Crocs Keep an Eye on You While They Sleep

Sleeping with only half your brain sounds like a great way to become a zombie in no time, but for certain marine mammals and birds, it’s a way of life. A new study suggests that crocodiles, too, may be “unihemispheric” sleepers, a finding which makes humans and other full-brain snoozers look more and more like… »10/22/15 9:00pm10/22/15 9:00pm

Did Our Hands Evolve to Throw Punches? One Biologist Thinks So

The human hand is a marvelous evolutionary invention: it can tie knots, tap out blog posts, wield tools and wire circuit boards. But how did we get these hands, with their long, dextrous fingers and conveniently opposable thumbs? It’s likely that tool-grasping played a role, but according to one evolutionary… »10/22/15 12:42pm10/22/15 12:42pm

This Year the Medicine Nobel Prize Went to a Pair of Parasite Poisons

The 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine just went to three scientists who found parasite-killing chemicals that are now important tools for fighting human diseases. But the chemicals in question weren’t created in a lab: one is produced naturally by a bacterium, the other by a plant used in a traditional… »10/05/15 6:53pm10/05/15 6:53pm

Could You Charge an iPhone with the Electricity in Your Brain?

Ever since Morpheus explained how the machines use humans as batteries in The Matrix, we’ve been fascinated by the idea. But can the human body actually generate enough current to do anything useful? We decided to find out, by asking experts how long it would take a human brain to charge an iPhone. »8/12/15 12:22pm8/12/15 12:22pm

What Do You Want to Know About Sexual Anatomy?

When I was in graduate school, I wondered what changes made erectile tissue in the penis shift from its soft and flexible state to its stiff and inextensible state. Then, with the help of some armadillos, I did the research and figured it out. Tell me what you wonder about, and I’ll see whether I can figure it out for… »5/28/15 3:30pm5/28/15 3:30pm

A new study published in BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that lower back pain is more frequent in peo

A new study published in BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that lower back pain is more frequent in people whose spines are similar in shape to those of chimpanzees. “[Our] study suggests that the pathological vertebrae of some people may be less well adapted for walking upright,” noted lead researcher Kimberly Plomp. »4/27/15 3:40pm4/27/15 3:40pm

Why Do Knuckles Go Pop? Researchers May Finally Have The Answer.

There's some disagreement among physiologists about knuckle-cracking and how it produces its characteristic popping sound. Now, Canadian scientists have used MRI scans to watch what happens inside a cracking finger joint in real time – and their observations may have settled this longstanding debate for good. »4/15/15 3:30pm4/15/15 3:30pm