Science and Technology News

Science and Technology News

The latest Science and Technology News covering everything from Space Technology to Deep Ocean Exploration Read More »

Car and Motoring Magazines

Car and Motoring Magazines

The latest Car and Motoring publications in South African Magazines with Road Tests, Vehicle Comparisons, Technical Specifications and much More Read More »

Business and Financial News

Business and Financial News

The latest Business, Financial and Investment News in South Africa and in Africa Read More »

Travel and Tourism Magazines

Travel and Tourism Magazines

The latest Travel and Tourism publications in South African Magazines Read More »

Insurance Hints and Tips

Insurance Hints and Tips

International Insurance Articles with Hints and Tips for the public around the World Read More »

Zimbabwe News

Zimbabwe News

The latest news about Zimbabwe with developments on Political, Business, Humanitarian and other fronts Read More »

Sport News

Sport News

The Latest Sport News from South Africa Read More »

Sport News

Sport News

The Latest Sport News from South Africa Read More »

Crimes and Courts

Crimes and Courts

The latest violent Violent Crimes, Attacks on South Africans and Genocide Reports Read More »

 

Could antibiotics stop your husband cheating?

A study by professors in Japan has discovered a drug that can stop a man from being seduced and led astray by attractive women.

Professors from the Waseda and Kyushu Universities wanted to test the mind-altering affects of taking the antibiotic, minocycline.

They simulated honey traps, using eight photos of attractive women, and got 98 male participants to rate how trustworthy they thought the women would be.

Researchers have discovered a drug that can reduce the affect attractive women have on men, and stop them from being led astray
Researchers have discovered a drug that can reduce the affect attractive women have on men

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Research in 2012 from Japan discovered that schizophrenic patients treated with minocycline had dramatic improvements in their psychotic symptoms.

This led to further tests into the effects minocycline had on mental illnesses and the brain.

Scientists believe that mental processes, moods and decision-making may be impacted by inflammatory processes in the brain.

Minocycline has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects that the scientists believe could account for the positive findings and help patients make more rational decisions.

The men were split into two groups. Group one was given a four-day oral treatment course of minocycline, and a second, control group was given a placedo.

Looking at a picture showing a female’s face, male players were told to choose how much of 1300 yen (around £8.58) they would give to each female.

If they chose to share the money, the amount would be tripled.

The men were then told that the females would get a choice of whether to share the money, or take it all.

The males were also asked to evaluate how trustworthy they thought each female was, as well as how physically attractive she was.

All of the photographed females had actually decided, in advance, to ‘betray’ the male players. Therefore, male participants played with untrustworthy female partners, but were unaware of the deception.

Men were asked to look at photos of attractive women and decide how trustworthy they were, and how much money they would give them from a set budget. The woman could then choose to share, or keep the cash
Men were asked to look at photos of attractive women and decide how trustworthy they were, and how much money they would give them from a set budget. The woman could then choose to share, or keep the cash

The results show that trusting behaviour in male participants significantly increased in relation to the perceived attractiveness of the female.

Men who took the Minocycline drug were less likely to trust attractive women and give them money, compared to the placebo group which rated a woman's attractiveness as much higher
Men who took the Minocycline drug were less likely to trust attractive women and give them money

Yet, attractiveness did not impact trusting behaviour when the men in the study were given minocycline.

The study also found that the attractiveness of the females increased when the money element was introduced.

The study said: ‘In movies, a female spy often wins the trust of her male target using her physical attractiveness.

WHAT IS MINOCYCLINE?

Minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic used for the treatment of acne.

It is also used for other skin infections such as MRSA and Lyme disease, and can help with asthma symptoms.

Recent tests have found that minocycline can also reduce symptoms associated with mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and depression.

‘The male target usually suspects that she is a spy, but because of her attractiveness, he becomes amorously entangled with the female spy despite concerns regarding her trustworthiness.

‘For males, allocating valuable resources to physically attractive females may be evolutionarily adaptive, in that it may increase the probability of producing attractive offspring under natural selection.

However, this tendency toward resource allocation to attractive females creates ‘noise’ that complicates decisions in short-term economic exchanges, leading to the tendency to ‘honey trap’ males with this behaviour.’

 

Read more: 

Superstrong, telepathic – the bionic soldiers of the future

Warfare may be an awful thing, but it has a habit of accelerating health technology in ways that are helpful to everyone.

