Morning sickness sucks, but could actually be a good sign

But nobody can explain why.

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No one would put their hand up to experience the nausea and vomiting that comes with morning sickness, but a new study suggests that there could be a hidden benefit to all that discomfort.

Scientists have found the strongest evidence yet that vomiting and nausea during pregnancy are associated with a lower risk of miscarriage – backing up the popular myth that morning sickness is a sign that the baby is developing well.

In the trial, 188 of the 797 pregnancies ultimately ended in loss. But the researchers found that women who experienced nausea by the 8th week (57.3 percent of the group) were 50 percent less likely to experience a pregnancy loss than those who didn’t have nausea.

And women who experienced both nausea and vomiting by the 8th week (26.6 percent) were 75 percent less likely to experience a miscarriage than those who didn’t have both symptoms.

Compared to previous studies that didn’t examine in detail women’s symptoms during the first eight weeks of pregnancy, the data could prove to be very valuable. The researchers also took into account various factors that could influence miscarriage rates, such as alcohol intake and chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus.

“These findings overcome prior analytic and design limitations and represent the most definitive data available to date indicating the protective association of nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy and the risk for pregnancy loss,” the researchers explain in their paper.

That said, it’s worth bearing in mind that all of the woman who took part in the study had already experienced one or two miscarriages – something which can’t be said for every woman who wants to have a baby, and which might make it difficult to interpret the results with the ‘average woman’ in mind.

The researchers also acknowledge that their medium-sized study “was conducted within a rather homogeneous sample of women, which may limit generalisability”.

It’s also worth pointing out that all studies like this rely on participants accurately self-reporting their symptoms too.

But with those limitations in mind, there’s clearly a correlation between morning sickness and lower miscarriage rates here, and the researchers aren’t sure how to explain it.

“We hypothesise that there is a more direct biological link going on between nausea and vomiting and pregnancy loss,” Hinkle told Alice Park at Time, “although our data can’t inform exactly what that is.”

In their study, the team points out that morning sickness symptoms “may be part of an evolutionary advantage to change one’s dietary intake, increase consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods, or avert intake of potentially teratogenic substances”.

It’s also possible, the researchers say, that morning sickness’s ties to miscarriage could somehow be related to the functioning of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) – or that nausea and vomiting are markers for viable placental tissue.

“Thus, less nausea and vomiting may identify failing pregnancies, with lower hormone levels leading to nausea and vomiting,” they write.

At this point, more research is needed to figure out the possible biological causes behind this apparent link, but the team is hopeful that their findings may provide some comfort to pregnant mothers who are having a hard time – particularly in the early stages.

“It’s a hard time the first time you get pregnant, and then you throw on feeling sick and exhausted,” Hinkle told Time. “This should provide some solace and reassurance to women experiencing these symptoms that they have a healthy pregnancy.”

By the same measure, the researchers are eager to point out that there’s nothing wrong with not experiencing morning sickness – in other words, nobody should feel that they’re missing out on some kind of ‘protective effect’, because researchers are only just starting to look into what might be going on with this association.

“Not all pregnancies are the same, and every individual is different,” Hinkle told Adrienne LaFrance at The Atlantic. “So just because they do not have symptoms, does not mean that they will go on to have a loss.”

Scientists just restored the first computer-generated music ever

This is what history sounds like.

Researchers have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, and it was recorded more than 65 years ago using a machine built by Alan Turing.

The recording includes three different melodies – “God Save the King”, “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, and Glenn Miller hit “In The Mood” – all played on a gigantic computer in Turing’s Computing Machine Laboratory in Manchester, England in 1951.

The computer-generated music was originally recorded for a BBC broadcast by British schoolteacher and pianist Christopher Strachey, who managed to program the national anthem, “God Save the King”, into Turing’s machine.

You can hear him hanging out with a BBC presenter in Turing’s lab, pulling an historic all-nighter while he debugged his program to play some tunes:

It’s a pretty special thing that we’re listening to here, and the only reason we’re hearing it is because a couple of researchers from New Zealand managed to dig it up and figure out what it would have sounded like without more than six decades of degradation.

“Today all that remains of the recording session is a 12-inch single-sided acetate disc, cut by the BBC’s technician while the computer played,” says Jack Copeland from the University of Canterbury, who is director of the online Turing Archive for the History of Computing.

“The computer itself was scrapped long ago, so the archived recording is our only window on that historic soundscape.”

