Loggerhead sea turtles that nest on beaches with similar magnetic fields are genetically similar to one another, according to a new study. “Loggerhead sea turtles are fascinating creatures that begin their lives by migrating alone across the Atlantic Ocean and back,” says Kenneth Lohmann, professor of biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel…
April 14, 2018
In Tibetan Buddhism, the group of tantric techniques known as milam aim to reveal the illusory nature of waking life by having practitioners perform yoga in their dreams. It’s a ritualised version of one of the most mysterious faculties of the human mind: to know that we’re dreaming even while asleep, a state known as…
April 14, 2018
Locking up super-secret information with digital encryption has become even more secure with the production of numbers that aren’t just ‘nearly random’, but are truly unpredictable in every sense of the word.   Using the data generated by a three-year-old experiment on quantum entanglement, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently generated…
April 14, 2018
When it comes to birds having ears, you’ve probably had one of two thoughts – either you assumed birds’ ears were tiny, inconspicuous holes like they are on snakes, or you’ve never really thought about bird’s ears that much.   The secret option #3 here is you know exactly what birds’ ears look like, in which case it’s…
April 14, 2018
The US Army recently announced that it is developing the first drones that can spot and target vehicles and people using artificial intelligence (AI). This is a big step forward.   Whereas current military drones are still controlled by people, this new technology will decide who to kill with almost no human involvement. Once complete,…
April 14, 2018
Like peanut butter and jelly, like salt and pepper, like that seemingly perfect couple you love (to hate), the two dominant types of computer memory truly complete one another.   Read-only memory (ROM) makes sure our computers and smartphones know how to boot up. Random access memory (RAM), lets us run programs on those computers.…
April 14, 2018
For the first time, scientists have managed to reproduce the chemical processes that build those awesome geometric columns out of volcanic rock – one famous example being the Giant’s Causeway on the coast of Northern Ireland.   The polygonal columns form as hot magma cools and contracts into rock, but up until now it hasn’t…
April 14, 2018
We just can’t resist a good optical illusion. It’s simultaneously grounding and deeply disorienting to feel that our perception of the world around us can lie so dramatically. But it’s also just fun to trick our own brains.   When we think about optical illusions, we’re usually thinking of a subset of illusions called cognitive…
April 13, 2018
Scientists have just performed the world’s most precisely controlled chemical reaction, sticking together just two atoms from elements that wouldn’t normally form a molecule. The two elements – sodium and caesium – produced an interesting alloy-like molecule. On top of that, this method of creation could set the way of making just the kind of materials…
April 13, 2018
To better understand how a nuclear blast would devastate major urban centres, researchers have created the ultimate equivalent of The Sims – a detailed computer model of Washington D.C. complete with its own personalised citizens.   We’ve all been there, creating digital cities that we joyfully smash apart. This one is less about entertaining our…
April 13, 2018