Meet Ratzilla, an immense, bison-sized rodent that lived in South America 3 million years ago. The rodent weighed about a metric ton and had a bite force three times higher than that of today's tigers and crocodiles. Talk about rodents of unusual size!
2014 was a banner year for biofuels, but they're still a lot more expensive than gas. Researchers are always on the lookout for new ways to trim costs, and now they've found a microbe that just might solve their problems.
The Obama administration presented its budget request to Congress on 2 February for the 2016 fiscal year. It calls for about a 6% increase in R&D budgets, but basic research would get just about 3%. That tilt toward the practical worries some researchers.
Researchers have designed a cheap, easy-to-use smart phone attachment that can test patients for diseases like HIV and syphilis in just 15 minutes, and it only uses a tiny bit of power: A fourth-generation iPod Touch could screen 41 patients on a single charge.
Chemotherapy is a mainstay of cancer treatment, but most of the drugs are toxic and have a hard time penetrating tumors. Now, researchers have figured out how to use electric fields to drive chemo compounds specifically into tumors, dramatically increasing the drugs’ concentration and shrinking the tumors.
Call it a scientific oddity—or a medical miracle. A girl who grew up with a serious genetic immune disease was apparently cured in her 30s by one of her chromosomes shattering into pieces and reassembling.