After Hurricane Maria, these lizards got a serious grip

In response to devastating hurricanes, Dominican anoles have developed a grip that's 10 times stronger. Are we witnessing evolution in real time?

  • After Hurricane Maria, anole species on the island of Dominica developed super strong grips.
  • This development may be one of the fasted rates of evolutionary change ever recorded.
  • Climate change will likely to result in more intense hurricanes, but not all species will adapt so quickly.
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science
Image source: MIT
  • MIT-affiliated researchers develop a hypersensitive glove that can capture the way in which we handle objects.
  • The data captured by the glove can be "learned" by a neural net.
  • Smart tactile interaction will be invaluable when A.I.-based robots start to interact with objects — and us.
Keep reading Show less
Technology & Innovation

Space travel shifts astronauts' brain fluid, causes brain to float upward

A new study looks at astronauts' brains after they come back home.

Image source: NASA/Unsplash
  • In microgravity, brain fluids behave differently, winding up in different places in the skull.
  • Astronauts' white matter is affected by being in space and weakens their back-home sense of balance.
  • The study hints at our brains' possible ability to adapt to space conditions.
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

Why humans struggled to make 'f' and 'v' sounds until farming came along

Love to drop F-bombs? Thank the shift to agriculture.

Blasi et al.
  • A new study suggests that the f and v sounds were made easier to pronounce by the change in our diets the invention of farming made possible.
  • The idea isn't a new one, but is only now being taken seriously.
  • Even today, many hunter-gather cultures lack labiodentals in their languages.
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

Harvard: Men who can do 40 pushups have a 'significantly' lower risk of heart disease

Turns out pushups are more telling than treadmill tests when it comes to cardiovascular health.

Airman 1st Class Justin Baker completes another push-up during the First Sergeants' push-up a-thon June 28, 2011, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Participants were allowed 10 minutes to do as many push-ups as they could during the fundraiser. Airman Baker, a contract specialist assigned to the 354th Contracting Squadron, completed 278 push-ups. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Janine Thibault)
  • Men who can perform 40 pushups in one minute are 96 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease than those who do less than 10.
  • The Harvard study focused on over 1,100 firefighters with a median age of 39.
  • The exact results might not be applicable to men of other age groups or to women, researchers warn.
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science