Andreas Pandelides

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7 dumb things you do every day that are not your fault

Despite the best efforts of scientists, the human mind is still an enigma.<p>What we do know is that our brains are crammed with absurdly complex wiring, leading us to ask ourselves almost daily, "why did I do that?" and "how could I forget that?" and "what the heck is wrong with me?"<p>Below are seven …

How To Pick A Lock With Just A Hairpin

Editor's Blog Photo credit: NightHawkInLight/YouTubeWe’ve all seen the movies where a lock is poked around with a hairpin and the door miraculously …

Gum disease opens up the body to a host of infections

For centuries, the mouth and the body have been disconnected — at least when it comes to health care. Through the Middle Ages and beyond, teeth fell …

What Triggered the Big Bang? It's Complicated (Op-Ed)

<i>Paul Sutter is a visiting scholar at The Ohio State University's Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP). Sutter is also host of the</i> …

Earth May Wear An Invisible Fur Coat Made Of Dark Matter

Mysterious substance may form hairs that are hundreds of thousands of miles long<p>Regular matter--the stuff that makes up everything humans have ever seen or felt--makes up just 5 percent of the universe. The rest is made up of dark matter and dark energy.<p>Although we’ve never detected dark matter, …

The brain’s miracle superpowers of self-improvement

We used to believe our brains were hardwired at birth. Now we believe we can will them to change. Is that true? Will Storr analyses the truth and hokum about 'neuroplasticity'.<p>For years she had tried to be the perfect wife and mother but now, divorced, with two sons, having gone through another …

The Brain

Why asparagus makes pee smell funny, and other amazing facts about everyday foods and spices

By digging deep into the molecular chemistry of everyday foods and spices, Cambridge-based chemistry teacher Andy Brunning has the answers.<p>And you don't have to be a chemistry-expert to understand them.<p>Brunning heads the popular science website Compound Interest and recently published the book "Why …

19 Times Cartoons Became Dangerously Self-Aware

You guys, I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I think cartoons are <i>catching on</i> that they’re not real. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but cartoons are …

Consciousness

Large Hadron Collider: how Cern's atom-smasher works

The Large Hadron Collider has re-started scientific investigations after a two-year pause - but what exactly does it do and why?<p>After discovering Higgs boson with their first run in 2013, physicists at CERN, in Switzerland, are hoping to make more breakthroughs after carrying out a <b>two-year upgrade</b> …

Pain Really Is All In Your Head And Emotion Controls Intensity

When you whack yourself with a hammer, it feels like the pain is in your thumb. But really it's in your brain.<p>That's because our perception of pain is shaped by brain circuits that are constantly filtering the information coming from our sensory nerves, says David Linden, a professor of …

The Random Events That Sparked 8 Of The World's Biggest Startups

These household names began as less-than-glamourous solutions to problems.<p>Light-bulb moments don’t happen on command, and brainstorming sessions rarely produce extraordinary results. More often it’s a random remark, event, or memory that sends an entrepreneur down the rabbit hole of innovation. …

Startups

Everything I know about a good death I learned from my cat

Dorothy Parker — Dottie, to her friends — is a cat I adopted in Brooklyn from a local vet; she made the cross-country hop with me to Oakland with minimal fuss. Her attitude, most of the time, is that of a 14-year-old Marxist in a Che Guevara T-shirt. One of her favorite moods is <i>murder</i>. She likes …

Health Care

How to hack your taste buds

Why does toothpaste give orange juice a weird aftertaste? It’s one of many surprisingly easy ways to trick your tongue – and your brain – into experiencing strange flavours, says Veronique Greenwood. What's going on?<p>Your tongue is not a blank slate. What you've just eaten can change the flavour of …

University of Florida

Can you live a normal life with half a brain?

