One of NASA's greatest spacecraft will call it quits on September 15, 2017. The Cassini spacecraft has made countless discoveries during its sojourn to Saturn and its surrounding moons. It has also sent back nearly 400,000 images, many of which are purely spectacular, with surely more to come during the final months of the mission as Cassini explores new territory between Saturn and its rings.
Sound the alarms: Water doesn't always freeze when it should. In fact, you can chill water and most other liquids below the temperatures at which they usually freeze. Scientists once cooled water down to the frigid temperature of -51°C, and the H2O remained liquid, at least for a fraction of a second, before it flash-froze. But forget scientists—you can use this phenomenon, called supercooling or undercooling, to make instant slushies—even beer slushies.
"Tears in Eyes" is a Sichuan dish of soft rice noodles covered in a spicy sauce made of dried, fresh, and pickled chill peppers, chili oil, and, of course, the iconic Sichuan peppercorn. It more than lives up to its name. The dish's capsaicin content (capsaicin is what gives chilis their bite) is so intense that as tears stream down your face, you start to believe that you're doing irreversible damage to your tongue. It is also delicious.
Many human beings spend the majority of their time indoors, interacting with and coming into contact with other humans, and objects that other humans have touched. At the same time, we're surrounded (inside and out) by a teeming mass of millions of species of microbes that they spread to the people and things surrounding us. Recently, scientists have become interested in these tiny organisms—collectively known as the microbiome—and how they influence our health. And they've come along way. We have a much better understanding of how some of these organisms influence our weight, and our susceptibility to certain diseases.
As we learn to read, neuroplasticity conquers a network that is deeply rooted in the brain. This reorganization makes us increasingly efficient at visually navigating through letter strings, or a group of letters that appear in a word (for example, the “str” in string, straight, and strike).
Listen: we all want to believe that we make good choices. It doesn't matter if I douse my lettuce in fatty salad dressing, it's still good for me. Yes, there is an awful lot of sugary granola in my yogurt but hey, it's Greek yogurt. And maybe I do eat a lot of chocolate, but so what? It's good for my heart!
Even though VR headsets are small enough to strap onto your face, they can make objects in the virtual scene seem far off in the distance. The headsets accomplish this immersive, visual trick by having two key optical parts: screens inside that display the images, and magnifying glass-like lenses between your eyes and those screens. It's those lenses that allows a virtual dinosaur to look as if it's in the scene in front of you, and not just on small screens inches from your eyes.
When you think of gene editing technologies like CRISPR, you might imagine editing genes that relate to height, eye color, or our risk of getting certain diseases. But in truth, our DNA and RNA are full of countless proteins whose jobs have tiny yet important effects on our health. Some, for example, are heavily involved in the cell cycle, which regulates how all cells grow and divide—including cancer cells. A group of researchers out of the University of Rochester Medical Center recently used the CRISPR gene editing technique to try to eliminate one of the key proteins that allow cancer cells to proliferate out of control. While it's just a first-of-its-kind study, the researchers think that in the future, it could be incorporated into a therapy to treat the disease.
If you're looking to play it safe when it comes to illicit substances, look no further than the humble shroom. It's non-addictive, hard to overdose on, and you can grow it yourself. And, according to a massive report by the Global Drug Survey, it sends the fewest people to the emergency room of any drug on the market. Take that, meth.