A comprehensive new report released by the UN is warning that the world’s oceans are in danger, currently facing a scourge of unnatural warming, rising, acidifying, and deoxygenating. Covering over 361 million square kilometers (139 million square miles), the oceans sprawl over 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, and its
The clinical definition of physical death occurs when an individual’s heart stops beating and brain stops functioning, but what about other biological functions that still carry on after these two admittedly important processes cease? Medical science has long assumed that neurons degrade quickly after their supply of oxygen and nutrients are cut off, but a recent study on post-mortem cellular processes has upended these traditional notions of how long the body’s cellular processes continue after death, showing that some types of cells can be not only alive for days afterward, but some are also more active than when the individual was still alive and kicking.
While we tend to think of the concept of a cat-and-mouse chase to be a one-way affair, this isn’t always the case with the animals that originated the phrase: a parasite, called Toxoplasma gondii, can create a suicidal aggressiveness in mice, specifically directed toward cats, in order to get the targeted feline to eat the infected rodent. Needless to say, there’s a point to such self-destructive behavior, as the Toxoplasma parasite can only reproduce inside the intestines of a cat.
A professor of solid and structural mechanics at the University of Trento in Italy has come up with a way of combining natural spider silk and artificial graphene-based nanoparticles to produce a lightweight material three times stronger than steel. What’s more, this material is spun naturally by the spiders themselves, bypassing the need for problematic manufacturing processes.