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Harvard

  1. Researchers Say Girls Drinking Soda Causes Their Periods to Start Sooner, My 15-Year-Old Self Has Contrary Evidence

    Researchers at Harvard say young girls who drink too many sugary drinks may enter puberty earlier than those who don't. But... but... I was drinking soda straight from a bar spout when I was seven, so...

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  2. Whoops, “Gravitational Waves” Big Bang Evidence May Have Just Been Dust

    There's a strong metaphor in here somewhere about the nature of the universe...

    Gravitational waves that would've formed during the Big Bang's "inflation" were theorized in 1980, but earlier this year a team announced that they'd found proof of the waves' existence, which would be strong evidence in support of the Big Bang. Since then, the discovery has faced a lot of scientific opposition, and new research shows it may have just detected dust in the wind magnetically aligned patterns.

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  3. Nearly Indestructible Inflatable Robot Crawls Its Way Into Your Nightmares

    Metroid had it right. Crawling robots are a no-no.

    Never before has a pink, squishy, crawling robot filled you with so much nope.

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  4. Massive Swarm of Tiny Robots Built To Study Collective Behavior, Haunt My Dreams

    Nope. Nope nope nope nope nopenopenopenopenope

    There are plenty of examples in the animal kingdom of a group working together to accomplish a single task, so naturally this is a behavior scientists are trying to replicate in robots. Harvard University's Kilobots (one letter away from K-I-L-L-B-O-T-S, I'm on to you, Harvard) can collectively and spontaneously replicate shapes. Watch them in action. Terrifying, nightmarish action.

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  5. Harvard Library Confirms That Yes, One of Their Books Is Totally Bound in Human Skin

    I hope it's a Nicholas Sparks novel.

    A few months ago, the Internet was abuzz with rumors that the Harvard Library has a couple of books that may or may not be bound with human flesh. Days later, the library released a report that two of the books in question are not human so we can all just calm down. Except... whoops! The third one is.

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  6. Researchers Believe the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” to Be No More Fake Than Other Gospels

    "And lo, Jesus was too busy making metaphors for strangers to remember my birthday."

    "The Gospel of Jesus' Wife" is a pice of papyrus that contains controversial statements about—you guessed it—Jesus' wife. It says things like, "Jesus said to them, My wife... she is able to be my disciple..." and probably a lot about how he's always out boozing it up on water-wine with his 12 buddies. Now there's research showing its authenticity.

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  7. Hey, One of the Harvard Human Skin-Bound Books Isn’t Human Skin After All!

    So... wait, but what about the other two?

    So you know how Harvard's had some anthropodemic-bound books in their libraries for the past couple of years? Brand new information from the university was published yesterday suggesting that one of those three books is actually bound in sheepskin. Oh, good! That's much less viscerally horrific. You know, unless you're a sheep.

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  8. So Harvard Miiiight Have a Couple of Books in Their Library That Are Bound With Human Flesh

    I mean, only three. That's not so bad, right?

    Hey, so you know how flesh is a thing that's normally supposed to be attached to your body? And you know how fancy books are usually bound in leather, which is dried flesh from other animals that aren't human? Yeah, we're pretty sure you know where we're going with this. We don't like it, either.

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  9. Relax, MIT and Harvard Scientists Did Not Build a Lightsaber

    We find your lack of accuracy... disturbing.

    A team of physicists from MIT and Harvard have created a new form of matter by binding photons into molecules. The team compared the way these new molecules interact to lightsabers, and the Internet went bonkers. Pump the brakes, everyone. They have not created a lightsaber. Here's what happened.

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  10. Bill Gates Admits That Control+Alt+Delete Was A Big Mistake

    Next maybe he'll have something to say about the blue screen of death.

    The "three finger salute" of Control+Alt+Delete has been a part of Microsoft lore since it was first put into the Acorn computers in 1981 by developer David Bradley. It's also used to log in to Windows 7 and below, which annoys users to this day. Gates is real sorry about that, as it turns out.

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  11. Diamonds and Gold Take Cell Temperature, May Be Key to New Cancer Treatment

    Accurate nanothermometers are a girl's best friend.

    Cells are tiny, which makes it pretty hard to take their temperature. A recent study published in Nature, however, suggests that diamonds and gold fragments can be used to read the temperature of individual cells. This could open up new avenues of research regarding cell behavior, and may be the first step toward a more deft method of killing cancer cells.

