Florida quarantines farmlands to contain the Oriental Fruit Fly

Florida’s farmlands are under attack by a highly destructive pest, the Oriental Fruit Fly, and authorities have quarantined some 85 square miles of land and the food grown there in an effort to contain the insect.

Chimps enjoy the movies just as much as we do

A video of an ape, breaking out of its cage and attacking; the victim — a human scientist, that picks up a small red hammer and defends himself, battering the primate ran amok. It sounds like a pretty gruesome video, bound to have animal right’s activists redouble their efforts to see the heartless jailers brought to justice. But hey, wait a minute… Apes don’t wear sneakers.

Innovation 101 – migratory study offers insight into how humans develop new technology and ideas

The human inovation process is more of a slow, steady climb than a sum of great leaps, a new University of Reading study shows. Our minds tend to innovate by adding small improvements through trial and error report the scientists, who studied one of the most important cultural events in human history – the migration of the Bantu-speaking farmers in Africa some 5,000 years ago. Mark Pagel, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University, led the study.

Sweden tests the six hours work day, with impressive results

A group of elderly-care nurses working at the Swedish Svartedalens elderly home participated in the first controlled trial of shorter work hours the country held for a decade now. In February, the they switched from an eight-hours to a six-hour working day for the same wage, in an effort to improve productivity and quality of life.

Join the great Californian Trash Treasure Hunt, and help keep the ocean clean

Ok ok it’s not technically called that, but the California Costal Cleanup Day is definitely something you should check out this Saturday if you like finding cool stuff and wish your beach looked less….garbage-y. For 31 years now, thousands of volunteers all over the world come together, put on the strongest pair of gloves they can find, and go scour the coast, lakes, rivers and their surroundings, picking up what we throw out the rest of the year.

Native Americans were the first to make caffeinated drinks

The humble bean is the first thing some of us reach for in the mornings, it’s our companion during breaks and comes to warm us up on cold winter days. We’ve come to rely on coffee, due to the caffeine it contains, to wake us up when the night is short and full of terrors, and keep us going when the going gets rough. A new study from the University of New Mexico’s researchers however shows how the people of the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico were drinking caffeinated beverages as early as 750 AD, over 1,200 years ago.

Close relationships make handling stress easier

New research has found evidence of emotional burden sharing (also known as load sharing) between partners in a close relationship. The study, co-authored by Queen’s University PhD candidate Jessica Lougheed, found that a strong personal relationship can help ease stress when placed in difficult situations.

Cross bedding explained, on an outcrop from Mars

NASA recently uploaded a strikingly beautiful photograph on their website showing a petrified sand dune on Mars. The image was actually pieced together from several shots taken using Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) on August 27th. From end to end, the panorama spans a full 135 degrees of other-worldly awesomeness, with east to the left and southwest to the right.

Treasure trove of stone tools found in Puget Sound

Is there anything you can’t buy in today’s shopping malls? The list must be pretty short already, but now we can cut artifacts off it. Archaeologists in Redmond US., working on a routine survey to get the green light for a construction site near a mall in the area, found thousands of stone tools estimated to be at least 10,000 years old, “The Seattle Times” reported.

Science-backed tips on making the most out of your breaks at work

Two researchers at Baylor University looked into how breaks during the workday improve employee health and efficiency, and found that yes – there are a few constants that seem to make a break great. Their findings offer some surprising suggestions on when, where and how to plan the best moments of relaxation, while also debunking some common break-time myths.

Legal, but not safe: small distractions make driving drunk lethal

Even though driving after drinking small amounts is legal, it’s most definitely not safe, research from the University of Kentucky (UK) in the U.S. finds. Nicholas van Dyke and Mark Fillmore at UK reported that for intoxicated drivers, even those driving under the legally accepted alcohol limit, small distractions such as a text message or dashboard controls are just too much to handle safely. The study provides the first scientific evidence on the impact such distractions have on the ability of liquored drivers to safely control vehicles.

Kabuno Bay microbes shed light on how iron deposits are formed

An isolated bay in the heart of East Africa offers scientists a glimpse into early Earth’s iron-rich marine environment, and lends weight to the theory that microbial activity created some of the largest iron ore deposits billions of years ago.

Wild oats might be the first cereal consumed by humans, as early as the Stone Ages

While analysing starch grains on ancient stone grinding tools from southern Italy, Marta Mariotti Lippi at the University of Florence in Italy and her colleagues were able to date the earliest known human consumption of oats as far back as 32,000 years ago – way before farming took root.

Ancient giant virus will be revived by scientists

French scientists announced the discovery of Mollivirus sibericum in the US National Academy of Sciences journal this week. The “Siberian soft virus” is the fourth pre-historic virus found since 2003, and the second one claimed by the team. They plan on reanimating the 30,000 year old giant virus unearthed from the frozen soil of Siberia for study, after verifying that it cannot cause human or animal disease.

Ballantine creates whiskey glass to be used in zero G, spill free

Scottish manufacturer Ballantines comes to the aid of space-dwellers the world round (and beyond) with a new, high-tech glass that promises to make getting hammered with style in space a reality.

Termites know more about ventilation that human architects

The humble termite only has its body, saliva and some soil to work with, and the only blueprints it has are instinctual, based on variations in wind speeds and fluctuations in temperature as the sun rises and sets. Working with such limited resources, they still erect monumental mounds that, a new study reveals, rely on a surprisingly well-tuned mechanism for efficient ventilation, something architects today still struggle with.

Your cat doesn’t see you as a source of security and safety

Adult domestic cats do not view owners as the main provider of security and safety.

Kids everywhere, rejoyce – science says you should get those “5 more minutes, mom!”

A recent study performed by researchers working at the University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School and the University of Nevada suggests that the current school and university start times have a damaging effect on the learning and health of students.

Why don’t they just eat all of them – predator-prey study reveals new law governing ecosystems

The results of a new study offer insight into the workings of predator-prey mechanisms, more specifically how the number of herbivores and other animals that are preyed upon affect the number of carnivores.

Massive die-off threaten endangered antelope species’ future

One of the planet’s most endangered antelope, the saiga, suffered from a die-off of unprecedented scope. The massive loss of life from just a few weeks ago has conservationist groups worried about what future may hold for the species. But clues as to exactly what wiped out half of Kazakhstan’s saiga are starting to emerge, and scientists are looking at bacteria that normally co-exist with the antelope host, harmlessly living in their bodies as the main culprit.