Since its discovery in 2010, researchers have been trying to solve the mystery of dark streaks that appear and disappear seasonally on the planet's surface (shown above). Scientists are now claiming that this phenomenon, known as the recurring slope lineae, is caused by a bath of saltwater. What is still unknown, however, is where the water is coming from, or if the chemistry is even right for supporting life.
Angustopila dominikae is the only known specimen measuring the astounding 0.86 mm in shell height. That means ten of them could fit into the eye of a large sewing needle at the same time! Until now, the smallest known land snail was a thai species measuring about 0.9 millimeters long. Researchers believe that it probably feeds on microorganisms and may be hermaphroditic. However, because the team didn’t recover any DNA, a lot of uncertainly remains.
Did you know that McDonald's famous burger, the Big Mac, contains addictive ingredients inside its bun? Yes, it's true, the bun isn't as harmless as your probably thought.
The Big Mac bun contains high levels of high-fructose corn syrup and sodium. Both ingredients are addictive, and therefore make your body crave more of them. These ingredients are also harmful and can cause obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, BUT not directly. Remember, the higher sweetness of high-fructose corn syrup increases craving and consequently the amount consumed. Obesity isn't caused by diet alone - when combined with decreased physical activity, that is when it contributes to the weight gain epidemic and personal health problems.
Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is a bacterium that attacks other bacteria. It can charge its prey at speeds of up to 100 micrometers per second, comparable to a human running 600 kilometers per hour. It then bores into its hapless victim by spinning at 100 revolutions per second. Most bacteria aren't quite that fast, but they can move by whipping flagella or by spiraling through their environment.
Most foods today are fortified with essential oils like omega-3 fatty acids. Naturally, these oils are found in fish, and are known to benefit many parts of the body, including the eyes, brain, heart, and joints. So, are these so-called beneficial oils important for people who lack the DNA profile needed to metabolise them?
It turns out that the extra omega-3 might not do much good at all. According to a study published in Science, Inuit people living in Greenland whose traditional diet of fish and marine mammals have the right enzymes in their bodies needed to metabolise these foods that are very high fat content.
The researchers reported that their DNA that was most different was on chromosome 11, specifically among genes that control the [ ... ]
It has to do with a single gene! More than a decade ago, researchers discovered that one gene (MC1R) on chromosome 16 plays an important role in giving people red hair. MC1R task is to make the protein melanocortin 1. This protein plays an important role in converting red pigment into black pigment. If you end up with only one mutated MC1R gene, red hair can appear in unwanted places, like your beard. When someone inherits two mutated versions of the MC1R-gene (one from each parent), less red pigment is converted into black pigment.
The study, titled "CFT 70 (Countermeasure and Functional Testing in Head-Down Tilt Bed Rest Study)," aimed to learn more about how human bone and muscle might deteriorate in space. According to Drew Iwanicki, who took part in the study and who is pictured above, he experienced some serious headaches because of increased blood pressure to his head. His spine went through some serious pain, and staying horizontal was difficult. However, as soon as the bed was tilted to the vertical position, after 70 days of course, his legs felt heavier and his heart started to beat at 150 BPMs. [ ... ]
Southern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome) mate for life, reuniting with the same partner year after year during mating season. But even though they're monogamous, a new study reveals that penguin couples really don’t spend much time together.
Using GPS trackers mounted to the penguins’ legs, scientists monitored 16 birds over the course of a mating season. The data show that males arrived at the nesting site approximately 6 days before their female counterparts and stayed about 6 days longer. However, the short mating season means the pairs are only united for about 20 to 30 days a year. And when they were separated, it was usually by a large distance: During the winter months, partners were separated by an average distance of abo [ ... ]
I was shopping around in Michigan a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon this product proudly made by the Velvet Peanut Butter Company. I was appalled when I read that it's made from Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, while the trans-fat count is at zero grams - a very misleading claim.
This product is literally poisonous for human consumption, yet it is prepared for young children and people of lower socioeconomic status, given its low price tag. Hydrogenated oil is scientifically known to increase LDL 'bad' cholesterol and lower HDL 'good' cholesterol, thereby leading to heart disease and cancer. It should be against the law to feed it to kids.
In the United States, labelling a product trans-fat free doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't conta [ ... ]
Sometimes it pays to have big, bad neighbors! Tiny black-chinned hummingbirds (shown above) have learned to build their homes near hawk nests. The hawks are too big to be interested in teeny hummingbird eggs, and they scare off the medium-sized birds that are.
According to the study, of the 342 hummer nests studied over three years, 80% were near hawk nests - and for good reason. The researchers monitored hummingbird egg and fledgling survival near six active and six inactive hawk nests. Those hummers unlucky enough to be near inactive nests lost all but 8% of their young, while those in a “good” neighborhood had a 70% success rate, they report.
This video explains it quite well. The key hormone in question is serotonin. Serotonin is known to play a role in depression. Low serotonin levels are believed to be the reason for depression and associated symptoms of anxiety, apathy, fear, feelings of worthlessness, insomnia and fatigue. The opposite is true when a high-level of serotonin is present, you feel jovial and enthusiastic. MDMA promotes the formation of this hormone.
Known an fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive, or FOB for short, this disease can suddenly turn a person’s tissues and muscles into bone, thereby permanently immobilizing parts of the bodies. Joints such as elbows or ankles may become frozen in place; jaw motion can be impeded and the rib cage fixed, making eating or even breathing difficult. Currently, no cure exists to combat this rare condition.