Western men see sperm counts halved

It seems that birth and sex have been pretty consistent subjects in the world of science this week. Now, for some bad news: Sperm count in Western men is declining. A team led by Hagai Levine at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University has found that sperm counts fell by over 50 percent from 1973 to 2011. That was what they found, but they can’t really explain why. … Continue reading Western men see sperm counts halved

Gonorrhea could meet its match in vaccine

Sexually transmitted diseases hold a special place of fear in our hearts. Not only are they often irritating and humiliating, but they are also potentially fatal. Those of us over 30 at least remember some of the AIDS crisis that swept the country and almost everyone knows what ebola can do. We all also learned about the damage syphilis did in history class as well. But, … Continue reading Gonorrhea could meet its match in vaccine

Korean robots out to serve airport travelers

As you know, I talk a lot about robots. Why’s that? Well, it’s because they’re becoming more of a part of our lives day by day, even if we don’t see them. Last week, I mentioned that Japan is looking to put out robots that help travelers reach their destination. This week, I’m telling you about a robot in South Korea that is pretty much already … Continue reading Korean robots out to serve airport travelers

Birthrates in Japan and industrialized nations going down, but why?

By now, most people who keep up with global demographics knows that birthrates are going down. This is a trend reflected worldwide, with even developing countries seeing a decline as their economies improve and access to contraceptives increase. Japan has seen itself become the face of that trend. With a rate of 1.4 children per woman, Japan’s birthrate is very low, though not the lowest. … Continue reading Birthrates in Japan and industrialized nations going down, but why?

Mars: Congressman asks ‘any signs of civilization?’

Mars has been the center of some odd news stories as of late. The most recent is that of a California Republican making a rather odd inquiry: Addressing a NASA scientist testifying before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher said, “You have indicated that Mars was totally different thousands of years ago,” according to a video posted to YouTube. “Is it possible … Continue reading Mars: Congressman asks ‘any signs of civilization?’

Four-legged robot could save lives

So, you know I like robots and see them as having near-unlimited potential as far as our daily lives. In the next half-century, we will see them become our policemen, chefs, medical professionals and even prostitutes. With all that coolness, we forget that robots have commonly been used to go where it’s not safe for humans. That’s where the Cheetah 3 comes in. You’ve probably … Continue reading Four-legged robot could save lives

FDA on cusp of approving cancer-killing gene therapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is close to approving its first gene therapy treatment for cancer. This gene therapy targets cancer by turning the bodies own cells into anti-cancer weapons. Here’s a dumbed-down explanation from NPR: The new treatment is known as CAR-T cell immunotherapy. It works by removing key immune system cells known as T cells from the patient so scientists can genetically … Continue reading FDA on cusp of approving cancer-killing gene therapy

Moon Express eyes low-cost moon transport

Think that a vacation to the moon is decades away? Well, maybe you should turn “decades” into decade. Sure, it would probably just be the moon’s orbit and it will likely be only available to those vacationers willing to spend millions for the view, but it is closer to becoming a reality. One big factor in that is a competition from Google. Moon Express has … Continue reading Moon Express eyes low-cost moon transport

DNA used to record images

Could the camera of the future be alive and use DNA as its film? Probably “no” to the first, but a definite “yes” to the second. A team of Harvard scientists announced that they’ve encoded images directly into living E. coli, a species of bacteria using Crispr-Cas9 gene-editing technology. Now, this wasn’t a still image. This was essentially a GIF. It’s the five-frame animation of a galloping thoroughbred … Continue reading DNA used to record images

That’s a damn healthy cup of coffee

Like Agent Dale Cooper of Twin Peaks, I appreciate a  “a damn fine cup” of coffee. Now two new studies have turned my appreciation into pride. The two studies, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine find that people who drink coffee — and by “drink” I mean more than two cups — have a lower mortality rate than their peers. Here are the details … Continue reading That’s a damn healthy cup of coffee