Science

Music abilities come from DNA, not practice: so says study

Music abilities come from DNA, not practice: so says study

According to a study published in the latest release of Psychological Science would suggest that most musical skill comes from your genes. If you happen to be the descendent of a musical genius, you may want to get practicing - it would seem that you’ll have a lot easier time finding success than your less fortunate associates with less musically-inclined parents.

Continue Reading

Science explains why we blow in game cartridges

Science explains why we blow in game cartridges

Your childhood likely involved at least one cartridge-based gaming console, and with those games came a habit that feels as natural as taking up the controller: blowing in the cartridge. It is widely known at this point that such an activity was useless, but that doesn't answer the question of why we did it.

Continue Reading

Bigfoot hair samples tested by Oxford for science

Bigfoot hair samples tested by Oxford for science

The tests you’re about to read about began all the way back in the year 2012, when researchers at Oxford University and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology sent out the call for Yeti hair. It was then that the hair samples began to arrive. Run and later written up by Sykes B.C., Mullis R.A., Hagenmuller C., Melton T.W. & Sartori M., a total of 36 hair samples supposed to have (possibly) belonged to the legendary Bigfoot were put to the test.

Continue Reading

Hawaii is shooting lasers at birds and it’s for their own good

Hawaii is shooting lasers at birds and it’s for their own good

Filling the skies with laser beams and hoping birds fly into them doesn't, at first glance, seem the best way to prevent endangered species from dwindling in number even further, but it's exactly what one Hawaiian island is doing. The light grids - made up of thirty focused green lasers - are being mounted on electricity poles by service operator Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, in the hope that they'll prevent birds from crashing into the cables.

Continue Reading

NASA’s climate change satellite launches to watch Earth breathe

NASA’s climate change satellite launches to watch Earth breathe

NASA's latest rocket has blasted off successfully, beginning a new and potentially controversial study into carbon dioxide gas in Earth's atmosphere which could have broad implications on climate change research. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) promises hitherto-unmatched precision measurements from 438 miles above our planet, carrying instruments that NASA says are capable of counting individual molecules.

Continue Reading

Facebook Mood Study: The Facts

Facebook Mood Study: The Facts

Earlier this month it was made apparent that a study was conducted on Facebook users by the Facebook, Inc. Core Data Science Team. A total of 689,003 Facebook users were "exposed to emotional expressions in their News Feed" according to the study, testing whether "emotional contagion" is able to occur without direct interaction between people. Turns out it is, indeed possible to change people’s emotions without nonverbal cues.

Continue Reading

ReWalk is the first FDA-approved personal exoskeleton

ReWalk is the first FDA-approved personal exoskeleton

If you're still not used to seeing electric wheelchairs, robotic prosthetics, and other forms of hi-tech assistive technology in public places, it would be best to catch up with the times as a new one just joined the list. The US Food and Drug Administration has just given the thumb up to the ReWalk Personal exoskeleton, paving the way for similar machines that will help those who have lost mobility to get back on their feet.

Continue Reading

NASA’s flying saucer gets wet happy ending

NASA’s flying saucer gets wet happy ending

NASA's "flying saucer" has had a wet but happy landing, with the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) finally taking to the skies after several launch delays, and giving positive early signs for potential future Mars technologies. The Saturday flight took place in Hawaii, with the distinctive saucer-shaped craft being dropped 120,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean and then taking thirty minutes to descend into the waves.

Continue Reading

Gliese 832c possibly habitable but has extreme seasons

Gliese 832c possibly habitable but has extreme seasons

Don't get your hopes up yet for galactic colonization, but a new planet has just been added to the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog. Gliese 832 c of the Gliese 832 star system is theorized to have temperatures close to Earth's, making it possibly habitable except for one glaring flaw: it has large seasonal shifts.

Continue Reading

Facebook psych experiment explained, Andreessen chimes in

Facebook psych experiment explained, Andreessen chimes in

Facebook is, unsurprisingly, embroiled in yet another scandal. Surprisingly, it isn't directly related to privacy but comes quite close. The social networking giant has been revealed to have manipulated their news feed ever so slightly in order to see the effects on the moods of its users. Sounds almost harmless until you learn that the findings were recently published in a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) paper.

Continue Reading