Latest Blog Posts


Do We Need A Neuroscience of Terrorism?

By Neuroskeptic | November 25, 2015 2:46 pm

In the Boston Herald, we read that
Little is currently known about the neurological pathways of terrorism – the inner workings of a brain that can justify random violence to promote an abstract, extreme belief… there has been no neuroimaging done to examine terrorist brain activity at play.

This lack of neuroscientific knowledge is a problem, we’re told, because
“[terrorism is] like with cancer: The more you know about it, the more you start to understand the process of it, the ea …

The Crux

5 Extreme Examples of Evolutionary Prowess

By Marla Broadfoot | November 25, 2015 11:00 am

Hidden among us are survivors – living, breathing beings that have pulled off some pretty remarkable feats in order to live another day. They can be found ambling through the moss beneath our feet, drifting in our oceans and our streams, even stuck in the local pet store or on the subway. You just have to know where to look.

These creatures give clues into how we could withstand extreme conditions, regrow damaged tissue or missing limbs, turn back the hands of time, guard ourselves from …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, Top Posts

Seriously, Science?

Men with beards are more likely to be sexist.

By Seriously Science | November 25, 2015 6:00 am

Despite the recent popularity of beards, facial hair can be controversial: as we’ve previously shown, it makes men less likely to get hired and more likely to be seen as guilty by a jury. Well, all you beard-haters out there, here’s some more ammunition for you. In this study, researchers surveyed men from the USA and India on both their facial hair and their attitudes towards women. They found that men with beards were more likely to be sexist, and they hypothesized that men who have sexi …

Body Horrors

HIV, the New Chronic Illness

By Rebecca Kreston | November 24, 2015 4:57 pm

Just thirty-odd years ago, a HIV diagnosis was a death sentence. Advances in pharmaceuticals and in our understanding of the mechanisms of HIV infection mean that today it is a manageable, chronic disease on par with diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. People with HIV are living longer, and a graph recently published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that in the United States the average age at death from HIV infection has dramatically increased since  …


Blue Origin's Rocket Sticks a Historic Landing

By Nathaniel Scharping | November 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Private aeronautics firm Blue Origin on Monday became the first company to successfully launch a rocket into space and bring it back to Earth for a safe landing.

The rocket, dubbed the New Shepard, took off from Blue Origin’s test facility in Texas and touched down again fully upright, in a near-perfect reverse of its takeoff just minutes before. Most rockets used to launch capsules into space are used once, falling into the ocean after their fuel is expended. This means that a new rock …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: space exploration


How Spider Personalities Affect Pest Control

By Elizabeth Preston | November 24, 2015 11:10 am

They say you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. But what about with lazy spiders versus lively ones? When it comes to keeping pests at bay, the personalities of the spiders hunting them are important.

That’s what two behavioral ecologists reported after watching bug dramas play out in a sunny hilltop alfalfa patch. Raphaël Royauté of North Dakota State University and Jonathan Pruitt of the University of Pittsburgh were studying the personalities of wolf spiders (Pardos …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: bugs, farming, top posts, Uncategorized
MORE ABOUT: Agriculture, Animals

Seriously, Science?

Study reports elephants use their trunks to blow their food within reach (with video goodness!)

By Seriously Science | November 24, 2015 10:58 am

This report from Japan might just win the award for the cutest research of 2015. It describes how two elephants use their trunks like leaf blowers in order to move food into reach. The elephants, who live at the Kamine Zoo, control the number and length of the blows depending on how far away the food is. The video shows one elephant rounding up leaves with great accuracy… better than any rake I’ve ever seen!

Asian elephants acquire inaccessible food by blowing.

“Many animals acquire  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: fun with animals, rated G


Bionic Roses are Literal Power Plants

By Kiona Smith-Strickland | November 24, 2015 10:50 am

Researchers have created simple electronic components inside the stems and leaves of living roses, using the rose’s own vascular system to produce working wires and even simple display devices.

By adding a specialized polymer to roses’ xylem, researchers electronically “wired” roses without disrupting the plant’s ability to transport water and nutrients. Though plants with built-in electronic circuitry are still in their early days of development, researchers envision a day when these c …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, Technology, top posts
MORE ABOUT: biotechnology, plants

Citizen Science Salon

Celebrate Thanksgiving with Citizen Science!

By Arvind Suresh (Editor) | November 24, 2015 6:30 am

Photo: USFWS

For many people, Thanksgiving brings to mind family, friends, food, and football.  For us here at SciStarter, it’s a time to give thanks to you! So thank you for making the world a better place through citizen science.

Below, you’ll find five projects that will put you in the Thanksgiving spirit!

Visit the SciStarter Project Finder for 1000 more citizen science opportunities and join our community to learn more about new pr …

MORE ABOUT: newsletter


Lunar puzzler: What is the mysterious feature in this beautiful image of the Lunar Module orbiting the Moon?

By Tom Yulsman | November 23, 2015 2:28 pm

Last Thursday marked the anniversary of a significant event in human history: the Apollo 12 Moon landing on Nov. 19, 1969.

This was just the second time humans ever stepped foot on our cratered satellite. But the occasion passed us by last week largely unheralded.

That’s understandable, because the landing wasn’t a first — the astronauts of Apollo 11 hold that honor. And a 46th anniversary isn’t as resonant as, say, a 50th would have been.

“Once is happenstance. Twice is co …


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