Cakes in space: Scientists launch sweet treat 120,000ft in the air (VIDEO)

The pioneering teacake, named Terry, was launched from Renfrewshire, west of Glasgow, on Friday.

It took around 90 minutes to reach a peak altitude of 37,007 meters (121,414 feet). It then took approximately 40 minutes to descend back to Earth where it landed in Galloway Forest Park.

The chocolate treat was sent into orbit on a hydrogen weather balloon by researchers from The Glasgow Science Centre. The experiment was streamed live on Facebook with more than 33,000 people following the biscuit’s adventure.

According to the researchers, “Terry was pretty intact when he landed in a tree” in the park.

“We engage people with space science every day, and we thought ‘what better way to spark people’s imaginations and interest in STEM than for us to launch something into space ourselves,’” Dr Stephen Breslin of Glasgow Science Centre told BBC Scotland.

“We are delighted by how many people joined us at GSC, and online, to watch Terry’s space adventures.”

Terry the teacake isn’t the first famous British food to be launched into space. In December last year, a meat pie was launched into orbit from outside a pub in Wigan to celebrate the upcoming World Pie Eating Championships.

READ MORE: Pie-oneering meat pastry makes bold journey into space (VIDEO)

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Scientists Find Out What Mysterious ‘Sea People’ Ruined Bronze Age Civilizations









 






A team of Swiss and Dutch scientists says they have deciphered a 3,200-year-old inscription on a stone which was found in the 19th century in what would become modern-day Turkey, which sheds light on what they call “one of the greatest Mediterranean puzzles,” namely, the identity of the mysterious ‘Sea People” (most likely Vikings) who ruined Bronze Age civilizations.

The researchers say that the sudden, uncontrollable collapse of the dominant Bronze Age civilizations had long remained a mystery. They partly attributed it to powerful naval raids. But the identity and origin of the invaders which modern-day scholars call the ‘Trojan Sea People’ had puzzled them for centuries.

The scientists, who deciphered the inscription, say that it tells how a united fleet of kingdoms from western Asia Minor, also known as Anatolia and Asian Turkey, raided coastal cities on the eastern Mediterranean before and during the fall of the Bronze Age. They believe the script was commissioned in 1190 BC by Kupanta-Kurunta, the king of a late Bronze Age state known as Mira, and describes the rise of the powerful kingdom, which launched a military campaign led by a prince Muksus from Troy.

The 29-meter limestone slab, which is believed to be 3,200 years old, was found in 1878. It had the longest known hieroglyphic inscription from the Bronze Age in an ancient language called Luwian, that just no more than 20 scholars can read today.

The stone was instantly used by villagers as building material for the foundation of a mosque. However French archaeologist George Perrot was apparently able to copy the inscription.

This copy was later found in the estate of English prehistorian James Mellaart after his death in 2012. His son then handed it over to Dr. Eberhard Zangger, a Swiss geo-archaeologist and the president of the Luwian Studies foundation, to study. The team of researchers also included Dr. Fred Woudhuizen, an independent Dutch scholar and linguist, who was finally able to translate the inscription.

Dr. Zangger said that the team therefore concluded that “Luwians from western Asia Minor contributed decisively to the so-called Sea Peoples’ invasions — and thus to the end of the Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean.”

“One of the greatest puzzles of Mediterranean archeology can thus be plausibly solved,” the founders stated.

The team said they are going to publish their findings in December in the journal Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society.

Some scholars, however, suggest that the inscriptions might be fake, because the slab itself was destroyed in the 19th century and the modern deciphering is based on the copy of the inscription.

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Scientists Can Read a Bird’s Brain and Predict Its Next Song






Scientists Can Read a Bird’s Brain and Predict Its Next Song


October 12th, 2017

Via: MIT Technology Review:

“We decode realistic synthetic birdsong directly from neural activity,� the scientists announced in a new report published on the website bioRxiv. The team, which includes Argentinian birdsong expert Ezequiel Arneodo, calls the system the first prototype of “a decoder of complex, natural communication signals from neural activity.� A similar approach could fuel advances towards a human thought-to-text interface, the researchers say.

