Thomas Ducey

193 Flips | 1 Magazine | 98 Likes | 4 Following | 7 Followers | @ThomasDucey | Microbiologist

Should I kill spiders in my home? An entomologist explains why not to

I know it may be hard to convince you, but let me try: Don’t kill the next spider you see in your home.<p>Why? Because spiders are an important part of …

Insects

Why Do These Lizards Have Green Blood? - The Atlantic

In 1969, two biologists wrote about three lizards from New Guinea whose insides were green. The color ranged from a deep blue-green to a vivid lime hue, and it was everywhere. The lizards’ bodies, when dissected, revealed green bones, muscles, and blood. Their mouths, when opened, were green. Their …

Biology

Drugs taken by up to 2 million people raise dementia risk by 30 per cent

Some anti-depressants and bladder medications may heighten the risk of developing dementia, according to new researchers who are warning doctors to …

The Brain

These Common Antidepressants Could Contribute to Dementia Decades Later

Tricky risk assessments.<p>A class of medication used to treat conditions such as depression, incontinence, and gastrointestinal disorders has been …

The Brain

The Yellowstone supervolcano is a disaster waiting to happen

Yellowstone National Park sits squarely over a giant, active volcano. This requires attention.<p>Yellowstone has been a national park since 1872, but it was only in the 1960s that scientists realized the scale of the volcano - it's 44 miles across - and not until the 1980s did they grasp that this …

Geology

Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles

Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles – by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles.<p>The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first …

Pollution

Diamonds Buried Within Rare Meteorites Reveal Existence of "Lost Planet"

In 2008, astronomer Richard Kowalski looked into a telescope in Tucson, Arizona, and spotted an asteroid called 2008 TC3 barreling through the …

The Atomic-Bomb Core That Escaped World War II

Before two deadly nuclear mishaps, scientists used to risk “tickling the tail of a sleeping dragon.” An Object Lesson.<p>In 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, the physicist Louis Slotin stood in front of a low table at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, concentrating intensely on the object …

Nuclear Energy

Beekeepers refuse to put thousands of colonies in Fraser Valley blueberry fields

Beekeepers, including major operators from Alberta, are refusing to put thousands of their colonies in the Fraser Valley this spring due to health …

New research suggests there could be life on Venus—and NASA agrees

Is there life on Venus? New research suggests there might be, although not on the planet’s surface. Venus’ clouds could provide a habitat for …

A Really Common Medication Has Been Linked to Doubled Risk of Stomach Cancer

Here's what you need to know.<p>A class of drugs commonly used to treat acid reflux and heartburn has been linked to a greater-than-doubled risk of …

NASA Has Invented an Incredible New Space Navigation Technique

Oh, the places we'll go!<p>NASA has invented a new type of autonomous space navigation that could see human-made spacecraft heading into the far reaches …

These Birds of Prey Are Deliberately Setting Forests on Fire

Even more proof Australian wildlife is nuts.<p>It's pretty hot in Australia right now. A brutal heatwave that's incinerated temperature records …

Birds

3 Simple Steps to Mastering Any New Subject, According to a Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist

Learn anything faster using the Feynman Technique.<p>As we get older, learning something new becomes more complex, tedious, and time-consuming than …

2018 Will Be The Year Humanity Directly 'Sees' Our First Black Hole

Black holes are some of the most incredible objects in the Universe. There are places where so much mass has gathered in such a tiny volume that the individual matter particles cannot remain as they normally are, and instead collapse down to a singularity. Surrounding this singularity is a …

Black Holes

Dream Chaser flight test update: The video is pretty awesome

“The Dream Chaser had a beautiful flight and landing!”<p><b>Wednesday update</b>: This week Sierra Nevada provided some additional information about the …

Space Exploration

DNA replication caught on film for the first time undermines textbooks

The image you see here isn’t of the USS Enterprise in warp, it’s an image of DNA replication captured for the first time. The interesting part is …