A few extreme cases show that people can be missing large chunks of their brains with no significant ill-effect – why? Tom Stafford explains what it tells us about the true nature of our grey matter.<p>How much of our brain do we actually need? A number of stories have appeared in the news in recent …

This Simple Machine/Art Installation Turns Coke Into Clean Drinking Water

You can buy a Coke for very little money almost anywhere in the world. In fact, in many places, it’s said that it’s much easier to procure a can of soda than fresh drinking water. To Dutch artist Helmut Smits, this was a frustrating example of how mass consumer culture can take precedence over …

Pioneering new injection to cure heart failure without need for major surgery

The technique, which involves a simple injection, could aid the recovery of hundreds of thousands of heart failure patients - and could even consign heart transplants to history.<p>A pioneering new treatment that allows damaged hearts to recover without the need for major surgery is being trialled by …

Bee, scorpion and snake venom may hold cancer cure

It's ancient medicine with a sci-fi-sounding twist.<p>A scientist at the University of Illinois, Dipanjan Pan, and his team say they may have found a way to stop cancer cell growth, according to a paper presented at the American Chemical Society conference this week.<p>The work is in very early stages, …

An Electronic Camouflage Cloak Inspired By Color-Changing Octopus Skin

Eat your heart out, Harry Potter<p>An octopus evading a predator has one of the coolest evolutionary adaptations up its (eight) sleeves; in a matter of milliseconds, its skin can change color and opacity to blend in with the surroundings, rendering the creature nearly invisible.<p>This camouflage trick …

The Shkadov Thruster, or: How to Move an Entire Solar System

In our cosmic megastructures series, PM explores some of the key engineering and design challenges in building gigantic structures for use by humankind in space. Today: the Shkadov Thruster, a mirror potentially larger than the sun.<p><b>Name</b>: Shkadov Thruster<p><b>Named for</b>: Russian physicist Leonid Shkadov, …

The Science of Lightning

A view into some of the rarer types of lightning<p>When it comes to thunderheads, lightning is the great equalizer. Essentially a giant spark, lightning relieves the charge differentials that build up in storm systems. But it’s also one of the greatest mysteries in atmospheric science. Recently, …

How DNA Scissors Can Perform Surgery Directly On Your Genes

These gene-slicers may help tackle HIV, Alzheimer's, and brain cancer.<p>Jay Johnson’s DNA was cut into pieces. Tiny molecular scissors chopped it into slices the cell couldn’t readily repair. The cell did its best at a speedy patch-up job, but the gene was left effectively useless. As the battered …

The science of fireworks explained: Chemical reactions at 1,000 feet

All across the country, Americans will wrap up their Fourth of July celebrations by watching the sky light up with fireworks. If you're going to be one of them, you have chemistry to thank.<p>Fireworks displays have become increasingly sophisticated and spectacular, but the chemical reactions that …

Chemistry

Mantis shrimp wear tinted shades to see UV light

When you look at a mantis shrimp, you see a vivid lobster-like crustacean whose forearms can strike with the force of a .22-caliber bullet. But when a mantis shrimp looks at you, we have no idea what it sees. That's because the mantis shrimp possesses one of the most complex eyeballs on the planet, …

In-flight science: how the world works when you're sitting on a plane

1. The wing myth<p>For many years we taught the wrong explanation for the way wings keep planes in the air. It was thought that the wing shape meant that air has further to travel over the top surface than the bottom, making the air above move faster to keep up, reducing pressure and producing lift. …

Time's arrow and Boltzmann's entropy

The <b>arrow of time</b> expresses the fact that in the world about us the past is distinctly different from the future. Milk spills but doesn't unspill; …

The Woman Who Can Will Herself Out Of Her Body

The case of the voluntary out-of-body experience.<p>After a class on out-of-body experiences, a psychology graduate student at the University of Ottawa came forward to researchers to say that she could have these voluntarily, usually before sleep. "She appeared surprised that not everyone could …

Vegan Cheesy Baked Potatoes With Broccoli Recipe

A hearty baked potato topped with broccoli florets and gooey, 100% vegan nacho sauce made from standard supermarket ingredients.<p><b>Read more: Vegan: Cheesy Baked Potatoes With Broccoli</b><p>Ingredients4 large russet potatoes1 tablespoon olive oilKosher salt2 cups small broccoli florets1 recipe Vegan Nacho …

Slow-Cooker Red Curry Soup With Chicken and Kale Recipe

<b>Note:</b> You can use two kaffir lime leaves in place of the lime wedge in the slow cooker during step 1.<p><b>Read more: Slow Cooker Slow Cooker Red Curry Soup With Chicken and Kale</b><p>Ingredients1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs3 1/2 cups low-sodium homemade or store bought chicken broth1 …