science

Recently, an online survey asked me to name African women scientists I admired. I found myself struggling — even though I'm a Kenyan entomologist, researching sustainable ways to feed our expanding population amid a changing climate. I thought to myself, why are there so few of us?

I was wrong: We are not few at all. Twitter proved it.

The website Levers in Heels, which features African women in STEM, in January called on the internet to tweet the names of African women scientists. People shared hundreds.

Mosquitoes are a year-round downside to living in subtropical Miami, but millions of bacteria-infected mosquitoes flying in a suburban neighborhood are being hailed as an innovation that may kill off more bugs that spread Zika and other viruses.

About 10 miles off the Alabama coast, Ben Raines gently falls backward from a boat into the Gulf of Mexico, a scuba tank strapped to his back and handsaw on his belt. He's on a mission to collect cypress samples from 60 feet below.

"We're going to cut some pieces as if we were in a forest on land," says Raines, an environmental reporter with AL.com.

Stop Crying! Tear-Free Onions Are Here

Feb 8, 2018

Using onions to explain away crying is a familiar gag. On The Brady Bunch, housekeeper Alice answers the phone and cries as the caller tells her a sad story. After hanging up she says, "Darn onions," holding up the offending allium. And Rowlf the Dog sang on The Muppet Show, "I never harmed an onion. So why should they make me cry?"

A little electrical brain stimulation can go a long way in boosting memory.

The key is to deliver a tiny pulse of electricity to exactly the right place at exactly the right moment, a team reports in Tuesday's Nature Communications.

"We saw a 15 percent improvement in memory," says Michael Kahana, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and an author of the study.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Lab-bred mosquitoes are flying in South Miami. It’s the latest effort to stop the type of mosquito that spreads the Zika virus.

UCF Team Wants To Mine The Moon

Feb 1, 2018
NASA

Private companies want to mine the moon for water and a team at the University of Central Florida is helping them figure out just how to do that.

Planetary scientists are pretty confident there’s water on the moon and private companies like United Launch Alliance want to jump-start the mining process. Water is an important resource in space because its chemical composition can be split into hydrogen and oxygen, which could then be turned into rocket fuel.

No one can say they've seen it before, but most Floridians will have a chance Wednesday morning.

For more than four decades, she didn't have a name. Since 1975, when her mummified body was unearthed in a church in the Swiss city of Basel, she had been a scientific mystery — a well-preserved corpse buried with proofs of her wealth, who for lack of identification took on a distinguished title: the Lady from Barfüsser church.

Human skin is a cornucopia of fragrances.

The bacteria living on our skin emit more than 200 odor chemicals.

"Many of these molecules smell quite pleasant," says biologist Jeff Riffell at the University of Washington. "They smell grassy or a little bit like mushrooms. Some human scents are the same ones found in flowers."

Other chemicals — well — they aren't so nice. "They're pretty funky," Riffell says, like an overripe Brie cheese or a musty basement.

Chinese researchers have finally figured out how to clone a primate, using the same technique Scottish researchers devised to clone the first mammal, Dolly the sheep, in the mid-1990s.

A tablespoon of soil contains billions of microscopic organisms. Life on Earth, especially the growing of food, depends on these microbes, but scientists don't even have names for most of them, much less a description.

That's changing, slowly, thanks to researchers like Noah Fierer, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Fierer think microbes have lived in obscurity for too long. "They do a lot of important things for us, directly or indirectly, and I hope they get the respect they deserve," he says.

In Alaska, scientists have uncovered something they say is remarkable: the remains of two infants dating back more than 11,000 years.

Their discovery is evidence of the earliest wave of migration into the Americas.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Germany’s Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science operates 84 research institutes, all found in Europe save one: the Max Planck Florida Institute of Neuroscience (MPFI) in Jupiter in northern Palm Beach County.

An international team of astronomers has concluded that when it comes to theories about colliding neutron stars, Einstein got it right. Everybody else, not so much.

A neutron star is what's left when a star burns out and collapses in on itself, leaving a small, incredibly dense ball.

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