Study Confirms Suspicions That Cat Brains Are Smaller Than They Used to Be

As cats have become domesticated over the last 10,000 years or so, their brains have shrunk significantly in size, a new study confirms – a finding that could lead to important new insights into how animals adapt when they start being regularly kept by human beings.   Researchers compared the size of craniums (an indicator … Read more

Wild New Paper Suggests Earth’s Tectonic Activity Has an Unseen Source

Earth is far from a solid mass of rock. The outer layer of our planet – known as the lithosphere – is made up of more than 20 tectonic plates; as these gargantuan slates glide about the face of the planet, we get the movement of continents, and interaction at the boundaries, not least of which is … Read more

Mysterious Effects of Smoking May Surface Even 3 Generations Later, Study Finds

The great-granddaughters of men who smoked cigarettes when they were pre-pubescent boys are more likely to carry excess fat on their bodies as young women several decades later, a rather startling study has found.   The discovery – which scientists claim is one of the “first human demonstrations of transgenerational effects of an environmental exposure … Read more

Bioengineers Have Modeled The Workings of The World’s Most Basic Synthetic Life Form

Life is complicated. Even the smallest cells contain a mind-blowing assortment of chemical reactions that allow them to thrive in a chaotic landscape. If we want to know where to draw the line between life and bubbles of stale old organic soup, it helps to strip away the non-essential extras to expose the core components, … Read more

Researchers detect 1st merger between black holes with eccentric orbits

Scientists have for the first time confirmed the merger of two highly eccentric black holes.  Egg-shaped eccentric orbits form when two black holes spiral towards each other and collide under each other’s strong gravitational influence. Therefore, highly eccentric orbits may suggest black holes repeatedly snack on other black holes in densely populated areas, like the … Read more

The World’s Massive Need For More Solar Panels Has One Shiny Catch

There’s a major catch to the world’s need for solar panels, a new analysis suggests. The booming solar panel market – which is critical for a clean energy future – could demand close to half the world’s aluminum by 2050. Thankfully, there are ways we can mitigate this.    Unlike more precious metals, such as … Read more

Clinical-Grade Pig Kidney Transplanted Into Human Patient in Scientific First

For only the second time ever – and the first involving a clinical-grade organ – a genetically modified pig kidney has successfully been transplanted into a brain-dead human body, in a milestone example of xenotransplantation.   Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are trapped in an agonizing wait for a lifesaving organ donation. But there are … Read more

We Have Breached The Safe Planetary Limit For Synthetic Chemicals, Scientists Warn

From sea to land to sky, Earth’s systems are contaminated with synthetic substances, and scientists warn it has already pushed the integrity of our planet over the brink. Today, there are about 350,000 human-made chemicals on the market, including plastics, pesticides, industrial chemicals, cosmetic chemicals, antibiotics, and other drugs.   The fact this number continues … Read more

We’re Facing a Myopia ‘Epidemic’, Scientists Say. Here’s Why

Scientists are warning of an emerging ‘epidemic‘ of myopia or near-sightedness, having observed sharp increases in the adult onset of myopia among late baby boomers. Based on data collected from 107,442 participants in the extensive Biobank program in the UK, people born in the late 1960s are 10 percent more likely to be near-sighted than … Read more

Beetle Larvae on US University Campus Found to Jump in a Completely Unknown Way

While most of us avoid creepy-crawlies at all costs, entomologists – scientists who study insects – need to actively go looking for them. “My colleague noticed a dead tree in the middle of our university campus,” entomologist Adrian Smith from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences told ScienceAlert.   “If you’re an entomologist, when you … Read more