Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study

A new study of acupuncture — the most rigorous and detailed analysis of the treatment to date — found that it can ease migraines and arthritis and other forms of chronic pain.

The findings provide strong scientific support for an age-old therapy used by an estimated three million Americans each year. Though acupuncture has been studied for decades, the body of medical research on it has been mixed and mired to some extent by small and poor-quality studies. Financed by the National Institutes of Health and carried out over about half a decade, the new research was a detailed analysis of earlier research that involved data on nearly 18,000 patients…

via Acupuncture Provides True Pain Relief in Study –


Roll Over, Pythagoras: the “Holy Grail” of Math May Have Been Found


The so-called “holy grail” of mathematics may have just been found. Shinichi Mochizuki, a professor at the Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Kyoto University, released a 500-page proof of the abc conjecture in number theory which involves the relationship between prime numbers, which I will attempt to describe as succinctly as possible below.

A lot of open theory on prime numbers is based on the abc conjecture. So if verified, Mochizuki’s proof would mean a great leap forward in our understanding of primes. It could also be used to help simplify other complex proofs, such as Fermat’s last theorem…

Continue @ Roll Over, Pythagoras: the “Holy Grail” of Math May Have Been Found | Think Tank | Big Think.

CERN scientists may have set new man-made heat record: 9.9 trillion degrees Fahrenheit


Scientists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider may have generated the hottest temperatures ever made by human beings, beating the previous record over a trillion degrees Celsius, reports Nature. Although the energy measurement has not yet been officially converted into degrees, the team announced its findings at this week’s Quark Matter 2012 in Washington, DC. According to the current best measurements, the quark-gluon plasma scientists created momentarily reached temperatures of about 5.5 trillion degrees Celsius (9.9 trillion degrees Fahrenheit), trouncing the RHIC’s record of 4 trillion degrees, which is already about 250,000 times hotter than the center of the sun.

via CERN scientists may have set new man-made heat record: 9.9 trillion degrees Fahrenheit.

Simple mathematical computations underlie brain circuits


The brain has billions of neurons, arranged in complex circuits that allow us to perceive the world, control our movements and make decisions. Deciphering those circuits is critical to understanding how the brain works and what goes wrong in neurological disorders.

MIT neuroscientists have now taken a major step toward that goal. In a new paper appearing in the Aug. 9 issue of Nature, they report that two major classes of brain cells repress neural activity in specific mathematical ways: One type subtracts from overall activation, while the other divides it.

via Simple mathematical computations underlie brain circuits – MIT News Office.

Search for Life Shapes Future Mars Missions


As NASA’s Curiosity rover prepares to get its wheels in motion on Mars, the space agency is set to issue a new look at where exploration of the Red Planet could go in the years and decades to come – based on the theme “Seeking the Signs of Life.”

The report, stemming from a Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration meeting in Houston in June, is headed for a late August/September release. Former veteran NASA program manager Orlando Figueroa has been leading the appraisal under the wing of a newly established Mars Program Planning Group (MPPG), which was tasked with reformulating the agency’s Mars Exploration Program.

via Search for Life Shapes Future Mars Missions |

Intimations of Immortality—and $5-Million to Study Them – Research

Millions of people fervently believe in an afterlife. John Martin Fischer, a philosopher at the University of California at Riverside, is not one of them.

But Mr. Fischer does see the subject as ripe for academic research, and on Tuesday the John Templeton Foundation awarded him a windfall to make that happen—$5-million for a multidisciplinary investigation of human immortality.

via Intimations of Immortality—and $5-Million to Study Them – Research – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Alien Solar System Looks a Lot Like Our Own

Alien Solar System

Astronomers have discovered an alien solar system whose planets are arranged much like those in our own solar system, a find that suggests most planetary systems start out looking the same, scientists say.

Researchers studying the star system Kepler-30, which is 10,000 light-years from Earth, found that its three known worlds all orbit in the same plane, lined up with the rotation of the star — just like the planets in our own solar system do…

via Alien Solar System Looks a Lot Like Our Own |

Nanoscale ion microtrap array for quantum information processing


A groundbreaking new device from the UK’s National Physical Laboratory NPL could help to usher in the long-awaited era of quantum computers.Researchers at NPL have demonstrated for the first time a monolithic 3D ion microtrap array that could be scaled up to handle several tens of ion-based quantum bits qubits.An ion trap is a combination of electric or magnetic fields that captures ions in a region of a vacuum the ions’ quantum state can be manipulated.The research shows how it is possible to realize this device embedded in a semiconductor chip, and demonstrates the device’s ability to confine individual ions at the nanoscale…

via Nanoscale ion microtrap array for quantum information processing | KurzweilAI.

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