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Mathematicians decipher ancient astrology

ancient astrologyMore than three thousand years ago, Ancient Egyptians wrote a calendar predicting good or bad luck for the days and weeks of a year. Archaeologists in the 20th century noticed several patterns when deciphering the document, known as the Cairo Calendar. Unfortunately they couldn’t work out whether the patterns meant anything. Recently, a team of scientists from Helsinki decided to revisit this ancient document to see what they could find.

The calendar was divided into 12 months, each with 30 days. Each day had three parts that were described as lucky or unlucky. The researchers were interested in these patterns of good and bad luck. After they had identified one pattern that lined up perfectly with each month, they noticed another one that took 29.5 days to repeat. This matched up with the orbit of the Moon – it’s about 29.5 days between full moons. Continue reading Mathematicians decipher ancient astrology

Anticipating Crime

crime and punishmentDuring the past summer, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security(DHS) tried to anticipate the future at a classified location in a northeastern metropolis. Unlike other times, they did not seek the psychic powers. Instead, they used a battery of sensors that aims at impelling human intentions through analyzing the changes in heart rate, gaze and other relevant physiological attributes.

The sensors are known as Future Attribute Screening Technology(FAST). This is a federal project worth twenty million dollars, that was designed to bring to light suspicious looking airport passengers. It is believed that FAST has the capacity to expose terrorist just before they perform terrorism. However, critics say that the technology may have negative repercussions like, giving false positives for innocent passengers and false negatives for terrorists. The DHS, on the other hand, affirms that FAST is an improvement of an older unstable crime detector.

About 3,000 DHS officers are already using FAST in national airports to scan for apprehensive behavior and gaze through a program known as Screening of Passengers by Observational Techniques(SPOT). Continue reading Anticipating Crime

Breakthrough in Mental Disorder Treatment – How Skin Cells Can Help Improve Mental Health

skin cellsWithout a doubt, the skin is one of the most important organs in the human body. Among the numerous reasons why the skin is an important organ is because it allows for sensation, acts as a waterproof shield and provides effective protection against bacteria and germs; recently, however, researchers have formulated a theory that skin can also be successfully converted into functional brain cells.

Scientists at Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California claim that they have developed a method for transforming skin cells into fully functional neurons. This could mean a breakthrough in mental disorder treatment as it is a much more noninvasive and personalized approach to the old, conventional methods. Many believe the current approach to treating mental disorders is flawed, and for good reason. Continue reading Breakthrough in Mental Disorder Treatment – How Skin Cells Can Help Improve Mental Health

Try this: Faking random

You will need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • A die, or two dice

What to do

  1. Draw up a grid five squares wide and five squares tall. If you don’t want to draw them, you can download a sheet here. (Six grids per page.)
  2. Imagine this grid is a paved area, and it’s just starting to rain. Draw where the first nine raindrops might fall, trying to be as random as possible.
  3. Take some time to look at how the rain fell on your paving. Do you think it looks random?
  4. Consider the following two questions:
    • Did more than one of your drops fall into any of the squares?
    • We can see that 16 out of the 25 squares are on the outer edge of the paved area. This is more than half. From your nine drops how many fell on the outside squares?
  5. Now repeat the activity, but use rolls of a die to work out where the drops fall. Roll for the row and then the column. Re-roll any 6s (because there are only five columns and rows)
  6. How does this new pavement compare to the first one? Which one is more random? Continue reading Try this: Faking random

Ever Wondered What Is Dark Matter

dark matterDark matter is something that has been on the minds of many scientists inclusive of astronomers ever since the theory of the evolution theory. It has sparkled the curiosity and imagination of many. There have been many suggestions about what dark matter is and this has brought about misunderstandings about how to define it. Some have termed dark matter to be a normal matter in the atmosphere and day to day life that cannot be seen while others have gone ahead and modified this and said it is something the naked eye and other apparatus such as the telescope cannot see. But we can today look at dark matter as an expansion of the universe. This dark matter is about 84% of the universe. Dark matter cannot be seen by the naked eye or scientific inventions. It doesn’t absorb light or energy in electromagnetic state. We can describe dark matter as a universe material that is there but is not seen to be there and the fact that we cannot see it does not mean we deny its existence.

