science stories

 
Zombie movies almost always work. Maybe because they are a perfect metaphor for our latent fear of civilization's disintegration. Or they're just good at playing up our repulsion of the icky-yicky that is the inside of our bodies. Whatever the reason, we're fascinated with all-things-zombie. For example, the blog-o-nets were recently all abuzz with a real-life-creepy scientific paper regarding "zombie caterpillars." Specifically, the report detailed how a virus infects a gypsy moth caterpillar's brain and forces the insect to climb to the top of a tree and remain there (a healthy moth will only ascend at night). The virus then "melts" the poor creature into a drippy goop that litters the forest floor to infect more unfortunate victims. It's part Body Snatchers, part Living Dead — and real. But this oozing zombie moth is far from the only example from the annals of science that feature once-living creatures that still mange to lurk about. Here, we present some strange, but true examples that might only be described as the living dead. Or the dead living. Whatever--it's freaky real zombie stuff. WARNING: If you are a squeamish person do NOT watch any videos linked or embedded in this post, but feel free to read on--words won't damage you. Too much.
 
Not too long ago we showed you 15 of this year's best electron microscope images, delivered unto the world by the Oregon-based microscope makers at FEI. Well, you'd never know it, but there was actually something missing from that gallery: the gruesome and horrifying bug close-ups. DVICE writer and bug-o-phobe Evan Ackerman wouldn't include the gross critters, no matter how amazing and otherworldly they looked. Well, I will. Here are 25 scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of everyone's favorite creepy crawlies like you've never seen them before. How many can you click through before you get the willies? I saved what I think is the weirdest and grossest for last. Now, without any further delay: tonight's nightmares, brought to you by DVICE.
 
Brain implants promise a lot of things, from combatting mental degradation caused by age and disease, to boosting the output of some already healthy gray matter. Far fetched as it sounds, researchers and Israel just took a step toward that glorious cyborg-filled future with the successful installation of a synthetic cerebellum in a rat.
 
Nothing can travel faster than light. It's one of the fundamental constants of our universe, and as such, it's kind of a big deal. We've got a bit of an issue here, then, since scientists at CERN have just announced that they've spotted some subatomic particles blowing past the light speed barrier. Physics, we have a problem.
 
There's a whole world out there that we're incapable of seeing without the aid of very complicated an expensive electronics. On the large scale, we're talking about looking at the universe through telescopes, but it works the other way, too, using things like electron microscopes to explore the inherent beauty of the very, very small.
 
Being sick sucks. And while we can't always cure what ails us, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have figured out where that general feeling of lousiness we get when we're stick actually comes from, and they think they can make it go away.

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