June 21, 2013 |
Spider webs combine a strength and elasticity unmatched by anything we humans can make. They don't trigger much of an immune response in us and are "insoluble in water, two facts that the classical Greeks exploited when they used cobwebs to patch bleeding wounds," notes science writer Adam Rutherford. These days, spider silk has inspired another innovative use. Utah State University researchers have spliced DNA from the golden orb-weaver spider into the genome of a goat named Freckles, adjacent to her own coded base pairs for prompting the production of milk.
June 20, 2013 |
Hundreds of start-up tech developers and others converged in Santa Monica this week for Silicon Beach Fest, seeking to raise money from investors, build industry contacts and gain exposure for their companies. The four-day tech and entertainment festival, which runs through Saturday, is intended to promote the fast-growing entrepreneurial community in the greater Los Angeles area. Local tech leaders have cheered the event, now in its second year. It includes start-up showcases, parties and panels on topics including app creation and development, crowd-funding, mobile advertising and legal and public relations help for start-ups.
June 13, 2013 |
WHITMORE VILLAGE, Hawaii - Sure, Edward Snowden just used a simple thumb drive to smuggle classified information out of the National Security Agency. But one look at the sprawling NSA compound where he is believed to have worked in the mountains of central Oahu - with its chain-link fences and barbed wire, massive entrance gates and "Keep out" signs - raises the question of how even a trusted employee with a high-level security clearance could sneak out even an innocuous piece of equipment.
June 10, 2013 |
Astronomers have discovered a strangely tiny galaxy in the Milky Way's neighborhood -- one with less than 1,000 stars held together by the smallest dark matter halo ever observed. The galaxy known as Segue 2, described in the Astrophysical Journal, might hold the key to a long-standing mystery about the evolution of the universe. "These little clumps are almost certainly the first things to form in the universe," said study coauthor James Bullock, an astronomer at UC Irvine. Segue 2, discovered by an extension of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey in 2009, is putting out about as much light as 900 suns, Bullock said.
June 6, 2013 |
Most birds lost their penises somewhere along the trail of evolution. Scientists want to know where they went. A biological program that triggers cell death is to blame, and it may offer clues about both evolution and the molecular biology behind birth defects, say researchers from the University of Florida, who published their work in Current Biology this week. “One of the most puzzling events in evolution is the reduction and loss of the phallus in birds,” said Martin Cohn, A University of Florida biologist who studies the evolution of appendages.
June 1, 2013 |
CHICAGO — It was only a theory, but the thoughts Dean Lombardi expressed a few years ago on how a losing team evolves from pretender to contender made a lot of sense. First, a team hopes it can win — hope being the key word because it lacks the talent and tools to win regularly. As its depth and skill increase, that team progresses to thinking it can win. Finally, as players mature and the roster stabilizes, the team knows it can win and expects to win — and does. The Kings have gone through each of those stages.
May 31, 2013 |
Deforestaton is propeling fast changes in evolution, a study of the Brazilian rain forest suggests. Researchers found that in areas where populations of large-billed, fruit-eating birds, such as toucans, have been driven out because of deforestation, palm trees have evolved to produce smaller and less successful seeds. The Brazilian scientists collected more than 9,000 seeds from 22 palm populations in patches of rain forest that had been fragmented by coffee and sugar cane development during the 1800s.
May 13, 2013 |
There's a fine line between evolution and de-evolution, and which process Fitz and the Tantrums is experiencing on its sophomore effort, "More Than Just a Dream," depends on what you liked about the L.A. band's breakout debut. That record, the retro-soul-fueled "Pickin' Up the Pieces," delivered a few memorable hits, "Breakin' the Chains of Love" and "MoneyGrabber," and propelled the band to modest success while inviting comparisons to the more assured and charismatic Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.
April 8, 2013 |
Brace yourselves, gentlemen: Not only does size matter when it comes to penis length, but female preference for large genitalia is probably what drove the evolution of your manhood to begin with. In a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers concluded that penis length was just as important as height when it came to sexual attraction among women. And just how did scientists figure that out? They asked 100 Australian women to look at life-size, computer-generated images of men in the Full Monty and asked them to rate each one as a potential sexual partner.
April 1, 2013 |
If you had a serious case of the heebie-jeebies when University of Louisville sophomore guard Kevin Ware snapped his tibia on live television during the NCAA basketball tournament, you weren't alone. Teammates crumpled to the floor. Players on the nearby bench physically recoiled. Louisville Coach Rick Pitino says he nearly vomited at the sight of his player's bone jutting through the skin of his lower leg. Broadcasters stopped showing the break after a few replays. Their reaction may be rooted in evolution, genetics and upbringing.