Your Weekly Attenborough: Ctenocheloides attenboroughi

Some species are so rare, so secluded or timid that they flit through our consciousness like a ghost. Perhaps they're known from no more than a single specimen, others, undoubtedly, exist only in the hazy halls of rumor. The diversity of life is too great for us, a single species, to pin every bit of biodiversity under the spotlight of science. Take as an example the ghost shrimp, Ctenocheloides attenboroughi (click through for a picture). The species is known from a single individual, fo

For Mars, NASA Is Thinking Nuclear

Everyone knows NASA has a tough job. Slipping “the surly bonds of Earth” is just the beginning for them. And while getting to the moon, and even Mars, is technically possible right now, one of the biggest problems remains finding and using a decent power source. So why not use nuclear power? Nuclear Know-how No, really. A small nuclear reactor might be the perfect solution, in addition to being pretty safe and clean. Nuclear power, unlike the weaponry, is actually one of the safest

Why Star Wars Space Nazis Shun Killer Robots

Star Wars films tend to dwell upon space fantasy adventures that mix starships with space wizards wielding laser swords in a galaxy far, far away. Despite that focus, a number of Star Wars films also happen to feature another staple of science fiction: killer robots. Fictional killer robots often represent either the agents of greater villains or the primary existential threat to humanity in many science fiction films. Iconic Star Wars villains such as Darth Vader and Kylo Ren would seem

Electronic Skin Puts the World in the Palm of Your Hand

Someday, physically touching our electronic devices will be as archaic as standing up from the recliner to change the channel. Voice recognition systems and home assistants can turn on lights, pull up podcasts and order paper towels on command. Cameras in video game systems and televisions can do our bidding with a gesture. And to the list of hands-free methods of component control, we can add electronic skin. E-skins have been garnering a lot of attention from software and material en

Flu Season Has Exposed Life-Threatening Flaws in Medical Supply Chains

Flu season in the U.S. typically peaks in February, but this year’s outbreak is already one of the worst on record. As of Jan. 6, 20 children have died from the flu, and overall mortality caused by the flu is already double that of last year’s. One reason the flu is so severe this season is that the dominant strain is H3N2, which has an impressive ability to mutate and is particularly aggressive against Americans over 50. Making the threat worse is the fact that most of the IV saline b

Flashback Friday: People are four times as likely to order dessert when their waiter is overweight.

It's January again, which means many people are trying to lose weight. Previous studies have shown that you are likely to eat more if you are dining with an overweight companion. But what if you are at a restaurant and it's your server who is overweight? In this study, the researchers observed almost 500 interactions between diners and servers in 60 restaurants. They found that diners waited on by someone a high BMI (body mass index) were four times more likely to order dessert, and ordered

Why 1 Second Is 1 Second

Just what is a second, exactly? The question has been open to interpretation ever since the first long-case grandfather clocks began marking off seconds in the mid-17th century and introduced the concept to the world at large. The answer, simply, is that a second is 1/60th of a minute, or 1/360th of an hour. But that's just pushing the question down the road a bit. After all, what's an hour? That answer is related to the best means of time-keeping ancient civilizations had — the movement

What Happened the Last Time Antarctica Melted?

Earlier this week, an international team of geologists and climate scientists parked their ship off the coast of West Antarctica and started drilling. Their mission: To find out why glaciers here melted millions of years ago and what that can tell us about what’s happening today. Over the next couple months, their ship, the International Ocean Discovery Program’s JOIDES Resolution, will drill at least five core samples reaching thousands of feet below the Ross Sea. These cores will let sc

Hunter-Gatherers Are Masters of Smell

What’s easier for you: identifying what color something is, or identifying a smell from a source you cannot see? If you’re like most people, color comes more easily. That, however, isn’t the case for all humans. According to a new study published Thursday in Current Biology, those who practice a hunter-gatherer lifestyle have an edge when it comes to naming a particular funk. Evolving at the Speed of Smell So why are people often better at describing what they see versus what they smell

Droning While Drunk Is Now Illegal in New Jersey

Alcohol affects everyone a bit differently—some people take a few sips of beer and they’re stumbling all over, while others can ingest far more and still walk straight. You see, consuming alcohol affects the brain, which can impact your coordination and ability to think clearly—both of which are important to safely operating vehicles of all kinds, including drones. As of Monday, it is illegal in New Jersey for people to fly drones under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as reported by Re

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