Fashion Science

New Probiotic Suit Fights Body Odor

A bio-engineered bodysuit could handle unpleasant body-odor with micro-organisms woven into its fibers.

Named “Skin II,” the leotard-like piece of clothing incorporats live, healthy probiotic bacteria that, when activated by perspiration, can diminish personal odors, help skin cells regenerate and improve our immune system.

“It’s not the sweat on your body that causes body odor, it’s the bacteria,” designer Rosie Broadhead told Reuters in an interview. “So we’ve incorporated healthy bacteria into the textiles to enable a healthy microbiome which will help to reduce your body odor,”

With her probiotic fabric, Broadhead hopes to revolutionize the interaction between fabric and skin. Other than its health (and social life!) aspects, she’s also keen on the environmental impact of her invention:

“My project offers an alternative to chemicals such as antibacterial finishes on clothing and cosmetics,” Broadhead says, “Due to the deodorizing effect the probiotics have on the body, it may reduce the amount of time you need to wash your clothes.”

Our modern life fixation on cleanliness makes it hard for “good” micro-organisms to survive, so Skin II is a big opportunity for sustainable fashion.

Probiotics are living micro-organisms that are beneficial to our bodies when in sufficient amounts. Probiotics are found naturally in some foods, like yogurt, and, surprisingly, pickles, but you can also take them as dietary supplements.

Broadhead collaborated with Belgian microbiologist Chris Callewaert of Ghent University to develop the fabric. Callewaert has done extensive research on the causes of body odor, and he provided her with probiotic bacteria. This bacteria are found on our skin and are different from the digestive system bacteria we all know from food products.

“A lot of focus is on the fashion industry’s unsustainable practices concerning waste and environmental impact,” says Broadhead, “However, much less is known about the use of chemical finishes on our clothing that can impact our bodies.”

She wanted to create clothing that was good for the skin, but has a minimal impact on the environment, “which meant using technology that had a deodorizing effect. By working with probiotics that are common on our skin I have developed ways to add function and performance to our clothing in a natural way.”

Broadhead and Callewaert plan to market Skin II with a full sportswear line, and in this heat – we just can’t wait for it to hit the shelves :-)

A bio-engineered bodysuit could handle unpleasant body-odor with micro-organisms woven into its fibers.

Named “Skin II,” the...

Earth Nature & Tech Science

Giant Telescope the Focus of Hawaii Protest

Hawaiian activists led by native elders are protesting against the construction of a giant telescope atop the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain, which they say is sacred ground.

Colette has more:

Hawaiian activists led by native elders are protesting against the construction of a giant telescope atop the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s...

Animals Cool Stories Science

A Pocket Shark That Glows in the Dark!

A new species of the pocket shark was found in the Gulf of Mexico.  It secretes a liquid that glows in the dark,  attracting its prey.

This is a very significant find because it’s the only other member of the  Mollisquama genus that has been identified, according to a study published in the  Zootaxa journal.

Named the American Pocket Shark (Mollisquama mississippiensis) was identified as a new species based on an analysis performed on a single 5½-inch-long male that was caught in the Gulf in 2010.

In Louisiana, researchers from Tulane University applied several different techniques including X-ray imaging and high-resolution CT scans to examine the specimen.  It was determined it was a different species of the pocket shark  (Mollisquama parini)  that was ever reported.  In 1979, a pocket shark was captured in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Only two ever captured

Director of the Tulane Biodiversity Research Institute, Henry Bart, said in the history of science, these are the only two pocket sharks ever captured or reported.  He said that both sharks are separate species and from different oceans.

They are both extremely rare and the fact that only one pocket shark was reported from the Gulf of Mexico, this new species emphasizes how very little scientists know about the Gulf, especially in deeper waters. This has led scientists to question how many new species might be in the Gulf, yet to be discovered.

Both M. mississippiensis and M. parini have similar characteristics, they both have two rather large “pockets” near their front fins and gills. In a paper, the latest pocket shark has a fluid that glows and then attracts prey.

Even though both species have similarities, they also have notable differences, according to the Tulane scientists.  The M. mississippiensis has fewer vertebrae than the shark found in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.  Also, the species found in the Gulf has many light-producing organs known as photophores which have been found all over the body.