Together with University of Canterbury composer Jason Long, Copeland dug up the recording, and realised that it sounded nothing like it would have in 1951.

“What a disappointment it was … to discover that the frequencies in the recording were not accurate: the recording gave at best only a rough impression of how the computer sounded,” says Copeland.

“There was a deviation in the speed of the recording, probably as a result of the turntable in BBC’s portable disc cutter rotating too fast.”

By figuring out the actual speed of the audio, balancing out the ‘wobble’, filtering out the noise, and using pitch-correction software, Copeland and Long have produced what they say is the most accurate restoration of the recording ever.

“It was a beautiful moment when we first heard the true sound of Turing’s computer,” the pair writes in a blog post.

If you listen to it above, you not only hear the three tunes played on the computer, but also a number of glitches and quips from Strachey and the presenter.

In a major dad moment, the presenter notes, “The machine’s obviously not in the mood,” when the computer halts up during “In The Mood”.

So what did Turing think of hearing the first ever computer-generated music played on one of his machines? As the AFP reports, Strachey recalled Turing telling him, “Good show.”

We love it.

Snowden Issues Warning — Do Not Use Google’s Messaging App Under Any Circumstances

Unless you want law enforcement to be able to trawl all your communications, don’t — under any circumstances — use Google’s newest messaging app, Allo, Edward Snowden just warned.

“What is #Allo? A Google app that records every message you ever send and makes it available to police upon request,” the whistleblower advised in a tweet.

Photo published for Google backs off on previously announced Allo privacy feature
Google had earlier claimed it would include end-to-end encryption, “storing messages transiently and in non-identifiable form,” similar to its prospective primary competitor, WhatsApp. However, the company announced drastic anti-privacy changes on Wednesday — the very day it rolled out the app.
When users remember to begin a conversation in “Incognito Mode,” as can be done for Google searches, their conversations won’t be stored indefinitely, as it still provides end-to-end encryption. But conversations not expressly begun that way will be stored forever, where they would be available for any law enforcement body requesting the information.
As Snowden pointed out, anyone thinking it would be difficult for police or, say, the Department of Homeland Security, or National Security Agency to get their hands on these communications should think otherwise.
In 2015, the Guardian reported this April, the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) — the secret court ostensibly overseeing domestic spying, which rules on the validity of requests by the FBI and other agencies to gain access to people’s data — did not turn down a single request of nearly 1,500.
“The court received 1,457 requests last year on behalf of the National Security Agency and FBI for authority to intercept communications, including email and phone calls, according to a Justice Department memo […] The court did not reject any of the applications in whole or in part, the memo said,” according to the Guardian.
Included with Allo, users receive an extra helping of Big Brother — features like “Smart Reply” and “Google Assistant.” While the latter “answers questions and helps you search for things directly in your chat,” as RT reports, the former employs artificial intelligence in order to predict answers to make responding as simple as pressing a button.
However, therein lies part of the privacy concern — that convenience comes with an asterisk in bold.
“How does Allo plan on predicting your every word and witty emoji, you ask? ‘The more you use it, the more it improves over time,’ which basically means they’ll collect and store as much of your data as possible and then use artificial intelligence to guess your replies,” Zero Hedge writes.
As The Verge reported last week, Google opted to forego (our already ever-dwindling) privacy in favor of improving the Smart Reply feature, since artificial intelligence perform better when it has more data at its disposal.
And that, of course, is key to Snowden’s and privacy advocates’ concerns. The more data Google collects, the more would be available to the increasingly erratic and paranoid government that would otherwise have you believe you have nothing to worry about if you’ve done nothing wrong.
Just because you aren’t engaged in criminal activity or planning a terrorist attack doesn’t mean the government wouldn’t love to know everything about you. Environmental activists, for one of many examples, are considered in the State’s notoriously-inclusive watchlists to be as dangerous as radicals fighting for the Islamic State.
Even those who don’t consider themselves politically or otherwise active might want to consider whose eyes are peering into their lives. It’s doubtful anyone would invite a Google techie or a cop to physically sit and watch everything they do — but if you plan to use Allo, in essence, that’s precisely what you’re doing.



Medicine, science, elections, the media, money, education, search engines, social media… you are living in a fabricated fairy tale.

Rigged elections

After witnessing how Reuters just blatantly cooked the presidential election polls this week to favor Clinton and how the mainstream media is so terrifyingly biased in favor of Clinton that the very foundation of democracy is now in crisis, it’s time to tell you something that perhaps a lot more people are finally ready to hear:


Every institution in America is sold out, corrupted and politically rigged to favor Big Government and Big Business. “America is a lost country,” explains Paul Craig Roberts. “The total corruption of every public and the private institution is complete. Nothing remains but tyranny. And lies. Endless lies.”

CNN, Reuters and the Associated Press are all now shameless promoters of every big lie across every sector of society, from vaccines and GMOs to elections and politics. The federal government itself is incapable of doing anything other than lying, and it has totally corrupted the entire realm of science by pulling the strings of funding via the National Institutes of Health and the NSF.

The FDA is entirely corrupt, as is the USDA. Both function now as little more than marketing propaganda pushers for Big Pharma and Big Biotech. Similarly, Google, Facebook and Twitter are all rigged, too, censoring the voices they don’t want anyone to hear while highlighting the establishment lies they wish to promote.

Here’s what “rigged” really means… the tools of tyranny

When I say “everything is rigged,” what does that mean, exactly?

• All “official sources” are ordered to constantly lie about everything, weaving illusions to push a chosen narrative rooted in fiction (from “there are no Islamic terrorists” to “carbon dioxide is poison to the planet”).

• All voices of reason and sanity are silenced. Only the most insane, irrational voices are allowed to be magnified through any media (including social media). This is also true across the sciences, where real science has been all but snuffed out by political agendas (biosludge, GMOs, glyphosate, mercury in dentistry, etc.).

• All facts are obliterated by propaganda. Facts have no place in any debate, and those who invoke facts are shamed and silenced (or even fired from their jobs, expelled from their schools or bullied into a state of suicide on social media). Anyone who invokes facts on things like the actual statistics of police shootings is told they are “part of the problem” because they have the “wrong attitude” about social justice.

• Every branch of government is weaponized against the people and used as an assault tool against political enemies who threaten the status quo. (IRS, FDA, FTC, DEA, EPA, USDA, etc.)

• All science is distorted into absurd, politically-motivated conclusions about everything the government wants to use to control the masses: Vaccines, climate change, GMOs, fluoride, flu shots, chemical agriculture, carbon dioxide and so on.

• Every branch of medicine is hijacked by globalist agendas to make sure medicine never makes anyone healthier, more alert or more cognitively capable of thinking for themselves.

• Every “news item” that’s reported from any official source is deliberately distorted to the point of insanity, turning many facts on their heads while attacking anyone who might offer something truly constructive to the world. (Such as reporting that Clinton was “cleared” by the FBI when, in fact, she was indicted by the very facts the FBI presented!)

• All voices of truth are silenced, then replaced by meaningless, distracting babble (Kardashians) or meaningless, tribal sports competitions (the Rio Olympics). The point is to dumb down the entire population to the point of cultural lunacy.

• Any true reports that contradict any official narrative are immediately censored. For example, radio host Michael Savage just got blocked by Facebook for posting a true story about an illegal alien who committed murder in America.

• Emotions are used as weapons to manipulate the masses. For example, when the mom of a Benghazi victim shares her grief with the world, she is ridiculed and shamed. But when a radical Muslim father who’s trying to bring Sharia Law to America attacks Trump by expressing his loss of his soldier son, the media turns him into an instant celebrity, praising his “courageous voice” for daring to speak out. The media hypocrisy is enough to make you vomit…

What exactly is rigged?

• The entire mainstream media
• Google search engine and Google News
• Facebook and Twitter
• The DNC and the RNC (both 100% rigged by globalists)
• Every federal agency (EPA, FDA, etc.)
• The entire justice system (makes a total farce of real justice)
• Interest rates and the value of the money supply (central banksters)
• Academia (all public universities)
• EPA’s “safe” limits on pesticides (all rigged by Big Biotech)
• Food and food labeling (all run by corrupt food companies)
• Public education (rigged into Common Core anti-knowledge idiocy)
• Banking and finance (all controlled by globalists)
• Government economics figures and statistics
• Medicine and pharmaceuticals (rigged to maximize profits)
• Big Science (totally rigged by government agenda pushers)
• The music industry (most top singers can’t sing at all)
• Weapons manufacturers and war corporations
• The illegal drug trade (it’s run by the government)
• Political elections (all 100% rigged at the federal level)
• Political polls (now rigged by Reuters, too)
• The health insurance industry (rigged by Obamacare)
• College admissions (legally discriminates against Whites and Asians)
• 9/11 and domestic terrorism (all rigged “official stories”)
• Oil and energy industries
• The rule of law (rigged in favor of the rich and powerful)
• Infectious disease and the CDC (a constant stream of lies)
• Hollywood (all run by globalists)
• Climate change science (all a grand science hoax)
• Press release services (they only allow official narratives)
• History (what you are taught is mostly a lie)
• Government grants (only given out to those who further the agenda)
• Government bids (only awarded to those who kick back funds to corrupt officials)
• Consciousness and free will (we are all taught consciousness doesn’t exist)
• Ethnobotany (medicinal and spiritual use of healing plants)
• Life on other plants (the obvious truth is kept from us all)
• The origin of the universe (the official narrative is a laughable fairy tale)

