Ciara Cook

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Why Did the Genetic Code of All Life on Earth Suddenly Stop Evolving?

Around 3,000 million years ago, something stopped the genetic code from growing.<p>All life on Earth exists thanks to a universal genetic code. This biological rulebook tells our cells how DNA should be translated into life-supporting proteins, without which we couldn't survive.<p>Even though the genetic …

Genetics

How the Power to Control Objects With Our Minds Stopped Being Science Fiction

The recent announcement that a young paralysed man in Ohio in the US named Ian Burkhart managed to regain the use of his fingers after having a chip …

The Brain

Revealed: The simple ‘40-second’ secret to boost your memory

If your memory constantly lets you down, here’s a simple technique that may just be the answer to your problems (if you don’t forget it).<p>It’s known as the drawing effect and will help you remember and recall information more easily in less than 40 seconds, according to a new study.<p>While Sherlock …

Forget mindfulness, stop trying to find yourself and start faking it

Why is the history of Chinese philosophy now the most popular course at Harvard? Top tips on how to become a better person according to Confucius and co<p>People are often surprised to learn that Confucius, Mencius, Laozi and other classical Chinese philosophers weren’t rigid traditionalists who …

Taoism

CERN Is Seeking Secrets of the Universe, or Maybe Opening the Portals of Hell

Operators of Large Hadron Collider gear up to battle conspiracy theories<p>GENEVA—The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, is gearing up for another run at smashing particles together to unlock the secrets of the universe.<p>That means anticipating a new round of conspiracy theories that …

Physics

In the Future, We Will Photograph Everything and Look at Nothing

“Today everything exists to end in a photograph,” Susan Sontag wrote in her seminal 1977 book “On Photography.” This was something I thought about when I recently read that Google was making its one-hundred-and-forty-nine-dollar photo-editing suite, the Google Nik Collection, free. This …

Google Photos

Did Psychedelic Mushrooms and Group Sex Play a Role in Human Evolution?

Psychedelic drugs “expand” one’s mind: this is how many people describe the changes in sensory experiences elicited by psychotropic drugs. A …

Newly Discovered State of Matter Could Be a Breakthrough for Quantum Computing

Quantum spin liquids seem to defy the laws of nature.<p>Physicists have finally detected the existence of a mysterious new state of matter known as quantum spin liquid in a real material.<p>This new discovery is not only exciting in its own right, it presents vast possibilities for the future of quantum …

Quantum Computing

Cannabis helps my epileptic son. If only we had known sooner

Vital research on the medical benefits of marijuana has been obstructed by policies based on moral panic. Government needs to get out of the way of science<p>In fall 2012, when other parents were trading stories about the difficulties of balancing homework with little league practice and swimming …

Cannabis

I visited North Korea — here's what it's like to explore the world's most mysterious country

These are my photos from my trip to North Korea, quite possibly the most mysterious country on the planet. The photos focus on what it was like getting into the country and then exploring Pyongyang, North Korea's capital and the largest city. My trip began in China, where I would eventually board a …

North Korea

Deepak Chopra shares 4 ways to be mindful like the most successful people on earth

"They are machines. There is no difference between you and your computer," the award-winning author and physician told Business Insider this week while promoting the new documentary he's in, "Mindfulness: Be Happy Now."<p>To combat this, people can practice mindfulness, or the art of being present. …

Meditation

Inside The California Desert Community Where Societal Rules Do Not Apply

Slab City is an unregulated squatter settlement in the dusty Sonoran Desert, located about 140 miles east of San Diego. In a former life, it was a Marine training base, but over the past 60 years, it's become a community for hippies, rebels and misfits of all kinds. Living in campsites made from …

Social Security

The first human head transplant: 'it will be a success'

It may sound like something from Mary Shelley's <i>Frankenstein</i>, but the possibility of the world's first human head transplant is very real. In December …

Stephen Hawking warns of an 'intelligence explosion'

In his recent Reddit AMA, the famed physicist explains how that might happen.<p>When asked by a user how AI could become smarter than its creator and pose a threat to the human race, Hawking wrote:<p>This terrifying vision of the future relies on a concept called the intelligence explosion. It posits …

