Archivo: The Conversation

The reason you feel things as solid is all to do with electrons.

The World Health Organisation has estimated that two fifths of the 14m cases of cancer that are diagnosed every year are preventable. The main preventable causes of cancer are diet, smoking and infection. Of these, diet is likely to most disproportionately affect women over the coming years.

Researchers are trying to train synaesthesia-like associations in people who don’t have the condition.

Musk originally intended the Hyperloop to cover the 600km route from Los Angeles to San Francisco at an average speed of about 960kph, reducing what’s currently a 12-hour train journey to just 35 minutes. Although funding has since been channelled into a bullet train service for this route, the idea of the hyperloop has attracted interest elsewhere

When a virus infects a living cell, it hijacks and reprograms the cell to turn it into a virus-producing factory. Now scientists at the University of California have for the first time discovered just how extensive that reprogramming can be, effectively turning bacterial cells into animal or plant-like cells. This might even be how the cells of more complex organisms evolved in the first place.

So would it possible in the real world? Let’s not worry about the vast quantities of raw materials required.

Plants are often used not just as food and clothing but as part of complex technologies. Here are some more amazing ways we can use vegetation.

Sutton Hoo in East Anglia is one of the most important archaeological sites in England. The weapons, clothing and other objects buried in the Anglo-Saxon cemeteries show that trade networks in the 6th and 7th century reached as far away as Europe and Asia. Now new research conducted at the British Museum and University of Aberdeen reveals that trading even resulted in a solid form of oil known as bitumen making its way all the way to England from what is now Syria.

The search for mysterious “fast radio bursts” – very brief but intense pulses of radio waves from outer space – is heating up. Nobody knows what causes these powerful bursts, but some have even speculated that the signals could be transmitted by distant alien civilisations. In fact, astronomers are so perplexed by the phenomenon that it is driving a renaissance in radio astronomy.

Recent work reveals that a small number of people may have extraordinary face recognition skills, outperforming typical people on a range of face recognition tasks.