A new species of the pocket shark was found in the Gulf of Mexico.  It secretes a liquid that glows in the dark,  attracting its prey.

This is a...

Category - Science

Science TooCool

Russia Wants to 3D-Print ‘Large Scale Structures’ on the Moon

Journeys to the moon are undertaking more and more; before, it was a feat to simply set foot on the moon, but now that we’ve done that, new endeavors are being planned, especially by Russia.

A spokesperson for the country’s space corporation Roscosmos told Russian state-owned news agency TASS that they’re working on building a lunar base on the moon by 2040.

How will they do this? With 3D printing technologies that use lunar soil.

The lunar base is the final part of a three-stage program which begins with sending a spacecraft to orbit the moon, according to The Moscow Times. Stage two, expected to take place between 2025 and 2034, will be sending a manned mission to the moon for the purpose of beginning construction on the base.

Stage three, of course, will involve completing the lunar base, utilizing “additive technologies and local resources” for the “construction of large-scale structures,” said the Roscosmos spokesperson, who also noted that this third stage would include “furnishing scientific and industrial objects with equipment.”

They plan on creating structures with the capability of supporting astronaut life on the moon, as well.

3D- Printed Spare Parts

In the past, Dmitry Rogozin, the Director-General of Roscosmos, told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that the 3D printing will be used to create repair equipment as well as new parts for the technology to reduce the need for resupply missions.

The Russian aerospace company NPO Lavochkin also said that the 3D printing technology would use solar energy as its power source and moon dust as its resource for creating objects.

“We’re talking about creating a long-term base, not constantly manned, but visitable,” Rogozin told RIA Novosti in November of 2018. Therefore, Roscosmos plans to have “avatars” on the lunar base controlled by humans on Earth.

NASA also has plans in mind for creating a permanent presence on the moon – just one of the steps towards finally reaching Mars – and plans to begin sustainable lunar surface missions before 2030, conducted from NASA’s lunar “Gateway,” a small spaceship meant to hold both astronauts and science experiments while it orbits the moon.

Next on NASA’s agenda, however, is getting the first woman on the moon, and they plan to accomplish this mission, called “Artemis,” by 2024. Many challenges need yet to be overcome to make it possible for people to be on the moon for any extended amount of time, however, so the next several years are full of research, experiments, and trials.

Journeys to the moon are undertaking more and more; before, it was a feat to simply set foot on the moon, but now that we’ve done that, new endeavors are being planned, especially by Russia.

A spokesperson for the country’s space corporation Roscosmos...

Earth Nature & Tech Science

Weird ‘Praying Monk’ Ice Daggers Host Life in an Extreme Environment

We first heard of nieves penitentes in scientific literature written by Charles Darwin back in the 1800s, but most of us have never heard of this strange term.

This is because nieves penitentes, strange blades of ice found in remote places, were discovered first in the Andes which are difficult and extreme and therefore, extremely hard to venture into, especially for an extended period of time for study.

However, a group of brave scientists made the trip into Chile’s Volcán Llullaillaco, recording their findings in the journal Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research. “This is a very remote area that’s difficult to access,” study co-author Steve Schmidt, from the University of Colorado Boulder, said in a statement.

“The entire back of one of our pickup trucks had to be filled with barrels of drinking water. It’s no trivial thing to go out there, and that’s one of the reasons these formations haven’t been studied much.”

Nieves penitentes are long blades of hardened snow and ice ranging anywhere from a few inches to 16 feet long. They are found in cold, dry regions about 13,000 feet, the most extreme, high-altitude environments on Earth.

Since UV radiation is high and humidity is low, the temperature changes drastically and the winds are extreme, making it difficult for life to exist.

These snow formations usually form pointed toward our sun, and they were named nieves penitentes – meaning “penitent snow” – because of their resemblance to praying monks wearing white robes.

Red Ice?

What the scientists found was astounding: the penitente fields, found at a height of over 16,000 feet, had red ice patches. This means that microscopic life exists! Further analysis showed that the patches held a community of snow algae closely related to that which has been found in other alpine and polar environments.

“In this environment penitentes provide both water and shelter from harsh winds, high UV radiation and thermal fluctuations, creating an oasis in an otherwise extreme landscape,” the team wrote.

