| || |
Kinesin: Fast, Efficient, Essential, and Mysterious
Ann Gauger June 11, 2014 5:32 AM
Perhaps you've seen the video from Discovery Institute of the miniature walking machine known as kinesin. This microscopic marvel gets the cell's protein products distributed to their final destinations, among other things.
This movement is extremely efficient, and by itself is a wonder.
But there's another wonder. A single kinesin can pull its cargo at up to 800 nanometers per second along its microtubule highway, depending on its load and the amount of ATP available. That's almost a micron per second. To give you a sense of scale, one bacterium is about a micron in length, and a typical animal cell is roughly 10 microns. That means that, under optimal conditions, and if kinesin is unobstructed, it could travel the length of an average cell in about 12.5 seconds. If it partners with other kinesin molecules, it can move even faster.
This is a good thing for our neurons. A neuron has its nucleus and its biosynthetic apparatus in the cell body. This is where proteins and organelles that the neuron needs are made. But these proteins and organelles are used out at the very tip of a long thin process called an axon, which extends from the body of the neuron all the way to the place it sends its signals.
Making waves: In the hunt for invisibility, other benefits seen By Jeremy Wagstaff SINGAPORE Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:07pm EST
(Reuters) - A new way of assembling things, called metamaterials, may in the not too distant future help to protect a building from earthquakes by bending seismic waves around it. Similarly, tsunami waves could be bent around towns, and soundwaves bent around a room to make it soundproof.
While the holy grail of metamaterials is still to make objects and people invisible to the eye, they are set to have a more tangible commercial impact playing more mundane roles - from satellite antennas to wirelessly charging cellphones.
Metamaterials are simply materials that exhibit properties not found in nature, such as the way they absorb or reflect light. The key is in how they're made. By assembling the material - from photonic crystals to wire and foam - at a scale smaller than the length of the wave you're seeking to manipulate, the wave can, in theory, be bent to will.
This makes metamaterials the tool of choice for scientists racing to build all sorts of wave-cloaking devices, including the so-called invisibility cloak - a cover to render whatever's inside effectively invisible by bending light waves around it.
"The invisibility cloak was just one more thing we were discovering - that we have all this flexibility in this material and here's another thing we can do," David Smith of Duke University, widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of metamaterials, said in a telephone interview. "But we're equally interested in seeing this transition in making a difference in people's lives."
Indeed, Smith's own journey from laboratory to factory illustrates that while metamaterials have for some become synonymous with "Harry Potter" cloaks, their promise is more likely to be felt in a range of industries and uses, from smaller communication devices to quake-proof buildings.
The Reason We Celebrate The Season By: Melody Crombie December 24, 2013
In the Garden of Eden where food was abundant, a specious quest for “more” was thought to be satisfied, apart from God; “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” ~Genesis 3:6
Just as the Y-Chromosome is passed down directly from a father to all of his sons and remains relatively unchanged throughout the generations, humanity can't go back to Eden and reverse the curse that was brought on all mankind; we are all born with this 'curse,' a.k.a. 'sin nature.'
Throughout history, God set about reassuring his people that he is sufficient to fulfill our deepest desires for “more.” “Taste and see that the LORD is good;” ~Psalm 34:8
Jesus' words were perhaps the most confusing and startling when he said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life,” ~John 6:54 http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/what-jesus-meant-when-he-said-you-must-eat-my-flesh
The only way to reverse the curse is to believe in God's plan for our salvation and find our sufficiency in Christ Jesus, who came to earth as God in the flesh. By being born of a virgin, Jesus bypassed the sinful genetic line of Adam and that's why he is the only one who can offer all of mankind a new life for everyone who believes in him. We can all be, “Born Again.”
Just Right for Life
by Danny Faulkner December 15, 2013
We’re just one out of millions of planets where life is likely to exist. You’ll hear this claim more and more. Don’t believe it. Even the best planets found so far don’t come close to reaching the minimum requirements, and the list is longer than you think.
A powerful motive drives the ongoing, costly search for life on other worlds. If life is unique to the earth, then that makes our planet special and implies a Creator. But this thought repels unregenerate minds. If life arose naturally as they believe, then we should expect to find life on many other planets throughout the universe.
