Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dreams might be helping us! The science behind dreams

"Dreams seem to help us process emotions by encoding and constructing memories of them. What we see and experience in our dreams might not necessarily be real, but the emotions attached to these experiences certainly are. Our dream stories essentially try to strip the emotion out of a certain experience by creating a memory of it. This way, the emotion itself is no longer active. This mechanism fulfils an important role because when we don’t process our emotions, especially negative ones, this increases personal worry and anxiety. In fact, severe REM sleep-deprivation is increasingly correlated to the development of mental disorders. In short, dreams help regulate traffic on that fragile bridge which connects our experiences with our emotions and memories" reports Sander van der Linden who explains the study conducted by Cristina Marzano and colleagues at the University of Rome. Read this interesting study here.

I think this is my second post about dreams! Well, am mystified by them, also saw a really bad dream today :(  he he he.... 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Iron-deficiency is not something you get just for being a lady | Context and Variation, Scientific American Blog Network

Iron-deficiency is not something you get just for being a lady | Context and Variation, Scientific American Blog Network

World population to surpass 7 billion in 2011; Explosive population growth means challenges for developing nations

Global population is expected to hit 7 billion later this year, up from 6 billion in 1999. Between now and 2050, an estimated 2.3 billion more people will be added -- nearly as many as inhabited the planet as recently as 1950. New estimates from the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations also project that the population will reach 10.1 billion in 2100.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lost Inca City of Machu Picchu

On July 24, 1911, Yale University lecturer and amateur archaeologist Hiram Bingham completed a steep climb from Peru's Urubamba River valley through the thin air of the Andes Mountains to one of the most significant and lasting discoveries in archeological history—the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Read more...........

Thursday, July 21, 2011

‪Saving‬‏ - YouTube

Watch this awesome experience and efforts caught in this video by those wonderful people who saved this whale from a fisherman's net! Once the whale is free it is a real joy to see how it rejoices its freedom! Really cute :)

Attractive dads have more grandchildren, zebra finch study shows

Look at these birds. Attractive? Especially if they are males their attractiveness is having a huge impact on female behavior so much so on the number and size of eggs their daughters produce!!  
Those who are interested how attractive males can influence to this extent read this.
Just wondering if this could be used as an analogy to how in our species women would look for all the material qualities along with handsomeness in a man!!!! LOL

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Multiverses : EvolutionBlog

Multiverses : EvolutionBlog

The Case for Parallel Universes

“I would bet that at the turn of the 22nd century philosophers and physicists will look nostalgically at the present and recall a golden age in which the narrow provincial 20th century concept of the universe gave way to a bigger better [multiverse] ... of mind-boggling proportions.”- Leonard Susskind

Read a set of articles on the controversial subject of possibilities for parallel universes! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Non-Africans are part Neanderthal, genetic research shows

Some of the human X chromosome originates from Neanderthals and is found exclusively in people outside Africa, according to an international team of researchers led by Damian Labuda of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center. The research was published in the July issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution.

This study provides evidence that Neanderthals interbred with modern man probably at the cross roads of Middle East. It might have also contributed to the variability which is enriched by each addition to genome for long-term survival of species.

Face value: Looks of political candidates are key factor influencing low-information voters

Face value: Looks of political candidates are key factor influencing low-information voters

Grand Cayman blue iguana: Back from the brink of extinction

This is an adult Grand Cayman blue iguana on its namesake island. Decimated by a combination of habitat destruction, car-related mortality, and predation by introduced cats and dogs, the reptile numbered between 10-25 individuals by 2002. A recovery program -- assisted by health experts from the Bronx Zoo -- has brought the number of free-ranging iguanas within Grand Cayman's protected areas to more than 500 animals. (Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society) Read More
I have also uploaded a short video just to appreciate this reptile.

What keeps Earth cooking?

