How entropy and equilibrium can help explain consciousness

Is consciousness a collection of discrete states that we flip between? PM Images/Getty Images WHAT is consciousness? This is arguably the biggest remaining mystery of the human brain. No wonder it is known as “the hard problem”. We can’t even agree whether consciousness is one thing or a variety of different states. However, new ways … Read more

Bubble-Like ‘Stars Within Stars’ Could Explain Black Hole Weirdness : ScienceAlert

Once hypothetical monsters born in a tangled nest of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, black holes are now recognized as bona fide celestial objects as real as stars, moons, and galaxies. But make no mistake. Their engines are still as mysterious as they were when the German theoretical physicist Karl Schwarzschild first played with Einstein’s … Read more

Teasing Among Apes Could Help Explain The Evolution of The Joke : ScienceAlert

A boisterous young chimpanzee slaps an adult in his family on the back, then scampers away and looks back to see the response to his cheekiness. Nothing yet, so the young chimp Azibo rolls back and dishes out another slap, this time provoking a reaction: the distracted adult waves a half-hearted swipe in his direction, … Read more

Experts Explain What Drinking While on Medication Can Do to Your Body : ScienceAlert

Anyone who has drunk alcohol will be familiar with how easily it can lower your social inhibitions and let you do things you wouldn’t normally do. But you may not be aware that mixing certain medicines with alcohol can increase the effects and put you at risk. When you mix alcohol with medicines, whether prescription … Read more

The X Chromosome Could Explain Why : ScienceAlert

The immune system is meant to protect us from alien invaders like bacteria and parasites, and zombie-like takeovers by viruses and cancerous mutations. As grateful as we are for this protective system, for some it can get a little overzealous, becoming so hypervigilant it attacks its own body’s tissues. With conditions like type 1 diabetes, … Read more

Galaxy smash-ups may explain strange light from early universe

Merging galaxies from the early universe imaged by the James Webb Space Telescope S. Martin-Alvarez Observations from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have revealed dim galaxies smashing together, which could solve the mystery of previously unexplained glints of light from early in the history of the cosmos. For a long period of the universe’s … Read more

Mystery solved! 1st close-up images of giant star explain its bizarre dimming

Yet another star in our universe has been caught acting strangely. On Monday (Jan. 8), astronomers reported that RW Cephei, a hypergiant star in the constellation Cepheus about 16,000 light-years from Earth, has recently begun brightening after dimming “very dramatically” for the past two years, according to Narsireddy Anugu, a staff scientist at the CHARA … Read more

Ganymede Is Like a ‘Snowglobe’ Inside, Which Could Explain Its Mysterious Magnetism : ScienceAlert

Jupiter‘s largest moon, Ganymede, features a surprisingly strong magnetic field for its size. Tidal effects from Jupiter continually stretch and squeeze the moon, keeping its core warm and driving the magnetic field. But the exact geological processes occurring within the core are not fully understood. Now, a new experimental study has put one of the … Read more

1.75-billion-year-old fossils help explain how photosynthesis evolved

Microscope image of modern cyanobacteria called oscillatoria Shutterstock / Ekky Ilham Researchers have identified photosynthetic structures inside fossils of cyanobacteria that are 1.75 billion years old. The discovery is the oldest evidence of these structures to date, providing clues into how photosynthesis evolved. Emmanuelle Javaux at the University of Liège in Belgium and her colleagues … Read more