Photographing the Darkest Objects in Existence: The First Image of a Black Hole

Black holes are super dense objects that hypothetically exist in our universe. They have a gravitational pull so strong that any object that gets close enough falls in and can’t escape, including light. These objects often have a mass tens to millions of times greater than the mass of our sun. While we have predicted their existence for a hundred years, only recently have scientists … Continue reading Photographing the Darkest Objects in Existence: The First Image of a Black Hole

Evidence of an Ancient Human Species Unearthed in the Philippines

In 2007, during an excavation on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, archeologist Armand Salvador Mijares discovered a 67,000-year-old foot bone that led scientists to rethink the history of human evolution.  The bone had features resembling hominins – a subfamily of primates comprised of modern Homo sapiens and others closely related human species.  The finding provided the earliest direct evidence of human presence in … Continue reading Evidence of an Ancient Human Species Unearthed in the Philippines

Clean Corn? Study Measures Effects of Air Pollution in Corn Farming

Air pollution conjures up images of dirty factory smokestacks or crowded traffic-clogged cities. A recent study, however, revealed that one significant source of air pollution in America is actually associated with corn. The researchers found that the fertilizer used to increase crop yields can cause a kind of air pollution called PM2.5 (Particle Matter 2.5 micrometers thick), resulting in negative health impacts for people living nearby. … Continue reading Clean Corn? Study Measures Effects of Air Pollution in Corn Farming

Speedy Plants for Improving Food Production Efficiency

By introducing a tool commonly used to study brain function into the leaves of plants, researchers at the University of Glasgow have developed a technique that shows promise in improving the efficiency of food production by controlling how quickly plants respond to changing conditions. Not only does this method produce a more desirable solution to improving efficiency than previous methods, it also highlights the importance of employing tools in non-conventional scenarios to produce clever solutions to complex problems. Continue reading Speedy Plants for Improving Food Production Efficiency

Burger King serves up the meatless Whopper

Livestock accounts for up to 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and cattle are responsible for about 65% of this sector’s emissions. With the world’s population projected to reach almost 10 billion by 2050, we must change the way we eat and produce food if we are to avoid climate change and food shortages. In addition, reducing meat production would also bring benefits for animal … Continue reading Burger King serves up the meatless Whopper

Pain works differently between the sexes

For a long time, scientists did not often carefully consider sex as a variable in their research, and often worked with only male or only female animals depending on the ease of housing and handling these animals. In 2016, the NIH began requiring grant applications to justify the choice of sex of experimental animals, as part of a growing movement to consider sex as a … Continue reading Pain works differently between the sexes

April 10 – What children can teach us about the nature of human intelligence

Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 10th Location: Pfizer Hall at Harvard University, 12 Oxford Street, Cambridge (link to directions) Speakers: Junyi Chu Graphics: Rebecca Clements Young children are a bundle of paradoxes. Infants might spend most hours sleeping, but intuitively know that objects will fall if not supported, and that people reach for things they like rather than dislike. A toddler might speak two languages without much explicit … Continue reading April 10 – What children can teach us about the nature of human intelligence

No, It’s Not Just You: Why time “speeds up” as we get older

How a clock measures time and how you perceive it are quite different. As we grow older, it can often feel like time goes by faster and faster. This speeding up of subjective time with age is well documented by psychologists, but there is no consensus on the cause. In a paper published this month, Professor Adrian Bejan presents an argument based on the physics … Continue reading No, It’s Not Just You: Why time “speeds up” as we get older

Journey to the Center of the Proton: Using Supercomputers to Probe The Pieces of the Atom

Pressure is felt as the force exerted on bodies when they are submerged in a material; you’ve felt it as you dive to the bottom of the pool and when you uncork a bottle. Recently, scientists have measured the pressure within a proton, a particle that comprises the atom.  Protons are made of fundamental particles called ‘quarks’ and ‘gluons‘ which are constantly bumping together creating … Continue reading Journey to the Center of the Proton: Using Supercomputers to Probe The Pieces of the Atom

Flurries of “marine snow” could help keep the planet cool

Far below the ocean’s surface, millions of tiny particles fall through the water like a scene from a snow globe. But this isn’t anything like normal snow; this is “marine snow,” debris from tiny dead organisms like plankton and algae that floats down to the deep sea. Because carbon is one of the main chemical elements in living things, the ocean floor becomes coated in … Continue reading Flurries of “marine snow” could help keep the planet cool