Today’s splash (lolllll)
Today’s splash (lolllll)
The condom protects us from infection and unwanted pregnancy, and it has reshaped the history of sex across the world. Studying its strange past can teach us a lot about our changing attitudes toward sexual intimacy throughout the ages.
Figaro may not be as talented an inventor as Leonardo da Vinci, but among Goffin’s cockatoos, he’s a prodigy. In their natural habitat—the forests of Indonesia—these cockatoos have never been seen making or using tools. But researchers report today that Figaro, a member of a captive colony of the birds in Austria, invents and uses stick tools of his own design. Although toolmaking and use is not uncommon in animals, this type of spontaneous innovation and individual creativity is “exceedingly rare” among nonhuman animals, the scientists note, and opens up many questions about the cognitive skills required. Understanding these processes, they say, may help unlock many questions about the evolution of intelligence.
HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEN from Cara Santa Maria!
Bodysnatchers, werewolves, zombies—oh my! Did you know that many of the Halloween horrors we know and love have scientific roots? It’s true—there are real-life syndromes that mimic the themes found in the scariest of films and the spookiest of ghost stories. (Except ghosts, of course. They aren’t real!)
They’re watching you!
Nature. Is. Insane.
Leopard attacks unsuspecting impala, via HuffPost Green.
Yes, it’s possible.
This is what a see-through bug looks like when it eats (h/t Buzzfeed)
Talk Nerdy To Me: GMOs Are Good?
When you hear the words genetically modified organism, GMO, or gen-mod food, what is your initial reaction? Does the thought of a scientifically manipulated fruit or vegetable make your mouth water? Or does it turn your stomach?
As a science writer, the topics I choose to cover vary from the mundane to the controversial, but I rarely see feather ruffling like I do when GMOs enter the conversation. Often the list of questions evoked is longer than the list of pros and cons we can draft on our own. Should we be tinkering with the genomes of plants to make them heartier, tastier, more nutritive? Does this process reduce their safety? Do consumers need to know whether their food has been genetically modified? And while we’re at it, what exactly is genetic modification?
"Science: It’s A Girl Thing!"
And in case you wanted some better examples of what a scientist really looks like, our good friend Allie Wilkinson started this amazing Tumblr.
Oh, and this is a pretty good example of what women in science look like, too.
Do you think the video is sexist? Tweet us your thoughts @HuffPostScience. We’re collecting user reactions for a slideshow, and yours may be featured.
Vaccines & Autism: Controversy Persists, But Why?
The vaccine-autism controversy has been brewing ever since Andrew Wakefield published his infamous 1998 paper in The Lancet. Fourteen years later, the study has been retracted and scientists have had no luck finding a legitimate link between childhood vaccinations and autism. Yet, the debate rages on.
Why does over 20 percent of the population still think that vaccines cause autism? And what happens when parents act on their fears, refusing to inoculate their own children against dangerous diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella?