Gluten is a sticky protein composite found in cereal grains. Hank gives us some insight into the importance of gluten in history, as well as its impact on health in our own time.
Biology & Chemistry
Penguins seem a bit out of place on land, with their stand-out black jackets and clumsy waddling. But once you see their grace in the water, you know that’s where they’re meant to be–they are well-adapted to life in the ocean.
Neuroscientist Sara Lazar’s amazing brain scans show meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brain, improving our memory and making us more empathetic, compassionate, and resilient under stress.
From something as miniscule as a cell to the biosphere we all call home, living things fit together in numerous interesting ways. Bobbi Seleski catalogs biology from our body and beyond, tracking how unicellular organisms, tissues, organs, organ systems, organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems, and our biosphere build off of each other and work together.
Greg Tucker explains his “treat them mean” approach to broccoli in a bid to extend shelf life. This video also features Gilbert Shama from Loughborough University.
Senescence (from Latin: senescere, meaning “to grow old,” from senex) or biological aging is the endogenous and hereditary process of accumulative changes to molecular and cellular structure disrupting metabolism with the passage of time, resulting in deterioration and death.
Dr. Ivan Pavlov’s groundbreaking work revealed that a dog will respond to neutral stimuli, such as a bell, in the same way that it will respond to, say, mouth-watering food. This research is widely applicable beyond a dog’s salivation. Benjamin N. Witts sketches a few situations in which people are conditioned to react in a Pavlovian way, from dating to parenting.
Quick run-down of the reasons scientists think the land mammals of today are nowhere near the size of the largest sauropods. Some of them might surprise you!
Last fall, shoppers outside a Macy’s store in Boston were given a chance to test drive a robot. They were invited, compliments of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to sit at a console and move the machine’s arm the same way surgeons would in an operating room.
This year, prolonged extreme temperatures and seemingly never-ending snowstorms in the United States forced many inside, seeking shelter from what felt like an unusually long winter. This meant some of us were stuck in bed for a day or two clutching a box of Kleenex and downing cough syrup. That’s because viruses that cause the common cold love enclosed spaces with lots of people—the family room, the office, the gym.
There are natural poisons that lurk in bacteria, plants, and fungi pretty much everywhere, and they’re there for good reasons (according to the organisms that produce them) – but what is it about their chemical make up that makes them so poisonous? How do their toxins attack the human body with such deadly efficiency? Discover the answers to these and other questions as Hank talks about some of the most deadly natural substances in the world.
Science is fine as long as it involves laser beams and space flight, but every now and then it can lead to some pretty intense “what were they thinking!?” moments. Of course, if you are a fan of science fiction you’ll probably enjoy the strange, jaw dropping, and twisted experiments we are about to take a look at but beware…for some they may be a bit much to stomach. These are the 25 craziest scientific experiments ever!
This year, in time for Earth Day on Monday, we’ve done it again, putting together another list of 10 notable discoveries made by scientists since Earth Day 2012—a list that ranges from specific topics (a species of plant, a group of catfish) to broad (the core of planet Earth), and from the alarming (the consequences of climate change) to the awe-inspiring (Earth’s place in the universe).