Entered By: grant on January 7, 2015 No Observations

Science Daily finds the truth behind the old wives’ tale, that common cold viruses flourish in conditions cooler than body temperature – like a nose in winter:

To investigate the relationship between temperature and immune response, [Yale professor of immunobiology Akiko] Iwasaki and an interdisciplinary team of Yale researchers spearheaded by Ellen Foxman, a postdoctoral […]

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Entered By: grant on January 6, 2015 No Observations

New Scientist watches the Messenger probe prepare to take a final spin around the hottest planet – with one last firing of its engines:

Engineers expect the 120-second engine burn to give the craft an 80-kilometre lift that will keep it aloft until March. But before then, as Messenger swoops low over the planet, […]

Entered By: grant on January 5, 2015 No Observations

LiveScience examines how and why rats are aroused by tiny vests:

In an unusual study, researchers allowed virgin male rats to have sex with females wearing special rodent “jackets.” Later, when scientists gave the males a chance to mate again, the animals preferred to mate with jacket-wearing female rats rather than with unclad ones.

The findings […]

Entered By: grant on January 4, 2015 No Observations
Science Art: <i>While master @AstroTerry cuts, apprentice @AntonAstrey is at the vacuum cleaner. Apprendista Anton all’aspirapolvere,</i> by Sam Cristoforetti.

Performing delicate procedures in space: a zero-G haircut for New Year’s.

From Italian astronaut @AstroSamantha’s Twitter feed.

The process starts here, if you want to follow along.

This might seem a little trivial and flippant (and there’s plenty of laughing in the photos), but if people are going to live in space for long […]

Entered By: grant on January 2, 2015 No Observations

Scientific American‘s Michael Shermer gets at the root of why we’re so fascinated with the walking dead:

Zombies, for one thing, fit into the horror genre in which monstrous creatures—like dangerous predators in our ancestral environment—trigger physiological fight-or-flight reactions such as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and the release of such […]

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Entered By: grant on December 31, 2014 No Observations

Nature profiles the amazing new high-atmosphere vehicle for exploring space from Antarctica:

If all continues smoothly, experts expect the flight to last for 100 days or longer. The current record for the longest NASA scientific ballooning flight is 55 days, using a traditional balloon. The record for a super-pressure balloon is just a day […]

Entered By: grant on December 30, 2014 No Observations

University of Cambridge researchers have gotten to the root of the chord. (See, that’s a music theory joke.) No, really, they’ve found was seems to be the oldest written music with more than one note playing at the same time:

The inscription is believed to date back to the start of the 10th century […]

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Entered By: grant on December 28, 2014 No Observations
Science Art: <i>Nest of the Honey-Wasp Attacked by Jaguar</i>, 1916

Click to embiggen

From Marvels of Insect Life: A Popular Account of Structure and Habit, edited by Edward Step, found in the BioDiversity Library.

This is probably not exactly the book Dylan Thomas was thinking of (but it might have been) when he wrote about receiving gifts for Christmas including “books that told […]

Entered By: grant on December 27, 2014 No Observations

SONG: “Not Even Dancing Works.” [Download]

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on “Zoologger: Dancing in time makes crabs sexual failures“, New Scientist, 4 December 2014, as used in the post “Dancing to the beat makes fiddler crab sexual… failures.”

ABSTRACT: Are songs about dancing dumb? I dunno. Hard to […]

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