Singularity

Smoking Doesn't Kill Them: The Strange Science of the Longevity Gene

Why do some cigarette smokers live to old age while others die young? Scientists are getting closer to an answer.<p>It’s a well-established fact that …

The best (and worst) ways to spot a liar

Forget body language or eye movements. There are much better ways to identify the deceitful.<p><i>This story is part of BBC Future’s “Best of 2015” list, our greatest hits of the year. Browse the full list.</i><p>-<p>Thomas Ormerod’s team of security officers faced a seemingly impossible task. At airports across …

Body Language

Revolutionary new solar window tech can make any glass pane into a solar panel

If you’re thinking about going solar, we’ve got good news: your options have just been expanded. SolarWindow Technologies announced that their new …

Clean Energy

Bacteria With Synthetic DNA Create Protein Never Found In Nature

For when the usual four nucleotides can’t give you what you want<p>Your DNA, like that of everything else on the planet, is made of four nucleotides: A, C, G, and T. These are like a blueprint that your body reads to produce 20 different amino acids, which combine to make up the proteins that enable …

What is it like to have never felt an emotion?

Some people seem to lack the capacity to feel joy, sorrow or love. David Robson discovers the challenges and surprising advantages of “alexithymia”.<p>Caleb is telling me about the birth of his son, now eight months old. “You know you hear parents say that the first time they looked at their kid, they …

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Octopuses Are Aliens Say Scientists After Examining The Mollusc's DNA

A new study has revealed that octopuses are basically aliens. Research on their individual DNA make-up discovered that they are unlike any other …

Biology

Obama just hinted at the huge trade-off at the heart of the Iran deal

In an interview with NPR, Obama said Iran's "breakout time" — or the time needed to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a single nuclear device — would plunge to "a matter of months" 15 years into the deal.<p>Obama added that this 15-year delay in Iran's capabilities was one of the virtues of the …

South Asia

Here's what happened when scientists erased memories of using meth in mice

This has proved extremely difficult for researchers and patients alike, as even with the best rehabilitation therapy and the most supportive friends and families, many addicts of psychostimulant drugs —methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA — relapse soon after therapy ends, often because the memory of …

Research

Universe slowly dying as old stars fade faster than new ones are born

Analysis of starlight from more than 220,000 distant galaxies shows that the cosmos has lost half of its brightness in the past two billion years<p>Without applause or encore, the lights are going out across the universe, as old stars die faster than new ones are born to replace them.<p>Astronomers …

Universe

NASA Has Discovered a Planet That Seems a Lot Like Earth

NASA scientists have pinpointed a planet orbiting a Sun-like star that may resemble Earth more than any of the other 1,000 planets so far discovered …

Astronomy

How To Dramatically Improve Your Memory

Memory isn’t about stuffing your head with facts; it’s about honing your creativity. Here’s how.<p>Ever wandered into a store and quickly realized you’ve forgotten what you need? Or been introduced to someone and forget their name by the time they walk away?<p>Don’t worry; you’re not alone. A 2007 survey …

The Brain

15-year-old schoolboy develops test for Alzheimer's disease

Krtin Nithiyanandam has developed a test which could not only pick up the early signs of Alzheimer's disease but potentially stops it spreading further<p>A 15-year-old British boy has developed a potential test for Alzheimer’s disease which could allow the condition to be diagnosed 10 years before the …

Brownback and Jindal go down in flames: America’s worst governors proven bullies, liars, fools

Budget disasters and tax gimmicks in Kansas and Louisiana show incompetence — and both parties know it<p>Nowadays, states are often referred to as "laboratories of democracy," based on a line from Justice Louis Brandeis stating federalism allows that "a single courageous State may, if its citizens …

U.S. Politics

Researchers Explain Why Quantum Behaviour Doesn’t Occur in Everyday Life

This is why Schrödinger’s cat is alive.<p>An international team of researchers believe they've figured out why strange quantum behaviours occur at the …

Quantum Mechanics

What Is the Smallest Thing in the Universe?

The answer to the enduring question of the smallest thing in the universe has evolved along with humanity. People once thought grains of sand were …