When a mosquito lands and your arm and starts taking a drink, it’s not just an unhappy accident. Mosquitoes use an array of chemical neuroreceptors to track down their next blood meal. Now, researchers have identified a key receptor that detects the lactic acid in human sweat, a finding that could eventually help people avoid becoming fast food for the insects. Continue reading Mosquitoes Can Smell Your Sweat
Nothing beats an ice cream cone on a hot summer’s day, but if Ben & Jerry’s is your preferred brand of indulgence, your scoop may come with a tiny serving of herbicide. As Stephanie Strom reports for the New York Times, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) says it has found traces of glyphosate—the main ingredient of the pesticide Roundup—in 10 out of 11 Ben & Jerry’s samples.
IN THE LATE 1960s, a Pennsylvania man named Alan Litman fretted that his wife wouldn’t be safe coming home late on the mean streets of Pittsburgh. So he did what any doting husband would do—he figured out a way to fill a portable, easily deployed spray can with tear gas. Then he started marketing the product to law enforcement. Today his invention is known as Mace, a brand now synonymous with private citizens packing a ton of heat. The company’s triple-action variety is a one-two punch of painful riot-control agents—pepper spray and tear gas, which have been used for decades to subdue and incapacitate people without killing them—plus UV dye to make targets readily identifiable post-melee.
IN 1993, CONSTRUCTION workers building a new freeway in San Diego made a fantastic discovery. A backhoe operator scraped up a fossil, and scientists soon unearthed a full collection of bones, teeth, and tusks from a mastodon. It was a valuable find: hordes of fossils, impeccably preserved. The last of the mastodons—a slightly smaller cousin of the woolly mammoth—died out some 11,000 years ago.
In 2009, Kerry McPhail descended Jacques Cousteau-style towards the Axial Volcano, inside the cramped, 30-year-old little submarine DSV Alvin, with a pilot and another scientist. Three hundred miles off the coast of Oregon, they were collecting tubeworms, bacterial mats and bivalves living near a deep sea volcanic vent. These samples could potentially yield new pharmaceutical compounds—and in turn, new chemical cures and desperately needed antibiotics that are yet undiscovered.
Kim Jong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half brother, was assassinated last week by a nerve agent called VX, according to the Malaysian police as reported by the Washington Post. What the heck is VX, and why is it so awful?
For decades, the pipes that brought water to LeAnne Walters’ house did their job unnoticed and safely. But in summer 2014, that changed.