Abdul Malik Peedikakkal

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Study links low birthweight to air pollution and traffic

Babies born to mothers who live in areas with air pollution and dense traffic are more likely to have a low birthweight and smaller head circumference, according to a large European study.<p>The researchers, who included a team from the UK, found that babies were smaller even in areas with relatively …

Major cities will hit climate 'tipping point' by 2047, study shows

Climate change is poised to usher in "a new normal" where average annual temperatures are concerned — and that normal is going to be a hot one. That's according to new research published in this week's <i>Nature</i>, which warns that regions around the world will soon see temperature increases that have no …

Why Depression Ruins Your Memory

It can impede the brain's ability to encode different, but very similar, memories, a process called pattern separation.<p>Depression has been linked to memory impairment, but being depressed doesn't affect all types of memory uniformly. A new study suggests that people with depression can remember the …

Tiny Poisonous Trees Could Fight Climate Change In The Desert

Like something straight out of Dune, but the boring, terraforming parts.<p>Five German scientists have proposed a new strategy for mitigating the effects of climate change: turn coastal deserts into forests. Why? Forests, full of trees that consume carbon dioxide, are a great bulwark against the gas …

An environmentally friendly battery made from wood

Scientists have developed a battery made from a sliver of wood coated with tin that shows promise for becoming an environmentally friendly energy …

What Motivates Us To Collaborate?

<i>Part 3 of the</i> TED Radio Hour <i>episode</i> Why We Collaborate.<p><b>About Clay Shirky's TEDTalk</b><p>Social media guru Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy contributing to the web in our small ways, we're building a better, more …

Sweet hydrogen: how sugar could help satisfy the world's energy needs

Hydrogen makes an extraordinarily efficient and clean fuel. Three times as energy-efficient as petrol, Nasa used it to power its space shuttles. It …

Curiosity rover finds evidence Mars lost its atmosphere 4bn years ago

A mysterious, catastrophic event tore away the atmosphere of Mars, according to the first detailed analysis of the make-up of the air on the Red …

Splash out: the world's most amazing waterfalls

The bigger they are, the harder they fall – feel the power of the planet's mightiest and most beautiful waterfalls.<p>1. Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe<p><i>Image by MAZZALIARMADI.IT</i><p>Explorer David Livingstone could be accused of dampening expectations by naming these falls after England's doughy queen: …

Beware the 'crazy ants': They'll destroy your electronics

Science News<p>Exterminator Mike Matthews got the call because the home's air-conditioning unit had short-circuited. Why an exterminator for a problem with an appliance? Because of the crazy ants.<p>Matthews has seen crazy ants disable scores of air-conditioning units near Austin, Texas, where the …

Coming Soon: Free Streaming Video Of Our Planet, From Space

All eyes on Earth!<p>At this moment, dozens of government satellites are taking high-resolution pictures of the planet. But citizens get only limited services such as Google Earth, which provides imagery that's sometimes 10 years old. This fall, however, the Canada-based company UrtheCast (in …

Yoghurt from a silver spoon tastes best

Eating with a solid silver spoon really can make your food taste better, according to researchers.<p>Psychologists have found that the weight, type and even the colour of cutlery can change the way people perceive the taste of food.<p>Yoghurt eaten with a silver spoon tastes more expensive and creamier …

Got A Migraine? Blame Your Parents

A new study suggests that migraines have a genetic component.<p>Next time you're squeezing your eyes shut and rubbing your temples trying to massage the searing pain out of your head, blame your parents.<p>No really.<p>Researchers at King's College London recently identified 12 genetic regions associated …

Simple Eye Exam Reveals How Much You Like Chocolate

What's that twinkle in your eye? Is it dopamine?<p>You know when you give a child a candy bar, and they seem to get a little twinkle of joy in their eyes? Maybe that's just a look of gratitude—or maybe it's all the dopamine floating around their retinas. A new study shows it could be possible to use …

Searching For A Material To Make Solar Pants

A new crowd-sourced effort found 35,000 promising molecules that could make light, flexible solar power materials.<p>Say you wanted to make a pair of pants that are also able to act as solar panels. (Why not?) How do you know where to start to look for a material that would work for your …

The Man With A 'Battery Operated Brain'

He calls himself the "human with the battery operated brain" because he does, in fact, have electrodes in his head, put there by his New Zealand doctors.<p>Andrew Johnson (also known as "Cyber AJ") a few months ago was a young, 39 year old, early-onset Parkinsonian who tremored constantly. His hands …

Letting children watch hours of TV improves academic ability, study claims

Allowing children to glue themselves to the TV for hours a day improves their academic abilities, a study has claimed.<p>Researchers at the University of London found that children who watched three or more hours a day were three months ahead of their peers who watched less than an hour a day, …

Graphene ribbons improve lithium ion batteries

<b>RICE (US) —</b> Anodes for lithium ion batteries built with ribbons of graphene perform better, tests show.<p>After 50 charge-discharge cycles, the …

Children can only be as funny as their parents

Children will only ever be as funny as their parents as they learn by imitation, according to new research.<p>Children begin to develop a sense of humour from the age of 18 months but will only be as funny as their parents, the study shows.<p>Young children learn to be funny by copying adults, so it is …

Every Night You Lose More Than A Pound While You're Asleep (For The Oddest Reason)

<b>Editor's Note: Robert has added an update to this post. Scroll down to read it.</b><p>Here's a simple question: Why do you weigh more when you go to sleep than when you wake up? Because you do. In the video below, you'll see the evidence. You can check this yourself. Somehow, while doing absolutely …

A revolutionary new 3D digital brain atlas

This is the first ever 3D microstructural model of the entire human brain, and it’s publicly available to researchers world-wide at no cost.<p>Imagine …

Mapping the brain: 3D atlas aims to unlock the secrets of the mind

Scientists have created the highest resolution 3D digital model yet made of a human brain, showing features as small as 20 micrometres across – …

Govts inch towards framework for global CO2 market

BONN, June 13 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Governments may this year launch a global framework to tie together national and regional greenhouse gas …

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The World’s Most Influential (and Respected) Chemists

Part of the fun of running the blog is using Google Analytics to observe how people stumble across the site. One important way is through search …

Science and sex: Everything you wanted to know about 'doing it'

"How We Do It" may sound like a sex manual, but it isn't: In fact, that's about the only topic you won't find addressed in anthropologist Robert Martin's book-length survey of human reproduction and what we can learn from the animal world.<p>There's still news you can use, however. For example, how …

The Energy Fix: How Geography Drives Energy Development

The importance of global landscapes<p>Worldwide renewable energy production reached 66.83 quadrillion BTUs in 2010. The countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development—which keeps detailed records for its 34 members [see map]—produced 16.50 quadrillion BTUs that year. Which …

NASA warns Arctic thaw could have huge impact on global warming

The Arctic's permafrost soils have NASA worried. Scientists monitoring carbon levels in the top layers of Arctic soils have identified huge deposits that, if thawed sufficiently, could upset its carbon balance and magnify the impacts of global warming. The agency estimates that the Arctic's …

Lead exposure may trigger schizophrenia

<b>COLUMBIA U. (US) —</b> Research points to a relationship between lead exposure and schizophrenia and raises questions about other environmental …