science

As the editor of a blog called Goats and Soda (see this story for the explanation behind the name), I'm always interested in the latest goat research.

So I was definitely hooked by a press release that declared, "Goats prefer happy people."

Using lessons learned from harbor seals and artificial intelligence, engineers in California may be on to a new way to track enemy submarines.

The idea started with research published in 2001 on the seals.

Scientists at the University of Bonn in Germany showed that blindfolded seals could still track a robotic fish. The researchers concluded that the seals did this by detecting the strength and direction of the whirling vortex the robot created as it swam through the water.

How To Survive A 10,000-Foot Fall

Aug 24, 2018

Falling from an airplane would ruin most people's day.

But if you're James Bond, it's no big deal.

After getting pushed out of a plane in the 1979 film Moonraker, Bond initiates a midair fight with a nearby skydiving villain and takes the evildoer's parachute.

As his enemy plunges to the ground, Bond fights off a second bad guy, deploys his chute and floats gracefully to Earth. Piece of cake.

Tiny, pesky and deadly, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are super at spreading disease, including dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus. Yet all over the world, scientists, nonprofits and biotech companies are raising hordes of this species to release into the wild.

Why is that?

For decades people have relied on industrial pesticides to beat back mosquito populations and limit the diseases they spread. But with continued use, some pesticides lose their effectiveness as the bugs build up resistance.


Marine life has all been wiped out in the waters surrounding Gasparilla Island. 

The inlet straddles Charlotte and Lee counties, but the residential part — including Boca Grande — falls entirely under Lee, which has hauled more than 2.8 million pounds of dead fish from its beaches and waterways in the first two weeks of August alone.

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A new treatment with the Zika virus might be able to target tumor cells in one of the deadliest childhood cancers. 

Each year, more than 100,000 Americans are shot. And the wounds to bone and tissue caused by specially designed bullets also are getting more severe, according to surgeons.

Does A Mom’s Stress Affect Her Offspring For Generations?

Jul 24, 2018
Courtesy of Julie Groleau

After Hurricane Harvey, researchers in Houston started looking for ways to stop stress from affecting the genes of developing babies. They’ve been recruiting women who were pregnant during or right after the storm. They’re testing whether a writing exercise could help.

It’s part of a body of research looking at stress brought on by natural disasters, starting with an ice storm in Canada.

When an archaeologist working on an excavation site in Jordan first swept up the tiny black particles scattered around an ancient fireplace, she had no idea they were going to change the history of food and agriculture.

Amaia Arranz-Otaegui is an archaeobotanist from the University of Copenhagen. She was collecting dinner leftovers of the Natufians, a hunter-gatherer tribe that lived in the area more than 14,000 years ago during the Epipaleolithic time — a period between the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras.

The ideal Italian pizza, be it Neapolitan or Roman, has a crisp crust flecked with dark spots — marks left by a blazing hot oven. The dough is fluffy, moist and stretchy, and the toppings are piping hot. A pizzeria's brick oven pops these out to perfection, but intrepid home cooks attempting to re-create Italian-style pizzas have more than likely discovered facsimiles are nigh impossible to produce.

A study seven years in the making by University of South Florida researchers has created a map of how many species live in the Gulf of Mexico. This will give experts an idea of how much damage would take place from a future oil spill.

Alan Dambach was in his late 50s when he noticed how unsteady his hands had become.

Over the next decade, his tremor got so bad he had difficulty eating with a spoon or fixing equipment at his family's tree farm in Western Pennsylvania.

"I couldn't get nuts and bolts to work," he says.

Many spiders fly long distances by riding "balloons" of silk, and a new study suggests that they're propelled by more than just the wind.

Electric fields at strengths found in nature can also trigger the spiders' ballooning behavior. And electrostatic forces can lift up the spiders even when the air is still, according to a newly published report in the journal Current Biology.

A USF professor rewrote a tasty part of Italian history after running tests on the inside of a 4,000 year-old jar found in a prehistoric settlement in Castelluccio, Italy.

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