Using a UV Camera to Reveal Hidden Ultraviolet Patterns Humans Can’t See

Photographer and “mad scientist” Don Komarechka is back for a DPReview TV episode on ultraviolet light. Specifically, he explains how a modified camera-and-filter combination can reveal hidden ultraviolet patterns that are invisible to the human eye, but crucial for pollinators like bees.

Human trichromatic vision is limited to the so-called “visible” portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, but the spectrum doesn’t simply stop at those boundaries. Immediately adjacent to the visible light spectrum is near-infrared and infrared on one end, and ultraviolet on the other, both of which can be captured using specially-modified cameras.

We’ve featured infrared photography many times before, but in this video, Komarechka heads over to the other end to reveal the hidden world of ultraviolet light. Specifically, he shows you the hidden patterns that pollinators like bees use to home in on certain flowers. The results can be downright shocking:

From streaks leading to the pollen source,

Read More
Read More

Early Humans Were Using Fire 300,000 Years Ago to Forge Superior Stone Tools

A stone tool made of flint.

A stone tool made of flint.
Image: Avraham Gopher

The prehistoric practice of using controlled fires to produce customized stone tools dates back 300,000 years, according to new research. The discovery affirms the cognitive and cultural sophistication of human species living at this time.

The baked flint tools, found at Qesem Cave in central Israel, are evidence that early hominins were capable of controlling the temperature of their fires and that they had stumbled upon an important survival skill, according to new research published today in Nature Human Behavior.

The heating of flint at low temperatures allowed for better control of flaking during knapping. Armed with this level of control, tool builders could cater their tools for specific cutting applications. The new paper was led by archaeologist Filipe Natalio from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Silje Evjenth Bentsen, an anthropologist at the University of Bergen who

Read More
Read More

Researchers identify a new source of protein for humans — ScienceDaily

Rapeseed has the potential to replace soy as the best plant-based source of protein for humans. In a current study, nutrition scientists at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), found that rapeseed protein consumption has comparable beneficial effects on human metabolism as soy protein. The glucose metabolism and satiety were even better. Another advantage: The proteins can be obtained from the by-products of rapeseed oil production. The study was published in the journal Nutrients.

For a balanced and healthy diet, humans need protein. “It contains essential amino acids which can not be synthesized in the body,” says Professor Gabriele Stangl from the Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences at MLU. Meat and fish are important sources of high-quality proteins. However, certain plants can also provide valuable proteins. “Soy is generally considered the best source of plant protein as it contains a particularly beneficial composition of amino acids,” says Stangl.

Read More
Read More

Elon Musk says humans must leave Earth “because sun will engulf our planet”

Elon Musk has said that humans have to become a "multi-planet species". (Getty)
Elon Musk has said that humans have to become a “multi-planet species”. (Getty)

When Elon Musk launched a Tesla into space, it carried a sign saying “Don’t panic” on the dashboard – but the billionaire was in a more doom-laden form this week.

The SpaceX and Tesla pioneer warned, in an interview with The New York Times podcast Sway, that travel to other planets was necessary as Earth would be engulfed by the Sun.

Speaking to host Kara Swisher, Musk said: “I think this is fundamentally important for ensuring the long-term survival of life as we know it, to be a multi-planet species.

“Eventually the Sun is going to expand and engulf Earth. It will expand and incinerate Earth. It is for sure going to happen – but not any time soon.”

Read More: Starlink, everything you need to know about the satellite network

This is something of an understatement,

Read More
Read More

Moonwalking Humans Get Blasted With 200 Times the Radiation Experienced on Earth | Smart News

The 12 human beings who have walked on the moon were all bombarded by radiation roughly 200 times what we experience here on Earth, reports Adam Mann for Science. That’s two to three times what astronauts experience aboard the International Space Station, explains Marcia Dunn for the Associated Press (AP), suggesting that any long term human presence on the moon will require shelters with thick walls capable of blocking the radiation.

Despite the fact that the measurements, which come courtesy of China’s Chang’e-4 lunar lander, are quite high compared to what we experience on Earth, the data is quite useful for protecting future moonwalkers. According to Science, the levels of radiation at the lunar surface wouldn’t be expected to increase the risk of NASA astronauts developing cancer by more than 3 percent—a risk threshold the agency is legally required to keep its astronauts’ activities safely below.

“This is

Read More
Read More

Watching Cute Animal Videos Reduces Stress And Anxiety In Humans, Science Shows

KEY POINTS

  • Study: Watching adorable animal videos has mental health benefits
  • The videos enhance one’s mood and provide relief against stress
  • After watching the videos, anxiety levels could drop as much as 50% 

Watching images and videos of cute animals for a minimum of 30 minutes reduces stress and anxiety levels, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom and the Tourism of Western Australia jointly.

In the study, first reported by CNN, the researchers monitored related vitals of 19 respondents comprised of 15 students and four university staff. To get the most ideal results, the study was conducted during the respondents’ winter exams as such a period proved to be the most stressful for both students and staff. 

All participants had decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels after watching cute animal videos compiled for the session. Specifically, the participants

Read More
Read More

Neanderthals have adopted male sex chromosome from modern humans — ScienceDaily

In 1997, the very first Neanderthal DNA sequence — just a small part of the mitochondrial genome — was determined from an individual discovered in the Neander Valley, Germany, in 1856. Since then, improvements in molecular techniques have enabled scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology to determine high quality sequences of the autosomal genomes of several Neanderthals, and led to the discovery of an entirely new group of extinct humans, the Denisovans, who were relatives of the Neanderthals in Asia.

However, because all specimens well-preserved enough to yield sufficient amounts of DNA have been from female individuals, comprehensive studies of the Y chromosomes of Neanderthals and Denisovans have not yet been possible. Unlike the rest of the autosomal genome, which represents a rich tapestry of thousands of genealogies of any individual’s ancestors, Y chromosomes have a peculiar mode of inheritance — they are passed exclusively from father

Read More
Read More

Researchers develop a human skin mimic to study mosquito biting in high resolution without using humans as ‘bait’ — ScienceDaily

Scientists have developed a tool for studying the biting behaviour of common pathogen-carrying mosquitoes, according to new research published this week in eLife.

The tool, which uses an artificial blood meal and a surface that mimics human skin, will provide detailed understanding of blood feeding without using human subjects as bait. It can also fit conveniently into a backpack, allowing the study of mosquitoes in laboratory and natural environments.

Blood feeding is essential for mosquitoes to reproduce, but it is during blood feeds on human hosts that they pass on pathogens such as malaria.

“Although the initial step in obtaining a blood meal — flying towards a host — is relatively well characterised, the steps that unfold after a mosquito has landed on a host are less well understood,” explains first author Felix Hol, a researcher at Institut Pasteur and the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity, Paris, France. “There

Read More
Read More