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On 25 May

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71 Feedburner Blogs What I Learned Studying Real Vampires
[Editor's note: One of the most popular articles on our site is a piece by Georgia Institute of Technology researcher John Edgar Browning about his work with the real vampire community, published in March 2015. In it, Browning discusses what a real vampire is, how they live their lives, and what researchers are hoping to learn about them. Here, he expands on the difficulties of finding and studying this enigmatic group of people, as well as the lessons he's learned in the process.]-W
Thursday, 17 May 2018
72 Feedburner Blogs What Makes A Hit Song?
How successful would the 1968 hit ?Hey Jude? be if not recorded by The Beatles? At over 7 minutes long, the song shattered the notion pop tunes need be 3 minutes or less. More than half of ?Hey Jude? is a fade-out coda of ?na, na, nas,? a first for pop music. The song was No. 1 on the Billboard charts for nine weeks.In a study published Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science, researchers from the University of California, Irvine try to answer what makes a song a chart-toppin
Wednesday, 16 May 2018
73 Feedburner Blogs What Makes A Tree A Tree?
Several years ago, after Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house in Vermont, lightning struck a backyard maple tree. There was a ferocious crack and the darkness outside the kitchen windows briefly turned day-bright. It wasn't until spring that we knew for certain the tree was dead.This maple was a youngster, its trunk the diameter of a salad plate. Were its life not cut short by catastrophe, the tree might have lived 300 years. But death by disaster is surprisingly common in trees. Som
Monday, 16 April 2018
74 Feedburner Blogs When An Infected Tooth Becomes Much More
Earlier this year, a surgical resident was paged to the emergency room to evaluate a man with an angry mass bulging beneath his chin.Dr. Habib Zalzal half race-walked, half ran to find a panting 40-year-old in obvious distress. In addition to an infection, the man had a choked, high-pitched voice, an elevated tongue, a swollen neck, and a drool. ?Please help me,? read the panicked look on his face.In his patient's eyes, Dr. Zalzal also saw such hopelessness and fatigue he feared the
Wednesday, 09 May 2018
75 Feedburner Blogs Why Are Our Brains So Big, Anyway?
Not to give us a collective swelled head or anything, but the Homo sapiens brain is big. Really big.For years, researchers have puzzled over why our noggin-embiggening occurred: Big brains are, after all, costly to feed. One leading theory held that our brains increased in size to manage the cognitive demands of ever-more complex communications and other social processes. New research suggests, however, that interactions with each other played only a small role compared with the big driv
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76 Feedburner Blogs Why I Became a Neuroscientist
I've been thinking lately about the question of what leads scientists to choose a discipline. Why does someone end up as a chemist rather than a biologist? A geneticist as opposed to a cognitive neuroscientist?We might hope that people choose their discipline based on an understanding of what doing research in each discipline involves, but I don't think this often happens. I know it didn't happen in my case. Here, then, is how I became a neuroscientist.As far back as I can remember,
Sunday, 29 April 2018
77 FeedBurner Technology Why Scientists Taught A Spider to Jump on Command
Spiders may give you the creeps, but they're pretty cool critters. They create silk that scientists are still learning from, and use them to spin webs that are natural works of symmetric art.And, uh, some spiders can jump. That might not seem as cool ? and certainly doesn't help on the creepiness front ? but as a team of UK scientists has shown, we could learn a lot from the leaps a spider makes, too.How to Train Your SpiderBut before they could learn a spider's secrets, the team had
Tuesday, 08 May 2018
78 Feedburner Blogs With Parasites, Nothing is Sacred: Study Finds Lungworms Alter How Their Host Toads Poop
Parasites are nature's master puppeteers. Jewel wasps can make cockroaches into docile, edible nannies for their young with just a sting, for example. Some nematodes convince the insects they infect to commit watery suicide because their larvae are aquatic. It's even thought that Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that usually infects rats and cats, can alter our brains when we accidentally host them instead, subtly altering our personalities and maybe even making us more likely to commit suicide
Saturday, 28 April 2018
79 Feedburner Blogs Your Emergency Contact Does More Than You Think
You know when you're filling out your medical paperwork and it asks for your emergency contact? Sure, the process might be annoying, but that emergency contact could actually be put to good use by researchers.Since many of us use a family member, those contacts can help scientists create family trees. And they can also be used for genetics and disease research, according to a study released Thursday in Cell. Discovering what diseases are inheritable can be a laborious and expensive proce
Thursday, 17 May 2018
80 FeedBurner Technology Your Next Pilot Could Be Drone Software
Would you get on a plane that didn't have a human pilot in the cockpit? Half of air travelers surveyed in 2017 said they would not, even if the ticket was cheaper. Modern pilots do such a good job that almost any air accident is big news, such as the Southwest engine disintegration on Tuesday.But stories of pilot drunkenness, rants, fights and distraction, however rare, are reminders that pilots are only human. Not every plane can be flown by a disaster-averting pilot, like Southwest Cap
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
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