Dawn Wenninger-Giovanetto

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Making New Elements

How scientists create superheavy atoms.<p>Last year, scientists in Germany set out to create the heaviest known element in the universe: element 119. For five months, they attempted to fuse the atoms of two lighter elements to form one large atom with 119 protons in its nucleus. Like other …

The Troubling Way Men React To Sexual Harassment

This is the first study to find a link between harassment and disordered eating in men.<p>When men and women get sexually harassed, they take it out on their bodies, according to a new study. And of the effects researchers looked for, the strongest wad in men, who were most likely to throw up or take …

FYI: Why Do We Hate The Sound Of Nails On A Chalkboard?

Screeeeeeeech!<p>Most people associate this cringe-worthy noise with words like "piercing" and "shrilling." But it isn't actually the sound's high-pitched tones that give us goose bumps. During a study that dates back to 1986 (the days when they actually used chalkboards), scientists at Northwestern …

FYI: Do I Really Need My Pinky Toe?

And without it, could I do everything a five-toed human does?<p>Walking, running and skipping with just four toes may be easier than you think.<p>"If you're born without a pinky toe or have an accident and it's removed, you can completely do everything you wanted to do," Dr. Anne Holly Johnson, …

Scientists Create First Cloned Human Embryo

The process that created Dolly the sheep in 1996 has now been proven successful in humans.<p>Human cloning has arrived. For the first time, scientists have made an embryonic clone of a person, using DNA from that person's skin cells. In the future, such a clone could be a source of stem cells, for …

What Modern Humans Can Learn From The Neanderthals' Extinction

It's a fact of the archaeological record: Modern humans survived and Neanderthals did not. Why? And what does it teach us about our own survival?<p>Neanderthals were humans who went extinct between 20,000 and 30,000 years ago. Though there is some debate about who these people were, there is no …

FYI: Which Emotion Is The Hardest To Fake?

Unlike the commonly deployed social smile, distressed expressions–anger, fear, sadness, and occasionally surprise–prove much more difficult to display on command.<p>We've all done our fair share of faking it. Whether it's a canned excited response when that one particularly eccentric aunt gives you a …

This Bacterium Can Do Division, Compute Logarithms And Take Square Roots

MIT researchers engineered bacterial cells to function as living calculators.<p>A group of engineers from MIT have created analog calculators out of living cells, according to a paper published online in <i>Nature</i> yesterday. By tweaking the genes of bacterial cells, the researchers were able to create …

A Zombie Worm And Other Amazing Images From This Week

Plus the most beautiful image of Earth, New York City on Venus, and the world's largest (deflated) rubber duck.<p><i>Click here to enter the gallery</i>

8 Of The Year's Most Oddly Gorgeous Science Images

A water slide for worms, the glorious C. instagram, and more<p><i>Click here to enter the gallery</i><p>Is this the era of <i>C. instagram</i>? That's the clever name of a cellphone photo one undergraduate took of a plate crawling with <i>C. elegans</i> (it kind of rhymes). <i>Caenorhabditis elegans</i> are microscopic worms that …

FYI: Do Parasites Get Parasites?

Parasites of parasites—sometimes called hyperparasites—seem to be quite common. In fact, parasites of parasites are themselves prone to parasites, leading to what might appear to be an endless progression of interspecies abuse.<p>Studies in the lab and field have identified some of these elaborate, …

Candy Totally Won't Make You Fat, Says Study Funded By Big Candy

It's cool to eat as much candy as you want, you guys, no problem, just live off the stuff.<p>Good news, guys! Candy isn't going to make you fat or kill you or anything negative at all! Feast on M&M's like an 8-year-old on Halloween, because you're totally good on this one.<p>Says a study funded by the …

Giant Carnivorous Plant Found In Silicon Valley

The precise method by which Yahoo! digests and dissolves its prey.<p>Yahoo! is a carnivorous plant whose prey-trapping mechanism features a deep cavity filled with liquid, known as a pitfall trap.<p>Startups, such as Flickr, Tumblr, and Del.icio.us, are attracted to the cavity formed by the cupped leaf, …

Inside The World's Most Ambitious Eco-City

Why would a petro-state erect a solar-powered eco-metropolis in the middle of the Arabian desert? To change the world.<p>At first glance, Masdar City appears a mirage. From a distance it looks like a single multicolored building, standing lonely on the horizon. Part of the illusion is due to the …

Megapixels: A Parasitic Worm Infects An Ant

In the jungles of Belize last January, entomologist Alex Wild noticed something odd about the trap-jaw ants passing through his outdoor insect photography class: They all had shrunken heads and swollen abdomens. A day after making the observation, Wild and his students came upon an ant with a worm …

NASA is funding a 3D food printer, and it'll start with pizza

NASA is funding research into 3D-printed food. As <i>Quartz</i> reveals, mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor received a $125,000 grant from the agency to build a prototype 3D printer with the aim of automating food creation. It's hoped the system could provide astronauts food during long-distance space …

Not Quite A Religious Experience

The Fallacies of Fat

Colossal Quasar Clump Too Huge to Exist, in Theory

Inventors Design Lamp Powered Entirely by Gravity

Science of Slumber: How Sleep Affects Your Memory

Water Trapped For 1.5 Billion Years Could Hold Ancient Life

Scientists have discovered water that has been trapped in rock for more than a billion years. The water might contain microbes that evolved independently from the surface world, and it's a finding that gives new hope to the search for life on other planets.<p>The water samples came from holes drilled …

Insects May Be The Taste Of The Next Generation, Report Says

A report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says insects offer a huge potential for improving the world's food security. Peter Menzel, co-author of <i>Man Eating Bugs</i>, describes some insect-based cuisine and the western aversion to creepy-crawly snacks.<p>Transcript<p>IRA FLATOW, HOST:<p>What's on …

Can A Piece Of Hair Reveal How Much Coke Or Pepsi You Drink?

One way to know how much soda people drink is to ask them.<p>The problem? We tend to underestimate, lie or forget what we've consumed.<p>And this is a challenge for researchers who study the links between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity.<p>A new study published in the <i>Journal of Nutrition</i> explains a …

Storm Chasers Seek Thrills, But Also Chance To Warn Others

When disaster strikes, our natural instinct is to take cover and seek shelter. But in severe weather, especially the type that breeds tornadoes like we saw in Oklahoma and parts of the Midwest this week, there are those who ride toward the storm.<p>Oklahoma native Chris McBee is one of those so-called …