Category Archives: Science

Strange FM signal broadcasting from Ganymede!

Something interesting is occurring on Ganymede.

NASA recently extended the life of two of its planetary discovery missions, including the Juno mission to Jupiter. Now it’s come to light Juno has discovered an FM signal emanating from one of the gas giant’s moons, Ganymede.

The discovery is not an indication of extraterrestrial life, but it is fascinating nonetheless, given it’s the first time it’s been discovered coming from the celestial satellite.

Get the full details over on Fox news.

Most Common Electrical Faults (And How To Fix Them)

Sometimes, our trusted and beloved electrical devices can grow faulty, and there are many different reasons for that. From occurrences such as power surges and overheating, things can happen to our technology that can cause damage that ranges from slight issues to machine breaking problems.

Furthermore, many of these faults are common and can be easily avoided and fixed, as long as you know what to look out for and what you should be avoiding. Here are some of the most common electrical faults that can cause your electronics to not perform at their best, as well as some ideas on how to fix them.

Power Surges

Sometimes, the voltage coming from our mains electricity can suddenly increase in power, and this is known as a power surge. This can be caused by numerous things, such as lightning strikes, damage to power lines and even poor-quality electrical wiring in the house. Surges only last a couple of microseconds, but frequent occurrences can damage electrical components within connected machines, degrading their life expectancy.

To reduce the amount of power surges, it might be worth disconnecting shoddy and cheap electronics, as these are often the main culprits. Another protective measure is to connect tvs diodes to your devices as these are components that can protect sensitive electronics from transient voltages.

Faulty Light Switches

A flickering light or a dimmer switch that doesn’t adjust light properly can be extremely annoying. More often than not, these issues are a result of poor workmanship in the electrical wiring or may be down to sub-standard products. The best way to fix these issues is to get in a reliable and well-reviewed electrician to assess the situation.

Faults in the lighting can be signs that the switches have been superseded and that important fixtures have been removed. There may also be a fault with the actual outlet or circuit within your house, but thankfully, all of these can be rectified with help from a specialist.

Tripping Circuit Breaker

A circuit breaker that’s constantly tripping can be extremely frustrating, especially when you don’t know why it’s always turning itself off. High wattage items such as microwaves, toasters, or hairdryers can cause circuits to trip when they’re used alongside other power consuming items that are collectively sucking up too much juice.

To help solve this issue, it’s best to uses high power items on their own and to disconnect other items so that circuits aren’t overloaded. You can also try to use these items at lower settings so that your circuitry can cope better; however, sometimes a tripped circuit can indicate a busted item that’s not working as it should.

High Energy Bill

An unexpectedly high energy bill can be suggestive of a faulty electrical item that’s using a lot more electricity than it should to operate. This most commonly happens to fridges, freezers, and washing machines and can be a result of their filters becoming jammed with dust and other particles, or because they’re overloaded. To solve this issue, be sure to vacuum and clean the fans and filters regularly so that they’re not obstructed and try to reduce your loads. Doing so might save your devices and also a few bucks on your bills as well.

Cognitive Benefits Of Video Games For Kids

For a long time now, video games have been dismissed by many people. This is because they believed that they are only addictive. They didn’t think that there were any benefits to playing video games. However, recent studies show that there are actually cognitive benefits of playing video games for kids, and for adults too. While kids play video games on their consoles, adults can also play their favourites on PC or mobile, including online casino games, visit In this post, we share with you, the benefit of video games. Read on.

Improves coordination

When you play video games, you don’t just stare at the computer without any activity. In fact, video games have a lot of actions and activities, which provides mental stimulation. As you play, you will need to coordinate your physical, audial, and visual movements.

Improves problem-solving skills

There are set rules in all video games. Breaking these rules means that you won’t be able to move to the next level, or you may lose a life. That means you will have to think carefully before you make any move. You will also need to think fast which improves your problem-making skills.

Enhances memory

When playing video games, both your visual, and audial, memory will be required. As we’ve seen from some French casinos, they offer games that are going to challenge your mind. That means, you will need to listen to or read instructions carefully at the beginning, so that you’ll be able to use that same information later in the game. You will also need to master the keys so that you can play easily.

Improves attention and concentration

When you play certain video games, especially action-packed games, your attention is captured for the duration of the game. This will help you achieve certain objectives.

It is a great source of learning

Most education institutions nowadays incorporate video games as teaching methodologies. As a result, pupils learn faster and improve their academic skills as the video games enhance creative and cognitive skills. We predict that this will be a future trend as it is yielding results.