Hopes of finding life within our own solar system have been dashed so far, but that has not diminished the astronomical zeal. In 2009 NASA launched the Kepler telescope—costing over half a billion dollars—to monitor 145,000 stars for evidence of orbiting planets. The results are astounding: over 3,500 candidates were identified in Kepler’s small survey. Yet Kepler was able to detect just a small fraction of the planets orbiting its target stars. Correcting for its limited view and extending the result to other stars, researchers can estimate how many planets exist. Our Milky Way galaxy alone may host as many as 100 billion planets.
Despite the hype, the survey is verifying what our solar system has already shown us—that there’s no place like home.
What Is Life, Anyway? For decades evolutionists thought that life arose in a warm, comfortable pool of water—the sort of environment where life thrives on earth today. They had to change their tune, however, as the harsh conditions on other planets unfolded. Repeated space probes have shown how hostile Mars and other planets are, though many people have never given up.
Over the past thirty years scientists have found what appears to be an inkling of hope. Extremophiles are organisms that manage to survive in earth’s most extreme environments, such as the high temperatures of hydrothermal vents on the seafloor, the high pressure deep in rock, and the cold and dark of lakes buried beneath Antarctic ice. Now many scientists think that life began in these hostile places.
The hope is that isolated locations on other planets like Mars may harbor organisms similar to earth’s extremophiles. Similar arguments persist for some of Jupiter’s and Saturn’s moons, where liquid water might exist far below their surfaces. Since liquid water appears to be a necessary ingredient for life, the evolutionary reasoning is that life probably develops wherever liquid water exists.
Creature with Interlocking Gears on Legs Discovered
By Tanya Lewis, Staff Writer | September 12, 2013 02:00pm ET
Gears are ubiquitous in the man-made world, found in items ranging from wristwatches to car engines, but it seems that nature invented them first.
A species of plant-hopping insect, Issus coleoptratus, is the first living creature known to possess functional gears, a new study finds. The two interlocking gears on the insect's hind legs help synchronize the legs when the animal jumps.
"To the best of my knowledge, it's the first demonstration of functioning gears in any animal," said study researcher Malcolm Burrows, an emeritus professor of neurobiology at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
Burrows and a colleague captured the gears' motion using high-speed video. As the young bug prepares to leap, it meshes the gear teeth of one leg with those of the other, like cocking a gun. Then, the insect releases its legs in one smooth, explosive motion.
Hopping in sync
Each leg sports a curved strip of 10 to 12 gear teeth that attach to the trochantera on the insect's legs. These structures were described in 1957, but no one had demonstrated that the gears were functional, Burrows told LiveScience.
nsects' hind legs can be arranged in two ways. The legs of grasshoppers and fleas move in separate planes at the sides of their body, whereas those of champion jumping insects, such as planthoppers, move beneath their body along the same plane. Thus, planthoppers' legs need to be tightly coupled. "If there were to be a slight timing difference between the legs, then the body would start to spin," Burrows said.
The gears synchronize the movement of the hind legs to within about 30 microseconds of each other — much faster than the nervous system could achieve, according to the study findings, detailed in the Sept. 13 issue of the journal Science.
Sometimes, Burrows observed that the gears slipped past one another, but when they finally engaged, the two legs became synced.
Burrows did an experiment with a dead planthopper: When he pulled one of its legs, both of them extended rapidly. Thus, the mechanics of the skeletal system alone can synchronize the legs, he said.
Study Shows How Spirituality Could Help Your Brain
Andrew M. Seaman, Reuters Dec. 30, 2013, 6:03 PM
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For people at high risk of depression because of a family history, spirituality may offer some protection for the brain, a new study hints. Parts of the brain's outer layer, the cortex, were thicker in high-risk study participants who said religion or spirituality was "important" to them versus those who cared less about religion.
"Our beliefs and our moods are reflected in our brain and with new imaging techniques we can begin to see this,"Myrna Weissman told Reuters Health. "The brain is an extraordinary organ. It not only controls, but is controlled by our moods."
Weissman, who worked on the new study, is a professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia Universityand chief of the Clinical-Genetic Epidemiology department at New York State Psychiatric institute.
While the new study suggests a link between brain thickness and religiosity or spirituality, it cannot say that thicker brain regions cause people to be religious or spiritual, Weissman and her colleagues note in JAMA Psychiatry.
Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram
A ten-dimensional theory of gravity makes the same predictions as standard quantum physics in fewer dimensions. Ron Cowen 10 December 2013
A team of physicists has provided some of the clearest evidence yet that our Universe could be just one big projection.
In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena proposed1 that an audacious model of the Universe in which gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings could be reinterpreted in terms of well-established physics. The mathematically intricate world of strings, which exist in nine dimensions of space plus one of time, would be merely a hologram: the real action would play out in a simpler, flatter cosmos where there is no gravity.
Maldacena's idea thrilled physicists because it offered a way to put the popular but still unproven theory of strings on solid footing — and because it solved apparent inconsistencies between quantum physics and Einstein's theory of gravity. It provided physicists with a mathematical Rosetta stone, a 'duality', that allowed them to translate back and forth between the two languages, and solve problems in one model that seemed intractable in the other and vice versa. But although the validity of Maldacena's ideas has pretty much been taken for granted ever since, a rigorous proof has been elusive.
In two papers posted on the arXiv repository, Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University in Japan and his colleagues now provide, if not an actual proof, at least compelling evidence that Maldacena’s conjecture is true.
In one paper2, Hyakutake computes the internal energy of a black hole, the position of its event horizon (the boundary between the black hole and the rest of the Universe), its entropy and other properties based on the predictions of string theory as well as the effects of so-called virtual particles that continuously pop into and out of existence. In the other3, he and his collaborators calculate the internal energy of the corresponding lower-dimensional cosmos with no gravity. The two computer calculations match.
“It seems to be a correct computation,” says Maldacena, who is now at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey and who did not contribute to the team's work.
Regime change The findings “are an interesting way to test many ideas in quantum gravity and string theory”, Maldacena adds. The two papers, he notes, are the culmination of a series of articles contributed by the Japanese team over the past few years. “The whole sequence of papers is very nice because it tests the dual [nature of the universes] in regimes where there are no analytic tests.”
“They have numerically confirmed, perhaps for the first time, something we were fairly sure had to be true, but was still a conjecture — namely that the thermodynamics of certain black holes can be reproduced from a lower-dimensional universe,” says Leonard Susskind, a theoretical physicist at Stanford University in California who was among the first theoreticians to explore the idea of holographic universes.
Neither of the model universes explored by the Japanese team resembles our own, Maldacena notes. The cosmos with a black hole has ten dimensions, with eight of them forming an eight-dimensional sphere. The lower-dimensional, gravity-free one has but a single dimension, and its menagerie of quantum particles resembles a group of idealized springs, or harmonic oscillators, attached to one another.
Nevertheless, says Maldacena, the numerical proof that these two seemingly disparate worlds are actually identical gives hope that the gravitational properties of our Universe can one day be explained by a simpler cosmos purely in terms of quantum theory.
In a “rainbow” universe, time may have no beginning
If different wavelengths of light experience spacetime differently, the big bang may never have happened
Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American
What if the universe had no beginning, and time stretched back infinitely without a big bang to start things off? That’s one possible consequence of an idea called “rainbow gravity,” so-named because it posits that gravity’s effects on spacetime are felt differently by different wavelengths of light, aka different colors in the rainbow.Rainbow gravity was first proposed 10 years ago as a possible step toward repairing the rifts between the theories of general relativity (covering the very big) and quantum mechanics (concerning the realm of the very small). The idea is not a complete theory for describing quantum effects on gravity, and is not widely accepted. Nevertheless, physicists have now applied the concept to the question of how the universe began, and found that if rainbow gravity is correct, spacetime may have a drastically different origin story than the widely accepted picture of the big bang.
According to Einstein’s general relativity, massive objects warp spacetime so that anything traveling through it, including light, takes a curving path. Standard physics says this path shouldn’t depend on the energy of the particles moving through spacetime, but in rainbow gravity, it does. “Particles with different energies will actually see different spacetimes, different gravitational fields,” says Adel Awad of the Center for Theoretical Physics at Zewail City of Science and Technology in Egypt, who led the new research, published in October in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. The color of light is determined by its frequency, and because different frequencies correspond to different energies, light particles (photons) of different colors would travel on slightly different paths though spacetime, according to their energy.
A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics
By: Natalie Wolchover
September 17, 2013
Physicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality. “This is completely new and very much simpler than anything that has been done before,” said Andrew Hodges, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University who has been following the work.
