Direct Human Brain-To-Brain Communication Realized

Via IFLScienceTapping directly into someone’s brain in order to share thoughts isn’t just for Spock anymore. An international team of researchers were able to replicate the Vulcan Mind Meld by creating a device that allows two people to share information through thought. The researchers tested the technology by separating the users over 8,000 km 5,000 mi apart—with one user in France and the other in India. The paper has been published in PLOS ONE.’

Two-Headed Snake Discovered in Turkey

Via IFLScience: ‘When these types of animals occur out in the wild, they tend not to live very long. With two brains governing one body, movement isn’t always smooth and deliberate. Instead, they can disagree about how to move, making it fairly difficult to catch prey. This anomalous anatomy also makes them fairly easy prey for larger predators as well. However, two-headed snakes receiving proper captive care are able to live full, relatively normal lives and even give birth to normal offspring.’

Our Home Supercluster Gets a Map and a Name

Via IFLScienceWhere in the universe is the Milky Way?

Galaxies like ours huddle in clusters, and large-scale systems of galaxies, called superclusters, have vague boundaries that are difficult to define especially from the inside: They’re all drawn to each other and interconnected in a web of filaments.

Now for the first time, astronomers have constructed a map of the local universe. They’ve named our home supercluster Laniakea, Hawaiian for “immeasurable heaven.” The work was published in Nature this week.

By examining the motions of galaxies, a team of cosmic map makers led by R. Brent Tully from the University of Hawaii charted the distribution of matter in the universe to identify superclusters. A galaxy stuck between two superclusters will be caught in a gravitational tug-of-war. The balance of these forces determines the galaxy’s motion, and measuring the velocity helps define the region of space where each supercluster dominates. With a catalog of 8,000 galaxies velocities, the team built a galactic distribution map and located the pVia ints where cosmic flows — along which: ‘galaxies travel — diverge.

The Laniakea supercluster, they found, is 520 million light-years in diameter and contains the mass of 100 million billion suns within 100,000 galaxies. Its name pays tribute to Polynesian navigators who used knowledge of the heavens to voyage across the Pacific Ocean.’