Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and at San Diego State University were able to watch as a star the size of 50 our suns exploded, the first such observation ever. Continuing to track the event, they found that most of the star’s matter collapsed in on itself, creating a huge black hole.
People who lose their sight following a stroke may be able to regain some visual ability when they are listening to music they like, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, at Imperial College London, the University of Birmingham and other British institutions, looked at three patients who had lost awareness of half of their field of vision as a result of a stroke. The patients completed tasks while listening to their preferred music, while listening to music they did not like and in silence. All three patients could identify colored shapes and red lights in their depleted side of vision much more accurately while they were listening to their preferred music.
The origins of agriculture in China may be earlier than believed, according to evidence obtained from the bones of dogs and pigs from the Neolithic period. Chemical traces in the bones suggest the animals were eating a diet high in millet, a grain they were unlikely to eat in the wild but which was a staple of early agriculture in northwest China, where the bones were found. The bones, analyzed at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory in Washington, D.C., suggest agricultural was taking place as early as 7,900 years ago.
Faster technology coming?
New research at MIT might eventually give our cellphones and other devices the ability to transmit data much faster. Using microchips made of grapheme, a form of pure carbon, the researchers made a chip called a frequency multiplier that can double the frequency of an electromagnetic signal.
What if you could predict when you were going to do something stupid? A study led by a researcher at the University of California, Davis, in collaboration with the Donders Institute in the Netherlands, has found an electronic signature in the brain that predicts when an error is about to made due to lack of attention. Possible applications include monitoring devices to gauge the attention of air traffic controllers and ways to help children cope with ADHD.
Ice that burns may hold a key to the world’s future energy needs. According to the American Chemical Society, natural gas extracted from chunks of ice collected beneath the ocean floor may someday fuel cars, heat homes and power factories. Government researchers are looking into “gas hydrates,” a frozen form of natural gas that bursts into flames when touched by a match.