This story sounds like the stuff of hardcore science fiction, but it’s really a heartwarming squirrel success story. Over 30,000 years ago, some industrious Siberian squirrels collected nuts and seeds and stored them in their hibernation burrows. When scientists discovered these burrows in modern day Russia, they were buried more than 60 feet below the surface, and they contained thousands of seed samples that had been effectively flash-frozen, preserved perfectly under the permafrost. Here’s where things get really crazy: scientists were able to use fruit tissues recovered from these ice age squirrel burrows to resurrect the Silene stenophylla plant, and the new specimen is fertile, complete with white flowers and viable seeds. Is this one more step toward making the plot of “Encino Man” a reality? We can only wait, and hope. [ABC News]
If nothing else, this website is devoted to helping you find a mate … using science. After all, attracting a partner is still a thankless chore full of wearing pants and pretending to care.
Or is it? Turns out there are even more things that get people to consider knowing us in the biblical way, and they’re so subtle and random that pants-wearing just seems stupid now. Things like … Read more …
Are you creative? Have you cheated? Well then, it might be because you’re creative. We’re not necessarily talking about cheating on a partner or anything — but say cheating on a test, or at a task? A new study from Harvard University published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that creative thinkers are more likely to find “original ways to bypass moral rules.”
“Ethical dilemmas often require people to weigh two opposing forces: the desire to maximize self-interest and the desire to maintain a positive view of oneself,” explain lead study professors Francesca Gino and Dan Ariely. “Recent research has suggested that individuals tend to resolve this tension through self-serving rationalizations: They behave dishonestly enough to profit from their unethical behavior but honestly enough to maintain a positive self-concept as honest human beings.” Keep reading »
Science is a beautiful thing. Science has brought us many technological advancements, such as and including, air travel, tanning beds and mini-pizzas. But there are many things that science has yet to deliver on. And that’s got us kind of mad with science. We kind of want to have some words with science, okay? In the meantime, we’ll settle for assembling an incomplete list of all the things that we wish science would just get to working on, already. This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to include your own special requests in the comments. Keep reading »
Science, man. It’s a mystery. It seems that lately, science — rather than focusing on curing diseases or solving impending environmental disasters — has taken it upon itself to address an age-old problem: people with brown eyes. Yes, yes, some of you may in fact suffer from this affliction, but worry no more. A scientific solution is upon us!
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When a cockroach wants to shake a tail feather, what music does it prefer? Apparently, Lady Gaga. This summer, four teenagers in an engineering program at New York’s Cooper Union were studying the movement of roaches by hooking them up to electrodes and then exposing them to electric pulses. But soon the roaches got used to the pulses and stopped moving about. Desperate to find a way to get the roaches moving, the guys decided to try playing music for them. They tried Weezer, but got no response from the bugs. Ditto for heavy metal rockers Avenged Sevenfold. But when they started playing Lady Gaga—well, the roaches responded immediately, and never stopped their flapping. And the gross little buggers presumably have no idea that the woman once wore their dream dress, crafted entirely of meat. So what happened here? “The bass in Gaga’s song ‘Bad Romance’ prevented habituation since it’s not consistent,” explained one of the experimenters. I hope Lady Gaga is happy to hear that she has even littler monster fans than she ever anticipated. [NY Daily News] Keep reading »
Anyone can make a beer ad: boobs, butts, more boobs, and an ice cold brewski. Don Draper, we have a winner! It turns out that monkey advertising is very similar to that of their two-legged ancestors: sex sells. According to New Scientist, researchers will soon study the effect of ads on monkey behavior modification. Laurie Santos, the Yale University primatologist, and Keith Olwell and Elizabeth Kiehner, two New York ad execs, plan to advertise a tasty treat to brown capuchin monkeys who live in captivity. (They will probably use JELLO.) One treat will be advertised on “billboards” inside the monkeys’ enclosure and the other won’t be; when the capuchins are presented with the desserts, the researchers want to see if the advertising had any effect. But just how does one market JELLO to monkeys? Keep reading »