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New approach tries to clear the air over fossil fuels

Thu 03 Sep 17:43

With an ever-increasing energy demand, the use of fossil fuels is steadily on the rise.

But so are air pollution and the concerns over its consequences on our health.

Air pollution, in fact, increases the risks of asthma and heart attacks, as well as the overall mortality rate.

However, according to a group of scientists led by engineers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, fossil-fuel-based power plants could minimize their health impact in an affordable way.

All it takes is some smart coordination.

The scientists developed a method to analyze the energy production in an area, predict where emissions from each power plant are headed, and how hazardous they can be in the following hours.

According to...

Pluto's icy breath, young look and big heart: what we learnt from New Horizons so far

Tue 11 Aug 17:24
On July 14th, NASA's New Horizons probe completed its nine-year-long journey flying close to Pluto.

"This mission has been a big success," says Professor Andreas Burkert, an astrophysicist of the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, not affiliated with the project, "one has to congratulate the team for their excellent job."

Because the probe was traveling at almost twenty kilometers per second, it was too fast to orbit around the dwarf planet, and it had to take pictures and perform thousands of measurements while zipping by.

Being so busy, it could not make contact with Earth until a few...

The yin and yang of social interaction

Thu 02 Jul 22:50
At some point in our lives, all of us have found ourselves in a crowded bus stop or grocery store or a music concert.

But have you considered the possibility that the unknown person next to you in these crowded situations may be connected to your friend of a friend of a friend?

Much as it may sound completely random or just plain impossible, scientific studies in the past have shown that each of us could potentially connect to everybody else in the world within six links.

Many of us may be quite familiar with the phrase associated with it called "six degrees of separation".

In fact, recent...

Even cheap wine can taste great

How marketing affects consumer's perception of products
Mon 22 Jun 22:44
"It's cheap wine so it will not taste great." Does this imply that the wine is really tasteless?

Or is one so prejudiced about the wine such that even if it actually tastes great, one's brain is oblivious to that?

New research published in the Journal of Marketing Research shows that a consumer's preconceived notion about a product may create a placebo effect such that it results in producing actual biological changes in the brain.

Scientists, Hilke Plassmann and Bernd Weber promote this as a unique study where they have explored a "marketing placebo effect" from a neuroscience perspective.


Hot and attractive: magnetism can control heat transmission

The device used in the experiments. Heat traveled slower through this tuning fork when subjected to a magnetic field.
Tue 16 Jun 16:38
From power plants to car engines, from houses to laptops, pretty much everything we do and use disperses a lot of energy as heat.

Unfortunately, we have nearly no way of channeling it.

According to Professor Joseph Heremans, thermal scientist at Ohio State University, "all you can do is collect it with a conductive material. But you cannot control it: once the material's in place, that's it."

So, ultimately, most of the heat dissipates and is lost forever. But if one could control the flow of heat, potentially we could reduce the waste, saving energy and resources.

Prof. Heremans and his...

Galaxy collisions shed new light on dark matter

The blue halo around the four colliding galaxies is actually the distorted image of the one far behind them.
Mon 11 May 21:56
Dark matter has been mysterious ever since its discovery. According to Dr Holger Israel, a cosmologist at Durham University in England, "we know that something is there that can't be any of the particles we know about. But we don't have a good idea yet what it is." Yet that something makes up 85% of the mass in the known universe. The mystery arises, at least in part, because dark matter is extremely elusive. It's invisible because it does not interact with light (hence its sinister-sounding name), and it hardly interacts with anything at all, including itself. It only attracts objects through...

Coalition politics- Let's do the math

Sat 18 Apr 22:10
Einstein said it best, "Politics is for the present but an equation is for eternity". Can eternal math equations be used to define politics? Or better still, would politicians benefit from quantum mechanics!?

As bizarre as it may sound, new research published last month by mathematician Dr. Fabio Bagarello, from University of Palermo in Italy predicts election outcomes based on coalition governments using principles from classical mechanics!

When asked about the motivation behind this study Dr. Bagarello states, "The 2013 political elections in Italy created a lot of confusion because of the...

Can we influence the evolution of an idea...

Mon 06 Jul 23:37
Read part 1 of this series at:

Can you imagine an exclusive social circle with a qualification-based filter in the interest of blossoming and evolving ideas?

If so, how would such a group function?

It would be akin to birds of a feather flocking together and as a result would preclude contact with people from different social settings.

Naturally, exchange of ideas between such distinct separated groups would become improbable if not impossible.

On the contrary, if we move towards an inclusive society where all...

Eyes wide open

Eyes: Windows to the soul and your personality
Mon 29 Jun 12:22
Eye contact is the most basic interaction with another person. When people look into each other's eyes, they spontaneously indicate that their attention is focused on the other person. If the look is returned then a channel for interaction is opened. Eye contact has been described as the 'window into the soul' and is a powerful social signal.

Past research has identified specific brain patterns associated with locking eyes with someone or looking at someone who isn't returning your gaze. The term 'approach motivation' is applied when two people are looking at each other and 'avoidance...

Rise and shine, Philae!

A cartoon depicting that Philae is awake!
Thu 18 Jun 23:10
After going off the grid for seven months, Rosetta's lander Philae is back.

On November 12 2014, it became the first human-made object ever to land on a comet when it touched down on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

However, the landing was rough.

Due to an anchoring system failure, Philae couldn't hold on to the surface of the comet, bounced a couple of times and ended up in a dark ditch.

Stranded there, it was getting very little light for its solar panels to recharge the batteries.

In the couple of days that it stayed on, the lander managed to collect considerable data and pictures about the...

Editorial: In the grand scheme of things....

Editorial: For May
Tue 26 May 15:09
The key to leading a happy fulfilling life is to keep it stress-free. However, it's a well-known fact that in this day and age, we all live under constant pressure of some form or the other.

This month, on the health section of The Munich Eye, Dominika talks about several ways to combat stress- the most important being to practice mindfulness, which is similar to meditation. Many health institutions all over the world are promoting the necessity of a calm mind to increase human productivity.

But how can a mind stay calm given the distractions thrown at us? Well, never under-estimate the...

How the brain hears sound- tick-tock, tick-tock!

Fri 01 May 14:33
New research published by Dr. Daniel Bendor, University College London discusses the concept of how our brain captures sound information by the timing of its activity.

When asked about the motivation behind the study, Dr. Bendor reports, "The brain uses different neural codes (languages) to describe our sensory world. For hearing, our brain can represent a sound by either the magnitude (how loud or soft the sound is) or timing of activity in brain cells. As a result, our work uncovered a simple mechanism by which the brain can generate these two types of responses."

Typically, our brain...

Editorial: From the macro to the micro

Editorial: For March/April
Thu 09 Apr 16:51
Science is an offshoot of human curiosity that knows no bounds.

We try and cover stories in Science and Health sections of TME and bring you wide ranging discoveries.

This editorial seeks to summarize some of the articles we have published in the previous month.

With a talented team of science writers, we hope to keep bringing you the most exciting news in science.

Now, humans have always been curious as to what is going on in the universe.

In 2012, amateur stargazers made a sighting of an enigmatic plume around the Red Planet that bewildered astronomers worldwide.

But it was not until...

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