Science

Electric Spiders

Spider ballooning is when a spider releases strands of silk and uses them to propel itself through the air, or so people thought. Researchers at the University of Bristol observed successful spider ballooning with the absence of any wind and even in rainy conditions.

Amsterdam River Objects

While excavating the Amstel river during the building of the North/South metro line in Amsterdam, archaeologists catalogued over 700,000 objects dating back to the 14th century ( and some shells from 124,000BC).The list of objects is searchable via a website and a quick search for Ireland yields some coins and a Daniel O'Connell signet ring from the early 19th century.

Empathic People Process Music Differently

Researchers at Southern Methodist University and UCLA studied the brain activity of people while listening to music. Using a survey, the study participants were categorised based on their empathic qualities. The study found that empathic people process music with the involvement of social cognitive circuitry in the brain, like a pleasurable proxy for a human encounter. These areas of the brain were not activated by participants that rated low in empathy.

Vegan Diet Best Way To Impact The Environment

A new analysis published in Science by researches from Oxford on reducing food's environmental impact through producers and consumers has found that reducing meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, far bigger than reducing flights or driving an electric car. The study gathered date from 38,000 farms in 119 countries across 40 food products. The results show that 80% of farmland is used for livestock which produces just 18% of food calories and 35% of protein. 

Cell-free CRISPR Sandbox

Researchers have created a new version of CRISPR that can edit free floating DNA in a test-tube, instead of only being able to operate on DNA within a living cell. This CRISPR sandbox can be used to test CRISPR on specific test samples, which would allow custom CRISPR diagnosis of cancer cells. The team involved are looking for commercial partners to help deevlop a CRISPR-on-a-chip product for cancer diagnosis.

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