Science & Technology

Even scientists can’t keep up with all the newly discovered particles – our new naming scheme could help

fran_kie/Shutterstock Harry Cliff, University of Cambridge and Tim Gershon, University of Warwick Physicists at Cern have discovered a plethora of new exotic particles being created in the collisions produced by the Large Hadron Collider over the past few years. So many have been found in fact, that our collaboration (LHCb), which has discovered 59 out of 66 recent particles, has …

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African scientists and technology could drive future black hole discoveries

The Milky Way above a single MeerKAT antenna in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Inset: EHT image of the Milky Way black hole. SARAO, EHT Roger Deane, University of the Witwatersrand and Iniyan Natarajan, University of the Witwatersrand Astronomers have revealed the first image of the black hole at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. The …

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DNA test kits are changing donor-conceived families

DNA testing is becoming more popular. Shutterstock Turi King, University of Leicester A law passed on April 1 2005 will have life-changing consequences for families across the UK from next year. Anyone conceived from a donated sperm, egg or embryo from that day onward can find out the identity of their donor parents once they reach adulthood. This means that …

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How did reading and writing evolve? Neuroscience gives a clue

Our brains evolved in a world without reading. Semnic/Shutterstock Derek Hodgson, University of York The part of the brain that processes visual information, the visual cortex, evolved over the course of millions of years in a world where reading and writing didn’t exist. So it’s long been a mystery how these skills could appear some 5,000 years ago, with our …

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Psychedelics: how they act on the brain to relieve depression

The evidence is mounting for the effectiveness of psilocybin in treating depression. Cannabis_Pic/Shutterstock Clare Tweedy, University of Leeds Up to 30% of people with depression don’t respond to treatment with antidepressants. This may be down to differences in biology between patients and the fact that it often takes a long time to respond to the drugs – with some people …

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When will I be able to upload my brain to a computer?

We don’t know how much information the human brain can store. agsandrew/Shutterstock Guillaume Thierry, Bangor University READER QUESTION: I am 59 years old, and in reasonably good health. Is it possible that I will live long enough to put my brain into a computer? Richard Dixon. We often imagine that human consciousness is as simple as input and output of …

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Decisive people don’t make better decisions – new research

Shutterstock Wojciech Zajkowski, Cardiff University I’ve always been an indecisive person. What to wear, which menu item to pick, when to do house chores; always thinking through scenarios before committing to even the most trivial of choices. If this sounds like you, you’re certainly not unusual: many people struggle with these issues. Our new research may not be able to …

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