A holographic nurse at the University College London Hospital (Charles Hutchins via Flickr/Creative Commons)

Holographic nurse  (Charles Hutchins via Flickr/Creative Commons)

Are We All Real or Are We Just Holograms?

Most, if not all of us, think of ourselves as real, living and breathing people, actual 3D physical objects.  But according to quantum physics, all of us and our entire world and universe could, in reality, just be a simple 2D hologram, a kind of optical illusion.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory wants to find out if we’re really holograms, as well as seek out answers to other perplexing mysteries of the universe, so they’ve cranked on their Holometer – a sophisticated piece of equipment that studies the “quantum character of space” – and have begun gathering necessary data for study and experimentation.


A restaurant displays its variety of condiments (Alpha via Flickr/Creative Commons)

A restaurant displays its variety of condiments (Alpha via Flickr/Creative Commons)

Fortifying Condiments and Seasonings Could Reduce Micronutrient Deficiencies Say Scientists

Scientists at the University of Illinois are working on a unique approach they think will help treat micronutrient deficiencies found to be widespread in some countries.

The Illinois researchers are looking at ways to fortify various condiments and seasonings with micronutrients as part of an effort by the World Health Organization (WHO) to fight these deficiencies.

The researchers said that the health and cognitive development of at least 33% of the world’s population suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.  They also found that since most of the people in the affected areas regularly use condiments, such as soy sauce or other seasonings, fortifying them could provide a great way to correct these nutritional deficiencies.


Fluorescent microscopic view of bone cancer cells (© ESA-Yassen Abbas)

Fluorescent microscopic view of bone cancer cells (© ESA-Yassen Abbas)

ESA Trainee Wants to Send Cancer Samples into Space

There are a number of scientists and even lay people who would like to send humans on missions to Mars or further into deep space.  Both are goals that have been talked about for a long time and lately have been getting plenty of attention from governmental space agencies and even some private companies.

But while the science and technology needed to accomplish these bold missions are being developed, there are still a number of serious issues that must first be addressed before spacecraft are launched to a destination so far away.

Among the biggest challenges facing scientists researching deep space missions is the problem of protecting the space travelers from incredibly high doses of radiation, not only from the sun but also from cosmic rays that originate in the far reaches of space.

To better understand how radiation particles can affect human DNA and trigger cancer, Yassen Abbas, a graduate trainee with the European Space Agency’s Life, Physical Science and Life Support Laboratory is proposing a mission that would send samples of osteosarcoma cells, a type of bone cancer, into space beyond the protection of Earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere.

Cameras and related equipment onboard a spacecraft that carry the cells would be used to study how the cells are damaged by the radiation and how any genetic damage can be repaired in real time.


(Oren neu dag via Wikimedia Commons)

(Oren neu dag via Wikimedia Commons)

Study: Marijuana Use among Couples May Reduce Incidents of Domestic Violence

Could the smoking of marijuana help reduce domestic violence?  That just might be the case, according to some new findings from research conducted by scientists at the University Of Buffalo School Of Public Health and Health Professions and the Research Institute on Addition.

The researchers studied 634 couples over the course of the first nine years of marriage and found that the more often they smoked marijuana, the less likely they were to become involved incidents of domestic violence.

The researchers said that that further research into the link of marijuana use and the likelihood of domestic violence is needed before any stronger conclusions could be made.