A Woman’s Uterus May Play a Role in Memory and Cognition

(Inside Science) -- In medical textbooks, the nonpregnant uterus is often described as quiescent, dormant and useless. But now, researchers have found that the uterus may play a role in memory and cognition -- a role hitherto unappreciated because researchers haven’t looked closely at the uterus’s role outside of pregnancy. A third of women in the U.S. have their uteruses removed, a procedure called hysterectomy, by age 60, according to Heather Bimonte-Nelson, who directs Arizona State Un

Can We Blame Our Genes for Our Decisions?

Forget meditation, forget ayahuasca ceremonies and mindfulness practice. Today, knowing yourself is as easy as swabbing your cheek. Home genetics tests like those offered by 23andme are becoming readily affordable — just $69 for a test kit — and they offer an unprecedented look at our personal blueprint. It’s even possible today to study the genetics of your potential offspring before they’re born. So-called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis analyzes DNA from an embryo, when it’s nothing

What Does Mars Sound Like? InSight Just Recorded Martian Wind

On November 26, NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander successfully touched down on Mars. Though the probe’s main goal is to explore the planet’s interior, its sophisticated instruments are also offering a unique way to explore the Martian surface — by recording the sound of Martian wind. Windswept Sounds of Mars The recordings capture the sounds of winds gusting through Elysium Planitia, InSight’s Martian home, at about

Get Out and Watch the Geminid Meteor Shower This Week

The spectacular Geminid meteor shower peaks the night of December 13/14. Although many people consider it to be a poor cousin to August’s Perseid shower, the Geminids often put on a better show. This year, observers can expect to see up to 120 “shooting stars” per hour — an average of nearly two per minute — under a dark sky. Viewing conditions could hardly be better for the Geminids this year. The waxing crescent moon sets around 10:30 p.m. local time, leaving the prime viewing hours aft

After More Than 40 Years, Voyager 2 Has Gone Interstellar

Escaping the Heliosphere Humanity has another interstellar emissary. After launching in 1977, NASA’s trailblazing spacecraft Voyager 2 has finally escaped the heliosphere, the Sun's protective bubble of charged particles. It follows in the path of its sibling,  Voyager 1, which crossed into interstellar space in 2012. The Sun's solar wind makes up the heliosphere, which surrounds us and all of the planets in our solar system. The boundary where the hot solar winds of the heliosphere end

NASA Releases First Data from OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Mission

OSIRIS-REx Findings OSIRIS-REx has been busy ever since it arrived at the asteroid Bennu on December 3. The latest updates from NASA reveal that the space rock is porous, blue, and covered in massive boulders. More excitingly, they discovered evidence that Bennu's minerals interacted with water at some point in its distant past. During a press conference today at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting, NASA's OSIRIS-REx team revealed the first results from their spacecraft's ong

The Way You Hold Your Steering Wheel Could Seriously Injure You in a Crash

Last year I learned to drive again after a 10-year break. I was surprised how dramatically cars had evolved in that period; I learned to be way lighter on the gas and brake, and whenever I used a rear-view camera to park, I felt like I was cheating. I didn’t learn this: it’s no longer ideal to hold your steering wheel…

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How to See This Year’s ‘Christmas Comet’ and Geminid Meteor Shower

If you can brave the cold long enough to find a clear patch of night sky, you can watch two bright astronomical phenomena this December: the 46P/Wirtanen “Christmas comet” and the Geminid meteor shower.

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SNAPSHOT: Scientists Make Lava, Then Blow It Up

Making lava to blow it up — that’s what scientists at the University of Buffalo have been up to. The first results of a long-term study led by Ingo Sonder, shown here stirring molten rock, were published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. The group has been cooking up lava in 10-gallon batches and injecting them with water to better understand the explosive reactions that sometimes occur when the two meet. “If you think about a volcanic eruption, there are powerfu

How to Get Your Workaholic Spouse Back

There are many demands on our time, especially after we’re partnered, with kids, or other family obligations. In a perfect world, it would be easy to prioritize our relationships. For many, getting away from work to be with family is not just difficult; work is an addiction.

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