Background

Autonomous weapons - 'killer robots' who decide themselves whether they kill someone or not - are coming. And politics is silent. At the beginning of this year, 116 experts sounded the alarm bell in an open letter addressed to the United Nations. In the letter they warn of the third revolution in warfare.

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It is exactly 500 years ago at the end of October that Martin Luther published his 95 statements. And those statements changed the world. It is 1517 and the Augustinian monk Maarten Luther puts 95 statements on paper. It is a rather daring undertaking, because the statements all point to abuses in the Catholic Church.

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The mammoth is no longer. But why actually? And will the beautiful animal ever come back? The mammoth is an animal that appeals to the imagination. Parts of the old animals or even whole specimens are still regularly found. Thanks to those discoveries we have a fairly good picture of the appearance and lifestyle of the animals.

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Self-control determines whether you succeed or fail in life. This sounds loud, but it is true. Fifty years ago, researcher Walter Mischel started the famous marshmellow test. It has now been demonstrated that the ability to postpone satisfaction is crucial for a successful and enjoyable life.

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How do you capture an impregnable fortress? They did have ideas about this in the sixteenth century, according to manuscripts currently circulating online. One takes a cat - or a bird - ties something flammable on it, sets it on fire and then lets the cat or bird enter the fortress. At the moment they seem to be circulating online.

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From giant dinosaurs to a King Kong-like mega monkey. Giant dinosaur With a length of about 40 meters and a weight that roughly corresponds to the weight of ten African elephants, P. mayorum was a big boy. The thigh bone of the dinosaur alone was about as long as a human being and today we have serious difficulties in finding a museum room where this dinosaur fits in perfectly (see image below).

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Can positive thinking overcome cancer? Does running make smart? Whoever ever wonders, must have read this book! Body and soul. They are both fascinating. But combined they become even more exciting. Because well-known philosophers may prefer to see the two separately: in fact, of course, they simply belong together.

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Hydrogen is gaining popularity but what is it and how can we use it in the transition to a more sustainable energy system? Hydrogen. If you still look a bit glassy at the term - water is indeed not dusty - then it is high time to read. Because hydrogen is making a rise in the climate debate faster than Nicki Minaj gained popularity among high school students.

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Every week Scientias.nl handles a readers question on Monday evening. This week Stan wanted to know how much water there is in the atmosphere of our earth. And is that a lot or not in comparison? To answer that question, we first have to draw it a little wider. How much water can you find on earth at all?

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Luther is best known for his important role in the Reformation, but he also had an "unfresh" side: his aversion to Jews. Today, on October 31, it is Reformation Day: the day on which Martin Luther started the Reformation by hanging his pamphlet with 95 positions in the German town of Wittenberg.

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Do you also feel sad today? Sad? Depressed? That could be right. Today is Blue Monday: the most depressing day of the year. Let's see. How did that work again? Oh yeah, that's true too. Blue Monday is absolute nonsense and no more than an ordinary marketing trick. So: cheer up!

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Are you overweight and do you like spicy food? Then you are lucky. Scientists have found a new and surprising approach in the fight against obesity: hot peppers. Hot pepper contains a substance that causes you to burn more fat. That way you can continue to eat the same and still lose weight. That is why in America a medicine is made from hot peppers.

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What you eat not only influences your own health, it also determines the health of your future grandchildren. According to science, you can easily influence genes with nutrition and your lifestyle. The risk of diabetes for grandchildren of a man who eats a lot in his younger years is four times as high as for grandchildren of a man who eats little in his childhood.

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What do you think of when you think of origami? On small square colored papers folded in all sorts of fun figures such as a crane or a flower? You probably don't think of extremely complex structures consisting of hundreds of folds, let alone huge space telescopes, heart stents or airbags.

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Search for aliens: we have to do it, but we don't really know how. “The chance that we will find extraterrestrial life in our immediate environment is very small.” The Scientias.nl archive is full of 'gems': articles that we are proud of, that have provoked an interesting discussion or in which people are working on it. speak with an innovative and surprising view of scientifically related issues.

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And what that means for the future. Stephen Hawking, in his own words, sought "a full understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all." Such questions take us back to the origin: the beginning of everything, the big bang. Hawking did intensive research into it and in 1983 he presented the no-boundary model together with the American physicist James Hartle.

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The surface of Mars is to date the playing field of the Americans who currently have two robbers driving around. But that will change. Europeans are coming! ESA is currently working hard on the ExoMars landing module that should make the entire Beagle drama forget. On December 19, 2003, the Mars Express circling Mars releases a package.

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