This is the first time life has been recorded in these formations. Since they are believed to exist on other bodies within the solar system, including Pluto and Jupiter’s moon Europa, this could provide insight into extra-terrestrial life.

The scientists say its meaning is significant when we consider the search for alien life.”Intriguingly, recent planetary investigations have suggested the existence of penitente-like structures on other planetary bodies of our solar system,” the team concludes.

“Therefore, penitentes and the harsh environment that surrounds them provide a new terrestrial analog for astrobiological studies of life beyond Earth.”Lara Vimercati, lead author of the study, said in a statement:

“Snow algae have been commonly found throughout the cryosphere on both ice and snow patches, but our finding demonstrated their presence for the first time at the extreme elevation of a hyper-arid site.” They found nieves penitentes near the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth; moreover, it’s landscape is thought to be most similar to Mars.

These discoveries giving insight into life existing on such harsh environments help scientists understand what types of places it could show up in the rest of the solar system. Currently, researchers strongly believe that Jupiter’s moon could be harboring microscopic lifeforms in its subsurface, saline ocean since they’ve found thousands of species beneath Antarctica’s surface.”

Our study shows how no matter how challenging the environmental conditions, life finds a way when there is availability of liquid water,” Vimercati said. Schmidt added: “We’re generally interested in the adaptations of organisms to extreme environments. This could be a good place to look for upper limits of life.”

We first heard of nieves penitentes in scientific literature written by Charles Darwin back in the 1800s, but most of us have never heard of this strange term.

This is because nieves penitentes, strange blades of ice found in remote places, were discovered...

Inspiring Stories Science

New Alan Turing Banknote

Earlier this year, Alan Turing was named the most iconic figure of the 20th Century.  He is now the new image on the Bank of England’s £50 Note. What’s interesting, this is the last banknote to move from paper to polymer.  People will be able to use this note at the end of 2021.

Alan Turing worked for the British Government’s Code and Cipher School before WW II, He was a brilliant mathematician who cracked codes during World War Two. It is believed that he and other code breakers shortened the war by several years.

In 1939, he worked at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. He was involved in top-secret work and was able to crack Germany’s military codes. Turing’s main job was to crack a code known as the Enigma Code. The code got its name from the machine called the Enigma used by the Germans to send secret messages.

Turing and Gordon Welchman, another code breaker, invented the machine called the Bombe.  This machine helped to significantly reduce the work of the code-breakers.

Because he spent the majority of his life working in secret, it was not until many years after his death that his legacy, life, and work came to light.  Due to his efforts during the war,  he had an enormous influence on the development of computer science and artificial intelligence.  There is no wonder why Alan Turing has been honored on the £ 50 note!

Decriminalization

Because being homosexual was illegal in Britain back then, in 1952 Turing was arrested for being gay. In 2013, he was posthumously pardoned which is the term for being pardoned after one’s death.  Turing died on June 7, 1954. In 2017, the government agreed to officially pardon men accused of similar crimes and expunged their criminal records.

This pardon is known as the Alan Turing Law.

Earlier this year, Alan Turing was named the most iconic figure of the 20th Century.  He is now the new image on the Bank of England’s £50 Note. What’s interesting, this is the last banknote to move from paper to polymer.  People will be able...

Cool Stories Science

Beach or Car Door? Optical Illusion Confuses the Internet

The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Eye Institute defined an optical illusion as “something that plays tricks on your vision,” relating to the way our brains and eyes work together to see an image, and this new photo of a car door that looks like a stormy beach that has been shared over 1,000 times is trickier than most.

“If you can see a beach, ocean sky, rocks and stars then you are an artist, but it’s not a painting its lower part of the car gate which needs to be repaired,” user @nxyxm wrote.

Respondents have found it nearly impossible to identify what part of a car is pictured, but @nxyxm did is best to help them out:

“Focus on the dark side you will see the car gate…It’s a car door, the sealing panel under it is damaged, the bend in the door gives the illusion of a beach, the sealing panel is damaged and scratched which gives an illusion of water on the edge of a beach,” he commented.

When looking at a 2D image, the brain can be tricked since it doesn’t have all the information it needs to make sense of what it’s looking at – things like position, depth, and light. Scientists often use optical illusions to understand how the brain processes images.