Astronauts travelling to Mars may suffer serious gastro-intestinal issues

A NASA sanctioned University of Georgetown study reveals that long-distance travel could have very harmful effects on an astronauts gastrointestinal tracts.

Quote from Southwest Wales Argus:

Serious tummy upsets may be one of the greatest obstacles to deep space travel, new research suggests.

Radiation exposure on a trip to Mars or beyond could significantly damage astronauts’ stomachs and intestines, according to the findings.

This is likely to result in long-term functional impairments, such as ineffective nutrient absorption, or cancer.

Scientists made the discovery after exposing mice to low doses of electrically charged iron particles, one of the most harmful forms of galactic cosmic radiation (GCR).

Found via Inside Space daily newsletter. Please subscribe.

Casting a $20 Million Mirror for the World’s Largest Telescope

Building a mirror for any giant telescope is no simple feat. The sheer size of the glass, the nanometer precision of its curves, its carefully calculated optics, and the adaptive software required to run it make this a task of herculean proportions.

The recent castings of the 15-metric ton, off-axis mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope forced engineers to push the design and manufacturing process beyond all previous limits.

If you broke one of those, I suspect you’d have bad luck until the sun finally collapses in on itself 🙂

Early Earthquake Warnings Through Gravity Waves

Engadget as an interesting story about technology to save lives with early earthquake warnings:

Tracking minor changes in gravity when an earthquake hits could buy us precious life-saving minutes, according to a new study published in the journal Science. Revisiting data from the huge 2011 Japan earthquake, the researchers indicate that shifts in gravity could’ve told people the scale of the quake three minutes after it began. The findings come on the heels of a separate study (presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America) that theorized that 2018 would see a surge in earthquakes, due to a slight slowing of the rotation of the Earth.

Second Gen Clones – Snuppy’s Legacy

Cloning is an area of science that has received a lot of criticism and harassment from certain religious sects. The act of “playing god” does not sit well with some, and many have been outspoken about this fact. Either way, the science itself has continued to progress with breakthroughs made each year. Recently, the most significant development came in the form of three adorable puppies.

The fact that each of the three puppies shares the same nuclear DNA is not significant in itself; what does make them unique is the fact that the cells originated in a dog that was also a clone, essentially making the puppies second-generation clones. The cloned cell donor was an Afghan hound born in 2005 called Snuppy whose name is an acronym for the Seoul National University. The re-cloned puppies, which are just over a year old, were developed from stem cells that were harvested back in 2010.

The science of cloning dates back to 1952 when scientists first removed the nucleus from a somatic cell in a tadpole and transferred it into a frog egg to replace the original nucleus. Somatic cells are any cells from the body other than eggs or sperm. From these humble beginnings, scientists were able to work their way up to mammals, finding success in Dolly the sheep in 1996. Since then, there has been success with cloned pigs, cats, rabbits, cattle, goats and mice. However, dogs represented a new challenge, just like many online real money pokies would offer those who had never spun the reels before!

From Snuppy To Puppies

According to the study, female dogs only come onto heat once a year and the ovulated eggs cannot be fertilised straight away. The eggs have to mature in the oviduct on their way to the uterus, which makes the process of harvesting them a logistical nightmare. The first canine success came with Snuppy who was cloned from an ear cell of an Afghan hound called Tai. The 12-year-old male dog was diagnosed with cancer and euthanized, never knowing just how much his legacy lives on.

As for Snuppy, he lived a full 10 years before dying of cancer as well. Snuppy’s age dispelled the myth that cloned animal’s live significantly shorter lives. It has long been thought that cloning increases the risk of disease and reduces the lifespan on the animal due to the fact that Dolly the Sheep died at age 6 while her breed usually lives to around 11 or 12 years. It seems that healthy living is as important for clones as it is for us, but if genes are predisposed to illness, it may affect life span.

The fact that Snuppy live to a ripe old age, led scientists to re-clone their original clone, implanting 94 embryos with Snuppy cells into seven female dogs. Four of the 94 embryos grew to term and resulted in normal births. One of the four puppies died a few days later though. The three surviving puppies are healthy and at over one year old, show no signs are accelerated ageing or prone to disease at previously thought. Speaking to the press, the study Authors said that with data from Tai and Snuppy, they can monitor the long-term health and aging processes in the second-generation clones.