The fact that dark matter is plentiful in the universe means that it interacts with human beings everyday. It is said that it interacts with an average person’s body approximately once every 60 seconds. Even now as people read this article, dark matter is busy bombarding with their body’s and they don’t it. Continue reading Ever Wondered What Is Dark Matter

Are our brains responsible for the obesity epidemic?

brain studySitting in a booth at Chevys Fresh Mex, one October evening, I began reviewing the science of hunger and obesity. I devoured a sumptuous shrimp and a mouth-licking crab enchilada, I guess I consumed about two thirds of it. With the shocking revelations that I discovered out of my study, I was wondering whether I would attain my ambition of getting under 190 pounds.

As I delved into the study of the appetite for fatty and salty foods, such as guacamole, some temptations that were out of the ordinary crept into my head. The bowlful of chips at the edge of the table, as well as that of deliciously luring salsa was urging me to consume more and more of them. The bowl seemed to say to me, “We are sure you want us and you can’t deny it. After all, are we not mouth-watering?” In a matter of some few minutes the bowl was empty, and my willpower gone with the contents.

I just couldn’t muster enough willpower to say no to the bowl of chips although I had made the decision to reduce my weight. I’m sure I’m not the only person going through this kind of dilemma. Continue reading Are our brains responsible for the obesity epidemic?

Crayfish strange characteristics of deception

crayfishThese fresh water astacoidea also known as crawfish live in water that does not freeze to the base, they breathe through the gills and their bodies are divided into twenty segments. They average to the length of seven inches and contain several species. One fact is that they cannot live dirty water but amazingly feed on dead animals.

Crayfish is a creature that has unique characteristics unmatched to any marine animals, when you keenely look at the male species the claws differ in size and strength. Moreover, the size of the animal does not matter when it comes to territorial domination, research has shown that dominance can be attained by those that are of comparatively smaller size.

Territorial dominance is successful when there are fights amongst the male genus of crayfish, this dominion can only be achieved when one challenges the opponent in broils. During this stage, the act of deception to win the clash is overshadowed by deception, which is a natural instinct amongst animals. Continue reading Crayfish strange characteristics of deception

Foods that taste good together – Is there any scientific co-relation?

foodThe art and science of wines, foods and flavor can be an intriguing issue to ponder over. The science of interrelation between food products is the major idea that Chartier Francois presents in his Taste Buds and Molecules book. Just like the title of the book suggests, the author looks at the aroma molecules which give wines and foods their definite character and taste. He uses the chemistry tied to foods as the major basis used for pairing wines and foods both. He goes ahead to propose the use of food charts to help in identifying the kind of foods which go well together. This is at least sheds some light on the science behind food compatibility and the reason why people need to grow over the past years of trial and error tastings. Continue reading Foods that taste good together – Is there any scientific co-relation?

Children Displays Social Skills

children solving problemsResearch studies have shown that children who want rewards often display social skills which can innovate and change human culture. A Zoologist of Durham University in England, Rachel Kendal and her colleagues conducted a study by grouping kids children of 3 to 4 year olds together to solve puzzles in order to get sticker rewards. They find that children, and not chimpanzees or capuchin monkeys, can solve more multipart tasks in a puzzle box by using three social strategies. One, children who have finished solving the problems taught the other children how to solve the puzzle. Two, children copied the actions of the other kids. And the third, the children who managed to solve the puzzles shared their sticker rewards with the other children who have yet to earn their own stickers.

The children who participated in Kendal’s study tried to reach the boxes which contain the food or sticker reward by shaking the sliding door from left to right and when that did not work, by pushing any of the two buttons in order to move the opening, the last thing the kids tried is to turn the switch in the boxes using one of the available colored holes in order to slide the door further. Continue reading Children Displays Social Skills

Try this: The sieve of Eratosthenes

You will need

* A grid containing each of the numbers from one to one hundred. You can download one here
* Several colours of pencil or texta

What to do

In this activity, you will find all the prime numbers under 100. A prime number can’t be divided evenly by any whole number except one and itself. For example, three is a prime number. Six can be divided evenly by two and three, so it isn’t a prime.

