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Simone M. Scully

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    What’s Worse: Unwanted Mutations or Unwanted Humans?

    Three of the rare Przewalski’s horses that now roam the area near the Chernobyl nuclear plant.Photograph by Sergey Gaschak After a fatal series of errors and malfunctions in the early morning of April 26, 1986, the core of the Chernobyl nuclear facility melted down and then exploded, killing 31 workers at the plant. The accident […]

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    The 6 Most Surprising, Important Inventions From World War I

    British soldiers in a World War I trench.Photograph by Ernest Brooks / Australian War Memorial / Wikicommons Just over 100 years ago, on the 28th of June, 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Sarajevo. That set into motion a chain of events that, within several weeks, culminated in the European great […]

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    You Can “Catch” Stress Through a TV Screen

    Couch potatoes beware—characters in distress are hazardous to your health.

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    The 6 Most Surprising, Important Inventions From World War I

    British soldiers in a WWI trenchAustralian War Memorial Just over 100 years ago, on the 28th of June, 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Sarajevo. That set into motion a chain of events that, within several weeks, culminated in the European great powers declaring war on each other. The resulting conflict […]

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    What’s Worse: Unwanted Mutations or Unwanted Humans?

    Three of the rare Przewalski’s horses that now roam the area near the Chernobyl nuclear plant.Sergey Gaschak After a fatal series of errors and malfunctions in the early morning of April 26, 1986, the core of the Chernobyl nuclear facility melted down and then exploded, killing 31 workers at the plant. The accident spewed massive […]

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    The Animals That Taste Only Saltiness

      Taste plays an important function for most animals far beyond enriching their culinary experiences. At its most basic level, it’s a last-ditch defense against poison, telling the eater whether to swallow or spit out a mouthful of potentially lethal material. Humans can detect five primary tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami (sometimes called “savory”). […]

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    You Can “Catch” Stress Through a TV Screen

    Your heart rate speeds up, your breathing quickens. Your muscles tighten. Your stomach ties itself in knots. All of these changes are symptoms of the condition called stress. When animals, including humans, are under acute stress, their bodies respond with a powerful neurochemical chain reaction. Glucose, the fuel for our cells, is released into the […]

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    An Expert’s Guide to Celebrity Faces

    The way we process faces means that symmetry is only part of the story.

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    Strange Eyeless Fish Creates Its Own Sonar Signals to “See”

    The blind cavefish alongside two of its sighted relativesImage Courtesy of NYU Deep in some pitch-black, underwater caves in Mexico, there lives a peculiar little pinkish-white fish. Only about four inches long, this albino has taste buds on the outside of its lower jaw, sleeps very little, and, most interestingly, has no eyes.  This blind […]

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    Born of Meteor Dust, Unusual Clouds Appear in the Night Sky

    Martin Koitmäe via Flickr If you look to the darkening sky after the end of a long summer day, you might see tendril-like clouds with a blueish tinge that hang at the edge of space. They appear when conditions are right, generally at latitudes close to the North or South Poles, and only when the […]