Phew! Researchers Aren’t Torturing Octopuses

By Nathaniel Scharping | April 5, 2018 4:23 pm
(Credit: Olga Visavi/Shutterstock)

(Credit: Olga Visavi/Shutterstock)

Some cephalopod researchers have another job title: Octopus anesthesiologist.

It sounds far-fetched, but it’s an important task. Octopuses, and cephalopods in general, are the smartest invertebrates, and their complex, unique central nervous systems are studied by researchers interested in everything from motor control to visual processing to cognition itself. But that kind of research often involves invasive techniques that could cause the creatures significant pain. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
MORE ABOUT: animals

Advertisers, Beware the Trendsetter

By Bill Andrews | April 5, 2018 4:13 pm
shutterstock_790179505

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Science isn’t all about curing cancer and traveling to black holes. The big questions are important, but the scientific method is also useful for figuring out the best way to approach, and even solve, specific problems.

Sometimes those specific issues involve engineering the perfect material for the job, or finding out which paint absorbs radar waves the best. Sometimes it’s about making better ads. Read More

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

Do Older Brains Make New Neurons or Not?

By Nathaniel Scharping | April 5, 2018 12:37 pm
Neurons in the brain. (Credit: Andrii Vodolazhskyi/Shutterstock)

Neurons in the brain. (Credit: Andrii Vodolazhskyi/Shutterstock)

One of the most basic things our bodies do is make new cells. It’s what allows tissues to grow and heal, and allows our bodies to continually rejuvenate themselves.

When it comes to cellular replenishment, one of the places researchers are most interested in is the brain. The formation of new brain cells is of critical interest to researchers studying everything from brain injuries to aging to mental illnesses like depression. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts

You’ve Seen This Letter Everywhere, But Can You Write It?

By Lauren Sigfusson | April 4, 2018 4:09 pm
(Credit: Johns Hopkins University)

Which one is correct? (Credit: Johns Hopkins University)

Most of us learn the ABCs in our youth. We see and say the letters so many times they eventually become etched in our minds.

But researchers from Johns Hopkins University discovered that many people don’t know what the most common lowercase print version of the seventh letter of the alphabet really is. Heck, some didn’t even know there were two types. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts
MORE ABOUT: memory & learning

Space Metal Has Captivated Humanity for Ages

By Nathaniel Scharping | April 4, 2018 10:21 am
(Credit: Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock)

(Credit: Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock)

Legions of metal nuggets swirl about our solar system. Metallic asteroids number in the millions, but they’re relatively quite rare—bits and pieces of lonely matter that never became planets.

Occasionally, they find a home. A tiny fraction of these dull, misshapen hunks of metal have rained onto our planet for millennia, sparking briefly alight as they kiss the atmosphere before biting deep into the planet’s surface—if they aren’t incinerated first. Read More

Hubble Spots Farthest Star Ever Seen

By Jake Parks | April 3, 2018 2:15 pm
most distant star

This set of images shows the gravitationally lensed galaxy clusters where astronomers discovered the most distant star ever seen. The star, nicknamed Icarus, is marked by the white arrow in the bottom inset image. (Credit: NASA/ESA/P. Kelly (University of California, Berkeley))

In a study published today in Nature Astronomy, an international team of researchers announced the discovery of the most distant star ever observed. The team detected the blue supergiant star — which shone when the universe was just one-third its current age — with the help of both the Hubble Space Telescope and an observational phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.  Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics
MORE ABOUT: cosmology, stars

What If Your Blood Could Kill Mosquitoes?

By Nathaniel Scharping | April 2, 2018 4:29 pm
(Credit: frank60/Shutterstock)

(Credit: frank60/Shutterstock)

A commonly used anti-parasite drug could be the next weapon in the fight against malaria.

Researchers from Kenya and the United Kingdom report that dosing people with ivermectin, commonly used in heartworm pills, makes them deadly targets for the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. Nearly all of the mosquitoes in the experiment died after drinking ivermectin-laced blood, they say. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts

Digisexuality: Merging Sex and Technology

By Leah Froats | April 2, 2018 2:16 pm
Ryan Gosling regards an AI in Blade Runner: 2049. (Credit: Warner Bros)

Ryan Gosling regards an AI in Blade Runner: 2049. (Credit: Warner Bros)

Human culture has always evolved in tandem with technological developments. And that includes sexuality.

Robots, virtual reality, and telecommunication tech are all just beginning to be repurposed to fulfill sexual needs. They can range from something as simple as vibrators that use Bluetooth to communicate with your phone to advanced AI-based sex dolls, and they fall under the umbrella of digisexuality, a term that describes human sexual interactions involving technology. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, Technology

Your Weekly Attenborough: Euptychia attenboroughi

By Nathaniel Scharping | March 30, 2018 4:12 pm
Euptychia attenboroughi. (Credit: Andrew Neild, Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London)

Euptychia attenboroughi. (Credit: Andrew Neild, Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London)

Small, spotted and dun

flash of wings in the Amazon sun. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts

Cheetah Hitches a Ride During African Safari

By Lauren Sigfusson | March 29, 2018 2:40 pm
cheetah-safari

(Credit: KOMO News/Peter Heistein)

People go on safaris in Africa to see wildlife and experience the wonders of nature. One safari group, however, got uncomfortably close with nature.

Curious about the vehicle, a cheetah jumped on the hood of the group’s vehicle. While everyone focused on that one,  another cheetah decided to jump into the SUV.. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
MORE ABOUT: animals
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