Behold, close-ups of the sand from around the cosmos

Think you've seen sand? You haven't seen sand.

  • Microscopic photography exposes the beauty and strangeness of sand.
  • Water wave action produces a startling variety of sand grains.
  • That stuff between your toes is a lot more interesting than you might think.
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5 of the worst keto diet side effects

The keto diet can help with weight loss, but at what cost?

  • In addition to weight loss, there are a few well-known side effects of the keto diet, some of which can be unpleasant.
  • Some side effects of the keto diet are bound to occur, though others only happen when the diet is implemented poorly.
  • The keto diet doesn't have to lead to a host of negative side effects, but anyone considering undertaking the diet over the long term should be especially careful.
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Chimp gestures and human language are underpinned by same mathematical principles

Are these two laws universal throughout nature?

  • Zipf's law of abbreviation and Menzerath's law seem to govern not just human speech but chimpanzee gestures.
  • Fifty-eight individual chimp gestures were catalogued in a new study.
  • Their presence points to an intriguing overlap between language and genetic chemistry.
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Schizophrenia's surprising link to the gut

What's in your tummy might affect what's in your head.

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Surprising Science
  • For decades, researchers have tried in vain to answer the question: What causes schizophrenia?
  • At the same time, we've developed a growing understanding of how intimately linked the bacteria in our gut and our brains are.
  • New research shows that schizophrenics have vastly different microbiomes, potentially uncovering a cause of — and maybe a future cure to — schizophrenia.
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Scientists find microplastics in 100% of beached dolphins, whales, and seals tested

"Our findings are not good news," says Brendan Godley, of the University of Exeter.

Surprising Science
  • 50 beached dolphins, whales, and seals were tested in Great Britain.
  • All had microplastics in their digestive tract — most in the stomach.
  • 84% were synthetic plastics; of those, 60% were nylon.
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Washington, D.C. will feel like present-day Mississippi by 2080, researchers say

In one generation, the climate of many American cities will experience a noticeable shift.

Photo credit: by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • A recent study used climate data, both current and projected, to examine how the climates of North American cities might change over the course of the next generation.
  • In one scenario, the climates of many cities will resemble that of locations about 500 miles away, mostly to the south.
  • The study aims to present the long-term effects of climate change in a personal, tangible way.
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