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MIT Invented Magnetic Hairs That Can Make Water Flow Uphill

David Smothers August 7, 2014

Inspired by the coats of fur on some animals, researchers at MIT have developed a flexible skin-like material covered in thousands of tiny magnetic hairs that can move in varying directions in the presence of a magnetic field. That might not seem particularly useful, until MIT points out that the new material can be used… Continue Reading »

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There’s a Whole New Type of Stone And It’s Made From Our Plastic

David Smothers June 10, 2014

Congratulations, humanity: After millennia of building cathedrals and toiling over great works of art and science, we’ve finally created something that will far outlast us. It’s called Plastiglomerate, a stone made out of molten plastic, and yes, we should probably be ashamed of ourselves. In a study published yesterday in the Geological Society of America,… Continue Reading »

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Why Smoking Pot Makes You So Hungry

David Smothers April 20, 2014

If you’ve ever smoked weed, chances are you’ve also taken that regrettable trip to 7 Eleven and stocked up on cheese puffs, microwave burritos, and, well, everything else edible. Then, when you wake up surrounded in wrappers, you wonder: WHY? Long story short, your body thought you were starving. Research published in Nature Neuroscience reveals… Continue Reading »

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Microsoft Is Helping Develop a Bra That Tells Women When to Stop Eating

David Smothers December 5, 2013

Don’t worry, emotional overeaters; your future is bright, sort of. Thanks to a collaborative study between the Microsoft Research Institute and the University of Rochester, a new, emotional-stress-detecting bra and mobile app duo may soon be giving your already fragile emotional state the extra guilt it needs to finally put the fork down. Travel with… Continue Reading »

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Watch Today’s ISS Spacewalk Right Here, Right Now, Live!

David Smothers August 16, 2013

While you’re just settling in at your desk, Russian cosmonauts Alexander Mizurkin and Fyodor Yurchikhin on the International Space Station have been awake for hours preparing for today’s 10:40AM EST spacewalk to install cables (including ethernet) on the outside of the station. And you can watch the whole thing live, right here. The spacewalk should… Continue Reading »

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Scientists Just Grew Human Heart Tissue That Beats With Total Autonomy

David Smothers August 13, 2013

oming fresh on the heels of the news that scientists are successfully 3D printing live, working, mini human kidneys, a new report in Nature is giving another burst of hope to the future of organ transplants. For the very first time, a research team has been able to grow human heart tissue that beats totally… Continue Reading »

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How Star Wars Just Inspired a Real-Life Scientific Discovery

David Smothers July 23, 2013

The real-life Tatooine may not have two suns—but it has unlocked the secrets of a geomorphic mystery. Close to Tozeur, Tunisia—George Lucas’s stand-in for the barren planet—there’s a wilderness of sand that’s permanently changing. When wind whistles across the dunes, it pushes that sand into huge, crescent-shaped structures known as barchans. These things are huge,… Continue Reading »

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We’re Closer Than You Think to Beating HIV

David Smothers July 12, 2013

At least 35 million people around the planet live with HIV, and it kills over 1.7 million people each year, so the fact that it’s currently untreatable is one of the biggest medical problems of our time. But in recent years scientific advances seem to be kicking HIV’s ass more effectively than ever—so is there… Continue Reading »

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Bone Marrow Transplants Remove All Sign of HIV in Two Men

David Smothers July 3, 2013

It’s turning into quite a year for HIV treatment. First a baby girl was functionally cured of the HIV virus, then 14 adults were successfully treated with early-stage ARV drugs. Now, two men with longstanding HIV infections have been freed from HIV drugs thanks to bone marrow transplants. We’re really getting there. The two men—one… Continue Reading »

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Kids Rap About Science, Somehow Don’t Look Like Total Nerdburgers

David Smothers June 29, 2013

Apparently the GZA is on to something*, rapping helps kids learn. As part of the same program started by Dr. Chris Emdin of Columbia University’s Teachers College, these ninth graders are learning all about science by rapping ionic bond with gauge bosons. It’s working, and now I want to watch kids rap about mitochondria all… Continue Reading »

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