Industrial Mining, How It Has Been Made Techier Than Ever 

Technology is rapidly helping to evolve the construction sector, and this is also the case when it comes to industrial mining. One of the main reasons for this is that mining sites and companies are wanting to improve their productivity, cost savings and safety advancements, while helping to improve the economy of the mining. Global mining productivity has been declining over the past few years, across the entire industry, and it will be down to digital and technological innovations to help transform key aspects of mining in order to produce a fundamental shift in both safety and value in the mining sector.


Automation in mining is already happening and the likelihood is this is only going to increase in commercial use. This will not only help to improve safety but also help to streamline operations, making a mining operation more productive and cost-efficient. Although some miners may be concerned about their jobs being at risk because of this rise in technology in the field, this automation of machinery will actually help to improve their jobs, as they will end up working in remote operation centres rather than on the field at risk of accident. Man-operated jaw crushers will soon become a thing of the past with new innovations producing more efficient capabilities. Advances in autonomous equipment will help to make the mining process more efficient and affordable, and aspects such as artificial intelligence is helping to increase the intelligence and capabilities of robotic equipment, allowing them to take complete hold of most mining processes.

Analytics & Intelligence

A growth and advancement in analytics will help complex mining tasks to be carried out quickly and easily with statistical algorithms. Complex mining tasks such as geological modelling, on-the-day scheduling and predictive maintenance can be carried out efficiently through advanced analytics and intelligence. This may also help to provide a deeper understanding of the resource base, as statistics can help to make sense of exploration data to help when it comes to optimising drill and blast patterns and creating an executable mine plan. Not only will this help with the job in hand, it will also be cost-efficient and result in higher levels of productivity.

More Advanced Equipment

One of the main reasons how the industrial mining industry is being made techier than ever is through an advancement in the digital innovations of equipment. Drills, bits and crushers are all being made more efficient, cost-effective and easy to use, alongside the automation process of this machinery, this can really help to improve a mining sites’ outcome. With this technology, wastage will be reduced and the equipment will help to provide an even more optimum outcome.


Drones and other forms of technology can help to monitor real-time performance, in order to accurately predict time frames and outcomes. Knowing every piece of equipment at every second, and real-time insights will allow operations to have more advanced performance management. With this, decision making can be improved, and real-time responses can help to improve output, while improving safety and ensuring low operating costs.


The science behind your favorite gemstone’s sparkle 

While there are believed to be some 2,500 minerals out there, only 60 or so have ever made the grade as gemstones, finding their way into the jewelry we wear, the accessories we adorn our lives with, and the collectables that pass from generation to generation. Gemstones are typically beautiful, colorful, and dazzling, and we will often find ourselves drawn to the seemingly infinite authority that they possess. Gemstones have the power to take our breath away, and to transform drab outfits and items in an instant.

More than their physical appearance, though, gemstones are a part of our heritage, so heavily ingrained in myth and folklore across the ages, as well as buried in literature and modern culture. For example, the moonstone, which appeared as the focus of Wilkie Collins’ novel of the same name, has long been believed to bring good luck, fortune, and passion, while the pearl, which has appeared across literature, television, and film, is said to bring luck, wisdom through experience, and protection. Many cultures believe that pearls appeared as tears of the gods, or as a result of an ancient battle being won.

Gems help and guide us, and apparently cure all ailments, but where do they come from? Which gem is your favorite – and why?

This is the science bit

The study of gemstones and precious minerals is called gemology. This branch of science studies their hardness and durability, gravity or density, size and shape, optical and physical properties, color, and weaknesses, as well as the ways in which gems are formed, and processed, in order to create timeless pieces of jewelry, clothing, and collectables. While gemstones are typically identified by their beauty, sparkle, and color, there are so many other things that you could discover about your favorite gems and jewels.


A variety of the mineral corundum, or aluminum oxide, rubies take their name from the word “ruber”, which is Latin for red. That famous red color is actually due to the presence of chromium, a colored element. The ruby is one of the four precious stones and, as such, is highly sought-after. While geologists cannot be sure how rubies are formed, many believe that rubies occur when their base mineral, corundum, is exposed to chromic oxide during a process called isomorphous replacement. Rubies are usually judged on their cut, color, and clarity, as well as the carat weight; rubies have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale, and share their mineral with sapphires.


They’re known for being a girl’s best friend, but diamonds have a whole lot of science behind their shimmering appearance. For example, did you know that diamonds are a metastable allotrope or carbon, or that they’re the hardest element on Earth? The strong covalent bond between each diamond’s atoms ensures that each precious gem is as durable as can be. While diamonds are typically formed under incredible heat and pressure towards the Earth’s center, they’re a gemstone that can be made synthetically. Gemesis, now known as Pure Grown Diamonds, is just one of the companies that is able to “grow” diamonds using proprietary technology, ensuring that this much sought-after stone remains reasonably priced and available for all, as well as sustainable. Indeed, many of the company’s gems are available at some 20-30% less than those that have been mined, a fact carefully monitored by buyout purchaser Jatin Mehta. This most precious of gems is judged upon its cut, its clarity, its color, and its carat – the four Cs.