As a fantastic example of how everything is rigged, consider these paragraphs from this news story published today:

Over the weekend and for the past few days since Khan spoke alongside his wife Ghazala Khan about their son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, media-wide reporters, editors, producers, and anchors have tried to lay criticism on Trump over the matter. They thought they had a good one, a specific line of attack that pitted Trump against the military—and supposedly showed him as a big meanie racist in the process.

But, as Breitbart News showed on Monday midday, that clearly was not the case. Khizr Khan has all sorts of financial, legal, and political connections to the Clintons through his old law firm, the mega-D.C. firm Hogan Lovells LLP. That firm did Hillary Clinton’s taxes for years, starting when Khan still worked there involved in, according to his own website, matters “firm wide”—back in 2004. It also has represented, for years, the government of Saudi Arabia in the United States. Saudi Arabia, of course, is a Clinton Foundation donor which—along with the mega-bundlers of thousands upon thousands in political donations to both of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2016—plays right into the “Clinton Cash” narrative.

America’s transformation into Communist China is nearly complete

If you’re pondering where all this is headed, look no further than Communist China, where all independent news has been outlawed by the state. Political prisoners across China have their organs harvested to enrich black market organ traders, and nearly one out of every three urban citizens is a secret spy who snitches on friends for the totalitarian communist government.

Hillary Clinton is the embodiment of Communist Chinese totalitarianism. She’s such a perfect fit for their disastrous model of human rights abuses, government corruption and systemic criminality that I’m surprised she doesn’t live in Beijing. If Clinton gets elected, America is gone forever, replaced by a criminal regime of totalitarians who violate the RICO Act as a matter of policy.

If this entire rigged system of biased media, Facebook censorship, Google search result manipulations and twisted science ends up putting America’s most terrifying political criminal into the White House, it’s lights out for the American we once knew. Almost immediately, the nation fractures into near Civil War, with calls for secession growing unstoppable as state after state seeks to escape the political wrath of an insane regime of D.C. criminals and tyrants. #TEXIT

We now live in two Americas: Half the country is tired of everything being rigged, and the other half can’t wait to be exploited by yet another crooked leftist LIAR who rigs everything

America is now essentially two nations. On one hand, we have the pro-Trump America, filled with people who are tired of being cheated, censored, punished, stolen from and lied to about everything under the sun. Donald Trump supporters are people who realize everything is rigged… and they’re demanding an end to the corruption and criminality of the fascist system under which we all suffer today.

Hillary Clinton supporters are people who are too busy chasing political rainbows to realize everything is rigged. They still believe the lies and the propaganda (the “hope and change” that never came, but is still promised by empty politicians). They’re living in fairy tale delusional worlds that have been woven into their gullible minds by the skillful social engineers of the radical left. These people still think the government cares about them… or that CNN only reports truthful news. They can’t wait to see another globalist in the White House because they are pathetic, weak-minded empty shells of non-consciousness who are wholly incapable of thinking for themselves.

These two camps of Americans can no longer coexist. They have almost nothing in common when it comes to knowledge, wisdom, ethics, morals or philosophy. One camp believes in the rule of law (Trump); the other camp believes that people in power should be above the law (Clinton). One camp believes in states’ rights and individual liberty (Trump) while the other camp believes in the consolidation of totalitarian power in the hands of a centralized, domineering government (Clinton). One camp believes in a level playing field, free market competition and rewarding innovation and hard work (Trump), while the other camp believes in free handouts, government “equality” mandates, and the ludicrous idea that “there should be no winners or losers in society.” (Clinton)

In other to try to win this election, the Clinton camp has already rigged EVERYTHING from the very start, including the coronation of Hillary, the scheduling of televised debates to minimize their viewership, the surrender of Bernie Sanders to the DNC machine, the mass organization of illegal voting schemes to make sure illegal aliens vote in November, and so much more. No doubt they’re also working extremely hard to rig the black box voting machines all across the country.

