Randall Chan

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Star Wars LIGHT UP Chop Sabers

An elegant utensil for a more civilized age<p>But now, we must eat. Come, good food, come... and meet your end in the grasp of the Star Wars Light-Up …

Strange Mars Craters Created By Ice?

Changing Planet<p>Double-ringed craters on Mars, like the one above, could have formed when ejected material slides down steep crater walls and across ice, forming a radiating top layer. Credit: NASA<p><b>A four-decade long Martian mystery surrounding the origins of double-rimmed craters may have been</b> …

BeerSci: How Beer Gets Its Color

Meet the two chemical reactions that most influence the malt character and color of your brew.<p>Before you read this column, I urge you to pop open a belated birthday beer. Pour that beer into a clear glass (pint or tulip, your choice), hold it up to the light, and take a good look at the color.<p>Two …

Neighbourhood watch: five Singapore micro-'burbs on the rise

Already know your way around central Singapore? Just a stone's throw beyond, a clutch of bustling neighbourhoods home to quirky shops, trendy eateries and cool bars are just waiting to be explored. So head out and experience the up-and-coming areas of Singapore that won't stay a secret for …

Strong propagation speed variations

<i>Researchers of the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering of ETH Zurich were able to measure the speed of neuronal signal conduction along segments of single axons in neuronal cultures by using a high-resolution electrical method. The bioengineers are now searching for plausible explanations for the large conduction speed variations.</i><p>To write this little piece of text, the brain sends commands to arms and fingers to tap on the keyboard. Neuronal cells with their cable-like extensions, …

Collective Chasing Behavior between Cooperators and Defectors in the Spatial Prisoner’s Dilemma

Cooperation is one of the essential factors for all biological organisms in major evolutionary transitions. Recent studies have investigated the effect of migration for the evolution of cooperation. However, little is known about whether and how an individuals’ cooperativeness coevolves with mobility. One possibility is that mobility enhances cooperation by enabling cooperators to escape from defectors and form clusters; the other possibility is that mobility inhibits cooperation by helping the …

The Hardest Thing To Find In The Universe?

What is rarer than a shooting star?<p>Rarer than a diamond?<p>Rarer than any metal, any mineral, so rare that if you scan the entire earth, all six million billion billion kilos or 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds of our planet, you would find only one ounce of it?<p>What is so rare it has never …

Lonely Planet's Top 10 European Destinations For 2013

<i>Editor's note: The following guest post was written by Andy Murdock</i><i>, the US digital editor for Lonely Planet.</i><p>Europe has always held an allure for …

Top 10

HIV used to treat deadly genetic diseases in children

Italian researchers say it's too early to say whether their technique offers a full cure, but early signs are encouraging<p>HIV kills nearly two million people every year, but scientists in Italy say they've found a way to use the virus to actually save lives. In a pair of studies published today in …

Human evolution: the next stages

There have been a number of speculations lately concerning the eventual form humankind will take, particularly with regards to the role technology …

Evolution can’t keep up with climate change - Futurity

U. ARIZONA / YALE (US) — To adapt to the rapid climate change expected in …

Climate

New theory upends view of how brain is wired - Futurity

COLUMBIA U. (US) — The long-held view of how signals move through the cerebral cortex …

Antibodies during pregnancy linked to autism - Futurity

UC DAVIS (US) — Antibodies found only in mothers of children with autism cross the …

Autism

'Smart' drugs don't actually improve students' grades

A new study shows ADHD medication does not guarantee improved school performance for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. <i>The Wall Street Journal</i> reports that the benefits of the drugs, which include increased attention, concentration, and improved short-term memory, help students …

Forensic Fly Moves North

Insects can aid death investigations, but non-native species complicate matters.<p><b>Who, aside from global warming activists, cares about a tiny blowfly making its way north with the changing climate? Forensic scientists do. Such insects, when discovered on corpses, can offer vital clues about when a</b> …

Worms regrow their decapitated heads, along with the memories inside

Some memories just won't die — and some can even be transferred to a whole new brain. Researchers at Tufts University have determined that a small, yellow worm known as a planarian, which has long been studied for its regenerative properties, is able to grow back a lot more than just its body …

Do Diet Drinks Mess Up Metabolisms?

