A DNA sequence. The first cell with a working artificial addition to its DNA has been created. (Credit: Gio.tto/Shutterstock)
Scientists have taken another step towards putting two additional letters in the dictionary of life to work.
Researchers at the Scripps Institute have engineered cells to successfully transcribe a brand new artificial DNA base pair and make a never-before-seen protein with it. The breakthrough is part of an effort to expand the library of amino acids that animal ce ...read more
When sedans outnumber pickup trucks, chances are the community votes Democrat. When pickup trucks rule, the community leans Republican.
What you drive matters, at least when it comes to revealing the nuts and bolts of American demographics. That’s the assertion by researchers in a paper published in November in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For thousands of years, authorities have conducted surveys to determine the demographic of ...read more
During sex, the heart races, blood pressure rises and the breath quickens, sometimes to a pant. Muscles tense and euphoric feelings flood the brain.
This is not a time to be thinking, “I hope my heart doesn’t stop.”
But according to cardiologists, male patients over 50 during checkups sometimes ask what the chance is of a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest during sexual intercourse. The concern is based on the heightened physiology experienced (racin ...read more
Having your children trail you like ducklings in a pond sounds pretty good to human parents, who are stuck carrying or pushing their offspring through toddlerhood. But some animals with mobile babies choose to carry them anyway. One scientist looked at waterbirds to figure out why certain species find it worthwhile to haul their kids around, while others leave them to paddle alone. The reasons he found range from snuggle time to murderous fish.
Animals including a ...read more
Sometimes, scientific misconduct is so blatant as to be comical. I recently came across an example of this on Twitter. The following is an image from a paper published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C:
As pointed out on PubPeer, this image – which is supposed to be an electron microscope image of some carbon dot (CD) nanoparticles – is an obvious fake. The “dots” are identical, and have clearly been cut-and-pasted. Where one copy has been placed over the top of an ...read more
In the crisp Andes air, a drone flew at an altitude of about 16,000 feet (4,900 meters) in order to map and track the glaciers in Peru. This marks the highest altitude a drone has flown for mapping purposes in current scientific literature, according to a paper released in November in The Cryosphere.
Using a drone to map glaciers is way easier than manually staking out individual data points and provides much crisper images than satellites. “The ultimate goal was to be down in ...read more
Damage caused by a 2011 earthquake in Oklahoma, likely caused by waste-water injection by humans. USGS.
Earthquakes are common across much of North America. The most famous might be the area along the San Andreas fault in California, where the Pacific and North American plates are sliding side-by-side, generating earthquakes in the process. Even the interior of North America has some major earthquake zones, like the New Madrid Seismic Zone that runs along the Mississippi River from Illinois to ...read more
A tortoise’s shell shape can help determine how quickly it can turn right side up after falling on its back. (Credit: YouTube/Bio Insider)
It’s tough being an adult giant tortoise in the Galapagos Islands—they’re always one step away from flipping upside down. Whether it’s from a fight for male dominance or treading over a jagged field of lava rocks, being unable to get back up is among the most common ways these giant tortoises can die.
There is no Life Alert butt ...read more
A seascape of fear? New study suggests fear of sharks shapes ecosystems. Photo Credit: Narchuk/Shutterstock
It’s kind of incredible how our fears can shape our behaviors. When Jaws was released in 1975, it fundamentally changed how we interact with sharks. In the years that followed, we hunted these large marine predators more intensely, and came to view them as terrible monsters—attitudes scientists still fight to this day. But while our fears are largely unfounded, there are ...read more
Photo: flickr/Nick Harris
When you’re choosing a drink at a bar, what goes into that decision? We know that taste has a lot to do with it, but according to this study, emotions may come into play as well: more specifically, the emotions brought about by the type of alcohol itself. Here, researchers used an online survey of almost 30,000 people around the world to explore the emotions associated with drinking different kids of alcohol. They found that “Overall 29.8% of respondents r ...read more
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