Latest Blog Posts


The Many Ways Running a Marathon Destroys Your Body

By Nathaniel Scharping | March 29, 2017 3:39 pm

Running a 26.2-mile marathon puts your body through hell. Even with the proper training, marathoners stagger across the finish line with ravaged joints and shredded muscles — not to mention chafing in embarrassing places.

A recent study looked at the kidneys of marathon runners before and shortly after they finished a run and found evidence consistent with acute kidney injuries. The drastic steps our bodies take to keep our legs moving over distances results in a flood of chemicals i …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts
MORE ABOUT: personal health

Citizen Science Salon

Upbeat, collaborative, and focused: Educators at SXSWedu reflect on the value and future of citizen science in education

By Catherine Hoffman | March 29, 2017 9:58 am

Who really benefits from citizen science? How can citizen science support STEM education?  How do we bring citizen science to new audiences? How can we leverage new technologies to expand student participation in citizen science projects?

These were some of the questions we set out to discuss at the Citizen Science Meet-up at SXSWedu. SXSWedu is an annual conference that attracts thought-leaders from the worlds of education, technology, policy, and the media. This year, 7,000 participant …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Education

Seriously, Science?

Which state Googles "porn" the most? The answer might surprise you.

By Seriously Science | March 29, 2017 6:00 am

Google Trends has become a productive source of data for social scientists, particularly those interested in when and where people search for the word “porn”. First, they discovered that porn searches peaked in winter and early summer, a result that lead them to believe that there actually is a human mating season. Now, they’ve looked at the results by state, and found some more interesting patterns.

Perhaps not surprisingly, “higher percentages of Evangelical Protestants, theists, and …



'Organ On A Chip' Recreates the Female Menstrual Cycle

By Nathaniel Scharping | March 28, 2017 4:07 pm

A collection of human cell-lined boxes successfully reproduced the female menstrual cycle, marking another step forward for so-called “organs-on-a-chip.”

Researchers at Northwestern Medicine have re-created the organs of the female reproductive system in an artificial environment and linked them together. By pumping a blood-like medium through their system, they coaxed the tissues into normal functionality, which includes the production of hormones and other chemicals that regulate me …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts

The Crux

Get Lost in Mega-Tunnels Dug by South American Megafauna

By Andrew Jenner | March 28, 2017 1:39 pm

It was in 2010 that Amilcar Adamy first investigated rumors of an impressive cave in southern Brazil.

A geologist with the Brazilian Geological Survey (known by its Portuguese acronym, CPRM) Adamy was at the time working on a general survey of the Amazonian state of Rondonia. After asking around, he eventually found his way to a gaping hole on a wooded slope a few miles north of the Bolivian border.

Unable to contact the landowner, Adamy couldn’t study the cave in detail during that  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: paleontology


Caterpillars Recruit Friends with Anal Scraping

By Elizabeth Preston | March 28, 2017 11:42 am

Newly hatched caterpillars look helpless: they’re teensy, soft and juicy, with no parent around for protection. But certain young insects, the masked birch caterpillars, are more capable than they seem. They gather in groups to keep themselves safe. To form those groups, they use a previously undiscovered language of buzzes, vibrations, head banging and butt scraping.

The species, Drepana arcuata, passes through five caterpillar life stages (called instars) on its way to becoming a  …

MORE ABOUT: Animals, Ecology, Senses

Science & Food

Duncan Grapefruits and Chemistry Court

By Ashton Yoon | March 27, 2017 10:01 pm

The Duncan grapefruit has been described as “the finest, sweetest grapefruit” in the world, but after 187 years as the reigning champion of the American breakfast, the grapefruit inexplicably disappeared from grocery shelves. After only a few decades, it seems like the Duncan is making a comeback in Maitland, Florida.

Meanwhile, a conflict over the essences of sweeteners like Equal and Splenda brings chemistry into the courtrooms.

The Death and Rebirth of the Duncan Grapefruit –  …


Science & Food

The Unique Health Benefits of Winter Produce

By Ashton Yoon | March 27, 2017 9:58 pm

Guest post by Earlene Mulyawan

Winter season is when comfort food seems to take priority over fresh produce. But eating local during winter season is easy! There are plenty of produce that are rich in nutrients and flavor during this time of the year. Winter produce can also be just as tasty and nutritious with some creativity and a little twist. Read on to learn about how these three winter vegetables.

Beets are round, little balls of vegetables that grow underground. They taste a lit …


Science & Food

Wasabi Receptors and Smart Sushi Labels

By Ashton Yoon | March 27, 2017 9:52 pm

Researchers at UCSF have elucidated the structure of the receptor that makes our sensory nerves tingle when we eat wasabi.

As this receptor is important in our perception of pain, knowing its shape should help in the development of new pain medications. A company called Thinfilm, developed very thin, electronic label that tracks vital information about certain foods at each stage of the supply chain. This way, foods like sashimi salmon can have its temperature monitored from the warehou …


Science & Food

The Secret in Your Sushi

By Ashton Yoon | March 27, 2017 9:49 pm

Dining out or shopping in a grocery store are seemingly straightforward: as the consumer, you make your selection and exchange money for goods. These interactions are based on an implicit trust that you get what you paid for. However, in recent years consumers have begun to demand more transparency with reports of mislabeled seafood at retailers and restaurants being greater than 70% in some instances [1].

Seafood is one of the most traded food items in the world, with approximately 4.5 b …


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