Latest Blog Posts

Lovesick Cyborg

When Robot Personalities Mimic the Dead

By Jeremy Hsu | April 26, 2015 12:58 am

Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn and martial arts legend Bruce Lee represent just a few of the dead celebrities whom have been resurrected as digital avatars in TV commercials to sell products such as chocolate or whiskey. A Google patent raises a new possibility by describing robot personalities based upon the voices and behaviors of dead celebrities or loved ones. Such a vision may not necessarily come true, but it raises the question of whether people would feel comfortable deali …

Neuroskeptic

Rorschach Tests at the Nuremberg Trials

By Neuroskeptic | April 25, 2015 4:43 am

After the fall of Nazi Germany, the victorious Allies sought to bring the leaders of the Third Reich to justice in the form of the well-known Nuremberg Trials. Less famous are the attempts by  psychologists to understand the Nazi mind in the form of psychological evaluations of the Nuremberg defendants.

A new paper by Joel E. Dimsdale of the University of California San Diego looks at one of the stranger episodes in the aftermath of WW2 – the use of the Rorschach “Inkblot” Test on Nazi d …

Out There

The Many Resurrections of the Hubble Space Telescope

By Corey S. Powell | April 24, 2015 2:56 pm

If you are old enough to remember news stories from 1990 (or if you are a devoted student of astronomy), you’ll recall that the Hubble Space Telescope was not always regarded as the technological triumph that NASA is loudly celebrating today, on its 25th anniversary. The orbiting observatory debuted as a king-size disaster: the telescope that couldn’t see straight, built with a mirror that was ground perfectly…but perfectly incorrect.

The story of how the error was discovered and ultima …

MORE ABOUT: Hubble, supernova
17060978630_639829bc36_z

D-brief

WATCH: Chile's Eruption Produces Dramatic Lightning

By Carl Engelking | April 24, 2015 12:05 pm

Chile’s Calbuco Volcano awoke from a four-decade slumber Wednesday, and you could say it woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

The 90-minute eruption was a chilling demonstration of Earth’s power. Calbuco spewed a column of ash 7 miles into the sky, causing some 5,000 people in the area to evacuate for their safety. And as magma lit up the night sky, Calbuco showed the world why ancient cultures forged spiritual connections to these events.

But Calbuco showcased something …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts
MORE ABOUT: earth science

D-brief

Here's What It Feels Like to Be Invisible

By Matt Wall, Imperial College London | April 24, 2015 10:51 am

Recent advances with so-called meta-materials have shown that a practical invisibility cloak might one day be possible. But a new study has approached the scenario from the other direction, asking what it would feel like to be invisible. The answer, it turns out, is it would make us feel more confident.

The research was carried out using an extension of the classic rubber-hand illusion. In this experiment, a participant views a dummy hand being stroked with a brush, while also feeling a s …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts
MORE ABOUT: psychology

Inkfish

Marmoset Parents Teach Their Kids Not to Interrupt

By Elizabeth Preston | April 24, 2015 8:51 am

No one expects a human infant to slide into the world with a good grasp of grammar. Marmosets, another kind of chatty primate, are also poor conversationalists when they’re young. But their parents seem to teach them how it’s done. Young marmosets learn the cardinal rule of having a conversation: don’t interrupt. And if they mess up, their parents give them the silent treatment.

Common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) live in large family groups in the forests of Brazil. “Because marmoset …

Seriously, Science?

Study finds that people with higher incomes have more sex.

By Seriously Science | April 24, 2015 6:00 am

This study comes straight out of our new favorite journal, the aptly named International Journal of Manpower. Here, the author set out to determine whether there’s a relationship between how much money a person earns and how much sex they have. From a survey of 7,500 people, he found that workers who have sex 2-3 times per week earn on average 4.5 percent more than workers who have sex less often. The direction of causality is still unclear (do people have more sex because they make more mon …

Drone 360

Dad Tracks Daughter's Walk to School Via Drone

By Carl Engelking | April 23, 2015 3:43 pm

A helicopter parent is a figurative term used to describe a parent who is so wrapped up in their children’s lives, they seem to hover over their existence like a helicopter.

Well, one man from Tennessee may have become the world’s first literal helicopter parent after following his daughter to school with a drone.

This man either deserves the “Dad of the Year” award, or he was just looking for an excuse to tinker with his DJI Phantom. Either way, his 8-year-old daughter …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Top Posts

D-brief

Missing Magma Found: Huge Reservoir Beneath Yellowstone Park

By Kiona Smith-Strickland | April 23, 2015 1:00 pm

The supervolcano that lies beneath Yellowstone National Park is one of the world’s largest active volcanoes. Though it hasn’t erupted in 640,000 years, a huge volume of liquid magma exists underneath its surface.

And now scientists say that volume has been underestimated. New studies of the volcano reveal a deeper magma reservoir that holds more than four times the magma volume previously known.

Missing Magma
The study is the first time the entire Yellowstone volcanic system has b …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts

D-brief

In World First, Scientists Genetically Modify Human Embryos

By Carl Engelking | April 22, 2015 3:59 pm

Chinese researchers have officially taken science into some uncomfortable territory.

Researchers at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou have edited the genomes of human embryos, Nature reported in an exclusive Wednesday. The study, which was published in the journal Protein & Cell, confirms rumors that some scientists were conducting these ethically dubious experiments. The report has scientists sounding a warning call, as reported in Nature:
“I believe this is the first report of C …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »