fbpx
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Tiny tardigrades crash-landed on the Moon and most likely made it through

Tiny tardigrades crash-landed on the Moon and most likely made it...

Enlarge / SEM image of Milnesium tardigradum in active state. Totes adorbz. Tardigrades, more commonly known as "water bears," are microscopic creatures capable of surviving the harshest extreme conditions. In fact, they were the first animal to survive in the vacuum of space in 2007. Now, it seems, they might be ready to colonize the…
Transmittable cancer hasn’t done much over the last 4,000 years

Transmittable cancer hasn’t done much over the last 4,000 years

Enlarge / Does this dog look concerned because he realizes he can catch an infectious cancer? Cancer is a horrific disease, with its damage only limited by the fact that it only harms the individual in which it arises—except when it doesn't. In a few extremely rare cases, cancerous cells have evolved the ability to…
Safari traveler snaps might produce helpful preservation information

Safari traveler snaps might produce helpful preservation information

Enlarge / A pack of African wild dogs. Megan Claase Conservation efforts need data. To understand how a species is faring, it's essential to have information on roughly how many members of that species are living and where they're living. But this kind of information is fiendishly tricky and expensive to get. Wilderness areas cover…
When it pertains to ethical choices, testosterone does not appear to do much

When it pertains to ethical choices, testosterone does not appear to...

Enlarge / The trolley problem brought to (after) life. NBC The Trolley Problem is a staple of ethics courses and has even made its way into prime-time television. It's a problem because it forces people to decide between two options that are both considered highly ethical: not choosing to kill someone, and minimizing the total…
Zombifying fungi bypasses the brain to make ants its puppets, research study discovers

Zombifying fungi bypasses the brain to make ants its puppets, research...

Enlarge / A dead ant that has been taken over by a species of Cordyceps in the Rio Claro Reserve in Colombia. Pity the poor unsuspecting carpenter ant who unwittingly becomes infected with spores scattered by a parasitic fungus in the Cordyceps genus. The spores attach to the ant and germinate, spreading through the host's…
Musk’s most recent start-up is venturing into a series of difficult issues

Musk’s most recent start-up is venturing into a series of difficult...

Enlarge / Elon Musk in Idaho in 2015. Tonight, Elon Musk has scheduled an event where he intends to unveil his plans for Neuralink, a startup company he announced back in 2017, then went silent on. If you go to the Neuralink website now, all you'll find is a vague description of its goal to…
2 methods successfully restrict the spread of science denialism

2 methods successfully restrict the spread of science denialism

Debunking the flat Earth is a relatively easy task. “Vaccines are safe and effective,” write researchers Philipp Schmid and Cornelia Betsch in a paper published in Nature Human Behavior this week. “Humans cause global warming. Evolution theory explains the diversity and change of life.” But large numbers of people do not believe that these statements…
Physics suggests a few of Earth’s earliest animals assisted each other feed

Physics suggests a few of Earth’s earliest animals assisted each other...

Enlarge / The result of a fluid mechanics simulation with multiple Erniettas. Dave Mazierski What drove the evolution of the earliest animal life? In modern animals, it's easy to infer a lot about an organism's lifestyle based on its anatomy. Even back in the Cambrian, with its large collection of bizarre looking creatures, these inferences…
We might have accidentally picked for muscles on pets’ faces

We might have accidentally picked for muscles on pets’ faces

Enlarge / A muscle flex raises the inner portions of the eyebrow at right. Humans domesticated dogs about 30,000 years ago. Since then, we've worked with them, hunted with them, played with them, and come to rely on them for companionship. And, in the process, we've bred them for everything from general cuteness to the…
Why do bats have such bizarrely long life-spans?

Why do bats have such bizarrely long life-spans?

In mammals, there's a relatively simple relationship among metabolism, body mass, and lifespan. For the most part, as the size of the mammal goes up, its metabolism slows down and its longevity increases. There are exceptions, and we are one of them. We're much longer lived than other mammals with a similar body mass. Bears, which…

Recent Posts