They are not all the same! There are 4 giraffe species instead of 1

Scientists estimates there are 8.7 million living species worldwide, from which some 86% have yet to be fully described. Many of the unknown animal species are believed to be small invertebrates, like some spiders and insects. Otherwise, big mammals species – we might think – are very well described and studied… There would not be…

Experiment shows quantum thermalization

If you prepare a cup of tea and leave it on a table, you know what will happen: it will get cold. And if you mix a cup of water at room temperature with some ice it is also quite clear what will happen next: the ice will melt and the water will get a…

“Who’s a good boy?” Your dog knows when (and how) you say it

If you own a dog, you probably talk to it in an unique way, and you could swear that he or she understands almost every single word you say. A recent study shows that you’re not wrong at all! Dogs seem to understand both human’s words and intonation. Various species can express and also “guess”…

Be Like Mike?: The Black Athlete’s Dilemma

Michael Jordan is one of the best basketball players in history and one of the most influential athletes of the twentieth century. He also became one of the richest athletes in the world, listed by Forbes’ magazine as billionaire in 2015 and the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats – the only African American to…

Scientists find an Earth-like planet

In Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (T) Alpha Centauri is a very important place in the Universe. There you can find the Local Planning Department, where you can learn about the local affairs and make formal complaints should you find, let’s say, that the Earth is to be destroyed to make room…

Sleep biology: not a simple lullaby

We all know the comfort feeling of taking a nap, or the relief of a good night of sleep after a long day of work. Mahatma Gandhi said: “Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn”. In a less positive point of view,…

Scientists find a way to make quantum computing more reliable

Classical computer (the ones we use on a daily basis) encode all the information we need in bits, that is, in “zeroes” and “ones”. This type of computer performs calculations in a similar way to how it would be done by hand. It does have more patience than most of us to solve such problems,…

How and why do sunflowers follow the sun?

Sunflowers are known worldwide for their movements following the sun. These beautiful yellow flowers are the visible proof that plants are not static organisms, and their movements have been inspiring poets, musicians – and also scientists – throughout decades. In the morning, sunflowers face the east, awaiting for the rising sun and then follow its…

Can quantum mechanics be studied using an electromechanical system?

When a theoretical physicist is given a problem that involves quantum mechanics one of the first thing he or she is likely to do is to write the Hamiltonian of the problem. This is an operator in the quantum mechanics definition of an operator, that is, it is a mathematical object that maps one state…

High temperatures can create “superfemales” lizards

In animals like turtles, lizards and other reptiles, individual sex is influenced, or even determined, by external variants, mainly temperature. As Earth is going through climate changes, population dynamics of these species might be subject to dramatic effects. Central bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) are large lizards found in Eastern Australia, whose sex is determined by…

English Language Skills and Socioeconomic Segregation of UK Immigrants

At the same time that United Kingdom was voting the “Brexit” referendum, the potential withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, Yu Aoki and Lualhati Santiago, PhDs in Economics, were publishing the paper “English language skills and socioeconomic segregation of UK Imigrants” in the Discussion paper economics nº16-7, June 2016. A publication for the…