China and Europe Want to Build More Powerful Supercolliders. Is it Worth it?

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

Particle collisions event simulation at 13,000 GeV in the CMS, a general-purpose detector at the Large Hadron Collider. (Credit: CERN) (Inside Science) -- In 2012, particle physicists detected the long-sought-after Higgs boson for the first time. This particle was the last missing puzzle piece of what physicists call the Standard Model -- the most thoroughly tested set of physical laws that govern our universe. The Higgs discovery was made possible by a giant machine in Europe, known as the more

How Scientists Know Our Human Ancestors Ate Insects

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

Today, insect eating is on the rise. Did our ancestors chow down on the critters, too? (Credit: CK Bangkok Photography/Shutterstock) Anticipating food shortages in coming decades, some companies are touting insects as tomorrow’s protein source. Entrepreneurs are jumping on board and chips made of crickets are hitting grocery shelves. But scientists advise caution: They say more research is needed on the environmental impact of rearing insects at an industrial scale. As sustainabilit more

A Frank Look at Female Orgasms and Rabbits

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

A very weak paper in PNAS has attracted some attention lately: An experimental test of the ovulatory homolog model of female orgasm The paper aims to be a test of the hypothesis that the human female orgasm is a kind of evolutionary relic from an earlier stage in evolution. In humans, ovulation happens on a monthly cycle and is not related to sexual activity. However, in some mammal species, such as rabbits, ovulation is triggered by sex (or copulation, as biologists say). In the new more

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