Afraid of Friday the 13th? Soothe your fears with some science:
- The classic French taunt in Monty Python and the Holy Grail was “You mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” What they should have said was, “You mother was a comb jelly,” because a new genomic study places these floating little blobs at the root of the evolutionary tree of all animal life.
- This is cool: A pair of scientists is trying to bring the public into the search for new antibiotics by developing a kit people could use to test plants, soil, etc. around their home for evidence of antibiotic compounds.
- In the future, when you go to the doctor, you may be treated with spermbots. Yes, I said spermbots.
- Hopes rose in recent years when two HIV patients appeared to have been cleared of the virus by bone marrow transplants. Those hopes have fallen now that the virus has reappeared in those patients.
- Don’t move that Earth! Because the position of our orbit around the sun turns out to be right on the edge of the solar system’s habitable zone.
- Not only does it look like Mars once had liquid water in its planetary past, but at least some of it might have been fresh water.
- I, for one, would like to welcome our potential future lizard overlords.
- Or is it our microbial overlords? Because researchers have found 19 species of bacteria that rule the earth’s subterranean reaches.
- If you head down to the East Antarctic Plateau, bring a sweater. A really thick sweater. Because a small valley there has just been flagged as being the coldest place on Earth, having hit a low of -136°F.
- Researchers have taken a big step in trying to grow brain tissue in the lab. Not brains, mind you, just brain tissue.
- Male and female brains are hard-wired differently! Or are they?
- You can thank the Russians for recharging your smartphone. Because over the last 20 years, about 10 precent of all electricity production in the US has been powered by uranium from decommissioned Russian nukes.
- Researchers are getting closer to sniffing out the genetic underpinnings of smell. (I know, bad pun.)
- Are you a carnivore, vegetarian, or omnivore? Your diet choice can have a pretty dramatic effect on what microbes live in your gut. And if you change what you eat, your gut bugs change too, and pretty quickly.
- There’s a new strain of bird flu (aka H7N9 influenza) floating around, one that’s managed to become resistant to treatment without dulling its ability to pass from person to person. Oh, that’s just great.