The revelation that particle interactions, the most basic events in nature, may be consequences of geometry significantly advances a decades-long effort to reformulate quantum field theory, the body of laws describing elementary particles and their interactions. Interactions that were previously calculated with mathematical formulas thousands of terms long can now be described by computing the volume of the corresponding jewel-like “amplituhedron,” which yields an equivalent one-term expression.
“The degree of efficiency is mind-boggling,” said Jacob Bourjaily, a theoretical physicist at Harvard University and one of the researchers who developed the new idea. “You can easily do, on paper, computations that were infeasible even with a computer before.”
The new geometric version of quantum field theory could also facilitate the search for a theory of quantum gravity that would seamlessly connect the large- and small-scale pictures of the universe. Attempts thus far to incorporate gravity into the laws of physics at the quantum scale have run up against nonsensical infinities and deep paradoxes. The amplituhedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: locality and unitarity.
“Both are hard-wired in the usual way we think about things,” said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the lead author of the new work, which he is presenting in talks and in a forthcoming paper. “Both are suspect.”
Locality is the notion that particles can interact only from adjoining positions in space and time. And unitarity holds that the probabilities of all possible outcomes of a quantum mechanical interaction must add up to one. The concepts are the central pillars of quantum field theory in its original form, but in certain situations involving gravity, both break down, suggesting neither is a fundamental aspect of nature.
In keeping with this idea, the new geometric approach to particle interactions removes locality and unitarity from its starting assumptions. The amplituhedron is not built out of space-time and probabilities; these properties merely arise as consequences of the jewel’s geometry. The usual picture of space and time, and particles moving around in them, is a construct.
“It’s a better formulation that makes you think about everything in a completely different way,” said David Skinner, a theoretical physicist at Cambridge University.
The amplituhedron itself does not describe gravity. But Arkani-Hamed and his collaborators think there might be a related geometric object that does. Its properties would make it clear why particles appear to exist, and why they appear to move in three dimensions of space and to change over time.
Because “we know that ultimately, we need to find a theory that doesn’t have” unitarity and locality, Bourjaily said, “it’s a starting point to ultimately describing a quantum theory of gravity.”
Stanford Report, September 26, 2013
A first: Stanford engineers build basic computer using carbon nanotubes Unprecedented feat points toward a new generation of energy-efficient electronics.
By Tom Abate
Norbert von der Groeben This wafer contains tiny computers using carbon nanotubes, a material that could lead to smaller, more energy-efficient processors.
A team of Stanford engineers has built a basic computer using carbon nanotubes, a semiconductor material that has the potential to launch a new generation of electronic devices that run faster, while using less energy, than those made from silicon chips.
This unprecedented feat culminates years of efforts by scientists around the world to harness this promising but quirky material.
The achievement is reported today in an article on the cover of the journal Nature written by Max Shulaker and other doctoral students in electrical engineering. The research was led by Stanford professors Subhasish Mitra and H.-S. Philip Wong.
"People have been talking about a new era of carbon nanotube electronics moving beyond silicon," said Mitra, an electrical engineer and computer scientist. "But there have been few demonstrations of complete digital systems using this exciting technology. Here is the proof."
Experts say the Stanford achievement will galvanize efforts to find successors to silicon chips, which could soon encounter physical limits that might prevent them from delivering smaller, faster, cheaper electronic devices.
"Carbon nanotubes [CNTs] have long been considered as a potential successor to the silicon transistor," said Professor Jan Rabaey, a world expert on electronic circuits and systems at the University of California-Berkeley.
But until now it hasn't been clear that CNTs could fulfill those expectations.
"There is no question that this will get the attention of researchers in the semiconductor community and entice them to explore how this technology can lead to smaller, more energy-efficient processors in the next decade," Rabaey said.
Mihail Roco, a senior advisor for nanotechnology at the National Science Foundation, called the Stanford work "an important scientific breakthrough."
Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brains
The connection between mother and child is ever deeper than thought
By Robert Martone
The link between a mother and child is profound, and new research suggests a physical connection even deeper than anyone thought. The profound psychological and physical bonds shared by the mother and her child begin during gestation when the mother is everything for the developing fetus, supplying warmth and sustenance, while her heartbeat provides a soothing constant rhythm.