A songbird’s brain is none too large. But its vocalizations are similar to human speech in ways that make these birds a favorite of scientists studying memory and cognition. Their songs are complex. And, like human language, they’re learned. The zebra finch learns its call from an older bird.















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Scientists Find Out What Mysterious ‘Sea People’ Ruined Bronze Age Civilizations









 






A team of Swiss and Dutch scientists says they have deciphered a 3,200-year-old inscription on a stone which was found in the 19th century in what would become modern-day Turkey, which sheds light on what they call “one of the greatest Mediterranean puzzles,” namely, the identity of the mysterious ‘Sea People” (most likely Vikings) who ruined Bronze Age civilizations.

The researchers say that the sudden, uncontrollable collapse of the dominant Bronze Age civilizations had long remained a mystery. They partly attributed it to powerful naval raids. But the identity and origin of the invaders which modern-day scholars call the ‘Trojan Sea People’ had puzzled them for centuries.

The scientists, who deciphered the inscription, say that it tells how a united fleet of kingdoms from western Asia Minor, also known as Anatolia and Asian Turkey, raided coastal cities on the eastern Mediterranean before and during the fall of the Bronze Age. They believe the script was commissioned in 1190 BC by Kupanta-Kurunta, the king of a late Bronze Age state known as Mira, and describes the rise of the powerful kingdom, which launched a military campaign led by a prince Muksus from Troy.

The 29-meter limestone slab, which is believed to be 3,200 years old, was found in 1878. It had the longest known hieroglyphic inscription from the Bronze Age in an ancient language called Luwian, that just no more than 20 scholars can read today.

The stone was instantly used by villagers as building material for the foundation of a mosque. However French archaeologist George Perrot was apparently able to copy the inscription.

This copy was later found in the estate of English prehistorian James Mellaart after his death in 2012. His son then handed it over to Dr. Eberhard Zangger, a Swiss geo-archaeologist and the president of the Luwian Studies foundation, to study. The team of researchers also included Dr. Fred Woudhuizen, an independent Dutch scholar and linguist, who was finally able to translate the inscription.

Dr. Zangger said that the team therefore concluded that “Luwians from western Asia Minor contributed decisively to the so-called Sea Peoples’ invasions — and thus to the end of the Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean.”

“One of the greatest puzzles of Mediterranean archeology can thus be plausibly solved,” the founders stated.

The team said they are going to publish their findings in December in the journal Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society.

Some scholars, however, suggest that the inscriptions might be fake, because the slab itself was destroyed in the 19th century and the modern deciphering is based on the copy of the inscription.

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Scientists are trying to take the gluten out of wheat in latest attempt to one-up Mother Nature

Image: Scientists are trying to take the gluten out of wheat in latest attempt to one-up Mother Nature

(Natural News)
Celiac sufferers are given a glimpse of hope that they can now partake of foods made from wheat with the news that scientists are trying to create wheat that doesn’t contain gluten via a gene-editing technique.

People who have celiac disease are those who are genetically-predisposed to having severe autoimmune allergic reactions when they ingest gluten – specifically the strain gliadin, a component of gluten which is responsible for giving bread the ability to rise properly when baking. The allergic reactions can prompt intestinal damage, especially in the small intestine.

Around one in 100 people worldwide have this disease, with one percent or three million of the American population being afflicted with this condition.

Researchers from the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture in Cordoba, Spain have made a new type of wheat that contains only 15 percent of the gliadins in normal wheat. They are using the Crispr-Casr9 gene-editing technique – a genetic tool which was first introduced in 2013 that can “cut and paste” small sections of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) – to get rid of genes that form the gliadin proteins.

The gene-editing “tool kit” is composed of a small piece of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and an enzyme protein called Cas9. The RNA component can link to a specific DNA sequence – this time the ones that form gliadin proteins – and then rip through the strands of DNA like a pair of molecular scissors.

Up to 35 different genes were mutated in one of the lines of the 45 different genes identified in the wild type, while immunoreactivity [to gluten] was reduced by 85 percent,” said Dr. Francisco Barro, lead author of the study that was published in the Plant Biotechnology Journal.

The team is trying to do away with the remaining 10 genes to ensure that gliadin proteins will not be produced.

However, not everyone is a fan of Crispr, with others going so far as to say it is like “playing God”.

