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Interesting Stuff

Scientists Race to Understand Why Ice Shelves Collapse

Scientists are tracking a large crack in the Larsen C Ice Shelf that will soon calve a Delaware-sized iceberg. Other floating ice shelves in the region have collapsed after similar events in recent decades.(Credit: NASA/John Sonntag) An 80-mile crack is spreading across the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf. And …

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The Liver Grows by Day, Shrinks by Night

Mouse liver cells at the end of the day (left) and the end of the night (right) after they have grown. (Credit: Ueli Schibler/University of Geneva) Among all the organs in the human body, the liver is something of a superhero. Not only does it defend our bodies against the liquid …

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A Brief History of the Hand-standing Skunk

A western spotted skunk stands on its hands to deliver a smelly attack. (Credit: Jerry W. Dragoo) As the climate changes, many species are finding that areas they once called home are becoming less and less hospitable. These kinds of ecological shifts are natural, but they usually happen over much …

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Why Our Brains Are Split Into Right And Left

(Credit: Champ-Ritthikrai/Shutterstock) Your right brain is creative and your left brain is logical. This widely accepted dichotomy cleaves the brain neatly in two, but research has shown the actual division of labor in the brain is not nearly so straightforward. Because the physical structures of both hemispheres appear identical, it wasn’t until …

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How Can We Measure Human Oxytocin Levels?

Is oxytocin really the love and trust chemical? Or is it just the hype hormone? A new paper suggests that many studies of the relationship between oxytocin and behaviors such as trust have been flawed. The paper is a meta-analysis just published by Norwegian researchers Mathias Valstad and colleagues. Valstad …

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How Tree Rings Solved a Musical Mystery

Dendrochronologist Henri Grissino-Mayer and colleagues study the tree rings in the Karr-Koussevitzky double bass. Their analysis ultimately determined that the instrument was built much later than previously thought. (Credit: Henri Grissino-Mayer) Modern science is full of surprising analytical techniques that can be used in a wide variety of remarkable circumstances. …

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With An Injection, Mice Nearly Double Their Endurance

(Credit: EJ Hersom/Department of Defense) It’s a familiar scene that played out most recently at the London marathon: An exhausted runner staggers and falls in the home stretch, unable to will their legs forward another step. It’s an extreme example of a phenomenon endurance athletes come to know intimately, often …

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