Trending Science

Notre-Dame Fire Exposes Unique Iron Skeleton Supporting Cathedral

A new study has revealed that the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, which was devastated by a fire in 2019, was constructed with an iron skeleton, making it the first Gothic cathedral known to have used iron as a building material. The fire allowed archaeologists to access and analyze the iron staples that were used to bind the stones together during the cathedral's construction in the 12th century. The discovery of the iron staples helps explain the cathedral's extraordinary height, with a nave reaching 35 meters and two towers measuring 69 meters each. The use of iron staples was a marvel of medieval innovation and enabled the builders to construct the tallest building of its time. The study also provides insights into the iron market in 12th and 13th century Paris. Further analysis of the samples is needed to fully understand the secrets of the iron market during that period. sources

Nov 21 2023, 8 am

Mysterious metallic orb discovered in Mexico's skyfall incident

A large metal orb has been discovered in Mexico, leading to speculation that it may be part of an alien spaceship. Meteorologist Isidro Cano described the orb as "a very hard plastic or an alloy of various metals" and stated that it fell from the sky, making a noise but no fire. Cano warned people not to touch or come near the orb until it had been reviewed by a specialist, as it may have radioactivity. He also mentioned a code on the outside of the orb and claimed that it would open on its own to reveal valuable information. The orb was later removed by a specialized team and taken out of Mexico. While it is possible that the orb is space debris or a weather balloon, Cano suggested that it could be part of a Chinese rocket that had been out of control. sources

Dec 02 2023, 11 pm

Why are older paintings' penises smaller than today's?

A recent study has found that the depiction of penis size in paintings has changed significantly over the past seven centuries, with penises in older paintings being smaller compared to today. The researchers analysed 232 paintings from 21 countries and measured the penis-to-ear/nose ratio to compare sizes across different time periods. They found that during the 15th and 16th centuries, the penis was depicted as rather small, and this did not change much until the 19th century when images of the penis began to become proportionally larger. The researchers suggest that the increase in penis size in paintings over the last century may be influenced by the widespread use of the internet and exposure to media, including pornography, which perpetuate the association between penis size and masculinity. The study highlights the potential impact of these depictions on men's body image and feelings of inadequacy. sources

Dec 01 2023, 11 pm

Educating clueless men about this unknown device

A Twitter challenge has revealed that many people, including men, are unaware of what an intrauterine device (IUD) is. The IUD, also known as "the coil," is a small T-shaped device made of plastic and copper that is inserted into the womb to prevent pregnancy. It slowly releases copper or the hormone levonorgestrel, which alters cervical mucus and makes it difficult for sperm to reach the egg or for fertilized eggs to implant themselves. IUDs are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and can last for 3-10 years before needing to be removed. Despite their effectiveness, IUDs have a low uptake in the US and Europe compared to the contraceptive pill, partly due to the Dalkon shield disaster in the late 1960s. The wider Dalkon shield caused severe pelvic infections and perforations, leading to six deaths and a damaged reputation for IUDs. However, other IUD models are safe and effective. sources

Dec 02 2023, 8 pm

Researchers argue Earth's sixth mass extinction has begun

A new study published in the journal Biological Reviews argues that Earth is currently experiencing its sixth mass extinction event, and humans are to blame. The researchers estimate that up to 13 percent of all invertebrate species may have become extinct in the last 500 years, and warn that urgent action is needed to prevent a catastrophic decline in biodiversity. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, which gives the impression that species loss is in line with the background rate, is said to be heavily biased towards birds and mammals, rather than invertebrates. The researchers reference a 2015 study on molluscs, which concluded that around seven percent of land snail species have become extinct since 1500. Based on this figure, the researchers estimate that between 7.5 and 13 percent of the two million known species have now disappeared. The authors argue that humans are the only species capable of manipulating the biosphere on a large scale and have a responsibility to prevent further extinctions. sources

Dec 02 2023, 8 pm

BMW's Color-Changing Car: Button-Activated Transformation in Videos

BMW has unveiled its new color-changing technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), allowing an entire car to change color at the press of a button. The technology was demonstrated on the BMW iX, an all-electric car, and is extremely temperature-sensitive. The exact method of how the color-changing works is still unknown, but theories suggest it could use thermochromic materials in conjunction with miniature heaters or a sort of E Ink display. However, despite the excitement surrounding the technology, it is unlikely to be available for public sale in most countries due to regulations requiring officials to be contacted when changing the color of a car. The cost of repairing a car with this high-tech color-changing paint would also be a consideration. As CES continues, more exciting technology is expected to be revealed. sources