I think this is a price that must be paid for the many benefits [that] gene-editing crops can bring to the agricultural space,” said Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research president and plant biologist David Stern.

At present, celiac sufferers get by with proper discipline and a promise to themselves that they will only partake of a gluten-free diet, which include foods and beverages that has a gluten content which is less than 20 parts per million. (Related: Gluten-free diet improves brain function, intestinal health in celiacs.)

Gene-editing in embryos is another angle that scientists are willing to look at, in their fight to vanquish preventable diseases. However, moral and ethical questions hound this step, and amendments to international laws would be needed before such treatments could be plausible.

Read more stories such as this one at GeneticLunacy.news.

Sources include:

DailyMail.co.uk

Gizmodo.com

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Scientists Just Found Water On Mars — Where They Thought It Couldn’t Exist

By Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

Though it is a well-established fact that Mars had large bodies of water over a million years ago, only traces of the ancient Martian lakes have been found in recent years. Organizations such as NASA used probes and landers to conclude where water is likely — and not likely — to be. Now, astronomers from the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) of Johns Hopkins University have found large deposits of water in what may be permafrost ice. Most importantly, they are exactly where scientists did not think water would ever be.

Futurism reports that the ice was discovered in an area called the Medusae Fossae, which is a patch of permafrost several hundred kilometers across. Because it’s on the Martian equator, scientists figured the location would be too warm for ice to stay intact near the surface.

In 2008, it was confirmed that Mars has permafrost ice at its polar regions. This data was provided by the Odyssey spacecraft’s neutron spectrometer. Reportedly, The specialized spectrometer picks up on neutron radiation being emitted from the red planet when high-energy cosmic rays rain down from space. Johns Hopkins’ APL planetary astronomer Jack Wilson told Cosmos: “These interact with the top meter of the soil and kick out particles, neutrons included.”

By analyzing the particles, scientists can identify what substances the cosmic rays interacted with — and continue to do so. When Wilson and his team gave the data a second review, they realized that earlier studies had a very low resolution at around 520 kilometers. After improving the resolution to 290 kilometers, they discovered high concentrations of water — about 40 percent of the region by weight.  “[It’s] similar to lowering the altitude of the spacecraft by 50%,” Wilson said. “You’re getting a better view of what’s going on.” The team’s findings were published in the journal Icarus.

This finding leads scientists to believe that water on Mars is more prevalent than once thought. In an APL press release, Wilson said: “Perhaps the signature could be explained in terms of extensive deposits of hydrated salts, but how these hydrated salts came to be in the formation is also difficult to explain. So for now, the signature remains a mystery worthy of further study, and Mars continues to surprise us.”

Read more: Scientists Discover That Mars Could Contain A Lot More Water Than Previously Believed

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One of the world’s largest supervolcanoes nearing eruption, scientists warn… would cause global cooling

Image: One of the world’s largest supervolcanoes nearing eruption, scientists warn… would cause global cooling

(Natural News)
As the global warming parade eagerly waits in anticipation for Earth’s temperatures to rise, a group of scientists warn that one of the world’s largest super volcanoes could erupt, setting off a chain of events that would actually cause wide scale cooling of the Earth’s climate.

Centuries ago, the volcanic caldera known as Campi Flegrei erupted just west of Naples, sending tons of ash into the atmosphere. This ash, rich in sulfur dioxide, blocked solar radiation, causing global temperatures to fall. The caldera is active today. Pressure is building as the super volcano nears eruption.

Volcanoes curb greenhouse gases naturally and block solar radiation

If the super volcano were to erupt, it could potentially quell the hysteria of global warming alarmists. An eruption of this size would allow global temperatures to fall naturally, letting the people know that they are not in control. For example, when the volcano at Mt. Tambora erupted in 1815, the greater vicinity experienced a severe cold spell the following year. All these natural disasters, weather events, and temperature cycles are out of people’s hands, despite their delusions of control.

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study showed that volcanic ash not only blocks solar radiation, it also curbs the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, causing a grander cooling effect across the planet. The scientists used laser radar, balloons, and ground based measurements to analyze the impact of vaporized particles from volcanic eruptions. They found that just a dozen small volcanic eruptions since the year 2000 cooled the Earth by .12 degrees Celsius, cutting global warming projections in half. What might a super volcano eruption do to the Earth’s climate today?

