Surviving the Vacuum of Space: The Water Bear

picture of Waterbear wikicommons

Space is a harsh environment. To date, there is only one species on our planet that was found capable of surviving the vacuum of space – the water bear. In fact, in 2008 scientists put water bears in space for ten days with no protection. Once they returned home and …

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Cancer Crushing Algae: Camouflaged Drug Delivery

genetically-engineered-diatom-biosilica

While cancer is fairly easy to kill, keeping the person alive while we kill the cancer is exceedingly difficult. That is because cancer drugs are also toxic to healthy cells.The most difficult aspect of engineering cancer drugs is targeting cancer cells.That is to say, we are always looking for new …

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Saving Chocolate: Finding our Sweet Tooth Roots

chocolate-sweet tooth

The world has fallen head over heels with chocolate. To make 100 billion dollars of chocolate a year, the industry uses mainly one variety of plant, the Theobroma cacao tree. The only problem is, all of these plants are genetically similar. That means the same things will make them sick and …

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Mission to Mars: Astronaut Brains

Astronaut_moon_rock

While the world is preparing for a long-term space mission to Mars, one thing has scientists thinking. Astronaut’s brains. Experiencing micro-gravity changes a lot of things in our bodies. From the shape of our eyes to our ability to do small motor tasks, our Mission to Mars relies on our ability …

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Optogenetics: When the Force finds Light Control

optogenetics mouse

Controlling the brain. The world where the Force can control your thoughts with a hand wave is coming soon to theaters near you. In the real world scientists are playing catch up and controlling the brain with light. Two leaders in the field just won the Breakthrough Prize. Karl Deisseroth …

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Minerals and Mass Extinction: Oceans of Life

Minerals and Mass Extinction: Oceans of LifeEarth has been hit with 5 mass extinction events that we know of.Two of them have known causes. The dinosaurs were wiped out by a mega-meteroid hitting Mexico, and 252 million years ago volcanoes in Sibera wiped out Permian era life.But what about the …

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Contagious Killing: How Mass Shootings Catch On

mass shootings are contagious

We see them in the news, seemingly all of the time. Mass shootings. And while we may not be able to agree on how to prevent mass shootings in the future, one study is shedding a little light on possibly one of the scariest aspects of mass shootings. Mass shootings …

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Unbreakable Glass and Harry Potter Levitation

unbreakable glass and cracked cell phones

What if we could have glass stronger than aluminum? What if we had unbreakable glass? We would have safer cars, safer buildings, and better smart-phone covers. Imagine a world where a flying rock doesn’t even leave a mark on your windshield. Or a world where dropping your phone for the …

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World’s Deepest Hole Barely Scratches the Surface.

comparison of deepest naturally occuring cave, south african mine, oil hole in kansas and kola superdeep borehole with Earth's crust

How far can we drill into the Earth? And what is at the bottom of the world’s deepest hole? In 1970 the Russians imparted on a big project, the Kola Superdeep Borehole. One that would take us to places we have never been…on Earth. They had a lofty goal, drill 15,000m …

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