07 10 / 2013
There are 10 categories of scents that humans can sense, according to a pair of U.S. researchers who say they have culled the thousands of scents humans can detect into their most basic essence. The 10 categories are: fragrant, woody/resinous, fruity (non-citrus), chemical, minty/peppermint, sweet, popcorn, lemon, pungent and decayed.
06 10 / 2013
Life could continue on Earth for an additional 1.75 billion years to 3.25 billion years until the planet travels outside the solar system’s habitable zone, according to a study in Astrobiology. Researchers at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. developed a model to determine the amount of time species have to evolve on alien planets, and applied it to Earth.
18 9 / 2013
So you think you love science, do you?
What does that mean to you, exactly?
For most people, I’m guessing it means something like this:
Or perhaps something like this:
That’s not what science is, though.
18 9 / 2013
I, like all young researchers starting our toils in science, sit at an interesting juncture. We have a portal to the past lives of scientists through our mentors and texts: we know some of how things were done and by whom. At the same time, as the children of this world we have our ears closer to the ground, instinctively aware of the current state of the scientific community, its interactions with the rest of the world, and what’s to come.
One change I find occurring is a shift—stemming from where I’m not sure—in the cultural caricature of a scientist. It is a shift away from an arguably negative and nerdy portrayal towards a more socially favorable one (a change that is understandably welcomed by the older generation of scientists who struggled against stereotypes involving pocket protectors and poor social skills).
09 9 / 2013
A combination of ribavirin and interferon protects monkeys from the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, and potentially could be used to treat humans, according to a study published in Nature Medicine. Three of six rhesus monkeys were given the drug cocktail eight hours after being infected with MERS, and showed only minimal signs of the virus, while the other three became very ill, researchers said.
08 9 / 2013
I bet you’ve heard of the left brain vs right brain usage debate more than once. The attributions of methodical, calculated thinking to the left half and creative and artistic approaches to the right half of the brain are complete baloney according to scientists from the University of Utah. They analyzes 1,000 brains and found no evidence of preferential use of the right or left brain hemisphere.
08 9 / 2013
Tiny gobs of brain tissue have been grown from human stem cells to help researchers study microcephaly, a genetic disorder that reduces brain size. “Our system allows us to study human-specific features of brain development,” said Juergen Knoblich of the Austrian Academy of Science’s Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna.
08 9 / 2013
Bats and dolphins independently evolved their echolocation abilities from the same genetic mutations, suggesting that evolution uses the same sequence of steps in very different animals, according to a study. Researchers at Queen Mary University of London studied the genes of bats and dolphins and found the same mutations in a particular protein that affects hearing. They took that a step further to look at the entire genome, according to their report in Nature.