Sarah Holman

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The best science and technology pictures of the week

This week's best images in science and tech, including migrating whales, a new supersonic plane and how to wash your hair in space.<p><b>More stunning image galleries:</b><p>Space ventures, extreme Earth, and hot elephants<p>Flying aces, challenging swims and confused robots<p>Supermoon, Tesla coils and medical clowns<p>…

Record heatwave deaths? It's sunstroke I am worried about

Sophisticated statistical models of historic data produced yesterday's front page estimates of up to 760 extra deaths caused by the current heatwave. …

Return of long-absent bumblebee near Seattle stirs scientific buzz

OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - A North American bumblebee species that all but vanished from about half of its natural range has re-emerged in Washington state, delighting scientists who voiced optimism the insect might eventually make a recovery in the Pacific Northwest.<p>The western bumble bee, …

Fat livers fuel sharks on long journeys

<b>STANFORD (US) —</b> To power non-stop migrations across the Pacific Ocean, great white sharks store energy in their massive livers.<p>Great white sharks are …

Monterey Bay Aquarium

RNA error linked to deadly childhood disorder

<b>IOWA STATE (US) —</b> The identification of an RNA structure in humans could lead to a new treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, the leading genetic …

Genetics

When eyes don’t recycle, vision suffers

<b>WASHINGTON U. – ST. LOUIS (US) —</b> Good vision depends, at least in part, on a recycling process in the eye that mops up cellular debris and reuses …

Washington University in St. Louis

Chimps, Orangutans Have Human-Like Memories

A single cue—the taste of a madeleine, a small cake, dipped in lime tea—was all Marcel Proust needed to be transported down memory lane. He had what …

Meet Yuka, the 39,000-year-old mummified woolly mammoth scientists want to clone

Why boredom could be deadly on the long trip to Mars

Forget the deadly radiation, a seven-month trip to Mars is going to be very very boring. At least that's what worrying researchers in the NASA-funded Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) project. According to the <i>New York Times</i>, boredom's effect on human brain activity is largely …

Genetically modified flourescent fish could help the early detection of cancer

Cancer detecting fluorescent fish and mini pigs are just some of the animals on display at the Bio Taiwan 2013 Exhibition.<p>The animals are being used to help advance medical investigation in key areas such as cancer research.<p>Liver genes in the fish are modified and dyed to help monitor cell growth, …

Carry this heart gene mutation? Don’t work out

<b>JOHNS HOPKINS (US) —</b> Exercise is a potentially deadly risk even for otherwise healthy carriers of a heart-related genetic mutation, research …

Medicine

Mystery Animal Contest: Who Is This Long-Snouted Creature?

Guess the species (either common or Linnaean) by tweeting at us--we're @PopSci--and get your name listed right here! Plus eternal glory, obviously. Update: We have a winner!<p>So, here are the rules: To answer, follow us on Twitter and tweet at us with the hashtag #mysteryanimal. For example:<p><b>Hey</b> …

Watch Archaeologists Explore a Gulf of Mexico Shipwreck

The early 19th-century ship is the deepest wreck under investigation in U.S. waters.<p><b>Warship, privateer, or passenger ship: The identity of an early 19th-century, copper-clad shipwreck resting on the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico (map) could be any number of things. A group of researchers is on its</b> …

FYI: If A Mosquito Bites Me After I’ve Had A Beer, Can It Get Drunk?

B-b-b-buzzz<p>Shockingly, no major studies have been conducted on this topic. "The implications are, however, profound," says Michael Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland. "Reckless flying, passing out in frosty beer mugs, hitting on crane flies instead of mosquito babes. Frightening!" …

Tiny New Armored Catfish Species Found in Brazil

A tiny new species of catfish has been discovered in the waters of Rio Rio Para�ba do Sul basin, Brazil. The new species, <i>Pareiorhina hyptiorhachis</i>, …

Machine Squeezes Drinking Water From Your Sweaty T-Shirt

Tasty<p>I think the question here isn't whether you'd drink your own, but whether you'd drink someone else's. One company has designed a system, called Sweat Machine, to wring sweat out of clothes and turn it into potable water.<p>The Sweat Machine heats and spins clothes to extract the liquid from them, …

The Best Space Images Ever Were Taken by Apollo Astronauts With Hasselblad Cameras | WIRED

The most iconic photos from the manned exploration of space come from the monumental Apollo project. But if you're not a camera buff or a …

Why Ancient Earth Was So Warm

Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere kept the planet toasty, model shows.<p><b>Some three to four billion years ago, Earth was about as warm as it is today, but the sun was much dimmer.</b><p>This so-called faint young sun paradox, first identified by astronomer Carl Sagan in the early 1970s, has flummoxed many a …

Strange New Clam Species, Named Waldo, Discovered on Spines of Sea Urchins

A strange new species of clam, named <i>Waldo</i>, has been discovered on the spines of California sea urchins. <i>Waldo arthuri</i> have a thin, translucent shell …

Researchers Find Biggest Viruses on Earth. They Have Named Them Pandoravirus

Mimiviruses, which are extremely large viruses, were discovered about ten years ago. The discovery prompted the scientific community to reconsider …

New to nature no 109: Anochetus hohenbergiae

At any given moment, it is estimated that there are about 10,000 trillion living individual ants. Myrmecologists Bert Hölldobler and Edward O Wilson …

Sudden outbreak of measles linked to vaccine fears in the 1990s

Fears that vaccines cause autism led to an explosion of measles cases this year in southwest Wales, according to <i>The Wall Street Journal</i>. Between November and July, 1,219 people in southwest Wales contracted the measles, compared with 105 cases in all of Wales in 2011, according to the report.<p>The</i> …

A Florida Man Woke Up In A Motel Room Speaking Only Swedish. Could It Happen To You?

A cheat sheet for the strange case of Michael Boatwright, the 61-year-old who reportedly forgot his native language.<p>Michael Boatwright, a Florida man found unconscious in a California Motel 6 months ago, woke up in a Palm Springs hospital in February speaking exclusively Swedish. News of …

Supplementing your disease: why multivitamins might be doing more harm than good

<i>The Atlantic</i> has this week published an excerpt from Dr. Paul Offit's <i>Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine</i>, which takes a closer look at the conventional wisdom underpinning the multibillion-dollar vitamin supplement industry. Offit, who is credited with …

Pay For Your Next Meal With Your Face

The world's first facial recognition payment system lets you ditch your credit card.<p>Finland-based company Uniqul is preparing to release a payment system that uses facial recognition software to link a customer with his or her bank account. Instead of swiping a credit card to purchase goods (which …

Gene Machine

A pipe that copies DNA using the heat of a lightbulb.<p>Biology's equivalent of an office copier is a PCR machine. PCR, short for polymerase chain reaction, is now a staple in crime-scene forensics, heredity tests, and organism hijacking. It's a mind-boggling feat. Among billions of base pairs that …