Fructose Amplifies Cravings for High-Fat Foods

By Carl Engelking | May 4, 2015 1:59 pm

shutterstock_97352366

Fructose and glucose are both sugars, they’re both prevalent in our diets and they both contain the same amount of calories. But one sugar makes you crave junk food more than the other.

When compared to glucose, consuming fructose — ubiquitous in soft drinks and juices — enhances the brain’s sensitivity to images of fatty foods, increases cravings, and even makes people more willing to give up long-term monetary rewards in favor of a high calorie snack’s instant gratification. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts

Mars Astronauts Could Suffer Brain Damage From Cosmic Rays

By Kiona Smith-Strickland | May 1, 2015 1:00 pm
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is currently on a one-year mission at the ISS to understand physiological effects of future Mars missions. Credit: NASA

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is currently on a one-year mission at the ISS to understand physiological effects of future Mars missions. Credit: NASA

Beyond the protection of Earth’s magnetic field, charged atomic nuclei whiz through space at nearly the speed of light. This radiation is one of NASA’s biggest concerns as it considers manned missions to Mars.

And a new study on mice finds that exposure to the equivalent of a few weeks of space radiation made them perform poorly on tests of learning and memory, and visibly damaged their brain cells.

Read More

MORE ABOUT: mars, space exploration

This Website Wants to Guess Your Age

By Carl Engelking | April 30, 2015 4:40 pm

mona-lisa

Microsoft thinks it can guess your age.

Engineers at the software company wanted to test their newly released face detection software, which guesses your age and sex, so they opened it up to the public. They hoped to get 50 respondents — and they got over 35,000 in a few hours. But be forewarned, How-Old.net will either make your day, or ruin it. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts

Messenger Spacecraft Is Closing in on Mercury Crash-Landing

By Carl Engelking | April 30, 2015 1:34 pm
This false-color image of Mercury shows the planned crash site as reported by the NYTimes. Credit: Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

This false-color image of Mercury shows the planned crash site as reported by the NYTimes. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Today, humanity will make a permanent blemish on the surface of Mercury, with a planned spacecraft impact on the planet.

In 2011, NASA’s Messenger probe became the first spacecraft to enter Mercury’s orbit, and it has collected troves of data and photos of the innermost member of our solar system. But the time has come to say goodbye. At 3:26 EDT Thursday, Messenger will slam into the surface of Mercury and leave behind a crater that’s 52 feet in diameter as its lasting legacy. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

One in Six Species Could Go Extinct With Climate Change

By Kiona Smith-Strickland | April 30, 2015 1:00 pm

newt

If climate change continues on its current track, one out of every six species on Earth could be at risk of extinction.

That’s the conclusion of a new meta-analysis of 131 published studies, looking at everything from Costa Rica’s insects to Arctic foxes to California oak trees. The study is one of the most comprehensive surveys of how biodiversity will fare in a warmer climate. It found that the rate of biodiversity loss doesn’t rise linearly but actually accelerates with each degree of warming – highlighting the need for an urgent change of course.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts

Tiny Dinosaur with Bat-Like Wings Discovered in China

By Kiona Smith-Strickland | April 29, 2015 12:00 pm
yi-qi

Artist’s impression of the new dinosaur Yi qi. Credit: Dinostar Co. Ltd

Scientists have long known that modern birds are the descendants of dinosaurs. Many small dinosaurs in the late Jurassic period even had feathers.

Now, paleontologists in China say that they’ve identified the fossils of one of the earliest flying dinosaurs, but its wings are nothing like those of modern birds. They’re so different, in fact, that paleontologists Xu Xing and Zheng Xiaoting named the little dinosaur Yi qi (pronounced “ee chee”), which means “strange wing” in Mandarin. Despite being a close relative of feathered birds, Yi qi had wings that looked more like those of modern bats or flying squirrels. The discovery raises more questions about the origins of flight.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
MORE ABOUT: dinosaurs

New Homing Bullets Can Hit Moving Targets

By Carl Engelking | April 28, 2015 3:10 pm

bullet

If there’s an overarching theme for weapons research at the U.S. Department of Defense research agency DARPA it’s this: You can run, but you can’t hide.

DARPA researchers have recently tested homing bullets that maneuver themselves in-flight to hit moving targets from long distance. Researchers first tested the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) earlier this year, and expert, as well as novice, marksmen consistently hit a target from hundreds of yards away.  Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts
MORE ABOUT: weapons & security

WATCH: X-Ray Vision of an Exploding Lithium-Ion Battery

By Carl Engelking | April 28, 2015 1:07 pm
Jets of molten material shoot out of a battery after it overheats. (Credit: Shearing et al., Nature Communications)

Jets of molten material shoot out of a battery after it overheats. (Credit: Shearing et al., Nature Communications)

Lithium-ion batteries have drawn lots of headlines in recent years, and not in a good way. From the fires caused by the batteries in Boeing planes to exploding Tesla car batteries, these ubiquitous batteries powering our tech have shown they have a dark side.

These fiery events are extremely rare. However, scientists want to understand why these explosions occur, especially since phones, tablets and automobiles will be increasingly reliant on these batteries in the future.

And this week scientists took a big step toward discerning the root cause of blow-ups, by observing and recording a lithium-ion battery meltdown, for the first time, using X-ray vision. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts
MORE ABOUT: computers, gadgets

Hate Yard Work? Amazon Lets You Hire a Goat

By Carl Engelking | April 27, 2015 2:13 pm

shutterstock_217658998

To relieve customers of backbreaking yard work, various manufacturers have rolled out their versions of the automatic, robotic lawnmower.

Amazon, on the other hand, has a different solution: goats.

Yes, the same company that wants to revolutionize its delivery capabilities with drones is currently testing a service that allows you to hire a goat to trim your shrubs. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
MORE ABOUT: animals

Nepal’s Earthquake Combined High Risk and High Vulnerability

By Simon Redfern, University of Cambridge | April 27, 2015 1:59 pm

nepal-earthquake

For some time scientists have realized that the Kathmandu valley is one of the most dangerous places in the world, in terms of earthquake risk. And now a combination of high seismic activity at the front of the Tibetan plateau, poor building standards, and haphazard urbanization have come together with fatal consequences.

The magnitude 7.9 earthquake that hit Nepal hit just before noon, local time, on Saturday around 48 miles north west of Kathmandu. The Indian tectonic plate is driving beneath the Eurasian plate at an average rate of 45mm per year along a front that defines the edge of the Tibetan plateau. This force created the Himalayas, and Nepal lies slap bang along that front. The quake was shallow, estimated at 12km depth, and devastating as the Indian crust thrust beneath Tibet one more time.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts
MORE ABOUT: natural disasters
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

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

D-brief

Briefing you on the must-know news and trending topics in science and technology today.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

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 »