will's picture

Aerial Spraying to Combat Mosquitos Linked to Increased Risk of Autism in Children

New study finds a community's use of airplanes to spread pesticide each summer may pose a greater risk of autism spectrum disorder and developmental disorders among children born in the area​.

BALTIMORE, MD – New research to be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting suggests that the use of airplanes to spray anti-mosquito pesticides may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder and developmental delays among children.

Researchers who will present the abstract, "Aerial Pesticide Exposure Increases the Risk of Developmental Delay and Autism Spectrum Disorder," identified a swampy region in central New York where health officials use airplanes to spray pyrethroid pesticides each summer. The pesticides target mosquitos that carry the eastern equine encephalitis virus, which can cause swelling of the brain and spinal cord. They found that children living in ZIP codes in which aerial pesticide spraying has taken place each summer since 2003 were approximately 25 percent more likely to have an autism diagnosis or documented developmental delay compared to those in ZIP codes with other methods of pesticide distribution, such as manually spreading granules or using hoses or controlled droplet applicators.

will's picture

The Antikythera Mechanism: The 2,000-Year-Old Computer

by itninja, AnonHQ

Just over 2,000 odd years ago, Greek scientists created the world’s first computer. Is this a typo within our article? Nope. The story behind this strange and extraordinary mechanism has several hidden mysteries.

The popular and well known Antikythera Mechanism has actually been the core base of research, exceeding a century of learning. The complex device was actually uncovered in the year 1901, near the island of Antikythera, Greece. This was found in a horrific shipwreck, and was discovered accidentally by sponge divers.

While investigating the wreckage of the old ship, the divers saw flasks, coins and statues,  which dated back between 100-150 B.C. These statues provided valuable information about the traditional commercial artwork and trading during the Hellenistic period. Other items found within the abandon shipwreck were bronze, marble statues and glassware, and golden jewelry. To much their surprise, researchers focused most of their time upon a strange and complex device in which was also found within this wreckage, one that we would know as ‘The Antikythera Mechanism.’

will's picture

Paralyzed Man can Move Arm Again Thanks to Synthetic Nervous System

by CoNN, AnonHQ

Gentlemen. We can rebuild him. We have the technology. Researchers have used what they call a neural bypass to replace the link between a quadriplegic man’s mental commands and the muscles in his limbs. Ian Burkhart was involved in a driving accident, and six years later he’s able to move his own hand once more. The neural bypass allows him to move his individual fingers, pick up large or small objects, swipe a credit card or even play Guitar Hero. He is the first patient to ever undertake this treatment.

Burkhart said during a press conference, that his ability to execute relatively complex types of movement “really can translate into a lot of functional, daily tasks that I can’t do on my own right now.”

“So that’s something that, if or when I can use this system outside of the clinical setting, it will really increase my quality of life and my independence, and decrease the amount of assistance I need from other people.”

Here’s how it works: a microelectrode array is implanted into Burkhart’s brain. It detects the activity in a particular region of his left motor cortex, a region which the researchers had already analysed with functional magnetic resonance imaging, determining that it was the area that controlled his hand – when Burkhart repeatedly thought about moving his hand, this region would increase in activity.

will's picture

Sperm Whales Found Dead In Germany, Stomachs FULL Of Plastic And Car Parts

by Amanda Froelich, True Activist

The whales’ deaths are symbolic of humanity’s shocking disregard for marine life.

In January, 29 sperm whales were found stranded on shores around the North Sea, an area that is too shallow for the marine wildlife. Only recently were details of the animals’ necropsy released. However, scientists were deeply disturbed by what they found in the animals’ stomachs.

According to a press release from Wadden Sea National Park in Schleswig-Holstein, many of the whales had stomachs FULL of plastic debris, including a 13-meter-long fishing net, a 70 cm piece of plastic from a car and other pieces of plastic litter.

Some suggest that the animals thought the items were food, such as squid, which is their main staple. Others, however, believe that the travesty is largely a result of humanity’s shocking disregard for marine life, which has resulted in an overabundance of plastic in the oceans.

Said Robert Habeck, environment minister for the state of Schleswig-Holstein:

will's picture

Scientists Discover That Bacteria Have a Collective Memory

by Josh Richardson,

Collective motion can be observed in biological systems over a wide range of length scales, from large animals to bacteria because collective systems always work better for adaptation than those which are singular. Individual bacterial cells have short memories. But groups of bacteria can develop a collective memory that can increase their tolerance to stress. This has been demonstrated experimentally for the first time in a study by Eawag and ETH Zurich scientists published in PNAS.

A central question in the study of biological collective motion is how the traits of individuals give rise to the emergent behavior at population level. This question is relevant to the dynamics of general self-propelled particle systems, biological self-organization, and active fluids. Bacteria provide a tractable system to address this question, because bacteria are simple and their behavior is relatively easy to control.

will's picture

Matter Will Be Created From Light Within A Year, Claim Scientists

Researchers have worked out how to make matter from pure light and are drawing up plans to demonstrate the feat within the next 12 months.

The theory underpinning the idea was first described 80 years ago by two physicists who later worked on the first atomic bomb. At the time they considered the conversion of light into matter impossible in a laboratory.

But in a report published on Sunday, physicists at Imperial College London claim to have cracked the problem using high-powered lasers and other equipment now available to scientists.

“We have shown in principle how you can make matter from light,” said Steven Rose at Imperial. “If you do this experiment, you will be taking light and turning it into matter.”

The scientists are not on the verge of a machine that can create everyday objects from a sudden blast of laser energy. The kind of matter they aim to make comes in the form of subatomic particles invisible to the naked eye.

will's picture

The Science of Slow Deep Breathing

Take a deep breath.

The odds are good that you have been on the receiving end of the aforementioned recommendation more than once during your life. The odds are also good that, at least initially, this respiratory admonishment had the opposite effect from its calming intention.

No matter how you feel about the deep breath it is a folk remedy that has stood the test of time. But is there any scientific basis for the proposed stress-relieving effects of a slow, deep breath?

As you have likely surmised from the title of this article, there is robust scientific evidence for the benefits of mindful breathing. Let’s begin with an exercise and then delve into the physiology behind your breathing.

will's picture

Caltech Researchers Find Evidence of a Ninth Planet

This sounds familiar...

Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). In fact, it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun.

The researchers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, discovered the planet's existence through mathematical modeling and computer simulations but have not yet observed the object directly.

"This would be a real ninth planet," says Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of Planetary Astronomy. "There have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It's a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that's still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting."

will's picture

Tip of the Tongue: Humans May Taste at Least 6 Flavors

We cook, therefore we are. Over the millennia, humankind – hardly content to eat plants, animals and fungi raw – has created a smorgasbord of cuisines.

Yet for all our sophistication in the kitchen, the scientific understanding of how we taste food could still use some time in the oven. Dating back to ancient Greece and China, the sensation of taste has historically been described as a combination of a handful of distinct perceptions. Western food research, for example, has long been dominated by the four "basic tastes" of sweet, bitter, sour and salty.

In recent decades, however, molecular biology and other modern sciences have dashed this tidy paradigm. For example, Western science now recognizes the East's umami (savory) as a basic taste. But even the age-old concept of basic tastes is starting to crumble.


Subscribe to RSS - Science