Super Volcano near Italy on the verge of erupting and cooling the planet

Throughout the 1980s, Campi Flegrei set off a series of small earthquakes. This is due to magma and other hot fluids shooting into the shallow structure of the volcano. Recently, scientists located a concerning “hot zone” within the caldera in southern Italy. Their findings could help predict when the next eruption lets go.

“One question that has puzzled scientists is where magma is located beneath the caldera, and our study provides the first evidence of a hot zone under the city of Pozzuoli that extends into the sea at a depth of 4 km,” said Dr. Luca De Siena of the University of Aberdeen.

“While this is the most probable location of a small batch of magma, it could also be the heated fluid-filled top of a wider magma chamber, located even deeper.”

In the 1980s, a massive rock formation measuring 1-2 km deep blocked magma from rising to the surface. The magma pursued a lateral route to release pressure. However, the pressure within the caldera continues to build, making the next eruption extremely large and catastrophic. The entire caldera has become hotter, indicating the growing pressure of magma beneath the surface. Scientists are trying to predict exactly where the rock will give along the lateral line. Since the seismic activity under Pozzouli has diminished, they fear that the magma will burst further down the line, closer to a more densely populated area such as Naples, Italy.

“This means that the risk from the caldera is no longer just in the centre, but has migrated. Indeed, you can now characterise Campi Flegrei as being like a boiling pot of soup beneath the surface,” Dr. De Siena says.

When the super volcano goes, global warming fears will have no choice but to melt away. The natural phenomenon on Earth is far more intelligent, far more powerful than scientific reason and our attempts to control it. (For more climate news: read ClimateScienceNews.com.)

Sources include:

Phys.org

ScienceTimes.com

ClimateScienceNews.com

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Scientists develop Terminator robot "super strength" material that could allow military hunter-killers to strangle you to death

Image: Scientists develop Terminator robot “super strength” material that could allow military hunter-killers to strangle you to death

(Natural News)
It seems as though the more we experiment with robotics, the more the classic 1984 film Terminator becomes something much more than just a fictional story produced in Hollywood. Scientists today have found ways to develop robots that can speak and think in ways eerily similar to those of real human beings, robotic animals that can strut across practically any terrain with ease, and even technologically advanced equipment that could one day lead to super strong humanoid robots.

According to researchers at the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science, we may now be one step closer to lifelike robots thanks to the creation of a 3D-printable synthetic soft muscle that doesn’t require an external compressor or high voltage equipment and is capable of lifting 1000 times its own weight.

Prior to this technological achievement, no material has had the ability to function as a soft muscle due to a lack of required properties such as high actuation stress and high strain. But now, scientists at Columbia University seem to have found a way around this issue, and the result is nothing short of a significant step forward in the world of robotic technology.

“We’ve been making great strides toward making robots minds, but robot bodies are still primitive,” explained Hod Lipson, a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University. “This is a big piece of the puzzle and, like biology, the new actuator can be shaped and reshaped a thousand ways. We’ve overcome one of the final barriers to making lifelike robots.”

Dr. Miriyev, a postdoctoral researcher in the Creative Machines lab, added that this new technology “may serve as robust soft muscle, possibly revolutionizing the way that soft robotic solutions are engineered today. It can push, pull, bend, twist, and lift weight.”

In addition to the obvious areas in which this synthetic muscle could be useful, such as manufacturing and even healthcare, the 3D-printed material could even be used while out on the battlefield to help soldiers carry out day-to-day operations. Being physically fit in the military is an absolute requirement, and if troops were able to take advantage of a technology that allowed them to lift more weight with less effort, then they would be put at a significant advantage over their enemies. Hand to hand combat and stealth attacks would become much more efficient as well. A military hunter-killer could sneak up behind an enemy and strangle him to death with virtually no effort whatsoever.