It may seem counterintuitive, but there's a body of evidence to suggest that the millions of Americans with a diet soda habit may not be doing their waistlines — or their blood sugar — any favors.<p>As the consumption of diet drinks made with artificial sweeteners continues to rise, researchers are …

UK joins project to create synthetic organism from scratch

Britain's latest bid to embrace the futuristic science of synthetic biology will be revealed by the government on Thursday when it announces plans to …

How the Earth’s 6-year twitch changes day lengthThe ‘geomagnetic jerks’ were first discovered in the late 1960s and may be responsible fo…

<b>How the Earth’s 6-year twitch changes day length</b><br>The ‘geomagnetic jerks’ were first discovered in the late 1960s and may be responsible for altering the length of a day by milliseconds.

Bon Appétit Magazine: Recipes, Cooking, Entertaining, Restaurants

Can science explain why I'm a pessimist?

<b>Many of us categorise ourselves as either optimist or pessimist, but what can science tell us about how we got that way and can we change, asks Michael Mosley.</b><p>Debbie and Trudi are identical twins.<p>They have much in common, except that Trudi is cheerful and optimistic while Debbie is prone to bouts …

Mark Twain

New Exhibit Explores Idaho’s Buzzsaw Jaws

When I think of Idaho, ratfish are not what immediately come to mind. Spuds and the ghastly belt of agricultural reek that keeps me holding my breath whenever I speed past Idaho Falls on the interstate, sure, but not strange cartilaginous fish. A new exhibit at the the Idaho Museum of Natural …

The best quiet beaches in the UK: experts share their secrets on Guardian Travel Don't fancy sharing your patch of sand or shingle with hundreds, if not thousands, of other sunseekers? Then check out these lesser-known beaches, tipped by those in the know http://t.gu.com/mNfkf Plus see the latest weather report: http://t.gu.com/mNg8q Photo: Moors sands, Prawle Point, south Devon Credit: wildguide.net

Human behaviour: is it all in the brain – or the mind?

You've seen the headlines: This is your brain on love. Or God. Or envy. Or happiness. And they're reliably accompanied by pictures of colour-drenched …

The Violent Beauty Of Carnivorous Plants

A new book celebrates flesh-eating flora.<p>Peter D'Amato has amassed what is claimed to be the largest collection of carnivorous plants in the world. California Carnivores, his Bay Area nursery, sells plants to aficionados as well.<p>Fifteen years ago, he wrote <i>The Savage Garden,</i> a guide to growing …

Voyager 1 spacecraft's latest find takes the edge off the solar system

The edge of the solar system has no edge, it turns out. It has a fuzzy transitional area, not quite solar system and not quite interstellar …

Best Science Museums In The U.S., As Ranked By American MENSA (SLIDESHOW)

With summer in full swing, the season offers vacationers the opportunity to explore and engage with the wonders of science. But where are the best science museums to visit for some geeky fun?<p>The American MENSA, an organization of people who have IQ scores that rank in the top 2 percent, posed this …

What Are The Least Essential Organs In The Human Body?

Asking for a friend.<p>There are two schools of thought when it comes to ranking organs in terms of their utility or lack thereof. According to one theory, the least essential parts are those that come in pairs. Giving up an eye or ear wouldn't be too bad, the thinking goes, so long as you keep the …

Latest report from Patrick Kingsley in Cairo: 'Massacre' of Morsi supporters leaves Egypt braced for new violence Muslim Brotherhood condemns killings in Cairo, which came hours before interim president set out election timetable http://t.gu.com/mMIKy + live updates here: http://t.gu.com/mMIOm Photograph: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA