Chimps are better at teamwork than anyone realized

Growing, I remember watching episodes of Sesame Street stressing how two or more people could accomplish a lot of more through cooperation. It was obvious that they considered it an important lesson. Child should learn to cooperate and work together because that made them better members of society. I imagine a lot of thinking was that it cut down on anti-social behavior as well. Now, research has indicated that maybe cooperation and teamwork were part of our genome even before we became humans.

Chimps are better at teamwork than anyone realized.

Each box housed a grape-dispensing mechanism that required the use of two non-interchangeable tools. From the back of the box, one chimp would move grapes into position with the use of a rake, while the chimp facing the front of the box inserted a stick to trigger the release of any grapes pushed into position by its partner. Retrieving the grapes therefore required the chimps to not only assume complementary roles, but aid one another in performing those roles.

The researchers concluded that this trait evolved before the human and chimp lines diverged and they’ve also confirmed similar behaviors the related species bonobos. Which means we’re not that far apart after all. Maybe with a little tweaking, we could see Rise of the Planet of the Apes after all.

Higgs Boson Officially Found

It’s pretty apt that they made this announcement on Einstein’s birthday. Physicists at CERN have announced that they’re almost positive that they did indeed find the Higgs Boson. This is a huge leap forward in particle physics and in our understanding of how the universe works. It’s nohyperbole to say that this is a huge result in answering the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

And here to explain exactly what is the Higgs Boson is Santa Clause:

Okay, seriously, it’s Physicist John Ellis.

It’s still cool, though.

Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark | Mental Floss

Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark | Mental Floss.

They called it “Angel’s Glow”. At the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, soldiers reported that their wounds gave off a soft glow in the moonlight.

140 years later, 17-year-old Bill Martin asked his mother, a microbiologist who has studied bio luminescent bacteria if that could be the cause of this “Angel’s Glow”.

Her response? “Well, you can do an experiment and find out.”

So they studied, Photorhabdus luminescens, a bacterium that has a weird symbiotic relationship with parasitic worms called nematodes. The nematodes burrow inside insect larvae and then vomit out P. luminescens. The bacteria then produces a toxin that kills the insert and both bacteria and worm have dinner. The glow of the bacteria then attracts other insects enabling the nematode to attack a new host.

Bill and his friend then discovered that the soil and temperature conditions at Shiloh were conducive to spread of this bacteria and worm combo and the “Angel Glow” could have come from soil containing the bacteria getting into the wounds.

Disgusting worms, glowing bacteria, freaky war stories and a mom who encouraged her son to explore science. I couldn’t ask for more.

‘Well, you can do an experiment to find out.’” – See more at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30380/why-some-civil-war-soldiers-glowed-dark#ixzz2M1f5U4PV
“So you know, he comes home and, ‘Mom, you’re working with a glowing bacteria. Could that have caused the glowing wounds?’” Martin told Science Netlinks. “And so, being a scientist, of course I said, ‘Well, you can do an experiment to find out.’” – See more at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30380/why-some-civil-war-soldiers-glowed-dark#ixzz2M1f5U4PV
“So you know, he comes home and, ‘Mom, you’re working with a glowing bacteria. Could that have caused the glowing wounds?’” Martin told Science Netlinks. “And so, being a scientist, of course I said, ‘Well, you can do an experiment to find out.’” – See more at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30380/why-some-civil-war-soldiers-glowed-dark#ixzz2M1f5U4PV

“So you know, he comes home and, ‘Mom, you’re working with a glowing bacteria. Could that have caused the glowing wounds?’” Martin told Science Netlinks. “And so, being a scientist, of course I said, ‘Well, you can do an experiment to find out.’” – See more at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30380/why-some-civil-war-soldiers-glowed-dark#ixzz2M1f5U4PV
“So you know, he comes home and, ‘Mom, you’re working with a glowing bacteria. Could that have caused the glowing wounds?’” Martin told Science Netlinks. “And so, being a scientist, of course I said, ‘Well, you can do an experiment to find out.’” – See more at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/30380/why-some-civil-war-soldiers-glowed-dark#ixzz2M1f5U4PV

Storefront Science

Storefront Science, First of its Kind, Offers Science Camps for Children Ages 4-12; Learn Science While Having Fun in a Montessori-like Experience.

Storefront Science is a place where kids can not only see science in action, but touch it and explore it. They’re got robotics programs and biological exhibits.

Kids are natural scientists. I firmly believe this. They are curious about everything and want to see how things fit together and how they work. If only our school system didn’t drain all that curiosity and inquisitiveness out of them.

Building bridges, exploring electronic circuits, and examining their own cells under a microscope are just a few of the things kids learn to do at camps run at Storefront science.

Says 10-year old Jack, “I learned how to take my own DNA from inside my cheek; then I studied it and carried it around in a necklace for the rest of the day. I never knew science could be this much fun!”

That’s what science should be. Fun! On the surface, it doesn’t seem like that difficult of an idea: Engage their natural curiosity and let them play at building stuff. That’s not something that can be measured on a standardized test.

But it will probably produce more future scientists and engineers than teaching kids how to darken a circle on a scan sheet.

But will it be an iPad App?

 

Available soon — a tricorder, a la ‘Star Trek’.

Remember the tricorder from Start Trek, that miracle box Doctor McCoy would use to give instant diagnoses just by waving a salt shaker over the patient?

Thanks to the folks at the X Prize Foundation, it looks like we’re getting a little closer to having one in real life.