Slug Slime Inspires A Reversible Superglue That Can Stick A Human To The Ceiling

With a little bit of help from our slimy, shelled friends, the humble snail, scientists have developed a wickedly sticky superglue that’s strong enough to hold a human from a ceiling with just a stamp-sized patch. Best of all, just like a gecko creeping across a wall, it’s reversible and can be switched on or off as needed. Reporting in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania set out to develop a superstrong but reversible adhesive. For inspiration, they looked no further than the natural world. Mollusks, most notably snails and slugs, are capable of sticking to surfaces thanks to a gloopy mucus they produce. In its wet form, this allows for just the …

White House physicist sought aid of rightwing thinktank to challenge climate science

William Happer contacted Heartland Institute, one of the most prominent groups to dispute that fossil fuels cause global heating A member of the climate crisis, a trove of his emails show. Jim Bridenstine, the Nasa administrator, had accepting the science of climate breakdown. In May 2018, an exchange between Happer and Heartlands Wysmuller called Bridenstines change of heart a puzzle and copied in the temperature increases and Nasas deputy administrator, about emissions actually benefit the planet rather than drive harmful climate disruption, once claiming that carbon dioxide has been demonized much like the poor Jews under Hitler. The physicist was previously a leader and co-founder of an advocacy group called the Mercer Family Foundation and the Noaa) and the Environmental …

Listeria deaths prompt NHS food review

“Staff, patients and families deserve so much better – our NHS should be at the forefront of supporting people to make healthy choices. “I have instructed the NHS to conduct a root and branch review of hospital food.” Listeria patient ‘lucky to be alive’ Patients die in sandwich listeria outbreak The latest announcement from PHE takes the number of confirmed cases from six to nine. The first case showed symptoms on April 25 and sandwiches and salads were withdrawn on May 25, as soon as a link with the cases was suspected. Last week PHE confirmed two patients from Manchester Royal Infirmary and one at Aintree Hospital had died. The Good Food Chain – which supplied 43 NHS trusts across …

‘I always feared Id go mad, and when I had my son I did’

Image copyright Jen Wight The first time she went into hospital she was there for nine months. I would go and visit her in the psychiatric ward at Homerton Hospital, but a combination of the very strong medication she was on and the illness itself had completely taken her personality away. My beautiful, kind, loving, creative sister was gone. So on 15 March 1993, three years to the day since Jo had been sectioned, I spent the whole day in bed crying at my student house in Brighton, waiting for it to happen to me. I was 18, as Jo had been, and I felt so sad. The funny thing is, I’m a rational person – I was doing a …

Original Content podcast: Black Mirror returns with one of its strongest seasons

Less than six months after releasing the disappointing interactive experiment “Bandersnatch,” Netflix’s science fiction anthology series “Black Mirror” is back with three traditionally-structured episodes. On the latest installment of the Original Content podcast, we weigh in with our thoughts on the new season. We didn’t entirely agree on which episodes were strongest, but we agreed that there wasn’t a real misfire in the bunch. Darrell and Jordan were most impressed the season opener, “Striking Vipers” — which uses a VR fighting game as a launching point for a thorny exploration of sexuality and friendship — while Anthony preferred “Smithereens,” in which the the driver with an Uber-style app takes a social media intern hostage. And we also had a good …

Revealed: Mobil sought to fight environmental regulation, documents show

Revealed: documents from the early 1990s show oil giant looked to make tax-exempt donations to promote the companys interests Oil giant Mobil sought to make tax-exempt donations to leading universities, civic groups and arts programmes to promote the companys interests and undermine environmental regulation, according to internal documents from the early 1990s obtained by the Guardian. The documents shine a light on the ways corporations have used their money to buy influence, amass prestige and shape public policy through grants to academic programmes and advocacy groups. The documents come to light as ExxonMobil, formed when Mobil merged with Exxon in 1999, is now recommended contributing a total of $25,000 to the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, saying the center had …

A couple who died of bubonic plague were mocked online. Then, a biologist showed up to shut it down with cold, hard science.