What spreads the sea floors and moves the continents? What melts iron in the outer core and enables Earth's magnetic field? Heat. Geologists have used temperature measurements from more than 20,000 boreholes around the world to estimate that some 44 terawatts (44 trillion watts) of heat continually flow from Earth's interior into space. Where does it come from? Read More

Pet Ownership Improves Well-Being : Discovery News

Pet Ownership Improves Well-Being : Discovery News

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Giant Underwater Volcanoes Discovered

  • Some of the peaks rise 10,000 feet above the ocean floor.
  • Volcanic islands above the sea surface were found by Captain Cook.
  • Giant landslides from the sides of the volcanoes could trigger tsunamis.
  • Read More

Even before language, babies learn the world through sounds

Even before language, babies learn the world through sounds

Evolved stars locked in fatalistic dance

White dwarfs are the burned-out cores of stars like our Sun. Astronomers have discovered a pair of white dwarfs spiraling into one another at breakneck speeds. Today, these white dwarfs are so near they make a complete orbit in just 13 minutes, but they are gradually slipping closer together. About 900,000 years from now -- a blink of an eye in astronomical time -- they will merge and possibly explode as a supernova. By watching the stars converge, scientists will test both Einstein's general theory of relativity and the origin of some peculiar supernovae.

Read More

Uganda free of maternal and neonatal tetanus, UNICEF reports

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has lauded the efforts of Uganda, which has become the 20th country since 2000 to have eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). In 2010, Uganda reported it had eliminated the disease – and this year, a validation survey has taken place, confirming Uganda’s elimination campaign has been successful. 

Newborn babies can contract tetanus if the umbilical cord is cut with an unclean instrument or if a harmful substance such as ash or cow dung is applied to the cord, a traditional practice in some African countries. If contracted, the infection can cause a baby to develop muscle spasms that eventually stop it from breathing.

MNT is among the most common lethal consequences of unclean deliveries and umbilical cord-care practices. When tetanus develops, mortality rates are extremely high, especially when appropriate medical care is not available.Maternal and neonatal tetanus deaths can be prevented by immunizing mothers with the tetanus vaccine and emphasizing hygienic delivery and cord care practices.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Faces of Our Ancestors : Discovery News

Faces of Our Ancestors : Discovery News

Evolution Controversies: A History in Photos : Discovery News

Evolution Controversies: A History in Photos : Discovery News

Wow! This is called Illusion!

Watch the video and you will be amazed at the motion of those wooden balls which appear to roll 'up-hill' against gravity as if drawn by a magnet at the center!! 

This is the work of a mathematical engineer from Japan, Kokichi Sugihara, who has created this illusion very tactfully using the basic intuition that gravity works. This construction won the 2010 Best Illusion of the Year Contest

The steps to prepare one such illusion for yourself go to this link.

Ant colonies: Behavioral variability wins

They attack other colonies, plunder and rob, kill other colonies' inhabitants or keep them as slaves: Ants are usually regarded as prototypes of social beings that are prepared to sacrifice their lives for their community, but they can also display extremely aggressive behavior towards other nests...... Read more

Climate change: How much ocean can sink in carbon dioxide?

Ocean is the largest body absorbing carbon buffering the climate change. How long and to what degree oceans take up carbon is the topic of investigation since many years producing inconsistent results from several investigations. 

As a single body ocean takes up almost one-third of all human produces carbon and reduces the atmospheric carbon dioxide to a great extent. McKinley and her colleagues have produced the first observational evidence  that climate change is negatively impacting on the ocean's carbon absorbing capacity. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pygmy Parrots!

The smallest members of the parrot family, these pygmy parrots are smaller than even lovebirds. Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea harbors six species of these pygmy parrots. They eat fungus, lichen, seeds, fruits and insects. 

Check out the video to realize how small and lovely parrots they are :)  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Millions of Fishes: The Ultimate Marine Library

Scripps Fish Library
Flying Fish

Two million fishes immersed in gallons of isopropyl alcohol can be seen preserved since many years at Scripps Institute of Oceanography's library if fish in California. Marine biologist Phil Hastings is the curator of this library who inherited this responsibility of sorting, identifying, preserving and studying the jarred specimens since 1999. 

