Bacteria living zero-gravity environments become more virulent. People living in zero-gravity environments have less-than-fully-functional immune systems. The result is a danger for space travelers that few of us on Earth ever think about — even though a lot of early astronauts, right up through the Apollo program, suffered severe infections in flight, or shortly after landing. Ed Yong's article for Wired UK from 2011 is a reminder that there's a lot of details that need to be worked out before humanity can become a space-faring species. We've got more worry about up there than just radiation.
"Herd immunity" is the magic phrase – the finish line we've all been running toward – that will get us to the other side of the devastating Covid pandemic. Once we get there, masks will be mostly a thing of the past (or so we hope). Handshakes and hugs might even come back. And now… READ THE REST
Named after the Lernaean Hydra, a many-headed water monster of Greek and Roman mythology, the real hydra is a small fresh-water creature with incredible biological superpowers that enable it to regenerate and live "forever." Unlike the Lernaean Hydra, it doesn't not guard an entrance into the underworld. We think. From KQED's Deep Look: Cut a… READ THE REST
Scientists recently reported a major milestone in the creation of human-animal hybrids. Researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and colleagues, seen above, injected human stem cells into monkey embryos in vitro. Several of the chimera embryos survived for 19 days. Eventually, these hybrid animals could be used for testing new drugs or to… READ THE REST
If you've ever seen a 3D printer in action, you know it's a pretty wondrous process. Even if you're crafting nothing more than a plastic bauble or a geometric shape, just watching that filament settle and build into something recognizable and useful is fairly awe-inspiring. And man, to a kid…it's like a miracle. And they really,… READ THE REST
High school Spanish class is permanently embroidered into most of our brains. Vocabulary quizzes. Verb conjugation drills. Language lab. It's all tattooed on our souls like it happened yesterday, right? Estudiantes. Escuchen. Language learning doesn't have to be like that. Instead of being trapped in endless repetitions and dry academic book learning, Jumpspeak wants to… READ THE REST
Leadership is a magic quality that few truly possess. Oh sure, many people have to lead as part of their job description, but few actually have the inherent ability to make others better, cultivate trust, focus on problem-solving, and give team members confidence. Of course, not everybody has to be born with the ability to… READ THE REST