Next time you take your temperature, maybe think twice about its accuracy. Despite what the mercury says, not all of your cells are really at 98.6 degrees, scientists reported in a new study. Using nanoscale thermometers, researchers have shown for the first time that living cells can exist at different temperatures. Busy sections are warmer, and less-active ones are cooler.
The slightest whisper of warmth induces miscalculations in the world’s most precise atomic clock, researchers say. Accounting for this effect can make future clocks even more precise, eventually leading to atomic clocks that lose only one second every 32 billion years — about two and a half times the age of the universe itself.