More Sunday Sciencey Stuff

As I try to lighten the mood after a week of mind numbing news….I find science stuff to inform and enlighten.

I begin with something for our conspiracy nerds…..are we on the brink of a E.L.E.?

There’s no question things are a bit dire right now when it comes to climate change — but there is some good news: a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientist says we’re on the brink of mass extinction.

Wait, no. That’s horrible news.

Daniel Rothman, a professor of geophysics at MIT, has spoken about his predictions of a new mass extinction event in the past. He reiterated his Cassandran concerns in a recent interview with The Times of Israel, saying that human disruptions to the carbon cycle will ultimately result in calamity. 

“Every time there has been a major event in the history of life, there has also been a major perturbation of the environment,” Rothamn told the newspaper. “These things tend to come together.”

https://futurism.com/the-byte/mit-scientist-mass-extinction

Quantum computing is the next ‘big’ thing (full disclosure–my daughter invests in companies pursuing the quantum computing thing)…..

Quantum computers are set to revolutionize the way informatic works by being way faster than our current devices. We do not yet have a quantum computer but many prototypes are getting closer and can do pretty cool stuff. Including creating new phases of matter, such as a time crystal, as reported in new research published in Nature.

First of all, let’s discuss how a quantum computer works. Instead of your regular bits made of zeros or ones, you have quantum bits or qubits which harness the power of quantum mechanics. They can be in superposition, they are entangled, all quantum properties that allow for incredibly fast calculations. Linking more qubits means exponentially faster computations.

https://www.iflscience.com/physics/time-crystal-created-in-prototype-quantum-computer/

New evidence for space exploration…..

Interstellar exploration might not be lightyears away, at least not in the figurative sense. That’s because international research project Breakthrough Starshot just provided an update on its plans to send a probe to Alpha Centauri, our closest neighboring star system.

Before getting there, it will have to develop and test a new type of spacecraft propulsion system that utilizes a lightsail and a laser beam array to reach the immense speeds required for interstellar travel within our lifetimes, a press statement from the Australian National University (ANU) explains.

https://interestingengineering.com/laser-powered-lightsail-could-reach-alpha-centauri-in-20-years

This one is for all those old stoners for the 60s…..

a new study was published in Nature: Scientific Reports revealed that adults who microdose psychedelics may experience decreased levels of anxiety and depression.

The study was conducted internationally by UBC Okanagan researchers and was the largest study of psychedelic micro-dosing published to date.

Microdosing has increased in popularity over the past decade and involves taking minimal doses of psychedelics– so small that they will not affect any cognitive function.

Joseph Rootman, a UBCO doctoral student and the lead author, discussed how those who micro-dosed displayed lower levels of anxiety, depression, and stress across the board than non-microdosers.

“In total, we followed more than eight thousand and five hundred people from seventy-five countries using an anonymous self-reporting system.

A New Study Found That Microdosing Psychedelics May Decrease Your Levels Of Depression And Anxiety