Latest Blog Posts


Discovered under Greenland ice: a massive meteor impact crater the size of New York City

By Tom Yulsman | November 16, 2018 3:16 pm

A very curious feature has long been visible in satellite images of Greenland’s massive ice sheet, but until now, no one really knew for sure what formed it.

You can see the feature for yourself in the satellite image at right — look for the conspicuously semi-circular edge to the ice sheet.

As it turns out, that semi-circular shape hints at what’s below a layer of ice more than a half mile thick: a massive impact crater that has been hiding in plain site.

Research sh …

MORE ABOUT: geology


The Bitter Truth: Coffee Lovers’ Love of Caffeine is Wired in their DNA

By Anna Groves | November 16, 2018 2:54 pm

Are you a coffee drinker? This banal get-to-know-you question becomes strange when you really think about the anticipated dichotomy of a firm yes or no answer. A few people might dabble in the delicious, charming, soul-warming beverage (you can see where my allegiances lie), but many more seem to either love or hate the bitter stuff.

People on either end of the coffee spectrum might think of the other, are you seriously tasting what I’m tasting? It would make sense if the answer was no …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts


Simply Seeing and Smelling Food Preps the Liver for Digestion

By Amber Jorgenson | November 16, 2018 2:18 pm

After a long day’s work, sometimes you can’t help but drool over that hot, tempting meal sitting in front of you. Well, it turns out that your liver can’t either.

A new study published in Cell Reports on November 15 suggests that simply seeing and smelling food preps your body for delicious digestion. The research shows that the specific neurons activated in freshly-fed mice were also activated in mice exposed to just the sight and aroma of food. These inaccessible treats caused the …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts


FCC Gives SpaceX Green Light for 7,518 New Satellites

By Chelsea Gohd | November 16, 2018 2:00 pm

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is cultivating a larger presence in space. The private space company has just won permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deploy 7,518 satellites into low-Earth orbit. This is thousands more than the approximately 2,000 total satellites now orbiting and operating around Earth.
Launching Satellites
SpaceX currently has two test satellites in orbit and the company has previously received permission to deploy 4,425 satellites. These satellites, in a …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

The Crux

Skeletal Studies Show Sex, Like Gender, Exists Along a Spectrum

By Alexandra Kralick | November 16, 2018 1:27 pm

She wasn’t especially tall. Her testosterone levels weren’t unusually high for a woman. She was externally entirely female. But in the mid-1980s, when her chromosome results came back as XY instead of the “normal” XX for a woman, the Spanish national team ousted hurdler María José Martínez-Patiño. She was ejected from the Olympic residence and deserted by her teammates, friends, and boyfriend. She lost her records and medals because of a genetic mutation that wasn’t proven to g …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Living World


These Two New 'Rogue Planets' Wander the Cosmos Without Stars

By Jake Parks | November 16, 2018 11:52 am

Astronomers think they’ve just discovered two more rogue planets wandering the Milky Way alone. And according to the new study, which is set for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the planets are likely just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to free-floating worlds hiding in our galaxy.

If confirmed, the newfound rogue planets — which were discovered as part of the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) — will join an elite group of only about a doz …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts


SNAPSHOT: Dozens of Egyptian Cat Mummies Uncovered

By Alison Mackey | November 16, 2018 11:18 am

Tens of cat mummies have been uncovered near the Egyptian site of Saqqara, along with about 100 wooden cat statues gilded in gold and a bronze one dedicated to the goddess Bastet.

Pictured here is one of the best preserved of the statues. In addition to the cats, rare scarab beetle mummies have also been found at the site, resting in linen wraps inside small limestone sarcophagi, along with numerous other findings.

The Egyptian Department of Antiquities made the announcement earlier  …

MORE ABOUT: archaeology


They're Ants That Collect Skulls. Now We Know How And Why.

By Gemma Tarlach | November 16, 2018 8:00 am

For 60 years, scientists observing Formica archboldi, a species of ant native to Florida, have documented something…odd. The ants’ underground nests are littered with skulls and other body parts, primarily of Odontomachus, trap-jaw ants. Trap-jaws are formidable predatory badasses. F. archboldi are not. So what’s going on? A new study sorts out the mystery — but discovers an even bigger oddity.

Of the 15,000 or so ant species out there, relatively few are prey specialists. Although …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts


Why 'Vampire Deer' Have Fangs, While Other Hoofed Mammals Have Horns

By Nala Rogers | November 15, 2018 5:30 pm

(Inside Science) — When do you need a broadsword, and when would you be better off with a dagger? That’s the question that faced artiodactyls, the group of mammals that includes deer, antelope, goats, giraffes, pigs, buffalo and cows, during their evolution.

Many male artiodactyls fight over females using weaponized body parts such as horns and antlers. But pigs and several groups of deerlike animals have tusks instead, and a few species have both. Water deer have tusks so pronounced the …

MORE ABOUT: animals, evolution


Neanderthals Were Just As Violent As Early Humans

By Megan Schmidt | November 15, 2018 4:57 pm

Is it time to put the stereotype of the violent and brutish Neanderthal to rest? New research paints a different picture of the ancient hominin — one that looks similar to Homo sapiens.

Researchers previously thought that Neanderthal lives were far more nasty, brutish and short than ancient H. sapiens, based mainly on studies looking at levels of injury among both groups. Now, however, in a much more comprehensive look, a team of University of Tübingen (UIT) researchers found that  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts

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