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Scientific discoveries this week: 3/24/14

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Written by Ramiro Rodriguez

Posted on 23 March 2014

South Pole - Researchers at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station have detected waves of gravitational energy in the oldest light detectable by telescopes. This is being seen as a residual marker for the exponential growth of the universe in the first trillionths of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second of the universe, giving large amounts of support to the Big Bang theory. The discovery has been confirmed to five-sigma values.

University of Idaho - Dr. Jason Barnes of the University of Idaho has detected the first liquid waves on another planetary body. Dr. Barnes used a mathematical model to analyze an image of the Punga Mare on Titan taken by the Cassini probe after seeing on the image what appeared to be sunlight reflecting from surface liquid much in the same way a mirror redirects light. The Punga Mare is a lake that has in it approximately 9000 cubic km of liquid methane, roughly 40 times the proven reserves of oil and gas on earth.

North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, Siberia - An international team of scientists at the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, Siberia claim that DNA from a recently found well-preserved woolly mammoth could be cloned. The DNA taken from blood from the autopsy of the found mammoth carcass will be mixed with a female elephant to attempt birthing a woolly mammoth. The cloning process is expected to be difficult due to the splitting of the evolutionary path of elephants and woolly mammoths tens of thousands of years ago.

University of London - A study led by Dr Carolyn McGettigan, from the University of London's Department of Psychology, shows that the brain responds differently to genuine laughter than forced laughter. The brain can not only determine a difference, but an attempt is also made to discover the reason for forced laughing. Research subjects were not aware of the nature of the study and had their brain activity monitored while hearing laughter caused by seeing funny videos online and forced laughter. The forced laughter prompted the part of the brain associated with attempting to understand the mental and emotional state of others.
Colorado School of Mines

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