Gian R. Mattei

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Scientists discover the on-off switch for human consciousness deep within the brain - ExtremeTech

By on July 7, 2014 at 7:56 am<p>This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use.<p>Researchers at George Washington …

In The Name Of Science, Here's Why You Should Spend More Time Cuddling Cats

A purr-fectly wonderful finding!<p>Turns out that petting and talking nicely with shelter cats isn't just an awfully pleasant way to spend the afternoon. There's now scientific proof that this kind of behavior also helps keep the cats healthy -- a finding that sounds adorable, and could have some …

Researchers Make Artificial Cells That Can Replicate Themselves

To better understand how life might have started on Earth<p>Scientists have a pretty good theory for how life on Earth began: Meteorites that bombarded our planet brought simple carbon-based compounds called amino acids. Eventually, slowly, these chemicals combined to make cells, which were then able …

Biology

Are viruses alive? New evidence says yes

Evolutionary history suggests they evolved from ancient cells<p>Influenza, SARS, Ebola, HIV, the common cold. All of us are quite familiar with these names. They are viruses—a little bit of genetic material (DNA or RNA) encapsulated in a protein coat. But what we don’t really understand, and what …

Biology

Stem Cell Findings May Explain How the Human Brain Evolved

<b>The human cerebral cortex contains 16 billion neurons, wired together into arcane, layered circuits responsible for everything from our ability to</b> …

Discovery opens door to more targeted, effective treatments for cancer

Scary New Research Suggests a Cow Virus May Cause Human Breast Cancer

What you should know before you swear off dairy and beef.<p><i>This article was written by Amber Brenza and provided by our partners at</i> Prevention.<p>If the preliminary findings of a new study pan out, scientists may be one step closer to discovering what causes more than 90 percent of all breast …

A perfectly normal psychological effect is messing with your perception of the world

Why do we endure hard breakups just to think fondly of them later?<p>And why do we loathe serial killers but revere Al Capone?<p>The answer to all those questions is a built-in mechanism of the mind called "psychological distance."<p>Normally, adults can do a reasonably good job of putting themselves inside …

Psychology

Do humans stand a chance in Earth’s sixth mass extinction?

Scientists recently suggested that the Earth’s sixth mass extinction has begun. As terrifying as that sounds, surely humans are too smart and too important to get wiped out? Paleontologists have long tried to shed light on this question by looking for general rules that might predict the survival …

Extinction

We've Finally Discovered What's Driving the Most Impossibly Bright Galaxies in the Universe

Burn, baby, burn.<p>Astronomers may have finally cracked the enigma of why the universe's brightest galaxies are so incredibly luminous.<p>Over the past 50 years or so, astronomers have observed certain galaxies in our universe—called submillimeter galaxies (SMGs)—that outshine other galaxies by hundreds …

Is another human living inside you?

You may think your body and mind are your own. In fact, you are a fusion of many organisms - including, potentially, another person. Words by David Robson, photography by Ariko Inaoka.<p><i>This story is part of BBC Future’s “Best of 2015” list, our greatest hits of the year.</i> <i>Browse the full list.</i><p><i>-</i><p>Once …

Earth's 6th mass extinction has begun, and there are no signs that humans will be spared

Paleontologists have long tried to shed light on this question by looking for general rules that might predict the survival of a species.<p>While this is not a straightforward exercise, research so far indicates that the odds are not in our favor.<p>Limitations of diversity<p>Life on Earth can be traced …

Extinction

What happens to objects that enter black holes?

Scientists have long wondered what happens to information that enters black holes. Famed physicist Stephen Hawking thinks he has the answer.<p>Information entering a black hole may not be truly lost, he suggests. Instead, that information could still exist in a sort of hologram on the black hole’s …

Black holes heading for 'massive collision,' says astronomer

<b>(CNN) —</b> A really, really big bang not due for a hundred millennia may help astronomers test one of the central theories of physics, according to one of the authors of a new paper.<p>Two black holes in Virgo are heading for a "massive collision," Columbia University astronomer Zoltan Haiman said in a …

Black Holes

Physicists Set a New Fiber-Optic Quantum Teleportation Record

100 kilometers.<p>Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have bested the previous quantum teleportation fiber-optic distance record four times over, achieving a span of 100 kilometers. While physicists have teleported over farther distances in free space—via open-air …

Concentrate: How to Tame a Wandering Mind

This story originally appeared on BBC Future<p>I am about to be zapped in the head with an electromagnet, once a second, for eight minutes. I fidget, trying to get comfortable in a huge black chair with jointed metal arms that stand between me and the door. I feel faintly ridiculous wearing a tight …

The Brain

How Much Exercise Gives Your Brain the Biggest Boost?

The best predictor of cognitive gains is how much your aerobic fitness improves.<p>Exercise makes you smarter... but how much do you need to maximize its benefits? When it comes to physical health, the general principle according to exercise guidelines is: “Some exercise is better than none and higher …

Psychology: Navigating neuroscience

Neuroscience is one of the most fascinating subjects on earth – and also one of the most misunderstood. If you want to learn what the study of the nervous system can <i>really</i> tell us, don’t miss out on this myth-busting masterclass with <b>Dr Vaughan Bell</b>.<p>In the space of just two hours, Vaughan will …

Religious Fundamentalism: A Side Effect of Lazy Brains?

Insights from neuroscience suggest that the brain tends to automatically accept rather than reject beliefs, oftentimes independent of how logical …

Brain Circuit Critical in Forming Episodic Memory Identified

<b>How the brain encodes time and place.</b><p>When you remember a particular experience, that memory has three critical elements — what, when, and where. MIT …

How 'Quantum Cognition' Can Explain Humans' Irrational Behaviors

An emerging theory takes principles from quantum physics and applies them to psychology.<p>The theory of quantum mechanics earned its stripes by making accurate predictions concerning the behavior of atoms and the tiny particles that make them up. No one quite understands what quantum mechanics <i>means</i>, …

Quantum Mechanics

How To Become A Genius

Whether you’d like to admit it or not, you probably have an average IQ. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to increase your intelligence.<p>You probably think you’re pretty smart. Most people believe they’re smarter than the average American, according to a study from YouGov. Yet when it comes to IQ, …