Jason Li

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Ancient DNA sheds light on how language, cultures evolved in Bronze Age Europe

It's tricky studying the history of a time when no one wrote things down. Archaeology pieces together how people lived in the past by studying artifacts they left behind; linguistics by analyzing newer languages to reconstruct the old.<p>This week, another branch of science -- genetics -- gave the …

Anthropology

Philosophy of the Large Hadron Collider | Michael Krämer | Life & Physics

There have been many tedious discussions about the value of philosophy for modern science. I find it much more interesting to ask if and in what way modern science can advance philosophy<p>The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN in Geneva is the world’s …

Physics

Water: the strangest chemical in the universe – video

You think you know water, but you don't. And if it wasn't so odd, you wouldn't be here. So how does this seemingly everyday substance turn out to be an epic scientific story of a strange molecule that connects you to everyone and everything else and the rest of the universe? Science broadcaster …

Universe

Watch the skies: the season for rare and mysterious noctilucent clouds is here

Noctilucent clouds shimmer in the twilight summer sky on the very edge of space itself. These rare apparitions could be warning us about climate change<p>Sky watchers in the northern hemisphere prepare: the 2015 noctilucent cloud season has begun. These beautiful, rare and mysterious clouds only …

Cheryl's birthday puzzle part two, Denise's revenge - can you solve it?

Welcome to the first of my new puzzle series. Every second Monday I’ll be posting some kind of brainteaser, usually mathematical, here on the science blog network.<p>I’ll be posting the solution on Tuesdays. Which gives you the Guardian puzzlers – guzzlers, obviously! – a full day to chew, digest, …

Most European men descended from just three ancestors

Almost two out of three modern European men (64 per cent) were descended from just three Bronze Age males<p>Most European men descend from just three Bronze Age dominant forefathers who began a ‘population explosion’ several thousand years ago.<p>A research team from the University of Leicester looked at …

Google plans to play nice with Facebook and Twitter on photos

According to <i>Bloomberg Business</i>, Google could soon be separating its web based photo sharing and storage service from the existing Google+ platform and offering it as a standalone. <i>Bloomberg</i> cites Googlers close to the project who say that the announcement could come during the upcoming Google I/O …

Are we products of nature or nurture? Science answers age-old question

The age-old question of whether human traits are determined by nature or nurture has been answered, a team of researchers say. Their conclusion? It’s a draw.<p>By collating almost every twin study across the world from the past 50 years, researchers determined that the average variation for human …

June 2015

Universal flu vaccine closer to reality after Chinese-Australian scientific breakthrough

Scientists in Australia and China have discovered how the body's "assassin" immunity cells memorise viruses, raising hopes for a life-long flu jab<p>A single vaccine that immunises against all types of influenza has come closer to being a reality, after scientists in Australia and China discovered how …

There's a miniature park in the Netherlands that has replicated the entire country down to the very last detail

Visiting the Madurodam miniature Park in The Hague, Netherlands, will make you feel like a kid again.<p>The incredible park is less than an acre in size, but in that small space it houses miniature replicas of Dutch homes, canals, markets, historical landmarks, and scenes from the everyday lives of …

Miniature

Oculus program makes it possible for novices to animate VR characters

A 3D animation studio called Masters of Pie has developed a prototype program called Geppetto that makes it easy to animate virtual reality characters. And yes, it's "easy" even for those who've had zero training in animation. Geppetto runs on Oculus Rift and is named after Pinocchio's creator, …

Crustacean shells rival plastics for keeping food fresh - study - TRFN

ROME, Jan 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Packaging made from recycled crustacean shells could reduce the need for plastic wrappings to preserve fresh vegetables, reduce oil consumption and give food a longer shelf-life, a Spanish study said.<p>Chitosan, a bioplastic made by isolating organic matter …

10 Easy, Healthy Farro Recipes

If you need more whole grains in your life, farro is a good place to start. This ancient grain (it was a dietary staple of ancient Romans) packs a …

Ancient Rome

In Germany, DIY porn is the difference between East and West

The Berlin Wall might be long gone, but Germany is still a divided nation — at least between the sheets.<p>In the communist era, East Germans would …

Hyper-accurate atomic clock won't lose a second in 15 billion years

Scientists have created an atomic clock so precise that it won't lose or gain a single second in 15 billion years -- roughly the age of our universe.<p>But the clock isn't just steady, it's also amazingly accurate. So accurate in fact, that it can detect tiny changes in the speed of its ticks …

Physics

Give Us All the Green Things: How to Make a Spring Pesto

You can make pesto out of almost anything green and leafy, which makes spring the perfect time to experiment.<p>There's nothing quite like a good pesto: Fresh, vibrant, green, with just enough richness (thanks, cheese and nuts!) to keep things from feeling austere. We slather it on bread, sauce our …

Middle-age spread may protect against dementia

Obese people are less prone to suffer dementia, a huge study has shown, contradicting health advice and baffling scientists<p>The middle-aged spread may protect against dementia, scientists have suggested, after the largest ever study found that obese people have the lowest risk of developing the …

Dementia

Apple Watch: the definitive review

The Apple Watch is an extraordinarily small and personal device. It is designed to participate in nearly every moment of your day, but almost never directly interact with anyone else. It knows when you’re wearing it. You can talk to it. You can poke it — and it can poke back.<p>Every so often, the …

China's ex-security chief charged with bribery, abuse of power

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese prosecutors charged former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang with bribery, abuse of power and intentional disclosure of state secrets on Friday, paving the way for a trial that could expose the inner workings of the ruling Communist Party.<p>China's then Public Security …

Tons of data turn into neuron ‘Wikipedia’

Researchers have amassed decades’ worth of data about the billions of neurons in the brain. To help make sense of it all, researchers have used data …

The World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Tram Is Now Running In China

The Chinese seem to have a head start on a promising area for hydrogen: short-distance transit. Large-scale hydrogen car travel may be a few years …

3 Ways To Make A Star On Earth

Fusion: It's a blast!<p>Last fall, Lockheed Martin divulged a new fusion reactor design--one it claimed could power homes and cars in a decade. The wildly optimistic claim is reminiscent of that old trope: Fusion is just 10 years away ... and always will be. Still, experiments suggest we’re getting …

This site lets you DJ with five different drum machines in HTML5

If you don't own any kind of synth, but harbor fantasies of being a DJ (who doesn't?) a new site in HTML5 is about to make your dreams a whole lot easier. HTML5 Drum Machine lets you mess around with a bunch of different drum machines in your browser. Sure, it's just an emulation, but it gives you …

20 best Android apps and games this week

Star Walk 2, Tinkerplay, Five Nights at Freddy’s 3, Stick Cricket 2, Swipes, Connect, Frozen Synapse Prime and more<p>The weekly Android apps roundup has been on hiatus since the end of 2014 in favour of a monthly collection, but there’ve been plenty of comments on related apps articles requesting a …

The secret history of Britain is written in our genes

A new study shows that there are 17 different types of Briton - and many still live in the same groups they did before the Norman Conquest<p>Just who are we? What defines us, the people of this island nation? Is there such a thing as Britishness? Or, though it may sound like something from Game of …