Biology

Meat grown in a lab? Break out the lab coats, it’s time to chow down on meat grown in a test tube.

But I don't want to eat a cow! Do you feel bad about your place at the top of the food chain? Does the thought of even eating an animal cracker make you sad? Take heart! Meat-eater-ologists have found a solution that gives us meat without killing an animal. Loosen up your belt and get ready for meat grown in a lab! That's right - quicker than you can say "yuck, you can't make me eat it", scientists can grow up to 80,000 quarter pounder patties from a single tissue sample from a cow. The meat looks like meat, feels like meat, and tastes like meat because, well, it is meat. Under a microscope, you can't tell the difference between animal meat and cultured meat. The

Scientists now know why some people spread viruses more easily than others – the physiology of a superspreader.

Flus and viruses like COVID-19, spread by jumping from person to person. Some people spread viruses more easily than others. In fact, the majority of virus infections come from a very small group of people. The people that more easily spread viruses are called "superspreaders". Now scientists have identified the features that make some people superspreaders. Scientists study superspreaders It's tempting to label superspreadhers as the people who don't cover their mouth when they cough. However, scientists have found that there is much more to it than a person's behavior. Their physiology impacts how easily they spread viruses. Scientists used research studies and computer models of the human head to figure out why some people spread viruses easier than others. They found viruses spread easier when sneeze droplets

Here’s why tree leaves turn brown and fall off in the Winter – and it’s probably not for the reason you thought.

It was once said that a falling leaf was how Summer waves goodbye. The Sun takes a step back, the leaves lull themselves to sleep, and autumn is awakened. But how do tree leaves know when it's time to turn brown and fall to the ground? The wonderfully bizarre process of leaf senescence Leaves of deciduous trees turn yellow and red in a process called leaf senescence. Leaf senescence is the process in which trees suspend their growth and withdraw all the nutrients from the leaves back into the tree limbs. Once the tree has prepared itself for Winter, it drops its leaves to the ground (actually, without the nutrients, the leaves die and fall off). This marks the end of the tree's productive period where it

Here’s a hi-powered microscope that you can build yourself using off-the-shelf parts.

UC2 system microscope German scientists have created a new system that lets anyone easily build a low-cost microscope with the power of professional microscopes that cost thousands of dollars more. The UC2 ("You See Too") system uses 3D-printed parts and components you can get from any electronics store. The UC2 microscope doesn't use a metal tube to hold the microscope components together. Instead, the UC2 microscope system uses a 3D-printed baseplate as the base or spine for the microscope. The baseplate below has 4 sections to which 4 different "cubes" can be attached. Each cube contains a microscope part, such as a lens or mirror. A UC2 system baseplate "Cubes" are 3D-printed and attached to the grid using screws and ball magnets. In the picture below, the ball

Scientist 3D printed a Star Trek USS Voyager spaceship that is smaller than the width of a human hair.

Scientists at Leiden University in the Netherlands have created a 3D-printed version of Star Trek's USS Voyager spaceship that measures a ultra-tiny 15 um (micrometers) long. By comparison, the width of a human hair is 50 um. The USS Voyager spaceship is so tiny, it can only be viewed through a microscope! Microswimmers Scientists create microscopic models so they can study "microswimmers". Microswimmers are important because they will one day lead to tiny swimming robots that can be turned loose in the human body to repair tiny injuries or deliver drugs to a precise location inside the body. Because they are so tiny, microswimmers face a variety of challenges that scientists must solve. For instance, their small size and shape means they are impacted by the fluid's viscosity

This new scientifically accurate 3D model of the SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) is the most detailed 3D model yet – and it’s a beauty!

Visual Science has done it again creating the most detailed and scientifically accurate 3D model of the full coronavirus (officially named SARS-CoV-2) to date. Scientists created the model using the latest scientific research into the structure of the coronavirus. Ivan Konstantinov, CEO, and founder of Visual Science, said, "The model reflects scientists' current understanding of the virus's architecture. It includes surface protein spikes that interact with the receptors on the surface of the human cell to get inside, lipid envelope with an integrated layer of matrix proteins, and a genome assembly, reconstructed based on the available scientific data" You can check out an animated model of the coronavirus on their website.

The miracle of science – new experimental cancer therapy clears baby girl of “incurable” leukemia after only two months

  Take a good, hard look at the beautiful little lady above – she may have just made history.  One-year-old Layla Richards was suffering from incurable leukemia (a form of cancer).  Her parents were told there were no options left to save their baby.  Chemotherapy failed.  So did bone-marrow transplants.  Finally, doctors tried a new form of experimental therapy – they gave Layla "genetically-altered immune cells" that attack the leukemia cells while leaving all of Layla's normal cells alone (doctors gave the treatment the unruly name "TALEN gene-edited allogeneic CAR-T therapy").  After two months, Layla was cancer free.  She is now back at her home with her parents. Doctors explained, "As this was the first time that the treatment had been used, we didn’t know if or when

Umm, yummy electrons – scientists discover bacteria that eat pure electrons

Scientists at the University Of Southern California (USC) have discovered bacteria that survive on nothing but electricity. Rather than eat food, they eat (and excrete) pure electrons. This is a, ahem, shocking discovery as almost all life on earth survive by consuming sugar to survive. Everything you eat is first digested and then converted into glucose sugars. The sugars that result carry excess electrons (using a molecule called ATP) which are ferried from the sugar to the oxygen you breathe creating a flow of electrons – or energy. Your body uses this energy to do everything from moving around a room to picking your nose. The bizarre bacteria discovered by the USC geeks however, do not need to process sugars to start up the flow of

One-ton (2,200 pounds) man-eating crocodile caught in Uganda

The 2,200 pound bad-boy crocodile had already killed four men and injured many more when the villagers, who were terrified to approach Lake Victoria where the man-eater lived, finally had enough. Angry villagers approached the Uganda Wildlife Authority (presumably with torches in hand) demanding they do something about it – and they did. After a four-day search, the man-eating croc was trapped by officials using the old “meat on a hook” trick. The crocodile measured about 20 feet long, weighed in excess of one ton, and was estimated to be about 80 years old (yeah, I know, you’d think with 80 years of life experience behind him, he wouldn’t have fallen for the “meat on a hook” trick). Tipping the scales at 2,205 pounds, the crocodile

Six new species of Dracula Ants discovered (and that’s six too many if you ask Reeko)

Scientists from California say they have discovered six new species of Dracula Ants (which the big scientists call Adetomyrma), those strange blind ants with big fangs that get their name from their bizarre habit of sucking the insect blood out of the colony’s own baby ants (called larvae).  Scientists say that although it really creeps them out, sucking the insect juice out of the babies doesn't seem to hurt the baby ants (although they noted the babies fight like crazy to escape the bigger Dracula Ants which indicates it must not be a pleasant experience for them). Here’s a picture of the ants sucking the insect goo out of a larvae. Dracula Ant colonies can contain as many as 10,000 blood suckers.  The worker ants in the