The journal JNeurosci published a study recently looking at the Pinna-Brelstaff motion illusion where thick lines arranged into circles appear to rotate when one looks at them while moving their head back and forth.

How Fast Do We See?

Scientists scanned the brains of those who looked at it and found that people processed the still illusion the same way they would a moving object and that in the area of the brain critical for picking up visual motion, there was a processing gap of 15 milliseconds by the neurons. As a result, the non-moving image came alive!

The cartoonist W. E. Hill created another famous illusion in 1915 which continues to confuse those who look at it. The image makes it hard to distinguish whether one is looking at an old or a young woman.

Scientific Reports performed a study to discover if people’s own age biases affected their face perception subconsciously, and the results concluded that they did. Younger people picked out a young woman more often while older participants saw the old woman.

An author of the paper from Flinders, Mike Nicholls, told Newsweek at the time: “We were interested in how individual differences in traits, such as age, cause people to see things differently. The most interesting thing is that this bias seems to be sub-conscious. The image was only shown for half a second and observers were not told that they would have to make a judgement of age.”

The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Eye Institute defined an optical illusion as “something that plays tricks on your vision,” relating to the way our brains and eyes work together to see an image, and this new photo of a car door that looks like a...

Animals Nature & Tech Science

Heads Up! Cockroaches Are Becoming Almost Impossible To Control!

Studies have shown that the cockroach has developed a resistance to bug sprays and might actually become impossible to control with chemicals.

New research published by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana believes there is a strain of German cockroaches, known as Blatella germanica L, which are becoming difficult to get rid of as future generations are going to be increasingly immune to our efforts to control them.

Scientists have strongly stated that these insects must be controlled as they threaten human health. They can spread bacteria and their feces triggers allergies and asthma in both children and adults.

A Losing Battle

A professor in the Department of Entomology, Michael Scharf, said: “This is a previously unrealized challenge in cockroaches”.  He led a 6-month study that was then published in the Scientific Reports journal.  He believes these insects are becoming resistant to many insecticides which will make controlling them almost impossible using chemicals alone.

This species of cockroaches cannot survive in areas without humans and thrive in warm indoor places with access to food and water.  This statement was made by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Purdue researchers believe insecticides used to remove the spread come in different classes and each works differently for eliminating cockroaches.  Some of these sprays contain a blend of multiple classes to ensure that at least one will impact these very tough insects.  New experiments are planned to test these sprays’ effectiveness.

German roaches were collected from apartments in Indianapolis and Danville.  Chemicals were purchased from Univar Solutions.  During the first test, 3 kinds of insecticides were rotated for 3 months before repeating the process.  The second test had a mixture of 2 insecticides for a period of 6 months. In the third test, scientists used a single insecticide on roaches that had low resistance and ran the test for another 6 months.

In the first rotation, researchers said they could keep the population down but failed to reduce it.  During the mixture test, nothing worked and instead the population started to grow.

What happened next was really shocking!

In a single insecticide test, scientists discovered they were able to eliminate the roach population because of the low starting resistance in the chosen insecticide.  That said, not all was good news.  With another single insecticide experiment the population with only 10% resistant but managed to grow.

Scharf believes that cockroaches will survive a certain treatment and essentially become immune to the insecticide in the future and that includes their offspring.  They have also gained resistance to other classes of insecticides even if the insects were never exposed to the treatments and never had a previous resistance.

He went on to say that resistance will increase four or six-fold in just one generation.  He said no one had any idea that something like this could happen so fast.

Female cockroaches have a 3-month reproductive cycle which will bring in another 50 offspring. Even a number this small can lead to a lot of trouble down the road.  It is suggested that even if a population is wiped out by one working bug spray, they could spring back in a matter of a few months.

Further research will have to be conducted to come up with a plan for removing cockroaches from the human population.  Chemicals have become a concern among most people, so how strong will a new variety of bug spray have to be to control the problem?  Adding to that, how long would a new bug spray last before these tough insects become immune to that as well?

That said, insects have been around since the beginning of time, so they might just survive us as well!

Studies have shown that the cockroach has developed a resistance to bug sprays and might actually become impossible to control with chemicals.

New research published by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana believes there is a strain of German...

