Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Finally Ice on Mars found!!!

There have been lot of speculation on whether ice is present on Mars or not,many people choosing to disagree. But finally the verdict is out.The Phoenix Mars Lander has finally “tasted” and “touched” water ice, mission scientists reported. Detecting the water ice in this latest sample was a surprise, said Phoenix scientist William Boynton of the University of Arizona in Tucson during a July 31 mission press briefing. The Phoenix team has been trying to analyze a sample from a hard layer beneath the topsoil, but delivering such a sample to the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA, instrument has proven difficult for the past month. The TEGA ovens are designed to bake samples, identifying components primarily by their melting points as a way to directly detect the presence of certain compounds, such as water ice. When the oven heated the soil, some of the sample melted at 0° Celsius, the melting point of ice, and the TEGA also detected water vapor during the analysis, Boynton noted. Satellites orbiting Mars had given scientists their first clues that water ice might exist in the Martian polar regions. But TEGA’s ability to “sniff” out the water ice is the first test that gives direct confirmation that the water ice exists.

“Now, we have finally touched and tasted ice on Mars,” Boynton said, “and I can say it tastes very fine.”

So finally scientists instead of searching water on Mars can concentrate more on finding life on Mars.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dressing in red could make you win!

It has been found in a study that in a close game,team dressed in red was more likely to win.British anthropologists Russell Hill and Robert Barton of the University of Durham that conclusion by studying the outcomes of one-on-one boxing, taekwondo, Greco-Roman-wresting, and freestyle-wrestling matches at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.In each event,the olympic staff randomly assigned blue or red dresses to competitors.It was found that when there was a large point difference presumably because one opponent was superiour to other,the colour of the clothes did not matter but in close contests the player having red dress was more likely to win. In equally matched bouts, the preponderance of red wins was great enough that it could not be attributed to chance, the anthropologists say.Of 441 bouts the reds won 242 and in all four sports the reds won more contests.In close encounters 62 percent of red garbed competitors won.
Evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar from the University of Liverpool speculates that primate eyes may be sensitive to the colour red.Such effects could be due to instinctive behaviour says Barton.In animal displays red in particular seems to vary with dominance and testosterone levels.Human competitors may feel a testosterone surge while wearing red or may feel submissive when facing a scarlet opponent.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sharks Beware!!!

Humans always have found new ways to keep various pests away from them.But they have not been successful with the sharks so far.
A lot of sunscreens and lotions have been experimented with but hardly have been effective.Then, in 2005, scientists accidently discovered something far simpler -- something that sent sharks swimming away from it like people running from a burning building.They found that sharks did not attack fish which had magnets tied to their bodies .

The interaction of salt water and charged metals produces a weak electrical field. When a shark comes close to that field, the field seems to disrupt the sharks' special sixth sense which they use to 'smell ' the fish from a far distance.There has been a lot of research in this which has led to the conclusion that magnetic filed deters sharks upto a foot(0.3 metres) away.That is if you are going swimming you could wear special Lanthanide belts whose magnetic field would keep those dangerous sharks off you.