The relationship between cheese flavor and the land cows graze on

To make your cheese, cows eat and process food that we are incapable of eating and processing. This video explains how the chemistry of the land (and grass) change the flavor of the cheese we eat. Read the rest

What it's like to have chronic vaginal pain

Lara Parker at Buzzfeed writes about her experience with vaginismus and vulvodynia — chronic pain conditions with no known cause, no known treatment, and a big impact on love and relationships. Read the rest

The downside to being preserved for posterity

We have found only 17 mammoth specimens that are more than half complete with their soft parts preserved. All but one died a horrible death. Read the rest

Scientific journal retracts 60 papers linked to sock-puppet peer review

This is just a crazy level of fraud. A Taiwanese computer scientist has been caught creating more than 100 fake email accounts that allowed him to "peer" review his own research. Read the rest

Five reasons to avoid a colon cleanse

What this boils down to: A colon cleanse doesn't do much to help you and it does harm the good bacteria that really help your intestines work properly. Read the rest

How old is the oldest living person?

Jeanne Calment, who died at 122, is the oldest person whose age has been verified. Turns out that's hard to do, but UCLA's Gerontology Research Group is on it. Read the rest

"The Mississippi Baby" wasn't cured of HIV after all

A child, treated for HIV infection at birth and reported as possibly being cured of the virus, is showing signs of infection at age 4. Read the rest

Explosions at Mount St Helens — For science!

Later this month, scientists will set explosive charges on Mount St Helens as part of an effort to study the seismic geology of the Pacific Northwest. Read the rest

Deforestation leads to Ebola

Over the past few months, West Africa has been experiencing the biggest and most deadly Ebola outbreak on record and deforestation is a key part of why. Read the rest

Is sunscreen dangerous? An actual scientist weighs in

There's a viral news story going around that claims scientists have found that using sunscreen increases your risk of death. As a redhead, this is relevant to my interests. But it turns out that the paper being cited was vastly misconstrued and wasn't even about sunscreen at all. Read the rest

Prescient Nature article on forgotten smallpox samples

Yesterday, the CDC announced the discovery of several vials of smallpox virus, forgotten in a storage room since the 1950s. Back in April, Nature's Sara Reardon wrote about the risks (and benefits) of just this sort of thing. Read the rest

Phrenology bust modeled on a human death mask

The Morbid Anatomy Museum recently acquired a 19th-century phrenological death mask. Liza Young, a museum studies student at St. John's University, tracked down its history. Read the rest

The woman with a nose on her back

There are some pretty freakish, but well-substantiated, reports this week that demonstrate just how much we still have to learn about stem cells and how they work (and don't work). Read the rest

Very old erotic graffiti found in Greece

Photograph: Helena Smith

Now we know that Nikasitimos banged Timion (in the past continuous tense, implying a long stamina) on what is now a remote stone outcrop on the Agean island of Astypalaia, approximately 2,500 years ago. Read the rest

How Komodo Dragons hunt

Komodo Dragons are venomous. All they need to kill prey much larger than themselves is a single bite. Read the rest

How would a bird the size of a boat get airborne?

Pelagornis sandersi is a 25-million-year-old bird with a 24-foot-long wingspan. Scientists now think it could have flown. Read the rest

Perfect "Aryan" was Jewish

Pseudoscience for the win. It would be funny if it weren't for, you know, the Holocaust. Read the rest

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