro-Physics of Pain
Erm…No. Not Mona Lisa! (Rolls eyes.) Think again!! This is LISA – the Lisa Pathfinder satellite, the key element for a grand new project: a space-based gravitational observatory. Continue reading Hunting Ripples in the Fabric of Space-Time – The Trials and Tribulations of LISA
The Network Within Us
Everything is connected. And so it is in the human body too. Everything in the human body is connected. No doubt that all your organs – heart, liver, lungs – work as one to keep you alive and as close as possible to a healthy state. Continue reading We Consider Human Network Physiology and Medicine – The “Body Electric” – Part Deux
The World population has grown to 7 billion, and it is expected to reach over 9 billion by 2050. In the long-term, this growth is unsustainable, as vital resources are becoming increasingly depleted and humanity faces a number of threats to its continued expansion. Many believe that scientists will solve these problems with new technology. Are humans causing the sixth mass extinction? What is the reality? Continue reading In the Midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction…
There is a side of us that is not unique to our own species. Evil. Why? How did it start? The first time. Asking why evil came into existence is a valid question. Evil behaviours are categorised into four distinct groups. Of course, it gets pretty dark. But what is “Evil”? Continue reading Breaking Bad – The Evolutionary Perspective of Evil