If you’re tired of everything being rigged, this November vote against the rigged system by voting for Donald Trump. This is truly your last chance to save America from being overthrown by a totalitarian regime of criminals who will crush every last iota of freedom and liberty in America.

Learn more:

Women with larger behinds are healthier and more intelligent, study finds

It turns out that having a little “junk in the trunk” is a good thing, health wise. Not only does having a larger derriere boost overall health, but it’s tied to increased intelligence and lower risk of chronic disease, according to researchers at the University of Oxford and Churchill Hospital in the United Kingdom.


Fat distribution is important, say researchers, and if you’re going to have some, it’s best to have it below the waist, as it helps to serve as a barrier against heart disease, diabetes and other conditions linked to obesity.

“It is the protective role of lower body, that is [thigh and backside] fat, that is striking. The protective properties of the lower-body fat depot have been confirmed in many studies conducted in subjects with a wide range of age, BMI and co-morbidities,” scientists wrote in the Journal of Obesity.

Apple-shaped vs. pear-shaped

Comparing your body shape to that of a fruit can help you identify whether or not you’re on the right track. If you’re pear-shaped, you’re probably in a good place, researchers say. If you’re apple-shaped, you may want to embark on a healthier lifestyle.

Individuals with belly fat have more obesity-related problems than those who carry extra weight on their hips, thighs and butt.

“There’s a lot of evidence that shows that the fat depots are not the same in the body,” said Dr. Robert Kushner, a professor of medicine specializing in obesity at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Belly fat “is more metabolically active,” explains Kushner, meaning it has a greater effect on the brain and overall body, compared to fat stored in the lower half, which tends to be more stable and invokes fewer cytokines or proteins associated with insulin resistance and the onset of diabetes.

“There’s a whole range of these hormonal markers that seem to be more preferentially released from the belly,” he adds.

Regulating weight gain in the brain

Another factor tied to fat distribution in women is leptin. Leptin levels, crucial for regulating appetite, are correlated with a bigger derriere, too. In individuals who are obese, their brain stops responding to the hormone entirely, causing the person to develop leptin resistance, which is similar to insulin resistance, reports Elite Daily.

“Having a big butt also favors leptin levels in the female body, which is a hormone responsible for regulating the weight, and the dinopectina, a hormone with anti-inflammatory, vascular-protective and anti-diabetic attributes. The adipose tissue of the buttocks traps harmful fatty particles and prevents cardiovascular disease.”

Big butt equals big brains

Maintaining a larger behind requires significant amounts of Omega 3 fats, which are proven to boost brain function, memory and cognitive abilities. Research also shows that children born to women with wide hips are more intelligent compared to those conceived by thinner and less curvy mothers.

Learn more:

The language of senses


Sight, touch and hearing are our windows to the world: these sensory channels send a constant flow of information to the brain, which acts to sort out and integrate these signals, allowing us to perceive the world and interact with our environment. But how do these sensory pathways emerge during development? Do they share a common structure, or, on the contrary, do they emerge independently, each with its specific features? By identifying gene expression signatures common to sight, touch and hearing, neuroscientists at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, discovered a sensory “lingua franca” which facilitates the brain’s interpretation and integration of sensory input. These results, to be read in Nature, pave the way towards a better understanding of perception and communication disorders.

The ability to detect and sort various kinds of stimuli is essential to interact with surrounding objects and people, and to communicate correctly. Indeed, social interaction deficits in people living with autism appear to be partly due difficulties in detecting and interpreting . But how does the brain interpret and integrate the stimuli sent by our five senses? It is this very question which Denis Jabaudon, Professor at UNIGE Faculty of Medicine and his team have addressed. “We studied the genetic structure of tactile, visual and auditory pathways in mice,” explains Laura Frangeul, the study first author. “By observing neuronal in these distinct pathways during development, we detected common patterns, as if an underlying genetic language was bringing them together.”

A common language with tailored modulations

The Geneva neuroscientists’ results thus reveal that during development, the various sensory pathways initially share a common gene expression structure, which then adapts to the activity of the organ attached to each sense. “This process only takes a few days in mice but could take up to several months in human beings, whose development is much longer and very sensitive to the environment,” underlines Denis Jabaudon.

