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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

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  • The EMC effectplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigThe EMC effect

    "The atomic nucleus is made of protons and neutrons (nucleons), that are themselves composed of quarks and gluons. Understanding how the quark-gluon structure of a nucleon bound in an atomic nucleus is modified by the surrounding nucleons is an outstanding challenge.
  • Cocaine 'mechanism of action'plugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigCocaine 'mechanism of action'

    One of the reasons that cocaine is so addictive is its highly reliable property of inducing powerful feelings of euphoria - typically at around 0.3-0.6 mg/kg of body-weight.

    Since the 1990s, the reasons for this effect have been assumed to be because of its ability to block dopamine transporters (DATs) in the brain. The DATs function is to enable the 're-uptake' of dopamine in circulation ; when 'blocked' by the drug, dopamine levels build up - and these increased…
  • Charpentier illusionplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigCharpentier illusion

    The Charpentier Illusion (a.k.a. the Size-Weight Illusion) was first formally demonstrated in 1891 (ref.)

    Experimental subjects are shown two objects of differing sizes (but which have been carefully designed to have identical weights). Most people guess that the larger object might be heavier, but, when asked to pick them up
  • 'Curmudgeon' etymologyplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_big'Curmudgeon' etymology

    The origin of the English noun 'Curmudgeon' is unknown.

    It was in use as early as the 1570s, but its exact origin has apparently been lost.

    The Gaelic word 'muigean' meaning a 'disagreeable person' was also in use around the same time. The 'Cur' part might have come from an old word for
  • Electro-culture (botany)plugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigElectro-culture (botany)

    Note: This article is currently in the 'Proposed Content' section, for possible inclusion in the 'Botany' section

    The idea of using electricity to encourage plant growth goes back at least as far as the mid-eighteenth century.

Recently edited articles :

  • Sodium aurothiomalateplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigSodium aurothiomalate

    Sodium aurothiomalate (a.k.a. gold sodium thiomalate, and sold under the brand names Myocrisin, Myochrysine, Aurolate and others) is a gold compound used to reduce the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    In the mid 1800's gold salts of various types had been used to try to treat TB - with very little success. Despite their lack of effectiveness and dangerous side effects they were still in used as late as the 1920s,
  • The EMC effectplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigThe EMC effect

    "The atomic nucleus is made of protons and neutrons (nucleons), that are themselves composed of quarks and gluons. Understanding how the quark-gluon structure of a nucleon bound in an atomic nucleus is modified by the surrounding nucleons is an outstanding challenge.
  • Massplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigMass

    All physical objects have ‘mass’. The mass is (largely) a consequence of the additions of the masses of the atomic and subatomic particles from which the objects are comprised. Theorists currently support the idea of mass-creation via the
  • Epilepsyplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigEpilepsy

    "Epilepsy is a chronic noncommunicable disease of the brain that affects around 50 million people worldwide. It is characterized by recurrent seizures, which are brief episodes of involuntary movement that may involve a part of the body (partial) or the entire body (generalized) and are sometimes accompanied by loss of consciousness and control of bowel or bladder function. Seizure episodes are a result of excessive electrical discharges in a group of brain cells. Different parts of …
  • Electro-culture (botany)plugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigElectro-culture (botany)

    Note: This article is currently in the 'Proposed Content' section, for possible inclusion in the 'Botany' section

    The idea of using electricity to encourage plant growth goes back at least as far as the mid-eighteenth century.
  • Charpentier illusionplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigCharpentier illusion

    The Charpentier Illusion (a.k.a. the Size-Weight Illusion) was first formally demonstrated in 1891 (ref.)

    Experimental subjects are shown two objects of differing sizes (but which have been carefully designed to have identical weights). Most people guess that the larger object might be heavier, but, when asked to pick them up
  • Cocaine 'mechanism of action'plugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigCocaine 'mechanism of action'

    One of the reasons that cocaine is so addictive is its highly reliable property of inducing powerful feelings of euphoria - typically at around 0.3-0.6 mg/kg of body-weight.

    Since the 1990s, the reasons for this effect have been assumed to be because of its ability to block dopamine transporters (DATs) in the brain. The DATs function is to enable the 're-uptake' of dopamine in circulation ; when 'blocked' by the drug, dopamine levels build up - and these increased…
  • Schanuel's conjectureplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigSchanuel's conjecture

    In the mid 1960s American mathematician Stephen Schanuel devised a complex mathematical conjecture regarding the 'transcendence degree' of certain 'field extensions' of the rational numbers.

    Formally stated :

    "Given any n complex numbers z
  • Oceanic CO2 absorptionplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigOceanic CO2 absorption

    Estimates for the amount of human-generated CO2 absorbed by the oceans is estimated at around 30 > 40%. However. the processes which govern the rate of absorption are extremely complex and poorly understood.

    Examples:

    • As the ocean warms, its capacity to absorb CO
  • Relaxorsplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigRelaxors

    Relaxors is the name given to a group of ferroelectric materials which strongly change their shape in electric fields.

    Examples include : lead magnesium niobate, lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate, lead lanthanum zirconate titanate, and lead scandium niobate. There are also examples based on barium.
  • Linear A scriptplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigLinear A script

    "Linear A is an undeciphered syllabary used between 1800-1450 BC in ancient Crete, alongside Cretan Hieroglyphs. Linear A was the official script for the palaces and cults, and Cretan Hieroglyphs were used for seals. Cretan Hieroglyphs had been in use for some time before the development of Linear A, and it is thought that the Linear A symbols may have derived from the shapes of some of the hieroglyphs.
  • TBI Dementiaplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigTBI Dementia

    Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are strongly suspected as being linked with the development of early onset dementia. This has implications for those who participate in combative sports (e.g. rugby, boxing etc.), and those in the military (gunners etc.) who are regularly exposed to explosive shock-waves.
  • Lithium-ion batteriesplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigLithium-ion batteries

    functionality_unexplained

    "Although lithium ion batteries are considered as system of choice for variety of mobile and stationary applications, fundamental knowledge is alarmingly required to uncover the underlying principles controlling the basic processes that determine and dictate their function, operation, performance limitations as well as failure."
  • Dreadlock formationplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigDreadlock formation

    Note: This article is currently in the 'Awaiting Detail' section.

    Dreadlocks are are rope-like multiple strands of hair caused by locking or braiding hair. (see Wikipedia )

    They can spontaneously develop over time, but the way in which they form is unclear. They tend to be knotted throughout their length, from the scalp to the tip. If the knotting starts at the tip of the lock - as often happens - how does the knotting progress towards the scalp, given that there are no 'f…
  • Honeycomb grouperplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigHoneycomb grouper

    Note This is an example page of an item that has been included, but is awaiting full details

    Honeycomb grouper

    The Honeycomb grouper, one of the smaller fish species in the Epinephelus genus, sometimes undergoes spontaneous sex changes. ref. Wikipedia

    "The honeycomb grouper is a protogynous hermaphrodite. A rapid drop in endogenous E2 levels is believed to trigger onset of sex change in protogynous wrasse, Thalassoma duperrey (Nakamura et al. 1989).

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