By Kaitlin Vortherms
New and exponentially increasing amounts of biomedical research can yield valuable insight into rare diseases, cures, devices, procedures, and more. This growth, however, can sometimes overwhelm scientists and the public alike: the amount of scientific research published in 2014 was more than triple the amount published in 1990, and this trend continues today. While this research has the potential to lead to valuable, lifesaving insights, it is not only hard for scientists t ...read more
The LCLS Coherent X-ray Imaging Experimental Station. (Credit: Nathan Taylor/SLAC)
When researchers want to take pictures of very small things, like individual molecules, they have to get creative.
When scales shrink to seemingly imperceivable levels, images must be captured using indirect techniques that record how the subject being photographed interacts with its environment. One way to do this is by observing how a beam of particles disperses around the object. Working backward, r ...read more
Don’t skimp on the SPF. (Credit: Sabphoto/Shutterstock)
Kerry Hanson, University of California, Riverside
Not so long ago, people like my Aunt Muriel thought of sunburn as a necessary evil on the way to a “good base tan.” She used to slather on the baby oil while using a large reflector to bake away. Aunt Muriel’s mantra when the inevitable burn and peel appeared: Beauty has its price.
Was she ever right about that price – but it was a lot higher than any of ...read more
Goats grazing on an argan tree in southwestern Morocco. In the fruiting season, many clean argan nuts are spat out by the goats while chewing their cud. (Credit: H. Garrido/EBD-CSIC)
What do goats and squirrels have in common?
They both climb trees, of course. While squirrels live amongst the branches, goats, or at least those in arid regions, climb them for dinner. And that’s good for the goats, and the trees.
Scientists have discovered that the domesticated goats in southern Morocco be ...read more
The outer sarcophagus of a woman buried at Abusir el-Malaq. (Credit: bpk/Aegyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, SMB/Sandra Steiss)
DNA recovered from ancient Egyptians mummies is revealing the mosaic of cultures that came to dominate the region.
German researchers gathered genetic data from over 100 mummies stored in museum collections and analyzed it with updated sequencing techniques. They amassed 90 mitochondrial DNA sequences and three full genomes, a collection ...read more
A color-coded view from a self-driving car operated by Waymo. Credit: Waymo
Silicon Valley tech giants and Detroit automakers have to convince people to trust self-driving cars before they can sell the futuristic technology to customers. That may prove tricky considering the public’s lingering fears and concerns regarding self-driving cars. A recent AI-assisted analysis of more than one trillion social posts revealed that scared-face emoticons related to self-dri ...read more
American troops on Renault FT tanks going forward to the battle line in the Forest of Argonne. France, September 26, 1918. Credit: U.S. National Archives
New York City Memorial Day celebrations have featured parades of military hardware almost since the earliest commemorations following the U.S. Civil War. Barely 15 years after that war’s end, Union Army veterans from New Jersey marched alongside a battery of rapid-fire Gatling guns in a New York City parade described as being ...read more
Good looking, sociable people don’t make good scientists, according to popular stereotypes.
This is one of the findings of an interesting new study of how scientists are perceived, from British researchers Ana I. Gheorghiu and colleagues.
Gheorghiu et al. took 616 pictures of scientists, which they downloaded from the faculty pages at various universities. They gave the portraits to two sets of raters. The first group were asked to rate the attractiveness of the portraits and to say whethe ...read more
Eating your own placenta: some people (many of them celebrities) claim that it is a miracle cure-all, helping a new mother overcome everything from postpartum depression to low milk production. But is there actually any proof to these claims? Not that pro-placentophagers (we just made that word up) will likely care, but according to this meta-analysis of the literature, there is little scientific proof for any of these health claims. More specifically, the authors conc ...read more
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