Rose quartz

Rose quartz is a dusky pink variant of the quartz crystal, and is found abundantly in the natural world. Often overlooked for its hazy, or flawed, appearance, rose quartz is far more affordable and popular than other gemstones, though the deeper pink crystals are sought-after. This particular gemstone is formed in pegmatite after periods of high temperature and pressure, and is used across crystal healing. Emanating a gentle radiance, rose quartz is thought to inspire love, beauty, serenity, and compassion. It is judged on its size, clarity, and color.

Hopefully, we have whetted your appetite and inspired you to find out more. Gems are so much more than the jewels we wear, and the stones we admire; they are ingrained in myth and legend, and created via some of science’s most complicated processes. What is the secret behind your favorite gemstone’s sparkle?

Meatless Leather from the Lab 

meatless leather

Modern Meadow is a start-up company in New York that creates leather in a laboratory setting. There’s no animal to slaughter, no hair or fat to be removed and less need for all the harsh chemicals involved in the tanning process. This company biofabricates the leather in labs and foundries. Biofabrication involves manipulating cells to produce collagen and other proteins that make up a leather that is biologically identical to other leathers.

The process is rather scientific. They can recreate leathers from cows, pigs, sheep, goats, alligators, and even camels. The thickness and texture can be manipulated for the intended end use. Say you want a supple leather jacket that looks like deer hide. Or maybe you want a pair of wicked alligator boots. Modern Meadow can make the leather you need. Their products are aiming to fill the leather needs of the clothing, furniture, sporting goods and upholstery industry. I have a leather case for my tablet that I use to get on to play bingo.

Their other goal is to create these leathers in a more environmentally sustainable way. Animals will not be killed. The environment is less impacted and fewer chemicals are involved. Bioengineering the perfect leather for a specific product line leads to much less wasted materials and the ability to make products more exacting in form and function.

You can see how the start-up company is faring on Bloomberg. Also check out this Scientific American magazine article.

All in all, the concept of lab-created leather sounds remarkable in the environmental savings, and design aspect. The only concern is going to be the cost of the end product. Can the technology involved be scaled to a point where people can afford alternative leather goods or will this go on to be a niche product? Only time will tell.

Scientists in China may have finally created living mice using artificial mouse sperm in a dish

Courtesy: Xiao-Yang Zhao/Qi Zhou/Jia-Hao Sha
Courtesy: Xiao-Yang Zhao/Qi Zhou/Jia-Hao Sha

Researchers claim to have made artificial mouse sperm in a dish

Researchers in China have found a method for being able to make “rudimentary” mouse sperm in a dish. What is even more interesting is that they then claim to be able to produce offspring from that artificial sperm and they even have three living mice as a result of their experiments.

Maybe in a few decades we can create artificial sperm for humans to deliver customized DNA?

Via Sciencewrld

Venus flytraps can count, say scientists

venus flytrap

The Venus flytrap’s habit of chowing down on flies and other bugs may be centered around its ability to count — as in how many times it needs to be touched before clamping down on its prey, according to a new study.

While the carnivorous plant does not apply Common Core math solutions to know when it’s meal time, the Venus flytrap has the ability to keep track of the number of times it is touched, allowing it to react on a routine basis to bugs.

Head over to Newsmax for this interesting story.

Astrobiologists Revise the Chances of Finding Advanced ET Civilizations

A rapid increase in our knowledge of alien worlds has dramatically changed the way scientists are interpreting the famous Drake equation. You can find the Cornell astrophysics paper describing this here: A New Empirical Constraint on the Prevalence of Technological Species in the Universe

MIT Technology review has a write up on what this means here.

In the Cornell paper they address the cosmic frequency of technological species. Recent advances in exoplanet studies provide strong constraints on all astrophysical terms in the Drake Equation. Using these and modifying the form and intent of the Drake equation they show that we can set a firm lower bound on the probability that one or more additional technological species have evolved anywhere and at any time in the history of the observable Universe.

The researchers find that as long as the probability that a habitable zone planet develops a technological species is larger than ~10?24, then humanity is not the only time technological intelligence has evolved. This constraint has important scientific and philosophical consequences.

Fermi redux