Discovered: A camera that can see around corners, why we don't eat smelly foods, the super-Earth is not so super, noise pollution is also bad for plants and abnormal brain development might determine personality.
- This camera takes pictures of things it never saw. Remember that camera that could capture the speed of light we learned all about last December? The brains at the MIT media lab intended on using that technology for a camera that can see around corners. And, they have accomplished just that, creating a contraption that captures images of things around corners. It works like a periscope but instead of using reflective surfaces it uses walls, doors and floors -- things that do not reflect light. That sounds like straight-up magic to us. But, this video claims it's just science being science. [MIT Media Lab]
- Why we don't eat smelly foods. We didn't realize that not eating smelly foods was a thing, because we quite like smelly foods. But science says it's a thing and has also discovered the reason behind the aversion. Our brains and taste-buds tell us to take smaller bites of things with strong aromas because the smaller bites make us taste the food less than bigger ones. "Perhaps, in keeping with the idea that smaller bites are associated with lower flavour sensations from the food and that, there is an unconscious feedback loop using bite size to regulate the amount of flavour experienced," explains researcher Rene A de Wijk. All of this, one day, could be used as some sort of dieting scheme. [BioMed Central Limited]
- The Super Earth is not so super. That new "possibly habitable" Super-Earth science got all excited about isn't all that after all. (Go, original Earth!) It can maybe still support life, because liquid water could possible exist there -- it's all very dubious. One thing is for sure, though. The planet could never transfer life to another one of its solar-system neighbors. "Planet d would have a very small chance of transferring material to the other planets in the Gliese system and, thus, is far more isolated, biologically, than the inner planets of our own solar system," explained researcher Laci Brock . "It really shows us how unique our solar system is." So, should we start calling it not-so-Super-Earth now? [Lunar and Planetary Science]
- Noise pollution is also bad for plants. It makes sense that human noises would scare and probably harm animals, but plants? Science says yes. The animals react to the noise, and thus have different pollination and eating habits. The whole thing has an unintended consequences domino effect thing going on because once the plants change then the whole eco-system changes, attracting different types of animals. [National Evolutionary Synthesis Center]
- If you have this type of personality you might have a brain defect. Are you both gregarious and anxious? (Yes ... ) Well it might have something to do with abnormal brain development, which cause a disease called Williams Syndrome, finds research out of NIH. "Scans of the brain's tissue composition, wiring, and activity produced converging evidence of genetically-caused abnormalities in the structure and function of the front part of the insula and in its connectivity to other brain areas in the circuit," explains researcher Karen Berman. [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]