Hagfish are jawless, spineless creatures that live at the bottom of the ocean and eat dead whales. When they are attacked or threatened, they spray predators with a slimy substance, and someday in the not-too-distant future, your clothing might be made out of that lovely slime. Here’s the deal: as of now, most synthetic fabrics such as nylon and spandex are made from oil. As we all know painfully well, oil is not a renewable resource, and at some point we’ll need to find a new way to make our hoodies and slutty yoga pants. Keep reading »
Yvonne Brill, 88, died last week in New Jersey. According to her New York Times obituary, which ran on Saturday, her standout accomplishments were the eight years she took off from work to raise her three children, the way she followed her husband from job to job, and her “mean beef stroganoff” recipe.
Oh, yeah, and she was also a pioneering rocket scientist for NASA who invented the jet propulsion system that keeps satellites orbiting properly. In 2011, Brill received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama. You know, no biggie. Keep reading »
Science, always out there doing things like landing car-sized robots on the moon and then making twitter accounts for them, or discovering the particle responsible for matter having mass and then shutting down for “upgrades.” What has it ever done for you, personally these days?
It’s good to see some scientists tackling the important issues, like how to get rid of a song that’s been stuck in your head.
Unsurprisingly, researchers have found that the most effective way to get a song out of your head is to perform a mental task like solving a puzzle. Specifically, they used anagrams and Sudoku. You’ve got to hit something of a sweet spot, though. Read more…
Daisy Morris, a nine-year-old girl from Whitwell, England, has been interested in fossil-hunting since she was just a toddler. Back in 2009, while walking along the beach on the Isle of Wight with her family, Daisy, then just four years-old, noticed a tiny black bone protruding from the sand. “I saw [the bone] poking out of the ground, so I dug it up,” she explains. The family presented Daisy’s find to a fossil expert at Southampton University, who knew instantly it was something special. Keep reading »
Yesterday, doctors announced that they had, for the first time, cured a baby who was born with HIV, an incredible achievement that could lead to more aggressive treatments used on babies born with HIV and a reduction of the number of children living with the virus that causes AIDS. Dr. Deborah Persaud, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and lead author of the report on the baby, said, “It’s proof of principle that we can cure HIV infection if we can replicate this case.’’ Once the doctors’ report has been confirmed, the baby would be only the second documented case of an HIV patient being cured. (The first was a middle-aged man with leukemia named Timothy Brown, who received a bone-marrow transplant from a donor genetically resistant to H.I.V. infection.) Keep reading »
Women, we are difficult, fickle creatures. In our tabloids we body shame famous ladies, and in our magazines we gawk at every slim model body demonstrating the latest fashion trends. But when it comes to advertising? We don’t want skinny models or famous women. A new study from the Warwick Business School found that women are actually turned off by advertising featuring products set alongside models and celebrities.
That’s because, say researchers, skinny minnies and beautiful celebrities make us feel bad about ourselves.
Duh. Keep reading »