Who wants some science??
- Why did penguins stop flying? Because if you’re evolving to become a swimmer, you don’t really need to be a flyer, too.
- Seems like an odd thing to be talking about on the cusp of summer, but you can indeed catch your death of cold, because cold temperatures turn down the immune response to the cold virus.
- But your immune system may also get some help from viruses, too. Bacteria-eating viruses.
- You are just lousy with fungi. We know because scientists are mapping them.
- Bacteria eat a lot of things. And if you want to see evolution in action, take a look at bacteria that are learning how to eat a pesticide.
- It only takes a change in one gene to make white tigers white. Rawr.
- Speaking of single gene changes, if turn down a gene called mrps-5 in mice and worms, they seem to live longer. Why? Because it makes their mitochondria unhappy.
- Have an itch? You may have a nerve-triggering molecule whose main job seems to be to turn on the sensation of itch to thank for it.
- Twinkies and cockroaches will be the two things to survive the nuclear holocaust, right? However, cockroaches that stay away from the Twinkies — and sweet flavors in general — might survive better. Roach bait is often sweetened with glucose. But some roaches have evolved such that to them, glucose tastes bitter instead.
- A few weeks back, the Russians sent what was basically a 5th grade science laboratory into space, a satellite full of mice, gerbils and newts. The goal: to study long term effects of living in space. The result: well, if you have to go to space, don’t be a gerbil on a Russian satellite.
- Hurricane season is right around the corner (yay?), so it’s time to dust off those storm prediction models. And as anyone who lives on the East Coast can tell you, those models could be better. Meteorologists agree.
- Believe it or not, no one really knows how anesthetics put you under. But in a study comparing the molecular effects of different anesthetic drugs points to one common feature: they all seem to knock out communications between the front and back of the brain.
- Why was the blight that caused the Irish Potato Famine so fierce? Genetic studies of the blight suggest something about the potatoes themselves may have been to blame.
- I’ll just go ahead and quote Improbable Research‘s Marc Abrahams here: “This medical case report shows an exception to the old saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine.'” Abrahams was writing about the first ever medical case report of seizures triggered by laughter.
- The Food and Drug Administration has decided that the time has come to regulate fecal transplants. To regulate what?
- Science as a way of looking at the world has been around for centuries. The word “scientist,” though? Not so much..less than 200 years. Science Friday‘s Ira Flatow and historian Howard Markel discuss the relatively recent origins of “scientist.”