Latest Blog Posts

Science Sushi

Watch: Hognose Snake Fakes Death In Most Overacted Way

By Christie Wilcox | April 29, 2016 3:55 pm

When you look one of these little snakes in its adorable little face, it’s not hard to see how the hognose got its name. Their upturned snoots give the snakes a porcine appearance.

But hognoses don’t just have adorable nasal features—they are also the drama queens of the serpent world. If you thought William Shatner wins the prize for worst over-actor on the planet, think again:

The end in particular just slays me: “No, I’m dead. See? …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Ecology, More Science, select, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: Hognose Snake, Snakes, Venom


NOAA Spots Yet Another Bizarre, Deep-Sea Dweller

By Nathaniel Scharping | April 29, 2016 2:45 pm

It’s often said that we know less about the bottom of the ocean than we do about the solar system.

We haven’t found any extra-terrestrials out there yet, but there are still plenty of fascinating creatures to be discovered right here at home.

Take the latest find from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 10-week mission to explore the depths of the Mariana Trench. This deep-water jellyfish, discovered over two miles beneath the surface, looks more like something from  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
MORE ABOUT: unusual organisms

The Crux

Liz Parrish Is Patient Zero in Her Own Anti-Aging Experiment

By David Warmflash | April 29, 2016 12:13 pm

Elizabeth (Liz) Parrish is the CEO of BioViva, a biotechnology company that focuses on developing gene therapies, and other regenerative therapies, to intervene with human aging.

Last September, Parrish added an interesting line to her job description: patient zero for two anti-aging therapies that the company is researching.

Parrish is receiving two kinds of injections, which are administered outside the United States: a myostatin inhibitor, which is expected to prevent age-associated …

MORE ABOUT: genetics

Dead Things

Antarctica: Up Close with The Ross Sea Party

By Gemma Tarlach | April 29, 2016 11:00 am

(Join me now in the wintry darkness of Antarctica. Here at Dead Things, I’ll occasionally share posts from my now inactive personal blog, Stories That Are True. I’ll re-post things I feel might be of interest to anyone with a curiosity about the past and, in this case, Antarctica. I was fortunate to live there — McMurdo Station on Ross Island, specifically — for 20 months (one summer and two winters). This winter’s night visit to the lab of the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s conservators,  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts

Seriously, Science?

Flashback Friday: The purpose of yawning might be to cool your brain.

By Seriously Science | April 29, 2016 6:00 am

Wondering what’s been going on lately in the field of chasmology (the scientific study of yawning)? Well, we still don’t really understand why people yawn, but we can add another contender to the list of theories: brain cooling. In this study, the authors showed subjects photos of people yawning to determine their susceptibility to “yawn contagion.” They found that the subjects were more likely to “catch” yawns in the summer compared with the winter. Although there are a number of things tha …

A fictional idea for a smart contact lens in the film "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol." Credit: Paramount Pictures

Lovesick Cyborg

Google Patent Reveals Vision for Cyborg Eye Implant

By Jeremy Hsu | April 28, 2016 2:32 pm

Google has a vision for cyborg eyes that goes well beyond the idea of smart contact lenses. The Alphabet-owned company filed a patent on the idea of replacing the human eye’s natural lens with an electronic lens implant. Such a cyborg eye implant could replace normal eyesight functions and correct for eyesight problems. But the concept’s existence also hints at future possibilities for putting the capabilities of a smart contact lens directly inside the eye.

The Google patent applicati …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: technology, top posts, Uncategorized

Citizen Science Salon

Methods Matter: Citizen Science Techniques For Exploring Our World

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) | April 28, 2016 2:00 pm

Citizen Science Techniques

Each of the thousands of citizen science projects are unique, yet many rely on similar techniques and methods.

Below, we highlight five that use some of the most popular methods including: the use of low cost, portable sensors; bioblitzes; bird banding; standardized surveys; and photography.

Find more than 1,600 projects and events in the SciStarter Global Project Finder.

The SciStarter Team


Seriously, Science?

Could the color of your bedspread actually attract bedbugs?

By Seriously Science | April 28, 2016 6:00 am

Plagued by bedbugs? Just want to avoid them in the first place? Well, listen up: apparently, bedbugs have very specific color preferences when it comes time to choosing their hiding places. In this study, the authors put bedbugs in dishes containing tent-like “harborages” of different colors (see figure below — the tents are actually kind of cute). They then allowed individual bedbugs to choose a tent and recorded which color each one chose. Turns out that the bugs are big fans of red and b …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: fun with animals


The Neural Precursors of Spontaneous Thoughts

By Neuroskeptic | April 28, 2016 2:46 am

Back in 2013, I wondered if we would ever discover the neural basis of spontaneous thoughts. Why, I asked, do certain ideas just “pop” into our minds at particular times? Now a new paper published in Neuroimage, Canadian neuroscientists Melissa Ellamil and colleagues examines this issue.

Ellamil et al. recruited a group of 18 volunteers, all of whom were highly experienced practitioners of mindfulness meditation. These individuals were selected, the authors say, because they are better at …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, papers, philosophy, select, Top Posts

Body Horrors

Polio in the Cancer Ward

By Rebecca Kreston | April 27, 2016 9:25 pm

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a short letter on two cases of vaccine-derived polio infection that arose in a German pediatric cancer ward three years ago. Two severely immunocompromised girls from the Middle East – one from Libya and the other from Saudi Arabia – had traveled with their families seeking specialized medical treatment in Germany.

A five-month old girl, known as Patient 1 in the article, required a bone marrow transplant for severe combined immunodefic …


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar