Formosan subterranean termites, which are in the same genus as Asian subterranean termites. (Credit: Scott Bauer/USDA)
(Inside Science) -- The appetites of social termites extend to cannibalizing their co-workers after death. It's done for the greater good of the community.
“Termites have a lot of strategies to keep the nest and the members of the colony clean,” said Luiza Helena Bueno da Silva, a zoology graduate student at São Paulo State University in Brazil and the l ...read more
Leon Theremin, also known as Lev Termen, demonstrates his musical instrument. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Imagine a UFO descending from the heavens, its round disk pale against the night sky. What sound does it make? You’re likely imagining a keening whine in your head, like the howling of a haunted wind or the moans of a high-pitched ghost.
That’s the sound of the theremin, a musical instrument invented nearly a century ago. It was one of the first electronic musical instrumen ...read more
A measles infection can wipe our immune system's memory and even leave us weaker against new infections. (Credit: infohay/Shutterstock)
As the number of measles cases rises in the U.S, research reveals a new way the disease can leave patients vulnerable to future infections.
Published in Science Immunology, an examination of measles patient immune systems showed that the disease didn't just leave some children less capable of fighting off infections they had already encountered. It also d ...read more
Last month, I blogged about the famous Libet experiment and how this 1983 study, which was once heralded as undermining the concept of free conscious will, has now been reinterpreted in a less radical way.
Libet et al. found an electrical potential, the Readiness Potential (RP), that emerged in the brain about 1 second before the onset of voluntary movement. The key finding was that the RP also preceded the conscious intention to move. This seemed to suggest that the brain was 'deciding to m ...read more
A new design for lithium-ion batteries could dramatically reduce charging times. (Credit: buffaloboy/Shutterstock)
Forget the 10 hours it can take to charge your Tesla Model X. A new battery, created by researchers at Penn State, can complete a charge in as little as 10 minutes.
Described in a report published today in Joule, the new lithium-ion battery could top up electric vehicles with 200 miles of charge in a time comparable to filling up a gas-powered vehicle. The technique involves ...read more
Exposing children to small amounts of peanuts helps treat the symptoms of allergic reactions, but doesn't cure them. (Credit: PR Image Factory/Shutterstock)
New research points to a potential wrinkle in a promising treatment for severe peanut allergies: Reactions can return if the treatments stop.
Roughly 1.25 million children in the U.S. have peanut allergies. Their immune systems go into overdrive when they encounter peanuts, producing antibodies that kickstart a process of inflammation ...read more
Animated map of ~10,000 years of volcanic activity on Earth. ESRI, used by permission.
We live on a geologically-active planet. This, of course, isn't a shock to anyone but sometimes seeing just now active it is can be fascinating. ESRI put together a dynamic map (above) that captures worldwide volcanic activity over the past 10,000 years in just over 90 seconds. The planet lights up like a Christmas tree with all the eruptions of all sizes!
Wh ...read more
NASA astronaut Christina Koch shot this image of moonrise at sunrise from the International Space Station. (Source: Christina Koch/NASA via Twitter)
I spotted this serenely beautiful photo of the crescent moon rising above the limb of the Earth at sunrise on Twitter. I was so taken with it that I just had to share it.
It's undated, but this stunning moonrise at sunrise photo was photographed recently by NASA astronaut Christina Koch from the International Space Station.
On Oct. 18, K ...read more
The first flight of the second version of the Delta Clipper, the DC-XA, at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. (Credit: NASA)
The rocket looked like it was out of a science fiction movie. A gleaming white pyramid resting on four spindly legs, the experimental craft was NASA’s ticket into a new era of space exploration.
With a series of built-in rockets
on its underside, the ship could rise from the ground and touch back down again
vertically — the first of its kind.
The Voyager proof test model in the space simulator chamber at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on December 3, 1976. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
When NASA launched Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 in the summer of 1977, its engineers were sending the spacecraft on specific missions. Originally, the space agency tasked the Voyagers with conducting close-up studies of Jupiter and Saturn. They would compile data on magnetic fields, the Sun’s influence, Saturn’s rings, a few large moons, and se ...read more
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