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sarah zhang

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    Seeing Electricity, Hearing Magnetism & Other Sensory Feats

    For elephants, feet are sensory organs.Martin Harvey, Getty Images It’s pretty obvious that dogs have sharper ears and cats a keener sense of smell than we do. But as powerful these senses are, they are merely keener versions of the ones we humans possess. The animal kingdom also boast some senses that are arguably more […]

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    How Jocks and Mathletes Are Alike

    Seven sports that come down to how well your neurons play.

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    The Curious Case of the Exploding Pig Farms

    This pig farm was devastated by an explosion due to foaming. Ross Muhlbauer, Iowa State University At first, the manure was just harmlessly foaming. Only later on did things get lethal.  Hog farms in the Midwest are great big barns sitting on top of great big pits filled with a great deal of awful-smelling manure. […]

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    Drug Users Are Secretive; Their Sewers Tell All

    In London’s waste system, like this stretch of the King’s Scholars Pond Sewer, concentration of urinary biomarkers for ecstasy is among the highest of any European city. Jon Doe via Flickr The sewage doesn’t lie.  People, however, are less than honest when asked about things like their illicit drug use. Each year, the National Survey […]

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    Decapitation, But Not Cannibalism, Might Transmit Memories

    Cross-section of a planarianJubal Harshaw via Shutterstock Earlier this year, scientists published a bizarre finding: A decapitated flatworm that grows a new head seems to retain memories from its old one. Weird—but not even close to the weirdest finding in the annals of flatworm memory research. Half a century ago, experiments by James McConnell the […]

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    One Weird Trick to Save the World (Using Polar Bears)

    This is exactly the kind of photo you would not see in environmentalist literature.BMJ / Shutterstock When environmentalists petitioned to designate the polar bear a threatened animal under the Endangered Species Act in 2005, they were not, in fact, out to save the polar bear. They were out to save the world. Since the polar […]

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    Medical Terms That Still Bear the Mark of the Third Reich

    Dr. Hans Reiter achieved the one thing most likely to keep a physician’s name in textbooks forever: He got an illness named after him. While working as a medic in the German army in World War I, he once treated a case of simultaneous inflammation in the joints, eyes, and urethra. This became known as […]