But the 3D printed synthetic muscle produced at Columbia University certainly wouldn’t be the first futuristic piece of technology used out on the battlefield. In fact, as reported by Business Insider in November of last year, the U.S. military is currently working on a strength-enhancing exoskeleton known as the Tactical Light Operator Suit, or TALOS. In addition to being equipped with the ability to stop bullets, TALOS also gives soldiers a significant advantage out on the battlefield by increasing the amount of weight they are able to carry. As you probably can imagine, this could help with anything from carrying a wounded soldier off of the battlefield, to lifting heavy debris and clearing a path, to even fending off an incoming enemy using nothing but sheer strength. (Related: The U.S. military will have more robot soldiers than human by the year 2025.)

Whether it’s a synthetic muscle that can lift 1000 times its own weight or an exoskeleton suit that turns military men and women into super soldiers, it is safe to say that wearable technology is helping to improve our lives in ways we could never have imagined. With great minds continuing to come up with new ideas and ways of doing things, the future of technology most certainly looks like a bright one.

Find news on more fascinating inventions at Inventions.news.

Sources include:

ScienceDaily.com

DailyMail.co.uk

BusinessInsider.com

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Scientists develop clean fuel using CO2, proving again how essential carbon dioxide is to human life

Image: Scientists develop clean fuel using CO2, proving again how essential carbon dioxide is to human life

(Natural News)
Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory say they have made a breakthrough in clean energy in relation to the process of converting carbon dioxide (CO2) into fuel using photosynthesis.

In their experiment, published in the Energy and Environmental Science journal, the U.S. Department of Energy scientists at the Berkeley lab were for the first time able to “successfully demonstrate the approach of going from carbon dioxide directly to target products, namely ethanol and ethylene, at energy conversion efficiencies rivaling natural counterparts,” Science Daily explained. Natural counterparts refers to plants.

Said one of the scientists on the project, “Our work here shows that we have a plausible path to making fuels directly from sunlight.”

The Energy Department’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, which was launched in 2010 for solar research studies, has identified a sun-to-fuel system as one of its primary goals.

In another development at the DOE Berkeley lab, scientists there have come up with an electrocatalyst comprised of copper particles for breaking down CO2 for the formation of multicarbon fuels such as ethylene, ethanol, and propanol. The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Remarked one of the lead scientists in the effort, “We discovered a catalyst for carbon dioxide reduction operating at high current density with a record low overpotential that is about 300 millivolts less than typical electrocatalysts,” Science Daily separately reported.

There appears to be a lot happening on the CO2 front. Earlier this month as Natural News detailed, Australian researchers published a study in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A about combing CO2 with hydrogen to produce methane (the primary component of natural gas) and water, thereby suggesting a path forward for a carbon-neutral fuel. Also, University of Kentucky researchers and their counterparts in Argentina recently identified a method to reduce the amount of CO2 produced during photosynthesis.

Mike Adams, the Health Ranger and founding editor of Natural News, has previously outlined how carbon dioxide gets a lot of unfair bad press as a result of climate change and global warming activism as enabled by an ever-compliant media. With respect to CO2, Mike has noted about whom he describes as photosynthesis deniers that they seem unaware that “This essential molecule supports the entire web of life on our planet, and without it, all plants, animals and humans would die.”

The Health Ranger has previously called for pumping carbon dioxide from CO2-generating conventional power plants into vast greenhouse facilities that could produce organic crops. “Coal-fired power plants can produce both electricity and food nutrition at the same time,” Adams noted. (Related: Read more about greenhouse gas emissions at ClimateScience.news)

Sources include:

NewsCenter.lbl.gov

ScienceDaily.com

ScienceDaily.com

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Russian scientists work on secret microwave bomb




Home » Europe, Science, Technology, Wars / Conflicts » Russian scientists work on secret microwave bomb













 






Russian scientists develop radioelectronic ammunition capable of disabling enemy’s equipment with the help of a powerful microwave impact.

Adviser to first deputy director general of Radioelectronic Technologies concern, Vladimir Mikheev, said that the technology would make it possible to create effect of interference to temporary put enemy arms systems out of operation or even disable them completely.

During 2011-2012, Russian scientists conducted secret research to determine main directions for the development of electronic weapons of the future.

The United States and China conduct similar works. Russia’s new state armament program before 2025 involves the development of high-precision weapons of next generation and their delivery to the Armed Forces of Russia.

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