Science

Saturn Surprises As Cassini Continues its Grand Finale

Saturn Surprises As Cassini Continues its Grand Finale

Science
As NASA's Cassini spacecraft makes its unprecedented series of weekly dives between Saturn and its rings, scientists are finding -- so far -- that the planet's magnetic field has no discernible tilt. This surprising observation, which means the true length of Saturn's day is still unknown, is just one of several early insights from the final phase of Cassini's mission, known as the Grand Finale. Other recent science highlights include promising hints about the structure and composition of the icy rings, along with high-resolution images of the rings and Saturn's atmosphere. Cassini is performing beautifully in the final leg of its long journey. Its observations continue to surprise and delight as we squeeze out every last bit of science that we can get. - Earl Maize, Cassini Project...
Human Adult Neurogenesis Revealed

Human Adult Neurogenesis Revealed

Science
CELL/SPALDING ET ALAbove-ground nuclear bomb tests carried out more than 50 years ago resulted in elevated atmospheric levels of the radioactive carbon-14 isotope (14C), which steadily declined over time. In a study published yesterday (June 7) in Cell, researchers used measurements of 14C concentration in the DNA of brain cells from deceased patients to determine the neurons’ age, and demonstrated that there is substantial adult neurogenesis in the human hippocampus. “We provide thorough information on the extent of neurogenesis and we show that there is surprisingly large amount,” said study author Jonas Frisén of the Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. “It’s a very impressive achievement,” said Gerd Kempermann of the German Center for Neurodegenerat
Older people should be given dogs on prescription to increase activity

Older people should be given dogs on prescription to increase activity

Science
Project lead Prof Andy Jones from UEA's Norwich School of Medicine said: “We were amazed to find that dog walkers were on average more physically active and spent less time sitting on the coldest, wettest, and darkest days than non-dog owners were on long, sunny, and warm summer days. “The size of the difference we observed between these groups was much larger than we typically find for interventions such as group physical activity sessions that are often used to help people remain active.” The team suggest that dog ownership or community schemes for dog walking could be prescribed to older people by GPs to help the get more exercise. Writing in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health they conclude that dog walking: "may have considerable potential to support the maintenance of
How to Help Cheetahs Live Longer in Captivity

How to Help Cheetahs Live Longer in Captivity

Science
Cheetahs have been tamed, used for hunting and kept in zoos in countries across Asia, Europe and Africa for centuries. However, they have never really thrived under captive conditions. Between 1829-1952 there were 139 wild-caught cheetahs displayed at 47 zoological facilities. Most of these animals survived less than a year with 115 deaths and no births recorded during this period. Despite improvements in husbandry conditions in zoos and other captive facilities around the world, cheetahs continue to suffer from a number of unusual diseases that are rarely reported in other captive cats. These include gastritis, various kidney ailments, liver abnormalities, fibrosis of the heart musc
Viewpoint: Spinning Black Holes May Grow Hair

Viewpoint: Spinning Black Holes May Grow Hair

Science
Sam Dolan, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7RH, United Kingdom July 24, 2017• Physics 10, 83A spinning black hole may lose up to 9% of its mass by spontaneously growing “hair” in the form of excitations of a hypothetical particle field with a tiny mass.Figure 1: New work by East and Pretorius [1] suggests that a spinning black hole (black) can rapidly amplify the trapped modes of an ultralight bosonic field (red), to reach a quasistable “hairy” configuration, which decays slowly by emission of gravitational waves (blue).New work by East and Pretorius [1] suggests that a spinning black hole (black) can rapidly amplify the trapped modes of an ultralight bosonic field (red), to reach a quasistable “hairy” configuration, which decays slow
Alcohol Boosts Recall of Earlier Learning

Alcohol Boosts Recall of Earlier Learning

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Summary: A new Scientific Reports study reveals alcohol may have a surprising effect on learning and memory. Researchers found those who drank alcohol following a learned word task had better recollection of the terms they learned the next day than those who did not drink.Source: University of Exeter.Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.In the University of Exeter study, 88 social drinkers were given a word-learning task. Participants were then split in two groups at random and told either to drink as much as they liked (the average was four units) or not to drink at all.The next day, they all did the same task again — and those who had drunk alcohol remembered more of what they had learned.The researchers are kee
An Incredible Camcorder Tour of the Gadgets That Made Nerds Drool in 1987

An Incredible Camcorder Tour of the Gadgets That Made Nerds Drool in 1987

Science
Fifty years ago the first Consumer Electronics Show was held in New York City, giving local nerds a sneak peek at all the electronic toys arriving in 1967. Twenty years later, Art Vuolo attended the ‘Summer’ edition of the trade show with a giant camera on his shoulder, giving us a wonderful time capsule of what was drool-worthy 30 years ago.Up until 1994, CES actually happened twice a year. Once in Las Vegas in January—the CES Gizmodo knows best—and a second time in Chicago in June. The Summer edition, as it was known, is where all of this fantastic footage comes from, and while all of the technology looks incredibly dated, we’ll be saying the same thing about this year’s CES 30 years from now.The four-part video series covers everything from super-VHS cameras and tape recorders, to monst
Messier 51 – the Whirlpool Galaxy – Universe Today

Messier 51 – the Whirlpool Galaxy – Universe Today

Science
Welcome back to Messier Monday! In our ongoing tribute to the great Tammy Plotner, we take a look at Orion’s Nebula’s “little brother”, the De Marian’s Nebula! During the 18th century, famed French astronomer Charles Messier noted the presence of several “nebulous objects” in the night sky. Having originally mistaken them for comets, he began compiling a list of them so that others would not make the same mistake he did. In time, this list (known as the Messier Catalog) would come to include 100 of the most fabulous objects in the night sky. One of these is the spiral galaxy located in the constellation Canes Venatici known as the Whirlpool Galaxy (aka. Messier 51). Located between 19 and 27 million light-years from the Milky Way, this deep sky object was the very first to be classified a