The library's first specimens arrived at around 1875 with a fisherman's catch. Today the library gives you a collection of millions of fishes collected through 21,000 collection events across the globe cruises (billions of dollars of expenditure). 

"From a historical standpoint, the collections are priceless wonders of the world"- Hastings.

The photographs are by Marc Tule, farmer marine biology student.

Fish jars

Sea Spider
Umbrella mouth Gulper Eel

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Plant entirely dependent on a lizard for reproduction: Roussea and gecko

For a detailed information for those interested in biology go to this post and get a snapshot of many interesting photographs and descriptions by biologist Dennis Hansen of his work on the isolated island of Mauritius posted by Why Evolution is True

Massive Solar Eruption Close-Up: Must watch

Goddard, the space flight center of NASA has uploaded the close up high quality full resolution video which depicts the medium sized solar flare which ejected from the Sun on June 7, 2011. 

Turn on the captions to know the details of the video.

Also enjoy the solar eruption shown at multiple wavelengths!

Trees Eat Pollution Better Than Expected : Discovery News

'Crooked Forest': Mysteriously Bent Pine Trees!

Gryfino, a tiny corner of western Poland is a place where you can see pine trees seen in the above picture, bent mysteriously to 90 degrees at the base of the trunk. All bent northward! There are about 400 such trees which make up what is popularly called 'Crooked Forest'. What is mysterious about these pine trees is that they are surrounded by normal trees which are not bent. 

This collection of curved trees were planted at around 1930. This phenomenon is understood to be of human intervention and why exactly the tree farmers wanted such a bent in so many pine trees is unknown. The most popular theory is that the trees were deformed for the purpose of carpentry such as building boats, furniture etc.  

Top photograph of the Crooked Forest by Maciej Sokolowski. Bottom photograph by SÅ‚awek Milewicz, Szczecin, Poland.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Future Survival Machines: Robots?!

 Robot-cat with a flexible spine, movable head by DARPA

Imagine a robot which can hunt you down. Remember Transformers? A robot which can make ethical decisions in your absence. What if they are right in every matter than you are?! Given the programming given to them they are bound to be accurate than us. What if they overtake us in every aspect?! Will this turn out to be a nightmare or an achievement? Or what if they survive in the line of evolution!!?

Check out these awesome links for some insight into future prospects of robots:

HECTOR inspired by insects

Snake like robot swims to rescue

Robonaut 2: Space partner

Space Station Robot

Robot makes ethical decision

Enchanted by Nature's beauty, Passion Chased, Wonders Seized in 'Camera'!!

Nature's beauty and wonders captured his little heart when he was a child. As a child he used to dream about  mysterious and stupendous forests and wildlife and his heart was imploring him to go visit them. As this boy grew up his interest grew even more stronger and made him involve himself learning about nature. 

To capture all this marvel the camera attracted him. He spent his childhood exploring with his father's Click IV and later on progressed to other cool cameras capturing all the opportunities available to him. He traveled extensively to forests accompanied by naturalists and learnt along the process the art of capturing alluring nature in his camera. As a young man with an attractive job of a code geek he knew what his heart really wanted. And the quality which turns mediocrity into greatness, taking risks and following your passion, which he obviously possessed finally made him quit his job and head on full-time into nature photography.

This information is about a young man who is well established himself into wildlife photography and who will be one among world renowned in future. His name is Amoghavarsha from Bengaluru. The reason for writing this particular post is the inspiration it can bring to a lot of young minds like Amoghavarsha. It is an example to push you to take risks, because only then you can conquer your passion. 

Here are some of his photographs on nature and wildlife, a feast for your eyes!

You can read a feature on him by Hindustan times. He has covered wildlife for NDTV, NGC many more. You can find more about his activities here


Scarlet Minivet

Eurasian House Martin

Spotted Owlet yawn

Tiger in shrubs

Crimson sketch


Nilgiri Tahr

Worker Bee

Blue Mormon - Caterpillar

Lesser Whistling Duck
Unknown Caterpillar
Green Whine Snake
Leopard Cub
Gold Fronted Leaf Bird

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported LicenseCreative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.