Connect with us

Science & Technology

Geophysicists Discover Vast, Anomalous Structures Embedded In The Earth’s Lower Mantle

Whatever these structures are, they are located 3,000 kilometres below the surface of the Earth in the hellishly hot zone where the outer core meets the lower mantle.

Published

on

Photo Credit: PixaBay

(TMU) – A stunning announcement by geophysicists earlier this month suggests the inside of our planet still has many deep mysteries that remain hidden from us under the surface.

A team of researchers using decades of seismographs and an advanced algorithm say they have discovered a series of vast structures embedded in the boundary between the planet’s liquid outer core and the lower mantle.

Scientists arrived at this conclusion by studying the seismographic data from hundreds of earthquakes captured between 1990 and 2018. To analyse all this information, scientists also tapped a machine learning algorithm called Sequencer, which was originally designed to study distant galaxies.

The team prioritized the secondary shear (S) waves from deep in the Earth’s mantle border, as their signals are easier to read than primary (P) earthquake waves.

According to team leader Doyeon Kim, a seismologist and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland,

“We normally like to use S waves because they are larger in amplitude and the data is more or less clean because there is less P wave traffic,” said Kim, noting that such a  wave is also ideal “because it diffracts along that surface, it’s a great phase to look for these tiny structures on top of the core-mantle boundary.”

While scientists already had a hunch that there were large structures yet to be identified, to confirm their existence and study their contours, they needed to chart the journey of the S waves and map the echoing signals created when they intersect with the large unknown masses, called ultra low-velocity zones (ULVZs).

This signal is called a “postcursor”and it is the tell-tale indicator of a ULVZ.

Kim’s team found evidence for two “mega-ULVZs” over 1,000 kilometres in diameter beneath Hawai’i and the Marquesas Islands.

Whatever these structures are, they are located 3,000 kilometres below the surface of the Earth in the hellishly hot zone where the outer core meets the lower mantle.

By looking at thousands of core-mantle boundary echoes at once, instead of focusing on a few at a time, as is usually done, we have gotten a totally new perspective,” said Kim, who was also the lead author of the published paper describing the team’s findings. “This is showing us that the core-mantle boundary region has lots of structures that can produce these echoes, and that was something we didn’t realize before because we only had a narrow view.”

Unsurprisingly, the announcement immediately triggered a flood of conspiratorial speculation online. However, while scientists don’t know the composition of the structures, it is widely believed to be an extremely dense and hot heterogeneous rock.

Scientists believe the further study of these structures will provide us with a better picture of the complex and powerful forces at work inside the Earth. Such information could assist an enhanced understanding of plate tectonics that shaped the geological evolution of our planet.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Innovation

Man Designs An Off-Road “Wheelchair” So That His Wife Can Go Places She Never Imagined

In hopes of getting his wife to see more, Zack Nelson created a hybrid wheel chair so she could go places she could not before.

Published

on

Photo Credit: Zacks Jerryrig

In the USA alone, there are around 2.7 million people who are bound to a wheelchair. Most of us take our abled bodies for granted at times. We don’t think twice when we climb stairs, or go for a walk in nature.

Meet Cambry, for almost all her adult life she has been wheelchair bound, unable to get around like her able-bodied friends, she’s been restricted to the pavement.

In hopes of getting Cambry to see more and be less restricted, her boyfriend at the time, Zack Nelson, created a hybrid wheel chair so she could go places she could not before. He merged two electric bikes and put a seat in the center. The best part was, it worked, and Cambry was able to experience a new found freedom thanks to the awesome creation Zack made for her.

The new spliced bike creation allowed Cambry to tackle obstacles that would normally be impossible in a regular wheelchair, and she could go on for miles without her shoulders hurting from pushing herself along.

It’s a year later now, and Cambry and Zack are not only married, but they have begun mass producing the “Not-a-Wheelchair” – the amazing off road vehicle has taken a year to perfect.

Choosing an adaptive off roader for disabled people doesn’t leave you with many options, the couple have said. They can cost as much as a regular car or are just insanely slow. Zack and Cambry came up with their design which is light and quick and comes with a long range, but it was not all easy and smooth sailing. Cambry explained:

“The toughest challenge when developing ‘Not-A-Wheelchair’ is the price. We wanted to create something that is affordable for everyone. Finding quality components, and a simple enough design at the cheapest price possible took quite a bit of time. But I think we have something now that everyone will be able to enjoy, at a fraction of the cost of other ‘off-road wheelchairs’ currently on the market.”

‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ is definitely not an indoor machine, so Cambry still uses her normal wheelchair for inside their home but any time she and Zack go to the park, or on a hike, she jumps in The Rig. “It’s silent, which means that we can all still talk and chat while she rides next to the group,” her husband explained.

During these trips, ‘Not-a-Wheelchair’ really showed what it’s capable of. “We have taken The Rig to Hawaii twice for testing. The bike has to be shipped with a freight company before we go, but we ship The Rig about a week before we fly out ourselves, and it’s waiting there for us when we arrive. All this travel was before COVID was a thing. Luckily, we also live near mountains and snow with long wide flat trails to try the bike out on.”

More info: notawheelchair.com | YouTube

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Science & Technology

High Levels Of Damage Have Been Discovered In Trees Near Cell Phone Towers

Published

on

5g towers killing trees
Photo Credit: Mint Press News

One strong theme among the citizenry of the world that receives no mainstream media attention is the issue of cell phone towers and the health/environmental threats they pose. There are thousands of peer-reviewed publications in vivo and in vitro that make it quite clear that electromagnetic radiation from our favourite gadgets, wireless devices, as well as the cell phone towers all over the globe are having a biological impact that’s a great cause for concern, or at the very least warrant appropriate safety testing before we continue down this path. This is something that has yet to be done.

This is exactly why a few years ago 200 scientists petitioned the United Nations to look deeper into this issue, to no avail.

Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes on the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life. (source)

Trees

Human health isn’t the only concern. In a study published in Science of the Total Environment, researchers found,

High-level damage in trees within the vicinity of phone masts. We found out that from the damaged side there was always visual contact to one or more phone mast (s). Statistical analyses demonstrated that the electromagnetic radiation from cellphone towers is harmful to trees. Results show that the measurements in the most affected sides of damaged trees (i.e. those that withstand higher radiation levels) are different to all other groups. These results are consistent with the fact that damage inflicted on trees by cellphone towers usually start on one side, extending to the whole tree over time.

This constitutes a danger for trees worldwide. The further deployment of phone masts has to be stopped. Scientific research on trees under the real radio-frequency field conditions must continue.

The study lasted for 9 years and used more than 100 trees.

The field monitoring part of the study was performed in Bamberg and Hallstadt (Germany). Observations and photographic recordings of unusual or unexplainable tree damage were taken along with the measurement of electromagnetic radiation.

In 2015 measurements of RF-EMF (Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields) were carried out. A polygon spanning both cities was chosen as the study site, where 144 measurements of the radiofrequency of electromagnetic fields were taken at a height of 1.5 m in streets and parks at different locations. By interpolation of the 144 measurement points, we were able to compile an electromagnetic map of the power flux density in Bamberg and Hallstadt. We selected 60 damaged trees, in addition to 30 randomly selected trees and 30 trees in low radiation areas (n = 120) in this polygon.

The measurements of all trees revealed significant differences between the damaged side facing a phone mast and the opposite side, as well as differences between the exposed side of damaged trees and all other groups of trees in both sides. Thus, we found that side differences in measured values of power flux density corresponded to side differences in damage. The 30 selected trees in low radiation areas (no visual contact to any phone mast and power flux density under 50 μW/m2 ) showed no damage. Statistical analysis demonstrated that electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone masts is harmful for trees. These results are consistent with the fact that damage afflicted on trees by mobile phone towers usually start on one side, extending to the whole tree over time.

What’s also interesting is that the study points out that natural forms of electromagnetic radiation are not the same and do not have the same impact has unnatural sources of radiation do on plant life. Several researchers have pointed out how this topic has received little attention and these physiological effects are being considered negligible.

The study also concludes that most studies that have  addressed the effects of microwaves on animals and plants have documented effects and responses at exposures below limits specified in the electromagnetic radiation exposure guidelines and it is therefore necessary to rethink these guidelines.

Since 2005, on the occasion of medical examinations of sick residents living near mobile phone base stations, changes in nearby trees (crown, leaves, trunk, branches, growth…) were observed at the same time as clinical symptoms in humans occurred. Since 2006 tree damages in the radiation field of mobile phone base stations were documented.

Trees that were in the radio shadow of buildings or of other trees remained healthy, because, the researchers hypothesized, they were protected from the radiation.

