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D-brief

One of the World's Oldest Beer Recipes Unearthed in China

By Nathaniel Scharping | May 23, 2016 2:07 pm

Two pits recently unearthed in China contained archaeological evidence of what could be one of the world’s oldest microbreweries.

Located at the Mijiaya archaeological site in northern China, the pits contained a number of vessels of varying shapes as well as small stoves. The archaeologists studying the site say the ancient inhabitants had all of the tools necessary to produce a favorite fermented beverage from millet, barley and other grains. They also analyzed the yellowish coating fou …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts

The Crux

Mental Health Alerts via Facebook?

By Dani-Elle Dube | May 23, 2016 1:26 pm

Every day, 730,000 comments and 420 billion statuses are posted on Facebook, 500 billion 140-character tweets are posted and 430,000 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube.
The Internet is a goldmine of data just waiting to be analyzed.
Ever since social media crept deeper and deeper into our daily lives, governments and advertisers have been utilizing this data for myriad purposes. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Ottawa, University of Alberta and the Université de Mon …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: mental health

D-brief

India Marks Success in First Reusable Spacecraft Test

By Carl Engelking | May 23, 2016 12:16 pm

The Indian Space Research Organisation is entering the next generation of space travel.

The ISRO on Monday successfully launched its pint-sized Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV-TD) prototype from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, according to an announcement from the space organization. The first test flight marks a milestone for ISRO, which started developing its concept for a reusable launch vehicle  nearly a decade ago.
Miniature Rocket
The RLV-TD is just 23 feet tall, an …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: space exploration

Neuroskeptic

Pinpointing the Origins of Migraine in the Brain

By Neuroskeptic | May 22, 2016 4:51 am

Migraines are a very unpleasant variety of headaches, often associated with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, photophobia (aversion to light) and visual disturbances. Hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer regular migraines, but their brain basis remains largely unclear.

Now a new paper reports that the origin of migraines may have been pinpointed – in the brain of one sufferer, at least. German neuroscientists Laura H. Schulte and Arne May used fMRI to record brain …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, papers, select, Top Posts
Credit: Siemens Robotics Lab

Lovesick Cyborg

Do Spider Robots Dream of 3D Printing?

By Jeremy Hsu | May 21, 2016 4:55 pm

In the classic children’s book “Charlotte’s Web,” humans are amazed by a talented spider that can weave words into her web. Spider-inspired robots could also someday amaze humans by behaving as mobile 3D printers that construct artificial structures instead of spinning silk webs. The German technology giant Siemens has been developing robotic and artificial intelligence technologies that could potentially enable swarms of such spider-worker robots to work together in building aircra …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: technology, top posts, Uncategorized

D-brief

If There's Life on Mars, We Might Not Recognize It

By Nathaniel Scharping | May 20, 2016 3:09 pm

The search for extraterrestrial life has expanded far beyond the bounds of the solar system and to the hordes of exoplanets circling foreign stars, but the search is far from over on the planet next door to us.

Mars beckons as a potential source of life not only because it is nearby and easy to study, but also because of evidence that water once, and perhaps still, flowed across its surface. In addition, organic compounds, although likely not of biological origin, have been discovered in …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

Seriously, Science?

Flashback Friday Pop quiz: which animal communicates by farting?

By Seriously Science | May 20, 2016 6:00 am

Answer: Herring! It’s been known for quite some time that these fish make unusual sounds, but it wasn’t until these scientists captured wild herring and observed them in captivity that they realized these fish produce the sounds by expelling air through their anuses. Herring are more likely to make these “Fast Repetitive Tick Sounds” (abbreviated FRTs… we assume the pun is intended) when other fish are present, suggesting that FRTs are used for social communication. Now if only I could …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Uncategorized
shutterstock_326747786

Citizen Science Salon

Better Living through Citizen Science

By Eva Lewandowski | May 20, 2016 12:23 am

People just like you are advancing medical research. Wondering where to start? Our editors have selected six projects to get you started.

MORE ABOUT: newsletter

Inkfish

To Beat Sleep Apnea, Try the Didgeridoo

By Elizabeth Preston | May 19, 2016 10:53 am

People with sleep apnea are at war with their windpipes. But they might be able to get some help from a different kind of wind pipe—namely, the Australian Aboriginal instrument called the didgeridoo.

In sleep apnea, obstructed airways stop a person’s breathing over and over at night. It’s normal for the throat muscles to relax during sleep, but for sleep apnea sufferers this relaxation combines with other factors to make breathing impossible. Apnea leads to broken sleep, snoring, and …

Neuroskeptic

Does Memory Reconsolidation Exist?

By Neuroskeptic | May 19, 2016 6:29 am

A new PNAS paper casts doubt on an influential theory of memory.

The reconsolidation hypothesis holds that when a memory is recalled, its molecular trace in the brain becomes plastic, meaning that the memory has to be consolidated or ‘saved’ all over again in order for it to persist. In other words, remembering makes a memory vulnerable to being modified or erased. Reconsolidation has generated lots of research interest and even speculation that blocking reconsolidation could be used as a …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: FixingScience, papers, select, Top Posts
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