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This Transparent Shell Lets Scientists Watch Embryos Develop Inside An Egg

What new scientific breakthrough will they hatch next?

image via youtube screen capture

Ordinarily, to see how an embryo grows and develops inside an egg, researchers have largely relied on “windowing,” a process in which a segment of shell is manually cut away to create a hole for observation. But thanks to a recent breakthrough by researchers from Bejing’s Tsinghua University Department of Biomedical Engineering, it’s now possible to monitor an embryo inside an egg through an artificially created, entirely-transparent shell – no broken eggs required.

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Follow the Crowd

Why online gaming may just be the future of science

Mason-Pfizer monkey virus

In 2011, a group of online gamers solved a 15-year-old biochemical problem in 10 days. Using a simple online puzzle game called Foldit, it took them a little over a week to decipher the crystal structure of the AIDS-causing monkey virus Mason-Pfizer, something scientists had been trying unsuccessfully to do for more than a decade in the hope of gaining insights into the design of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV.

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Veggies as Tasty as Candy: The Quest for the Perfect Tomato

If junk food is carefully engineered to be as addictive as possible, should scientists do the same for vegetables? Humans have evolved to love...


If junk food is carefully engineered to be as addictive as possible, should scientists do the same for vegetables? Humans have evolved to love sweetness; tens of thousands of years ago (or even much more recently), the calories that sugar provides might have meant survival. Now, the craving for sweetness drives the candy industry and growing waistlines. But sugar isn't the only source of a sweet taste, as Rachel Nuwer reports at the Smithsonian:

The sweetness of a farmer’s market strawberry or a hand-picked blueberry comes largely from volatiles, or chemical compounds in food that readily become fumes. Our nose picks up on and interacts with dozens of these flavorful fumes in any given food, perfuming each bite with a specific flavor profile. The sensations received by smell and taste receptors interact in the same area of the brain, the thalamus, where our brain processes them to project flavors such as sweetness.

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Scientific Americans: A Program to Get 1,000 Real, Working Scientists in School Classrooms

The new 1,000 Scientists in 1,000 Days programs hopes to make connecting scientists with schools a lot simpler.

It's not easy for a teacher to randomly call up the biology department at the local college and ask, "Do you have someone who can come talk to my students about how viruses attack cells?" Likewise, scientists interested in working with students and helping support academic instruction in the classroom don't always know which schools really want their help. Thankfully, Scientific American is about to make connecting scientists and schools a whole lot easier thanks to their new 1,000 Scientists in 1,000 Days program. They're recruiting "scientists who are willing to volunteer to advise on curricula, answer a classroom's questions, or visit a school—for instance, to do a lab or to talk about what you do."

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Feast Your Eyes: Time-Lapse Video Shows 6 Million Calories Consumed in Just 2 Minutes

How the food chain works in the wild—and what we could learn from it.

\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nAccording to New Scientist, there are an estimated 6 million calories in an elephant—or "enough energy to keep a human sated for over 8 years." This incredible time-lapse video, taken from a Channel 4 documentary called The Elephant: Life After Death, shows wild animals in Kenya's Tsavo West National Park devouring all 6 million of those calories over the course of seven days.

Biologist Simon Watt, who presents the documentary, wanted to show the way the food chain works in the wild, where "something the size of an elephant carcass is a buffet for every creature in the area."

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