(Inside Science) — Until last year, website designers had a choice of just 22 Internet domains to use as suffixes at the end of URLs, excluding country-specific ones. The familiar “dot-com” and “dot-org” hail from the Reagan era, and the trickle of new domains since has usually been met with much discussion and occasionally debate or even discontent.-->
By Sally Sheard, University of Liverpool
On October 19 an inspector sent north from London to Sunderland reported a long-awaited arrival: the first British case of cholera.
It was 1831 and as part of a second pandemic cholera had again progressed from its Bengal heartland through Europe, before reaching the Baltic ports. It was only a matter of time.
We assume that we can see the world around us in sharp detail but our eyes only process a fraction of our surroundings precisely.
In a series of experiments, psychologists at Bielefeld University investigated how the brain fools us into believing that we see in sharp detail. They find that our nervous system uses past visual experiences to predict how blurred objects would look in sharp detail.
Its central finding is that our nervous system uses past visual experiences to predict how blurred objects would look in sharp detail.
By Erik Bichard, University of Salford
The consistent message from those who would seek to exploit shale gas is that it has three distinct advantages over existing forms of fossil fuel energy: it is cheap, it has a lower influence on global warming, and it reduces the reliance in foreign imports.-->
Computer chips with superconducting circuits would be 50 to 100 times as energy-efficient as today's chips due to a lack of electrical resistance.
That means less heat, less deformation and less energy cost.
Superconducting chips also promise greater processing power. Superconducting circuits that use so-called Josephson junctions have been clocked at 770 gigahertz, or 500 times the speed of the chip in the iPhone 6.
By Christine Janis, Brown University
Extinct giant kangaroos may have been built more for walking, rather than hopping like today’s kangaroos, especially when moving slowly.-->
DNA analysis has become increasingly cost-effective since the human genome was first fully sequenced in the year 2001.
Sequencing a complete genome, however, still costs around $1,000 each so sequencing the genetic code of 100s of individuals would be expensive. For non-human studies, researchers very quickly hit the limit of financial feasibility.
In Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, the 1871 sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the title character finds a mirror that behaves in a surprising and unexpected way.
Now bizarre mirrors have become a reality.
In an Optica report, scientists have demonstrated, for the first time, a new class of mirror that works like no other
- it forgoes a familiar shiny metallic surface and instead reflects infrared light by using an unusual magnetic property of a non-metallic metamaterial.
A female engineering student walked into her first lab class. One of the male students said, “The cookery class is in another room.”-->
Parasitic bacteria were the first cousins of mitochondria, the energy factories in our cells – and first acted as energy parasites in those cells before becoming beneficial, according to a University of Virginia study that used next-generation DNA sequencing technologies to decode the genomes of 18 bacteria that are close relatives of mitochondria.
Soda consumption has been linked to obesity but a new study
in the American Journal of Public Health links it to disease independent from its role in fat.
The paper finds that telomeres, the protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells, were shorter in the white blood cells of survey participants who reported drinking more soda. The length of telomeres within white blood cells — where it can most easily be measured — has previously been associated with human lifespan. Short telomeres also have been associated with the development of chronic diseases of aging, including heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer so the link is still circumstantial.
By Nick Seymour, Curtin University
Clusters of galaxies have back-stories worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster: their existences are marked by violence, death and birth, arising after extragalactic pile-ups where groups of galaxies crashed into each other.-->
Do you like to keep your fingernails and toenails aesthetically pleasing? You could be putting yourself at risk of serious nail conditions, say researchers at the University of Nottingham who have devised equations to identify the physical laws that govern nail growth and used them to throw light on the causes of some of the most common nail problems, such as ingrown toe nails, spoon-shaped nails and pincer nails.
Writing in Physical Biology, they note that regular poor trimming can tip the fine balance of nails, causing residual stress to occur across the entire nail. That residual stress can promote a change in shape or curvature of the nail over time which, in turn, can lead to serious nail conditions.
By Rebecca Slack, University of Sheffield
How do you decide if you can trust someone?
Is it based on their handshake, the way they look you in the eye, or perhaps their body language?
A study of Samoan volcano hotspots has found evidence of the planet's early formation still trapped inside the Earth.
Volcanic island chains such as Samoa can contain ancient primordial signatures from the early solar system that have survived for billions of years. To make their determination, the researchers utilized high-precision lead and helium isotope measurements to unravel the chemical composition and geometry of the deep mantle plume feeding Samoa's volcanoes.
In most cases, volcanoes are located at the point where two tectonic plates meet, and are created when those plates collide or diverge. Hotspot volcanoes, however, are not located at plate boundaries but rather represent the anomalous melting in the interior of the plates.