1. Start out by circling 2. Two is a prime number because it can only be divided by one and two. However, any other number that is divisible by two isn’t prime. Using one colour of pencil or texta, cross out every other even number. You should find they form neat rows.
2. Now circle 3. Three is also a prime number, but any other multiple of three is not, so cross out all the multiples of three with a different coloured texta. You’ll notice these run in diagonal lines across the page. Continue reading Try this: The sieve of Eratosthenes

Repeated primes endanger internet codes

InternetEvery day across the internet, millions of secret messages are sent. Some might be messages from spies, but they aren’t the only people who keep secrets. For example, banks and online stores need to communicate without people stealing account details. Recently, a group of researchers discovered a problem with a popular encryption system. So what was the problem, and should we be worried?

If you want people to send you secret messages over the internet, you could make yourself an RSA key pair. RSA keys require two large prime numbers – these are usually several hundred digits long. You then multiply them together, and put this product on the internet for everyone to see. People can use this ‘public key’ to encode messages to send to you, but they can’t use it to decode those messages. Continue reading Repeated primes endanger internet codes

Water on Mars

MarsWhile most of the scientific community believes that at one point, billions of years ago, there was water on Mars, it has been a difficult task to prove true. Two researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Brian Hynek and Gaetano Di Achille have uncovered some new evidence that might shed light onto the subject.

While analyzing 52 different river deltas on the Martian surface, they discovered an interesting connection between 17 of them. Deltas are piles of sediment that form at the outlets of a river, similar to the one that the Mississippi River has been creating at the Gulf of Mexico. What Hynek and Achille have discovered is that 17 of the deltas on Mars are at a similar elevation within one standard deviation of each other, never straying more than 177 meters above or below the elevation they believe to be the surface of an ancient Martian ocean. Continue reading Water on Mars

Using stem cells and rats to find solutions on penile dysfunction.

ratRelief for men suffering from penile dysfunction may be at hand,if a new study using rats is anything to go by. The recent study done on rats established that putting adult stem cells on graft penis instead of using graft alone can boost healing process and enhance sexual function. Men with penile impairments usually undergo surgical procedures that may result in erectile complications.

A global authority in urology, Wayne Hellstrom of Tulane University in Lousiana wanted to know whether he could offer his patients surgical procedures by building an improvised penis graft, an endeavor in which he was joined by colleagues from California and China. The team assembled pig intestine grafts laced with mature stem cells which had been extracted from fat rat tissues. Continue reading Using stem cells and rats to find solutions on penile dysfunction.

The Link Between Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Fish and Cognitive Ability in Women

fit womenAccording to leading lipid biochemist and psychiatrist Joseph Hibbeln, the government should change its standard dietary recommendations because recent research has proven that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish increases a woman’s cognitive ability more than omega-6 fatty acids. A change in dietary recommendations is even more critical for pregnant women as a fetus might not develop properly if some nutrients are lacking.

At the University of California, Professors Steven Gaulin and William Lassek observed that women who had more fat in their hips and thighs had cognitive test scores that were higher than those whose fat accumulated around the waist. Accordingly the fat on the hips meant that the mother had more omega-3s stored as opposed to the omega 6 fatty acids stored at the waist area. Interestingly enough even the children benefitted from the omega 3s taken by their mother as proven by comparative cognitive assessments. Continue reading The Link Between Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Fish and Cognitive Ability in Women

Core of the giant stars spin at a faster rate than the exterior

giant starInside facts can provide more curiosity than that of the outside facts. Yeah! It is correct because the NASA’s kepler spacecraft has come off with a new inside fact which tells that the core of the stars rotate at a faster rate than that of the exterior. This finding has paved the way for giving inside to the fact of stars life span and genesis. Not only are those but there predictions for future basic on this finding which says that our sun is going to be a behemoth.

Giant stars are very rare. Our sun is also going to join the giant star club. The brightness of the sun is due to the conversion of helium from hydrogen. After around 6.4 billion years the burnings would form a layer around the core of the sun and will help the sun to expands and with this the color of the sun will change to yellow and then to orange color. Aftermath of this the sun will change its color to red. The giant term in connection with the stars indicates the brightness of that stars. The giant term can be applied to only around 1% of the stars present in our galaxy. Arcturus is known to be an orange giant when Capella is constituted of two yellow stars.
Doppler’s shift is applied to measure the spin of the stars. Continue reading Core of the giant stars spin at a faster rate than the exterior