The research on EMF’s and their environmental impact is quite limited, and studies on humans show that this type of radiation affects biological organisms, especially humans. For example, a paper published in 2018 in Environmental Research titled “Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health” points out that. 

“Repeated Wi-Fi studies show that Wi-Fi causes oxidative stress, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects including EEG changes, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage, endocrine changes, and calcium overload.”

What About 5G?

When it comes to 5G, a study published in 2019 in Frontiers in Public Health is one of many that raises concerns about 5G technology. It points out that “novel 5G technology is being rolled out in several densely populated cities, although potential chronic health or environmental impacts have not been evaluated and are not being followed.” It goes on to emphasize that the range and magnitude of potential impacts of 5G technologies are under-researched, although important biological outcomes have been reported with millimetre wavelength exposure. These include oxidative stress and altered gene expression, effects on skin and systemic effects such as on immune function. In vivo studies reporting resonance with human sweat ducts, acceleration of bacterial and viral replication, and other endpoints indicate the potential for novel as well as more commonly recognized biological impacts from this range of frequencies, and highlight the need for research before population-wide continuous exposures.”

It’s one of many studies that have raised concerns about 5G.

What Can We Do?

We can share information, educated people and create awareness. The more we do this, the more we manifest actions that tackle this issue where it needs to be tackled. That being said, it’s quite concerning that this technology is simply being rolled out without our approval or any safety testing. It begs the question, do we really live in a democracy?

This article (High Levels of Damage Have Been Discovered In Trees Near Cell Phone Towers) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Neuroscience

Neuroscience Reveals How You Can Help Make Your Brain Decades Younger

Published

on

Neuroscience Reveals How You Can Help Make Your Brain Decades Younger
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Science is revealing various mindfulness techniques that can literally change and restructure our brain. Neuroscientist Sara Lazar from Mass General and Harvard Medical School is one of the latest to illustrate this. After she sustained running injuries, she took up yoga. It had a tremendous effect on her, which inspired her to start researching the scientific literature that’s available on mindfulness meditation, which is one of the categories into which yoga falls into.

“The yoga teacher made all sorts of claims, that yoga would increase your compassion and open your heart,” said Lazar. “And I’d think, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m here to stretch.’ But I started noticing that I was calmer. I was better able to handle more difficult situations. I was more compassionate and open hearted, and able to see things from others’ points of view.”

In her research, she found a plethora of evidence showing that meditation can decrease stress,  depression, anxiety, and pain as well as increase one’s quality of life, among other things.

Obviously she was very curious at this point, and being a neuroscientist, she started doing her own research to find out what effect meditation could have on the brain.

In her first study, titled “Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness,” she found exactly that. Her research showed that meditation could spark structural changes “in areas of the brain that are important for sensory, cognitive and emotional processing. The data further suggest that meditation may impact age related declines in cortical structure.” (source)

That particular study used long-term meditators who had at least 7 years of experience with the practice compared to a control group with no experience. People with a strong meditation background had increased gray matter in several areas of the brain, including the auditory and sensory cortex as well as insula and sensory regions. An increase in gray matter was also found in the brain region linked to decision making and working memory, which would be the frontal cortex.

What’s interesting here is that the frontal cortex shrinks as we age, but in this particular study, the 50-year-old meditators had the same amount of gray matter as those half their age. How astonishing is that?

Lazar and her team of researchers went on to publish a second study titled “Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density.” (source)

This study demonstrates longitudinal changes in brain gray matter concentration following an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course compared to a control group. Hypothesized increases in gray matter concentration within the left hippocampus were confirmed. Exploratory whole brain analyses identified significant increases in gray matter concentration in the PCC, TPJ, and the cerebellum.

After just eight weeks of meditation, people’s brains changed in multiple ways. One was thickening in several regions of the brain, including the left hippocampus (involved in learning, memory, and emotional regulation); the TPJ (involved in empathy and the ability to take multiple perspectives); and a part of the brainstem called the pons (where regulatory neurotransmitters are generated).

What’s also interesting to note is that, in this study, new mediators experienced a shrinking of their amygdala, a region of the brain associated with fear, anxiety, and aggression. This reduction in size of the amygdala correlated to reduced stress levels in these particular participants.

This type of discovery is nothing new. Since Lazar’s study, and even before it, a lot of research has been published.

One of the most recent studies found that different types of meditation can actually effect different areas of the brain.