This genetic ‘lingua franca’ therefore allows the various sensory pathways to be built according to a similar architecture regardless of their very different functions. It is this shared language that allows the brain to accurately interpret stimuli coming from different sources, and to compose a coherent representation of their combined meaning.

Constant and necessary interactions

Sharing the same building plan also explains how various pathways can mutually balance out, for example when touch or hearing become highly over-developed in people born blind. This discovery also explains why sensory interferences, including synesthesias and hallucinations, can occur in people suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism or schizophrenia.

Denis Jabaudon concludes: “Our results allow us to better understand how the brain circuits which build our representation of the world assemble during development. We are now able to examine how these findings could be put to use to repair them when they fail.”

Time might only exist in your head, say physicists

Out of all the pressures we face in our everyday lives, there’s no denying that the nature of time has the most profound effect. As our days, weeks, months, and years go by, time moves from past to present to future, and never the other way around.

But according to the physics that govern our Universe, the same things will occur regardless of what direction time is travelling in. And now physicists suggest that gravity isn’t strong enough to force every object in the Universe into a forward-moving direction anyway.

So does time as we know it actually exist, or is it all in our heads? First off, let’s run through a little refresher about the so-called arrow of time.

Thanks to the forward-facing arrow of time, young becomes old, and the past becomes the present, which was once the future. You can’t unscramble your eggs, and you can’t Control Z a broken leg.

But if we forget our own perspective for a second, zoom right out, and look at the Universe as a whole, as far as we can tell, the only thing that governs the behaviour of the Universe are the laws of physics.
And the problem is that all but one of these laws are considered to be completely time-reversible – meaning that the same effects will occur, regardless of whether time is running forwards or backwards.

“Whether through Newton’s gravitation, Maxwell’s electrodynamics, Einstein’s special and general relativity, or quantum mechanics, all the equations that best describe our Universe work perfectly if time flows forward or backward,” Lee Billings writes for Scientific American.

One example of this ‘time-reversible’ quality in the Universe is the path of a planet orbiting a star, according to the force of gravity.

“Whether time runs forwards or backwards, planetary orbits follow the exact same paths. The only difference is the direction of the orbit,” Brendan Cole explained for us earlier in the year.

So time is subjective? That might be what Einstein’s special theory of relativity says, but there’s a little something called second law of thermodynamics.

According to the second law of thermodynamics, as time goes by, the amount of disorder – or entropy – in the Universe will always increase. This goes back to those scrambled eggs – once they’ve been disordered, you can’t go back and lessen the amount of disorder applied to a particular system.

“Physicists have, for this reason, reluctantly settled on the second law as the source of time’s arrow: disorder always has to increase after something happens, which requires that time can only move in one direction,” Cole explains.

If it’s all starting to sound a bit messy to you, that’s because it is.

Many physicists now suspect that when gravity forces enough tiny particles to interact with each other, the forward-facing arrow of time emerges, and entropy can increase. The rules then change to favour a more directionless Universe only once these tiny particles start interacting with much larger things.

But for that to work, entropy must have increased, which means the Universe had to have started off more ordered than it is now – something that some physicists have tried to explain by suggesting there are parallel universes where time runs forwards, backwards, sideways, you name it.

In an effort to get to the bottom of one of the biggest conundrums in modern science, a pair of physicists decided to test the assumption that gravity is the force behind all this craziness.

The point at which particles are thought to transition from being governed by the arrow of time to being governed by the directionless laws of the Universe is known as decoherence.

As Nick Stockton explains for Wired, the most prominent hypothesis explaining decoherence is the Wheeler-DeWitt equation, which predicts when the seams between quantum and classical mechanics are erased thanks to gravity.

But when physicists Dmitry Podolsky, from Harvard University, and Robert Lanza, head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine, ran measurements of gravity through the Wheeler-DeWitt equation, they found that once you do the maths, the equation doesn’t explain how time’s forward-moving direction actually emerges.

In fact, according to their results, gravity’s effects kick in far too slowly to account for a universal arrow of time.

As Stockton points out, if gravity is too weak to be the thing that’s holding an interaction between molecules together as they ‘decohere’ into something larger, it can’t possibly be strong enough to force them into the same direction, time-wise.

“Our paper shows that time doesn’t just exist ‘out there’ ticking away from past to future, but rather is an emergent property that depends on the observer’s ability to preserve information about experienced events,” Lanza writes forDiscover.

