Scientists Find Genetic Reason Why Store-Bought Tomatoes Taste So Bland

Store-bought tomatoes taste horrifically disgusting — err, bland. Now scientists have discovered a version of a gene that helps give tomatoes their flavor is actually missing in about 93 percent of modern, domesticated varieties. The discovery may help bring flavor back to tomatoes you can pick up in the produce section. “How many times do […]

Scarred Brains or Shiny Statistics: The Perils of CCA – Neuroskeptic

A paper in PNAS got some attention on Twitter recently. It’s called Childhood trauma history is linked to abnormal brain connectivity in major depression and in it, the authors Yu et al. report finding (as per the Significance Statement) A dramatic primary association of brain resting-state network (RSN) connectivity abnormalities with a history of childhood […]

Prehistoric Medicine: How Archaic Humans Cured Themselves – The Crux

A culture plate from Fleming’s experiments seeded with infectious bacteria and with penicillin placed on the lower half. (Credit: Alexander Fleming/The British Journal of Experimental Pathology) Long before Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, people were using antibiotics to combat infections. In the late 1800s, French physician Ernest Duchesne observed Arab stable boys treating sores […]

Early Galaxies Shone Brighter and Hotter than Expected – D-brief

The first galaxies shone bright and hot, lighting up the cosmos around them. (Credit: James Josephides) Our universe’s first galaxies shone hotter and brighter than scientists thought, according to a group of astronomers who tapped a whopping 400 hours of observing time on NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The discovery could answer a long-standing question about how light first […]

In Antarctica, Where Penguins Poop, Life Blooms – D-brief

Adelie penguin colony in Antarctica. The species is one of three observed for the study. (Credit: Goldilock Project/Shutterstock) Penguins love company — some colonies of the flightless bird boast numbers over 1 million. And with squads that can run that deep, you can be sure they make a mess of things, if you know what […]

Rural Communities Are Getting Obese Faster Than City Dwellers – D-brief

Access to healthy foods is one reason urban populations may see slower increases in obesity rates. (Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock) Around the world, obesity is on the rise. A global uptick in body mass index, or BMI — a measure of whether a person’s weight is healthy for how tall they are — has coincided with rapid urbanization, leading […]