Monsanto Attacks Scientists After Studies Show Trouble For Weedkiller Dicamba

In a normal year, Kevin Bradley, a professor of weed science at the University of Missouri, would have spent his summer testing new ways to control a troublesome little plant called water hemp.<p>This has not been a normal year.<p>"I don't even talk about weed management anymore," Bradley tells me, and …

Agriculture

A spacecraft graveyard exists in the middle of the ocean — here's what's down there

The most remote location on Earth has many names: It's called Point Nemo (Latin for "no one") and the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility. Most precisely, its exact coordinates are 48 degrees 52.6 minutes south latitude and 123 degrees 23.6 minutes west longitude.<p>The spot is about 1,450 nautical miles …

Space Exploration

Scientists Just Found the Perfect Spot to Build an Underground Colony on the Moon

For years, scientists have wondered if dark, crater-like features on the lunar surface might be entrances to giant caverns carved long ago by flowing …

NASA Is Running Out of The Most Precious Ingredient Needed For Future Space Missions

Houston, we really do have a problem.<p>Classroom models lie - our Solar System isn't a bunch of bright, closely nestled orbs.<p>Instead, other planets are …

Nuclear Energy

One of the oldest climate change experiments has led to a troubling conclusion

One of the regular complaints of climate change doubters and skeptics is that scientific projections of a dire future are too heavily based on computer simulations, or models, which — they say — rest on a variety of questionable assumptions.<p>But a major climate change study published Thursday relied …

Climate Change

Surprise! Rosetta sent back unexpected final comet image

Revisit the craggy surface of Comet 67P with a new last look from the Rosetta spacecraft.<p>Rosetta's final image wasn't really its final image.<p>The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Sept. 30, 2016. It sent back what scientists thought was its final …

Space

A microbiologist explains why he hasn't slept without this on his bed in 25 years

New York University microbiologist Philip Tierno hasn't slept a night in 25 years without something on his mattress that few people even think of buying.<p>It's a super-thin, largely invisible cover that slips over the mattress. And it protects him from what he calls a "zoologic park" of bacteria and …

Freezing your credit after the Equifax breach won't prevent the most common type of identity theft — here's what will

After the Equifax breach, which exposed sensitive personal information for nearly 150 million Americans, identity-theft horror stories have been easy to come by.<p>One solution, according to many experts, is freezing your credit— something hardly anyone has done.<p>Equifax offered consumers the option to …

Identity Theft

A growing threat could kill 10 million people by 2050, but one company thinks it can stop it

After years of abuse in people and animals — with doctors practically doling them out like candy and farmers stirring them into animal feed — antibiotics have virtually stopped working. In January, a woman died after a raging infection that failed to respond to 26 different kinds of antibiotics. …

6,000 pounds of rotting pig carcasses can teach you a lot about nature

The roughly 6 million wild boar in the southern US have been considered pests for years. Since European explorers and settlers in the 1500s brought the swine over as a food source, they’ve become a nuisance. They eat just about everything, have no natural predators, and degrade the environment to …

Pigs

NASA wrapped its most famous spacecraft in aluminum kitchen foil — a last-minute move that may have saved the mission

NASA launched its twin Voyager probes four decades ago, one of the most exalted missions in the space agency's history.<p>The Voyager mission explored Jupiter and Saturn more deeply than ever before, surveyed Uranus and Neptune for the first time, then left the solar system. The probes are now …

Astronomy

Are We About To See A Black Hole?

If there is one thing science is good for, it's going to extremes.<p>A lot of science's history is just one story after another of people figuring out how to do something that, just a few years before, was thought to be impossible.<p>The impossible was heavy on my mind last Wednesday as I found out just …

Black Holes

Astronomers Have Spotted a Strange Hybrid Asteroid in Our Solar System

Like nothing we've seen before.<p>The Hubble space telescope has seen a lot of weird things that defy easy definition. Here's one more for the list – a …