Inspiring Stories Science

Happy Uplifting Music Will Increase Creativity

A study was performed in 2017 and published in PLOS ONE by Simone Ritter from Radboud University in the Netherlands and Sam Ferguson from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. The study showed that listening to happy uplifting music will generate creative innovative solutions in comparison to silence.

Creativity plays a very important role in our world today.  Creativity generates innovative ideas for a wide range of issues that are addressed with new ideas. One question that constantly arises, what promotes creative understanding?

This has been widely debated and studied and even though music has previously shown to benefit cognition, very little is known how listening to music really affects creativity.

Emotional Music

A further study showed that researchers had 155 participants who completed a questionnaire and were then split into different groups.  Each group listened to 4 different styles of music covering calm, sad, anxious, and happy, depending on their positive or negative emotions.  High or low arousal was also taken into consideration and there was one group that just listened to silence.

Once the music started, the participants performed different tasks that would test their different and connecting creative thinking.  Those who scored the highest had come up with the most creative, original solutions. Those who came in with a single possible solution to a given task scored higher in convergent creativity.

Researchers found that those who listened to classical music, or happy music, showed positive demeanor, high arousal, and promoted creativity thinking vs those in silence. The researchers believe that happy music may actually enhance flexibility in thinking.

In turn, additional solutions might not have been taken into consideration if the participants were in silence when trying to create.

The study clearly showed that creativity may be enhanced through music.  Further research could reveal the different ambient sounds that may affect creativity and those participants of diverse cultures, different ages, and levels of musical knowledge.

The authors also believe that further studies may show that music could promote creative thinking for solutions that are inexpensive and efficient for different areas including scientific, educational, and organizational settings.

A study was performed in 2017 and published in PLOS ONE by Simone Ritter from Radboud University in the Netherlands and Sam Ferguson from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. The study showed that listening to happy uplifting music will generate...

Nature & Tech Science

Cassini Finds New Complex Details On Saturn’s Ring

NASA’s spacecraft, Cassini,  has revealed even more intricate details on the rings around Saturn.  The craft’s mission ended two years ago but NASA is still collating data on the planet.  This latest revelations shows new temperatures, colors and textures within the planet’s complex ring system.

In Science magazine, a new paper shows how the rings interact with the particles around them, leading scientists to conclude that the rings are part of the processes that directly impact upon our solar system.

Cassini was able to identify fine details such as patterns and texture which varied in appearance and structure.  Cassini’s close-up images have shown that there are 3 distinct textures present in the rings – clumpy, streaky and smooth areas – that happen with sharp boundaries and are not necessarily connected to any specific characteristics already identified within the rings.

It has also provided maps showing changes in chemistry, temperature and color that exist across Saturn’s rings.  The data was collected initially between December 2016 and April 2017, names by NASA as the Ring Grazing Orbits (December 2016 to April 2017) and between April to September 2017, the Grand Finale of the mission.

Clues about the ring’s origins

Cassini’s observations have allowed NASA scientists to conclude that the outer edge of the ring systems were likely to have been hit at the same time leading to the similarly generated streaks that can be seen in the F ring.  It is likely, therefore, that the rings was not shaped by comets or other space debris at random, but instead by the materials that circle the planet.

The otter mystery found by Cassini was discovered as a result of the  visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) detecting weak water-ice bands.  Scientists were surprised to see this in the A ring’s vicinity.  The reflective nature of this water could indicate the presence of less contaminated ice and water bands.

Spectral imaging has also given a great insight into the composition of the rings.  As well as water which was already known, scientists have discovered that there was no ammonia or methane ice.  However, no organic compounds were seen.

The science team have been excited to establish new information about what was going on in the rings but as each question is answered more arise, making the Cassini project one to watch in the months and years to come.

NASA’s spacecraft, Cassini,  has revealed even more intricate details on the rings around Saturn.  The craft’s mission ended two years ago but NASA is still collating data on the planet.  This latest revelations shows new temperatures, colors and...

Earth Science

Floating Islands Could Be Essential for Combating Climate Change

Unless you speak to the most self-assured climate change denier, just about everyone can appreciate the reality of climate change. We just need to look around us and see the ever-changing conditions in which we all live within.