For example, in World War II the Allies made significant medical advances in vital areas such as developing antibiotic drugs — which the Germans didn’t possess — and performing lifesaving blood transfusions.

Now, however, the military is developing an alarming new interest in the human body and brain. It wants to create armies of mutant soldiers, equipped with unstoppable physical and mental powers.

Within 30 years, according to newly released Ministry of Defence papers, British soldiers should be able to lift huge weights, run at high speeds over extreme distances, have infra-red night vision built into their brains, and even be capable of transmitting thoughts by electronically aided telepathy.

Robosoldier

And this is not just pie-in-the-sky planning. Science is now emerging that may make these army dreams real.

A recent Freedom of Information request revealed details of a two-day future-gazing summit by the MoD’s obscure Development Concepts and Doctrine Centre, where military spooks swapped ideas with experts from universities, industry and government.

The summit concluded that by 2045, advances in medical technology could create a class of genetically superior humans — rather like the super-powered science fiction characters Wolverine, Storm and Rogue from Marvel Comics.

Further details of the military boffins’ thinking are on the internet, in an MoD report titled: Global Strategic Trends Out to 2040. This predicts that advanced drug and genetic technologies will enable armies to reprogram soldiers’ genes, in order to transform them into daunting fighters.

High-tech implants in brains could also help to turn square-bashing squaddies into super-intelligent man-machines. The defence ministry forecasters have given the process a chilling clinical name: ‘human augmentation’. They predict that these brain implants (called ‘cognitive prostheses’) could give solders bionic vision and hearing, as well as towering IQs and total recall.

The MoD report adds that such ‘augmented’ soldiers could even have bodies that self-repair wounds, through the use of what it terms ‘regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and artificial immune systems’.

It all sounds far too fantastic to be real. But, in fact, some of these outlandish predictions are already turning out to be true.

Arms race: In the future a British, currently limited in the amount of equipment he can physically carry, could be given superstrength. (File picture)Arms race: In the future a British, currently limited in the amount of equipment he can physically carry, could be given superstrength. (File picture)

For example, America’s Lockheed Martin company is developing an advanced robotic exoskeleton known as the Human Universal Load Carrier, which will enable men to carry massive loads with minimal effort, either on their front or their back.

The skeleton is ultralight, highly mobile and attached to the outside of the body with its own titanium legs, which transfer the weight of any load to the ground.

Microcomputers sense the soldier’s body movements and enable it to do exactly what he does, whether it is running, lifting or even crawling. Prototype versions are already entering combat trials in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, super-vision came considerably closer last year after pioneering surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford restored some sight to Tim Reddish, a Paralympic swimming champion in his 60s who had been blind for 17 years.

The key to the operation’s success was a 3mm microchip with 1,500 light-sensitive cells implanted into each retina and connected by wire to a power unit implanted behind his ear.

When light enters the eye and hits the chips, it stimulates light-sensitive cells which send signals to the brain, enabling him to see.

Military experts see huge potential. Experiments in the U.S. have shown that implant technology could also give normally sighted soldiers amazing extra senses, such as night vision, and even the ability to see magnetic fields.

Science fiction: What seems like science fiction today could soon become a battlefield reality if technology being worked on by Ministry of Defence boffins sees the light of day. (File picture)Science fiction: What seems like science fiction today could soon become a battlefield reality if technology being worked on by Ministry of Defence boffins sees the light of day. (File picture)

The breakthrough has been made by Dr Miguel Nicolelis, a neurobiologist at Duke University in North Carolina, who announced earlier this year that he had given rats the ability to detect infra-red light, normally invisible to them, by fitting them with an infra-red detector wired to microscopic electrodes in their brains.

The military are interested in super-blood, too. Surgeons and emergency doctors have long hoped for the advent of artificial blood that can safely be stored for months or years, and be given to any patient.

Now that possibility is nearing reality, thanks to the work of British teams such as those at the University of Sheffield. Chemists there have created a ‘plastic blood’ that mimics red blood cells and can be successfully donated to over 98 per cent of patients.

Military scientists are predicting a wealth of potential breakthroughs in human capability that could be created by advanced future versions of artificial blood.

For example, nanotechnology could fill them with synthetic platelets, the naturally occurring cell fragments vital for clotting, enabling wounds to heal faster.