As Alice G. Walton, a writer for Forbes, points out:

“Meditation and mindfulness training have accumulated some impressive evidence, suggesting that the practices can change not only the structure and function of the brain, but also our behaviour and moment-to-moment experience.”

This recent study found the same thing, and the following describes what they discovered when they scanned the participants’ brains at the end of each module and then compared the groups against one another:

“Training in Presence was linked to enhanced thickness in the anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which are known to be strongly involved in attention. Affect training was linked to increased thickness in regions known to be involved in socially driven emotions like empathy: and Perspective training associated with changes in areas involved in understanding the mental states of others, and, interestingly, inhibiting the perspective of oneself.”

These results further elaborate on a wealth of previous studies showing what meditation can do to the brain.

Walton goes on to emphasize,

“Lots of research has found that experienced meditators have significantly altered brain structure and function, but a growing number of studies has also found that relatively brief meditation training in novices (for instance, the well-known eight-week MBSR program) can also shift brain function, improve well-being, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.”

The Takeaway

Mediation clearly has health benefits for the brain, among other parts of the body. Not only can it be used to improve your brain, decrease anxiety, depression, fear, etc., but it’s a great way to increase empathy and feel love and compassion as well. These are qualities the world needs more of, so perhaps the world needs more meditators?

Meditation could be used for interventions in schools and in other places where children and people feel stressed. Furthermore, meditation can be used to reach different states of consciousness, and perhaps even altered states of consciousness.

There is still a lot we are learning about meditation, but one thing is for certain, and that’s the fact that it can help change an individual for the better in several different ways.

This article (Neuroscience Reveals How You Can Help Make Your Brain Decades Younger) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading

Quantum Mechanics

Scientists In Orbit Observe The Quantum ‘5th State Of Matter’ For The First Time

Insights into this exotic matter could someday help solve the mysteries of quantum mechanics, dark energy, and even the elusive “theory of everything.”

Published

on

5th State Of Matter
Photo Credit: NASA

(TMU) – Most of what we see in the world belongs to one of four states of matter: gases, liquids, solids, and plasmas. But there is a 5th state of matter, an exotic “super-atom” that has been almost impossible for scientists to observe on Earth.

Researchers announced this week that while on board the International Space Station they were able to observe this 5th state under the unique conditions of near-absolute zero temperatures and “micro-gravity.” Insights into this exotic matter could someday help solve the mysteries of quantum mechanics, dark energy, and even the elusive “theory of everything.”

The 5th state of matter, called Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs), was first discovered in lab conditions 25 years ago. This unusual “super-atom” forms when atoms of particular kinds of elements (mostly rubidium) reach temperatures near absolute zero (0 Kelvin, minus 273.15 Celsius). The reason BECs are so important is that when they reach this temperature the atoms merge into one homogenous substance that behaves like a quantum object, meaning it exists as both a particle and a wave simultaneously.

BECs thus represent a mysterious and rare liminal region between the microscopic world governed by quantum physics and the macroscopic world governed by gravity. Such a state presents an ideal experimental playground for scientists to dig into the secrets and anomalies of the quantum universe.

However, it is virtually impossible for researchers to observe BECs on Earth because the force of gravity destabilizes the magnetic fields which act as a trellis holding the volatile “super-atom” together. Earth-bound scientists are left with only hundredths of a second before a BEC falls apart.

Researchers aboard the ISS discovered that in the microgravity of orbital space, they could observe BECs in the specially developed Cold Atom Lab for a full second or longer.

“Microgravity allows us to confine atoms with much weaker forces, since we don’t have to support them against gravity,” said Robert Thompson of from the California Institute for Technology, Pasadena.

Microgravity also allowed them to use weaker magnetic fields and colder temperatures, which facilitated the condensates demonstrating more exotic quantum effects.

The observation of the fifth form of matter is considered a ground-breaking achievement that has huge potential ramifications for the study of quantum mechanics and dark energy. Scientists believe that by finally understanding these two fields, they may be able to unite the classical physics of gravity with quantum physics into a “theory of everything.”

“In the past, our major insights into the inner workings of nature have come from particle accelerators and astronomical observatories; in the future, I believe precision measurements using cold atoms will play an increasingly important role,” Thompson said.

In future experiments, researchers hope to try potassium atoms so they can see the result of two BECs merging.

The scientists published their ISS research in the June 11 issue of the journal Nature.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

Continue Reading
Collective 2020
Advertisement report this ad

Trending Now

STAY AWARE

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

You have Successfully Subscribed!