Posts

October 24, 2014

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1:09 PM | These Real-Life Alien Worlds Could Become Humanity's New Home In 'Interstellar'
Artist's conception of exoplanet Gliese 667 Cc's surface. ESO/L. Calçada In the upcoming film, Interstellar, a group of heroes blasts off from a dying Earth to search for a new home for humanity. For reasons that aren’t explained in the trailer, the solar system (including Mars) apparently cannot help. Instead, the extraplanetary explorers must seek out Earth 2.0 in another star system. “There are twelve potentially habitable worlds within our reach,” […]

October 23, 2014

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10:30 PM | Why Liberia Needs Help NOW To Prevent 98,000 Ebola Cases
Ebola ward in Lagos, Nigeria. CDC Global via Flickr CC By 2.0 The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is growing exponentially. The latest reports suggest that at least 9,915 people have been infected, and 4,555 have died. And this is just the beginning. Previously, the CDC estimated that a startling 1.4 million West Africans could be infected by January.   The outbreak is already considered to be out of control, and according to a paper published today in The Lancet […]

October 20, 2014

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8:15 PM | Physics Explains Ingrown Toenails
Fingernails. Neil Milne via Flickr CC By SA-2.0 Humans have been dealing with painful nail problems for a long time. And surgeons have been trying to fix those problems since at least the 7th century, when the Greek physician Paul of Aegina wrote about surgical treatments for nail conditions. Although many of these conditions, such as ingrown nails, are well known, they’re not terribly well understood. In a paper in Physical Biology, scientists have published the first […]

October 17, 2014

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6:00 PM | Rubber Ducky Comet Site Needs A Catchy Name
The landing area currently known as Site J. ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA The astronomy community isn’t always great at naming things. The Rosetta spacecraft, for example, is currently orbiting a comet with the unsightly name of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. On November 12, Rosetta will release its lander, Philae—the first manmade object ever to touch down on a comet—and the European Space Agency needs your help to […]

October 07, 2014

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7:00 PM | Why Orange Juice Tastes Disgusting After You Brush Your Teeth
OJ Jeremy Keith via Flickr CC By 2.0 In a handy video, the American Chemical Society has explained why orange juice (and food in general) tastes like soap after you brush your teeth. The basic gist is that a detergent called sodium lauryl sulfate, found within your toothpaste, blocks the sweet receptors on your tongue and ramps up your bitterness receptors. The ACS has a more detailed explanation below: Next, hopefully they'll tackle the question […]

October 03, 2014

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5:06 PM | Free To Good Home: 145 Wild Bison
Oh give me a home... U.S. Department of Agriculture, via Flickr CC By 2.0 If you’ve ever wanted to adopt a bison, now’s your chance. Reuters is reporting that Yellowstone National Park is giving away 145 bison to conservation organizations in five different states—including the Bronx and Queens zoos in New York, the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.  The America bison (whose scientific name, we’re delighted […]

October 01, 2014

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9:15 PM | Werid Crystal Can Absorb All The Oxygen In A Room -- And Then Release It Later
Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark say they’ve invented a crystal that pulls oxygen out of the air and even water. Apparently, just a spoonful of the stuff can suck up all the oxygen in a room.  The Oxygen-Absorbing Material. U. of Southern Denmark The crystal is a salt made from cobalt*, and it appears to be capable of holding oxygen at a concentration that is 160 times higher than the air we breathe. The paper notes that "an excess" of the […]
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9:15 PM | Weird Crystal Can Absorb All The Oxygen In A Room -- And Then Release It Later
Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark say they’ve invented a crystal that pulls oxygen out of the air and even water. Apparently, just a spoonful of the stuff can suck up all the oxygen in a room.  The Oxygen-Absorbing Material. U. of Southern Denmark The crystal is a salt made from cobalt*, and it appears to be capable of holding oxygen at a concentration that is 160 times higher than the air we breathe. The paper notes that "an excess" of the […]

September 30, 2014

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8:30 PM | Video: How Tiny Sea Monkeys Drive Huge Ocean Currents
Remember those old sea monkey kits, with the pictures that made it look like you could raise tiny mermen in a fish tank? My parents never bought me one (despite my best efforts), but apparently a lot of kids were severely disappointed when their freeze-dried eggs hatched and looked like this instead: This Is What Sea Monkeys Actually Look Like. © Hans Hillewaert via Wikimedia Commons Well, it turns out that we may have dramatically underestimated the sea monkey (a.k.a. […]
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