Nope, it's not an illusion or a trick -- that's just what it looks like when you suspend particles of a liquid in mid-air using an awesome technique known as acoustic levitation. Those two pedestals are actually speakers, transmitting sound waves at 22 khz -- just outside the range that humans can hear. By transmitting waves that interfere with one another perfectly, scientists can create points in the wave form where no energy is transferred, effectively canceling out gravity at that point, called a node. Pretty cool right? You have no idea -- hit the jump to for video of acoustic levitation doing it's thing, which is totally spectacular.
We're getting better at understanding how our bodies and minds work every day, but one key factor binding both together remains a mystery. For all our new understanding of genetics, nanotechnology, and other new treatments, the placebo effect remains a mystery to us -- and a powerful one at that. Biology and mathematics researchers at the University of Bristol have published the results of a series of mathematical models that give some weight to the theory that the placebo effect is an evolutionary adaptation -- the result of our bodies' immune systems not running at full speed all the time to conserve energy.
If there's one thing that every bad stand up routine ever has taught us, it's that men and women are different. Men like sports and violence while women like shoes and watching Sarah Jessica Parker buy shoes. Thanks to that damn reproduction thing though, we incredibly different genders have to occasionally hang out with each other. But isn't there some way to make male Martians more like female Venusians?
Don't fret, because the BBC is reporting that there is! A team of German and British researchers have invented a nasal spray that makes men more "empathetic." Let the nose-based emasculation begin!