giz asks
How Fast Can You Travel Before It Kills You?

The human body can withstand a lot before giving up and dying: falls from second-story windows, years of fevered substance abuse, wolf attacks, etc. We have a pretty good idea of what it can’t tolerate, but some ways of dying instantly have received less attention than others, and speed is one of these. We’ve all seen pictures of people moving at top-speed – but is there a velocity beyond which those blown-back cheeks actually fly off your face? Read More >>

science
Rare Mutation Among Bajau People Lets Them Stay Underwater Longer

The Bajau people of Malaysia and the Philippines are renowned for their free-diving abilities, often working eight-hour shifts in search of fish and other sea critters. Underwater sessions can last upwards of two minutes, with accumulated daily totals of breath-holding often reaching five hours. New research suggests these impressive feats aren’t the result of training, but rather, an example of natural selection at work—which, in this case, has endowed Bajau individuals with abnormally large spleens. Read More >>

biology
Why Neanderthals Had Faces That Were So Different From Ours

Compared to modern humans, Neanderthals had heavy eyebrows, huge noses, and large, long faces that bulged forward. Using 3D computer models, an international team of scientists has analysed these facial features in detail, uncovering some likely explanations for these dramatic physical differences. Read More >>

science
Simulation May Finally Explain Why Knuckle Cracking Makes That Awful Sound

For decades, scientists have debated the cause of the popping sound when we crack our knuckles. Using computer models, a research team from France may have finally reached the answer. Read More >>

science
Scientists Have Finally Figured Out Why Chimps Are So Damn Strong

Humans may have big, bulbous brains, but when it comes to pure muscle power, we’re often considered the weakest of the great apes. Even chimpanzees, who are significantly smaller than us, exhibit levels of strength that are practically super-human by our standards. New research shows the degree to which our primate cousins are stronger than us—and why their tiny bodies pack such an impressive punch. Read More >>

medicine
The Placebo Effect Works Even When People Know the Pills Are Fake

Deception is necessary for placebo pills to work, or at least that’s the conventional wisdom. A surprising new study on patients with chronic back pain shows that we still experience the placebo effect, even when we know we’re being tricked. Read More >>

science
Take a Day Off Between CrossFit Workouts, Study Says

Yeah, we know, your CrossFit gym has completely changed your life, you’ve never looked/felt better, and all other exercise programs pale in comparison. But you may want to ease off the intensive workouts now and then. All that over-exertion can actually impair your immune system, according to a new study just published in Frontiers in Physiology. Read More >>

space
Thanks, Space, For Making These Astronauts Nearsighted 

We know that astronauts’ bodies are heavily impacted by their time in space, but as more of them come back to Earth following longer and longer stays without gravity, more issues are going to arise. Read More >>

research
This 45-Degree Treadmill Just Revealed Something Fascinating About Running Extreme Inclines

Standard treadmills only reach a maximum incline of around 9 degrees. But this one, developed by a team of physiologists at the University of Colorado Boulder, goes all the way to 45 degrees. The unique contraption is providing some insights into the best strategies for extreme uphill running. Read More >>

health
Can You Cure Bad Posture?

Posture is not a rigid concept. It represents something more fluid with considerable range for change. Despite this, it is often oversimplified, rightly or wrongly, as being “good” or “bad”. Read More >>

animals
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 evolutionary oddballs. Read More >>

science
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 Chinese herbal recipe dating back 1,000 years. Read More >>

space
Life in Space is a Giant Science Experiment

Space isn’t a very human-friendly environment, to put things mildly. That’s why, as NASA has grown fond of saying, we’re sciencin’ the shit out of our astronauts so that we can learn how to keep them alive. Read More >>