Dec 02 2023, 9 pm

Giant single-celled organism: Sailor's Eyeball

The sailor's eyeball alga, Valonia ventricosa, is one of the largest single-celled organisms on Earth. These curious blobs, found in the sea, are actually a type of algae and can vary in size from a pinhead to the size of an eyeball. The size of the blob depends on the contents of its vacuole, the space inside its cell wall. Valonia ventricosa is a unicellular organism that can contain the nuclei of many cells, as it is made up of a mass of cytoplasm containing multiple cell nuclei. Interestingly, if a sailor's eyeball is popped, it can result in more Valonia ventricosa growing, as they only need one cell nucleus to develop into new organisms. These shimmering blobs are often spotted by divers in coral reefs and can vary in color from green to black, with a silvery appearance due to the unique structure of their cell walls' cellulose crystals. Unlike the mysterious "golden egg" found on the seabed of Alaska, sailors' eyeballs are harmless and just trying to go about their day. sources

Dec 02 2023, 6 pm

Piercing Alters Skin Microbes: Here's How

A team of researchers from McGill University and Tattoo Lounge MTL in Montreal have conducted a study on how the skin's microbiome changes when we get our ears pierced. The skin is covered with trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that make up the microbiome, which plays a crucial role in protecting against pathogens and maintaining skin health. However, when we get a piercing, the area is sterilized, providing a "clean slate" for the microbiome. The researchers collected skin swabs from 28 volunteers before and after they received a piercing and found that over time, the new piercing environment promoted greater biodiversity and ecological complexity. The microbiome that developed around the piercing was similar to those found in moist areas like the nose, armpit, or groin. The study provides valuable insights into the bacterial communities inhabiting human ear piercings and highlights the impact of the piercing process on the local skin microbiome. sources

Dec 01 2023, 6 am

Scientists Advise Keeping Cats Indoors for Safety and Health

A recent study has found that keeping cats indoors is not only beneficial for other species but also for the cats themselves. The study, conducted in Washington DC, revealed that domestic cats have a high probability of coming into contact with raccoons, red foxes, and Virginia opossums, all of which can spread rabies. Cats are also known to be prolific hunters, but contrary to popular belief, they prefer hunting small native species rather than non-native populations like rats. This poses a threat to the native wildlife populations and disrupts the ecosystem. The study also found that the distribution of cats is largely influenced by humans rather than natural factors, indicating that humans are responsible for the harm caused by cats to local wildlife. The solution, according to the study, is to keep cats indoors, especially in areas where they are likely to interact with native wildlife. sources

Dec 02 2023, 7 pm

Oldest Tasted Shipwreck Champagne: "Animal" and "Wet Hair" Notes

A 170-year-old shipwreck champagne has been tasted and could inspire a new way of aging wine. Divers discovered the shipwreck in Finland's Åland archipelago in 2010, containing 168 bottles of champagne that were still full and valuable. Professor Philippe Jeandant tasted samples from three of the bottles and published a report, stating that they likely contain the oldest champagne ever tasted. Initially, the tasting notes described the champagne as having "animal notes," "wet hair," and "cheesy" flavors. However, after swirling the wine around in the glass to oxygenate it, the tasting notes changed to include "empyreumatic, grilled, spicy, smoky, and leathery" flavors, along with fruity and floral notes. The bottles could now be worth up to $190,000. This discovery could lead to a new method of aging wine underwater, as wines age slower underwater due to stable temperatures and less exposure to light. sources

Nov 30 2023, 5 pm

25,000-Year-Old Indonesian "Pyramid" Unlikely Human-Made

A recent study claiming that a mountain in Indonesia is the world's oldest pyramid built by ancient humans has been met with skepticism from archaeologists. The study suggests that the Gunung Padang, or "Mountain of Enlightenment," was meticulously sculpted into its current shape between 25,000 and 14,000 years ago, making it older than the world's oldest pyramids. The researchers also claim that there are hidden cavities or chambers within the site. However, other archaeologists argue that the team has not provided enough evidence to support these bold conclusions. They point out that soil samples from the site, which the team claims are evidence of human activity, do not show any signs of human presence. The journal that published the study is now investigating the paper. Until stronger evidence is presented, the mound is likely a natural formation. sources

Nov 30 2023, 8 pm

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