February 20, 2018

Top 10 STEM News – 16th July

Cinnamon may aid learning ability

Cinnamon is a delicious addition to toast, coffee and breakfast rolls. Eating the tasty household spice also might improve learning ability, according to new study

See more


Scientists ‘delete’ HIV virus from human DNA for the first time

Once HIV conquers a human cell, it will stay there forever.

It inserts its deadly genome permanently into its victims’ DNA, forcing them to require medical treatment for the rest of their life.

But now, for the first time, researchers in Philadelphia have found a way to completely delete HIV from human cells by ‘snipping’ them out.

See more


A man who lives without 90% of his brain is challenging our concept of ‘consciousness’

A French man who lives a relatively normal, healthy life – despite missing 90 percent of his brain – is causing scientists to rethink what it is from a biological perspective that makes us conscious.

Despite decades of research, our understanding of consciousness – being aware of one’s existence – is still pretty thin. We know that it’s somehow based in the brain, but then how can someone lose the majority of their neurons and still be aware of themselves and their surroundings?

See more


Is artificial lighting making us sick?

Along with eating right and exercising, people should consider adding another healthy habit to their list: turning out the lights. That’s according to a new study showing many negative health consequences for mice kept under conditions of constant light for a period of months.

See more


Spinal cord stimulation is a safe, effective drug-free treatment for chronic pain

Chronic pain affects up to 20% of people in developed countries, and represents not only a profound impact on individuals and their families but also a sizeable burden on employers, health care systems, and society in general. Now, a study published in the Journal of Pain Research finds another safe and effective drug-free treatment option for chronic pain sufferers — spinal cord stimulation (SCS).

See more


Evidence that male and female brains are wired differently

While measuring brain activity with magnetic resonance imaging during blood pressure trials, researchers found that men and women had opposite responses in the right front of the insular cortex, a part of the brain integral to the experience of emotions, blood pressure control and self-awareness.

See more


Electricity generated with water, salt and a 3-atoms-thick membrane

Proponents of clean energy will soon have a new source to add: osmotic power. Or more specifically, energy generated by a natural phenomenon occurring when fresh water comes into contact with seawater through a membrane. Researchers have developed a system that generates electricity from osmosis with unparalleled efficiency. Their work uses seawater, fresh water, and a new type of membrane just 3 atoms thick.

See more


Operators wirelessly control multiple drones by thinking of various tasks

A researcher has discovered how to control multiple robotic drones using the human brain. A controller wears a skull cap outfitted with 128 electrodes wired to a computer. The device records electrical brain activity. If the controller moves a hand or thinks of something, certain areas light up. A wireless system sends the thought to the robots.

See more


Middle-age memory decline a matter of changing focus

The inability to remember details, such as the location of objects, begins in early midlife (the 40s) and may be the result of a change in what information the brain focuses on during memory formation and retrieval, rather than a decline in brain function.

See more


Thumb-sucking, nail-biting have a positive side: Kids less likely to develop allergies

Children who are thumb-suckers or nail-biters are less likely to develop allergic sensitivities, research has found. And, if they have both ‘bad habits’, they are even less likely to be allergic to such things as house dust mites, grass, cats, dogs, horses or airborne fungi. The finding emerges from the long-running Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study, which has followed the progress of 1,037 participants born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1972-1973 into adulthood.

See more