Mini-brains attach to spinal cord and twitch muscles

A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.

(Lancaster, et al)
  • Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
  • Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
  • The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
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A pleasure to burn: Why do people like spicy foods?

Spicy foods are enjoyed the world over, but scientists don't know why people partake in culinary masochism.

Image source: Pixabay
  • Humans are the only animals known to willingly eat foods that cause irritation, discomfort, and even pain.
  • Theories for why range from thrill-seeking behavior to an evolutionary adaptation for seeking foods that reduce pathogens.
  • Taste results from an interplay of genes, culture, memory, and personality, a complex design that scientists are only now beginning to understand.
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How to use tea to biohack your mood, stress, and productivity

Ancient beverages such as tea and chamomile can heighten your modern-day performance.

  • Tea was cultivated in China nearly 5,000 years ago.
  • Its molecular makeup makes it the perfect biohack for regulating mood, alertness, and concentration throughout the day.
  • Tea may not be a panacea, but studies suggest promising long-term health benefits.
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Cushioned shoes aren't good for your feet

More and more research points to a serious mistake we made in how biomechanics works.

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • A new study from Helsinki found that the more you cushion your feet, the more likely you'll get injured.
  • This follows previous studies showing that cushioned shoes leave you more susceptible to pain and injury.
  • A few million years of evolutionary design has been usurped by shoe marketing campaigns.
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The next amazing trick we can learn from geckos

Run across water? Sure. No problem.

(Pauline Jennings, PolyPEDAL Lab, UC Berkeley)
  • Scientists analyze how geckos do something they shouldn't be able to do... walk (well, run like heck) across water.
  • They can race over water nearly as fast as on land.
  • Their method may look crazy... but it works. And humans could potentially do the same.
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