Artificial blood could also be adapted to increase its power to carry oxygen and nutrients round the body, thus boosting muscle and brain power.

But artificial blood would not be the only way to muscle power. Back in 2004, Lee Sweeney, a geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania, showed it was possible to create genetically modified mice that produced a natural stimulant in their muscles called ‘insulin-like growth factor’.

Some of the finest minds are working away on military technology which could transform the British soldier into bionic superhumans, according to newly released documentsSome of the finest minds are working away on military technology which could transform the British soldier into bionic superhumans, according to newly released documents

Mice with such enhanced genes had more than 30   per cent stronger muscles, enabling them to run for much faster and longer than normal.

Dr Sweeney’s mice were modified as embryos. Since then, genetics researchers have been working on ways to boost muscles in adults.

In 2008, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania created GM mice that could run six times further than normal without suffering from exhaustion, by altering a gene called interleukin-15R alpha, which shifts how energy is used in the ‘fast-twitch’ muscle fibres that provide sprinting ability.

Such breakthroughs promise to create armies that appear unbeatable.

The Pentagon is now working on manipulating human brainwaves to optimise performance.

American military chiefs are seeking a technology system that would synchronise gamma waves (which facilitate memory creation) and theta waves (for turning short-term memories into lasting ones), so they work together in the best way. This would boost the ability of soldiers to retain lots of information in high-stress situations, for longer.

Telepathy is being considered as well — and already a machine has been developed in Dr Nicolelis’s laboratory to make it happen, facilitating telepathic communication over distances of thousands of miles, though so far only for rats.

The implications for the military are extraordinary. If commanders could simply pass on their thoughts to their troops without the need for radios, it would confer a huge tactical advantage.

Given the extraordinary pace of technological development, one thing is certain — the toughest man in the Armed Forces could soon be the one with a silicon chip on his shoulder.

Read more: 

Manuel’s critics are missing his point

Our leaderless leader, President Jacob Zuma, and health union and ANC leader Fikile Majola and many others, for that matter, who contribute to the “blame” debate, got the linguistics related to meaning, wrong.

|||

Our leaderless leader, President Jacob Zuma, and health union and ANC leader Fikile Majola and many others, for that matter, who contribute to the “blame” debate, got the linguistics related to meaning, wrong.

As a result of misinterpretation, Zuma went on record to remind Planning Minister Trevor Manuel that, “to suggest that we cannot blame apartheid for what is happening now, I think, is a mistake, to say the least”. And Majola, in a vicious diatribe and scathing attack, responded in similar vein.

If they read and interpreted Manuel’s pronouncements correctly as they were intended, they would have understood that what he in fact said was that “we cannot continue to blame apartheid”.

Read like that, as the intended and designed purpose of its meaning, the inference is that what confronted the ANC, at the beginning of its tenure 20 years ago, was a brutal system of ideas and a manner of thinking out of step with the rest of the world.

In comes the ANC, and quite correctly breaks down a rigid ideology with a replacement government redressing the imbalances of the past. So far, so good.

But over the years, at some point, maybe on former president Thabo Mbeki’s watch but definitely with Zuma’s election, the rot sets in.

Both Zuma and Majola missed the point, and Sizwe Pamla of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union throws his lot in, making the same mistake, through lack of insight and misinterpretation of the facts.

He accuses Manuel of being disingenuous by wanting South Africans to pretend that apartheid never existed.

So what is the brouhaha all about? The former minister of finance told a public servants’ conference that, yes, apartheid was largely responsible for the inequalities that exist today but, and herein lies the quintessential essence, “the government cannot continue to blame apartheid for our failings as a state. We cannot plead ignorance or inexperience. For almost two decades, the public has been patient in the face of mediocre services. The time for change, for ruthless focus on implementation, has come.”

With those words, Manuel did not deny the legacy of apartheid nor its existence, as spun by the above trio.

All he said was that, while acknowledging the role played by apartheid, we cannot “continue” blaming apartheid. He did not deny the effects of apartheid on the South African society. Manuel was succinct and articulately perspicuous.

Mr Manuel, as much as I commend you for your criticism of the government as an extant minister, your pleas will fall on deaf ears. As long as this country is led by a venal and exclusive group of people sharing the same shameful interests, the status quo will persist.

Stan Sandler

Claremont