In the documentary film "Citizenfour" by Laura Poitras, it’s revealed that Edward Snowden’s longtime girlfriend Lindsay Mills also left the United States and joined Snowden in Russia. Cheekily, Vogue suggests a trio of outfits for Mills, to match both the climate and the need for discretion that comes with proximity to the source of a major intelligence leak.
After crossing multiple time zones it can feel like your entire body is worn out. And it turns out, that’s true, even down to the bacteria in your gut. In a study published last week in the journal Cell, researchers found that in both humans and mice, the gut microbiome was affected by changes to the test subjects' biological clocks. The human subjects went on a trip from the U.S. to Israel -- an eight- to ten-hour time zone difference. The mice in the study didn't get to go anywhere (humans have all the fun), but they had their feeding habits and the light in their habitats disrupted. In both the humans and the mice, the researchers took fecal samples before and after to see which bacteria were thriving in their guts. Not only did they find that the bacteria in the gut changed, they found that the bacteria who thrived under the changing conditions were the ones most associated with obesity and other health issues.
When the first working gun was 3-D printed in the United States, the government responded not through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, but instead through the State Department. Guns, it turns out, aren’t terribly hard to get in the United States, so a 3-D printed gun doesn’t radically change gun access here. In countries with stricter gun control laws, though, printing a gun is a new risk. This week, Japan sentenced 28-year-old Yoshitomo Imura to two years in prison for printing guns and instructing others on how to print them.
The treatment, developed by researchers in the UK and Poland, involved removing one of Fidyka's olfactory bulbs (the structures in the brain that allow you to smell) growing cells from the bulb, and then injecting those cells into the damaged area of Fidyka's spinal cord. The researchers were interested in cells from the olfactory bulb in particular because the nerves in the olfactory system are the only part of the human nervous system known to regrow after being damaged, with the help of olfactory ensheathing cells.
Now a group of scientists are decoding the mystery surrounding this bizarre disorder. By mapping the genome of each individual in the Pakistan family, researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden identified a single genetic mutation responsible for the condition. Known as ITPR2, the gene is responsible for controlling sweat production, and knocking it out can stop sweat secretion altogether.
Of sports played on ice, hockey tends to get the most attention when it comes to injuries. But figure skaters are also pretty injury-prone, and because of the aesthetic nature of their sport, most figure skaters eschew pads and protective gear while on the ice. This means avoiding injuries can be difficult for practitioners of the sport, in which skaters can exert forces of more than six times their body weight during a jump.
New York City is the city that never sleeps, and if a new study from the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering is any indication, it’s home to plenty of active Internet connections around the clock. But there are plenty of places around the globe where the Internet actually does sleep at night.
About a year ago, Popular Science introduced a robot into the office (the fancy Park Ave New York office, that is - Australian Ed). One of the many virtues of working at a magazine such as ours is that we’re free to test all sorts of cool stuff. So we called the guys at Suitable Technologies and asked them to send us a BeamPro, the telepresence robot made famous by Edward Snowden (no doubt, he got the idea from us).
Humans love their LEDs. So much so, they’re winning Nobel Prizes in physics. Given their electrical efficiency and long lifespan, these remarkable light-emitting diodes are being used more and more as primary light sources, and experts argue they could help reduce the world’s overall electricity and material consumption for lighting.
In a paper in Physical Biology, scientists have published the first mathematical model of how human nails grow. The researchers have found that nail health is a delicate balance between the adhesive forces that hold the nail securely in the finger, versus the nail’s movement as it slides forever forward toward the fingertip. Other factors, like thickness, biomechanical stress, and the way you trim your nails can influence whether you develop nail problems.
It’s easy to forget that the International Space Station isn’t just a place for astronauts to hang out and take epic selfies. Because of its unique microgravity environment, the station is actually a valuable hub for research and development, housing hundreds of ongoing experiments that involve everything from human tissue growth to protein crystal formation. Except there’s one little snag when it comes to conducting experiments on the ISS: It’s kind of far away. Getting critical samples from the station to Earth can be a lengthy process, and researchers usually have to wait anywhere from six months to a year before samples can make the trip to laboratories on the ground. These long waits can be risky, as live biological samples have a perishable lifespan and often need to be reviewed quickly before they degrade.
The magnetic poles of the earth have switched back and forth many, many times during the 4.54 billion years that the Earth has been around. Previous research suggested that the process of reversing the poles took place over a long time period, potentially over a few thousand years. But new research shows that the reversal could actually happen much faster than that, with the magnetic North Pole migrating to the South Pole in a time span as short as a century.