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  12. Brain-to-Brain Connection Established Between Humans and Rats

    Step One: Learn to control rat brains. Step Two: CONTROL ALL THE BRAINS

    Harvard researchers have devised a way to create a functioning link between the brain of a human and a lab rat that lets a thought from the human test subject cause the rat to move its own tail. The research could prove to be a major expansion to the field of brain-computer interface (BCI), translating thoughts through a computer to another brain.

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  13. This is the Best Cartoon Explanation of Algorithms You Will Probably Ever See

    The latest TEDEd cartoon can take you from vaguely understanding that algorithms are a thing to actually knowing what they are. It did for us, anyway.

    I'm sure there are a lot of you out there who utterly get, in a second nature sort of way, how algorithms work. I, however, am not among them. I mean, I know that algorithms are 'a way that computers sort information to figure things out,' but that's basically one step up from saying 'magic.' Lucky for me and the rest of the folks out there who don't quite get the what an algorithm is, Harvard computer scientist David J. Malan is is here to narrate a TEDEd cartoon on the subject that will save us all from ignorance.

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  14. Insect-Sized Robots Take Flight, Bringing Your Paranoid Delusions One Step Closer to Reality

    This is RoboBee, and it may be the world's tiniest robot. Inspired by the anatomy of aviation-inclined insects like bees and flies, it's just a bit larger than a human fingertip. And after years of work, RoboBee has joined its organic inspirations in flight. The minuscule machine designed by researchers at Harvard took to the air for the first time last year, but the footage of its flight is only available this week, now that the results have been published in the latest issue of the journal Science.

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  15. Carnivorous Plants Host Unexpected Ecosystems In Their Guts

    While carnivorous plants may seem rather strange and exotic, the principles that underlie the insect-eating pitcher plant are pretty simple -- bugs fall down the slick sides of the tube shaped plant, landing in a small pool of water where they drown before being digested and turned into plant food. A new study by researchers at Harvard, though, suggests that the plant's methods are anything but simple, though. According to a recently published paper, the pools of water in pitcher plants are teeming with life, and represent miniature ecosystems unto themselves.

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  16. Harvard Professor Says Google Results Reflect Racism

    The results of Harvard professor Latanya Sweeney's new paper sound like the premise of a bad comedy act. Sweeney says advertisements are different based on the perceived race of a searched name. You see, the ads attached to results of Google searches of white names like Brad, Luke, and Katie be all like, "Do you need contact information?" But the resulting ads from searching for names like Leroy, Kareem, and Keisha be all like "Arrested?" Is there a problem with Google's results, or are they just reflecting society?

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  17. Laser-Powered Mind Control Is Now Possible, First Modern Supervillain Arriving In Short Order

    No self-respecting mad scientist or alien despot would ever dream of conquering the galaxy without their trusty mind-controlling ray gun. Thanks to a group of Harvard researchers, this venerable addition to the science fiction armory may be one step closer to science fact. The team has successfully used a series of brief laser pulses to stimulate the neurons of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, effectively taking control of its brain.

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  18. 2012 Ig Nobel Prizes Announced, Celebrate Year’s Goofiest Achievements In Science

    Yesterday marked the ceremony awarding the 22nd batch of Ig Nobel Prizes for the goofiest, strangest, and altogether most fun inventions, studies and pieces of scientific research of the last year. The awards were presented at Harvard University by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research to 10 researchers whose work ranged from developing the SpeechJammer, a device that disrupts a person's speech patterns by playing their own voice back to them on a slight delay, to research into why coffee spills when you're walking with it. Keep reading for video of the entire awards ceremony.

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  19. Is Data Scientist Really The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century?

    Do infographics get you hot and bothered? Is snuggling up in front of the fireplace with a glass of red and a SQL database your idea of a cozy night in? Are you looking for a lover who can keep your axes labelled all night long? If so, you're apparently not alone. The Harvard Business Review, a noted authority on "things that are sexy," has declared "Data Scientist" to be the sexiest career of the 21st century.

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  20. Harvard Plagiarism Scandal Discovered Partly Due to Typo

    In what surely ranks highly on the list of Scandals Discovered Because of Grammatical Errors, Harvard's most recent academic witch hunt was kicked off in part because one professor noticed an unusual typo in the same place in two exams. The discovery, made by assistant professor Matthew Platt, initially placed 13 final exams under suspicion this past spring. When Harvard publicly announced the inquiry at the end of August, the number of undergraduates being investigated had increased to about 125.

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