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Tue, 25 Jul 2017
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Researchers: Messy desks may be a sign of genius


What does your work space say about you? (Mark Twain pictured)
Is your desk overflowing with scraps of paper, coffee cups, envelopes and wilted plants? Well, far from being idle, it turns out you might just be a creative genius.

In world where 'cleanliness is next to godliness' is a well-valued idiom, being a messy person can often be mistaken as a hallmark of laziness. But thanks to a recent study, researchers have found there is a method to this madness.

Proving that sometimes working in mess is much more productive than precision and order, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that creative geniuses favor a chaotic workspace.

Bulb

Better than Star Wars: Chemists invent technology for making animated 3-D table-top objects by structuring light

© SMU
SMU chemist Dr. Alex Lippert and his lab developed the SMU 3-D light pad (shown here). It includes an ultraviolet projector and a visible projector, which project patterns of light into a chamber of photoactivatable dye. Wherever the UV light intersects with the green light it generates a 3-dimensional image inside the chamber.
A scientist's dream of 3-D projections like those he saw years ago in a Star Wars movie has led to new technology for making animated 3-D table-top objects by structuring light.

The new technology uses photoswitch molecules to bring to life 3-D light structures that are viewable from 360 degrees, says chemist Alexander Lippert, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, who led the research.

The economical method for shaping light into an infinite number of volumetric objects would be useful in a variety of fields, from biomedical imaging, education and engineering, to TV, movies, video games and more.

"Our idea was to use chemistry and special photoswitch molecules to make a 3-D display that delivers a 360-degree view," Lippert said. "It's not a hologram, it's really three-dimensionally structured light."

Key to the technology is a molecule that switches between non-fluorescent and fluorescent in reaction to the presence or absence of ultraviolet light.

The new technology is not a hologram, and differs from 3-D movies or 3-D computer design. Those are flat displays that use binocular disparity or linear perspective to make objects appear three-dimensional when in fact they only have height and width and lack a true volume profile.

Telescope

The curious connections between quantum entanglement, UFOs and black budgets

Quantum entanglement: a phenomenon that Einstein thought was so "spooky" that there was no way it could be valid, posits that the "space" between physical objects isn't actually empty space as our senses perceive it to be, but rather, that either information is travelling faster than the speed of light, or even better, instantaneously with no "time" involved.

It implies that everything is connected, that if there was a "big bang," it happened when all physical matter was one, and then exploded out into little pieces that spread throughout the cosmos. The tricky part to understand is that all those little piece, those plants, those starts, and all the intelligent life that has most certainly formed, is still all connected in some sort of way we have yet to understand.

Brain

Experimental drug reverses memory loss from brain damage in mice

© Getty Images
An experimental drug could have major implications for patients suffering from memory disabilities caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI). In tests, the drug known as ISRIB completely restored the ability to learn and remember in brain-injured mice -- even on those that were treated up to a month after injury. The findings are contrary to most research on brain trauma, which claims treatments must be carried out urgently to preserve normal function.

Although scientists have had some recent breakthroughs countering memory loss, TBI has been tougher to crack. Dozens of promising treatments have failed clinical trials, and no approved therapies are available. Currently, TBI (commonly caused by accidents, collisions, falls, and violent assaults) affects close to 2 million people every year in the US -- that boils down to one person every 21 seconds. Additionally, sports injuries (such as concussions) and military combat are other leading causes of TBI. Concerns over brain trauma have even led the army to start working on blast amor that can detect whether an explosion has hurt your brain.

Snowflake Cold

New study blows global warming 'greenhouse theory out of the water'

'All observed climatic changes have natural causes completely outside of human control'

A new scientific paper contends the entire foundation of the man-made global-warming theory - the assumption that greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere by trapping heat - is wrong. If confirmed, the study's findings would crush the entire "climate change" movement to restrict CO2 emissions, the authors assert. Some experts contacted by WND criticized the paper, while others advised caution.

Still others suggested that the claimed discovery represents a massive leap forward in human understanding - a "new paradigm."

The paper argues that concentrations of CO2 and other supposed "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere have virtually no effect on the earth's temperature. They conclude the entire greenhouse gas theory is incorrect.

Instead, the earth's "greenhouse" effect is a function of the sun and atmospheric pressure, which results from gravity and the mass of the atmosphere, rather than the amount of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere.

