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A Natural History of Vampires

Medveđa, Serbia. Jan. 1732 -- The Carpathian mountains loomed ominously to the east, as if nature herself was conspiring with evil. In the valley below a shadow had been draped over the corpses that now littered the quiet cemetery...

October 31, 2011 — Eric Michael Johnson

Are Zombies nocturnal?

For Halloween, I thought I'd republish this old post of mine from July 1, 2010. Blame 'Night of the Living Dead' for this, but many people mistakenly think that zombies are nocturnal, going around their business of walking around town with stilted gaits, looking for people whose brains they can eat, only at night...

October 31, 2011 — Bora Zivkovic

Revenge of the Zombifying Wasp

As it is Halloween, I am republishing my old post (from February 04, 2006, reposted on July 1, 2010): I was quite surprised that Carl Zimmer, in research for his book Parasite Rex, did not encounter the fascinating case of the Ampulex compressa (Emerald Cockroach Wasp) and its prey/host the American Cockroach ( Periplaneta americana , see also comments on Aetiology and Ocellated).In 1999, I went to Oxford, UK, to the inaugural Gordon Conference in Neuroethology and one of the many exciting speakers I was looking forward to seeing was Fred Libersat...

October 31, 2011 — Bora Zivkovic

#SciAmBlogs Friday - a great end of the week

- Joseph Milton - Painting plasma - Bora Zivkovic - #scio11 – Web 2.0, Public and Private Spaces in the Scientific Community, and Generational Divides in the Practice of Science - Scicurious - Friday Weird Science: Piercing the Paleolithic Penis - Kelly Oakes - Blue stragglers formed by engulfing red giants - Bora Zivkovic - Weekly Highlights #11 – Rachel Nuwer - Larry Greenemeier - Can Collective Intelligence Provide Answers to Climate Change Questions? - Glendon Mellow - Tree of Life by Michele Banks - Matthew Garcia - Books: Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis - Charles Q...

STAFFOctober 28, 2011 — Bora Zivkovic

Beatboxing on the brain

Carolyn McGettigan is a researcher at University College London who studies the neural mechanisms of speech and production. So it was only natural that she teamed up with UK Beatbox champion Reeps One to uncover the mysteries behind his skill at producing percussion sounds with his mouth...

October 28, 2011 — Princess Ojiaku

Are birds' tweets grammatical?

Are humans the only species with enough smarts to craft a language? Most of us believe that we are. Although many animals have their own form of communication, none has the depth or versatility heard in human speech...

October 28, 2011 — Danielle Perszyk

Weekly Highlights #11 - Rachel Nuwer

Rachel Nuwer (Twitter, blog), from NYU's SHERP program, has been writing regularly on the New York Times Green blog. Check out some of her recent posts there: A Photographic Call to Action: When Clyde Butcher first began exploring the Everglades in 1984, “there was virtually nothing to photograph — it was one big ditch,” he says...

STAFFOctober 28, 2011 — Bora Zivkovic

Painting plasma

Through the years science has inspired many artists and some scientists have been driven to create art by the beauty they have witnessed during their work in the lab.

October 28, 2011 — Joseph Milton

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