Scientists Can Now See Stranded Whales From Space

Scientists have begun using satellites that can produce high-resolution imagery to monitor whale strandings from space, according to a new study. Read More >>

Creatures of the Deep Are Feeding on a Whale Carcass and You Can Watch It Live

Marine scientists aboard the E/V Nautilus, a research vessel that prowls the high seas in search of oceanic discoveries, have stumbled upon the rare skeletal remains of a 16-foot long whale. With bits of flesh still clinging to the bones, the dead whale has attracted an assortment of strange sea critters, including worms, octopuses, and eels. Even cooler, they’re livestreaming the feeding frenzy. Read More >>

Scientists Use Lab-Grown Brains to Study What Makes Us Human

Researchers are growing human, ape, and monkey brain tissue in the lab in order to understand what makes us different. Human brains are clearly unique in some way, given that we’re the only animal that can make and post memes online and fly into space. But questions still surround why we’re different from our close relatives, the other great apes, and it’s difficult to access the brain tissue needed to study these differences. One team of scientists hopes to explore the subject in a way that only humans can: with the help of genetic sequencing and organoids, miniature organs grown from stem cells in petri dishes. Read More >>

2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine Goes to Researchers Who Unravelled How Cells Sense Oxygen

A trio of researchers from the US and the UK has won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine, the first of five prizes to be announced this week. Today in Sweden, the Nobel committee announced that Americans William Kaelin Jr. and Gregg Semenza, along with Peter Ratcliffe, would split the nearly million-dollar prize for their work in unravelling a fundamental aspect of life: how our cells keep track of and respond to fluctuating oxygen levels. Read More >>

Newly Identified Electric Eel Species is Most Shocking Animal Ever

Genetic data has revealed several distinct electric eel species living throughout South America, including the most shocking eel (and animal) discovered yet. Read More >>

Scientists See Human-Like Brain Waves in Lab-Grown Mini-Brains

One way that scientists can non-invasively study the human brain is by growing “mini-brains”, clusters of brain cells each about the size of a pea, in the lab. In a fascinating progression of this line of research, a team this week reports that they observed human-like brainwaves from these organoids. Read More >>

Crows Get Higher Cholesterol From Eating Our Cheeseburgers

City living is producing something new for you to worry about: high crow-lesterol (sorry, I’m sorry, I’m trying to delete it). Read More >>

Can You Laugh to Death?

True laughter—not the strained, polite variant you find in offices, or the monotonous guffawing you hear on comedy podcasts, but real, involuntary, gasping laughter—is an escape from death, or at least the dread of it: you can think about death while laughing hysterically, can even, if you’re a sociopath, watch someone die while laughing hysterically, but it’s safe to say that, in that moment, your own death will not seem so frightening. And so of course the question is: can the act of laughing itself kill you, specifically with an aneurysm or a heart attack? For this week’s Giz Asks, we reached out to a number of doctors to find out. Read More >>

US Military’s Deadly Germ Lab Shut Down Due to Sloppy Work, Leaky Equipment

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shut down a leading American military research facility for failing to meet established safety standards, halting important research into some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens and toxins. Read More >>

Scientists Went to China to Create Controversial Human-Monkey Embryos

An international collaboration is claiming to have created hybridised human-monkey embryos in China. Disturbingly, the research could result in monkeys capable of producing human organs for transplants, leading to a host of ethical concerns. Read More >>

Tiny Fossil Tooth Found in the Amazon May Have Come From Ancient, Baseball-Size Monkey

In a single tooth, scientists might have discovered the smallest fossil monkey as well as an important piece of primate evolutionary history. Read More >>

How Did This Egg Get ‘Bigger Than Before’?

How did this egg get so big, bigger than before, even? Read More >>

Ancient DNA Helps Trace the Origin of Domestic Cattle

Scientists have found evidence of Bronze Age human civilisation written into ancient cattle DNA, according to a new study. Read More >>

A Blackbird Blowing ‘Smoke’ Rings Wins Top Prize at the 2019 Audubon Photography Awards

Like humans, birds breathe. And on a cold day, the moisture from their breath condenses into steam that emanates from their beaks. Photographer Kathrin Swoboda knew this, and was hoping to capture it on film at the park near her house. Read More >>

Fossilised Teeth Suggest Some Ancient Crocodiles Were Vegetarians

Alligators and crocodiles are some of the scariest carnivores on Earth today, but new research suggests their ancient relatives developed a preference for plants. Read More >>