The same is true for other planets and moons with a hard surface, the authors contend, pointing to the temperature and atmospheric data of various celestial bodies collected by NASA.

So precise is the formula, the authors of the paper told WND, that, by using it, they were able to correctly predict the temperature of other celestial bodies not included in their original analysis.

Info

A map that fills in a 500-million year gap in Earth's history

© Alan Collins, Author provided
Fieldwork in central Madagascar, an area that records a continental collision at about 550 million years ago.
Earth is estimated to be around 4.5 billion years old, with life first appearing around 3 billion years ago.

To unravel this incredible history, scientists use a range of different techniques to determine when and where continents moved, how life evolved, how climate changed over time, when our oceans rose and fell, and how land was shaped. Tectonic plates—the huge, constantly moving slabs of rock that make up the outermost layer of the Earth, the crust—are central to all these studies.

Along with our colleagues, we have published the first whole-Earth plate tectonic map of half a billion years of Earth history, from 1,000 million years ago to 520 million years ago. The colors on the map in the YouTube video below refer to where the continents lie today. Light blue is India, Madagascar, and Arabia, magenta is Australia and Antarctica, white is Siberia, red is North America, orange is Africa, dark blue is South America, yellow is China, and green is northeast Europe.

The time range is crucial. It's a period when the Earth went through the most extreme climate swings known, from "Snowball Earth" icy extremes to super-hot greenhouse conditions, when the atmosphere got a major injection of oxygen and when multicellular life appeared and exploded in diversity.

Now with this first global map of plate tectonics through this period, we (and others) can start to assess the role of plate tectonic processes on other Earth systems and even address how movement of structures deep in our Earth may have varied over a billion year cycle.

Info

New study: Meditation and yoga can 'reverse' the negative effects of stress on our DNA


Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don't simply relax us; they can 'reverse' the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression, according to a study by the universities of Coventry and Radboud.

The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, reviews over a decade of studies analysing how the behaviour of our genes is affected by different MBIs including mindfulness and yoga.

Experts from the universities conclude that, when examined together, the 18 studies -- featuring 846 participants over 11 years -- reveal a pattern in the molecular changes which happen to the body as a result of MBIs, and how those changes benefit our mental and physical health.

The researchers focus on how gene expression is affected; in other words the way that genes activate to produce proteins which influence the biological make-up of the body, the brain and the immune system.

Comment: One very beneficial way to relieve stress and increase a state of well being is to practice Éiriú Eolas.




Brain

Is Stephen Hawking scientifically illiterate?

Five days ago, Stephen Hawking - or someone who has hacked his computerized speech generator - has told us that Donald Trump is a supervillain who will transform the Earth to another Venus with temperatures at 250 °C and sulfuric acid rains.

Wow. Now, every intelligent 10-year-old kid must know why this possibility is non-existent, why the statement is nonsense. Some scientists including Roy Spencer have pointed out how absurd these Hawking's statements were from a scientific viewpoint.

But lots of the scientists who have paid lip service to the lies about the so-called global warming or climate change in the past have remained silent and confirmed that their scientific dishonesty has no limits. I despise all the climate alarmists who know that statements like that are absurd but who hide this fact because a lie like that could be helpful for their profits or political causes. You know, what these jerks and the people who tolerate these jerks' existence haven't quite appreciated is that it is only lies that may be helpful for them.

Comment: It looks like Hawking is losing it... See also: Not even wrong: Stephen Hawking says Trump's Paris Agreement stance could 'push the Earth over the brink'


Info

Praying mantises feast on birds they killed & mate at the same time - study

© Mike Hutchings / Reuters
In what researchers are hailing a "spectacular discovery," a new study has revealed that praying mantises all over the world are feasting on birds they catch and kill.

The carnivorous creatures usually eat insects, spiders and sometimes frogs and snakes to feed their voracious appetites. However, research published in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology now shows the prolific killers also have a taste for birds.


Rainbow

Dying may not be as awful an experience as you think

Does the very idea of death worry and frighten you? There may be reassurance from a new study that finds those fears might be exaggerated.

© Universal Studios
In fact, the research shows, death is often described as a peaceful, "unexpectedly positive" experience by those who approach it.

Death is one of life's guarantees, yet it's something people often avoid talking about, according to study author Kurt Gray. He's an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"There's almost an unspoken assumption that death is something to be avoided at all costs," Gray said.
But his team found that the abstract concept of death may be scarier than the reality.

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