Baljinder Singh

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Anatomy Lesson

Happiness

Why stars twinkle, but planets don’t

Stars and planets both shine steadily, when seen from outer space. But – from Earth – stars twinkle while planets (usually) don’t. Why?<p>Stars twinkle, …

We are hurtling through space at over a million miles an hour (a truer orbit of the planets)

Space

Beyond Death: The Science of the Afterlife

This question is more than a mind-bender. For thousands of years, certain people have claimed to have actually visited the place that, Saint Paul …

Harry Potter

Far From 'Infinitesimal': A Mathematical Paradox's Role In History

Here's a stumper: How many parts can you divide a line into?<p>It seems like a simple question. You can cut it in half. Then you can cut those lines in half, then cut those lines in half again. Just how many parts can you make? A hundred? A billion? Why not more?<p>You can keep on dividing forever, so …

Reading the minds of the ‘dead’

Thousands of patients remain trapped in a vegetative state between life and death. Three scientists are working to free them, as Roger Highfield reports.<p>“Imagine you wake up, locked inside a box,” says Adrian Owen. "It's a perfect fit, down to every last one of your fingers and toes. It's a strange …

Consciousness

Neurocomic: A Graphic Novel About How the Brain Works

Scientists are only just beginning to understand how the brain works — from what transpires in it while we sleep to how to optimize its memory to what love does to it to how music affects it — and the rest of us fall somewhere on the spectrum between fascinated and confused when it comes to the …

White matter might matter much more than we thought

Changes in the brain's myelin distribution might be an unrecognised form of neuronal plasticity.<p>Look up ‘myelin’ in any neuroscience textbook and you’ll find something along these lines: It is a fatty substance that forms a sheath around axons, and gives the fibre bundles their white appearance …

Epigenetics 101: a beginner’s guide to explaining everything

The word ‘epigenetics’ is everywhere these days, from academic journals and popular science articles to ads touting miracle cures. But what is epigenetics, and why is it so important?<p>Epigenetics is one of the hottest fields in the life sciences. It’s a phenomenon with wide-ranging, powerful effects …

Installing the world's first electronic spine

In <i>The Washington Post</i> this week, reporter Jim Tankersley follows a team of doctors as they install one of the world's first electronic spine replacements, dubbed the Neurobridge. The patient is paralyzed from the chest down, but researchers hope the Neurobridge can restore control of his hands. A …

Scientists confirm existence of elusive 117th element

After four years of painstaking research, the discovery of the periodic table's 117th element has been confirmed. Element 117, otherwise known as ununseptium, was originally discovered back in 2010 by a group of American and Russian physicists with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR). …

Chemists Expand Nature's Genetic Alphabet

For the first time, scientists have expanded life's genetic alphabet, by inserting two unnatural, man-made "letters" into a bacterium's DNA, and by showing that the cell's machinery can copy them.<p>The advance means that scientists have a new tool for exploring how life encodes information, which …

Fantastic Fungi: The Startling Visual Diversity of Mushrooms Photographed by Steve Axford | Colossal

<p>To think any one of these lifeforms exists in our galaxy, let alone on our planet, simply boggles the mind. Photographer Steve Axford lives and …

Nasa's Ellen Stofan interview: 'Our plan is to colonise Mars'

<b>Is Nasa looking for intelligent life?</b><p>Nasa, right now, is really taking a step-wise approach: let's look at our own solar system and the most likely places where we might find life. That's why we are so focused on Mars, because we know Mars had liquid water on the surface and we think that is …

Q&A: Creating Global Wi-Fi--With Balloons

How Mike Cassidy of Google's Project Loon wants to get internet airborne.<p>Mike Cassidy works at Google X, the company’s self-described <i>moonshot factory,</i> as the leader of Project Loon. His team’s goal is to deploy a global network of thousands of Wi-Fi–connected balloons that will provide affordable …

Russia Just Finished A Submarine It Has Spent 20 Years Building

The 1990s are back, and they're nuclear.<p>There are college sophomores who were born after Russia began building its newest submarine. The K-329 Severodvinsk (re-designated the K-560 Severodvinsk in late 2013) is a submarine powered by a nuclear reactor and is made to hunt other submarines, ships, …

New Study Uncovers Why Stress Leads To Depression In Some, But Not Others

In response to stress, some people cope easily while others succumb to depression or other mood disorders. While depression can develop from a wide variety of biological and genetic factors, stressful events are often a major trigger. But why does stress make some people develop mood disorders …

Flying across the blood-brain barrier with microbubbles

Long an obstacle to treating diseases like brain cancer, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's, the blood-brain barrier might soon be unlocked thanks to a medical physicist in Canada.<p>The blood-brain barrier refers to a protective sheath of endothelial cells that wraps around the blood vessels in our brains, …

Alzheimer's Disease

Is Seawater the Next Big Fuel Source?

In April, the Navy announced a breakthrough in transforming seawater, the earth's most abundant natural resource, to fuel. Researchers used it to fly a model jet powered with an internal combustion engine like its full-sized counterparts. What are the implications of such a technology in a world …

Natural Gas