Science in 2013 played a more important role than ever. At the same time, many intriguing discoveries were made. Here is a list of five major scientific discoveries according to the magazine National Geographic.
1. Space has become more ‘crowded’
In 2013 researchers from California Institute of Technology suggested that there are no less than 100 billion exoplanets in the orbits the Milky Way’s stars.
Obviously, not all of them are suitable for living. The November report from NASA Keck Observatory suggests that one out of five stars may have Earth-like planets in their habitable zone. More recent climate studies of habitable zones claim that this probability may be too high although there are still a very large number of potentially habitable planets. Continue reading
It may look like a script from an episode of «X-Files», but it is definitely a subversive and highly imaginative theory developed by an American scientist. As the theory supports, human was not born on Earth, but on another planet, that is why he demonstrates a series of “dysfunctions”, which would not exist if he was the “product” of Earth. The theory states that we are by nature unruly and aggressive beings and that is why highly developed aliens brought the human population together and exiled them to Earth…
This extremely… advanced, but definitely interesting theory was developed by Professor of ecology Ellis Silver. The “signs” of extraterrestrial origin are quite in accordance with it. As professor says, human has problems with his back and often suffers from pain because our species descended from a planet with less gravity than on Earth. According to Silver, we also face problems when we are exposed to direct sunlight for a relatively short time because we were not designed to come in so close contact with the sun. Continue reading
In the “War of the Worlds” by Herbert Wells Martian invaders were defeated by the common cold, which none of the sides took into account. Could something similar happen to the astronauts who will land on Mars? What if the first extraterrestrial life form humans will come into contact with will be viruses? These issues are posed in the journal Astrobiology by Dale Griffin.
Biologists do not consider viruses living beings. They are smaller than bacteria and cannot reproduce themselves: that is why to survive they need to invade a cell and use its genetic tools. Nevertheless, it is viruses that Continue reading
1. How did life originate?
For 80 years now we are told that the first self-replicating molecules appeared in the primordial soup in the Earth’s shallow waters, which happened 4 billion years ago. This “soup” was composed of amino-acids, polypeptides, and nitrogenous bases of nucleotides formed as a result of electrical charges, high heat and cosmic radiation.
However, the experiments to replicate similar processes have given mixed results: the basic monomers began to form substances that prevented the expected complexity to exist in this “soup” of polymers.
Later, the problem seemed to have been simplified by the “RNA world” hypothesis, but the probability of spontaneous formation of RNA, which would Continue reading
Scientists at the University of Sheffield claim to have made a fascinating discovery, which proves the existence of extraterrestrial life.
These are images of a body that was found in the stratosphere, recorded with an electron microscope. The body was found by a scientific balloon at an altitude of 27 kilometers from the Earth’s surface and this, according to the scientists, proves that it cannot have originated from our planet. These microbes have probably come from somewhere else…
“Most would suggest that these particles simply have drifted to the stratosphere from Earth. Yet, it is commonly accepted that an organism of this size is impossible to reach an altitude of 27 km. The only exception is a violent volcanic eruption, but nothing like that was recorded during the three years of our research,” said Milton Wainwright, Professor of Molecular Biology at the University. Continue reading
It turns out that the collision with heavenly bodies does not always lead only to the destruction of life, but can also lead to its prosperity.
Scientists believe that the defining moment in human evolution could be an asteroid that crashed into the North America, in a place not far from Quebec, 12,900 years ago. The collision resulted in the establishment of a cooler and drier climate on the planet, which led to the birth of agriculture.
In North America, this incident led to the extinction of large animals, including giant sloths, camels, saber-toothed tigers and mastodons. This forced the Americans, who were hunters, go on a diet consisting of berries, roots, and small game.
At the same moment, in the eastern Mediterranean, Continue reading
There is a branch of science called oneirology which studies dreams. This discipline combines features of neuroscience, psychology, and even literature, but does not provide the answer to an important question: why do people have dreams? There is no clear answer to this puzzle yet, but there are some interesting hypotheses, some of which are presented here.
1. Hidden desires – Sigmund Freud
One of the first few scholars, who began to study dreams, was the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. After analyzing dreams of hundreds of his patients, Freud developed a theory which is still supported by some of his followers: dreaming represents suppressed desires and hidden inclinations of people.
According to Freud, while dreaming, people see what they want to achieve, literally or symbolically. For example, if someone had a dream that his mother had died, this does not mean that this person subconsciously wants to kill her, instead, according to the Freudian interpretation, Continue reading
According to the traditional theory about evolutionary origins of humans, the ancestral ape when lacking food resources, has moved from quickly disappearing forested lands into the savanna. This gave our ancestors upright posture and lead in brain development.
This theory is very good, when viewed in the context of Darwin’s theory, but there is an obvious question: why other species of prehistoric apes did not migrate to savanna? After all, they, too, had no food!
Science also cannot offer an explanation as to why there were many features appeared in humans that distinguish us from the apes. Rather, the explanations were given, but have failed and been abandoned by the official scientific ideology. Brain development or loss of body hair, not observed in any great apes, and a unique way of breathing, which also made it possible for speech to evolve, could not be explained either. Continue reading
As the Discovery.com states, scientists from Kazakhstan claim that human DNA is encoded with an alien signal from an ancient alien civilization.
Calling it “biological SETI”, the researchers argue that the mathematical code in human DNA can not be explained by evolution.
“Once established, the code can remain unchanged in cosmological timescales. Actually, it is the most durable construction ever known. Therefore, it is an extremely reliable storage for an extraterrestrial signature.” the scientists wrote in the journal Icarus.
“Once the genome correctly rewrites the new code with a signature, it stays frozen in the cells of its progeny and can then be delivered through time and space.” Continue reading
Scientists sound the alarm: at the end of XIX century, people were much smarter and more creative than they are now. The fault is on the natural selection, since the more intelligent the person is, the fewer children he has, and vice versa.
Every new century humans become less clever and creative. This assumption was made by British scientists who studied the rate of the perception of people of the Victorian era, and the one of our contemporaries.
As the results of the study showed, the rate of general intelligence has been gradually decreasing. Thus, in 1889 the rate of perception in men was 183 milliseconds, while in 2000 it fell to 253 milliseconds. The similar tendency was observed in women – the speed of their perception has dropped from 188 to 261 milliseconds during the same period.
As said by The Telegraph, the diminished reflexes also indicate a decline in overall intelligence quotient (IQ), which is down by 1.23 points every decade, and since 1880 it has fallen by 14 points.
The researchers said they did not directly compare the IQ level of the representatives of different eras since the opportunities in education, medicine, and food of modern people are much better than the ones of previous generations. Though, according to the study authors, the high rate of perception in people of the Victorian era shows that they were more inventive and creative. Continue reading