Friday, December 26, 2014

Imagination, Reality Look Different in the Brain

It turns out that that reality and imagination flow in different directions in the brain, researchers say. The visual information from real events that the eyes see flows "up" from the brain's occipital lobe to the parietal lobe, but imagined images flow "down" from the parietal to the occipital.
- Discovery News

The 5 Most Important Developments in Climate Change in 2014

While global emissions continue to grow, 2014 saw a great deal of progress toward putting in place the policies and infrastructure necessary to eventually reverse that trend. Mankind has only just begun to change its damaging course, and much more work needs to be done, but here are five reasons to be cautiously optimistic.
- The Week

Ancient Glass Bracelet Decorated With Menorahs Found in Israel

Archaeologists in Israel unearthed a glass bracelet decorated with a timely design. The ancient piece of jewelry is engraved with a seven-branched candelabrum, or menorah — the symbol of the Hanukkah holiday. The bracelet was discovered in Mount Carmel National Park, which researchers think was a large settlement during the late Roman or early Byzantine period.
- NBC News

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thousands Flock to Bethlehem for Christmas Celebrations

Thousands of Christian pilgrims converged in Bethlehem on Wednesday for Christmas Eve celebrations at the traditional birthplace of Jesus.
- Haaretz

Religion Without God

Even atheists find that ritual helps them make sense of the world.
- The New York Times

Scientists One Step Closer to Creating Human Egg, Sperm

Israeli and British researchers have successfully used human cells to create primordial germ cells that develop into egg and sperm for the first time.
- The Guardian

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Orphan Dwarf Galaxy Could Shed Light on History of Galaxy Formation

Astronomers mapping local galaxies within the Milky Way neighborhood have discovered a lone dwarf galaxy that could hint at the types of small galaxies that formed early in the universe.
- The Christian Science Monitor

Stress May Increase Desire for Reward but not Pleasure

Feeling stressed may prompt you to go to great lengths to satisfy an urge for a drink or sweets, but you're not likely to enjoy the indulgence any more than someone who is not stressed and has the same treat just for pleasure.
- Medical Xpress

Oldest Stone Tool Ever Found in Turkey Discovered

Scientists have discovered the oldest recorded stone tool ever to be found in Turkey, revealing that humans passed through the gateway from Asia to Europe much earlier than previously thought, approximately 1.2 million years ago. The chance find of a humanly-worked quartzite flake, in ancient deposits of the river Gediz, in western Turkey, provides a major new insight into when and how early humans dispersed out of Africa and Asia.
- Science Daily

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Future Looks Bleak for Bones

How the advent of agriculture and online food ordering has changed the human skeleton for the worse.
- The Atlantic

Breathtaking Images of Earth From Space Captured in 5 Months of Time-Lapse Video

The European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst has stitched together more than five months of time-lapse photography from the International Space Station (ISS) and made it into a six-minute video. Gerst spent 166 days in orbit and captured some pretty spectacular views as the ISS hurtled around the planet at 17,200 mph, making more than 15 laps each day.
- Discovery News

In Fossilized Fish Eye, Rods and Cones Preserved for 300 Million Years

Researchers discover fossilized photoreceptors from a vertebrate eye for the first time and suggest that fish have been seeing the world in color for at least 300 million years.
- The Los Angeles Times

Monday, December 22, 2014

Playlist: Science!

From monkeys to microbes, TED speakers in this playlist cover all different realms of the scientific world.

The Best and Worst in a Tumultuous Year for Science

It’s been a roller-coaster year for science. It started with what looked like a remarkable breakthrough in stem cell science, which was soon followed by a stunning announcement by cosmologists: the first detection of gravitational waves, direct evidence for a popular theory of how the universe began. But as the year draws to a close, the first of these discoveries has been thoroughly discredited, and the second appears to be on the ropes.
- Wired

Ethereal Deep-Sea Fish Lives 5 Miles Underwater [Video]

Scientists have discovered a new species of fish that glides gently through the water on white, translucent wings 5 miles beneath the ocean surface.
- Los Angeles Times

Origin of High-Latitude Aurorae Revealed

Scientists found that the energetic plasma signatures occur on high-latitude magnetic field lines that have been closed by the process of magnetic reconnection.
- Astronomy Magazine