Horseshoe crabs are drained for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

Credit: Business Insider (video)
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
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10 of the most controversial people in Russian history

The hard part was keeping the list down to ten.

Karl Bulla/Public Domain
  • Russia's history is fascinating and filled with colorful characters.
  • Some of the most influential of them have been extremely controversial.
  • Here are ten of the most interesting, both good and bad.
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This is why microwaved grapes produce flashes of plasma

A parlor-trick mystery explained at last.

Slepkov, et al
  • Two grape halves heated in a microwave produce light-emitting ionized gas, or plasma.
  • The grapes collect and trap microwaves whose energy eventually bursts outward.
  • The discovery could lead to passive microwave antennas.
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Are birds using quantum entanglement to navigate?

Sounds wild, but it may well be so.

(MattiaATH/Shutterstock)
  • Birds' navigation using Earth's very faint magnetic fields suggests an incredible level of sensitivity.
  • There's reason to think that sensitivity may be based on quantum entanglement in cryptochrome in their eyes.
  • Identifying the role of quantum physics in biology could lead, well, who knows where?
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The future of male contraceptives? A layered cocktail.

"Dinner and drinks" may take on a new, more provocative meaning.

Photo credit: Peter Ruck / BIPs / Getty Images
  • Scientist propose a layered cocktail as a future male contraceptive.
  • Chemical layers block the flow of sperm and can be dissolved with near-infrared light.
  • Tiny umbrella not included.
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