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Here Are The Most Mind-Blowing Science Facts We’ve Learnt in 2018 So Far

1. SpaceX didn’t just launch a Tesla Roadster into space back in February – there was a second payload hidden inside the car. A small Arch (pronounced ‘Ark’) designed to last for millions, if not billions, of years in the extreme environments of space is now making its way across our Solar System, carrying with it a library’s worth of information about humanity.

2. Bitcoin is in a precarious legal position following the discovery of links to child pornography hidden within the blockchain code. As of right now, the legal status of the most famous cryptocurrency is unclear.

3. The largest underwater cave system exists below Mexico spanning an incredible 347 kilometres (216 miles) – and it’s filled with hidden Maya treasures.

4. It’s official – birds of prey in Australia deliberately start dangerous forest fires. This is something that’s long been observed by Indigenous populations, but only confirmed by science in January this year.

5. Scientists have identified the physical source of anxiety in the brain… and figured out how to control it with light.

6. There’s a weird anomaly underneath Africa that’s dramatically weakening Earth’s magnetic field. In case you think we’re exaggerating, the effect is so pronounced, it’s now hazardous for Earth’s satellites to enter it – the magnetic field is so weak in the area it can’t guarantee protection for electronics from damaging space radiation. More worryingly, this could be an early sign that Earth’s magnetic poles are getting set to flip.

7.  And if Earth’s poles do flip, we’re unprepared for the side effects.

8. A review of 6,000 studies across two decades has given us yet another solid, peer-reviewed verdict on the health impacts of genetically modified corn. The verdict? It isn’t bad for you.

9. For the first time ever, astronomers were able to detect planets outside our galaxy. Researchers used a technique known as gravitational microlensing to detect extragalactic planets ranging in masses as small as the Moon to as great as Jupiter in a galaxy 3.8 billion light years away. Just wrap your tiny noggin around that.

10. We were wrong – rats definitely didn’t spread the black plague back in the 14th century. After centuries of blaming rodents, science has now shown once and for all that it was most likely human lice and fleas that spread the disease, killing tens of millions of people.

11. An incredibly popular herbal supplement is actually an opioid. And a dangerous one at that.

12. Black holes are weirder than we thought. It turns out not only do they eject matter, they can belch it out twice. For the first time, astronomers have observed a black hole gobble up a star and then burp out two giant jets of particles.

13. There’s now “very strong evidence” that alcohol can directly damage DNA in crucial stem cells, which could explain the link between drinking and increased cancer risk. 🙁

14. Biologists counted all the protein molecules in a single yeast cell and the answer really is 42… million.

15. Ancient humans were super promiscuous. Not only did they have lots of sex with Neanderthals, new research has shown they also bred with a mysterious human-like species called the Denisovans. The evidence remains in our gene pool to this day.

16. Naked mole rats have yet another superpower. In addition to being immune to cancer, they also DO. NOT. AGE. If you’re a naked mole rat, your chances of dying don’t increase as you get older. As you might imagine, scientists are eagerly investigating further.

17. Scientists can now generate “negative mass” in the lab. A team of physicists says they’ve built a device that’s capable of generating mysterious particles known as ‘polaritons‘ that behave as if they have negative mass.

18. A small pebble discovered in south-west Egypt is not only extraterrestrial in origin, it doesn’t appear to come from our Solar System at all. Known as the Hypatia stone, it contains micro-mineral compounds not known to occur anywhere on Earth, not found in any other meteorites, and not known to occur anywhere in the Solar System. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

19. Speaking of Egypt, a scientist thinks he’s figured out the secret to the pyramids’ uncannily perfect alignment. By simply using shadows that fall on the autumnal equinox, the researcher showed that ancient Egyptians would have been able to align the pyramids almost perfectly along the cardinal points – north-south-east-west.

20. Experiments have shown the effects of a fourth spatial dimension.

21. We’ve finally found something that can kill cockroaches – one of the world’s longest and creepiest worms, known as the bootlace worm. Or, more affectionately, living horror noodle.

22. In case you were wondering, we also now know exactly what deep-sea anglerfish look like after they mate, and, yeah, it’s weird.

Read More On This At ScienceAlert – Latest


Science & Technology

Japan has developed an inflatable scooter that weighs practically nothing

The University of Tokyo engineers have developed the Poimo inflatable electric scooter, which is created individually for each owner. It is enough to send your photo to the manufacturers – and a personal optimized model will be assembled for you.

The scooter is designed with a special program for the body size of a particular user and his specific fit. Moreover, each owner is free to make any changes to this model. If he makes any changes to the drawing, the program will automatically redesign the electric bike to maintain its strength, stability and controllability. When the model is finished and approved, it is handed over to the manufacturer.

Scooter Poimo

The scooter consists of seven separate inflatable sections that are constructed from durable fabric and sewn with straight stitch. It remains to add electronic components – in particular, a brushless motor and a lithium-ion battery. 

The finished electric scooter weighs about 9 kg and can travel at speeds up to 6 km / h (that is, slightly faster than a pedestrian). It can work for an hour on one charge.

This is how the current version of Poimo looks like in action:

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Science & Technology

Excerpts from Elon Musk’s speech at the Martian Society convention

Elon Musk’s comments with questions relayed from the Mars Society Membership by Dr. Robert Zubrin, James L. Burk, and Carie Fay. Following Elon’s 30 min time, Dr. Zubrin took additional questions. This special event was part of the 2020 Mars Society Virtual Convention from October 14-18, 2020.