It’s a scary thing, climate change, and it can play a huge role in how we do everything. It’s now an emergency that we must act on as a species: how we react to it, though, will be essential in creating a safer world. Thankfully, people far smarter than myself are working on creating some outside of the box solutions to the problem at hand.

For example, the creation of floating islands that then convert the carbon dioxide into the atmosphere into something else could be the secret. Scientists have been working on coming up with theories on what we can do to stop or at least slow down climate change. If enough of these were built, the research team in Norway and Switzerland believe, we could stop the build-up of so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

By creating them on large oceanic parts of the planet that aren’t going to be so prone to uncompromising weather, too, we could help to limit the extent of global warming in a relatively short space of time. However, it’s obvious an idea that, at the moment, is still a long way from being complete.

When published as part of the PNAS paper, the proposal, titled ‘Solar Methanol Islands’, was put forward as a wacky but realistic solution to put ourselves back on track to, you know, save the planet.

An interesting (but unlikely) idea

In their announcement of the paper, the lead authors wrote: “Humankind must cease CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning if dangerous climate change is to be avoided,

“However, liquid carbon-based energy carriers are often without practical alternatives for vital mobility applications. The recycling of atmospheric CO2 into synthetic fuels, using renewable energy, offers an energy concept with no net CO2 emission.”

Apparently, the idea was able to evolve from a Norwegian government request that they start putting fish farms out at the open sea. It was then seen as a problem as these fish farm grids would need an energy source – how would that be possible? And then the idea of such islands began to appear.

By using photovoltaic cells that turn solar energy into actual power, they would also use hydrogen produced and CO2 extracted from the seawater to ensure this is entirely sustainable. Putting it through a reaction, too, they would create a form of methanol that would then be used as a fuel source.

Seemingly, 70 of these islands could be used to make up a single square-kilometer worth of these islands. They would be placed in areas where waves can reach significant heights, that have high water depth, and which are likely to be safe from issues such as a hurricane.

However, before we start thinking we’ve found ‘the’ solution to climate change, slow down. The science team believes they would need around 3.2m of these islands to be made: with production not even started on one, we might need something a bit faster to stop what is quickly becoming the major battle of our time.

Unless you speak to the most self-assured climate change denier, just about everyone can appreciate the reality of climate change. We just need to look around us and see the ever-changing conditions in which we all live within.

It’s a scary thing, climate...

Nature & Tech Science

Could Helium Shortage Have Serious Repercussions for Humanity?

You know when you go to a party, and someone whips out some helium balloons? It’s all very funny. Watching someone turn into a cartoon character for a few sentences will always produce a few laughs.

Sadly, we might be seeing a slow-down in such party tricks; the world has a present helium shortage. And it could be putting more than just party balloons at risk: it could have an impact on everything from our ability to explore the stars to how we handle healthcare worldwide.

This is the third major shortage of helium in the last 15 years, and it does have a bit of an impact on the industry as a whole. Many might not think it matters much but trust us – it does. It really does. Helium is used in all manner of industries, from healthcare and technology to being used in some forms of space exploration.

This super-light element is used as a semiconductor in various fields. That is now at risk.

Helium is generated underneath the earth; the product of radioactive decaying of uranium and thorium. It’s then drilled out from the surface using massive drilling techniques. However, it’s becoming more and more challenging to get enough helium out from the earth. It’s having an impact on everything from research into gas chromatography to issues with healthcare needs.

While healthcare is often the industry that gets prioritized over everything else (rightly so), it’s becoming a common issue. To have a shortage once every five years almost is a big change in the way we used to deal with a substance that, at once, was almost in complete abundance.

Finding new sources of helium

The next challenge, then, is going to be finding newer sources of helium. With the cost of helium going up so much due to demand, the sooner we can find a higher volume of supply the better.

Indeed, some companies out in Canada are working on a form of production that would make it easier for us to find the supply we need. Indeed, companies like North American Helium currently have six major wells completed and have over one million acres worth of helium imports.

However, the time it takes to create a well from conception to a fully operating helium plant is many years. As such, it’s not quite quick enough to deal with the immediate shortages that we are facing at the moment. Canada, though, has a slightly different form of helium: it appears to be formed by underground nitrogen reservoirs.

Getting this out of the ground is much easier and it would have a much small environmental impact when pulling it out. As such, a lot of effort and concentration is going into helping this particular kind of development become the norm.

