The rate at which science is developing before our eyes is sometimes almost frightening. Things that once were deemed impossible are now on the verge of being so, and human life looks set to become ever easier, more exciting and exponentially more interesting with every new scientific discovery.
There's a lot of barely-founded 'scientific' knowledge floating around these days, but one of the best resources for scientific facts that seem to be backed up by reliable research is the popular 'I F**king Love Science', which started as Facebook group (and now has its own official site) set up by a British student named Elise Andrew. Andrew set up her Facebook page which reveals crazy facts about the physical world in 2012. Andrew states that she just wanted a place to post up any information relating to her nerdy love of all things scientific, and began posting material under several major categories, including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Space and The Brain.
Andrew certainly didn't expect the impact that her page would have. Currently, IFLS has almost 16 million likes. It is undeniable that Andrew has had a huge impact, bringing scientific thought to the news feeds of today's teens. Here, we've compiled some of the most stunning facts that have been shared on Andrew's site in recent months. Although all of these discoveries and facts differ enormously, all of them show just how fascinatingly brilliant the human race is. Take a look at these 9 almost unbelievable facts to have your mind blown by the wonder of science. As Neil deGrasse Tyson once famously stated: "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Rose-Lynn Fisher is a photographer whose 2010 photography project was focused on the science of tears. Using a microscope, Fisher examined different types of tears and their forms. "Different types of tears" means the differing reasons why the tears were shed. Some of the categories that were examined were tears of grief, tears of joy, tears of laughter and onion tears. When the dried tears were compared under a microscope, the results were mesmerising, as well as incredibly varied. It appears that different kinds of tears have different shapes. It must be noted that, as Fisher admits herself, although the test was scientifically accurate, the way in which the tears dry is a huge variable.
It has been heavily debated for a number of years, but finally, it seems that there is conclusive proof that playing video games can actually make you smarter. In fact, video games seem to cause a significant increase in grey matter in the player's brain. Playing improves various skills such as memory, hand-eye coordination and strategic thinking. An in-depth study on the impact video games have on the brain was carried out by Simone Kühn. The experiment monitored brains before and after playing (Super Mario was the game of choice) via MRI scan.
As weird as this sounds, its actually true. Common fruit flies have recently been studied by psychologists and it has been found that they actively deliberate before making a decision. Researchers at Oxford studied the fruit flies by placing them in a situation in which they would have to make a decision. The flies were placed in chambers that had a unique scent pumped into them. The flies were trained to leave the chamber when the scent became very powerful. The scientists then compared this reaction to their reaction when small amounts of the scent were added to the chamber. The flies hesitated before flying away. What the scientists deduced from this is that the flies were trying to discern whether or not the scent was strong enough that they should leave. Incredible!
At Harvard’s Wyss Institute, scientists have already succeeded in re-growing rat teeth from stem cells. Their plan now is to launch the possibility for humans, which would revolutionise dentistry forever. If this discovery is eventually used in mainstream dentistry practises, then cavities and root canals would essentially become things of the past. Using lasers, the scientists have discovered a way to make stem cells grow into new teeth. What's even better is that the same technology could also be used in the future to grow new bones from stem cells.
According to Foreign Policy Magazine, the Pentagon has created documents that outline a plan of what to do in case of a zombie apocalypse. Believe it or not, this is actually true. The detailed files imagine all of the possible zombie apocalypse scenarios and offer advice as to how these hypothetical situations could be dealt with. Some of the types of zombies mentioned include chicken zombies and "evil magic" zombies. Upon the revelation of the documents, the Pentagon has faced the scorn of many. However, the documents fight their corner by claiming that they are simply preparing for every eventuality.
Recently, a survey was done in which a submarine examined the ocean's depths off the coasts of Europe. Various kinds of trash were found almost 5 kilometres below the surface. The survey provides a rather depressing insight into how serious the problem of pollution has become. For this particular survey, the area examined was an area that had never been reached by humans before - yet, humans' pollution has managed to touch these parts. One of the women involved with the study stated "Most of the deep sea remains unexplored by humans, and these are our first visits to many of these sites, but we were shocked to find that our rubbish has got there before us."
Scott and Julie Brusaw's innovative project "Solar Roadways" looks set to change many lives in the future. The project is centred around solar powered roads. These solar powered roads could offer a myriad of benefits. First of all, they could be a solution to the need for fossil fuels to power cars. Instead of using gas, electric cars could be powered by their own friction on the road. The benefits don't stop there - as the solar panels would always be heated, ice and snow would not be able to remain on roads for long periods of time, cutting the risk of road accidents. The panels have solar powered lights too, meaning that the roads light your way at night without the need for electric street lamps.
When you think about it, it really is the perfect place. Apparently, there are plans in place to relocate the Sefer Torah, an ancient jewish text, to the moon. This could well be the case for other precious artefacts in the future. The idea behind this mass relocation of cultural treasures is that the world simply isn't a safe place anymore. Many historians believe that man's historical treasures should not be victims of our frivolous approach to the earth. However, there are many things that need to be tested before such a project could begin. First of all, a method for preserving and protecting the artefacts on the moon needs to be finalised. It is certain that the artefacts will need to be contained in protective cases, otherwise they would be destroyed by heat and radiation. The flags that Neil Armstrong left on the moon during the first moon landing are now completely colourless, damaged by harsh conditions.
For hundreds of years, the concept of memory has puzzled human beings. Even today, advanced neuroscientists still struggle to comprehend the vast complexity of memory. Memory is something that plays a huge role in everyone's lives, yet it is still shrouded in mystery. Recently, however, some stunning footage was captured on film in the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Using extremely high-tech equipment, the proteins that make up memories were filmed forming and moving in the neurons of a mouse's brain.