justin loyde

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An Ancient Virus May Be Responsible for Human Consciousness

You've got an ancient virus in your brain. In fact, you've got an ancient virus at the very root of your conscious thought.<p>According to two papers …

Neuroscience

Alien Life Might Be So Advanced That It's Indistinguishable From The Laws Of Physics

We've never seen aliens... Or have we? No, Roswell conspirators, not now. Please sit down. We're talking in multitudes of higher complexity.<p>Try this …

Dark Matter

Here’s how people judge you based on your face

Scientists have identified countless ways that we judge people based on their looks, even when those judgments have no basis in reality.<p>"We form …

Psychology

Satan's enigma: 'Possessed' nun's 17th-century letter deciphered

A mysterious letter written more than 300 years ago by a Sicilian nun who claimed to be possessed by Satan has finally been deciphered. Scientists used a deep-web code breaker to read the letter.<p>The message — indeed devilish — describes God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as "dead weights," the …

The Big Bang Wasn't The Beginning, After All

The Universe began not with a whimper, but with a bang! At least, that’s what you’re commonly told: the Universe and everything in it came into existence at the moment of the Big Bang. Space, time, and all the matter and energy within began from a singular point, and then expanded and cooled, …

Universe

Why is it so hard to swat a fly?

<b>Try to swat a fly and it will soon become clear that they're faster than you. Much faster. But how on Earth do these tiny creatures - with their minuscule brains - outwit us so easily?</b><p>You've probably pondered it after chasing a fly around your house and flailing your shoe with repeated, …

Biology

Making Sense of the Violence in Charlottesville

Was the white-nationalist march better understood as a departure from America’s traditional values, or viewed in the context of its history?<p>Broad swaths of the American public repudiated the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville and President Trump’s response to them. But even in their …

Rights & Freedoms

Infected DNA successfully hacks computer in terrifying experiment

Remember a few month ago when we were all laughing at Harvard scientists for putting a GIF inside a strand of DNA? Now that bridge between technology …

University of Washington

How to Slam Dunk Creationists When It Comes to The Theory of Evolution

Because this argument is barely worth having.<p>The 2001 discovery of the seven million-year-old Sahelanthropus, the first known upright ape-like …

The Strange Case of a Hacked Dark Web Child Porn Site Just Got Stranger

Europol confirms it has documents related to Giftbox, a dark web child abuse site that was recently used to deploy a Tor Browser zero-day exploit.<p>At the end of last year, Mozilla hurriedly patched a zero-day vulnerability for Firefox that had been used against targets in the wild. Shortly after, …

Privacy

Vintage photos show the terrifying first expeditions into the Congo to track down Ebola

The most recent outbreak occurred in a province that neighbors a small village called Yambuku, where the disease first reared its head.<p>When Ebola started to kill patients in a missionary hospital, a Flemish nun was infected and samples of her blood were sent to Belgium. Scientists soon realized …

Disease

Why the "You" in an Afterlife Wouldn't Really Be You

<i>The Discovery</i> is a 2017 Netflix film in which Robert Redford plays a scientist who proves that the afterlife is real. “Once the body dies, some part …

Consciousness

This Quantum Theory Predicts That The Future Might Be Influencing The Past

No, seriously.<p>One of the weirder aspects of quantum mechanics could be explained by an equally weird idea – that causation can run backwards in time …

Quantum Mechanics

This Is The First Detailed Footage of DNA Replication, And It Wasn't What We Expected

"It undermines a great deal of what's in the textbooks."<p>Here's proof of how far we've come in science - in June 2017, researchers recorded up-close …

Biochemistry

Why To Get Excited About A Black Hole Crash 3 Billion Light Years Away

These events last only tens of milliseconds, but they’re the most powerful phenomena since the Big Bang, and open up an entirely new window on the universe.<p>For the third time in a year and a half, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory has detected gravitational waves. …

Black Holes

Nothing Escapes From A Black Hole, And Now Astronomers Have Proof

If you collect more and more matter in a small enough volume of space, it gets harder and harder to escape from its gravitational pull. Gather enough mass there, and you’ll find that the speed you’d need to reach in order to escape is greater than the speed of light! From within that region, escape …

Imaging

What causes that feeling of being watched

You feel somebody is looking at you, but you don’t know why. The explanation lies in some intriguing neuroscience and the study of a strange form of brain injury.<p>Something makes you turn and see someone watching you. Perhaps on a busy train, or at night, or when you’re strolling through the park. …

The Brain

The 11 Best Sci-Fi Novels From the 21st Century You Likely Missed

Great doesn't need to mean old.<p>People tend to look to decades past for examples of great science fiction—the works Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke. But the 21st century is living in its own golden age of sci-fi. Along with film and TV adaptations, novels like <i>Cloud Atlas</i>, <i>The Road</i>,</i> …

German Researchers Discover Cause of OCD

This is major.<p>Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can take many forms. Perhaps someone washes her hands over and over again, leading to cuts and skin damage. Or maybe she can’t fall asleep at night until she’s gotten out of bed to make sure the door is locked. Perhaps she always orders objects in a …

Neuroscience

Scientists Just Mastered an Error-Free Way to Store Data on DNA | Inc.com

Ask any business what it takes to really get ahead and data analysis comes pretty close to topping the list. The stink in the commode, though, is that companies have so much data that just storing it--let alone putting it to use--is problematic. But if scientists have their way, in the …

Genetics

What happens in cashless societies? Five answers from science fiction

If we don’t work for money, what might we be working for?<p>There is a funny section in Philip K Dick’s <i>Ubik</i> where one of the central characters has an …

Men And Women Literally See Things Differently

Left-eye preference also occurs in men, but to a lesser degree. This is because the right hemisphere of the brain (which corresponds to the left side …

Autism

Scientists have evolved a remarkable new form of life that can bond silicon to carbon

You're probably already familiar with a few products products that use carbon-silicon, or organosilicon: glues, caulks, and pesticides, to name a few.<p>But the new biological trick, which was forcefully evolved in bacteria, is safer and 15 times more efficient than synthetic, industrial chemistry at …

Chemistry

There might be an algorithm that explains intelligence

The human brain is the most sophisticated organ in the human body. The things that the brain can do, and how it does them, have even inspired a model of artificial intelligence (AI). Now, a recent study published in the journal <i>Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience</i> shows how human intelligence may be a …

Artificial Intelligence

Is Gravity Really A Fundamental Force?

This is a question that has been on the mind of many scientists and astronomers for a long time. For years they have worked at trying to quantize …

Top 10 books writers should read

From unforgiving French sociology to Machiavelli’s manual for realpolitik, the Booker prize-winning author DBC Pierre recommends books that helped him write<p>Writing a novel from scratch, which is to say without training, was such an unexpected odyssey that I was prompted to recall the discoveries in …

Books