Given that this is quite unique to Canada, though, it’s still not going to help with the global shortages we are facing – not everyone can use the same easier solutions for extraction.

The demand for helium is real, and something has to be done to try and keep up with demand.

You know when you go to a party, and someone whips out some helium balloons? It’s all very funny. Watching someone turn into a cartoon character for a few sentences will always produce a few laughs.

Sadly, we might be seeing a slow-down in such party...

Earth Science

Did Water on Earth Come From the Moon?

The origination of water on the earth has long been a quandary for scientists, but a new research published in the journal Natural Astronomy poses a new theory.

Scientists from the University of Münster in Germany are suggesting from their study that the debris of a Mars-sized body called Theia which has been thought to form the moon also brought water to our planet. The Theia theory is called the “giant impact hypothesis.”

Since our planet is thought to have formed in a dry inner solar system which lacked substance, scientists have long been unable to figure out where the source of water originated.

“The formation of the moon and the origin of Earth’s water are two of the fundamental open questions in cosmo-chemistry,” Gerrit Budde, the study’s lead author, told Newsweek. “Unraveling these processes is essential to understand the early evolution of the solar system, the formation of planets and the development of life.”

The solar system split in half

Scientists have previously surmised from the little they know about the world’s origin that the solar system was split in half for the first million years – that is, if their timeline is correct. When Jupiter formed, it was like a barrier against the exchange of materials between the inner and outer regions. Most of what they know about these matters is speculation, however.

The outer solar system was populated by meteorites containing water-rich “carbonaceous” material. Meanwhile, the inner solar system was filled mostly with non-carbonaceous meteorites that lacked water.

One of the more popular explanations for where the Earth first got water is that the “carbonaceous” bodies from the outer solar system brought large amounts of carbonaceous material to the earth. This explanation is still yet to be proven, however, and scientists haven’t been able to figure out when it could have happened or what the quantities involved may have been.

Scientists have attempted to get to the bottom of this issue by analyzing data on variants of a silvery-white metal called molybdenum which they obtained from a meteorite as well as terrestrial rock samples.

Fortunately, isotopes, which are variants of a chemical element that differ in the number of neutrons, allowing the scientists to clearly distinguish between carbonaceous and non-carbonaceous materials, which has given them slight leeway in discovering the truth.

“By comparing the molybdenum isotope composition of Earth and meteorites, for the first time we were able to constrain the timing and amount of the addition [of] outer solar system material to the Earth, as well as the origin of the moon-forming impactor and Earth’s water,” Budde said.

“In short, Earth’s water was delivered by water-rich carbonaceous material that derived from the cold outer solar system, probably beyond the orbit of Jupiter,” he said. “This happened relatively late at the end of Earth’s main growth history, and this material was delivered most likely by the giant impactor—Theia—that also caused the formation of the moon.

In turn, this means that the impactor itself originated from the outer solar system—it is generally assumed that Theia originated in the inner solar system near the Earth.”

All in all, it’s clear that there is much more to this issue than meets the eye. With so many things unclear about how our planet came to be, it makes one speculate about the theory of one Designer who planned it all.

The origination of water on the earth has long been a quandary for scientists, but a new research published in the journal Natural Astronomy poses a new theory.

Scientists from the University of Münster in Germany are suggesting from their study that the...

City Life Science

Women Think Better in Warmer Rooms, Study Suggests

While the study hasn’t been completely conclusive, recent findings have suggested that women think better in warmer rooms while men work better in lower temperatures ones.

Such findings may cause workplaces to think more deeply about their room temperatures and the effect it has on employees’ productivity.

The study occurred in Berlin where 542 students were recruited by researchers to take math, cognition, and verbal tests. Forty percent of the participants were female. First, the tests were taken in a room kept at 61.14 F, but then they were taken in another room at 90.63 F.

Overall, the women performed better on math and verbal tests in the warmer room while the men did better on those tests in the colder room. However, the cognitive tests were unaffected by temperature.

Warmer is better for everyone

“Our findings suggest that gender-mixed workplaces may be able to increase productivity by setting the thermostat higher than current standards,” the authors wrote.

