While more research is needed, paralyzed patients have been given new hope after rats with severe spinal injuries started walking again through a new cyborg-style spinal implant.
In a groundbreaking achievement, French scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Polytechnique have developed a thin, flexible prosthetic ribbon (as seen above), which lies along the spinal cord, delivering electrical impulses as well as medication to the patient. The idea behind this innovation is the electrodes implanted in the spine could take on the role of the brain and stimulate nerves, causing paralyzed areas of the body to function again.
One of the major benefits of this device, named ‘e-Dura’, is it’s flexibility. The implant itself is made from silicon and covered with multiple gold, electric conducting tracks that can be pulled and stretched in any direction. The electrode, or conductor through which electricity enters or leaves the device, are comprised of silicon and platinum.
If all goes according to plan, scientists are looking to move towards clinical trials in humans within the next few years!
This past Friday, February 20th, 2015, the Moon, Venus, and Mars were aligned in a small triangle low in the night sky, allowing us humans to see all three! Venus is the bright one to the left with Mars nearly directly above it. If you look close, you can see that Mars has a slightly red tint! The Moon is only 2% visible here as a waxing crescent. The new Moon was two nights before on the 18th.
Welcome to Scientific Social! Our goal is to provide a place for scientists and non-scientists alike to discover new and exciting facts about the world they live in. As science enthusiasts, we want to share our passion with everyone around us. We curate engaging and enlightening content that is not only entertaining, but informative.
Everyone is born a scientist; let’s explore our world together.
Who Is Scientific Social?
Bokey: Bokey is a life long science enthusiast and self-taught artist, specializing in the medium of photography. By combining his innate artistic ability with his love for science, he looks to create images from a unique perspective, engaging and enlightening viewers. He looks to share his passion of art and science with the world in a way that’s easy to understand and is applicable to day-to-day life. Bokey’s biggest influences in the field of science is Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
Booty: Booty is a geologist and environmental scientist whose graduate thesis focused on ancient soil formation. Having briefly taught labs at the college level, Booty is experienced in conveying difficult topics to students in terms they understand. He now works in the professional field but remains a teacher at heart; part of which lends itself to the never ending pursuit of knowledge.
Part of the reason why we created Scientific Social was to help develop an interactive children’s book that aims to enhance their curiosity about the world around them. We hope to include our fans throughout this creative endeavor, making you integral part of this process.
If this book gives one child the spark she or he needs to become a science enthusiast, we have accomplished our goal.
YES! The Internet is riddled with dubious claims, facts taken out of context, and pure nonsense that is presented as fact supported with little to no evidence. This is especially prevalent on social media; a huge reason why bad science and misinformation goes viral. You should always read more than just the headline!!
So how can we figure out if a social media post or ‘scientific’ article is bad or good? Andy Brunning of compoundchem.com put together a fantastic guide on the warning signs of bad science. While not every point may be relevant all the time, keeping these red flags in mind will help scientists and nonscientists filter out much of the bad science, and help cut down on the spread of misinformation!
All of us are familiar with Earth’s moon. We see it’s familiar face most days of the year and can easily observe it’s surface with our naked eye. But, have you ever wondered what the other side, the dark side of the moon looks like?
The far side of the moon lacks the large dark spots, called maria, that make up the familiar Man in the Moon we see from Earth. Instead, craters of all sizes and shapes crowd entire dark side of the moon. The far side is also home to one of the largest and oldest impact features in the solar system, the South Pole-Aitken basin, shown in the video below!
The moon rotates just like Earth does (as do all of the planets), so why do we only see one side? It’s because the moon is tidally locked with Earth. That is, the amount of time the moon takes to complete one full rotation is the same amount of time it takes to orbit the Earth, which is just over 27 days. We don’t always see exactly one side; the moon wobbles slightly from our perspective on Earth.
So, if we can’t actually see the far side of the moon, how do we know what it looks like!? In 2009, NASA launched the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, and since then it has returned a huge amount of data and images, allowing scientists to create extremely detailed and accurate maps of the far side.
Craters, sometimes referred to as impact craters, are circular depressions on a planet, moon or other solid mass usually formed by the high velocity impact of a smaller mass.
Besides providing evidence of past impacts, craters can also serve another very important purpose to scientists! By counting the number of craters in an area, the age of the terrain can be estimated. Generally speaking, older surfaces will have more craters per area than younger surfaces. A fantastic example of this can be found on Mimas, one of Saturn’s many moons (see image above). This method can only work on surfaces that do not get reworked by processes such as wind and water erosion like we have here on Earth. Our moon has no atmosphere, making it an ideal candidate for crater dating!
Based off of the number of craters seen on Earth’s moon, do you think that our moon is older or younger than Mimas?
With events such as the Rosetta mission landing on a comet, the development of a 50-cent paper microscope developed by a Stanford bioengineer, the discovery of liquid water on Enceladus, moon of planet Saturn, and a potential vaccine to prevent Ebola transmission, 2014 was a huge year for the science community! Check out the video below to see what made the top ten list of ScienceMag.org’s top 10 scientific achievements of 2014!