Why We Don’t Like Spiders and Snakes
Two of the most common fears among people from around the world are arachnophobia, which is a fear of spiders and ophiophobia, the fear of snakes.
Whether they live in rural communities or in the heart of a big city, most people generally get, at least, a little anxious at the thought of a spider crawling up their arm or a snake slithering between their toes.
New research from scientists at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and Sweden’s Uppsala University, suggests our fears of spiders and snakes is hereditary in nature and has its origins in evolution.
The researchers found babies as young as six months, who haven’t learned of possible dangers associated with some spiders and snakes, display signs of stress when they see pictures of the creepy crawly creatures.
When shown a photo of a spider or snake, instead of a similarly sized and colored flower or a fish, the baby’s pupils were found to get considerably bigger.
Possible Interstellar Visitor Spotted in Solar System
A small object thought to be an asteroid or maybe a comet was discovered recently by an astronomer at the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii.
While the discovery of such an object might be considered somewhat ordinary, where it’s thought to have originated makes it a remarkable find.
Scientists studying the object’s speed and trajectory say that it appears to have come from somewhere in the Milky Way galaxy but not from within our solar system.
If true, they say this would be the first “interstellar object” to be observed and confirmed by astronomers in the solar system.
The object was discovered on October 19th, after passing close to the sun on September 9th. It’s thought to be less than 400 meters in diameter and is currently traveling at a speed of 44 kilometers per second.
Scientists Equate Daydreaming With Brain Efficiency
Are you a daydreamer?
Do you often find yourself staring out of a window during meetings or class lost in thought?
According to a new study by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta, Georgia, this may not be a bad thing at all, in fact, this could be an indication that you are really smart and creative.
According to Eric Schumacher, a George Tech associate psychology professor and a co-author of the study, people with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering.
Schumacher says people with highly efficient brains have a greater ability to think which allows the mind to wander when performing simple and mundane tasks.
So do you think you have a highly efficient brain?
The researchers say that one way to tell is that you are able to tune out during conversations or while performing tasks and then naturally tune back in without missing important points or steps.
Progress Made on Fixing Curiosity Drill
NASA’s Curiosity Rover has been providing scientists with valuable new insights on the Red Planet since it landed inside in its Gale Crater on August 5th, 2012.
Among the rover’s exploratory functions have been its ability to drill into Martian rock to gather samples for analysis by its built-in laboratory instruments.
But mission officials say Curiosity’s drill feed mechanism stopped working reliably in December 2016 as it was about to perform a sample collection.
So the rover’s drilling operations have been kind of on a hiatus since then.
Mission technicians have been working to restore the rover’s sample-drilling capability.
While it may be at least several months from resuming drilling operations, the mission’s crew says they are making progress and were able to touch the Martian surface with the drill for the first time in 10 months on October 17th.
Belgian Scientists Link Cancer Growth to Sugar
Nine years of research by Belgian scientists suggests that cancer has a real sweet tooth and really love sugar.
The scientists found a real connection between sugar and cancer by studying the Warburg effect, the biochemical process where cancer cells rapidly break down sugars, which in turn stimulates the growth of tumors.
Johan Thevelein, a microbiologist and one of the research leaders says that the team’s studies reveal how the manic consumption of sugar by cancer cells leads to a vicious cycle of continued stimulation of cancer development and growth.
He also says that the team’s findings also explain the connection between the strength of the Warburg effect and aggressive behavior by tumors.
It’s thought that results of the research could possibly lead to the development of specially designed diets for cancer patients.