Musical Me

Could you be a musical genius and not even know it? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. We all know the names: Beethoven, Elvis, Brittney Spears. What is it that makes these artists so gifted? Could it be some innate personality trait? Scientists at the

Life Before Tequila

Before there was Tequila, there was … pulque? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, and possibly the earliest alcohol of Mesoamerica: Pulque. Like Tequila, pulque is distilled from the sap of agave plants. The Aztecs drank it in the 1400s. And it’s still consumed in

Mommy Deer-est

Who loves the sound of a baby crying? Apparently, everyone! This is Sandra Tsing Loh, with the Loh Down on Science, saying: It’s fundamental! Baby mammals emit distress calls for many reasons: hunger, separation, capture—and having the TV switched off during Sponge Bob. These calls share common acoustic traits among

Hidden Brain

If your eyes are the window to your soul, what’s the window to your brain? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. Many people suffer from diseases that require brain surgery to treat and monitor. Unfortunately, brain surgery requires an open skull – risky and complex!

Slip n’ Slide

Slipping on a banana peel – Cartoon pratfall, or fascinating biology? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. What makes banana peels so slippery? That’s what Kiyoshi Mabuchi colleagues at Japan’s Kitasato University wondered. So they set up a scientific slip n’ slide! They placed a

Moon Walk

Moon walking: Not as easy as it looks! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. For astronauts, the moon’s weaker gravity can be disorienting. How do we know? Astronauts stumble! NASA has the blooper reels to prove it. That’s because gravity doesn’t just anchor us. It

Martian Gardens

We’ve all heard of “farm to table”—But what if your table is on Mars? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. It’s hard to get fresh veggies in space. But future colonists will need them for long-term survival. Enter researchers from Wageningen University in The Netherlands.

Scaredy-Crows

Animal grouping phrases: A parliament of owls! A murmuration of starlings! A murder of crows?!? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. University of Washington researchers Kaili Swift and John Marzluff observed, and wondered: Why do crows gather around their dead? To find out, first, the

Bat Talk

Overheard in the bat cave – conversation? This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. That’s what Genevieve Wright at the University of Maryland wanted to know. In previous studies, Wright and colleagues found that brown bats seem to make six different types of social calls. Their

Nap Time

In after-lunch meetings, when people drone on and you doze off, don’t blame bad Powerpoints. Blame food coma! This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, and on food coma—the unbearable sleepiness that sets in about a half an hour after you’ve finished a big meal. According