Latest Blog Posts


The Last Two Digits of a Price Signal Your Desperation to Sell

By Joshua Gans, University of Toronto | April 22, 2015 10:42 am

While someone’s bargaining position can be shaped by competition, we economists know that there is a big gray area in our ability to predict negotiated prices.

Competitive options for buyers and sellers can define a limit beyond which they will not go, but there is still a range of prices that fall within those limits. Within that range, clearly sellers would like a higher price, while buyers would like a lower one, so each has an incentive to signal to the other their willingness to be …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts
MORE ABOUT: economics

Citizen Science Salon

Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day with SciStarter and Citizen Science!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) | April 22, 2015 7:00 am

Earth Day is April 22 and Arbor Day (in the USA) is April 24!


Just about every one of the 1,000 projects featured on SciStarter contributes to a better planet but here five projects you can do to participate in research about trees, just about anywhere on Earth.


The SciStarter Team


Covering 13 counties in three states, this project’s goal is to create an inventory of al …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment
MORE ABOUT: arbor day, earth day, trees


Is Synesthesia A Brain Disorder?

By Neuroskeptic | April 21, 2015 5:08 pm

In a provocative review paper just published, French neuroscientists Jean-Michel Hupé and Michel Dojat question the assumption that synesthesia is a neurological disorder.

In synesthesia, certain sensory stimuli involuntarily trigger other sensations. For example, in one common form of synesthesia, known as ‘grapheme-color’, certain letters are perceived as allied with, certain colors. In other cases, musical notes are associated with colors, or smells.

The cause of synesthesia is obs …


See-Through Classrooms Could Combat Nearsightedness

By Carl Engelking | April 21, 2015 4:39 pm

In China, some students are probably finding it a lot more difficult to pay attention: Their classroom has essentially been transformed into a giant cube of windows.

The decision to bathe students in sunlight at one particular school in China isn’t some new-age teaching methodology, though. It’s an experimental attempt to preserve children’s’ vision.

In the last few decades there’s been a dramatic increase in the global rates of myopia, or nearsightedness. In South Korea, for e …

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


These Adorable Rodents Are Democratic Snugglers

By Elizabeth Preston | April 21, 2015 3:17 pm

If you’re a small animal in a cold environment, being standoffish is a bad survival strategy. That’s why animals of many kinds huddle for warmth. They put their furred or feathered bodies right up against their neighbors’ and conserve energy that they would otherwise spend heating themselves.

One especially adorable huddler is the degu (Octodon degus), a rodent that lives in Chile and has a tail like a paintbrush. As temperatures drop, degus clump into cuddling groups to keep warm. A ne …

MORE ABOUT: Animals, Evolution, Physics

The Crux

The Mystery of Breast Cancer's Cause

By Richard Stevens, University of Connecticut | April 21, 2015 2:33 pm

For most of the common cancers, a major cause has been identified: smoking causes 90% of lung cancer worldwide, hepatitis viruses cause most liver cancer, H pylori bacteria causes stomach cancer, human papillomavirus causes almost all cases of cervical cancer, colon cancer is largely explained by physical activity, diet and family history.

But for breast cancer, there is no smoking gun. It is almost unique among the common cancers of the world in that there is not a known major cause; the …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: cancer

Citizen Science Salon

SciStarter and Citizen Science at Philly Tech Week and the Philadelphia Science Festival!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) | April 21, 2015 8:20 am

Wednesday, April 22
9:00am – 12:00pm 

Excite Center
3401 Market St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
In partnership with Drexel University’s Center for Science, Technology & Society and the ExCITe Center, this event will workshop digital projects and their platforms to improve accessibility and empower citizen is a Philly start-up with international reach featuring 1,000 citizen science projects in need of help from the public. TheAsthmaFiles.orgis a  …

MORE ABOUT: events

Seriously, Science?

Want to feel happier? Just smell a happy person's BO!

By Seriously Science | April 21, 2015 6:00 am

Smelling someone’s stinky body odor can really bum you out, at least temporarily. But did you know that BO can communicate emotions directly? According to this study, human body odor may contain chemicals, also known as “chemosignals”, that can carry information about emotional states. To test this hypothesis, the researchers evoked emotions in 12 men by showing them movie clips to make them either happy (e.g., “Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book), afraid (e.g., clips from Sch …

Drone 360

Drone Drops Beneficial Bugs Onto Corn Fields

By Carl Engelking | April 20, 2015 4:05 pm

A University of Queensland agricultural student has built a drone that will bug you for all the right reasons.

Michael Godfrey’s drone is fitted with a hopper that airdrops beneficial insects over crops, potentially saving farmers time and money. Godfrey’s innovation is yet another way in which drones are proving to be trusty laborers on the farmstead.
Bugs from Above

During a summer science scholarship, Godfrey wanted to see how drones could be used to distribute the beneficial …

MORE ABOUT: agriculture, drones

Science Sushi

Wandering Far From Home: Did Phoneutria Almost Get Introduced To Hawaii?

By Christie Wilcox | April 20, 2015 9:00 am

Last week, agents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection here in Honolulu caught an unwelcome stowaway in a container of granite and flagstone from Brazil: a 3.5 inch wandering spider (Phoneutria species). A second spider was found in another container from the same shipment four days later, and was likely another of the same species — though agents are not entirely sure because the worker unloading the container smashed the bugger beyond positive ID. One spider is not so big a deal …


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