• 5 Things Your Hair Can Tell You About Your Health
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    5 Things Your Hair Can Tell You About Your Health

    [ intro ] If you’ve ever dyed your hair the colors of the rainbow, or gotten a dramatic updo for a special event, you know that we often use hair for more than just keeping our heads warm. It can be an expression of our personalities, too. But how your hair grows — or doesn’t — can also be a sign about your personal health. And while that’s really convenient and everything, it’s also… pretty weird. Like, your hair is basically just a bunch of protein clumps, so it doesn’t seem like it should be able to tell you about other things happening in your body. But in reality, it’s…

  • The Largest Black Holes in the Universe (VERSION ONE)
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    The Largest Black Holes in the Universe (VERSION ONE)

    We’ve never seen them directly, yet we know they are there, Lurking within dense star clusters, Or wandering the dust lanes of the galaxy, Where they prey on stars, Or swallow planets whole. Our Milky Way may harbor millions of these black holes, the ultra dense remnants of dead stars. But now, in the universe far beyond our galaxy, there’s evidence of something even more ominous, A breed of black holes that have reached incomprehensible size and destructive power. It has taken a new era in astronomy to find them. High-tech instruments in space tuned to sense high-energy forms of light – x-rays and gamma rays – that are invisible…

  • Nature’s Mood Rings: How Chameleons Really Change Color | Deep Look
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    Nature’s Mood Rings: How Chameleons Really Change Color | Deep Look

    I don’t know about you, but I thought to be chameleon-like was to be someone who could fit in anywhere. Adapt. Blend in. Turns out that is all wrong. Chameleons don’t change color to match their environment. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Their baseline is camouflage. When chameleons are relaxed, they’re mostly green. They naturally blend into their home in the forest canopy. They even mimic leaves by dancing around a little. But when they feel threatened, or annoyed, or just want to show a little swagger – that is when their color changes. They transform into living mood rings. Chameleons change color to make a statement. The faster…

  • How Mosquitoes Use Six Needles to Suck Your Blood  |  Deep Look
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    How Mosquitoes Use Six Needles to Suck Your Blood | Deep Look

    This is the deadliest animal in the world. Mosquitoes kill hundreds of thousands of people each year… the most vulnerable people: children, pregnant women… No other bite kills more humans… or makes more of us sick. So what makes a mosquito’s bite so effective? For starters, they’re motivated. Only females bite us. They need blood to make eggs… And a pool of water for their babies to hatch in. Even a piece of trash can hold enough. At first glance, it looks simple — this mosquito digging her proboscis into us. But the tools she’s using here are sophisticated. First, a protective sheath retracts – see it bending back? If…

  • Liquid Nitrogen and Fire!
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    Liquid Nitrogen and Fire!

    Frostbite Theater presents… Cold Cuts! No baloney! Just science! I’m a little bit afraid to ask this next question because I think I already know the answer, but is anyone in here feeling a little… dangerous? You’re willing to take a chance? Because I am willing to do an experiment they haven’t let me do since ‘The Incident.’ Now, because of the danger, I cannot have a volunteer. I must do this on my own. [Audience] Awww… And, because of the lawyers, I need everyone to raise their right hand and repeat after me. Say ‘I promise.’ [Audience] I promise. Not to try this at home. [Audience] Not to try…

  • 4 Weird Audio Illusions!
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    4 Weird Audio Illusions!

    This is what the auditory cortex in your brain looks like… if it was made out of paper. And had a cute little face. Your auditory cortex seems well-meaning, but it can be pretty deceptive. Our hearing plays tricks on us all of the time, and it’s not your ears that are to blame. When you repeat a phrase over and over and over, it begins to sound like a song. It’s called the Speech to Song Illusion. The repetition of the words tricks us into hearing a rhythm and thinking it’s musical. And when you think you’re hearing a song, your brain works even harder to detect musical patterns…

  • You’re Not Hallucinating. That’s Just Squid Skin. | Deep Look
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    You’re Not Hallucinating. That’s Just Squid Skin. | Deep Look

    Cuttlefish… octopuses… and squid have an almost otherworldly ability to control their appearance. What makes it possible are these spots. They’re called chromatophores. They’re like tiny water balloons, filled with colored pigment. When the balloons expand, you see more pigment, more color… When they contract, the color shrinks to a tiny dot. The overall effect can be really dramatic. And for good reason. These animals don’t have protective external shells. They’re unarmored. Naked. And they aren’t great swimmers, either. Camouflage is their best defense. They have to be good at it. Octopuses can change their body position and the pattern on their skin to match rock or coral. Octopuses and…

  • What Does Lyme Disease Do To Your Body?
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    What Does Lyme Disease Do To Your Body?

    When you think about Lyme disease you probably think of this, a tick. Or maybe more specifically, a tick bite. Which is not wrong, you should. But what exactly is it about a tick bite that makes us sick? This is Borrelia burgdorferi, one of many bacteria that ticks can pass onto humans and the one responsible for Lyme disease. It causes an array of symptoms, which can be anything from fatigue, arthritis, facial palsy and occasionally a bulls-eye rash. (Erythema migrans, if you want to get technical). We’ve only known about the pathogen since the early 1980’s, but it’s been around for much longer than that…potentially for thousands of…

  • Sarah is Seeking the Causes of Skin Cancer at UCSF
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    Sarah is Seeking the Causes of Skin Cancer at UCSF

    “My name is Sarah Tuttleton-Arron and I’m a dermatologist. I am the associate director of the Dermatologic Surgery and Laser Center at the University of California San Francisco. And I run the High Risk Skin Cancer program which is a combined clinic and research laboratory focused on skin cancer in immunosuppressed patients. I’ve always really liked science. In elementary school, I liked the natural world, the animals that we had in science class, learning about the trees in the park. I just thought that was a very interesting topic. As I grew older I started taking classes like biology and chemistry and one of the things I was really impressed…

  • See How Cracked Skin Helps Elephants Stay Cool | Decoder
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    See How Cracked Skin Helps Elephants Stay Cool | Decoder

    Whether it’s swimming, splashing, or rolling around in the mud, there’s nothing an elephant loves more than bath time. This elephant water park isn’t just for fun, though. Temperatures in the hot African savanna average around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. But staying cool is no problem for elephants, thanks to millions of microscopic cracks in their skin. How do elephants get their cracks? And why does it help them beat the heat? The African elephant is the largest living land animal in the world. It can grow up to 13 feet high and weigh up to 7 tons. Its outer skin layer is about 50 times as thick as a human’s.…