Latest news, top updates and current developments from the world of Health, Science and technology along with tips on physical & mental health and fitness.
Updated: 45 min 32 sec ago
New research from the University of Amsterdam and HUN-REN Research Centre for Natural Sciences (TTK) reveals that newborn babies have the ability to hear beats in music. This study challenges the previous belief that beat recognition in newborns is solely due to their statistical learning ability, showing that beat perception is a separate cognitive mechanism that is present at birth. The findings, published in the academic journal Cognition, suggest that beat perception is an innate skill in newborns.
The defense chiefs of the United States, Australia and Britain met in California on Friday, touting high-tech co-operation on deep space radar, AI and quantum computing systems aimed at bolstering their armed forces in the face of growing global threats, including from China. On Friday, the focus was on the cutting edge, including the development of what they called a "Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability" program, which will see radar detection sites in all three countries by the end of the decade, with the capacity to peer 22,000 miles (35,000 kilometers) into space.
Penguins are champion power nappers, known for their fragmented sleeping patterns. A recent study found that penguins fall asleep thousands of times a day, each bout lasting only a few seconds. Unlike humans, penguins have slow brain waves while sleeping, and their sleep patterns vary depending on their environment. Despite the noisy and dangerous conditions in penguin colonies, these birds manage to sleep a lot, suggesting that microsleep provides some essential benefit in extreme conditions.
The discovery of planet LHS 3154 b challenges the prevailing planetary formation theory involving red dwarfs, as it is much larger than expected. The planet, orbiting a red dwarf called LHS 3154, has a mass 13 times that of Earth and a mass ratio over 100 times greater than that of Earth and the sun. The planet's close proximity to its star and its probable Neptune-like composition make it unlikely to support life. This discovery raises questions about how planets form around low mass stars, which were believed to only produce small terrestrial planets.
Archaeologists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and Leibniz Zentrum für Archäologie have discovered cut marks on bones of two beaver species at the Bilzingsleben site in Germany. This challenges previous assumptions about the diet of Middle Pleistocene hominins and suggests a wider range of prey choices, including small animals and aquatic foods. The researchers focused on beaver carcasses, particularly young adults, indicating targeted hunting practices.
A groundbreaking overseas study reveals seismic signals detected up to 8 months before the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey. The signals, observed for the first time in real-world seismic activity, provide advanced clues for earthquake prediction. Although short-term forecasting remains challenging, the research significantly contributes to seismic modeling and improving earthquake forecasts. The National Seismic Hazard Model in NZ relies on similar basic information.
Adults who experienced childhood trauma, including abuse and neglect, are at a higher risk of death and hospitalization due to Covid-19. A study of 150,000 adults in the UK found that those with the most childhood trauma had a 25% higher likelihood of death and a 22% increase in hospitalization from Covid-19. These findings emphasize the long-lasting effects of childhood stress on health. The study also suggests that childhood trauma should be considered a risk factor for Covid-19 and other diseases. Future research will explore the connection between childhood trauma and other health outcomes, including long Covid.
A gamma-ray burst (GRB) called GRB 221009A, originating from a supernova explosion, has impacted Earth's ionosphere. This event challenges the assumption that GRBs cannot affect the ionosphere. Data from the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES) revealed disturbances in the upper ionosphere caused by the GRB. Scientists are now exploring effects of other GRBs on Earth's ionosphere using ground-based and space-based detectors. This discovery also raises concerns about supernova explosion
India is on the verge of a groundbreaking leap in space-based X-Ray astronomy with the imminent launch of the first X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat), Isro said Thursday. Unlike previous missions that focused predominantly on imaging, time-domain studies, and spectroscopy, XPoSat aims to explore the polarisation of intense X-Ray sources, introducing a novel dimension to X-Ray astronomy, the space agency said in a special page created for the mission.
Astronomers have identified a circumstellar disk around a star that surpasses the size and luminosity of the sun. This phenomenon, where a dense clump of interstellar gas and dust collapses under its own gravitational force, marks the birth of stars. The residual material forms a swirling disk around the nascent star, contributing to its growth and potentially giving rise to planets. Remarkably, such newborn stars with circumstellar disks were previously observed exclusively within our Milky Way galaxy.
A study revealed that the increasing sea temperatures driven by climate change are prompting tropical marine species to migrate from the equator towards the poles. Published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, the research highlights the retreat of temperate species due to rising temperatures, resulting in heightened competition for habitat and the introduction of new predators. This phenomenon, known as tropicalisation, is reshaping the ecological dynamics of oceans, triggering a series of repercussions for ecosystems, biodiversity, and potentially the global economy.
Annually, over 3 million individuals in the United States experience peripheral neuropathy, a condition characterized by the destruction of nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, leading to pain and diminished sensation in affected areas. Various factors such as diabetes, injuries, genetic diseases, infections, among others, can contribute to the development of peripheral neuropathy. Researchers at the Salk Institute have identified a potential method for repairing damaged nerves in cases of peripheral neuropathy, based on findings in mice.
The first space travel by an Indian citizen after Rakesh Sharma’s pioneering journey in 1984 is likely to take place as early as next year. The US will help train and send an Indian astronaut to the International Space Station by the end of 2024, Nasa administrator Bill Nelson announced here on Tuesday. “The selection of the astronaut will be done by Isro, Nasa won’t be a part of it. Details of the mission are being worked out by Isro,” said Nelson, who is on a multi-city visit to India to enhance Indo-US space cooperation.
Cardiologists and radiation oncologists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have pioneered the use of low-dose radiation therapy to treat patients with ventricular tachycardia, a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm. The therapy has been found to enhance heart function in various forms of heart failure by reducing inflammation in the heart muscle. This discovery offers potential for better therapies for the 6.2 million American adults currently living with heart failure. Further research is needed before testing this therapy in heart failure patients.
This article discusses a first-in-human, early-stage clinical trial that involved injecting brain stem cells directly into the brains of 15 patients with secondary progressive MS. The stem cells were obtained from a single miscarried foetus and extensively screened for anomalies. Participants experienced no severe adverse events after the treatment and did not report relapse-like symptoms of MS or significant deterioration in movement or cognitive function. Analysis showed an association between higher stem cell doses and a reduction in brain volume, suggesting a possible role in preventing brain inflammation.
Cutting down on salt intake can be as beneficial as first-line drugs used to manage high blood pressure, a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) has found. It is based on prospective follow-up of 213 individuals. These individuals, aged between 50 to 75 years, including people with normal blood pressure (25%), controlled hypertension or high blood pressure (20%), uncontrolled hypertension (31%), and untreated hypertension (25%), attended a baseline visit while consuming their usual diet, then completed one-week high- and low-sodium diets.
State-of-the-art climate models drastically underestimate how much extreme rainfall increases under global warming, according to a study published Monday that signals a future of more frequent catastrophic floods unless humanity curbs greenhouse emissions. "Our study confirms that the intensity and frequency of heavy rainfall extremes are increasing exponentially with every increment of global warming," said Max Kotz, lead author of the paper published in the Journal of Climate.
A recent study by UCL researchers reveals that hunger hormones released in the gut can directly influence the decision-making section of the brain, specifically the hippocampus. When animals are hungry, the increased neural activity in this area inhibits them from eating, whereas when they are full, the activity decreases, allowing them to eat. This finding suggests that ghrelin receptors in the brain can cross the blood-brain barrier and directly impact brain activity.