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Animals Hack Nature's Medicine Cabinet – We Should Too

When we fall ill we visit a clinic or a pharmacy. Our ancestors, however, didn't have that luxury. Instead, early humans likely observed and learned from sick animals that healed themselves by eating certain plants.

Drugmakers Rush to Test New Ebola Vaccines

While developing drugs to cure Ebola is crucial to end the current epidemic, a vaccine that prevents the infection altogether is the end-game for viral outbreaks – a way to protect healthcare workers on the front lines and to prevent future outbreaks.

Is Hair Dye a Health Hazard?

In the mid-1800s, English chemist William Henry Perkin serendipitously synthesized the first non-natural dye: starting with coal tar, he was hoping to produce the malaria drug quinine but instead created mauve.

Ebola Teams Need Better Cultural Understanding, Anthropologists Say

A defining feature of this Ebola epidemic has been the significant resistance of some of the affected communities to treatment and prevention measures by foreign aid workers and their own governments.

Should a Chimpanzee Be Considered a Person?

What would it take for an animal to be considered a person? In a landmark court case that reached its conclusion in a New York State appellate court yesterday, a five-judge panel refused to grant legal personhood to a chimpanzee named Tommy.

Three Totally Mindbending Implications of Our Multidimensional Universe

An imagined projection of the cosmic microwave background radiation onto a bubble multiverse. Image by PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE Nearly a century ago, Edwin Hubble’s discovery of red-shifting of light from galaxies in all directions from our own suggested that space itself was getting bigger.

The Surprising Personality Traits of Extreme Adventurers

When considering extreme environments it is easy to make assumptions about personality, which on closer examination do not stand up to scrutiny.

Why Do Human Children Stay Small For So Long?

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Why does it take so long for human children to grow up?

To Halt Ebola’s Spread, Researchers Race for Data

An Ebola victim’s burial in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on Nov. 19. Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post The Ebola virus has consistently stayed several steps ahead of doctors, public officials and others trying to fight the epidemic.

Can Doggie DNA Tests Decode Your Mutt’s Makeup?

Mixed breed. Mongrel. Roadside setter. A something-something. Dogs of uncertain provenance get called a lot of things.

A Better Way to Screen Airport Passengers, With Psychology

This article was originally published on The Conversation. International airports are a busy place to be.

If Mars Once Hosted Life, How Would We Know?

Despite a few press-stopping false alarms and a long-standing sci-fi fascination, there’s no evidence of biology — microscopic, trilobitish, or creepily humanoid — on Mars.

From the Brink of Extinction, Some Frogs Defy the Odds

The Variable Harlequin Frog is just one of the so-called Lazarus frogs rediscovered in recent years. In 2003, two young biology students called Justin Yeager and Mark Pepper were in Costa Rica studying poison dart frogs when their guide presented them with a pair of beautiful orange-yellow and black frogs.

What It Was Like to Capture the Hubble Space Telescope

Astronaut Megan McArthur in the suit-up facility about four hours from launch, 11 May 2009. Image by Michael Soluri It’s a beautiful October morning in Houston, but I am grumpy and bleary-eyed as I make my way into Mission Control.

This High-Tech Floating Laboratory Will Be a Spaceship for the Sea

Credit: SeaOrbiter/ Jacques Rougerie It’s being called a starship Enterprise for the water, and not merely for its futuristic shape.

What It Will Take to Become an Interstellar Civilization

The new movie “Interstellar” is set in a not-so-distant future, but distant enough that they’ve managed to build something still elusive in 2014: a spaceship that can travel between solar systems.

Why Most of Your Body Is Younger Than You Are

When you take a sip of water it doesn’t just slake your thirst. It literally becomes you. The water that runs down your gullet will, within minutes and without processing of any kind, become some of the dominant fluid in your veins and your flesh.

Is Thalidomide the Next Big Cancer Drug?

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Innovative new drugs to treat cancer frequently make the headlines, either due to great success or controversy, as pharmaceutical companies get lambasted for selling the drugs at too high a price for state systems to afford.

Why Do Volcanic Eruptions Come in Clusters?

Bárðarbunga Volcano in Iceland erupting on September 4, 2014. Credit: Peter Hartree via Flickr This article was originally published on The Conversation.

How Close Are We to Star Trek Propulsion?

It’s popular to talk about how the original Star Trek, set in the 23rd century, predicted many devices that we’re using already here in 2014.