Latest Blog Posts


Biologically Accurate Halloween Cards

By Elizabeth Preston | October 31, 2014 6:53 am




Earlier: Biologically Accurate Valentines.

Spider-tailed horned viper photo by Omid Mozaffari (video and more information here). Crab spider photo by Lynette Schimming (via Flickr). Big brown bat photo by Matt Reinbold (via Flickr).

Seriously, Science?

Flashback Friday Halloween Science Roundup: scientific studies to haunt your dreams!

By Seriously Science | October 31, 2014 6:00 am

Over the years we’ve featured some creepy studies, with topics ranging from ghosts to vampires to haunted scrotums. Here are a few of our favorites, just in time for All Hallows’ Eve. Enjoy!

The case of the haunted scrotum. “On CT scanning of the abdomen and pelvis, the right testis was not identified but the left side of the scrotum seemed to be occupied by a screaming ghost-like apparition (Figure 1).”

Does garlic protect against vampires? An experimental study. “Garlic has been  …


Citizen Science Salon

Mysterious Crickets Squat in American Homes

By Arvind Suresh | October 30, 2014 5:07 pm

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Kishaana Johnson, describing a recently published study about Asian camel crickets that was aided by the efforts of citizen scientists across the country in the Camel Cricket Census a part of the Your Wild Life project. Kishaana is a graduate student in the Professional Writing certificate program at North Carolina State University.

In 1898, a biologist named S.H. Scudder reported a bizarre striped insect with a large humped back that had been sen …



Resourceful Crustaceans Turn Invasive Seaweed into Homes

By Elizabeth Preston | October 30, 2014 8:57 am

When a new developer comes to town and starts aggressively building up the empty property around your home, you can get mad—or you can move in. That’s what tiny crustaceans in the Georgia mudflats have done. Facing an invasive Japanese seaweed, they’ve discovered that it makes excellent shelter, protecting them from all kinds of threats. And where the crustaceans went, a whole ecosystem has followed.

Jeffrey Wright is an ecologist who studies invasive species at Australian Maritime Colleg …

MORE ABOUT: Animals, Ecology, Ocean, Plants

Seriously, Science?

Drinking too much milk could kill you.

By Seriously Science | October 30, 2014 6:00 am

Are you lactose intolerant? If so, it looks like you’ve dodged a bullet: according to this study, high milk consumption (more than one glass a day) is associated with a higher risk of mortality in both men and women. The data come from a large study that took place in Sweden in the ’80s and ’90s. One of the main results is that each daily glass of milk increases risk of death in both men and women and, contrary to popular belief, actually increases the risk of bone fractures in women. The au …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: eat me, holy correlation batman!


This Is Your Brain on Magic Mushrooms

By Ben Thomas | October 29, 2014 4:16 pm

Psychedelic substances can change a user’s mindset in profound ways — a fact that’s relevant even to those who’ve never touched the stuff, because such altered states of consciousness give scientists a window into how our brains give rise to our normal mental states. But neuroscientists are only beginning to understand how and why those mental changes occur.

Now some mathematicians have jumped into the fray, using a new mathematical technique to analyze the brains of people on ma …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts

The Crux

This High-Tech Floating Laboratory Will Be a Spaceship for the Sea

By David Warmflash | October 29, 2014 2:40 pm

It’s being called a starship Enterprise for the water, and not merely for its futuristic shape. SeaOrbiter, designed by French architect Jacques Rougerie, is envisioned as a high-tech moving laboratory, carrying scientists on long treks through an environment not inherently friendly to human life.

At the moment, the craft is still on the drawing board. Construction is planned to begin later this year, and if funding allows, to be completed in 2016. Initial funding has been provided by t …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Top Posts

Seriously, Science?

How many sexual partners does it take to reduce your risk of prostate cancer? (Hint: in this case, less isn't more!)

By Seriously Science | October 29, 2014 6:00 am

The answer: more than 20(!), according to this study of over 3,000 men out of Montreal, Canada — but only if they’re female. (Apparently, having more than 20 male sexual partners is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.) Although this is just a correlation, it’s certainly interesting. And if it’s not the number of sexual partners that reduces prostate cancer risk, but something else these ladies men have in common, we definitely want to know what that is!  But, meanwhile, d …


Announcing... PLoS Neuroskeptic!

By Neuroskeptic | October 28, 2014 5:50 pm

I’m excited (and proud) to announce that I’m now a Contributing Editor at the new PLoS Neuro Community (

I’ll be contributing interviews with neuroscientists, and my first post is up now: A Neuroscience Correlate of Consciousness: Neuroskeptic goes in-depth with Srivas Chennu. If you have any suggestions, requests or ideas for future interviews, please let me know!

However, this blog right here is not moving anywhere – I’m still here and I’m planning to post no less …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: blogging, links, Uncategorized


Banging the Drum on Science When It Fits Your Tune

By Keith Kloor | October 28, 2014 2:16 pm

In her last big superlative GMO story, New York Times reporter Amy Harmon wrote:
Scientists, who have come to rely on liberals in political battles over stem-cell research, climate change and the teaching of evolution, have been dismayed to find themselves at odds with their traditional allies on this issue. Some compare the hostility to G.M.O.s to the rejection of climate-change science, except with liberal opponents instead of conservative ones.
Harmon generously linked to a post of mine,  …


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