Science, Technology and Innovation

‘Ice Wall’ Is Japan’s Last-Ditch Effort To Contain Fukushima Radiation

Five years after the earthquake and tsunami, Japan is still picking up the pieces. Japanese authorities have activated a large subterranean “ice wall” in a desperate attempt to stop radiation that’s been leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for five years… Source: ‘Ice Wall’ Is Japan’s Last-Ditch Effort To Contain Fukushima Radiation Read More »

Decision on coal mine ‘defies reason’

The decision on Sunday to approve mining leases for Queensland’s Carmichael coal mine is akin to “evil”, according to one of the world’s foremost marine scientists. “It defies reason,” said Dr Charlie Veron, former chief scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science. “I think there is no single action that could be as harmful to the Great Barrier Reef as the Carmichael coal mine.”… Source: Decision on coal mine ‘defies reason’ Read More »

Doctors urge radical reduction in blood-alcohol limits, increasing drinking age

Access to alcohol would be drastically reduced under a radical rethink of liquor laws, taxes and sales being urged by one of the country’s most influential groups of doctors. The blood-alcohol limit for all drivers would decrease from .05 to .02 and then to zero, while the legal drinking age would rise and governments would further restrict the trading hours of licensed premises and bottle… Source: Doctors urge radical reduction in blood-alcohol limits, increasing drinking age Read More »

Smoking during pregnancy alters baby’s DNA

Pregnant mothers who smoke chemically alter the DNA in their unborn babies, mirroring patterns seen in adult tobacco users, scientists have discovered. In one of the largest studies of its kind, international researchers analysed the DNA of more than 6000 mothers from around the world and their newborn children. Mothers were questioned about their smoking habits and the results showed that children of the 13 per cent of women who smoked daily throughout most of their pregnancy had DNA modified ... Read More »

A New Mental Health System? Interview with Jim van Os

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With one of the highest mental health spending rates in Europe, the Netherlands is undergoing a dramatic rethinking of how to provide mental healthcare, a rethinking now gaining momentum throughout the region. In a recent interview with Dr. van Os on Madness Radio — one of the most prestigious scientists in the world, in the top 1% of most-cited researchers, and… Source: A New Mental Health System? Interview with Jim van Os – Mad In America Read More »

Japan has no idea what just happened to its $278m orbiting satellite

But it appears to be in pieces. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is at a loss to explain what’s happened to its Hitomi satellite, with fears that the spacecraft might have disintegrated in space. The space agency acknowledged that it had lost contact with the satellite on… Source: Japan has no idea what just happened to its $278m orbiting satellite – ScienceAlert Read More »

Scientists just found more evidence that Planet Nine exists in our Solar System

And this new planet could be huge. Back in January, the astronomer who led the charge to have Pluto demoted to dwarf planet status announced that he’d just found evidence that a huge, icy planet could be lurking on the edge of the Solar System, just past Neptune… Source: Scientists just found more evidence that Planet Nine exists in our Solar System – ScienceAlert Read More »

Can we replace politicians with robots?

If you had the opportunity to vote for a politician you totally trusted, who you were sure had no hidden agendas and who would truly represent the electorate’s views, you would, right? What if that politician was a robot? Not a human with a robotic personality but a real artificially intelligent robot. Futures like this have been… Source: Can we replace politicians with robots? Read More »

NASA’s Mission to Europa

A new generation of probes will look for signs of life in the liquid plumes that shoot out from Jupiter and Saturn’s moons. The oceans offered humanity’s first passage beyond the boundaries of the known world. Ships brought people to unfamiliar shores on voyages of discovery, often just because they… Source: NASA’s Mission to Europa – The Atlantic Read More »

GM debate lost in EU

BAYER board member Kemal Malik has painted a gloomy picture about the state of play in Europe for Genetically Modified cropping and the technology’s future. Mr Malik is responsible for innovation with a budget of 4 billion Euro per year (AU$5.9b) on Research and Development in the company’s… Source: GM debate lost in EU – Agriculture – General – News – Farm Weekly Read More »

The man who studies the spread of ignorance

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How do people or companies with vested interests spread ignorance and obfuscate knowledge? BBC News Georgina Kenyon Georgina Kenyon finds there is a term which defines this phenomenon. In 1979, a secret… The man who studies… Read More »

Healthy Gut, Healthy Brain

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A neurologist explains the power of your microbiome to heal and protect your brain Your brain’s health is dictated by what goes on in your gut David Perlmutter, MD Experience Life That’s right: What’s taking place in your intestines affects not only your brain’s daily functions, but also determines your risk for a number of neurological conditions in the future. Your intestinal organisms, or microbiome, participate in a wide variety of bodily systems, including immunity, detoxification, inflammation, neurotransmitter and vitamin ... Read More »

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature. By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago. City dwellers also have a… Source: How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain ... Read More »

Why India Went to Mars

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On Wednesday, having travelled four hundred and ten million miles, India’s Mangalyaan probe settled into orbit around Mars. Samanth Subramanian  The New Yorker It will linger there for only six months—about a fifth of the time that it took to build the spacecraft and dispatch it to the Red Planet. The orbiter’s scientific agenda appears to be skimpy. It will send back images of a surface that was first photographed up close by the Mariner 4 spacecraft, in 1965, and it ... Read More »

DNA study confirms geographical origin of Jews

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New research has found Jews share a genetic bond with Cypriots and Druze and confirms the Jewish diaspora maintained a strong DNA continuity despite its long separation from the Middle East, scientists said on Wednesday. Medical Xpress The work, published in the British journal Nature, is part of a wider exploration into human migration based on clusters of tiny differences in genetic code. “We found evidence that Jewish communities originated in the Near East,” said molecular scientist Doron Behar of the Rambam ... Read More »


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We have always been told there is no recovery from persistent vegetative state – doctors can only make a sufferer’s last days as painless as possible. But is that really the truth? Steve Boggan The Guardian Across three continents, severely brain-damaged patients are awake and talking after taking … a sleeping pill. And no one is more baffled than the GP who made the breakthrough. Steve Boggan witnesses these ‘strange and… Reborn… Read More »