The Latest Strange Discoveries and Most Maniacal Research

Science makes the world better - and weirder. Here are some of the latest odd discoveries that will set your brain on fire with curiosity. Or just, you know, with fire.

The Latest Strange Discoveries and Most Maniacal ResearchTrying to treat stress, scientists may have accidentally stumbled on a cure for baldness
Your body responds to stress in many ways. It gives you bursts of energy, and a reduced response to pain. It lets you run faster and farther. It also entirely messes you up. Stress releases a battery of hormones that give you superhuman abilities, and they all have down sides. Many of them result in bone density loss or reduced immune response, but one, the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is a really nasty customer. It's been linked with severe gastrointestinal problems, increased drug use, and hair loss. A recent research group tried to cure the first of those symptoms, but stumbled into curing the third. At least in mice.


The Latest Strange Discoveries and Most Maniacal Research10 Everyday Foods That Can Affect You Like Drugs
Everybody knows there are certain natural substances that you can eat or smoke to feel awesome or weird, depending on your perspective. But what about ordinary foods that deliver these same mood-altering or even consciousness-warping effects? We've got ten foods that go straight to your head.


The Latest Strange Discoveries and Most Maniacal ResearchNow is the time to start mining helium on the Moon
Fossil fuels aren't the only vital resource we're running out of - our once mighty helium reserves are dwindling, and the price of the gas has already skyrocketed. The US reserves could be depleted in less than 20 years, and the entire Earth could run out helium by the end of this century, which could cripple industry. Thankfully, the Sun gives off an endless supply of the stuff - and the Moon is the best place to go get it.


The Latest Strange Discoveries and Most Maniacal ResearchWhy your body's survival strategies cause ice cream headaches
Some people have never gotten an ice cream headache. They tend to be entirely surrounded by people who have, and who are willing to offer theories as to why they aren't forced to undergo the agony of others. Maybe they eat too slowly, or maybe they eat too little. Or maybe, just maybe, if they were put out in the arctic wearing nothing but their underwear, they'd freeze to death first.


The Latest Strange Discoveries and Most Maniacal ResearchPaleontologists discover what Neanderthal fashion looked like 44 thousand years ago
A Neanderthal burial site in Italy reveals hundreds of bird bones mixed in with those of our hominid cousins. The bones had the feathers scraped off, as though the Neanderthals had removed them on purpose - and the only plausible reason they would do that is to wear the feathers. It's more evidence that Neanderthals were just as cultured as own ancient ancestors.


The Latest Strange Discoveries and Most Maniacal ResearchScientists find another way to turn animals into psychotic killers
In unholy-army-of-the-night news, scientists have a new way to turn swarming beasts of the sea into unreasoning killers. Nothing is safe from their merciless aggression. Not . . . even . . . you.


The Latest Strange Discoveries and Most Maniacal ResearchCould a pigeon be the next great art critic?
Are humans the only animals that can appreciate beauty? Stories about painting elephants and chimps have convinced some that we are not the only species with a developed sense of the aesthetic. But doubts remain regarding whether these animals are truly creating art or simply trained performers. A Japanese scientist has approached the question from a different angle by testing whether pigeons can learn human aesthetics - using children's paintings.


The Latest Strange Discoveries and Most Maniacal ResearchAmbidextrous people are easier to manipulate than right-handed people
About 90% of people use their right hand for almost all activities, while the remaining 10% is split between the left-handed and the ambidextrous, people who use either hand with equal comfort. But these "inconsistent-handers" pay a price for their ability to use either hand - a truly bizarre study has discovered that they're much easier to emotionally manipulate than their right-handed counterparts.


The Latest Strange Discoveries and Most Maniacal ResearchArtists use genetic engineering to turn author William S. Burrough's shit into a new lifeform
William S. Burroughs wrote a number of mindfuck novels in the twentieth century, most memorably Naked Lunch, later adapted into an equally mindfucky movie about bug-powder snorting aliens by David Cronenberg. The author has become a cult legend among the postmodern lit set, and now a team of artists has decided to immortalize Burroughs with bio-art project straight out of one of his novels.