Rachael Sharman / The Conversation
at 15:50 PM Oct 12 2017
Roberto Tumini via Unsplash
Science // 

Most people are probably familiar with the classic fight or flight response to a feared stimulus. If a snake were to fall from the ceiling on top of you as you read this, you have two options: fight off the snake or get away from it as quickly as possible.

Stan Horaczek
at 15:50 PM Oct 12 2017
Amazon
Gadgets // 

There's an old man sitting just outside the frame of this photo of the sea. Trust us.

Claire Maldarelli
at 15:50 PM Oct 12 2017
Depositphotos

We all hear about how bad red meat is for both the planet's health and our own. Planet-wise, there's no argument: The detrimental effects of greenhouse gases from livestock production on the earth's atmosphere can't be overlooked. So, for the month of October, members of the PopSci staff are abstaining from all forms of red meat (#NoRedOctober) for the sake of the environment, and, by extension, for our own good. We have to live here, after all. It's in our best interest to minimize the cow farts.

Sara Chodosh
at 15:50 PM Oct 12 2017
Deposit Photos

  This might sound like sacrilege, but it's not hard to understand why over half of all people in the U.S. avoid getting the flu shot every year. It's a real pain—let's just start there. Lots of people hate needles or are outright afraid of them, and that's reasonable enough. Very few people want a stranger to poke them in the arm with something sharp. Sometimes you even get fatigue, or aches in your muscles. Then, to add insult to injury, you sometimes end up coming down with the flu anyway. What was even the point? And they want you to do this every year? Voluntarily?

Mary Beth Griggs
at 15:50 PM Oct 12 2017
Carl Fuldner and Shane DuBay
Nature // 

As the male field sparrow soared through the smoke-laden Illinois sky on May 6, 1906, it had no idea that the end was near. It also had no idea that its feathers were collecting scientific data—information that would prove invaluable to researchers more than a century later.

Billy Cadden
at 15:50 PM Oct 12 2017
Lotia
Gaming // 

If you've got a pulse and a decent memory, you must admit that there are some dreams you had as a pre-teen that you wish you hadn't given up on for practicality's sake. It's the kind of thing you think about rarely, when you read an article about an astronaut or meet a novelist at a party.

Kate Baggaley
at 15:50 PM Oct 12 2017
George Schellenger
Nature // 

The shortfin mako is a strikingly blue, athletic shark with a dubious honor: its meat is considered delicious. While other species are spurned as being tough or unappealing, mako frequently shows up on restaurant menus.

Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
at 15:50 PM Oct 12 2017

The Shanghai-based Institute for Quantum Information and Quantum Technology Innovation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences unveiled this quantum computing device in May 2017.

David Nield
at 12:37 PM Oct 6 2017
Facebook

With more than 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook can keep tabs on nearly a third of the world's population. Whether you visit the social network daily (as 1.32 billion people do) or only log on to RSVP to events, you should be aware of how much of your personal data you're giving to the site, and the company behind it.

Sara Chodosh
at 12:37 PM Oct 6 2017
Echeverri et al.
Nature // 

You don't often feel bad for spiders. But when a fuzzy, black-eyed jumping spider raises his green forearms into the air, wiggles his butt, and flashes his orange knees, only to have a lady spider literally turn around in the middle of his dance...what kind of monster doesn't feel a pang of empathy? It doesn't even matter that arachnids are unlikely to experience rejection and angst the way humans do—you feel for the little guy.

Rob Verger
at 12:37 PM Oct 6 2017
Uber
Cars // 

A ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft seems like it should help stem drunk driving by offering an easy, cheap option for tipsy customers to get home at the end of the night. And Uber even claims on its website that ride-hailing options like it “are helping to curb drunk driving.” But new research shows that Uber's presence in a city only inconsistently leads to a decline in accidents caused by intoxication behind the wheel, and there's far from being a conclusive answer to the question.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 12:37 PM Oct 6 2017
Tom Jorgensen, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa
Space // 

When it comes to space exploration, Don Gurnett has seen it all. He still vividly remembers seeing America's first attempt at a satellite launch, the Vanguard project, blew up on the launch pad from the comfort of his living room. When it comes time to talk of more modern cosmic endeavors, he will wax poetic about hydrocarbon rains falling into pools of methane on Titan. He's been there for everything, and he's not done yet.

Dennis Mersereau
at 11:36 AM Oct 5 2017
CIRA/RAMMB/NOAA
Nature // 

The brief lull in the Atlantic Ocean's hurricane activity seems to have come to an end sooner than we'd hoped. A new tropical depression is brewing in the western Caribbean Sea, and it could threaten the United States this weekend and early next week. It's still too soon to know what effects the storm will have, but the threat exists for a potential hurricane to approach the Gulf Coast on Sunday or Monday.

Ellen Airhart
at 11:36 AM Oct 5 2017
Martin Högbom, Stockholm University
Science // 

Before the invention of cryo-electron microscopy, which won biochemists Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday, scientists had to stain or fix cells before they looked at them under an electron microscope. That process often caused fragile biological structures to fall apart, and if they didn't, the radiation from the electron microscope or the vacuum the scientists put the cells into often turned the once-living specimens into mush. Cryo-electron therapy allows scientists to look at the cells as if they were in their natural liquid environment—just like they are in our bodies.

Kendra Pierre-Louis
at 11:36 AM Oct 5 2017
Deposit Photos

Most of the damage caused by a hurricane is obvious—roofs ripped off buildings, homes flooded, downed electrical lines. But long after the eye of the storm has passed, big storms can continue to spread disaster.

 
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