The physical connection between mother and fetus is provided by the placenta, an organ, built of cells from both the mother and fetus, which serves as a conduit for the exchange of nutrients, gasses, and wastes. Cells may migrate through the placenta between the mother and the fetus, taking up residence in many organs of the body including the lung, thyroid muscle, liver, heart, kidney and skin. These may have a broad range of impacts, from tissue repair and cancer prevention to sparking immune disorders.
It is remarkable that it is so common for cells from one individual to integrate into the tissues of another distinct person. We are accustomed to thinking of ourselves as singular autonomous individuals, and these foreign cells seem to belie that notion, and suggest that most people carry remnants of other individuals. As remarkable as this may be, stunning results from a new study show that cells from other individuals are also found in the brain. In this study, male cells were found in the brains of women and had been living there, in some cases, for several decades. What impact they may have had is now only a guess, but this study revealed that these cells were less common in the brains of women who had Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting they may be related to the health of the brain.
We all consider our bodies to be our own unique being, so the notion that we may harbor cells from other people in our bodies seems strange. Even stranger is the thought that, although we certainly consider our actions and decisions as originating in the activity of our own individual brains, cells from other individuals are living and functioning in that complex structure. However, the mixing of cells from genetically distinct individuals is not at all uncommon. This condition is called chimerism after the fire-breathing Chimera from Greek mythology, a creature that was part serpent part lion and part goat. Naturally occurring chimeras are far less ominous though, and include such creatures as the slime mold and corals.
Microchimerism is the persistent presence of a few genetically distinct cells in an organism. This was first noticed in humans many years ago when cells containing the male “Y” chromosome were found circulating in the blood of women after pregnancy. Since these cells are genetically male, they could not have been the women’s own, but most likely came from their babies during gestation.
In this new study, scientists observed that microchimeric cells are not only found circulating in the blood, they are also embedded in the brain. They examined the brains of deceased women for the presence of cells containing the male “Y” chromosome. They found such cells in more than 60 percent of the brains and in multiple brain regions. Since Alzheimer’s disease is more common in women who have had multiple pregnancies, they suspected that the number of fetal cells would be greater in women with AD compared to those who had no evidence for neurological disease. The results were precisely the opposite: there were fewer fetal-derived cells in women with Alzheimer’s. The reasons are unclear.
Microchimerism most commonly results from the exchange of cells across the placenta during pregnancy, however there is also evidence that cells may be transferred from mother to infant through nursing. In addition to exchange between mother and fetus, there may be exchange of cells between twins in utero, and there is also the possibility that cells from an older sibling residing in the mother may find their way back across the placenta to a younger sibling during the latter’s gestation. Women may have microchimeric cells both from their mother as well as from their own pregnancies, and there is even evidence for competition between cells from grandmother and infant within the mother.
Nuclear fusion milestone passed at US lab
7 October 2013 Last updated at 17:25 ET By Paul Rincon Science Editor, BBC News website
Researchers at a US lab have passed a crucial milestone on the way to their ultimate goal of achieving self-sustaining nuclear fusion.
Harnessing fusion - the process that powers the Sun - could provide an unlimited and cheap source of energy.
But to be viable, fusion power plants would have to produce more energy than they consume, which has proven elusive.
Now, a breakthrough by scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) could boost hopes of scaling up fusion.
NIF, based at Livermore in California, uses 192 beams from the world's most powerful laser to heat and compress a small pellet of hydrogen fuel to the point where nuclear fusion reactions take place.
The BBC understands that during an experiment in late September, the amount of energy released through the fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel - the first time this had been achieved at any fusion facility in the world.
This is a step short of the lab's stated goal of "ignition", where nuclear fusion generates as much energy as the lasers supply. This is because known "inefficiencies" in different parts of the system mean not all the energy supplied through the laser is delivered to the fuel.
But the latest achievement has been described as the single most meaningful step for fusion in recent years, and demonstrates NIF is well on its way towards the coveted target of ignition and self-sustaining fusion. For half a century, researchers have strived for controlled nuclear fusion and been disappointed. It was hoped that NIF would provide the breakthrough fusion research needed.
In 2009, NIF officials announced an aim to demonstrate nuclear fusion producing net energy by 30 September 2012. But unexpected technical problems ensured the deadline came and went; the fusion output was less than had originally been predicted by mathematical models.