Study co-author Agne Kajackaite, head of the Ethics and Behavioral Economics research group at WZB Berlin Social Science Center, told Newsweek: “There have been many studies showing that women prefer higher indoor temperatures than men. However, nobody looked at the effect of these differences in comfort on performance.

“We show that the battle for the thermostat is not just about comfort. It is much more—in our experiment, women’s cognitive functioning is the best at high temperatures, whereas men’s [is] at low temperatures. Importantly, the positive effect of increased temperatures on women’s performance is much stronger than the negative effect on men.”

Kajackaite continued: “This is just the first study looking at the effects of temperature on cognitive performance by gender. We ran the experiment with a homogeneous sample at a German university. More research looking at different groups—age, educational background, country—and different cognitive tasks is needed.”

Wouter Van Marken Lichtenbelt, a professor of ecological energetics and health at Maastricht University who has also published research on body temperature, told Newsweek that the study was written as if men had an opposite response to that of women, but “there is not one statistically significant effect observed in the data of the men.”

Wei Luo, a Ph.D. student at Maastricht University working with van Marken Lichtenbelt, confessed that the methods used were not wholly sufficient as the order of the different tests was fixed and the participants could have simply been tired. “This makes comparison between tests difficult,” said LuoHe.

The paper also lacked any information concerning participants’ clothes or the length of the tests, said van Marken Lichtenbelt, and this information could have had a significant impact on the results.

However, the results still strongly suggest that offices would be more productive if they slightly increased their room temperatures, agreed Van Marken Lichtenbelt, who also did a study in 2015 that found that exposures to temperatures outside our comfort zone could affect things like diabetes and obesity.

While the study hasn’t been completely conclusive, recent findings have suggested that women think better in warmer rooms while men work better in lower temperatures ones.

Such findings may cause workplaces to think more deeply about their room...

Inspiring Stories Science

NASA Finds Beresheet Impact Location on Moon

When NASA carried out a large chunk of its unmanned missions away from our planet, we are often waiting a long time to find out the results of the study.

One particular conclusion that we often hear is that there has been some form of crash, or that the particular probe or unit has been left to its own devices. A fine example of this was on the 11th April mission when SpaceIL sent up the Israeli Beresheet spacecraft.

This first-ever private spacecraft made it to the moon but had problems in the final phase of landing and crashed. Therefore, it was left on the moon with no real way of being able to save it.

NASA used its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to look out for the Beresheet and has now found it on the Moon. They took a snap of the point of impact, with the LROC taking a shot around 56 miles from the surface. They found a 10-meter wide smudge on the ground which, according to the experts, is the point of crash for the Beresheet.

It’s uncertain if it left a crater, or if it just dented the surface. More investigation and close-up imagery would be needed to help confirm that particular information. According to NASA, though, it’s possible that the crater the little spacecraft left behind could be ‘too small’ to have left a full crater, saying: “It’s possible the crater is just too small to show up in photos,

“Another possibility is that Beresheet formed a small indent instead of a crater, given its low angle of approach, light mass (compared to a dense meteoroid of the same size), and low velocity (again, relative to a meteoroid of the same size; Beresheet’s speed was still faster than most speeding bullets).”

Good Shot

The LRO camera which managed to get the shot has been circling the moon for around a decade. It passes a part of the Earth satellite on a twice-per-month basis, once during the lunar day and once during the lunar evening. By using a series of wide-angle and narrow-angle cameras, this manages to capture some pretty spectacular shots.

This latest find, though, could be a quite important one for making sure that in the future we know exactly where important tools sent up to the Moon have vanished.

According to NASA, though, it’s important to note that the landing site is not yet conclusive. As they mentioned, the fine soil particles which came up during descent could have created a highly reflective surface.

Others suggest that it would be gas that has come from the crash. Either way, NASA noted: “There are many clues that we’re actually looking at a man-made crater instead of a meteoroid-caused one,

“This is an important consideration, since the Moon, having no atmosphere, is constantly bombarded by space rocks that leave craters.”

So, while we might not get a definitive answer until it passes again in late May, at the moment it looks like we know where the Beresheet has landed.

When NASA carried out a large chunk of its unmanned missions away from our planet, we are often waiting a long time to find out the results of the study.

One particular conclusion that we often hear is that there has been some form of crash, or that the...