It took us humans a long, long time to figure out that electricity is good for blogging, but other living things have been taking advantage of it for ages to do other, more important things like lighting up Christmas trees. Scientists in Denmark have discovered a new sort of bacteria that also use electricity, making a living by acting as microscopic extension cords.
On May 11, 2011 a magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit the town of Lorca in southern Spain. It was the country's worst quake in 50 years, killing 9, injuring nearly 300 and dealing millions in damages to Spain's struggling economy. Scientists have been searching for the cause of this "unusually shallow" quake and recently published an interesting theory.
According to a study published in the October issue of Current Biology entitled "Spontaneous human speech mimicry by a cetacean," whales can talk.
I burned my mouth drinking coffee twice while typing up this article, so, yeah, Dr. Jason McConville is pretty much a personal hero right now.
Pimples are an annoying part of life that inconvenience teens and sometimes, ahem, adults, too. Acne, on the other hand, is a stubborn bacteria that wreaks havoc on innocent and undeserving victims. For our impressionable youth, especially, it can affect confidence and make social interactions uncomfortable.
Titan is pretty Earth-like. It's got methane cycles akin to our planet's water cycle, and it's inclined by about 27 degrees, similar to the Earth. That incline means Titan has season like Earth does, and scientists have collected 30 years of data about the moon's seasons, the equivalent of a full year. Turns out, Titan's seasons are another similarity the moon has with our own planet.
Helium. It's colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, and useful in everything from better hard drives to laser fusion power. Given these incredibly handy properties and helium's finite supply on Earth, scientists really wish we'd all stop wasting it in balloons already.
Memories are a tricky thing. They can be full of joy or full of fear. It's those crappy, fearful, bad ones — like remembering getting bitten by a dog, for example — that we all wish we could get rid of. That soon could be a reality as scientists experimenting with memory have developed a technique to stop fearful memories from forming.
Within the last few years, we've been treated to images of single molecules along with images of orbiting electrons. Today, IBM research has released a new image of a molecule, with enough detail that you can spot differences in the bonds between the individual atoms. Whoa.
Isn't this pretty? It's a little fruity berry type thing called Pollia condensata, from Africa, and it's the shiniest thing on the planet. We're talking "shiny" like Firefly shiny: something brilliant and awesome and sparkly that lasts forever, because there's no actual pigment going on in there: the color is structural, like a butterfly wing, and will never ever fade.