Latest Blog Posts


Psychological Stress Could Contribute to Developing Diabetes

By Carl Engelking | October 21, 2014 9:25 am

It’s well known that a stress-filled lifestyle can lead to high blood pressure, insomnia and a host of other chronic health issues. Now, you can add type 2 diabetes to that list.

Past studies have partly linked stress with the onset of diabetes, but the mechanisms behind why this happens were poorly understood. In a new study, researchers provide evidence of a direct link between psychological stress and biological dysfunction.

Stress Load
People who are constantly stressed have a h …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts


The Heat is On: 2014 Headed for Warmest Year on Record

By Tom Yulsman | October 21, 2014 8:39 am

Last week, a NASA update pegged September as the warmest on record. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has concurred — and reported that 2014 is on track to be the be the warmest year since record keeping began in 1880.

NOAA also reports  that the January through September period was tied with 1998 as the hottest since 1880.

“If 2014 maintains this temperature departure from average for the remainder of the year, it will be the warmest year on record,” acco …


Flares Erupt from An Active Region on the Sun

By Tom Yulsman | October 21, 2014 8:16 am

The Sun has been acting up lately, producing one powerful X-class flare and several more moderate flares over the past 72 hours.

You can see the X-class flare exploding off the lower left aspect of the Sun in the false-color image above, which was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 131 Angstroms. This wavelength is ideal for seeing the intense heat of a flare.

Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protect us from solar eruptions that  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, select, Sun, Top Posts

Seriously, Science?

Why are humans the only animals that flirt?

By Seriously Science | October 21, 2014 6:00 am

As far as scientists can tell, humans are the only animals with “covert sexual signaling” (aka flirting). In many other species, males are very overt about their courtship signals, even to the extent of expensive, colorful displays. The authors of this study hypothesize that flirting is unique to humans because there are socially imposed costs to being too overt with courtship displays. Basically, in certain situations (work, for example, or in front of your crush’s spouse), it could be soci …


The Crux

Is Thalidomide the Next Big Cancer Drug?

By Victoria Forster, Newcastle University | October 20, 2014 1:18 pm

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Innovative new drugs to treat cancer frequently make the headlines, either due to great success or controversy, as pharmaceutical companies get lambasted for selling the drugs at too high a price for state systems to afford.

But alongside this high-budget pharmaceutical research is a different tactic being quietly waged in the background: investigating old, inexpensive drugs, originally designed for a variety of maladies, to see  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Top Posts

Citizen Science Salon

Five Halloween Treats for Citizen Scientists

By Arvind Suresh | October 20, 2014 7:42 am

 Zombees and spiders and bats,
Oh MY!
Drag your bones over,

give these projects a TRY!

Happy Halloween!

From the SciStarter team.

Here are  five projects to put a smile on your skull. 



Loss of the Night

Bring Citizen Science with you to Trick or Treat this year! This App helps you learn constellations as you  contribute to a global real-time map of light pollution. Get started! …

MORE ABOUT: citizen science

Seriously, Science?

This swallowing detector tracks everything that goes down your throat.

By Seriously Science | October 20, 2014 6:00 am

Even though the obesity epidemic is getting out of control, dietary research still heavily relies on self-reported survey data, which is often incorrect. One option to get around this is to have people eat in a lab, but that would likely interfere with their natural eating habits and produce worthless data. So, as another option, these researchers have developed the “Automated Ingestion Detection” (AID) technology to track what patients are eating. It works by wearing a microphone around you …


Citizen Science Salon

Citizen Scientists, Help SciStarter Empower You!

By Arvind Suresh | October 19, 2014 12:59 pm


SciStarter wants to make it easier for you to learn about and get involved in way more opportunities to make the world a better place. We have some big ideas, (and we know you have the potential to do BIG things!) but we want to hear from you first.

And keeping true to our citizen science roots, we’re seeking your thoughts to help us empower you! Consider completing this brief survey by Wednesday 10/22.


MORE ABOUT: citizen science


Power Makes People Deliberate Less Over Emails

By Neuroskeptic | October 19, 2014 6:24 am

When it comes to emails, power makes people spend less time thinking and more time typing. So say German cyber-psychologists Annika Scholl and Kai Sassenberg in a new paper just published: Experienced Social Power Reduces Deliberation During E-Mail Communication

In their study, they recruited 49 undergraduate students. Each participant was first randomly assigned to play one of two roles in a role-playing scenario: a “powerless” employee or a “powerful” manager. Employees were asked t …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: funny, media, papers, select, Top Posts, you


Brain Cells With Alzheimer's Disease Grown in a Petri Dish

By Carl Engelking | October 17, 2014 3:24 pm

There’s a new tool for researchers in pursuit of a cure for Alzheimer’s disease: lab-grown brains.

For the first time, neuroscientists from Massachusetts General Hospital have grown functioning human brain cells that develop Alzheimer’s disease in a petri dish. The breakthrough offers researchers a new method to test cures and decipher the origins of the disease.
Dishing up Alzheimer’s
To be clear, a fully functioning brain is not what’s grown in the lab. Rather, what results is …


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