Abbie Sharp

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Smoking cannabis every day ‘shrinks brain but increases its connectivity’

Regular cannabis use shrinks the brain but increases the complexity of its wiring, a study has found.<p>To some extent the loss of brain volume is balanced by larger numbers of connections between neurons, scientists discovered.<p>But they warn that those who take the drug for too long are likely to …

Your Diamond Ring Might Explain the Origin of Life on Earth

A geochemist re-examines the deep carbon cycle<p>In 1958, the Smithsonian Institution received a plain paper package in the mail. The only hint of its contents was the insurance on the brown carton, registered for one million dollars. Nestled inside the box sat the largest known blue diamond in the …

Carbon Dioxide

10 Mind-Blowing Facts About Black Holes

They're thought to be what anchors galaxies — some of the largest objects in the universe.<p>And what happens past their event horizon, also known as the point of no return, can only be speculation since we will never get a chance to see it with our own eyes and live to tell the tale.<p>Despite decades …

Black Holes

Understanding quantum tunnelling | Jon Butterworth | Life & Physics

Quantum tunnelling sounds like science fiction, and does indeed feature quite often in the genre. But it is real, and plays a role in nuclear fusion, chemical reactions and the fate of the universe. Here’s how it works<p>The recent claim from Stark Industries Lockeed Martin that a compact fusion …

Here's How NASA Is Expanding Its Search For Alien Life

Over the next five years, NASA and seven partner institutions will be taking on new projects to help paint a more complete picture about how life comes to be in the universe. The projects include preparing to bring back samples of the Martian terrain to Earth, investigating the role of comets and …

Scientists Have Found A Crystal That Can Let You Breathe Underwater

It’s a great scientific irony that water is full of oxygen yet none of it is breathable to humans. But that might be about to change, thanks to a research team in Denmark and a bizarre crystal they’ve discovered.<p>Carrying the catchy label of [{(bpbp)Co2II(NO3)}2(NH2bdc)](NO3)2 * 2H2O, and what we’re …

You Almost Certainly Have Mites On Your Face

Science & InnovationNot Exactly Rocket Science<p>Think of all the adults you know. Think of your parents and grandparents. Think of the teachers you had at school, your doctors and dentists, the people who collect your rubbish, and the actors you see on TV. All of these people probably have little …

Scientists Capture The Sound Of A Single Atom, And Apparently It's A 'D-Note'

What does an atom sound like? Apparently it's a "D-note."<p>That's according to scientists at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, who have revealed in a new study that they've captured the sound of a single atom.<p>"We have opened a new door into the quantum world by talking and …

Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes, claim scientists

Artificial sweeteners may contribute to soaring levels of diabetes, according to a controversial study that suggests the additives could exacerbate the problem they are meant to tackle.<p>Researchers in Israel found that artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks and other foods can disrupt healthy …

Pavlok is a habit-forming wearable that will shock you

"Wake up sleepy head... it's time to go to the gym." "Put down those chips!" "Stop wasting time on Facebook." If any of the above statements resonate with you, then you're not alone. Maneesh Sethi, author and Stanford alumnus has said all of the above to himself at one point, and wanted to know …

Laboratory-grown beef: meat without the murder, but would you eat it?

Last summer you unveiled the world's first lab-grown – or "in vitro" hamburger. How did it feel when you had it fried up, and you gave it to the first person to test? What if they had spat it out and said: "Ugh, this is awful"?<p>Well, yes. We'd selected food critics who said they wanted to taste …

From dust-free bottles to easy-peeling bananas: your science questions answered

Q Why don't the bottles of detergents and shampoos in my bathroom get dusty, even if I leavethem out? asks mathsdude<p>A This interesting property of plastic bottles is not down to mere chance – the material from which they are made has been carefully tuned to avoid collecting dust. Plastics, being …

Pope Francis: 'About 2%' of Catholic clergy paedophiles

<b>Pope Francis has been quoted as saying that reliable data indicates that "about 2%" of clergy in the Catholic Church are paedophiles.</b><p>The Pope said that abuse of children was like "leprosy" infecting the Church, according to the Italian La Repubblica newspaper.<p>He vowed to "confront it with the …

A Simple Eye Test Could Accurately Detect Alzheimer's

Current tests for Alzheimer's include expensive tests using brain PET or MRI imaging. But two studies have shown that a simple eye test can detect …

China seals off 30,000 people after bubonic plague death

And 151 residents have been placed under quarantine<p>Parts of Yumen, a city in northwestern China, have been sealed off after a local died of bubonic plague last week, reports Reuters. The 38-year-old man is said to have contracted the bacterial disease, also known as "the black death," after coming …

Procedure to create babies with three people's DNA could be legalised in April

Britain's fertility regulator could allow doctors to create the first babies to have three people's DNA from next April after the government pressed ahead with plans to legalise the procedure.<p>The technique, known as mitochondrial transfer, offers hope to families affected by a wide range of …

Pop Quiz: 20 Percent Chance Of Rain. Do You Need An Umbrella?

This week, <i>All Things Considered</i> is exploring how people interpret probability. What does it mean to us, for example, when a doctor says an operation has a 70 percent chance of success?<p>One of the most common encounters with percent probabilities has to do with weather. Take a moment to consider the …

Researchers fully 'delete' HIV from human cells for the first time

So far, HIV has eluded a cure because it installs its genome into human DNA so insidiously that it's impossible for our immune system to clear it out. While current treatments are effective, a lifetime of toxic drugs is required to prevent its recurrence. But researchers from Temple University may …

Does Earth have a second moon?

Mars has two moons, Jupiter has 67, Saturn 62, Uranus 27, Neptune 14. But our planet Earth has just one moon. Doesn’t it?<p>Many planets in our solar …

Astronomy

How Lego figures and rubber ducks reveal ocean secrets

Weird and wonderful objects washed up on the world's beaches shed more light on the workings of the ocean currents than you might think. Richard Fisher reports.<p>Marooned on an island, if you threw a message-in-a-bottle into the ocean, would you be saved? The answer, according to researchers, depends …

Alien Artifacts On The Moon?

As nutty as it may seem to the uninitiated, the notion of looking for alien artifacts on our own Moon may finally be gaining mainstream scientific traction.<p>There are good reasons to seriously consider the possibility that at some point in the Earth-Moon system’s storied 4.5 billion year-old …

Santa Maria Found? Wreck May Be Columbus' Sunken Flagship

The leader of an undersea expedition says a pile of wreckage on the bottom of the Caribbean Sea, off the north coast of Haiti, may well mark the spot where Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria, sank in 1492.<p>"All the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly …

The World Is Full of Holocaust Deniers

A new survey suggests that many Asians, Africans, Middle Easterners, young people, Muslims, and Hindus believe that facts about the genocide have been distorted.<p>Only 54 percent of the world's population has heard of the Holocaust.<p><i>54 percent</i>.<p>This is the most staggering statistic in a new survey by …

'Vampire' burial in Poland keeps alive the myth that will not die - CNN.com

No top teeth and with a stake through the leg, the skeleton exhumed in Kamien Pomorski<p><i>25 years since Poland's first partly free elections, CNN's On the Road series visits the country looking at how it has been transformed since the fall of communism while taking a deeper look at its customs and</i> …

The Earth's Gravity Is Pulling So Hard At The Moon, It's Bulging

Everyone knows that the power of the Moon’s gravity is what moves the oceans’ tides here on Earth, but that’s not all the gravitational tug-of-war between the two celestial bodies is doing.<p>The force between the two is so strong that each sphere is ever so slightly pulling the other into a lopsided …