Science & Odd Things

Deadly Aztec Epidemic “Cocoliztli” Linked to Salmonella

(NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC) Sarah Gibbens, January 26, 2017 — From 1545 to 1550, Aztecs in what is today southern Mexico experienced a deadly outbreak. Anywhere from five to 15 million people died. Locally, it was known as cocoliztli, but the exact cause or causes has been a mystery for the past 500 years. Now, a new study published in […]

Extinct Woolly Rhino ‘Sasha’ Reconstructed in Russia’s Siberia

(NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC)  Sarah Gibbens, January 26, 2017 — It’s named Sasha after the hunter who found it. Russian scientists aren’t quite sure if their 10,000-year-old Sasha was male or female, but the name, they say, universally applies. That any of Sasha, the Ice Age woolly rhino, is intact at all has been a surprising find for the […]

First image of a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy are weeks away

(NEWSWEEK) Dana Dovey, December 20, 2017 — Updated |An international collaboration will allow humans to see a supermassive black hole for the first time. Although we have residual evidence of black holes’ existence, such as measurements of the gravitational pull around the holes, we’ve never been able to see these invisible entities. Thanks to this ongoing project, we soon will. Scientists […]

How NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Met Its Fiery End

(NATIONAL GEOGRAPHY) Nadia Drake, September 19, 2017 — After 13 years exploring Saturn, the probe went deep into the planet’s atmosphere for its explosive grand finale. In the predawn hours on Friday, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft boldly went where no spacecraft has gone before: into the planet Saturn itself. As the spacecraft raced toward its end, scientists […]

What Your Dreams Actually Mean, According to Science

(TIME) Jeffrey Kluger, September 13, 2017 — If dreams were movies, they wouldn’t make a dime. They’re often banal, frequently fleeting and they’re screened for an audience of just one. As for the storyline? You’re in a supermarket, only it’s also Yankee Stadium, shopping with your second-grade teacher until she turns into Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Then you […]

Famous Viking Warrior Was a Woman, DNA Reveals

(NATIONAL GEOGRAPHY) Michael Greshko, September 13, 2017 —  New evidence forces reconsideration of a well-known gravesite—and may shed light on Viking gender roles. More than a millennium ago in what’s now southeastern Sweden, a wealthy Viking warrior was laid to rest, in a resplendent grave filled with swords, arrowheads, and two sacrificed horses. The site […]

FDA Approves First Gene Therapy Treatment For Cancer

(TIME.COM) Alice Park, September 5, 2017 — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) followed the advice of its advisory committee and approved a breakthrough treatment for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on Wednesday. It’s the first gene therapy approved in the U.S. Dr. Carl June, director of the center for cellular immunotherapies at University of Pennsylvania’s […]