This suggests that time’s arrow is subjective, and determined by the observer, which means us.

“In his papers on relativity, Einstein showed that time was relative to the observer,” Lanza told Wired. “Our paper takes this one step further, arguing that the observer actually creates it.”

The idea is of course controversial, because as Yasunori Nomura, a physicist at UC Berkeley who was not involved in the study, points out, the pair have failed to take the fabric of spacetime into consideration, and have to introduced a quality into the equation – ‘observer time’ – that no one’s even sure is real.

“The answer depends on whether the concept of time can be defined mathematically without including observers in the system,” says Nomura.

If we want to explain the strangeness of time in the Universe, we’re not there yet, but as Lanza and Podolsky suggest, maybe we’re missing something. And as researchers suggested earlier this year, could that something be dark energy?

Caltech’s 2500 Orbiting Solar Panels Could Provide Earth With Limitless Energy


The Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI), a collaboration between Caltech and Northrup Grumman, has developed a system of lightweight solar power tiles which can convert solar energy to radio waves and can be placed in orbit to beam power to an energy-thirsty Earth.


One of the greatest challenges facing the 21st Century is the issue of power—how to generate enough of it, how to manufacture it cheaply and with the least amount of harmful side-effects, and how to get it to users.

The solutions will have to be very creative—rather like what the Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI), a partnership between Caltech and Northrup Grumman, has devised.

Prototype of the “multifunctional tile.” Credit: Caltech

“What we’re proposing, somewhat audaciously, is to develop the technology that would enable one to build the largest-ever-built space structures,” says Harry Atwater, a Caltech professor and member of SSPI.

The idea, for beaming solar energy to Earth from space, is ingenious, simple, and may just work—given the needed investment and financial backing. SSPI has engineered a modular approach which ensures low-cost and redundancy. The basic unit is a “multifunctional tile,” a lightweight photovoltaic segment that measures 10 x 10 cm (4 x 4 in), is only 3 cm (1 in) thick, weighs about 0.8 gram (0.03 oz.), and can flatten when assembled for launch.

400 of these basic tiles are assembled into panels, with 900 panels per satellite. Each of these “carpet” satellites can be folded into a small space for launch, and unfurl once in orbit to its full size, about two-thirds the size of a football field.

The concept involves 2500 of these satellites flying in a close formation, forming a solar power surface of 9 square kilometers (3.5 square miles). Each tile is capable of converting solar power into transmissible radio energy, which can be beamed to (and received on) Earth.


SSPI’s design for modular, space-based solar power. 

The beauty of this system is that there is no need for a costly energy infrastructure on the Earth. This means remote and impoverished regions, lacking a groundwork for energy transmission, are easily furnished with this space-based solar power. Simple antennas and receiving stations are all that’s needed.

Meanwhile, the lightweight tiles—which are cheaply manufactured—mean for a more robust space system. The usual wear and tear of long-term spacecraft, such as solar flare or micrometeorite damage, might knock out a tile or two, but wouldn’t be catastrophic to the spacecraft as a whole.

It’s an intriguing concept, and one well worth the investment. With enough interest, and a mobilization of the electronics industry to build the tiles, and the private space industry to transport them to space, it may just be the future of energy.

New Device Can Ease Chronic Pain Without Drugs, Thanks to Brain Stimulation


This new method of pain treatment can prevent risky side-effects such as addiction, dependence, and overdose-related deaths – and it does so using electricity.


Abuse of prescription pain killers or opioid medicines is common. But then again, how else can you treat chronic pain? Unfortunately, addiction is a terrible side-effect that can lead to overdose-related deaths.

But now a research team from the University of Arlington seems to have found a better and more efficient solution: Electrical stimulation.

By delivering electrical currents—which can block pain signals at the spinal cord level—into a deep, middle brain structure, it might be possible to treat chronic pain without the intervention of drugs. At the same time, the technique can spur the release of dopamine, which helps with the emotional distress typically associated with long-term pain.


“This is the first study to use a wireless electrical device to alleviate pain by directly stimulating the ventral tegmental area of the brain,” said Yuan Bo Peng, UTA psychology professor. “While still under laboratory testing, this new method does provide hope that in the future we will be able to alleviate chronic pain without the side effects of medications.”

Yuan Bo Peng, UTA Psychology Professor. 

The team experimented with a custom-built wireless implant, which through electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental area effectively reduced the sensation of pain, even blocking pain signals in the spinal cord.