Soon after, the $3.5bn facility shifted focus, cutting the amount of time spent on fusion versus nuclear weapons research - which was part of the lab's original mission.
However, the latest experiments agree well with predictions of energy output, which will provide a welcome boost to ignition research at NIF, as well as encouragement to advocates of fusion energy in general.
It is markedly different from current nuclear power, which operates through splitting atoms - fission - rather than squashing them together in fusion.
NIF, based at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is one of several projects around the world aimed at harnessing fusion. They include the multi-billion-euro ITER facility, currently under construction in Cadarache, France.
However, ITER will take a different approach to the laser-driven fusion at NIF; the Cadarache facility will use magnetic fields to contain the hot fusion fuel - a concept known as magnetic confinement.
Paul.Rincon-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk and follow me on Twitter
11 bizarre sources for alternative energy Published November 21, 2013 Discovery News
Most people would agree that fossil fuels simply need to go. They’re the cause of pollution, wars and climate change. Thankfully, scientists have been researching alternative energy solutions like wind and solar power for years.
But wind and solar are still more expensive than oil and coal, and may not be the best solution for all places or uses. For example, some medical devices that are implanted in a human body could benefit from super tiny batteries that last decades.
So, scientists are continuing the quest for abundant, cheap and efficient energy by investigating lesser-known sources, ones that may seem a little unusual, even ridiculous, unrealistic, and in some cases, morbid.
“I think in order to solve the impending energy needs we might have to go a bit beyond,” said Bobby Sumpter, a senior research scientist of computational theoretical chemistry at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Here are 11 of the more unusual sources that go above and beyond the norm. Who knows. One day, you may use sugar to power your laptop, bacteria to run your car or dead bodies to heat a building.
Memories of events 'passed on through DNA'
Laboratory testing on animals has suggested that genetic memory could pass on behaviours linked to traumatic events to offspring. A new study, published in the journal 'Nature Neuroscience' has found that traumatic events may affect DNA that is found in sperm, which could be passed on to offspring in a way that alters their behaviour and the development of their brains.
Researchers worked to train mice to avoid a smell that was similar to cherry blossoms and it was found that this aversion to the scent was displayed by their "grandchildren". The research has been linked to similar testing done into the genetic anxieties and phobias.
Scientists from Emory University School in Medicine, US, looked at sperm's response to the introduction of a fear of the scent. It was found that the part of the DNA that signalled a higher sensitivity for the smell was more active within the sperm.
This sensitivity was passed onto two generations of the mice's offspring, resulting in both generations avoiding the smell, even when they had never before experienced it. It was also found that the different generations had a slightly different brain structure, which could suggest that development was altered by the trained aversion in the parent mice.
"The experiences of a parent, even before conceiving, markedly influence both structure and function in the nervous system of subsequent generations," the report said.
The research suggests that the experiences of one generation could alter their genetics, with this alteration being passed on to their offspring. Ultimately this could mean that infants are born with innate fears that they have been given via their parents' DNA.
Doctor Brian Dias, one of the researchers on the study, told the BBC: "This might be one mechanism that descendants show imprints of their ancestor.
"There is absolutely no doubt that what happens to the sperm and egg will affect subsequent generations."
The study suggested that some of the scent could end up within the bloodstream, which could then go on to alter the production of the sperm. Alternatively it is possible that a signal from the brain in reaction to the smell was received the sperm, which then led to the altered DNA.
Are we living in a computer simulation? by Jonathan Strickland
What is real? It's a question that has puzzled and amused countless people. As human beings, we're capable of directly perceiving only a fraction of what surrounds us. From a personal point of view, reality seems pretty limited. Is the Internet real? Am I real? Are you?
Many philosophers have put forth the notion of reality being an illusion. One recent version of this theory made the news in 2003. That's when Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at the University of Oxford, put forth an interesting question. What if our reality is actually a computer world that exists in some other reality? At first, you might scoff at the suggestion. But Bostrom's argument is fascinating.
First, Bostrom says, assume that we will reach a point technologically in which we can create a simulated version of a universe -- perhaps even a copy of our own. This could be the singularity, when humans use our understanding of technology and biology to become transhuman. Bostrom argues that if we can create a universe simulation, we almost certainly will do so. Further, we would probably create as many simulations as we could in order to learn more about our own universe, among other reasons.