Over the next few months we’ll be breaking down scientific concepts into six-second vines at #guardianscienceinsix. This week we look at how the Large Hadron Collider works
With the exciting news that the Large Hadron Collider has discovered firm evidence for pentaquarks (a previously unseen class of particles that demonstrate there is a new state of matter) it seems a good time for a quick reminder of how the LHC actually works.
Related: What does a pentaquark mean for you?Continue reading...
Yuri Milner’s massive investment is minuscule for a priceless addition to human knowledge, not to mention the strides in science and technology
The scientific question of whether we are “alone” in the universe is age-old, spanning Giordano Bruno’s ideas of the 1500s, Immanuel Kant’s writings in 1755, and, of course, science fiction. There is only one answer to this question: “No, we are not alone – and never have been.”
This week Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, backed by some of the world’s top astrophysicists, announced an investment of $100m into one of the most daring and important scientific endeavors ever undertaken: the direct observation of technologically advanced civilizations outside of our solar system.Continue reading...
Storms gathering over the Pacific Ocean, the Great Barrier Reef from the space and the sleeping volcanoes of Sahara are among the images captured by European Space Agency and Nasa satellites last month
On 26 May Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island in the Galapagos Islands erupted for the first time in 33 years. Lava flows from the summit were accompanied by ash and smoke rising 6 miles into the air. The lava flows are highlighted in red. The image covers an area of 18.4 by 29 miles.
Carlos Arturo Torres has designed a modular system that lets kids programme their own prosthetics – and this is only the start of toy-based body parts
Children could soon see their favourite toy grafted on to the end of their arm, thanks to designs for Lego prosthetics that allow everything from mechanical diggers to laser-firing spaceships to be screwed on to the end of a child’s limb.
Iko is the work of the Chicago-based Colombian designer, Carlos Arturo Torres, and is a modular system that allows children to customise their own prosthetics with the ease of clicking together plastic bricks. The only limit is their imagination – and what they can find at the bottom of the Lego box.Continue reading...
Solanezumab blocks memory loss in patients with mild version of the disease, making it the first medicine ever to slow pace of damage to patients’ brains
Scientists appear to have broken a decades-long deadlock in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease after announcing trial results for the first drug that appears to slow the pace of mental decline.
The drug, called solanezumab, was shown to stave off memory loss in patients with mild Alzheimer’s over the course of several years. The effects would have been barely discernible to patients or their families, scientists said, and it is no cure. But the wider implications of the results have been hailed as “hugely significant” because it is the first time any medicine has slowed the rate at which the disease damages the brain.Continue reading...
Promising results of studies into use of solanezumab expected to be announced at Alzheimer’s conference in Washington
Researchers are set to unveil a drug that could help to slow down Alzheimer’s disease.
Promising results of studies into the use of solanezumab are expected to be announced on Wednesday.
This year marks the bicentenary of the invention of the Davy Lamp. But should credit for the first miners’ safety lamp be shared?
Almost two hundred years ago, on 9 November 1815, Humphry Davy, formerly Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, presented to the Royal Society the paper he later published as ‘On the Fire-damp of Coal Mines, and on Methods of Lighting the Mines so as to Prevent its Explosion’. In it, Davy described his researches into the chemical composition of “fire-damp” – the common name given to the naturally occurring mixture of flammable gases, mostly methane, that had caused several horrific mining disasters – and outlined several designs of lamp that might be used safely in the presence of the gas.
Less than a month later, the Tyne Mercury published a hostile letter from a J. H. H. Holmes, prompted by “Several statements … in the London, Edinburgh, and different provincial papers of this district, relating to a lamp, or lamps, invented, or said to be invented, by Sir Humphry Davy, for preventing explosion in coal mines”. In it, Holmes accused Davy of “borrow[ing the] principles” of William Reid Clanny, a Sunderland-based physician who, in 1813, had also presented to the Royal Society a paper outlining his own design of safety lamp.Continue reading...
A music festival might not seem an obvious place to see and hear science, but Latitude was full of it.
Why do people go to music festivals? When I was 18 years old and heading to Reading festival the answer was very much ‘to listen to Pulp and Beck in a field while drinking overpriced beer and definitely not trying to sneak a hip flask on to the site’. But I’ve grown up since then, and so, it seems, have festivals.
At Latitude this weekend, I probably only watched a handful of bands. Not to say that the musical lineup wasn’t great, but there was so much more on offer that caught my attention. The Wellcome Trust funded a large number of talks, interactive sessions and demos that appeared both in their ‘hub’, a tiny tent on the outskirts of the festival, but also in the Literary Tent at the heart of the festival and at other locations across the site.Continue reading...
Study also reveals some groups in South America have closer genetic ties to indigenous peoples of Australia, New Guinea and the Andaman Islands than to present-day Native Americans
Native American ancestors reached the new world in a single, initial migration from Siberia at most 23,000 years ago, only later differentiating into today’s distinct groups, DNA research revealed Tuesday.
Most scientists agree the Americas were peopled by forefathers who crossed the Bering land and ice bridge which connected modern-day Russia and Alaska in Earth’s last glacial period.Continue reading...
The vanity bus commissioned by London mayor Boris Johnson has more than electrical problems (Boris buses ‘running on diesel’ due to battery fault, 20 July). This new bus was designed with no windows that open and no air conditioning. This means that on warm days they become ovens, especially on sunny days. One of these days someone will pass out from the heat on the bus and someone might even die. I had to get off one the other day to avoid collapsing from the intense heat.
Martha Jean Baker
• When and how did astronomers (After years of waiting, little Pluto finally has its close-up, 16 July) decide that Pluto’s orbital companion isn’t the ferryman of the Styx, Charon, pronounced Kairon, but an Essex girl called Sharon? What are the chances of getting the Hadean boatman back?