Science

Planet-dolia pyramids and poles (UPDATED)

Cropped from the original picture from the Mars Rover raw image feed from JPL

A number of stories are circulating online today with claims of weird things found on other planets. As usual, the facts are interesting but mystery-mongering sites overreach and portray them as extraordinary, that is, there are cities or evidence of civilization out there. The evidence for THAT is doubtful indeed. We see what we want…

Birth month and disease risk study has nothing to do with astrology

WordArt_Calendar Months_web

Scientists reviewed New York medical databases for 1.7 million patients and found 55 diseases linked to birth month, according to a statement released Monday by the university. Source: Study finds link between birth month and disease risk It turns out your birth month might determine more than just your astrological sign. When you are born…

Soft tissue preservation in dinos is fodder for Creationists

Dinosaurs

As usual, Bible literalists think a few anomalies can overturn our entire established knowledge about the earth. Ain’t gonna happen, guys. Researchers have discovered what appear to be the remnants of red blood cells and connective tissue in 75 million-year-old dinosaur fossils. Source: ‘Blood cells’ found in dino fossils – BBC News The work could shine…

Update: Propellant-less Propulsion Piece Gains Traction Again…

going_to_warp

…but still has nothing to push off from. Doubtful News readers may remember the 2014 story of a research group that had built a device to create thrust without propellant. The 2014 experiment was taken to task for performing their experiments in a non-vacuum chamber, and this potential weakness was even noted in the conference…

Sykes’ reputation and his Yeti project get slammed

nature of the beast_sykes

As we updated yesterday, Bryan Sykes’ claim of mystery DNA is being hyped by the media apparently ahead of his new book about his Yeti/Bigfoot project (the results of the Oxford-Lausanne Collateral Hominid Project which had a goal of collecting organic material for so called “cryptids”, including that which people believe may be from Bigfoot, and…

Moldy ghosts?

got-mold

Another hypothetical idea about “ghosts”. This one also sounds scientific on the surface, but so far, does not have the chops to explain hauntings. Ghost sightings in haunted houses linked to toxic mould. Researchers studying ghostly apparitions said that hauntings are usually reported in old buildings which often have poor air quality from pollutants. Previous…

Sky Shows Galaxy-lensed “Reruns” of Exploding Supernova, Demonstrating Gravity of the Situation

Gravitational Lensing Illustration

Sometimes† space is just awesome. More specifically, stuff (or mass) in space has some properties that manifest in empirically awesome ways. Earlier this week, Science put out a report on a supernova (Wikipedia) observed behind a galaxy in the MACS J1149.6+2223 cluster. This particular supernova is visible due to gravitational lensing (Wikipedia) around the cluster, greatly magnifying…

Tattoo me skeptical!

This woman would save a fortune using Falkenham's revolutionary tattoo removal cream.

Tattoo removal as simple as rubbing lotion on it? This new $6 cream promises to painlessly fade your tattoos away. A Canadian uni student has invented a new tattoo removal cream that makes the ink fade away forever by replacing the ink-filled cells with new, clean cells. So Alec Falkenham, a PhD student in the…

Anonymous commenters undermining science have negative impact. We knew this.

No-bs-sign default

This is further justification why we do not allow anti-science commenters on this site. It’s not a debate but the reader often does not know that. Healthcare websites are attempting to educate about health risks but a new study shows, surprisingly, that readers may be influenced more by online comments than by credible public service announcements.…

Blast of radio waves makes waves among astronomers

radio telescope

A mystery… Astronomers Catch Mysterious Radio Blast From the Distant Universe Coming from far beyond the galaxy, an extremely energetic blast of radio waves has been snared by astronomers lying in wait. Lasting for just a few thousandths of a second, the burst is the first of an enigmatic class of objects to be observed…

Nessie as clickbait: New fossil finds overshadowed by dumb headlines

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This idiotic headline makes me so irked that I won’t link to the original but to a proxy because it does not deserve your clicks. Bones of ‘Nessie’s cousin’ found on Isle of Skye – The Scotsman. (Through DoNotLink) My hypothesis: It’s not possible for any fossil reptile found in Scotland to NOT be linked…

Will TV be less worse from now on? We are skeptically optimistic!

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We’re seeing a trend. First, Cosmos does well. Then, SyFy announces that they will cut development on “reality” paranormal shows. Now there is news that Neil DeGrasse Tyson is getting his OWN TV TALK SHOW and the new Discovery Channel president is saying some very interesting and positive things. This may be something… As we linked…

It’s frost quake season in North America!

The seismic signal of a frost quake, as recorded by a seismometer in Ontario. Photo: Natural Resources Canada

As reports of mystery booms continue every week, we finally have confirmation that the weather services have determined that frost quakes are occurring in Eastern Canada and even in the U.S. ‘Frost quake’ shakes Montreal’s West Island – Montreal – CBC News. Some residents on Montreal’s West Island were shaken early Tuesday morning by a…

Warblers high-tailed it away from on-coming storm a day in advance

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In a small study that tracked 20 songbirds, scientists noted that five birds seemingly evacuated before an oncoming storm. BBC News – Birds ‘heard tornadoes coming’ and fled one day ahead. US scientists say tracking data shows that five golden-winged warblers “evacuated” their nesting site one day before the April 2014 tornado outbreak. Geolocators showed…

Sykes’ Yeti-polar bear data conclusions challenged

Artists version of the "yeti" as a hybrid polar bear

There is an update to the story about ancient polar bear DNA found in the samples gathered while searching for the Yeti in Asia. It throws doubt on the results that there is a new type of hybrid bear. BBC News – Scientists challenge ‘Abominable Snowman DNA’ results. Last year, Oxford University genetics professor Bryan Sykes…

Simpson and Krabappel study highlights laughable science journals

Simpsons-family-5

No, this is NOT the plot for a Simpsons episode, but was a prank by Alex Smolyanitsky to raise awareness regarding science journals that spam scientists for contributions to their journals. For a fee, of course. A study by Maggie Simpson and Edna Krabappel has been accepted by two scientific journals. A fictional paper authored…

Sea stars mystery: Mass mortality from virus

Pisaster ochraceus, Ochre sea star is affected by the wasting disease (Wikipedia)

We have a worrying update to the news from 2013 about star wasting disease. Starfish in record numbers along the U.S. West Coast were dying – losing limbs and turning to slime (technically reported as “epidermal necrosis and ulceration, and dermal inflammation and edema in the body wall”). Researchers have proposed that a virus is…

L’Aquila decision against geoscientists overturned

In an update to a story that shook geoscientists around the world, almost all of the people formerly found guilty in the L’Aquila earthquake prediction manslaughter case have been acquitted. Verdict Overturned for Italian Geoscientists Convicted of Manslaughter | WIRED. Today, after a surprisingly swift-by-Italian-standards appeals process, the three-judge panel acquitted six of the men.…

Additional evidence that ghosts may be all in the mind

Ghost Behind the Glass

A study of people with brain injuries or those that have experienced hallucinations, suggests that environmental miscues can fool our brains into thinking there is something there that is not. Spooks generated by brain-body mismatch. [U]nder some circumstances, real people can also believe that a non-existent person is close to them — extreme mountaineers often…