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Latest research news

Are near-death experiences a dream?
People who have had near-death experiences are more likely to mix up dreams and reality than those who have not, researchers say. At times of extreme danger or trauma, many people report out-of-body experiences, seeing intense lights, or a feeling of peace. "Near-death experiences are more common than people realize," says neurophysiologist Kevin Nelson of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, lead author of the study published in Neurology .
Nature, The Daily Telegraph

Royal Society launches science and computing prize
The Royal Society is this week launching an interdisciplinary award in science and computing in conjunction with the Académie des Sciences. The prize, funded by Microsoft, recognises researchers "working at the interface between science and computing [who] are rapidly expanding the frontiers of knowledge", according to Professor Martin Taylor, vice-president of the Royal Society. The award, which will be given jointly by the British and French institutions, is also meant to contribute to the development of international scientific relations, especially within Europe.
The Guardian

Euro spacecraft makes Venus rendezvous
An unmanned European spacecraft performed a "handbrake turn" around Venus as part of a mission that could help explain global warming. Venus Express , a robotic craft, burned its engine for 50 minutes to slow its speed enough to be captured by the planet's gravity. The main engine burn was begun at 0817 BST by controllers at the European Space Agency's operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Success means the spacecraft can now loop around the planet's poles in a tight elliptical orbit, bringing it within 250 miles of the north pole.
The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman

Like father, like son: why snoring runs in the family
A child whose mother or father snores is three times more likely to be a noisy sleeper, research suggests. Children with allergies also have a significantly higher chance of being snorers. Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre in Ohio monitored 681 infants with an average age of 12 months. They found that children with at least one parent who snored frequently were three times more likely to snore than those without snoring parents. The findings also showed that children who tested positive for allergies were twice as likely to snore.
The Times, The Daily Telegraph

Scientists to put their heads to matters of heart
Scientists are set to go speed dating - in a bid to discover the most effective chat up lines. Psychologists will study 100 speed dates to establish which topics of conversation give the best insight into a prospective partner's personality. Professor Richard Wiseman, of Hertfordshire University, and Dr James Houran, an American expert on the psychology of compatibility, are to lead the study. Members of the public have also been invited to participate, with people being been asked to decide which of four profiled women is most suitable for a given man.
The Scotsman

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