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A new analysis of hatchling pterosaur fossils finds that the flying reptiles which dominated the skies between 228 and 66 million years ago were likely capable of flight within days or even hours after breaking out of their shells.

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One of the most mind-bending aspects of Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity is time dilation. Time moves more slowly for a person in motion compared to a person at rest. This effect also applies in gravitational fields. Someone closer to a gravitationally-dense body like a black hole would be subject to a slowdown in time compared to others farther away. Mind you, life wouldn't proceed in 'slow motion' for these people. Everything would seem normal within their own frames of reference. The relative differences would only be noticed when everybody meets up.

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Many American consumers are skipping the cereal aisle in grocery stores, viewing its contents as basically boxed candy. That’s understandable. A lot of cereals are chock-full of added sugars and refined grains, which can contribute to obesity and metabolic dysfunction. Ironically, at the same time, there may be no aisle more essential to the Americans’ health. That’s because cereals have become the de facto source for Americans’ micronutrients.

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Regular exercise is without a doubt one of the best things you can do for your overall health. It reduces or prevents just about every mental and physical ailment, helps maintain bodily function into old age, and adds an estimated six years of life.

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A trio of researchers based out of the Technical University of Munich and Technical University Darmstadt in Germany has engineered a soft, pneumatic exoskeleton that supports a wearer's elbows, thus making it much easier to carry heavy loads.John Nassour, Guoping Zhao, and Martin Grimmer described their invention and demonstrated its effectiveness in a new paper published to the journal Scientific Reports."Carry", as the researchers dubbed their exoskeleton, consists of two pneumatic actuators that affix to a user's elbows, held in place by straps around the upper arm, upper chest, shoulders, and wrists. When filled with air, the actuators help the wearer flex at the elbow joint.To test the device, the researchers had twelve male subjects hold and carry 5, 10, and 15 kilogram dumbbells with their elbows flexed at 90 degrees when wearing and not wearing the exoskeleton. Muscle activity, metabolic rate, and fatigue were monitored."With Carry providing... assistance, we found reductions of up to 50% for the muscle activity, up to 61% for the net metabolic rate, and up to 99% for fatigue," the researchers reported.They also noted that the exoskeleton was only operating at roughly 33% of its capacity. So it could be ramped up to help users carry even heavier loads.The current model of Carry is only a prototype. Nassour, Guoping, and Grimmer have numerous tweaks in mind for a more finalized product, which they estimate will weigh anywhere from 2.7 to 3.8 kilograms and could aid anyone who regularly picks up and moves heavy objects.Exoskeletons are already a $1 billion market worldwide, and are growing increasingly common in automobile manufacturing.Source: Nassour, J., Zhao, G. & Grimmer, M. Soft pneumatic elbow exoskeleton reduces the muscle activity, metabolic cost and fatigue during holding and carrying of loads. Sci Rep 11, 12556 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-91702-5

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The 2020-2021 flu season was the most extraordinary in recent memory. As fall turned to winter, we physicians and hospitals braced for influenza cases piled atop already dire COVID-19 numbers. If it was anything like the 2019-2020 season, there could be about four hundred thousand additional hospitalizations. Given the nature of the flu, these cases would require much the same equipment and interventions as COVID-19 sufferers. The expected burden on infrastructure and providers was immense. The American healthcare system braced, and waited.

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On Sunday, May 16, the long-running television news magazine 60 Minutes aired an entirely credulous report on U.S. Navy sightings of supposed Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), the new name for UFOs. Absent from the segment was any skeptical viewpoint on the otherworldly claims presented. Viewers were left thinking that something strange must be out there.

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With alarms sounding about the declining diversity and populations of plants and animals, we post a related concern with equally profound implications: is the variety of microbial life, including viruses, changing too, and if so, in which direction and how fast? As plant and animal numbers shrink, some specialized microbes associated with them might vanish, too. But is there a net overall reduction occurring? If so, is it good or bad news or irrelevant for our species? 

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Over their 165 million-year reign on Earth, hundreds of billions of dinosaurs lived and died. Occasionally, they did the latter en masse, making it much easier for us to find their fossilized remains and examine them. Concentrated areas of dinosaur death have become colloquially known as "dinosaur graveyards". The following are some of the most remarkable.

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The ChehrÄbÄd salt mine is located near the village of Hamzelou in Northwestern Iran, but there hasn't been any actual mining there for more than a decade. That's because, starting in 1993, excavators began digging up mummies along with the usual salt crystals. Since then, remains of at least eight individuals have been unearthed. In 2009, the site was protected under Iranian Heritage laws.

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COVID-19 vaccines have become politicized, and we are all to blame. Right-wing media downplayed the severity of the disease and hyperbolized government interventions. Left-wing media blared panic-inducing reports which convinced 41% of Democrats that the COVID hospitalization rate is greater than 50% (it's actually closer to 5%). YouTube provocateurs incorrectly claimed the available vaccines are harmful. Twitter mobs shamed people for not wearing masks outdoors, even though there's little evidence it's necessary. These inane acts were all fueled by ideology.

Space is the ultimate strategic high ground. Whichever nation controls this domain will have unprecedented access to the terrestrial strategic sectors (land, sea, air, and even cyberspace). The United States has been the dominant space power thus far, but the days of America’s unquestioned hegemony in orbit are coming to a close. 

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It's been a little over a year since the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus began tearing across Europe, prompting almost all of the countries there to enter strict lockdowns with the hope of saving lives.

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For people living in higher latitudes, distinct seasons are a fact of life. A verdant spring gives way to a hot and humid summer, which simmers to a picturesque fall filled with painted leaves, and finally leads to a cold, dark winter.

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It’s hard to ignore the wave of anti-vaccine videos circulating on social media. Curiosity makes us click, and we watch yet another doctor’s emphatic advice—“Do not take the COVID-19 vaccine if you value your life!” They all speak with the confidence and authority of spies planted last year in the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson labs. Now these self-proclaimed experts—some with acceptable medical backgrounds, but others more questionable—have become whistleblowers predicting horrific outcomes from the vaccines. They look into our eyes and claim to care deeply about our health, urging, “Pass my video on to everyone you know as fast as you can.”

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Home-field advantage, the benefit that a home team in a sporting contest enjoys over a visiting team, is one of the most well-known phenomena in sports. It's commonly thought that throngs of supporting fans at home-team venues significantly contribute to this effect. Of course, that explanation has always remained untested, until now...

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Delayed by the pandemic for nearly a year, the Kenyan government has at last approved a new natural weedkiller just in time for the rainy season. This alternative to traditional pesticides is based on a locally-growing fungus that will help farmers reap a bigger harvest. With wider government approvals, innovative solutions like this can help solve Africa’s food security crisis and bring hope to millions around the world.