This could greatly benefit the almost two million Americans who are addicted or dependent on opioid medicines. The Centers for Disease Control that 165,000 Americans died of opioid-related overdoses from 1999 to 2014.

“Until this study, the ventral tegmental area of the brain was studied more for its key role in positive reinforcement, reward and drug abuse,” said Peng. “We have now confirmed that stimulation of this area of the brain can also be an analgesic tool.”

For First Time Ever, Carbon Nanotube Transistors Have Outperformed Silicon


In an attempt to bring the next generation of computers to life, teams around the globe have been working with carbon nanotubes – one of the most conductive materials ever discovered. Now, for the first time ever, scientists made a transistor using carbon nanotubes that beats silicon.

For the first time, scientists have built a transistor out of carbon nanotubes that can run almost twice as fast as its silicon counterparts.

This is big, because for decades, scientists have been trying to figure out how to build the next generation of computers using carbon nanotube components, because their unique properties could form the basis of faster devices that consume way less power.

“Making carbon nanotube transistors that are better than silicon transistors is a big milestone,” said one of the team, Michael Arnold, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “This achievement has been a dream of nanotechnology for the last 20 years.”

First developed back in 1991, carbon nanotubes are basically minuscule carbon straws that measure just 1 atom thick.

Imagine a tiny, cylindrical tube that’s approximately 50,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, and made from carbon atoms arranged in hexagonal arrays. That’s what a carbon nanotube wire would look like if you could see it at an atomic level.

Because of their size, carbon nanotubes can be packed by the millions onto wafers that can act just like a silicon transistor – the electrical switches that together form a computer’s central processing unit (CPU).

Despite being incredibly tiny, carbon nanotubes have some unique properties that make them an engineer’s dream.

They’re more than 100 times stronger than steel, but only one-sixth as heavy. They’re stretchy and flexible like a thread of fabric, and can maintain their 1-atom-thick walls while growing up to hundreds of microns long.

“To put this into perspective,” says Washington-based carbon nanotubes producer, NanoScience Instruments, “if your hair had the same aspect ratio, a single strand would be over 40 metres long.”

And here’s the best part: just like that other 1-atom-thick wonder-material,graphene, carbon nanotubes are one of the most conductive materials ever discovered.

With ultra-strong bonds holding the carbon atoms together in a hexagonal pattern, carbon nanotubes are able to produce a phenomenon known aselectron delocalisation, which allows an electrical charge to move freely through it.

The arrangement of the carbon atoms also allows heat to move steadily through the tube, which gives it around 15 times the thermal conductivity and 1,000 times the current capacity of copper, while maintaining a density that’s just half that of aluminium.

Because of all these amazing properties, these semiconducting powerhouses could be our answer to the rapidly declining potential of silicon-based computers.

Right now, all of our computers are running on silicon processors and memory chips, but we’ve about hit the limit for how fast these can go. If scientists can figure out how to replace silicon-based parts with carbon nanotube parts, in theory, we could bump speeds up by five times instantly.

But there’s a major problem with mass-producing carbon nanotubes – they’re incredibly difficult to isolate from all the small metallic impurities that creep in during the manufacturing process, and these bits and pieces can interrupt their semiconducting properties.

But Arnold and his team have finally figured out how to get rid of almost all of these impurities. “We’ve identified specific conditions in which you can get rid of nearly all metallic nanotubes, where we have less than 0.01 percent metallic nanotubes,” he says.

As Daniel Oberhaus explains for Motherboard, the technique works by controlling the self-assembling properties of carbon nanotubes in a polymer solution, which not only allows the researchers to clean out impurities, but also to manipulate the proper spacing of nanotubes on a wafer.

“The end result are nanotubes with less than 0.01 percent metallic impurities, integrated on a transistor that was able to achieve a current that was 1.9 times higher than the most state-of-the-art silicon transistors in use today,” he says.

Simulations have suggested that in their purest form, carbon nanotube transistors should be able to able to perform five times faster or use five times less energy than silicon transistors, because their ultra-small dimensions allow them to very quickly switch a current signal as it travels across it.

This means longer-lasting phone batteries, or much faster wireless communications or processing speeds, but scientists have to actually build a working computer filled with carbon nanotube transistors before we can know for sure.

Arnold’s team has already managed to scale their wafers up to 2.5 by 2.5 cm transistors (1 inch by 1 inch), so they’re now figuring out how to make the process efficient enough for commercial production.

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