About Starship Test Schedule:

– entering orbit – with a probability of 80% -90% will take place in 2021

– the probability of the return of the ship and the 1st stage in this flight is 50%

– test of refueling in orbit – 2022

– Starship lunar version – 2022 or 2023

– Starship flight to Mars – around 2024

The goal of the Starship is to build a self-sufficient settlement on Mars as quickly as possible. Musk does not rule out the possibility that this will not be achieved during his lifetime. According to his rough estimates, to create a self-sufficient city, it will be necessary to deliver 1 million tons of cargo, which corresponds to 4-5 million tons in a low Earth orbit. Modern single-use launch vehicles are capable of removing less than 1% of this value.

“Disposable launch vehicles are completely stupid. They are a waste of time. I think people need to stop wasting time on this. If you try to sell a disposable plane, you will be thrown out of the office. If you try to sell a disposable car, you will also be thrown out of the office. “

A series of questions and answers followed:

What is the best landing site on Mars?

– I’m not sure about that. But I can name the criteria. The first of these is latitude: most likely it will be in the northern hemisphere, far enough to the north to have water ice, but to still have enough sunlight.It also needs to be low to get the most benefit from atmospheric braking.

How do you prioritize mission priorities: research, infrastructure construction, and science?

– The first will be the construction of a fuel plant.

A question from a teenager who wants to become an engineer and robot maker with a dream to work at SpaceX: what is the most important education in order to become an engineer?

– There are many varieties of this profession: you can be an aerospace engineer, in the field of electronics, software, or a chemical engineer involved in creating safe production of fuels. I think physics is a good foundation for critical thinking.

Boring Company was originally conceived as a tunnel manufacturing firm on Mars?

– No. It was originally something of a joke. I thought tunnels were a good solution to reduce the traffic problem in cities and improve the quality of life by turning parking lots into green parks. To do this, you need to go to 3d [get away from the “flat” infrastructure – approx. per.]. I think tunnels are good for Mars too. But there you need a lot lighter equipment: you don’t care about mass on Earth, but you will have to take care of it a lot when going to Mars.

At Boring Company, have you learned a lot of technology that might come in handy on Mars?

– I think, yes.

Do you have any tips for young people who love Mars but don’t know how to participate in its settlement?

– I think any strong advocate of the need to conquer Mars matters. People often don’t even think about it. I often talk to people who don’t even know about it. Therefore, I consider it important for humanity and consciousness in general to bring a discussion about this to society. Talking about it with friends and acquaintances – I think this is what we should do. In my estimate, we will spend less than 1% of our efforts on Mars exploration, exactly less than healthcare, perhaps even less than cosmetics – this will be enough to make life multi-planetary. But this requires people to start talking about it 100 times more often. I think this is what really matters. [the entire cosmonautics of the world is $ 424 billion a year, while cosmetics is $ 532 billion, and tobacco production is $ 849 billion – approx. per.]

What’s the coolest part about Starship development?

– I think the coolest detail is the ability to work with a great group of engineers and come up with interesting solutions. I think the best thing is the opportunity to work with smart and creative people who come up with solutions that were not available before. This is a great reward.

What do you focus on when hiring, especially with regard to engineers?

“We’re looking for signs of exceptional ability. Or at the very least, striving to do exceptional things at SpaceX.

Are you planning to make a Mars-Earth communication system like Starlink?

– Yes, I think we will use a laser, probably launched into orbit, to avoid atmospheric diffraction. Thus, it will be a laser beam going from the orbit of the Earth to the orbit of Mars. And also relay satellites in solar orbit, since the laser beam cannot be sent through the Sun [when it is between Mars and Earth – approx. per.].

Can Starship be used for other destinations like Venus and other planets?

– Starship will be able to travel to any target in the solar system that has a solid surface when fuel depots appear. It is not the kind of transport that will take us to other stars, but when we become a multi-planetary species, we will create a demand for innovation in space travel that will ultimately lead us to interstellar travel.

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Cern Scientists Plan an Impressive Experiment – They Will Come Into A Parallel Universe

Cern scientists are once again preparing to impress the entire planet and become the focus of discussions with the new experiment they are planning.

An experiment that, if it brings the fascinating result that scientists have in mind,  will change the way we think about the world , will take place in the next few days at the Large Hadron Collider, the European nuclear center, Geneva CERN Research.

The astonishingly LHC complex, the largest, most energetic elemental accelerator in the world,  will be “fired” for the first time to its highest energy levels, in an effort to detect – or even create – tiny black holes. 

If it succeeds, then, a completely new universe will be revealed – rewriting not only the books of physics, but also the books of philosophy! 

It is possible, however,  that gravity from our universe will “leak” into this parallel universe, as LHC scientists say. 

From the Higgs boson to dark matter and the parallel universe

According to the British Express, the experiment is sure to “trigger” the critics, who are worried about the LHC, many of whom warn that the elementary particle accelerator will mark the end of our universe, creating a of the black hole.

Nevertheless,  Geneva has remained … intact since 2008, when the LHC began its spectacular “work”.

The first scientists at the Large Hadron Collider proved the existence of the Higgs boson – a key building block of the universe – and the LHC appears to be on track to locate “dark matter” – a previously undetectable force now considered that it constitutes the majority of matter in the universe, being, in fact, the reason why the latter is constantly expanding and moving away. 

So next week’s experiment is considered to change the game. 

The truth is out there

Mir Faizal, one of three heads of the three natural groups behind the experiment, said: 

“Like many parallel sheets, which are two-dimensional objects (width and length) can exist in a third dimension (height) , so parallel universes can also exist in higher dimensions. We anticipate that gravity can leak into extra dimensions, and if that happens, then tiny black holes can be produced in the LHC. 

Normally, when people think of the multiverse, they think of the interpretation of quantum mechanics by many worlds, where every possibility is realized. This cannot be tested and so it is a philosophy and not a science. We do not mean this with parallel universes. What we mean is real universes, in extra dimensions. The truth is out there.”

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