Earlier this year, a couple from Mongolia died of bubonic plague after consuming the organs of raw marmot. They believed the action would bring them good health. While that may sound strange, according to the World Health Organization, the eating of rodent meat is considered a folk remedy in the region. The loss of two lives is tragic. But it got worse. Soon after news of the couple’s demise broke out, people began mocking them on social media. After one Tumblr user decided to turn the conversation into a discussion of how the deceased should have just adopted a vegan diet, another used showed up to explain exactly why the post was wrong, rude, and ethnocentric. All images in this …

Climate crisis: aviation industry hears clamour for electric planes

Shift from fossil fuels top of agenda for Paris air show, industry having lagged behind other sectors Faced with growing calls for action on the climate crisis, aerospace companies gathering for the Paris air show next week are turning their thoughts to a future run on electricity rather than fossil fuels. The scale of the challenge is considerable. The target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and emissions laggard compared with the car industry or power generation, but improvements in the German startup Lilium and US firm Bell Helicopter small hybrid-electric commuter aircraft to market in the early 2020s, and Aurora Flight Sciences, which is also targeting air taxis. Yet for …

New Study Answers Whether People Have “A Type When Looking For Love

You’ve no doubt had an experience where a friend introduces you to a new love interest and you’re faced with a doppelgänger of their not-so-pleasant ex: they have the same presence, the same interests, the same sense of humor. You’re pretty sure they even have the same shoes on. Rest assured, your gut feeling might not be too far from wrong. A new study has found that most people appear to have a “type” when it comes to dating, as reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Plenty of previous studies have looked at this phenomenon in terms of physical appearance and social background, but this research took a deep look at core personality traits across partners. Using …

People smoked pot to get high 2,500 years ago, study says

The burners all carried a mystery residue, which a chemical test soon revealed to be cannabis. “To our excitement, we identified the biomarkers of [cannabis],” study co-researcher Yimin Yang, a professor in the department of archaeology and anthropology at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, told reporters at a news conference. [25 Odd Facts About Marijuana] Researchers have known for decades that ancient people in eastern China cultivated cannabis as long ago as 3500 B.C. But this cannabis was grown as an oil-seed and fiber crop, and so it had low psychoactive properties. In other words, the ancient people harvesting cannabis for these purposes probably weren’t smoking or ingesting it for its high. The cannabis residues found in the braziers, …

The Top Secret Cold War Project That Pulled Climate Science From the Ice

In 1961—the year before he became the anchorman for CBS News—Walter Cronkite visited Camp Century, an unusual military compound on the Greenland ice sheet. Carved under the snow and ice, Camp Century had a main street and prefab housing for 250 soldiers and scientists—all powered by a pint-sized nuclear reactor. To get there, Cronkite endured a multiday haul from the edge of the ice sheet by “wanigan”—a heated, insulated trailer hitched to a massive Caterpillar tractor traveling at the speed of a slow-walking human. Cronkite’s televised report was wide-eyed at the base’s scale and audacity—there were mess halls, a church, and even the hair-cutting services of a barber named Jordon. When Cronkite asked Camp Century’s commanding officer, Tom Evans, about …

Unbuilt Tokyo: ‘depthscrapers’ and a million-person pyramid

Had the creators of the underground skyscraper had their way, the Japanese capital might have looked very different indeed Protected by cylindrical walls of reinforced concrete, the steel and glass depthscrapers extend hundreds of metres underground. Only a single floor of each inverted 35-storey skyscraper is visible at ground level. Giant mirrors mounted directly above the central wells reflect sunlight to the apartments below. Prismatic glass ensures even light throughout the day, while fresh, conditioned air is pumped down from the surface. The whole structure, in case of an earthquake, will vibrate together, resisting any crushing strain, declared a 1931 edition of Everyday Science and Mechanics that called the design the product of the best engineering brains of Japan. The …

Amid measles outbreak, New York ends religious exemptions for vaccines

(CNN)Amid an ongoing measles outbreak, New York is requiring schoolchildren to be vaccinated, even if parents have religious objections. “While I understand and respect freedom of religion, our first job is to protect the public health and by signing this measure into law, we will help prevent further transmissions and stop this outbreak right in its tracks,” he said. Cuomo signed the bill immediately after the Legislature passed it; the Senate voted 36-26 and the Assembly voted 77-53. The bills were introduced in January. “We are dealing with a public health emergency that requires immediate action,” state Sen. Brad Hoylman, sponsor of the Senate bill, said during the vote. New York has become the epicenter of a measles outbreak in …