One of the strangest things that can sicken us—a rogue misfolded protein that destroys the brain, known as a prion—is even scarier than we knew. Researchers were able to find the prions responsible for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the most common prion disease in people, seeded everywhere in the eyes of 11 patients affected by it. Continue reading Brain-Destroying Prions Also Spread Through Victims’ Eyes
As clean as electric aircraft can be, there’s still one kind of pollution they still produce: noise. Even that might go away before long, though. MIT researchers have successfully flown an ionic wind-powered aircraft that doesn’t use any moving parts. The 16-foot wide machine stays aloft by charging wires with a high enough voltage (40,000V) that they strip negatively-charged electrons from air molecules, which are promptly attracted to negative electrodes at the back of the aircraft. The collisions from that newly-formed ionic wind create the thrust needed to keep the vehicle airborne.
The average American eats almost a ton of food a year. This breaks down to roughly 630 of milk, cheese and ice cream, 185 pounds of meat, and an increasingly high dosage of anti-depressants. But where does human flesh fit in? Humans shed something like 500 million skin cells a day. The fact is that these literal millions of shed cells are making it right into our mouths, often—especially—when we think we’re only eating a couple of eggs or whatever. Continue reading How Much Human Skin Does a Person Ingest Over the Course of Their Lifetime?
Researchers report that they’ve observed seismic waves traversing the Earth’s inner core, allowing them to figure out what it’s like: solid, but softer than previously thought. Continue reading Newly Detected Vibrations Show Earth’s Inner Core Is Solid
Astronomers have discovered an object, dubbed “the Goblin,” in the outer reaches of the Solar System. The dwarf planet never gets any closer to the Sun than 6 billion miles, but experts say its orbital configuration points to the existence of a much larger, more distant planet —the elusive Planet Nine. Continue reading Discovery of ‘Goblin’ Solar System Object Bolsters the Case for Planet Nine
We usually associate volcanoes with extreme heat. But new results demonstrate that the Solar System’s largest asteroid, Ceres, is covered in volcanoes that have spewed ice throughout their history. Continue reading Our Solar System’s Largest Asteroid Is Covered in Ice Volcanoes