Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Image Gallery: NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover

Like life, space exploration can be a process of two steps forward, one step back -- except on a cosmic scale. Mars missions, all unmanned, have had mixed success since the U.S. probe Mariner 4 made the first successful fly-by of the planet in 1965. More Mars-bound spacecraft from the U.S., the Soviet Union, Japan and the European Space Agency have failed than succeeded. But the twin Mars Expeditionary Rovers called Spirit and Opportunity performed well beyond scientists' expectations after landing in January 2004. Their discoveries included firm proof that water has existed on Mars. The next leap forward in Mars research is the Mars Science Laboratory, shown here in an artist's rendering. The rover, named Curiosity, was launched atop an Atlas V rocket on November 26, 2011 and is scheduled to begin its work on Mars when it lands there in August of 2012. It is 10 feet (3 m) long, 9 feet (2.7 m) wide and 7 feet (2.1 m) tall. The rover's mission? To search for signs the planet could -- or did -- support life. In this gallery, we'll take a look at the Curiosity mission's buildup and examine some of the stuff that will be used after its landing on Mars. In the next photo, see who won NASA's rover naming contest.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

PET and MRI show differences in cerebral asymmetry
and functional connectivity between homo- and heterosexual subjects

  1. Ivanka Savic * and 
  2. Per Lindström
+Author Affiliations
  1. Stockholm Brain Institute, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Edited by Jan-Åke Gustafsson, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and approved April 30, 2008 (received for review February 27, 2008)


Cerebral responses to putative pheromones and objects of sexual attraction were recently found to differ between homo- and heterosexual subjects. Although this observation may merely mirror perceptional differences, it raises the intriguing question as to whether certain sexually dimorphic features in the brain may differ between individuals of the same sex but different sexual orientation. We addressed this issue by studying hemispheric asymmetry and functional connectivity, two parameters that in previous publications have shown specific sex differences. Ninety subjects [25 heterosexual men (HeM) and women (HeW), and 20 homosexual men (HoM) and women (HoW)] were investigated with magnetic resonance volumetry of cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres.

Coast to Coast AM: Nibiru & Ancient Cycles & Planet X (August 08, 2012)

Archaeo-astronomer and director of the Binary Research Institute, Walter Cruttenden, and researcher in ancient advanced technologiesJason Martell, discussed theories of Nibiru (Planet X), contacts with the Annunaki, as well as how humankind has been affected by the Cycle of the Ages. Zecharia Sitchin interpreted ancient Sumerian texts, and suggested that the word Nibiru referred to a planet on an elliptical orbit in our solar system that comes toward Earth every 3,600 years. Martell, who believes Sitchin's theory that Nibiru is an inhabited planet, noted that astronomers have found pertubations in the outer solar system which point to a large unidentified body as being the cause.

Secrets of the Koran

The Koran is one of the most important works ever written. For almost one billion people worldwide, it is the Holy Scripture, the word of God and his prophet.

What Vikings really looked like

Were Vikings really dirty savages who wore horned helmets, or did they look like we do today? Here’s what the experts say.

The fine decoration of the Oseberg ship in Norway, which was buried in the year 834, provides clues to what Vikings looked like. Inside the ship were two women and the archaeologists believe the ship has served as a sarcophagus. (Photo: Annie Dalbéra)
There’s no shortage of myths about the appearance of our notorious Viking ancestors.
To find out more about these myths, ScienceNordic’s Danish partner site,, asked its Facebook readers to list their favourite myths about what the Vikings looked like.
We have picked out five myths from the resulting debate and asked researchers to help us confirm or bust these myths.
Armed with this information, our graphic designer then took a shot at drawing some examples of our infamous forefathers, which you can see in our picture gallery.

Forget the Big Bang: The Universe 'froze' it's way
into existence in a Big Chill, say physicists

  • University of Melbourne suggest theory could 'revolutionise' our understanding of the universe
  • Theory suggests the universe moved from a 'fluid' state to a fixed state of three spatial directions
  • Investigating ice crystals could lead to understanding of 'cracks' in time and space
The traditional image of the birth of the universe suggests that all matter sparked into existence in a cataclysmic Big Bang more than 13 billion years ago.
But this model is now being challenged by a theory which suggests the universe froze its way into existence in what has been deemed a 'Big Chill'.
Theoretical physicists at the University of Melbourne said the best metaphor for the start of the universe should be considered as water freezing into ice.
In this theory, the three spatial dimensions and the one dimension of time 'froze' into place - and the physicists suggest we could learn about the 'cracks in time and space' by investigating the natural cracks in ice particles.

The Big Chill: Physicists from the University of Melbourne suggest we view the universe and the four known dimensions as 'freezing' their way into existence
The Big Chill: Physicists from the University of Melbourne suggest we view the universe and the four known dimensions as 'freezing'  their way into existence
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