Discovered: Science debunks psychic powers, an exotic new electron, the most amazing diet ever, Americans don't believe in America and another point for yoga's health benefits
- Science debunks psychic powers. Yes, this was a real question that people with PhDs studied: Are psychic powers real? Shocker, our researchers failed to prove that precognition had any scientific basis. This leaves us with many questions: Why, science? And, while we're at it, how? This just doesn't feel very science-y to us. Turns out a Dr. Daryl Bem, published a paper proving that precognition did in fact exist. That sounded pretty wack to this group of researchers, so they went to replicate the findings, which is what science does when it wants to quadruple check a theory. They could not do it, which in science land means Bam's theory no longer holds. [University of Hertfordshire]
- Designer electrons are as fancy as they sound. They are, for real, hand-crafted. Researchers have discovered ways to manipulate the properties of electrons, creating what they call "exotic" electrons. "We're now able to tune the fundamental properties of electrons so they behave in ways rarely seen in ordinary materials," explains researcher Hari Manoharan. Using techniques, our scientists have gotten creative, crafting electrons fit for the stars. "One of the wildest things we did was to make the electrons think they are in a huge magnetic field when, in fact, no real field had been applied," continued Monahan. Where can we get some? [DOE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory]
- The most amazing diet ever? Sleeping. Not sleeping leads to calorie consumption, finds research from the American Heart Association. "We tested whether lack of sleep altered the levels of the hormones leptin and ghrelin, increased the amount of food people ate, and affected energy burned through activity," explains researcher Virend Somers. So, that means more sleep equals the opposite of that, hence, the sleep diet. Thank you for this gift, science. [American Heart Association]
- Lots of Americans don't believe in America. At least not the America that wins at everything, which is the only America we know. More than half of Americans surveyed said they do not believe America will be a leader in science, technology or health care by the year 2020. "A lackluster investment in science and innovation is driving fears among Americans about our world dominance in the years ahead," said John E. Porter. "These concerns will likely increase unless policy makers take action to avoid serious consequences," he continued. [Research America]
- Another point for yoga. The other day, research found that yoga had real health benefits, beyond just all that peace of mind stuff. Now, science has confirmed the spiritual b.s. also does good things to our bodies, finding the meditation -- a big part of the yoga experience, unless you go to one of those corporate Yoga Inc. type places -- has physiological benefits. "Meditators are known to be masters in introspection and awareness as well as emotional control and self-regulation, so the findings make sense that the longer someone has meditated, the higher the degree of folding in the insula [a part of the brain]," explains Eileen Luders. And, that is good because: "The insula has been suggested to function as a hub for autonomic, affective and cognitive integration," she continues. So, for the millionth time, boo-yah, haters. [UCLA]
Image via Shutterstock by Cora Reed
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.