Settle in with a fresh serving of science:
- You know those brain jello molds people sometimes pull out for Halloween? Scientists have come up with a way to make brains completely transparent for research. As the New York Times put it: “The visible brain has arrived — the consistency of Jell-O, as transparent and colorful as a child’s model, but vastly more useful.” (Note the other great quote in that story, from one of the project’s lead scientists: “Over the course of years spent trying to make it work, he said, ‘I burned and melted more than a hundred brains.'”)
- The best way to keep the bedbugs away? Leaves. In particular, kidney bean leaves, which have little hooks that snare the bugs’ feet.
- It’s not my love of steak that will kill me, but rather bacteria in my gut that boost production of compounds that keep cholesterol from getting cleared out of my blood.
- My gut bacteria are also making me fat.
- Mars is very far away. Very, very far away. This animation puts it in perspective.
Sorry for the small small plate this week, folks…too much other stuff going on. But I’ll close with a quote from NPR correspondent and Radiolab host Robert Krulwich about why we science writers, teachers and communicators do what we do:
“We who are doing this, we reporters, we animators, we science teachers, we bloggers, we artists, we museum managers, we research scientists, we copywriters — we don’t do what we do to speak to the Already Informed. We are doing this to tap ordinary, everyday people on their heads, people who might not have the time or the inclination, and say to them, ‘spend a few minutes over here, mulling this …'”