An otherwise risqué exhibit offers surprising new insight into the evolutionary imperative of sex
Sex and science usually steer clear of one another, and rightfully so. Most people don’t want their sex clinical and most researchers don’t want their science emotional. Yet lately the science of sex seems to have entered the public discourse in a big way. Olivia Judson (author of Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice To All Creation) blogs for the New York Times; and Bonk, a book about scientific research into the how's and why’s of sex, is a best seller.
Nature unleashes a torrent of energy as ash fills the air
Chalten: Carlos Gutierrez/UPI
lying dormant for more than 9,000 years, the Chaitén volcano belched forth a 40,000-foot-tall ash plume in early May, touching off lightning and a monthlong eruption. The volcano, situated 700 miles south of Santiago, Chile, forced the evacuation of 8,000 people from the nearby village of Chaitén. It was roughly comparable in size to the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption that released hundreds of millions of tons of debris in an explosion 1,000 times as powerful as the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki.
Scientists overcome quantum mechanics weirdness to pave the way for nanotechnology
In the strange, subatomic world of quantum mechanics, even complete nothingness exerts a force. According to a principle known as the Casimir Effect, two plates separated by an incredibly small space will experience a force pushing them together. While the Casimir effect isn’t powerful enough to affect daily life, it has complicated efforts to build effective nanotechnology.
Scientists discover the drug may help dementia patients retain memory for as many as six additional months
The effects of smoking have been well documented. Heart disease and emphysema, lung cancer and yellow teeth; the list seems to go on forever. Well, add one more to that list: enhanced memory. A new study conducted at King’s College in London indicates that the addictive and highly toxic chemical nicotine might improve memory and stave off the onset of dementia.
A newly discovered galaxy turned out 4,000 stars a year, contradicting a long standing theory
Baby Boomer: The Baby Boom galaxy churned out stars at a never-before-seen-rate. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Subaru
Considering the birth rate, astronomers might have named this the Rabbit Galaxy. According to a new paper in today’s issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters
, researchers have discovered a galaxy that birthed stars 400 times faster than our Milky Way, overturning previously held ideas about the formation of giant galaxies
A new study throws yet another wrench into our understanding of global climate change
Wait, now pollution is preventing
global warming? That’s the conclusion of a recent study
in the journal Geophysical Research Letters
, which says rising temperatures seen in Europe over the last few years result as much from the reduction of air pollution as from the creation of it. The research, which looked at the effects of aerosols on climate, confirms an older concept known as global dimming, and complicates our understanding of how mankind affects the climate.
A former adviser says the Vice President ignored important testimony from the CDC that linked carbon dioxide to health problems
In addition to drowning polar bears and winning Al Gore a Nobel Prize, climate change may have serious public health consequences. But thanks to Vice President Cheney, you may not find out what those health implications are until you feel them. Today a former Environmental Protection Agency official said Cheney pushed for the deletion of key components of congressional testimony.
Putin insists the traditionally red country go green in time for the 2014 Olympics
Vladimir Putin has worn many hats, from KGB officer to judo master to Bond-villain like autocrat. Well, add a new persona to the list: environmentalist. Today Putin announced that he will be moving the site of the 2014 winter Olympics because of concerns construction for the event would cause ecological damage in the ski resort town of Sochi.
Natural impurities in silicon could lead the way to the fastest computers ever imagined
Much like cold fusion, nano-computing always seems ten years off. The years go by, technology advances, but the goal doesn’t seem to get any closer. Last week, however, a team of Purdue University scientists reported overcoming a major hurdle in the path to creating a functional quantum computer.
Just days after discovering ice on Mars, scientists stumble upon morning dew
A couple of days ago, it was big news when ice was found on Mars. Now, an upcoming study in the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta claims that the Martian environment was once wet enough to produce morning dew. This finding runs counter to the more widely accepted view that liquid water on Mars seeped up from the ground, rather than falling from the sky as precipitation.
The country finds an unexpected eco-leader in Delaware and its revolutionary offshore wind farms
Since becoming the first state to ratify the Constitution, Delaware hasn’t exactly retained its leader-of-the-pack status. But now, as every state scrambles to shore up its economic future by investing in alternative energy, Delaware may be the site of another triumphant first. This week, a local energy company announced that Delaware will be the first to invest in offshore wind power.
New research calls into question the popularly accepted link between driving fast and dying young
As the host of one of the oldest and most famous racing events in the world, Indiana has always been known for fast cars. For now, those cars are still stuck on the racetrack, but a new study in the journal Transportation Research Record claims the roads are no more dangerous when motorists drive at Andretti-like speeds, providing further data in support of an American autobahn.
A study of worker bees offers proof of Richard Dawkins' famous theory
Before Richard Dawkins became famous as an anti-religion crusader, he reshaped the theory of evolution with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. In the book, Dawkins proposed the idea that genes, rather than organisms, compete with each other for the chance to propagate themselves. While the theory has now been widely accepted for decades, a new study in the July issue of the journal Genetics claims to have isolated the first concrete proof of a selfish gene.
The Phoenix Lander has uncovered what it was sent to look for -- water ice! NASA's follow-up mission hopes to uncover a team of little green hockey players
NASA spent $420 million to send the Phoenix Lander to Mars last year. Festooned with state-of-the-art detection equipment, the rover's task was to scour the red surface in search of elusive Martian ice. And today, the NASA mission finally did uncover some extraterrestrial frost, and it did it with its simplest tool, a shovel.
Not content with laying its eggs inside a caterpillar's body, a parasitic wasp then turns the host into a zombie babysitter
Let's hope the Glyptapanteles wasp continues to find caterpillars tastier than humans — otherwise mankind might be in some trouble. As if laying 80 eggs inside of a caterpillar's body weren't bad enough, a new study published by the Public Library of Science details how the wasp larvae then take over the mind of the caterpillar, turning it into a zombie-like bodyguard.