What I've Learned From Bill Nye

on . Posted in Science

Recently, I’ve written about how fake news and deceptive publishing practices are making it difficult for consumers to distinguish fact from fiction when it comes to science. This issue is always top of mind for me, because whenever I speak at conferences or talk to reporters, I am inevitably asked at least one question about false claims, “internet myths,” and even retracted “scientific” studies regarding GMOs.

New Study FINALLY Explains Why Your Shoe Laces Come Untied

on . Posted in Science

It’s a problem no one has dared to study before: why, exactly, do shoelaces come untied? 

Three mechanical engineers at UC Berkeley ― Christine Gregg, Oliver O’Reilly, and Christopher Daily-Diamond ― have been busy figuring out the answer to one of life’s simplest (and most annoying) problems.

Wild Bison Return To Canada’s Oldest National Park After More Than A Century

on . Posted in Science

After more than 130 years, wild bison have returned to Canada’s oldest national park.

Humans had hunted the animal almost to extinction, and they had not been seen in the Banff National Park area since before it was established in 1885.

How New Genetic Technologies Are Reshaping Pregnancy And Parenting

on . Posted in Science

As the nascent field of genetic testing advances, expectant parents face a dizzying array of new and difficult questions. Would you want to know if your child will have Down syndrome? Or if your baby is genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease? What about if the fetus has a gene duplication that might mean nothing ― or could spell a serious genetic disorder? 

The sci-fi world of designer babies may not be here yet, but modern genetic technology is already fundamentally changing pregnancy and parenting.

How we discovered the vampire bats that have learned to drink human blood

on . Posted in Science

Doesn't look like much of a threat, does he? Gerry Carter/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA

Enrico Bernard, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

What's for dinner? For some Brazilian vampire bats, these days it's human blood.

That's the surprising outcome of my research, recently published in the Acta Chiropterologica journal, which revealed that the hairy-legged vampire bat of Pernambuco, Brazil, has developed an appetite for human blood over that of other possible prey.

Anyone Can Become An Internet Troll, According To Stanford Computer Scientists

on . Posted in Science

Most people are quick to dismiss internet trolls as completely unlike themselves ― the fabled 400-pound guy sitting on his bed, for instance.

And with partisan rage taking over Twitter alongside the election of a troller in chief, it can feel like we’re living in the golden age of internet trolling: Posting inflammatory and offensive comments online for the purpose of provoking others has become a sadly common phenomenon.

Why Skipping Vaccines Is A Public, Not Personal, Health Choice

on . Posted in Science

(Reuters Health) - Too many U.S. adults are not getting vaccinated, putting themselves and others at risk, immunization experts say.

According to the latest available data, about 44 percent of adults over age 19 had a flu shot; 20 percent had a TDAP vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; and 20 percent of 19-to-64-year-olds at risk of pneumonia had that vaccine (compared to 60 percent of those over 65).